- For drivers with desert experience only!
- 4WD and high ground clearance
- only recommended for small, light, high-horsepower vehicles
- Distance: approx. 50 km
- moderate/difficult navigation on partly blown sections and deep dune passages
- Duration: approx. 6 hours with photo stops
- Difficulty level: difficult
- we personally would only recommend the 4WD tour from Douz to El Mida for drivers with desert experience and small, light, high-performance off-road vehicles with high ground clearance. Tall vehicles (trucks, vans, off-road vehicles with camping cabin …) could tip over during the numerous sloping dune passages. Weak, heavy vehicles could get stuck in the deep holes between the dunes. For large vehicles (trucks) there are very few turning options within the dune passages.
Attention: we personally only TRIED to drive from Douz to El Mida and had to turn halfway. The tour described here only explains the section we drove!
The tour starts again at the Café du Parc (33 ° 08’54.6 “N 9 ° 09’31.8” E), which is very popular with desert drivers, south of Douz. From here you follow the good, wide piste towards Ksar Ghilane (southeast).
It leads you across lonely, flat desert landscapes with low dunes. The slope is consistently flat and easy to drive. After approx. 20 km the junction to El Mida (N33 ° 03.089, E009 ° 19.990) comes to the right.
From there it goes south over a fairly visible slope through the stone desert. Sand dunes are rare.
The beautiful Camp Grand Erg Oriental (32 ° 59’12.0 “N 9 ° 24’32.5” E) is the last outpost before you finally dive into the endless golden sand sea. At the camp you should treat yourself to a sweet mint tea and ask about the “street conditions”.
The high sand dunes of the Grand Erg Oriental – the Great Eastern Erg – start right in front of the camp. There are 4 large, difficult dune passages from here to El Mida. And already the first is not to be underestimated!
The traces, some of which are difficult to see, crisscross the high dunes. The sand is deep and soft, the dunes often have to be approached at an angle. The holes between the individual dunes are very deep and steep. Vehicles with little horsepower threaten to get stuck in it.
Between the respective large dune fields there are always sections on a flat surface. There the spurs are often blown away and difficult to see. A GPS navigation device is necessary!
We personally mastered 3 out of 4 dune passes. After the third large dune field we turned and drove back to Camp Grand Erg Oriental and further to Ksar Ghilane.
Perhaps we could have made the entire route to El Mida, but the risk was too great (especially since we were traveling alone and with a heavy, low-horsepower vehicle with a camping cabin).
According to the locals and according to Google Maps, the route after the 4 large dune passes is mostly on good pistes.
The route descriptions are based on our personal experiences. Road and slope conditions can of course vary depending on the weather and the season. The political situation can also change – in December 2019 we were able to travel alone in the desert without escort or guide and had no problems.