A really popular trip to take from Marrakech is a multi-day desert tour of the Sahara. There are so many different tourism companies and options to choose from, it can be hard to choose. After extensive research, I chose the 3-day desert tour of the Merzouga desert, with the company Marrakech Desert Trips.
I did a fair amount of research before the trip, both through the internet as well as asking other travelers who had also gone on this same excursion. Despite gathering all this knowledge, there were still so many things that came up during the trip that I was unprepared for. I compiled a list of all the things I wish I would have known before the trip, so here it is!
- Save your shopping for the tour. Many people do a lot of shopping in the souks of Marrakech before going on their desert tours, but this is a mistake! For the three day tour, you stop at different points of interest during the long trek out to the desert. Many of these stops include shopping opportunities at local vendors which are much more relaxed and far more inexpensive than in the city center. I bought a beautiful rug directly from the women who weave them, and it was a cool experience because we got to hear their stories and drink tea while looking at lots of rugs.
- Bring a small backpack or tote bag that zips up to bring your essentials for the camel ride. For me, I had a tote bag but it didn’t zip up. I didn’t lose anything, and I was able to hang it off the camel saddle, but a zip would have been a lot better. Laura had a Longchamp bag, which was the perfect size for everything she needed. Something like that or a small backpack would suffice (no giant rucksacks)
- Download podcasts or update your music playlists for the long car ride. I tried to read, but some of the roads are bumpy and the van is full, so it made me carsick at certain points.
- Buy water at every stop. It can get really hot and it’s easy to get dehydrated because of the nature of being in a van with a big group of people and not having control over when you stop. We stopped every two hours though, so having to go to the bathroom was never an issue.
- Protect your electronics. For the actual time we spent in the desert, I only brought 2 cameras (which is a big deal for me) my GoPro in its protective housing and my iPhone in a Lifeproof case. I would HIGHLY recommend getting a Lifeproof case if you have a phone that you care about protecting – it has been incredible, not only keeping sand from ruining my phone but it has protected it from spills and drops many times.
- Bring face and neck protection, sunscreen and a towel if you want to shower on the morning of the last day before the long ride.
- Exchange emails with everyone in your group to share pictures and videos! This was a great way for us to stay in contact after the trip.