People often imagine the Sahara as being a never-ending sea of sand dunes stretching from Morocco to Egypt. In reality the Sahara Desert is much more diverse with black gravel plains, rocky formations and low dune formations.
In Morocco, there are two sand dune ranges worth visiting: the Erg Chicaga and the Erg Chebbi (where we make the retreat). The former is accessed by catching a bus to M’hamid from Marrakech with CTM (bypassing the rather boring Zagora) and then you have to arrange a way to get to the dunes which are 60km distant. You could book a week long camel tour to get there which could be a great experience but might be pretty expensive. Otherwise you could get driven out there in a 4×4 but again, this ups the cost.
We make the Sahara retreat in the Erg Chebbi dunes as it’s closer to the villages where we arrive and we can just walk out into the dunes with the camels carrying our bags. Mercouga is the most famous village but these days there tend to be a lot of dune buggies and motorbikes roaring up the slopes and totally destroying the piece of mind you’ve travelled all the way to the Sahara to find!
Our camp is closer to the village of Hassabied which doesn’t feature on all the maps but is a much more tranquil place to hang out. And our camp is in a quiet corner of the dunes.