The Erg Chigaga desert – an endless sea of golden sand. And one of those places that really touch you and accompany you forever.
The dune field in southern Morocco is the largest in the country. If you want to get to know the true Sahara, this is the place for you!
In the Erg Chigaga desert there is absolutely nothing … well, except for sand and heat and wind and the one or the other Scorpio maybe. The approximately 40km long sandy desert is framed by mountain flanks and extends from the small village of M’Hamid south of Zagora to the Algerian border (and beyond).
Only on its fringes there are occasionally resistant bushes and – we could hardly believe our eyes – juicy green, wild Ruccola fields (which are the favorite snack of the migrating camel herds)!
If you want to visit the golden sand dunes, you must book a tour there or travel with your own vehicle. From Zagora you can book countless trips to the dunes – by off-road vehicle or camel, one or more days, with accommodation in the Bedouin tent etc.
In the dunes, the activities range from camel rides, jeep tours and hikes to speedy buggy trips.
(It should be noted that the Erg Chigaga desert is not as well touristically developed as the Erg Chebbi at Merzouga. Here there are only a few, very, very simple camps. You shouldn’t expect luxurious camps as the Scarabeo Camp – but a lot of tradition and real adventures.)
If you have an 4WD vehicle, you can also arrive on your own. You can either drive from Zagora and M’Hamid or via an adventurous route from the small Berber village Foum Zguid in the west to the dunes. Here you can find out more about it!
Once you have reached the dunes, you can jet through the sand to your heart’s content. On the piste that runs along the edge of the desert or criss-crossing the dunes themselves – a paradise for every off-roader! Well, as long as the vehicle is playing ?
(Of course, if you go on a desert tour, you should know your vehicle and your own driving skills well enough and have enough fuel with you. If you have a breakdown in the middle of the dunes, probably you will not get any help soon.)
No matter what you choose, the visit to the Erg Chigaga will be remembered for a long time to come.
Tip for campers:
In and around the Erg Chigaga you can camp anywhere for free. Here you are alone with yourself and the dunes. Maybe a friendly shepherd comes by with his camels.
In any case, you should have enough drinking water and supplies with you – the nearest shop is very far away!