To the south and east of the Atlas mountains, the climate becomes very hot and dry. This is where Morocco’s deserts begin. Quiet, scarcely populated and sheer endless in size, the south of the country contains few settlements and even fewer urban centers.
Separated from the busy cities of the coast by the mountains, the Moroccan desert is entirely different from the north of the country. Most of the Sahara, and most of Morocco’s desert consists of so-called Hamada – rocky, barren plateaus with hardly any sand. Merciless winds have taken away any finer grained particles, leaving behind only gravel and rock.
Morocco has two main areas that look and feel as most of us in the West picture the North African Desert: Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga. Erg means “dune field” in Arabic and describes a flat and broad area of desert with wind-swept sand and little or no cover. Both are located in the southern part of Morocco, surrounded by rocky Hamadas and both offer astonishing sand dunes up to 150m high. No trip to Morocco, no trip to North Africa is complete without a desert excursion to witness the Sahara as it can be seen here – in its purest, most iconic form. Endless seas of sand dunes, carefully aligned by the wind, ever changing in their shape.
Erg Chebbi is the smaller, yet, due to its approachability, better known sand desert. It is roughly 50km in length and 5-10km in width. Erg Chigaga is, at 40km in length and 15km in width, a little bit bigger than Erg Chebbi. Since it is more difficult to access, it is generally considered to be the wilder of the two Ergs.
NOSADE offers the best of Morocco, desert excursions, hikes, and treks into both Moroccan Ergs. For a complete list of our fully customizable packages check out or desert tours offers.