During our trip to Morocco, we were so excited for our time in the Sahara — two perfect days off the grid in the middle of rolling sand dunes! Everything about the Sahara Desert is so majestic and it’s no wonder that thousands of people rave about Erg Chebbi every year. We thoroughly enjoyed our Sahara Desert experience and would recommend it for anyone who enjoys solitude, doesn’t mind getting a little dirty and wants to truly disconnect. Today I’m sharing 5 things to know before you travel to the Sahara Desert.
5 Things To Know Before You Travel To The Sahara Desert
It gets cold at night. Like – really, really cold. People told us this before our trip, but as I sat in the sweltering 4×4 on the way to the camp, I couldn’t help but question how cold it could really get. Fast forward to sunset and I was shivering. By sunrise, it felt like winter! Definitely pack a warm coat despite how hot it feels during the day.
Eye care is a must. The sun is strong and the sand is wild. I wear contacts, so before we even left I was concerned about dust and sand in my eyes. Turns out – it’s a completely valid concern and one I really struggled with during our time in the Sahara. My eyes dried out really quickly, so even with eye drops and sunglasses protecting my eyes, they felt really dry and itchy. When I took my contacts out to find relief, I had the option of putting my sunglasses on and not being able to see, or putting my glasses on and being blinded by the sun. For any fellow contact wearers, I cannot recommend enough packing an extra set of lenses, rewetting drops, lens protein remover (not just regular solution), and dry eye/anti-itch eye drops.
Forcing yourself up a dune is worth it. Dane and I woke up at 6AM for the 7:30AM sunrise. We wanted to be at the very peak of the Erg Chebbi sand dunes for when the sun finally crept over the Sahara skyline. Let me be the first to tell you – regardless of how in shape you are, walking up a 45 degree angle in sand is NO JOKE. But holy wow — the view from the top is out-of-this-world. We stayed up there for about 2 hours and it was worth every curse word I uttered trying to get to the top 😉
The camel experience might not be what you expect. The highlight of our Morocco trip itinerary was seeing the camels in the desert – I couldn’t wait! We finally got to the camels and I squealed in excitement. They are so cute and wonderful and awesome. And then we got to walking and…ouch. We had a wonderful camel experience, but it was not the stroll I had envisioned with colorful caftans billowing in the sun (I think I watch too many movies). My butt, legs and lady bits were sore for a few days. I would absolutely do it again, but perhaps be a bit more realistic with what to expect!
Sahara Desert Camels
The stars will never look more beautiful. Dane and I are constellation people and he often jokes that I am the only person he knows that can consistently find both Dippers and Orion the hunter in the sky on a clear night. Listen — planetarium day in grade school was my favorite field trip. In any case, gazing up at the stars from our desert camp was like something out of planetarium day! The sky was so clear that it almost felt fake and you could see so many amazing constellations that it was like looking at a page from a textbook. I’ve never seen anything like it. Without outside light or movement, it was as if the world was standing still.
Have you traveled to the Sahara Desert or Erg Chebbi? What did you think?