Dakhla And The Great South Moroccan Bay
Dakhla, last stopover for the travelers on their way to Mauritania and Western Africa, is the second main city in the Moroccan Sahara.
It was, at the beginning, allotted by the Pope to Spain. The then baptized Rio Del Oro Peninsula became a Spanish colony in 1502. It was as late as 1884 that Captain Emilio Bonelli Hernando founded the “Villa Cisneros”, now Dakhla. It became the capital of the Oued-Ed-Dahab-Lagouira Province after the annexation of the Occidental Sahara by Morocco.
A dedication to the sea and its activities
Taking advantage of its fishy and warm (constantly 25°) water, the city turns its economy toward the sea that borders it. The constant warmth, along with the regularity and length of its waves, made the neighbouring Foum Labouir a world famous spot for surfing. It attracts international world-class sportsmen who train here during the winter months.
All those qualities led to the creation of many surfing schools, boosting the economy of all the area.
Large scope tourist project
Dakhla, both sea and Saharan city, nurture all the opportunities offered by its environment. With Laâyoune, they are the two largest cities of the Southern Atlantic Moroccan coastline, fitting the governmental objectives for the development of seaside resorts.
In order to meet those goals, big construction sites have been launch creating a modern and powerful hotel industry to meet the need of a growing number of visitors. It also created space for camper vans, which is a booming industry.
An underrated back-country
Not all leisure activities take place in the sea, as magical as it can be. Many tracks in the back-country are still to be discovered. They are often covered with “Regs” (rock deserts), from which solitary sand dunes emerge from time to time. A surfaced road leads to Ouasserd in the area of Tiris, 230 km from Dakhla.
This small village in the desert has very few permanent buildings. It is mainly attended by Sahrawi nomads who comes and go. It is the administrative center for them and the reason why they come.
From fishing to oyster farming
The traditional fishing made Dakhla one of the strongest cities in the Moroccan Saharan Coast in this industry. The warmth and exceptional quality of its water allowed the development of oyster farming lately, those were particularly appreciated by our palates!
Other experiments are carried out on clams and scallops farming. However the main demand of its numerous amateurs is still for the deep sea fishing.
On the long beaches, surf casting is the main fishing activity. As a fishing sport, one has to learn how to throw long and heavy fish lines over the waves from the beach.
Testimonies from the past
Dakhla host some unusual sites. “Oulad Aâtia” and “Bou Lariah” are two funeral sites, about ten meters in diameter, each containing in their centre an obelisk engraved with patterns in “Tifinagh” (The Berber Alphabet), and hieroglyphs.
A tribute to those whose history has been lost in time, a nearby site hosts cave paintings showing large animals, recalling a time when this part of Sahara was rich in water and vegetation.
On the way to Sub-Saharan Africa
Dakhla is a Saharan adventure with an African taste, an often ignored area whose ocean coasts are, perhaps, doomed to lose their pristine wild state. It is the last stop before Mauritania. The customs is at Guerguerat, just before the White Cape Peninsula.
There starts another African journey, a different adventure but nonetheless rich in meetings.
All services, banks with ATM, hotels, chemists, shops and crafts centres are downtown. For medical emergency, the military hospital, located downtown, is the best equipped in all the county.
Travel to Dakhla
The Bus Station is close to the Ibnou Rouchd High School. Ctm and Satas Sat bus companies offer daily connections to and from Dakhla. The Satas Sat bus agency is located “route du port” beside Assalam district.
From Agadir, it is a 23 hours trip for an average price of 350 Dh.
From Casablanca, it is about 31 hours trip for an average price of 520 Dh.
Agadir, 3 daily connections both ways.
Casablanca, one connection daily both ways, about ten hour trip. There is also some connections to Marrakesh, about 25 hours trip.
The international airport is close to the downtown area, it offers connections with Casablanca and the Canary Islands.
UCPA Kite surfing in Dakhla
Leisure in Dakhla
Dakhla kite’s paradise