What to Pack for Your Desert Trip
A highlight of your trip to Morocco is a journey through the Sahara Desert. It's a magical experience to ride a camel to the top of the dunes to watch the sunset, dance to Berber music around a campfire on a cold night under the stars, and sleep in a nomadic tent at the foot of a dune. The shining sun overhead and the warm sand dunes under your feet make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Packing for a Moroccan Desert Trip
However, without the right items, or at least the essentials, it can be difficult to fully enjoy this amazing experience. To help you pack what's necessary, we've put together this list for your trips to the Moroccan desert:
1. Bottled Water
It goes without saying that the most important item on your packing list is water. Given the likelihood of dehydration during the hot desert days, it's essential to bring plenty of water. We'll make many stops, so there's no need to carry a large water reserve from the start of the tour.
On long treks, snacks are just as crucial as water. Bags of peanuts, almonds, or an apple, for example, provide high caloric and energy value for intense journeys like a desert trek, as long as the load isn't too heavy.
During your time in the Moroccan desert, your skin will be almost constantly exposed to the sun. To avoid the risk of sunburn, make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and a lip balm, as lips are sensitive and more prone to burning.
4. Wide-brimmed Hat
As you'll be in the sun all day on your desert excursion, you'll need a hat that protects your head from the harsh desert elements. Your everyday cap won't do. Make sure to pack a wide-brimmed hat; the wider, the better to protect your eyes from the sun and your neck from sunburn.
Like sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, a good pair of sunglasses can make a big difference on Sahara desert tours.
In short, a typical outfit for a Sahara Desert trip in Morocco would be light and comfortable clothing with a sweater (just in case) in summer. Jeans are recommended to protect your legs while riding camels. In winter and for cold desert nights, bring a warm jacket. Don't forget to pack a scarf or turban to cover your face in case of stormy weather.
Comfortable walking shoes that are closed are better for camel rides.
8. A Small Flashlight
Though you'll be spending the night in a pre-set camp in the desert equipped with almost everything you need, a small flashlight is essential for navigating around the camp at night, whether to stargaze or for other reasons. Make sure to have one.
We know the items we're about to list are part of your usual hygiene routine, but it's worth mentioning so you don't forget to pack them 😊
. Make sure to bring all necessary toiletries, including face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, comb, shower gel, body lotion, etc.
10. GPS or Maps
If you're traveling without the aid of a travel company or a local guide, venturing into the Sahara Desert without a navigation tool would be unwise. In my opinion, the best option for ensuring your safety is to hire a travel agency.
11. Travel First Aid Kit
On a desert trip, as on any trip, a travel first aid kit is an indispensable item on your packing list. Carry a well-stocked first aid kit, including medications for the most common ailments you might encounter. This includes painkillers, fever medicines, and antihistamines for unexpected allergies. And of course, you can't forget medications for gastrointestinal issues. Even the most seasoned traveler can experience diarrhea in the midst of an adventure. Always have medication on hand to alleviate this problem and continue enjoying the experience.
12. Electronic Devices and Cameras
As you probably know, you're likely to be without electricity during your trip to the Moroccan desert. Therefore, bring a power bank to charge anything you might need during the tour (usually, the Saharies camp has electricity). Make sure your camera batteries are fully charged and bring any lenses you might need. You'll probably want to take pictures of the night sky, so a tripod is an essential item on your packing list for a desert excursion.
Feel free to bring your luggage on the desert excursion from Marrakech. At the comfort camp, prepare a backpack with the essentials for the desert night; your luggage will remain safe in the minibus or at the hotel in Merzouga, the latter managed by the same owners of the camp. Alternatively, if you're returning to the same hotel after your shared desert excursion, we recommend leaving it in your Marrakech hotel's storage for convenience, a backpack will be enough to carry your belongings.
Alternatively, if you've chosen the luxury camp in the Sahara, your luggage can be taken to your tent in a separate car while you enjoy your camel ride at sunset.
On private desert tours, regardless of the camp category, your luggage is taken to your tent.