Deserts of the Draa Valley
Camel safari in the dunes and ergs of the Draa
The valley of the Draa between Agdz and the gates of the Sahara stretches like a ribbon of green oasis following the course of the river Draa.
It is covered, here and there, by some desert stretches of more or less great importance. Discovering them is a camel ride in the Draa Valley, which is a unique experience and a beautiful adventure.
It is the ideal place to go to meet the great spaces of the Moroccan South, on foot or by camel, between palm groves, dunes, oasis, ksour and kasbahs.
Approximately 25 km south of Zagora, easily accessible and visible by road, lie 2 high dunes: “the dunes of Tinfou”.
For those who visit the Draa Valley, without making a bivouac in the desert, it is a good alternative to try camel riding around these high sand dunes. Excursions of one hour or more on the back of an animal are organized throughout the year.
Aït Isfoul and the oasis of Nesrate
Just as accessible as the dunes of Tinfou 40 km further south, the fortified village of Aït Isfoul, built in the 19th century, is surrounded by small dunes where palm and tamarisk trees set the scene. Here, the sand stretches under the camel’s feet, waiting peacefully for a short walk in this little erg.
At 5 km before Tagounit, turn left onto a 2 km long track; you can park your car in the parking lot of the campsite, the only establishment in the oasis of Nesrate.
From M’Hamid, many camel safaries travel 12 km north to erg Lehudi, which means “dunes of the Jews”. These dunes, sometimes 100 m high, are scattered here and there with semi-permanent bivouacs.
Easier to reach, but less impressive than the Chegaga erg, the dunes of the Lehoudi erg will satisfy those who want to feel the atmosphere of the desert without having to go too far.
With a 4×4, the access is via a track that starts on the right of the main road 18 km north of M’Hamid.
Erg Chegaga is a leading destination in the south of Morocco, close to 60 km from M’Hamid. It is a large chain of dunes stretching for 40 km. The tracks leading to the Chegaga erg require a good knowledge of the terrain and a perfect command of 4X4 driving, as passenger cars cannot access them.
The agencies present in Ouarzazate, Agdz, Zagora or M’Hamid, propose to take you there by 4X4 with driver. They organize turnkey tours in the erg Chegaga with camels to take you to the bivouacs, these Berber tent camps, where a hot meal and often music around a campfire awaits you.
The nights are cool, but always under a starry sky. In the deserts of southern Morocco, sunrises and sunsets are a spectacle not to be missed.
They are beneficial to fight against rheumatic pains. The principle is to immerse oneself completely in the sand; the head alone, out of the sand, is always protected from the sun.
An immersion of about 45 minutes, under the assistance of a nurse who ensures that everything goes well. Strongly advised against those with heart problems or diabetes. From June to the end of August.