After a long travel from Azrou and some exhausting encounters with touts along the way, we finally caught sight of the spectacular Erg Chebbi, a large dune shaped by wind blown sands on the oasis of the Sahara desert.


The lonely road to the Sahara.


The gate of Kasbah Mohayut, an exotic accomodation in the desert oasis where we stayed for a day before embarking on our desert trek. It is located in the village of Hassi Labied, right next to a more known and more touristy town of Merzouga.


The lovely courtyard of Kasbah Mohayut, beautifully decorated with terracotta and traditional Moroccan tiles and antiques, was very calming place to relax after a long travel.


The staff of Kasbah Mohayut were all very pleasant and attentive. Keith was not feeling well when we arrived and they made sure he was nourished. They gave him tea and cooked steamed rice for him.


The rooms in Kasbah Mohayut are exquisitely decorated with traditional Berber touch.


The view of the stunning golden desert dunes from the rooftop of Kasbah Mohayut.


One of the kasbahs in the oasis. A kasbah is a fortified structure that generally look like a castle built by wealthy families or warlords. Some kasbahs have been converted into guesthouses like Kasbah Mohajut. A kasbah can also refer to a fortified city that were built as defense from attacks.


Hanging out with the curious young ladies of Hassi Labied.


The kind manager at our kasbah advised that we needed turbans for the desert trek to protect our heads and ears from wind blown sand. He drove us at to this store where the vendor insisted on showing us piles of carpets despite our repeated insistence that we only wanted to buy turbans.  When it was finally clear to him that we had no intent to  purchase a carpet he got very upset and tried to overcharge us for the turbans, but we bargained hard. After we made our purchase, he yelled at us to get out of his store:(  And we thought that the peaceful oasis was going to be hassle-free.


With turbans and all, we were all set for the camel trekking adventure in the Sahara Desert.


Keith mounted on his camel, Bob Marley.


With our guide Mohammed leading the way, we started our trek in the Sahara Desert which stretches over a vast area of 3.5 million square miles.


 By the way, meet my cool rocking camel – Jimi Hendrix!


Our desert shadows.


 Going deeper into the desert.


The color and patterns of the desert 


Playing with our desert shadows.

Prince and princess of the desert for the day.


We finally reached our private camp in the middle of the vast, beautiful, golden  desert of Sahara.


Our exotic tent in the desert camp.


Inside our exotic, romantic, sandy desert tent.


Play time in the sand!! It was fun to have this part of the desert all to ourselves. A perfect playground to escape modern technology and clear your mind.


 Keith on top of the dune and my shadow.


That’s me as I approached Keith on top of the dune.   That red structure to the right of the camp was our desert potty! It was clean and fresh smelling, if you’re wondering.


Keith feeling like Lawrence of Arabia.


Our amazing guide, Mohammed, is a desert nomad. He was our most favorite among two dozens of Mohammeds we met in Morocco.  He was a very kind and gentle soul. He has plenty of special gifts and one of them is possessing a built-in GPS!  Halfway through our desert trek, he decided to go barefoot and left his sandals right in the middle of nowhere. He said he was going to pick it up on our way back. But how could he locate minute objects in the extreme vastness of Sahara desert? But guess what? He knew the exact location of the sandals and retrieved them on our way back to the oasis. Amazing!


We asked  Mohammed what time he was going to break his Ramadan fasting for the day. He looked at the sky and said, “in ten minutes.” In exactly ten minutes the sun set and the fasting ended for the day. Mohammed doesn’t have a watch but can tell the time of the day by just looking at the sky.


Mohammed did not have formal schooling but he is very conversational in several languages, which he learned from mere interactions with foreign travelers he guided. I think his mind is so pure, so uncluttered that he absorbs information like a sponge.


Keith and Mohammed in an engaging conversation about life of the desert nomads.


Tea time in the desert.


The most delicious tangine we had in Morocco was this vegetable tangine prepared for us by Mohammed.


We were lying on the sand gazing at the most beautiful night sky we had ever seen. As there was no trace of light pollution where we were, the stars appeared as bright and abundant as they can be. It was like being under a giant planetarium. We wished we had the right camera equipment to capture the amazing sight.


Fresh new day in the desert (with Bissi, the desert cat).


Mohammed was all smile as he greeted the new day. The night before, Mohammed said he was going to wake us up at at 6:15 a.m.  At exactly 6:15 a.m. on our watch, we got our wake up call.  Remember, he didn’t have a watch.


Leaving camp to trek back to the oasis.


It was almost the end of the trek as we caught sight of the oasis from the desert. We had a memorable time in the Sahara. We were grateful to experience the calmnesss and beauty of the desert, but most of all we we were grateful to meet Mohammed, who made our desert adventure a soulful experience. It was the highlight of our journey in Morocco, aside from that unexpected event that took place in Marrakesh:)


Sun rays bathed the courtyard of Kasbah Mahayut. We returned to the kasbah after the trek to freshen up before continuing our journey westward.


Passing by Rissani, a bigger oasis town, after we left Hassi Labied.


The street in Rissani.


Exiting the town gate of Rissani.


Our wonderful driver Abdul veered off our planned route to show us Fezna, an oasis village dotted with hundreds of water wells. These picturesque mounds are the wells where the villagers access water from “khettara,” a network of underground canals that draw water from the mountains.


 A man fetching water from one of the wells in Fezna.


Keith and  Abdul checking out a water well in the middle of nowhere. It is meant to provide water for camels that happen to pass by.


A  “camel crossing’ road sign in the middle of nowhere.

That ends our adventure in the Sahara region of Morocco.  You may also like to see our other posts on Morocco:


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Travel Notes:

Getting there and away:  We chartered a grand taxi from Azrou, which involved the usual exhausting negotiation with the driver.  The grand taxis from Azrou are only allowed to go as far as the town Er-Rachida in the Ziz Valley (4-hour ride). From Er-Rachida, we had to transfer to a shared grand taxi to take us to the town of Rissani (one-hour ride), where our hotel, Kasbah Mohayut, sent a driver to pick us up.  From Rissani, it was another 45-minutes to Kasbah Mohayut.  (While waiting for our transfers in Er-Rachida and Rissani, we were swarmed by touts and rouges trying to sell us hotels and tours, etc. Getting there by grand taxi was such a hassle but was an interesting experience.)

Leaving the Sahara, we had our hotel, Kasbah Mohayut, arrange for a private car with a driver to take us to Marrakesh via overnight stay in Tamdaght/Ait Benhadou. It was a much more convenient option. No touts and rouges bothered us along the way, our driver Abdul protected us from them.  If you book with Kasbah Mohayut, request for Abdul to be your driver.

Booking the desert trek: We booked our desert trek through our hotel, Kasbah Mohayut. They own the private camp where we stayed in the desert. There are two kinds of desert treks available – a private trek or a group trek. The private trek allows you to go deeper into the dessert and stay in a peaceful and pleasant private camp. The group trek is an inexpensive alternative but it does not take you far away from the oasis and the evening lights from the oasis will still be visible from the communal camp, which you will be sharing with other groups of trekkers.  If you’re looking for a party scene in the desert, this maybe more for you.  If you book with Kasbah Mohayut for a private trek, ask for Mohammed to be your guide.

Travel Date: October 2007

Travel Guide:  Lonely Planet

Suggested Links:

Accommodation/Travel & tour arrangment: Kasbah Mohayut

Related posts:

About Marisol

Taking you on our journey one photo - and footstep - at a time.

26 responses to “Morocco: Camel Trekking in the Sahara Desert

  1. Kara D.

    Hello again! I’m so thrilled that you were able to post this right away. Your photos are stunning. I’m now more excited about my trip. Thanks for info about Kasbah Mahayut. We will definitely look into it. We hope to get Mohammed as our guide, too! I’m a bit wary about those touts! Did you feel threatened at all around them?

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Kara,
      About the touts, they can be very exhausting and frustrating but they don’t mean any harm, they just want your business. Being too persistent is just their way of doing business, the norm that they came to know. I hope you get to stay at Kasbah Mohayut. It’s a wonderful, relaxing place and the staff are very pleasant. Most of all, I hope youcan have Mohammed as your guide. Say hello for us if you meet him. And thanks for dropping by again.

  2. Cale Higgins

    Hello, I’m happy to discover your blog when I googled photo images of Morocco travel. I really enjoy it. I felt I was part of your journey. The images are beautiful and you give enough information without being too wordy. I look forward to see more of your destination.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hello Cale, we’re glad you enjoyed our site. Thanks for visiting and hope you drop by again.

  3. Resha K.

    Hello Traveling Solemates, thank you for this very beautiful photographs and information of camel trekking in Morocco. My husband and I would like to do the same thing when we visit Morocco. You give us so much inspiration in your photographs. We like to stay in same kasbah and hopefully same great guide Mohammed. Your trip is wonderful and we hope ours will be same.

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hello Reska, it’s our pleasure. We wish you and your husband a wonderful time in the Sahara desert.

  4. Carrie Sieber

    Hello Traveling Solemates, a friend of mine forwarded your blog link to me. I truly enjoy all your photojournals!! What a find! Beautiful photography, great information and insight. I love traveling but I’m not able to go away as much as I want. Now I have the satisfaction of traveling vicariously through your photoblog. I look forward to seeing the photojournals of your other destinations in the More to Come list. A lot of those places are my dream destinations, especially Cuba and Galapagos Islands. More happy travels to you both and keep sharing your travel experiences. –Carrie

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Carrie, We’re happy you enjoyed the blog! Please visit again soon! The Galapagos Islands post is coming up soon!

  5. Todd Nielsen

    Hey TravelingSolemates! I stumbled across your post as I was looking for pictures to get myself excited for my trip to Morocco this coming April. Do you have any suggestions as far as what to bring into the desert? How cold does it get at night? I’ve been planning this trip with a friend for awhile and we were curious about packing requirements/suggestions. Also, other than going through the same hotel that you booked your trip through, did you look at any other possible tour companies to take you on your desert trek? If so, what were they and why did you not choose them?

    Your pictures are incredible and I can only hope to capture the moments of my trip as well as you have! I’ve been looking at all of your pictures and I just can’t get over how awesome they are! Thank you for sharing!

    I hope I’m not a pest with my questions! Hopefully you have some answers! 😀

    • Traveling Solemates

      Hi Todd, you’re not a pest at all! We’re glad you enjoyed our post. One of the useful things we brought were the turbans. It definitely protected our ears and head from the windblown sand. Sunglasses is also a must to protect you eyes from sand and sun. Wear long pants for the camel ride. We didn’t know the exact temperature at night but we were warm and comfortable with just medium weight sweaters. Food and water were included in the package, but you may want to bring snacks and beverage of choice (e.g. wine:) to enjoy with dinner. If you’re into photography, you might want to bring gears for night sky shots. The star filled sky will be the most amazing you’ll ever see. Of course, bring extra batteries and tons of memory card for your camera. A polarized filter is also recommended.
      We contacted several trekking companies before we left for Morocco. Most of them were not so responsive like Kasbah Mohayut, whose services we chose not only for their responsiveness but also based on recommendation from other sites. And we also liked that it was a “green” hotel; it runs on solar power.
      We hope we answered your questions. Let us know if you have more. We’re very excited for you. This desert trekking is one of our favorite travel experiences and we hope it will be as memorable for you. – Marisol & Keith

      • Todd Nielsen

        After thinking about this for a little while, I had a few more questions. The person I’m planning on traveling with and I really want to spend time in Marrakech. That would probably be our first and last destination on our trip. Flying into Marrakech and staying for a day or so and then taking a trek into the desert. My next question is this: what’s the process for a grand taxi from Marrakech to Kasbah Mohayut and then back after the trek? Something a couple of 21 year olds can easily accomplish? Or are we better off booking a trek that leaves from Marrakech and takes us back to the city after our trek is complete, removing the grand taxi from the picture?

        I’m so interested in everything Morocco right now. It looks like such an incredible location! Thanks again for all of your help! You’ve got a new person following all of your adventures! – Todd

        • Traveling Solemates

          Hi Todd, We only took the grand taxi one way – going to Sahara from Azrou. It was a bit of a hassle but was an interesting experience. We left Sahara for Marrakesh by a private car with a driver which was arranged for us by the Kasbah. That was a lot more convenient option and was pretty reasonable, too. Your may ask your hotel in Marrakech to arrange a car for you to bring you to Sahara oasis. Then you can have the Kasbah arrange a car to take you back to Marrakech. We recommend that you stop somewhere in between to break you travel. Ait Benhaddou/Tamdaght (see our post) are great places to do so.
          Booking a package to/from Marrakech can also be a convenient option. I saw this link online that you may want to check out, although I don’t know the company and can’t vouch for it. But I think it will give you an idea about the packages that are out there.

          Have a wonderful time in Morocco. Let us know how it goes and if you have any questions.

          • Todd Nielsen

            You are incredible! Thanks so much for the advice! I’ll be sure to let you know about my trip and the process we took and maybe we will run into Mohammed!


  6. First of all we hope all is great with you there

    Thanks so Much for adding a great pic of our home and showing the people the best of our country by the way we would like to welcome you back to your second country and we feel glad to show and to share with you the rest of Moroccan Culture and views
    Here Our company For more Morocco Desert Tours, Sahara Over Night, Camel Trekking In Merzouga Desert , Camps In Erg Chebbi Dunes, Desert Trips From any were Of Morocco

  7. Great article and amazing pictures , i really enjoyed reading it. You are always welcome to Morocco.

  8. Maria

    This blog reminds me of our Morocco camel trekking in sahara desert. Thank you so much for sharing it :)

  9. Maria

    This blog reminds me of our Morocco camel trekking in sahara desert. Thank you so much for sharing it :)

  10. Laura

    The tour was very good organized. I saw beautiful views of Morocco. It was really good day. If you looking for a good trip,, this is a good choice.

  11. ConniePL

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful article here!! so exciting to read!
    My husband and two adult sons wanted a different holiday experience this year and decided to visit Morocco. We’ve lived in Europe and traveled extensively, but none of us knows North Africa. I discovered ( ) online and sent a note explaining what we were looking for. Iddir’s responses to all my emails were thorough and amazingly timely. His recommended itinerary was perfect. We particularly enjoyed the desert camel ride and bivouac under the stars, and visit with a Berber family–really unique experiences we would not have found on our own.

    Our driver Said was the best, always attentive and willing to adjust to our needs. Iddir knows his drivers, tour guides and recommended riads and restaurants well. he is the best travel agent I’ve ever worked with, by far. My family has highest recommendations for Marvelous Morocco Tours!!

  12. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your amzing desert experience :)

  13. great article about Morocco, thanks for all the pictures and informations about Morocco.

  14. Beautiful photos! It sounds like a lovely experience :)

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