An Enchanting Stay in the Sahara Desert

What an experience! Two nights at a luxury Sahara Desert camp

Of the many highlights during our Collette Colors of Morocco tour, our two nights at a Sahara Desert camp stands out as one of the best. Ever since I was very young, I dreamed of seeing the Sahara Desert which held a great deal of mystique for me. But somehow it always seemed out of reach until our Morocco guided tour gave us the perfect opportunity to make that dream a reality.

Camel ride for Collette tour group in the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Our camel caravan in the Sahara

It was a special and different experience for us to stay in a luxury desert tent, enjoy Berber music around a bonfire, gaze at the brilliant stars at night, and ride a camel along the Erg Chebbi sand dunes.

Getting to our Sahara Desert camp

4x4 rides on the Sahara heading to a desert camp, Morocco

Riding in our 4×4 on the Sahara heading to a desert camp

To get to our camp, we were driven in 4x4s from our hotel in Erfoud. It was a fun and exciting ride on the sandy dunes, especially when our driver would accelerate the vehicle going up, down, and around the dunes. We were assigned the same driver each day who was skilled at what he does and very friendly. We also enjoyed the Berber music on the radio adding to this authentic Sahara experience.

Arrival at our Sahara Desert camp

Jannat Luxury Camp in the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Jannat Luxury Camp — our tents and decorative outdoor lights

As it customary in Morocco as a sign of hospitality and welcome, upon arrival at the camp, we were served mint tea and cookies in the dining tent. This is a tradition that I quickly came to love.

Mint tea being poured in the dining tent of a luxury desert camp in the Sahara on a Collette guided tour, Morocco

Mint tea in the dining tent to welcome us to our luxury desert camp

Catherine Sweeney at camp in the Sahara Desert, Moroco

Sahara Desert camp

After tea, we settled into our large and comfortable private tents which were complete with king size bed, electricity, free Wi-Fi, and modern bathrooms with hot and cold running water.

Inside our desert luxury camp on the Sahara Desert in Morocco

Relaxing in our tent on the Sahara Desert

Our dinners, served family style in the large dining tent, included traditional dishes of meat and vegetable tajines, Moroccan salads, soups, fruit, and pastries. For breakfast, there were plenty of options like crepes, breads, pastries, eggs, juice, coffee and tea.

Tour manager Nabil Merri in the dining tent of a luxury camp on the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Tour manager Nabil in the dining tent

Riding camels among the dunes

Camels awaiting their riders on the Sahara Desert in Morocco

Our camels await a short walk from camp

Here’s how my camel ride began.

What a thrill to ride a camel in the Sahara! Our ride along the ridges of the dunes lasted about an hour. I would love to do it again sometime.

Traveling with Sweeney duo on camels in the Sahara Desert in Morocco

TWS duo on camels

Special excursions in the desert

It was during our free time during our Sahara camp stay that Collette arranged two special cultural excursions. We hopped in our 4x4s and headed out from camp for these remarkable experiences.

Visit with a nomad family

“It was a fascinating experience to meet a nomad family while we were staying in the Sahara. Driven in 4 x 4s from our camp, we came upon their living quarters consisting of basic shelters and a donkey resting nearby. With Nabil interpreting our questions and the elder family member’s answers, we learned about their daily lives and background. Although he had been always on the move as a younger man (aligning with our understanding of nomad), he and his children and grandchildren have been settled on this spot for about 10 years.” — TWS post Broadening Our Horizons in Morocco on a Collette Guided Tour – Meeting the People

Visiting with a nomad family in the Sahara Desert, Morocco

Nomad family patriarch at his living quarters in the Sahara

Traditional sub-Saharan Gnawa music

“In Khamlia, we were introduced to the Gnawa people and their music. It was interactive and we could participate with drums and we also got a little lesson on using several other instruments. The Gnawa people are an ethnic group with West African ancestry who were originally brought to Morocco as slaves. Their music and dance is an important part of their heritage.” — TWS post Broadening Our Horizons in Morocco on a Collette Guided Tour — Gnawa Music and People

Gnawa music performance in Morocco

Gnawa music performance

Relaxation and entertainment

After a day of exhilarating rides over desert landscapes via camels and 4x4s and special experiences, it was nice to get back to our luxury tents, shower, relax a bit, walk to the dunes for the beautiful sunset, and then gather with our fellow guests for another lovely dinner in the desert.

Sunset on the Sahara, Morocco

Sunset on the Sahara

Following dinner there was entertainment by local Berber staff and we got to join in by playing instruments, singing, and dancing.

Berber music entertainment around the bonfire at a desert luxury camp in the Sahara Desert

Music around the bonfire at the Sahara Desert camp

Before calling it a night, we walked away from the lights of our camp to the dunes where we were mesmerized by the spectacular sky full of bright stars above us.

Sahara Desert Camp at night, Morocco

Sahara Desert Camp at night

Thanks to Collette for sponsoring our Colors of Morocco tour and this extraordinary experience in the Sahara Desert.

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