Traveling to the Sahara desert
It was January when we went on our Sahara experience with Xaluca Grup. With our rental car, we drove from Fes to Kasbah Hotel Xaluca in Erfoud. This village is also being called as ‘the gate to the Sahara’. It was a 7-hour drive, which was easily done in one day. Along the way you will find plenty of spots where you want to stop to take in the beautiful surroundings. There are so many different views. From the high Atlas Mountains where you might see some snow in January (and cheeky monkeys haha), to impressive rock formations and an oasis once you’re closer to the desert.
One thing to understand about the different desert tours is that there are different desert spots. Nearby Marrakesh there is the Agafay desert, which is only a stone desert, so no golden sand dunes experience! M’Hamid has smaller sand dunes, but the biggest sand dunes can be found at Merzouga. That’s where we went. If you want to see the ‘real’ Sahara sand dunes, we would advise you to go to Merzouga.
Arriving in a different world
When we arrived at Kasbah Hotel Xaluca we already felt in a completely different world. A warm welcome with Moroccan mint tea by the staff, dressed in traditional clothing, gave us a great feeling after the long drive. With some camels on the parking lot, you will feel as if you’re arriving on a Moroccan movie set.
The Kasbah where we would stay 1 night was made of adobes, the traditional Moroccan building bricks made of dirt and stones. The different types of rooms were well equipped and decorated with warm details and local fossils.
That evening we were treated with an incredible sunset. The sky was on fire!! We were very excited about the next day. Off to the Sahara desert!
An unforgettable experience in the Sahara desert
The next day we continued our journey to the sand dunes and glamping spot with our private driver Omar. Along the way he explained a lot about the history of the desert, how the nomadic people live and how the landscape has been formed.
We stopped at a few places to take photos and connect with the local people. Moments we’ll never forget! Around noon we had lunch which was freshly prepared for us at the home of a Berber.
After lunch, the journey continued to our glamping spot for the night. An hour before sunset we arrived at our glamping camp. Quickly we changed the car for camels, and got carried by the camels to the top of one of the sand dunes with our guide. The view from the top was indescribable. The vast landscape and the golden glow of the sunset were magical. The infinite view made us feel so tiny, it gave us goosebumps and an incredible feeling of freedom.
A memorable night under a sky full of stars
After the sunset, we went back to our luxury tent to prepare ourselves for the private dinner. We took a warm shower and a moment to reflect on an unforgettable day.
When we stepped out of our tent, we saw that the staff including musicians were waiting for us at the bonfire. They started playing drums and traditional Berber music while dancing around the bonfire and took our hands to invite us to dance with them on the rhythm of the music. We looked up to the sky full of stars, felt the rhythm of the beautiful Berber music and especially I became emotional at this moment. It was an overwhelming feeling of happiness, being one with the Sahara desert and dancing under a sky full of stars.
We had our private dinner after which was incredibly good Moroccan food. After dinner, we went out with our cameras again to capture the stars. Words and pictures cannot show you this view and experience. You just have to see it with your own eyes and feel the magic of the stars and desert and what it does with you. If you want to read how to make photos at night and shoot the stars, read this blog post.
After a good sleep in our luxury tent, we woke up early the next morning in a sandstorm! But dedicated as we are, we went outside to capture the magical, but windy sunrise. The sight was a little less because the sand was flying literally everywhere… But also this moment we enjoyed every second.
After breakfast it was time to leave the luxury desert camp with our private driver Omar who brought us back to our rental car in Erfoud. Once arrived at the Kasbah we continued our road trip to the North of Morocco, full of memorable memories and new friends from the desert.
Do you want to learn more?
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