My Sahara Desert Experience: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

As soon as we got to the Sahara Desert, I heaved a huge sigh of relief. We had been traveling for two long days from Marrakech, and even though we made multiple stops at some beautiful monuments, that didn’t make it any less tough.

However, as soon as I set foot in the Sahara, nothing else mattered. I was happy to be in a place I’ve always wanted to visit and was looking forward to soaking in every inch of the experience. – Ufuoma.

The Sahara Desert – An Experience of a Lifetime

The journey to the Sahara Desert is an experience in itself. We used a tour company called Whattodoma. You can check out their rates and itinerary. The service was excellent and they were timely and professional. I recommend.

Sahara Desert Highlights (The good)

Despite the gruesome two days it took to get to the Sahara desert, there were some really kick-ass experiences on the way there. Like, visiting the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, seeing the Todra valley, discovering the way of life of the nomads, enjoying a traditional dinner in the desert and enjoying the large dunes of Merzouga on a camel.

1.) Visiting the Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage

You will find the Ait Ben Haddou on the way to the Sahara from Marrakech. It is a UNESCO world heritage and is such a striking architecture. Cool fact: Some scenes of Game of Thrones were shot here.
Welcome to Ait Ben Haddou

Hanging with the locals

2.) Discovering the way of life of nomads and berbers

We visited the Berber villages and were exposed to the authentic way of life of the Moroccan nomads. We were greeted with mint tea and also saw a display of their handmade rugs. The experience was surreal.
Enroute the berber village

Exploring the Berber villages

3.) Exploring the high Atlas Mountains

The High Atlas rises in the west at the Atlantic Ocean and stretches in an eastern direction to the Moroccan-Algerian border. The view from the mountain was beautiful, and we had so many photo-ops there.
A quick rundown before the tour begins

4.) Crossing the Todra valley and Dades valley

I was really excited to see the three valleys, especially the Todra valley. I have never seen a canyon before and this did not disappoint at all. It is huge and looks almost unreal.
Todra gorge

5.) Enjoying the large dunes of Merzouga on a camel

Experiencing the Merzouga on a camel is indescribable. While the camels are not the most comfortable, the views while riding them are beyond awesome. We admired the attractive change of color at sunrise and sunset. It was beautiful.

6.) THE Sahara Desert 

Need I say more? The Sahara desert is one of the world most visited deserts and for good reason. The dunes are magnificent and just being there evokes a very surreal feeling. I am glad to have ticked this beautiful place off my list.

Sahara Desert Highlights (The bad)

I didn’t quite enjoy the long drive to the Sahara. I think that is the only bad that I can remember from the Sahara experience. Sitting for long hours at a stretch in a moving vehicle with very narrow roads wasn’t the best of experiences. However, we made stops on the way which made it slightly easier. If you are looking to visit the Sahara, get (mentally) prepared to spend many hours in a car.

Sahara Desert Highlights (The ugly)

The desert camp/tent. Oh, this wasn’t pleasant. Not in the slightest. We went for the basic accommodation (because we didn’t know better.) and it was a hot mess. The sleeping conditions were horrible, and I barely slept throughout the night. Thankfully, we only had one night to stay in the tents until it was time to head back to Marrakech. When I think about it now, it was all part of the experience but at the time; it wasn’t good at all. I’ll advise you to upgrade to the luxury tents as they are a lot more enjoyable.

Also, no wifi and telephone service in the desert but a digital detox during a trip is always a great idea and a good time to actually bond with your travel partners or the locals.
The berber tent

In conclusion- the overall desert experience (7/10)

I loved the desert experience and these are the kinds I love. Travel isn’t always rosy but we will talk about memories like this for a long time. I will recommend a trip to the Sahara Desert, some things you should do at least once. I think a 7/10 is a fair rating; I mean look at those views and monuments. The long drive to the desert and the nasty accommodation put a downer on the experience but what’s life without a little hiccup on the way?

Thank you for reading and following along on my Morocco travel adventures. This is officially the last in the series. If you missed the last two, click here for Chefchaoeun and here for Marrakech.

Did you enjoy reading my Morocco adventures? What city in Morocco are you most excited to visit? Let me know in the comments below.
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Thank you for reading and catch you next week.

About the author
Working Professional by day, Travel Blogger by night. Here, I share my personal life and travel experiences as well as helpful tips to help readers start their own travel journey. Want to talk? Contact me on info@theufuoma.com. Don't be a stranger!

13 Comments

  1. Wow those r some really nice pics.loved them.since you mentioned game of thrones which is one of my fav show..this place reminds me of the show.wish I get to visit Sahara desert someday

  2. I love how colourful your pictures are!
    The Sahara desert is definitely something I want to do – but the road and the tent part aren’t really appealing but that an experience who looks worth the struggle!

  3. Am looking at the pictures like I should jump into the adventure.

    Your outfits where tailored to match each day. Colourful, free, breezy and head wrap and hat are the right fit. I can’t pick a fav

    Btw, does your travel package includes photography because it deserves plenty accolades.

    I cannot like this post enough.

  4. First, your pictures are so vibrant and colorful! Love them!

    Our trip to the desert was also long but not that bad since we rented a car and basically drove at our own pace, stopping at places in between. The tent we stayed at wasn’t too bad either. I also think it’s a travel experience to have at least once.

  5. Sahara desert is looking incredibly fresh and beautiful, all credit goes your awesome photographs. It is one my bucket list destination. Very useful information about places.

  6. I’d definitely want to do a visit to the Sahara like this! That sand is so outrageously orange! Good to know about the long drive though. I’ll definitely have to take motion sickness meds when I go!

  7. Blown away by your photos – they’re gorgeous, such amazing colours. Looks like such an exciting adventure, i’d love to visit one day

  8. I would love to visit the Sahara at some point! Love this post and how honest you are about your experience. Your photos are amazing!

  9. It was still an awesome experience. Those tents have scared me for life but the sunset and sunrise was worth the trip

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