camel trekking in morocco .

The Best Guide to Camel Trekking in Morocco

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to go camel trekking in Morocco? 

If you’re planning a trip to Morocco and are planning to go camel trekking, this article is for you, my adventurous friend! 

Camel trekking is a popular activity in most Middle Eastern countries and camels have long been a mode of transportation for the people of the desert regions like the Middle East and Africa. 

Oftentimes, visitors participate in camel treks to experience the tradition and history of the desert in addition to enjoying the stark beauty that lies before them. 

During a camel trekking tour, you would be riding camels, straddling them like you would a horse across the desert. This adventure can take hours, sometimes days if you’re traveling to different cities or sites on a camel. 

Will camel trekking, you will get to experience the Sahara differently, more than you would on a desert tour. This is because trekking is mostly about discovering nature, the desert itself, and everything that comes with it but the camel trek is what allows you to enjoy it as you go.  

In this article, we will guide you to where you can find a camel trekking tour, a basic itinerary for a camel trek, and more related information you need to know all in one place, so let’s begin!

camel trekking in morocco

The Best Guide to Camel Trekking in Morocco

On your camel trekking adventure in Morocco, you will be able to explore unique experience and beautiful destinations that will make your trip all the more memorable. Here are some highlights you will find in this article:

  • Overnight camel trekking itinerary in Morocco
  • Where to ride a camel in Morocco?
  • Cost to ride a camel in Marrakech
  • How much weight can a camel carry?
  • Booking camel trekking tours in Morocco
  • What to wear to a camel trek?
  • How to help maintain the upkeep of camels in Morocco?

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Camel Trekking In Morocco 

If you decide to go on a camel trek in Morocco, be sure to take into account how many days (and nights) you plan to spend in the desert during your trip. Some trekking trips can take up to 3 or 5 days depending on the type of tour you choose to go on.  

We’ve prepared a basic overnight camel trekking in Morocco itinerary with what you can expect to do or see when you’re on the tour.

Note that when going on an overnight tour in the desert, you will be staying at a desert camp and you will need to prepare accordingly for the night. 

A standard overnight camel trekking tour in Merzouga will take only a few hours to the desert camp and back to the pickup point the next day. If you choose to stay on longer, be sure to check with the tour company or your guide before confirming your trip. 

Are you ready? 

Day 1: Merzouga to Erg Chebbi (Sahara Desert) 

overnight camel trekking in Morocco

Normally, at the start of your trip, you will be asked to head to the pick-up point in Merzouga, or if you booked a tour, your guide or driver will take you there. There, your luggage will be delivered to the overnight camp that you will stay at by a 4WD, while you hop onto a camel. 

It takes about an hour and a half on your camel to reach the desert camp. Along the way, you will get to pass by the stunning dunes of the Merzouga desert and stop for a few pictures if you like.

Trust us, the sea of orange sand against the blue sky makes for a worthy picture. 

You will also have a few stops in between for water breaks (for you and the camel) and for more pictures as you take a short break before continuing your journey towards the desert camp.

You will also get a chance to explore the dunes and climb over a big dune to check out the sunset.

We suggest you take a moment and enjoy it as you watch the blue skies turn pink and red with the sun setting behind the dunes. It’s an experience like no other!

Going on a camel trek in Morocco is the perfect opportunity to discover the stunning landscapes as well as sunset and sunrise in the desert. You will also get to experience the nomadic lifestyle of the people living in the desert of Erg Chebbi in Morocco. 

You will reach your desert camp just in time for sunset, or if you prefer, earlier without as many stops for pictures. There you will be welcomed with a cup of Moroccan mint tea known as Berber whisky and will get to relax outside the tents or in your private tent, at your preference. 

You have two types of accommodation you can choose from for your stay at the desert camp, a standard option and a luxury option. A standard option will give you a private tent with a communal toilet whereas a luxury camp will provide a private tent with attached bathrooms. 

Both types of accommodation will have dinner and breakfast provided throughout your stay so be sure to inform your guide of your meal preferences so that arrangements can be made before you arrive. 

When you get to your room, you will have some time to freshen up and get ready for dinner. You will be invited to have dinner at the camp restaurant where you will get to enjoy a delicious Moroccan dinner accompanied by other guests and locals. 

Normally, after dinner there will be a small party with the locals; a campfire with Berber music accompanied by drums, and a local dance performance. 

You can also meet visitors from different parts of the world and will get a chance to learn more about the local culture and traditions from the Berber people until you decide to head to bed for a good night’s rest. Sounds like a great first day, don’t you think? 

Day 2: Erg Chebbi to Merzouga 

Camel Trekking in Morocco

Rise and shine!

After enjoying your delicious Moroccan breakfast, be sure to check out the sunrise that welcomes you beyond the dunes. 

Then, you will hop on your camel once again and head back to Merzouga. The journey here will be quite similar to when you’re heading towards the camp but should you choose to add on a few activities, this is the time to do them before it gets too hot. 

Try your hands at sandboarding if you have the time, as it is a unique activity and experience to check out while you’re in the Sahara desert. Another activity you can try is the quad bikes, where you get to ride over the dunes and enjoy the vast space you have all to yourself. 

You can also take a quick walk along the dunes to take some time to yourself and just enjoy the view before heading back. 

Upon arriving at the hotel, you will find your luggage being delivered on a 4WD, and from there, you can head back to Marrakech or your primary destination. 

Where Can I Ride A Camel In Morocco?

Camel Trekking in Morocco

Although this may come as no surprise to most people, in Morocco, you can find camel rides in most places if not all because of the country’s landscape that boasts an array of stunning deserts throughout the country. 

We’ve listed some of the best places for camel rides in Morocco, and where you can find them so you can plan if you don’t feel like going to the desert or if you’re strapped for time. 

Camel Rides In Morocco: Erg Chebbi Dunes

The most common method to ride a camel at the Erg Chebbi dunes is with a tour or as a part of your stay at a Sahara desert camp or desert inns. 

Camel tours in Morocco, particularly riding in the Sahara desert is one of the best experiences as you will get to stay at a desert camp and explore the local traditions and culture on top of experiencing the desert in all its glory for yourself. 

Camel Rides In Morocco: Erg Chigaga (Zagora) 

Similar to the Sahara desert, the most common way to hop on a camel and go for a ride is as part of an overnight stay at a desert camp. If you’re traveling from Marrakech, the former option would be your best option as the journey back and forth can be quite long. 

To maximize your experience, be sure to try and book a tour as far into the dunes as possible rather than just the edge of the desert or near Zagora. Be sure to enquire beforehand if the camel ride is included and how long the ride will be. 

Camel Rides In Morocco: Dakhla 

An up-and-coming tourist destination in Morocco, Dakhla is located in the southwestern part of the country, along the Atlantic Ocean and close to the borders of Mauritania. It is a relatively remote location so not many tours come here. 

However, camels thrive here as it is located at the most western point of the Sahara desert and is popular for kitesurfing and windsurfing because of its strong winds. 

The best way to book a camel ride is by booking it as an activity, like a kite or surf camp or as a part of a local tour. 

Camel Rides In Morocco: Agafay Desert 

Agafay desert will be a unique experience for riding camels if you’re looking for something other than the desert. 

Agafay is known as the “stone desert” and is often described to resemble the surface of the moon. It is not a part of the Sahara desert so if you’re hoping to see dunes of golden sand, this is not the place for you but if you’re up for something different, give this a try! 

Similar to the other deserts on the list, camel rides in Agafay usually come as part of the desert camp experience package but before making your booking, be sure to inquire beforehand if it’s included! 

Camel Rides In Morocco: Marrakech 

If you’re on a tight timeline and still want to get on a camel ride, you can try one in the Red City. Several places in Marrakech have camel rides, particularly near Menara Gardens and Menara Mall. 

Longer camel rides in Marrakech tend to take place near Palm Grove or the Palmeraie. You can grab a taxi (or a horse-drawn cart) to the location or if you prefer, you can ask your hotel or riad if they could arrange something for you like a half-day excursion. 

How Much Does It Cost To Ride A Camel In Marrakech?

camel trek in Morocco

Depending on where you are and the kind of trip you’re taking, the price can differ from place to place. 

If you’re going as a part of a desert tour or an overnight camel trekking in Morocco, this is usually included in your package and you won’t have to pay anything extra. However, it’s always best to check with the tour company first before booking to avoid being overcharged later. 

If you’re looking for a camel ride independently, this will depend on when and where you’re planning to go on a camel ride. Some rides can start at MAD 100 (USD 11) to about MAD 500 (USD 55) depending on the location and duration you plan to ride the camel for. 

Be sure to try haggling the price a little to get a discount but keep in mind that whatever you pay for your camel rides goes to their upkeep, food, and maintenance. 

What Is The Maximum Weight A Camel Can Carry? 

Camels have been used as means of transport for years. The average weight of a fully grown camel is roughly around 300 kg to 700 kg, depending on their gender and breed. 

A lot of tourist attraction companies set a limit for riding weights as different types of camels have varying weight limits. For example, Dromedary camels (one hump) can carry about 100 kg whereas Bactrian camels can carry up to 200 kg. 

Depending on the camel species, the weight limit for riding a camel can range from 100 kg to 200 kg, mostly an average of 120 kg to 150 kg. 

If you’re wondering why the limit is so much less than what they carry – it is because as riders change continuously throughout the day, it causes more exertion to the camel’s legs and back which can injure them in the long run. 

There are also grey areas involving ethics and how to care for a camel so keeping the limit below the maximum weight helps to care for them in the long run and to ease the rider’s mind and address concerns properly. 

Why Should You Book Your Camel Trekking Tour In Advance? 

When in Marrakech, you may find a herd of camels just chilling outside the Menara Gardens and Menara Mall but to get on a ride, you may encounter some challenges like language, haggling for the price, and safety when you go for your tour. 

Booking a camel trekking tour saves you from all this trouble. Some tour providers will be able to arrange most of the things you need from hotels to stay at, necessary insurances to protect you from possible accidents, and even a unique experience with the locals. 

Knowing and paying a price that is fixed ensures that you are paying a fair and decent price and eliminates the need for haggling with the local guide. 

Imagine paying MAD 100 (USD 11) for a 5-minute ride to a 1-hour ride that you pay MAD 180 (USD 20), booked and paid for online before your trip. 

You will also get to plan your travel budget more accurately and have a stress-free trip in addition to contributing to the upkeep of the camels. To enhance confidence and trust, you can also read reviews and services included on the tours you’re planning to go on before booking.

Camel Trekking Tours In Morocco

Camel tours in Morocco

1. 3 Days Camel Trek and Desert Tour From Marrakech to Merzouga 

Price: From MAD 1061 (USD 117)

Operated By: Morocco Global Adventures 

Tour Highlights: 

  • Camel trekking in Erg Chebbi during sunrise and sunset 
  • Visit Kasbah Ait Benhaddou 
  • Visti Tinghir Oasis and Todra Gorges 
  • A night at a Berber desert camp
  • Pass by the High Atlas Mountains and the Tizi N’tichka pass

What’s included in your trip: 

  • Accommodation at hotels and the desert camp
  • Camel rides during sunset and sunrise 
  • Comfortable transportation (inclusive of fuel) 
  • Sandboarding 
  • Breakfast – 2 days 
  • Dinner – 2 days 

2. Sunset Camel Ride in Palm Grove, Marrakech

Price: From MAD 408 (USD 45)

Operated By: Attractive Tours

Tour Highlights: 

  • Guided camel ride during sunset through the Palm Grove in Marrakech
  • Visit a traditional Berber house for a cup of tea 
  • Have a unique experience watching the sunset while riding a camel
  • A small group of a maximum of 7 people to ensure everyone has a great experience
  • Pass by the High Atlas Mountains and the Tizi N’tichka pass

What’s included in your trip: 

  • Pickup and dropoff at your hotel
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • English speaking guide 
  • All taxes 
  • Visit a Berber house 
  • Snacks and Moroccan tea 

3. Overnight Camel Trekking in Merzouga 

Price: From MAD 480 (USD 53)

Operated By: Camp Camel Trekking 

Tour Highlights: 

  • Guided camel ride during sunset through the Palm Grove in Marrakech
  • Visit a traditional Berber house for a cup of tea 
  • Have a unique experience watching the sunset while riding a camel
  • A small group of a maximum of 7 people to ensure everyone has a great experience
  • Pass by the High Atlas Mountains and the Tizi N’tichka pass

What’s included in your trip: 

  • Camel trekking 
  • Accommodation at a luxury desert camp with a private tent and private shower
  • Air-conditioned transportation to and from Merzouga
  • English speaking guide 
  • Breakfast – 1 day
  • Dinner – 1 day  

4. Camel Ride in Agafay Desert and Atlas Mountain Day Trip 

Price: From MAD 525 (USD 58)

Operated By: Adrar Trips From Marrakech 

Tour Highlights: 

  • Visit the Atlas Mountains and the Atlas Waterfalls
  • Visit Imlil Valley and Asni Valley 
  • Tea at a local Berber house 
  • Visit a Berber women’s cooperative 
  • Learn how to make argan oil 

What’s included in your trip: 

  • Camel trekking 
  • Air-conditioned transportation 
  • English speaking guide 
  • Lunch
  • All local taxes 
  • Coffee and/or tea 
  • Bottled water

5. Camel Ride in Agadir During Sunset With Transfers 

Price: From MAD 317 (USD 35)

Operated By: Ecolodge Adventures 

Tour Highlights: 

  • Exciting 1-hour camel ride in Agadir during sunset 
  • Watch the sunset over the Souss River 
  • Suitable for beginners 
  • Pickup and drop off at the hotel 

What’s included in your trip: 

  • Camel trekking 
  • Air-conditioned transportation 
  • English speaking guide 
  • Hotel pickup and dropoff

What Do You Wear For A Camel Trek In Morocco?

When riding a camel, we suggest you dress as comfortably as possible. Make sure to wear loose, stretchy clothes instead of short, tight and flowy outfits.

Think t-shirts

Camel tours in Morocco

loose pants

Camel tours in Morocco

Leggings

camel trekking tour

And shoes. 

camel trekking tour

This is because you will be hoisting yourself up a camel and will be sitting with your legs apart for some time and it can get pretty uncomfortable.

The wooly fur of a camel can irritate your skin and sometimes cause chaffing when it rubs against your skin for some time.

The desert sun is another factor to consider when choosing what to wear when going for a camel trekking adventure in Morocco. Long pants and loose long-sleeved shirts are great for making sure your skin is protected from both the camel and the sun. 

Be sure to lather lots of sunscreen on too! 

Is Sitting On A Camel Safe?

camel trekking tour

Truth be told, sitting on a camel can be quite uncomfortable but if handled safely and properly, can be quite fun and adventurous. It is safe for most people but if you’re going with children, be sure to have an adult accompany them to avoid having them fall off the camel’s back. 

Pregnant women and anyone with back or hip pain are also not encouraged to go on a camel ride. This is because as the camel sways from side to side, your back may feel strained and tired over a certain period and can result in a lot of discomfort and pain. 

To ensure you have a safe and fun camel trekking experience, here are some tips: 

  • Move with the camel
  • Relax your body and take deep breaths as you go (the lesser the tension in your body, the more comfortable the ride)
  • Make sure you grip the saddle handlebars firmly 
  • If you feel confident, place one hand on the handlebar in front of you and the other behind your seat. This allows for better stability while rocking along with the camel. 

How Can You Help Maintain The Upkeep Of Camels In Morocco?

camel rides in Marrakech

Camels have long been a form of transportation to the nomadic people in northern Africa besides providing milk, meat, fuel, and leather and carrying them and their possessions across the sands of the desert. 

Camels were domesticated more than 5000 years ago and have since become an important part of military campaigns and desert exploration.

To ensure that the camels are taken care of and not harmed in any way, it is important to keep an eye out for what you can do to help the camels and the communities that care for them in Morocco. This can include donating or just a simple act of speaking up when you can. 

Here are some ways for you to help Morocco’s camels:

1. Donate Or Raise Awareness Of SPANA

SPANA is a welfare charity that works globally to ensure working animals have a good life through treatments, guidance, and education. They have several centers around Morocco, mainly in Marrakech, Casablanca, Had Oulad Fej, Chemaia, and Khamisset. 

They also have mobile clinics that assist camels across the country even in remote areas like the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara desert. With monetary contributions, SPANA can continue its work and reach more animals in need. 

If monetary options are something you cannot commit to, you can raise awareness for the charity instead. Raising awareness can help the charity reach out to more people to encourage visibility and donations regardless of how small they may be. 

2. Donate To Four Legged Orphan Sanctuary 

The Four-Legged Orphan Sanctuary is an animal rescue that is located north of Essaouira. While they are mainly home to smaller animals like stray cats and dogs, they also have working animals in their care such as horses and camels. 

Besides shelter, this organization also provides medical aid and works hard to ensure good conditions for working animals in rural areas.

3. Volunteer With The Nomad Project

Based at the edges of the Sahara Desert, this organization operates all year round. Here, the main focus isn’t about assisting animals but rather, about helping the community with their lives and caring for the animals they own like your own. 

You will get to stay with a rural family and assist with collecting water, cooking, construction work, and caring for livestock within the community. 

4. Keep An Open Eye Out For Animal Abuse

At present time, Morocco has no animal welfare laws that are being enforced. Most animal owners know that for a working animal to work at its best, it will have to be healthy, rested, and properly nourished but not all owners ensure that happens. 

Most camel herders have developed a bond with their camels but as camels are being moved away from the desert into the cities for tourism, visitors may see some abuse or neglect to a certain extent. 

One way you can help is by not tolerating bad working conditions for animals. Avoid riding animals that appear to be sick, or purchase any items, souvenirs, or snacks from vendors with a sad animal next to them. 

If you see any mishandling of the animals, be sure to warn other tourists to avoid the respective companies or establishments. Optionally, you can ask for recommendations before taking part in a trek or activities that use camels. 

Last but not least, if you see any abuse, speak with your guide and see if they can mediate with the handler for you to change the way they treat their animals. Speaking calmly with the owner may be able to affect change especially for tourism. 

You could also consider getting in touch with the Ministry of Tourism or the Moroccan National Office for Tourism if you see any animals being mistreated in the tourism sector in Morocco. 

Conclusion

We hope this camel trekking in Morocco guide helps you plan your camel trek in Morocco, and have the best experience doing so. Be sure to get as much information as possible and keep an eye out for the animals while you’re there but don’t forget to enjoy the experience as much as possible as well! 

Have fun!

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