You may have already experienced the Saharan desert by 4×4 and camel – but exploring by foot is a completely different experience. Just as being driven in a car is no comparison to taking the reins and driving the vehicle yourself. For travelers that have visited British Columbia, Canada (or for those that live in Beautiful British Columbia), hiking in the Canadian Rockies is an adventure like no other so why not have a change of scenery and enjoy your favorite pastime in the wilderness of the Saharan Desert. Decompress, refocus and revel in the beauty that nature has to offer.
* Average daily trekking distance is approximately 15 – 18 km / per day. Depending on weather conditions and fitness level of the group 2-3 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours in the afternoon.
*Indicative stay 3 nights of camping. Prices based on two people travelling by private vehicle from Erg Chigaga back to M’hamid.
*All of our itineraries are flexible and can be tailored according to your needs.
After breakfast at your accommodation in M’hamid meet your trekking guides and camel caravan. This morning’s trek will take you along the Draa River where you will experience the varied terrain of the area surrounding the town in addition to visiting abandoned settlements of the nomads. The biggest Kasah in the oasis is M’hamid Ksar – built in the aesthetic of Jewish architecture and constructed with clay. Recharge by taking a picnic lunch underneath the palm trees. The afternoon portion of the trek will take a southwestern course towards Sidi Naji. You will notice that there is a stark difference in the topography of the land from desert oasis to the stone desert (hamada) interspersed with scrubs and tamarisk trees.
Like the nomads that have traversed this land before you – wake up with the sunrise. Today’s trek will be completed before a late lunch in Erg Sahar. The route from Sidi Naji to Erg Sahar will be along an ancient dried lake that slowly transforms into rolling dunes. Although there is not much vegetation the views are no less spectacular. After taking a relaxing lunch to recharge after the morning trek, spend some time to explore the dunes of Erg Sahar. The dunes in this area are the second tallest behind Erg Chigaga, however they are known to the even more remote and wild than the ones in Erg Chigaga as there are no permanent camps and only a few temporary trekking camps that are taken down after 1 – 2 nights. Climb up to the dunes to relish the sunset, take in the vastness of the Sahara and tell yourself that “yes! you really are in the Sahara desert!”. Return to camp to enjoy meal by the fireside and retire for the night.
After breakfast, begin your trek from Erg Sahar to Erg Smar by crossing the now dammed (and dried) Draa River. This is a huge expanse of land – and by trekking across its river bed you can truly get a sense of the vastness of this once flowing river. Even though the river is now dry, water still runs deep beneath the ground. For the first time in 2 days, you will be given an opportunity to take a “shower” using water in the well while we make a stop to replenish the water supply for the next days of trekking. Taking a shower with well water next to the dry river bed of the Draa River should most definitely be a bucket list item!
Erg Smar also holds a special place for us, because it was where Bobo was born and raised. Prior to the damming of the Draa River a collection of families lived off this land by farming and raising camels, goats and other livestock. You can still see remnants of this past settlement as you trek through this area. Set up camp for the day under the large tamarisk trees.
Today is the last day of the trek. We will make our way from Erg Smar to Erg Chigaga via a series of rolling small dunes and flat plateaus. After a 5 – 6 hour trek, with lunch served under the shade of tamarisk trees – we will arrive at the base of the Erg Chigaga dunes. Erg Chigaga is the largest dune in the area and definitely worth the effort to climb your way up to the top! The views are breathtaking and on a clear day you may be able to see the dunes of Erg Sahar.
After basking in the magnificence of this natural wonder you have an option to be transported back to M’hamid via 4×4 (1.5 – 2 hour off-road drive) or you may choose to spend a night or two at the Luxury Desert Camp or Berber Camp.