Moroccan Desert Lands: Distinct Flavors Of The Desert

Morocco has two main desert areas set around the towns of Merzouga and Zagora. Both are in the southeast of the country but are yet quite far apart from one another, each town having its own distinct flavor.
The Merzouga is more developed than Zagora. In Merzouga, there is a much wider choice of hotels to choose from and the people are very interactive while that is not the case for Zagora.
Zagora is further removed from the town where people get supplies. Infact due to the vast landscape, encountering fellow tourist is quite difficult. It is hard to go anywhere in town without seeing the dunes of Erg Chebbi towering on the horizon.
Spread out over 9 million square kilometres across North Africa, the great Sahara desert is the largest sand desert in the world with a remarkable variation of microclimates and communities of plant and animal species. Rising to heights of up to 150 metres, the wind-blown sand dunes of Erg Chebbi are the classic image you would expect of the Sahara desert – an endless sea of rose gold mounds snaking their way across an area that spans 50km from north to south, changing hue as the sun rises and falls from warm pinks to brilliant orange. The dunes rise almost immediately from the edge of Merzouga village, one of the most accessible desert towns in the region reached by paved roads with a choice of traditional hotel accommodation offering spectacular views. It’s for this reason that the dunes of Erg Chebbi are the most visited part of the Moroccan Sahara and get busy with people during peak tourist seasons.
The dunes around Merzouga peak with the Grand Dune de Merzouga, distinguishable from the others by a dense thicket of tamarisk trees at its base. The best time to visit the Moroccan Sahara is between October and April when daytime temperatures are bearable, however, in December and January night-time temperatures can plummet below freezing so you’ll need to travel with suitable clothing. To experience the ethereal beauty of the Sahara sand dunes without the crowds, visit during the quietest months of November, January and February.
To enjoy a trip to Zagora or the Sahara desert, there are some basic necessities needed: pack light clothes because of the heat although at night the temperature drops, sun screen, baby wipes to clean yourself in case you are unable to get to water, water bottle, comfortable walk-in shoes, and as we all know, our camera is the most important part of tourism so take your camera along with you and enjoy the view as well as the interaction with the locals during the journey.
During this journey, tour guides are available and one can be transported with camels as this is available for tourist unable to trek long distances. So pack lightly, go on the internet and book your ticket to Morocco and enjoy the splendid view the desert has to offer.
P.S: Pictures are not ours unless stated.
This article was written by Teniola Anipole

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