Skip Navigation

Travel Guide Africa Morocco Merzouga

edit

Introduction

Merzouga is a village in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, on the edge of Erg Chebbi, a 50-kilometres long and 5-kilometre wide set of sand dunes that reach up to 350 metres. Most visitors come here to take a camel safari into the dunes, and to get a taste of remote (tourism-influenced) Berber life. The local population is mix of Arabs and Berber, and generally welcoming and friendly.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

Camel Safaris

Almost certainly the reason you came here in the first place, and by far the best way to experience the dunes. After taking you into the village to buy a proper head scarf to protect you from the sun, you'll be thrown on a camel and lead off into the desert. Meals, water, tents, etc should all be taken care of by your leader, but naturally you'd want to confirm this when you do your negotiations beforehand and make sure you're very specific, and ask lots of questions. Speaking of negotiations, do your research before coming (ask other travelers in Marrakech, etc., for recommendations and for what they paid), and be prepared to bargain very hard... the industry here is smooth and deceivingly vicious. On the first night, most groups end up at a pre-setup camp circle at the base of some large dunes, where the various tour operators have their Berber tents set up. Dinner will be cooked here, perhaps some music played, and you can frolic on the sand dunes under zillions of stars. If you're only on a 1-day trip, then you'll wake early, have some tea/breakfast, and head back before it gets hot. Others will hang out during the day, beating the heat in the tents all day, and either spend another night here or venture further out beyond the dunes and stay with a berber family, where you'll then set out to return early on the third morning. A few operators have their own private camps that will offer a more remote experience, ask around if this is what you seek. This provides a more intimate setting with fewer people and noise where you can relax and enjoy the stars. Cost a little bit more but worth it. Also check to see if showers are included after the camel trek.

Top

edit

Getting There

By Bus

From Rissani to Merzouga, a grand taxi or van is 10/12 dirhams. If you don't want to wait for other people to fill your grand taxi, pay 60 dirhams. If you arrive before sunrise (if you come in the 6-7:00am bus from Fez) you can pay up to 100 dirhams for a grand taxi.

Top

edit

Getting Around

The only way to get around Merzouga is on foot. It's fairly small and easily walkable, but you'll likely want to avoid the midday heat.

Top

edit

Eat

Most people eat meals at their lodge, but a few basic restaurants are scattered around the town if you are in need.

Top

edit

Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Merzouga or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

There are plenty of Cybercafes in cities and small towns and accessing the Internet won't be a problem. The price is around 4 to 10DH/ hour. If you have a laptop while traveling then you can buy a USB key for wireless connection from one of the 3 main telecommunication companies (Maroc Telecom, Meditel, and Inwi). Credits are available starting from 10DH/24 hours (starting from the time you use it, if you start at 2:00am then next day at 2:00am you will have to recharge it again). Wifi is getting more and more common in places like hotels, shopping malls and in restaurants and coffee places in larger cities. The wireless connection in some areas might be slow, that depends on the signal as not the whole of Morocco has 3G coverage.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

Morocco's country code is +212, International Call Prefix is 00. The telephone numbering scheme is changed starting March 2009. All fixed telephone numbers have a 5 inserted after the 0, and all mobile telephone numbers have a 6 inserted after the 0. All numbers are now ten-digit long, counting the initial 0. Useful numbers are Police: 19; Fire Service: 15; Highway Emergency Service: 177; Information: 160.

Public telephones can be found in city centres, but private telephone offices (also known as teleboutiques or telekiosques) are also commonly used.
The GSM mobile telephone network in Morocco can be accessed via one of two major operators: Meditel or Maroc Telecom. Prepaid cards are available. It is very easy and cheap to buy a local GSM prepaid card in one of the numberous phone shops showing a Maroc Telecom sign.

Post

Post Maroc is the national postal service of Morocco and has details on their website (French) regarding the sending of letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically and internationally. The postal service in Morocco is very efficient and the post offices are generally open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am to 12 noon and 2:30pm to 6:30pm. On Saturdays it is open from 8:30am to 2:00pm. Some might keep longer hours though, especially in larger tourist cities and central areas. You can post your mail at one of the post offices or otherwise in the yellow post boxes you'll find throughout the country. For packages, you can also use international courier companies like TNT, DHL or UPS. They offer quick, reliable services and competitive rates.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Coordinates
  • Latitude: 31.1106
  • Longitude: -4.0187

Accommodation in Merzouga

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Merzouga searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Merzouga and areas nearby.

Merzouga Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Merzouga

This is version 16. Last edited at 11:26 on Aug 4, 17 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License