Sunrise in the Sahara
Updated: Feb 2
One of the things I enjoy most about travelling is the moments in which I feel I am experiencing something that, for me, is likely a once in a lifetime experience. Watching the sun rise over the dunes in the Sahara desert was definitely one of those experiences.
I'll start by saying the experience was not nearly as romantic as it had initially sounded. We had been told we would be waking up long before dawn in order to ride camels into the dunes and watch the sun as it rose over the vast expanse of desert- swoon!
This was all totally true, but what I hadn't realized is that our group would be seven of probably close to a hundred tourists all sharing close quarters as we were slowly led by our guides.
We had the stayed the night prior at, Erg Chebbi, was a sort of tent city in the desert. Now when I heard we would be staying in tents I pictured something above a Coleman but closer to a yurt. What we actually walked into was sort of a luxury palaces of connecting tents, will full electricity, working bathrooms and showers, massive King beds, and incredible insulation against the desert tempts through the use of thick rugs hanging from the walls.
The camel ride itself was very pleasant. My camel seemed only moderately annoyed to be carrying me (we later learned the camels work 9 months a year followed by 6 months off to roam free before returning) and was very easy to get on and off of. My mother described that she had been worried about how she would manage riding a camel, but that she felt totally fine doing so.
The sunrise itself was extremely stunning. We had ample time to watch it slowly rise over the edge of the dessert. If I could go back again I would love to arrange a very similar excursion, but in a place a little more remote or with a smaller group. Given the vastness of the Sahara dunes it seems pretty silly to all be squished together.
All said, it was a wonderful experience made unique by getting to enjoy it with others. Our goofy guides- who pressured us into taking ridiculous photos like the one above- were attentive and caring. As annoyed as I was when they posed us, I cherish these photos now. The unbelievable views of dawn were some that I will remember forever.
From this post:
This trip was put on by Mugical Morocco who offers a wonderful, music and dance filled trip through Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech and the Ourika Valley.
Erg Chebbi is the touristy but incredible tent marvel we stayed at in the desert outskirts.
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