The Erg Chebbi desert is part of the great Sahara desert. Its size is small if we compare it with other deserts such as Namib in Namibia, Wadi Run in Jordan or the Lut desert in Iran. The Erg Chebbi desert is 22 kilometers long by 5 kilometers wide and although it cannot be compared in size to other deserts, it can compete in beauty with them. The orange dunes of fine sand have something magical and attractive, whatever their size.
The word Erg means sandy area of a desert…. and you might think, but aren’t all deserts sandy? No, not all deserts have the dunes that can be seen in Erg Chebbi. There are stony deserts like the Atacama in Chile, deserts with curious sandstone formations like the Kaluts of Iran, or deserts of sand of different colors. In the great Sahara desert there are stony and sandy areas called Erg, such as Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga.
What to do in the Erg Chebbi desert
We all, or almost all of us, arrive in the desert with the idea of spending the night among the sand dunes. But, in reality, the camps are no longer in the middle of the desert as they were a few years ago. The Moroccan government judiciously decided to move the camps to the edge of the desert.
Now, all the camps are right where the sand dunes end. Nevertheless, we can tell you that the experience of spending the night in a camp is magical. Watching the sunset over the dunes or waking up and being able to walk on the sand with nothing but silence as a companion is an unforgettable experience.
The Erg Chebbi Dunes, in Merzouga, the most spectacular part to see, in fact it is the central spectacle. It is a truly spectacular landscape that you should not miss the opportunity to visit.
It is also the ideal place for activities, routes and excursions in the area, either in 4×4, camels, quads, buggies or motorcycles. This area has beautiful landscapes and many routes and tracks accessible to off-road vehicles.
During the tour whether you travel on an excursion or on your own, you will inevitably have to pass through some of the most important tourist spots in the region.
What is the best time to visit Erg Chebbi
The best months to make the excursion to the desert of Erg Chebbi are October, November, March and April, corresponding to the spring and autumn seasons, at this time the weather is perfect, the heat is not so suffocating and at night it is not too cold.
In summer the temperatures soar above 40 degrees and in winter the nights get quite cold. In addition in December many people decide to go to the Sahara desert, as they are also good dates to travel.
On the other hand, to enjoy this trip it is necessary to have a minimum of 3 days or 4 days, so that you can visit all the attractions with enough time and without haste.
We hope that with this information you have more clear how to visit the Merzouga desert and its amazing dunes of Erg Chebbi. An unforgettable and exceptional experience, contemplating the silent sunset over a desert dune has no comparison, it is a sensation that will make you feel tiny under a huge sand dune and the stars.
How to get to Merzouga
The Erg Chebbi desert is the closest to the border with Algeria and is located in the extreme southeast of Morocco. From Marrakech it is just under 600 kilometers taking the Route of the Thousand Kasbahs, which passes through very touristy spots that you can take advantage of. It has two nearby towns, Hassilabied and the best known Merzouga.
To get to Merzouga is necessary to have a vehicle, either rented or hiring a car service with private driver. Public transport is relatively easy to get to Merzouga, however the trip may take a little longer.
By bus, you have companies such as Supratours or CTM. The trip takes about 8 hours from Fez. The company CTM arrives to Rissani, a village located about 40 km from the desert, from where you can take a car to Merzouga.
From Marrakech the journey to the desert is somewhat longer, so it is advisable to split the trip into two days and rest in the town of Ouazarzate.