Do's and Don'ts of Camel Trekking in Morocco
Trekking in the glorious Moroccan desert, whether visiting Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga, will be an adventure, particularly if you haven't ridden a camel before. It gives insight into the lifestyle of the Berbers who have inhabited the Sahara for years. Here are a few tips from my recent experience camping under the desert stars.
Do your research, find a company that will take you from your preferred city (Fes, Ouarzarzate, etc) to the desert and back. Renegade guides for hire lurk in the town of Merzouga, but it is safer to hire a reputable company if this is your first time traveling in the Sahara.
Do plan on an overnight stay because it will allow your body to rest from the grueling trek to the camp that is likely to be deeply embedded, and is a more comprehensive experience than a paltry 45 minute tour of the outskirts of the desert.
Don't eat the carnivore portion of the dinner provided to you by the camp, even if you are a meat eater. Go vegetarian.
Do bring a pocket sized thingamajig that can double as an instrument, you'll want to join in the late night desert jam sesh.
Do feed your camel tour guide approved snacks i.e. tall blades of grass!
Don't have your period, and ride in close proximity to a male Camel, he will most likely try and bite you.
Do name your Camel, if not already named (we miss you, Monsieur Lash and Sandy!)
Don't let your Camel spit on you!
Do explore the desert for late night star gazing, and/or romance!
Don't try and engage the random desert dogs seen in close proximity to your camp.
Do wear your most comfortable outfit for the Camel ride. One might be inclined to look as fabulous as possible for potential photo ops, but unless you are "Glam- Trekking" (is that a word, is that a thing?), then you will want to be padded and cushioned during that hour long ride to the campsite. Camel backsides are not comfortable.
Don't forget to dispose of your waste tissue the proper way, taking care to protect the desert ecological system is imperative
Do write a personal message to your beloved in the sand, and take a picture of it before the grains shape shift.
Don't try and send off your photo straightaway in your excitement, service will be non existent.
Do get up early to see the sunrise, worth the loss of sleep!
Do prepare for the bumpy ride back to town, up and down sand dunes with some serious stretching pre departure.