When you think of Morocco the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Sahara Desert. Which is why a visit to Morocco just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Sahara Desert.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of companies that offer desert tours in Morocco, many of which are good or not so good. After researching dozens of companies and reading hundreds of reviews, I found only a few companies had consistently great reviews. If you choose a 3 day desert tour like I did, most tours offer a similar itinerary and the same hotels, yet some I emailed were trying to charge almost double what other companies had quotes me. Yes. You heard that right. DOUBLE.
I ended up choosing Morocco Culture Tours and I couldn't be happier that I did. They quoted me the best price for a private desert tour from Fes to Marrakech and I couldn't find one review that said anything but how amazing their tour was with Morocco Culture Tours. After weeks of researched I pulled the trigger and booked my tour with them.
Our tour started at 8 AM and our driver arrived at the hotel at 7:40 AM and waited for us to finished our breakfast. One point for punctuality and a great first impression. Our driver was Said and he was fantastic. His English was great and he was extremely friendly and positive. If you book your desert tour with Morocco Culture Tours, request Said if possible. I promise you will not be disappointed. He was a Berber nomad for most of his life before settling in a village by the desert. I mean can it get much cooler and more authentic than to have a desert nomad as your driver? He took us to great places to eat, was a great photographer and he even had WiFi that he offered us to use. This man is gold. On our last day of the tour he even bought us lunch! I'm convinced he's the nicest Moroccan person and we met many nice ones (I even saw him pick up another person's water bottle off the ground and put it the trash bin).
On our first day, we stopped to see Ifrane, a Swiss looking village and then stopped to see the Barbary Macaque at the Cedar Forests. I am obsessed with Monkeys so I knew seeing dozens of Monkeys up close within a couple hours of starting the tour meant this was going to be an incredible few days. After we had lunch we stopped at the Ziz Valley to take some pictures and take in the incredible view. I was really surprised at how diverse the landscape was just a few hours into the tour.
We arrived at our hotel in the desert late in the afternoon and left our luggage for the night before taking a 2 hour sunset camel ride in the Desert of Merzouga, which has the highest sand dunes in North Africa. They really are impressive sand dunes. If you've never ridden a camel before it is quite an experience. You will have to ride a camel for yourself to see what I mean.
We settled into our desert camp at around 9 PM and at around 10 PM dinner started being served. I had read so many negative reviews about the food in the desert from other companies that I wasn't expecting much, but the food we had was some of the best we ate in all of our 10 day trip in Morocco. The potatoes in our Tagine were incredible. I would have been more than happy to simply eat a barrel of them for dinner. After dinner, live Berber music was played by the camel guides who brought us to the camp, as well as our driver/guide Said. It was an amazing cultural experience and I would have been completely happy to stay in the desert for a week.