Arabian Nights Stories – Sahara Trip

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Arabian Nights Stories – Sahara Trip

Have you ever dreamed about a night in the desert or are you planing one? Spending your time petting a camel, eating delicious food, listening traditional music and most important, watching the starry sky? If yes, this is the article for you.

I will tell you all about my Arabian night story in the Moroccan Sahara, more exactly in Merzouga, so you know exactly what to expect from your future trip.

The Experience

Back in 2016’s summer, I had the best experience in my life. I was doing international volunteering in Casablanca, Morocco, where I lived with a host family, that I love so much now. One of the perks of having six weeks there, was that it allowed me to travel all over the country.

One of the activities that I’ve done there was an Overnight Desert Trip. I was with my volunteering group and we’ve done this together. We’ve bonded during the night, told stories, shared memories, as well as living a new memory together. Let’s begin the story.

Riding a Camel

sahara-camels

Included in the experience is, of course, riding a camel. For the first time, it was fascinating, especially if you never saw one before. When the tour guides took us to them, it was like entering another world. All of them were peacefully lying on the sand, waiting for us and they were so beautiful, especially with the sunset.

They explained us how to get on them, because trust me, that’s nothing like getting on a horse. Their leg joints allow them to kneel on the sand, where you are able to sit on them, then they’re going to stand. It’s a scary process, because if you don’t hold on tight, you may fall. That is the best moment to bond with the camel.

For the ride, you may need:

  • Sunglasses – the sun can be too bright.
  • Scarf
    people with long hair, listen to me. Cover your hair, or it will get so
    tangled because of the sand, you will need three days to untangle it.
  • Selfie stick – if you want a selfie with the camel.

When they start walking, they will align themselves to be one in front of another, which creates an amazing scenery. Maybe the only disadvantage of riding a camel is that, if you’re not used to it, your butt will hurt. The trip to the tents was around 30-40 minutes.

Another way to get to the tents is by an ATV, but I feel that the camel is way better if you want to feel like a real nomad.

During the Night

A lot of people asked me: “How can you sleep in the desert? It’s freezing during the night.” The answer is: it’s not. The temperature only went down a few degrees Celsius. During the evening was around 40 degrees Celsius and during the night, 36-37 degrees Celsius. That is because we weren’t in the middle of it, but on a margin. This kind of trips will not take you that far, so you freeze at night. Maybe the fact that we’ve been there at the beginning of July was a factor as well.

When we got to the camping site, our guides were waiting for us with traditional Berber music and they were ready to feed us tajine, amazing Moroccan food. The scenery is breathtaking and because there’s no electricity there – duh, obvy – just a few electric lamps, you will be able to see the starry sky during the night and maybe spot the Milky Way.

You will witness the locals singing at night, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb up a sand dune and then slide down. But expect a lot of sand in your clothes.

sahara-night

You will need:

  • Frozen water – which you’ll be able to get before arriving to Merzouga. It will melt during the night and you will be able to drink it. My advice is: also take room temperature water, so you can combine them. The funniest thing happened to me was getting a sore throat in the desert, because of drinking cold water.
  • Insect spray – I’ve heard two opinions: first, that there aren’t annoying insects in the desert, second, that there are. Personally, I took a spray but didn’t use it, because the only things I’ve seen were a few tiny spiders and some bigger than average ants and I was fine with them.
  • Scorpion repellent – if you’re feeling extra paranoid. Didn’t use this either, though. My host, back in Casablanca, gave me a black paste, which is supposed to keep scorpions away, because they don’t like its smell. I did not use it because our tour guides in Merzouga told us scorpions appear when it’s much hotter than that.

You have the choice to sleep in the nomad tents, or sleep outside, under the moon light. I did the second, although I did not sleep too much, as I couldn’t stop admiring the beautiful surroundings.

The Sunrise

The following morning, we were supposed to wake up early, get back on our camels and ride back to the village, so we could see the sunrise on the way. Of course, your butt will hurt again, but the view will be way more important so you will forget about it.

When you come back to reality from this wonderful world of Sahara Desert, you will feel extraordinary, because the experience can definitely change a person.

sahara-morning

Yalla Habibi!

Come on, baby, let’s go to Sahara! In this article, we’ve spoken about how to ride a camel, what you can expect from a night in the desert and the experiences here. Of course, people may perceive it in different ways, because each one of the trips is different, but they have one thing in common: they’re breath taking!

Did I make you curious about it? Go plan! Do you have Arabian nights stories yourself? Share them in the comment section, I would love to read about them!

 

 

 

 

16 Responses

  1. Matts Mom says:

    Oh my gosh, I would absolutely LOVE to take a trip to the Sahara Desert! Looks like you had an amazing time. Riding a camel is actually on my bucket list, they are probably one of my favorite animals 🙂 This would be a dream come true! Thanks for the great digital experience 🙂

  2. Shubhangi says:

    Hey Stefania,

    really nice description of Sahara, you have given some wonderful tips in this article, which will be really helpful.
    Breathtaking pictures of Sahara desert.

    Regards.

  3. Lee says:

    Interesting article and a very beautiful picture of the desert. I wouldn’t mind taking a trip to the desert. My one concern is getting trapped in a sandstorm. Also what kind of food did you take and did they cook native food?

    • Stefania says:

      Hello Lee,
      The guides will take care of you, so no worries with the sand storm.
      The food was traditional Moroccan, we did not take anything with us actually. For example we had Tajine, which was amazing!
      Happy travels to you!

  4. Tucker says:

    This was an awesome read! I’ve had visions of a desert trip since reading The Alchemist a few years back, so it was really helpful and reassuring to hear about your positive experience. I would certainly opt for riding the camel over taking an ATV, as that alone would be an awesome experience to me. I can only imagine how amazing the starry night was out there in the desert, and I’m glad you chose to sleep out under the stars and enjoy it, even if it meant getting a few less hours of sleep. 

  5. Henry says:

    Hi! I’m so glad I found your post! Your invitation is enticing: Come on, baby, let’s go to Sahara! I greatly appreciate reading about your experience. I remember sitting on a camel as a kid. But it was for a picture and the camel was fake (those they use for Christmas). But I have always wanted to ride a real one. Thank you also for also listing the things we’ll probably encounter in the Sahara dessert. It’s good to be prepared!

  6. Kuu says:

    Oh wooooow!! It’s seems you had a fantastic time at the Sahara deserts. Travelling is something that I really want to do but I haven’t had the opportunity to do so. However, reading this article has really inspired me to purse that dream. I’m definitely going to put the Sahara deserts on my list and make sure to get all the ideas you mentioned for my trip. Thanks for sharing your trip experience with us.  

  7. Karin Nauber says:

    It sounds like this would be an amazing experience! I would love to bond with a camel and go for a ride in the desert. I think your description of your trip was amazing. I could visualize the beauty and the open sky and starry night. I think I may be adding a trip to the desert to my list of things I would love to do! Your story about your trip has made its way onto my things to do!

    • Stefania says:

      Hi there, Karin! It is a must do in your lifetime, you will discover so many things about the nature and even about yourself!

  8. Anita says:

    You know an African Desert safari has always been on my mind, though I want to go south to the Kalahari. I wonder if there are camels that side. I have ridden on a camel before, it is not a comfortable ride, can’t imagine riding for half an hour. Well I would go for the scorpion repellent just to cope with my fear of them. I would love an open night in the desert just facing the stars so dreamy. I like how you have given a reality check, one does not need to park so many things just an adventurous spirit natural.

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