Overnight in the Sahara Desert
There are so many different types of unique overnight stays to try when travelling the world whether it’s a guesthouse, riad hotel, or even those stays that deliver you to a new destination while you sleep like plane and train journeys. Wherever you choose to rest your weary traveller's legs, there isn’t anywhere else in the world to sleep quite like Morocco's Sahara Desert.
When the vast expanse of the Sahara is your place to sleep for the night, the stars gaze down on you as if performing a private light show. You’re out in the open with all the serenity and stillness that a desert can offer mixed in with the awe of being on the other side of the world with only a camel or two to guide you and your wandering thoughts.
To give you some idea of this off the beaten track experience, writer Tommy Walker is going to take you there and paint a picture of what to expect when you decide to embark on this once in a lifetime experience. To follow in Tommy's (and his trusty camel's) footsteps check out one of My Adventure Travel's most popular trips on the Best of Morocco or check out more here plus what to see and do.
As the afternoon comes to a close and the sweltering heat slowly begins to subside I begin my journey before darkness falls. I hop on my assigned camel as I am the last to be picked up however since the camel is well looked after he doesn’t seem as disgruntled as you might think he’d be after a long day.
We make our way for the dunes and I wrap my headscarf around as much of my face as I can cover with nothing but sand dunes as far as the eye can see in front of me. My Sahara desert adventure has begun and I’m glad to be guided by the soft thud of the camels’ padded feet which seem to instinctively know the way.
Trailing Past Sunset
The views only get better with each step and golden sand is sprinkled as far as the eye can see. As the sun begins to lower, the shadows of the camels become stretched across the sand and the breeze sets in. It feels like we’re venturing into the unknown to live like true nomads, even if it is only for one night, there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
Stopping For The Night
You’re officially in the Sahara Desert. The sun has only a slither left on show that keeps the sky from turning pitch black. The absolute awe of being in such a magical and remote place removes any niggling doubts you might have about spending a night in the desert. This isn’t an ordinary holiday, I’m alone with just the glowing stars, my fellow nomads and a few camels for company, escaping from the rest of the world.
Overnight In The Sahara desert
There is no TV, no phone signal – I’m at one with the Sahara desert. I lay back staring at the sky, as the wind gently stirs the tops of the sand dunes. Never has the world seemed so quiet, so peaceful. No outside traffic, no phones ringing or music blaring. My mind is at ease and the only light comes from a couple of powered lamps which shrink in comparison to the glittering night sky. The campsite guides have prepared a delicious feast of Moroccan tagine and the smell is heaven. There is not much else to do before dinner then to swap stories with your fellow travellers or embrace your wandering thoughts.
Rise And Shine
Minutes before our guide calls for us to wake up slowly, the morning feels very still as the evening’s breeze has died down, my fellow travellers are still fast asleep, the sun is only just beginning to rise and the camels wait patiently for the day’s journey. By the time we’re off on our way back through the Sahara headed towards home, however, the sun is beating down but it doesn’t matter because brunch is on the horizon.
Back To Reality
After feasting on a delicious brunch spread it’s time to reflect on the past 24 hours filled with sun, sand and memories that will last a lifetime as we make the journey back to our hotel. Back at the hotel, I look over my photos during lunch. Shower, pool and some rest time is on the cards before I continue on my magical Moroccan journey.