Share:

Erg Chebbi Dunes

Merzouga

Other,

Start Exploring
Erg Chebbi Dunes

Share:

Advertisement
  • The landscape of Merzouga upon approaching the Erg Chebbi Dunes (in the distance).- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Many kasbahs are located along the road, almost all of which also serve as outfitters for trips into the dunes.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Entering the dunes in the afternoon.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • The long shadows of early evening light.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Most of the guides travel by foot.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Most of the guides travel by foot.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • You may encounter camel caravans on your trek.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Taking a break in the windy evening.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Conditions in the dunes can change rapidly, with wind kicking up a lot of sand.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Evening in the Erg Chebbi Dunes.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Evening in the Erg Chebbi Dunes.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Evening in the Erg Chebbi Dunes.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • First light as the sun rises over Algeria.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • First light as the sun rises over Algeria.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Morning in the Erg Chebbi Dunes.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Camels are useful, especially for carrying gear.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Dramatic shadows in the morning light.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Travel through the dunes via camel or on foot.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
  • Dramatic shadows in the morning light.- Erg Chebbi Dunes
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Dark night sky. Surreal landscape. Unique experience.
Cons: 
Remote.
Advertisement
Region:
Other,
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
30.00 ft (9.14 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
5.40 mi (8.69 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,290.00 ft (697.99 m)
Current Local Weather:
Advertisement
Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

It's an unbeatable feeling, standing on top of a massive sand dune and staring into the expanse of an enormous continent with miles of desert before you, sand swirling around your face, shielded by a long scarf. A trip into the Erg Chebbi dunes of Morocco can facilitate such a feeling. Erg Chebbi is part of the Saharan ergs just west of the Algerian border. In warmer months, Moroccans will bury themselves to the neck in the hot sand, as part of a traditional treatment for rheumatism.

The quintessential tourist way to experience this area is via camel ride, but it is possible to trek the dunes on foot. The assistance of a guide is recommended, however, as the valleys of the dunes can be disorienting, and getting lost in the heat can be dangerous. Most guided tours are arranged via any of the myriad of hotels along the edge of the desert in Merzouga.* If possible, try to spend a night in a traditional Berber tent village on the edge of Erg Chebbi. Truly the most magical time in the desert is dusk through dawn, when the light changes the colors of the sky and the sand, and the night stars come out for an amazing show.

While it may seem that a sandy desert is bereft of much life, many mammals, insects, and birds are awake and alert at night. Keep an eye out for footprints and scarab tracks left behind in the morning, before the wind erases the evidence.

*Hotel Nomad Palace, at the southern edge of town, offers a guided trip through the edge of the desert, which is less thronged with other tourists.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Download
Advertisement
Advertisement
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
Become a pioneer and be the first to add this adventure to your Bucket List
Who's Done It
4 Members
Submission by
Team
140 Adventures Explored
80 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info