Merzouga is a small village in southeastern Morocco, dusty town on the edge of Morocco's Sahara desert, about 55 kilometers from Erfoud, and about 50 kilometers from the Algerian border.
Travelers who want to experience the beauty of the Sahara Desert should look no further than Merzouga, Morocco. This top desert destination offers visitors a once in a life time experience in this magical landscape of impressive dunes of constant changing color, transformed in the sunlight from hues of coral to gold and fiery red.
While many of Morocco's top attractions are easily accessible by train, Merzouga and other close by villages of Rissani and Erfoud, are only accessible by car. Find out how to get to Merzouga, where to stay and things to do from the guide below.
Sunrise / sunset over the dunes. Folk dances and black G'naui music. Visits to villages near Merzouga inhabited by Senegalese musicians and dancers such as Khamlia can be arranged with some guides.
See the ducks, and in early spring, flamingos, on the Dayet Srji salt lake, just west of Merzouga. There are many other species of birds (ruddy sheldrack and Kittllitz's plower during the spring migration, Tristram's desert warbler, the Egyptian nightjar, the arabian buzzard and falcons), and the desert sparrows are unique to this region and can be seen all year round.
There are also reptiles (Algerian sand lizards, Berber skinks and snakes), mammals such as gerbils, desert hedgehogs, field mice and desert foxes, and scarab beetles. In the morning, you can often see their tracks in the sand. Brown scorpions can occasionally be seen, but they come out at night and tend to avoid humans.
The most popular activity for those who visit Merzouga, is camel trekking. Explore the dunes of Merzouga on the back of a camel in this ocean of Saharan sand, taking an incredible journey on a sunrise or sunset tour filled with picture-perfect photo opportunities.
The more adventurous, and even the not-so-adventurous, should consider desert camping by spending a night or two in the desert on a variety of tours. Travelers can take a trek to an oasis in the dunes, stopping to lunch with nomads by day and spending an evening with a Berber family one night while the next night enjoying authentic spicy Berber tagine prepared over an open fire and staring into the clear night filled with intensely shining stars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Morocco is safe to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Morocco tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Valid Passport with 6 months validity beyond your travel schedule is a must. Visitors frm United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, and Switzerland can enter without visa. Entry visa with USD 27 per passport is available upon arrival in Morocco airports for specific nationalities or you can obtain a visa from Morocco Consulate before departure.
Arabic is the official language, English and French are studied in Moroccan schools. Fewer Moroccans can speak Italian, Spanish, and German. Professionals in the tourism sector are accustomed to visitors who cannot speak Arabic.
Morocco is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
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The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), it is about 0.10 to USD. Money exchange is widely available and Credit cards are largely used.
Morocco enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Morocco is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.