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Saharan Morocco

From Wikitravel
Africa : North Africa : Morocco : Saharan Morocco
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Saharan Morocco is a vast desert region dividing Morocco and Algeria. Its a hot, dry and often picturesque area. This area is not to be confused with another region further south often called Moroccan Western Sahara.

Towns & Villages[edit]

  • Erfoud – The Gate of Sahara, this small city is located on the way of Erg Chebbi Dunes.
  • Rissani - This small oasis town lies near the northwest edge of the Sahara.
  • Merzouga – Small village on the edge of Erg Chebbi Dunes.
  • Khamlia - This small village lies on the southwest edge of Erg Chebbi.
  • Ouarzazate – Considered the capital of the south, a great example of preservation and tourism that hasn't destroyed the feel of a fantastic and ancient city.
  • M'Hamid – Small village on the border with Algeria, south of Zagora town.
  • Zagora – Small desert town south of Ouarzazate.
  • Errachidia – Biggest town north of Erfoud. Military use of this town gives it a clean and organized urban net.

Other destinations[edit]



French is widely spoken by most people connected to some kind of business. Moroccan Sahara divides into Berbers and Arabs from different tribes.

How are you

  • Berber: meitanit?; Arabic: labass?; French: ça va?;

Thank you

  • Berber: tanmirt; Arabic: shukran; French: merci;

I want one orange juice

  • Berber: righ ian assir limoun; Arabic: bghit wahid assir limoun; French: je veux un jus d'orange;

My friend

  • Berber: assouninu; Arabic: sahbi; French: mon ami;

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

  • Tachelhit Berber: yan, sin, krad, kkuz, semmus, sdis, sa, ttam, ttza, mraw; Moroccan Arabic: wahed, juj, tleta, arbaa, remsa, setta, sebaa, tamanya, tsaa, aashra; French: un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix;

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

Getting around Moroccan Sahara desert is as easy as it gets. You have plenty of buses and grands taxis connecting all imaginable cities, towns and villages.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Erg Chebbi Dunes (Erg Chebbi Dunes). Erg Chebbi Dunes  edit
  • Tinfou Dunes (Tinfou Dunes). Tinfou Dunes  edit
  • Chegaga Dunes (Chegaga Dunes). Chegaga Dunes  edit
  • Old Kasbahs in Nkob (Old Kasbahs in Nkob). Old Kasbahs in Nkob  edit
  • Ksar of Maadid in Erfoud (Ksar of Maadid in Erfoud). Ksar of Maadid in Erfoud  edit
  • Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate (Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate). Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate  edit
  • Unesco Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate (Unesco Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate). Unesco Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate  edit
  • Fint Oasis in Ouarzazate (Fint Oasis in Ouarzazate). Fint Oasis in Ouarzazate  edit
  • Underground Ksar of Tamegroute (Underground Ksar of Tamegroute), (South of Zagora). Underground Ksar of Tamegroute  edit
  • Tifoultoute Kasbah in Ouarzazate (Tifoultoute Kasbah in Ouarzazate). Tifoultoute Kasbah in Ouarzazate  edit
  • Ouarzazate open air Cinema Studios (Ouarzazate open air Cinema Studios). Ouarzazate open air Cinema Studios  edit


Try to do the circle from Ouarzazate to Nkob, Rissani, Erfoud, Erg Chebbi Dunes with villages such as Merzouga, Hassilabied, Khamlia, back up passing the Rose Valley and Gorges du Todra back to Ouarzazate. Also could be the southern route of Ouarzazate, Agdz, Zagora, Mhamid.

In Ouarzazate explore Oasis Fint, Oasis Skoura, Unesco Ksar of Ait ben Haddou, Tifoultoute Kasbah, Stork Kasbah, Taourirt Kasbah, Cinema Museum, Open air Cinema Studios, Saturday morning market;

Do[edit][add listing]

  • ATV Quad Excursion in Ouarzazate (ATV Quad Excursion in Ouarzazate). ATV Quad Excursion in Ouarzazate  edit
  • Camel Trekking in Erg Chebbi Dunes (Camel Trekking in Erg Chebbi Dunes). Camel Trekking in Erg Chebbi Dunes  edit
  • Mountain Trekking in Nkob (Mountain Trekking in Nkob). Mountain Trekking in Nkob  edit
  • Gnawa Music in Khamlia village in Erg Chebbi Dunes (Gnawa Music in Khamlia village in Erg Chebbi Dunes). Gnawa Music in Khamlia village in Erg Chebbi Dunes  edit
  • Erfoud Saturday Morning Market (Erfoud Saturday Morning Market). Erfoud Saturday Morning Market  edit
  • Explore Taourirt and Tassoumaat districts in Ouarzazate (Explore Taourirt and Tassoumaat districts in Ouarzazate). Explore Taourirt and Tassoumaat districts in Ouarzazate  edit
  • Traveler's Sahara Retreat, [1]. You can join up to 30 other travellers to spend a week deep in the dunes with meditation, yoga and dance workshops, as well as music and storytelling around the fire. 11-17 January and 1-7 of March, 2015  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Restaurant Pizzeria des Dunes in Erfoud (Restaurant Pizzeria des Dunes in Erfoud). Restaurant Pizzeria des Dunes in Erfoud  edit
  • Restaurant 3 Thes in Ouarzazate (Restaurant 3 Thes in Ouarzazate), av my rachid, 212524886363. Restaurant 3 Thes in Ouarzazate 100dhs.  edit
  • Restaurant Hotel Ennakhile in Nkob (Restaurant Hotel Ennakhile in Nkob). Restaurant Hotel Ennakhile in Nkob  edit
  • Restaurant Kasbah Meteorites in Alnif (Restaurant Kasbah Meteorites in Alnif), +212.535.783.809. Kasbah Meteorite is an hotel located 13km West of Alnif, a small Berber town on the road connecting Marrakech and Ouarzazate to Rissani in Sahara Desert. (31°6'42 North,5°10'13 West) edit
  • Restaurant Dar Zaouia (Restaurant Dar Zaouia), +212 66 81 77 895, [2]. Dar Zouia is ideally located to both the center of Zagora(5 min walk from the CTM and Supratour bus station, 10min souk). from 10$ to 30$.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Desert Tea (Desert Green Tea). Desert Tea is most of times just Chinese green tea and plenty of sugar. Ask for mint just for a change.  edit
  • Bottled water (Bottled water). If you're not used to Moroccan water, most likely you'll get sick of drinking it. Get bottled water selling in all small groceries stores spread around all towns and villages. Water labels: Bahia, Sidi Ali, Sidi Harazem, Ciel (watch out for Ciel water, it is made to make you drink more water), Ain Saiss. 5.5 to 7 Dirhams.  edit

Stay safe[edit]

All Morrocan Sahara is safe. Be careful with heat, drink bottled water. Every little town and village have small shops selling bottled water (~6 Dirhams).

All small towns such Erfoud, Rissani, Zagora, Mhamid have plenty of good quality pharmacies where you can get most of necessary stuff.

Unemployment is high, and this is one of the countries touristic destination. Expect young boys proposing guidance through the desert. You are not obliged to, so if you don't want don't pressure yourself getting one, just smile and say no.

Get out[edit]

  • Flight from Errachidia to Casablanca (Airplane Errachidia to Casablanca), Errachidia Airport (70km north of Erfoud, get a grand taxi), [3]. Weekend flights check updates at Royal Air Maroc website. 1h20m Flight from Errachidia to Casablanca. 370 Dirhams to 1500 Dirhams.  edit

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