According to TripAdvisor, camel trekking is the best thing to do in the world. Visiting Merzouga is thus not just the highlight of our four-day journey from Fes to Marrakech, but also of all of our Morocco desert excursions.
Merzouga lies only around 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Algeria’s borders. It is located in the province of Errachidia, in the area of Daraa Tadilalet. In addition, the word Merzouga is derived from an Arab tribe’s surname “Merzouq.” Some argue that Merzouga means “rich” because of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, which draw a large number of visitors each year.
You may hear the words Hassi Labied, Takojt, or Khamlia, which relate to the surrounding settlements. Also, you may have heard of Lala Merzouga, the name of Erg Chebbi’s largest sand dune. Not to mention that tourism is Merzouga’s primary source of revenue, so they work hard to keep it clean and safe.
Merzouga is a town where not only Berbers but also Arabs and Gnawa people dwell. Despite the mixed tribes and roots, the huge hamlet stays peaceful and is loved by many tourists for its people’s warmth. Let’s have a look at some of the greatest things to do in Merzouga:
Many visitors remain in hotels and come in the afternoon or early morning to just see the desert ship, the dromedaries. There are other visitors who have more days to ride camels as nomads and wander in the wilderness for a week or two. The camel ride will take place twice throughout our four-day journey, once in the afternoon to the camp and once in the morning leaving the camp. Not to add, if you’re wondering what the difference between a camel and a dromedary is, the camel has two humps while the dromedary only has one. As a result, there are only dromedaries in Merzouga and throughout Africa; camels are often found in Asia.
If you want to truly immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the Berber nomads, the camel ride isn’t complete until you spend the night in a tent. Locals have built up several campgrounds behind the dunes of Erg Chebbi for tourists, both luxury and basic, where they prepare supper, light fires, and play drums. Normally, these tents should be made of goat’s fur, as that is the norm among nomads.
The Srij or Sarij lake is worth a visit since it is where hundreds of camels go herding during the day when they are not working. It is also home to various species, including Egyptian nightjars, desert warblers, and immigrant flamingos.
Merzouga, as previously said, has a diverse population. The dark-skinned people known as Gnawa dwell in Khamlia, and they are also known to have been exploited as slaves. They now reside in this quiet community, and they have a type of music known as Gnaoua. As a result, with our four-day journey, our visitors will be able to see them and learn about their music.
ATVs or quad biking are another worthwhile activity to attempt. This item is not included in our four-day Fes desert trip. You can, however, contact us to get it included.