Riding camels in the Sahara desert

We really wanted to ride camels in the desert! We had originally planned to go to a different part of the Sahara, but we found out that this was one occasion where travelling independently was actually going to be more expensive than taking a tour. We changed our plans accordingly and joined a group tour to Merzouga.  Now, Merzouga is a long way from Marrakech, so the tour was two nights and three days. We were lucky and had a really fun, multicultural group – we had a great time with our fellow travellers (we wound up staying with our new friend Ivy in Casablanca later in our trip – we love meeting new people!)

 

Our fun group
Our fun group

 

On our first day we left Marrakech around 7.30am and headed over the High Atlas mountains.

 

Heading through the windy mountain road
Heading through the windy mountain road

 

Our next stop was the stunning kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou which was used as a film set for lots of movies and shows including our beloved Game of Thrones. We had fun exploring here and in the nearby area – we hadn’t been that excited about the things we would see en route to the desert but wound up having an awesome time!

 

Looking over to the Kasbah
Looking over to the Kasbah

 

Recognise this?
Recognise this?

 

Stunning views
Stunning views

 

Exploring the Kasbah
Exploring the Kasbah

 

 

In a nearby town
In a nearby town

 

After staying the night in a hotel, we continued on the next day to see another kasbah and carpet demonstration…this turned into a lot of time at the carpet shop where the carpets were beautiful but not really what we wanted to put in our packs!

 

 

The weaver's loom
The weaver’s loom

 

Beautiful carpets
Beautiful carpets

 

After a walk through the valley we saw dramatic cliffs at the river and had a welcome quick paddle!

 

Wandering in the valley
Wandering in the valley

 

Unexpectedly green
Unexpectedly green

 

Dramatic cliffs
Dramatic cliffs

 

 

We then made haste for the desert town of Merzouga, where we arrived in time to ride camels into the sunset.  It turns out that after the first ten mintes camels are distinctly uncomfortable to ride, so after an hour and a half we were definitely ready to camp.

 

Reuben getting up
Reuben getting up

 

Riding in the Sahara
Riding in the Sahara

 

Shadows
Shadows

 

Stopping to watch the sunset
Stopping to watch the sunset

 

The sun setting
The sun setting

 

Jumping  on the dunes
Jumping on the dunes

 

 

Our desert camp was awesome – just tents with mattresses and blankets and the toilets were “anywhere in the sand outside the camp”! We had lots of fun eating here, watching some traditional drumming and climbing a sand dune to watch the stars. (We came down quite quickly after we saw large beetles skittering through the sand!)

 

Went back to find one with my camera!
Went back to find one with my camera!

 

Drumming
Drumming

 

Our wake up call came around 5am, when we were woken up to get back on the camels to see the sunrise.  Our muscles definitely didn’t appreciate getting back on the camels! We also saw snake tracks where snakes had been in the night…thankfully not near our camp! We arrived back in Merzouga in time for breakfast and a gruelling 11 hour drive back.  We really loved our time in the desert – it was worth the drive and effort to get there!

 

Sun rise
Sun rise

 

Morning shadows
Morning shadows

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Aunty Moira says:

    What an awesome experience !

    Like

  2. Lynette Olson says:

    Wow, this sure looks like an exciting adventure.

    Like

  3. Mum Bunn says:

    The first photos somehow reminded me The Amazing Race! Maybe its the Team Olson uniform. And then gosh, what an interesting trip — an incredible way to journey into the desert.

    Like

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