Download GPX file for this article
31.9319-4.4244Full screen dynamic map

Africa > North Africa > Morocco > Saharan Morocco

Saharan Morocco

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Saharan Morocco is a vast desert region dividing Morocco and Algeria. Its a hot, dry and often picturesque area. This area is not to be confused with another region further south often called Moroccan Western Sahara.

Towns and Villages[edit]

Map of Saharan Morocco
  • 1 Erfoud – The Gate of Sahara, this small city is located on the way of Erg Chebbi Dunes.
  • 2 Rissani - This small oasis town lies near the northwest edge of the Sahara.
  • 3 Merzouga – Small village on the edge of Erg Chebbi Dunes.
  • 4 Khamlia - This small village lies on the southwest edge of Erg Chebbi.
  • 5 Ouarzazate – Considered the capital of the south, a great example of preservation and tourism that hasn't destroyed the feel of a fantastic and ancient city.
  • 6 M'Hamid – Small village on the border with Algeria, south of Zagora town.
  • 7 Zagora – Small desert town south of Ouarzazate.
  • 8 Nkob – Small Berber town southeast of Agdz on the road Ouarzazate - Agdz - Alnif - Rissani; full of old kasbahs and surrounded by palm groves and the Saghrou Mountains.
  • Errachidia – Biggest town north of Erfoud. Military use of this town gives it a clean and organized urban net.
  • Tamegroute – Village in the Draa Valley. Historical centre of the Nasiriyya order.
  • Bouarfa – This small city lies on the southeast edge of the Sahara and is the main cultural hub of the Beni Guil nomadic tribe and terminus of the Oriental Desert Express.

Other destinations[edit]



French is widely spoken by most people connected to some kind of business. Moroccan Sahara divides into Berbers and Arabs from different tribes.

How are you

  • Berber: meitanit?; Arabic: labass?; French: ça va?;

Thank you

  • Berber: tanmirt; Arabic: shukran; French: merci;

I want one orange juice

  • Berber: righ ian assir limoun; Arabic: bghit wahid assir limoun; French: je veux un jus d'orange;

My friend

  • Berber: assouninu; Arabic: sahbi; French: mon ami;

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

  • Tachelhit Berber: yan, sin, krad, kkuz, semmus, sdis, sa, ttam, ttza, mraw; Moroccan Arabic: wahed, juj, tleta, arbaa, remsa, setta, sebaa, tamanya, tsaa, aashra; French: un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix;

Get in[edit]

Get around[edit]

Getting around Moroccan Sahara desert is as easy as it gets. You have plenty of buses and grands taxis connecting the region's cities, towns and villages.


  • Erg Chebbi Dunes (Erg Chebbi Dunes). Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Tinfou Dunes (Tinfou Dunes). Tinfou Dunes
  • Chegaga Dunes (Chegaga Dunes). Chegaga Dunes
  • Old Kasbahs in Nkob (Old Kasbahs in Nkob). Old Kasbahs in Nkob
  • Ksar of Maadid in Erfoud (Ksar of Maadid in Erfoud). Ksar of Maadid in Erfoud
  • Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate (Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate). Taourirt Kasbah in Ouarzazate
  • Unesco Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate (Unesco Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate). Unesco Ksar of Ait Ben Haddou in Ouarzazate
  • Fint Oasis in Ouarzazate (Fint Oasis in Ouarzazate). Fint Oasis in Ouarzazate
  • Underground Ksar of Tamegroute (Underground Ksar of Tamegroute) (South of Zagora). Underground Ksar of Tamegroute
  • Tifoultoute Kasbah in Ouarzazate (Tifoultoute Kasbah in Ouarzazate). Tifoultoute Kasbah in Ouarzazate
  • Ouarzazate open air Cinema Studios (Ouarzazate open air Cinema Studios). Ouarzazate open air Cinema Studios


Try to do the circle from Ouarzazate to Nkob, Rissani, Erfoud, Erg Chebbi Dunes with villages such as Merzouga, Hassilabied, Khamlia, back up passing the Rose Valley and Gorges du Todra back to Ouarzazate. Also could be the southern route of Ouarzazate, Agdz, Zagora, Mhamid.

In Ouarzazate, explore Oasis Fint, Oasis Skoura, Unesco Ksar of Ait ben Haddou, Tifoultoute Kasbah, Stork Kasbah, Taourirt Kasbah, Cinema Museum, Open air Cinema Studios, Saturday morning market.


  • ATV quad excursion in Ouarzazate
  • Camel trekking in Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Mountain trekking in Nkob
  • Gnawa music in Khamlia village in Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Erfoud Saturday morning market
  • Explore Taourirt and Tassoumaat districts in Ouarzazate. Explore Taourirt and Tassoumaat districts in Ouarzazate
  • Traveler's Sahara Retreat. A couple of times a year, 20 travellers are taken into the Sahara Desert for a week of storytelling, music, yoga and meditation. €395 per person for one week.


  • Restaurant Pizzeria des Dunes in Erfoud
  • Restaurant 3 Thes in Ouarzazate
  • Restaurant Hotel Ennakhile in Nkob
  • 1 Restaurant Kasbah Meteorites in Alnif, +212-535-783-809. Kasbah Meteorite is a hotel located 13 km west of Alnif, a small Berber town on the road connecting Marrakech and Ouarzazate to Rissani in Sahara Desert.


  • Desert Tea. Desert tea is usually just Chinese green tea and plenty of sugar. Ask for mint just for a change.
  • Bottled water. If you're not used to Moroccan water, most likely you'll get sick of drinking it. Get bottled water selling in all small groceries stores spread around all towns and villages. Water labels: Bahia, Sidi Ali, Sidi Harazem, Ciel (watch out for Ciel water, it is made to make you drink more water), Ain Saiss. 5.5 to 7 dirhams.

Stay safe[edit]

All Moroccan Sahara is safe. Be careful with heat, drink bottled water. Every little town and village has small shops selling bottled water (~6 dirhams).

All small towns such Erfoud, Rissani, Zagora, Mhamid have plenty of good quality pharmacies where you can get most necessary items.

Unemployment is high, and this is one of the country's tourist destinations. Expect young boys to proposing to be your guide through the desert. If you don't want their services, just smile and say no.

Go next[edit]

  • Flight from Errachidia to Casablanca, Errachidia Airport (70 km north of Erfoud, get a grand taxi). Weekend flights check updates at Royal Air Maroc website. 1hr20m flight from Errachidia to Casablanca. 370-1500 dirhams.
This region travel guide to Saharan Morocco is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!