Sahara in Morocco vs Sahara in Tunisia

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I definitely won’t recommend anyone to go for the Sahara trip in Morocco. However, I wouldn’t say the same thing about heading to Sahara in Tunisia. Below I’ll explain what to expect from each tour and basically ‘which Sahara desert to choose’.Sahara trip

Getting to Sahara & places to see on the way

In Tunisia getting to the desert doesn’t seem that long as in Morocco, because you simply don’t just drive for hours. In Tunisia you get to see some interesting cities and walk around during your breaks. Among the other places, you even get to see the famous El Jam amphitheater which is way bigger than the Roman Colosseum. You also stop at various Berber houses and enjoy the local hospitality.

Probably the highlight of the trip - visit at George Lucas' Star Wars village!

Probably the highlight of the trip – visit at George Lucas’ Star Wars village!

Beautiful oasis in Tunisia!

Beautiful oasis in Tunisia!

el-jem

El Jem in Tunisia

The only interesting place to stop at in Morocco is Querzarate town. where many movies were filmed, such as Gladiator, Laurence of Arabia, Babel and much more. When I visited they were filming The Queen of the Desert with Nicole Kidman, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to spot Nicole anywhere. The other stops are basically quick breaks at cafes on the road.

Carpet anyone?

Carpet anyone?

Do you recognize this place from movies?

Do you recognize this place from movies?

Quite a lot of movies were filmed here...

Quite a lot of movies were filmed here…

Sleeping on the desert & sunrise

Tunisia: You get to sleep in a super nice hotel with a huge swimming pool. In the evening there was a dinner buffet with everything you could imagine to eat. In the morning we’ve been woken up at 3:30am for breakfast which was another buffet with plenty of different things. After this feast the bus drove us to the salt desert where we could see the sunrise. It was a bit overcrowded with tourists, however it was extremely beautiful and standing on a salt lake added even more to the whole effect.

Next day beautiful sunrise on a salt desert in Tunisia

Next day beautiful sunrise on a salt desert in Tunisia

Tunisian Sahara

Kissing a salamander at Tunisian sahara

Tunisian Sahara

Playing in a big sandbox – Tunisian Sahara

Morocco: When I imagined sleeping in a tent on a desert I thought of a cool camp in the middle of nowhere. However, our tents were surrounded by cars and shops within 5 km. Moreover we were surprised to discover that the tents, decorated in 1950s Russian style, were equipped with electricity and the camp offered a regular bathroom in another tent.

We were served a regular tagine – meat and vegetables cooked in a triangular pot. There was not much going on apart from chip-chat conversations with locals, although I was very happy to get a chance to play with 3-weeks old kittens. There was a sand storm at night, so getting to our tents was quite difficult and at night I turned into an ice cube – it was freezing. The sunrise itself wasn’t very entertaining and our breakfast was a leftover bread from dinner with butter.

Hop on a camel!

Hop on a camel!

Moroccan Sahara

Despite my fancy bag from a famous clothing store I wasn’t coming back from a shopping trip 😉

Traffic jam ;)

Camel traffic jam 😉

Cute desert kitten!

I got to play with a cute desert kitten!

Hello accommodation - it was freezing cold in this tent overnight

Hello accommodation – it was freezing cold in this tent overnight

Dinner time - tagine obviously!

Dinner time – tagine obviously!

Moroccan Sahara

Waiting for my camel in Morocco

Which place do I recommend more?

I’d go for Tunisia, as there are way more attractions on the way and the trips are better organized. However, on the other hand it’s fun to experience both desert visits – in Tunisia and Morocco!

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26 Comments

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  5. May 26, 2014 / 7:33 pm

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  6. Jun 1, 2014 / 2:55 pm

    My family went to Morocco without me and I’ve been jealous of them ever since! Your notes read like you went on a planned trip. What company did you travel with or did you just plan it yourself?

    • Anna
      Jun 1, 2014 / 4:14 pm

      Oh, it wasn’t planned at all. I just booked my flight and hostel and that was it! I was lucky to meet some cool people at the hostel tho!

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  11. May 4, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    I haven’t visited Tunisia yet, so I don’t have any opinion, but my impressions of Moroccan Sahara were totally different. Where did you go? I took a trip to Merzouga dunes this January and I was enchanted….

  12. May 4, 2015 / 6:31 pm

    Wonderful idea to compare the two desert trips. It’s so interesting what the anticipated experience is, like sleeping in a desert tent at an oasis, with the reality, sleeping in a tent city with electricity, plumbing, etc. So important to ask lots of questions and risk sounding like an imbecile sometimes!

    • May 4, 2015 / 9:03 pm

      Definitely!

  13. May 4, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    I was surprised that you wouldn’t recommend the Moroccan Sahara but I do agree that getting there really sucked. There were a few cool places, like you said, but it was soooo long. You must have gone to a different section of the desert though, our area was a lot more rustic and had no electricity or bathrooms and we were quite far from the closest city. I LOVED it.

    I do want to visit Tunisia though, and when I do eventually go I will have to take a Sahara tour so I can do my own comparison 🙂

  14. My only experience with deserts was when I was 8 and hated every second of it – ha! Now I’m eager to go again. That’s so cool that the Gladiator was filmed there!

  15. Marco Gomarnad
    Sep 10, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Moroccan desert is really perfect ! Book a private Morocco tour from Marrakehc, Fes Csablanca or Tangier to experience camel ride and sleeping in desert tents.
    Here you can check some travel companies :

    http://www.moroccotourstravel.com (company based in Imlil)
    http://www.moroccoholidayplanner.com (company based in Marrakech)
    http://www.come-and-visit-morocco.com (company based in desert Merzouga)
    http://www.rovemoroccotravels.com (company based in Casablanca)
    http://www.moroccoholidaymaker.com (company based in Marrakech)
    http://www.mhidi-travel-morocco.com (travel agency based in Marrakech)
    http://www.marrakechtourstrips.com (company based in Marrakech)

  16. Sep 16, 2015 / 1:20 am

    In Morocco, it’s possible to see the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at the same time,and the Sahara Desert .
    for all kinds of Tours and trips in Morocco contact: http://rovemoroccotravels.com/

  17. Mar 7, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    Tours From Marrakech, Morocco Desert Tour, Sahara Trip From Marrakech To Fes:
    Traveling in Morocco Is Moroccan ancient History and Culture what do we Offer A picture’s can tell thousand words,We are local Moroccan And Berber people,who have grown up in the Sahara Desert and have over 15 years Experience showing Our guests the Awesome Of Morocco.Come and spend your Dream Adventure in Morocco: change of scene, authenticity, Sun, Hospitality, well-being.We invite you to browse through our site to Explore the extensive Travel services and Tour packages,Our drivers are qualified,Adventures, Experienced bilingual local people who will make sure you get the most out of your Morocco Vacation,friendly local people who will treat you as a guest not just a Tourist,Visiting the Imperial Cities the Berbers in the hidden Valleys and Sahara Desert,Experiencing traditional music and foods, sleeping under the stare’s and Riding Camel’s,Beach Excursion,Visiting Essaouirra sea breeze,Oualidia…These are completely flexible,and we can help you build your Moroccan Tour,So why not speak to our Travel specialist they will help you arrange an Itinerary to reflect your needs and wishes.Our aim is for you to have a memorable Trip and to take a little bit of Morocco with you.Your Travel into Sahara Desert of Morocco with Traveling In Morocco Will Be Unique ….

    • Michael
      Feb 23, 2017 / 10:55 am

      Am the Michael by name. How can i contact you. for I wish to take a tour Morocco next month. Am in Lagos or tag me on my Facebook account.
      deprince Michael nwabueze.

    • Jul 19, 2016 / 5:05 pm

      My friend and I did this tour – it was so incredible! Our friendly guide, Muhammed, picked up from our accommodation in Marrakech and took us on a four day tour. We were able to see and experience SO much of Morocco. During the tour, we made several stops – we saw how argan oil is made, purchased traditional clothing, and watched a Berber music performance. The highlight of the tour was the camel ride and sleeping in the Sahara. It was absolutely amazing and we wouldn’t have been able to experience the Desert if we didn’t do this tour!! This is truly the best way to see Morocco and we felt very safe the entire time. The tour is very accommodating and everyone is so friendly – we didn’t want to leave! Thank you, Traveling In Morocco, for an incredible, once in a lifetime experience!!!
      traveling-in-morocco.com

  18. Sep 13, 2016 / 5:15 pm

    Helpfull artice and such amazing pictures about the shara desert. Thanks for sharing

  19. Nov 22, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Very informative article like usual. thanks for sharing.
    I Found and i would like to share for future travelers a list of reputable tour companies in Morocco that usually help and work with the local Berbers in the High Atlas mountains or with the real Nomads in sahara desert Morocco. so enjoy :
    Some tours and activities that can be done in Morocco.from Marrakech an end to Marrakech or Fes or Casablanca the best for this is http://www.morocco-caravan-tours.com
    Morocco desert camps : nothing can be better than a warm night in the desert. you will not be in a 5 stars hotel but you will be under billion of thousands stars. The best desert camp provider is http://www.morocco-luxurycamps.com
    Trekking in Morocco : Hiking and trekking in the high atlas mountains is so amazing. you will get to know the life style of berbers when visiting the Berber villages. The best trek provider is http://www.trekking-inmorocco.com
    Morocco camel trekking : It’s just amazing to know how camels are, never seen such wise animals before, very confident and the best for the sahara desert. the best morocco camel trekking is http://www.morocco-caravan-tours.com
    For excellent morocco private tours you should go with http://www.morocco-private-tours.com

  20. Dec 27, 2016 / 11:48 am

    Am a Moroccan national guide and I do admit unfortunately that some tour operators do not organize well the day tours to the desert.

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