The great Sahara, around the same size as the USA or China, is the world’s largest hot desert. Spanning northern Africa from the Atlantic to the Red Sea, this arid expanse covers some 11 countries, with its north-eastern edge just about spilling over into Morocco.
Morocco’s corner of the desert lies south of the High Atlas Mountains, a smattering of oasis towns becoming less frequent the further you venture, eventually reaching the golden dune seas that evokes the most romantic images of the Sahara.
It’s here you’ll find camel trains emerging from the heat haze led by blue-scarfed Berbers, a nomadic people who have preserved their own language and culture for over 4000 years while watching Carthaginian, Roman, Arab and French empires come and go.
There’s no better way to experience the desert than a night or two camping out among the nothingness in the traditional Berber-style. Camps are best enjoyed in private, perhaps a camel trek in time for the purple sun set, dining around a fire under the starry sky and retiring to your tent.
When to Go
The best time to visit the Moroccan Sahara is during the slightly cooler months from October to May. In December and January, nights can sometimes drop below freezing, but camps will provide you with plenty of warm blankets. The height of summer, from June to August, is too hot and the sun too intense so many camps are either closed or move north during this period.