For many years, one of my top five bucket list items has been to sleep under the stars in the Sahara Desert, and I’m happy to report that I was able to cross it off my list during my recent trip to Morocco. When it comes to camping at home, I cringe. There’s something about packing up my belongings and driving an hour away from my house to intentionally sleep in a forest that doesn’t quite appeal to me. Camping in the desert, however, is an entirely different ball game, and the Sahara Stars Desert Camp, is in a league of its own.
My night at Sahara Stars Desert Camp was easily my best night in Morocco, and will forever be one of my most memorable travel experiences.
Here’s why my night with Sahara Stars Desert Camp was nothing short of luxury:
Our driver dropped us off somewhere towards the end of the road (literally) at the edge of the desert near Erg Chebbi, Merzouga. We were then met by the camp staff and taken by 4×4 deeper into the desert to meet our friends, the camels. A camel ride during sunset is included in the package, however we were unfortunately hit with a sandstorm, so we unfortunately missed out. Nevertheless, being escorted by camel through the dunes was truly unforgettable. I should note that it is unsafe for a camel to also bear the load of luggage, so our bags were taken by the 4x4s directly to the camp.
The camp itself was stunning. With only eight tents and a large dining tent, it maintains a very intimate feeling. The interior of our room absolutely blew me away. The laminate floor panels covered with Moroccan rugs sort of set the tone and signaled to me that we weren’t in an ordinary camp. The king sized bed was topped with plush pillows, and the entire room was illuminated by decadent Moroccan lamps. There was also a small seating area in the room – after all, how could one possibly camp without a private seating area? What was truly a surprise was the 3-piece bathroom….inside our tent! There was a full shower, flush toilet, vanity with shelving, and the entire thing was plumbed with hot water.
The dining room was elegant and cozy, and again, made it difficult to believe that we were in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The entire camp provides a breathtaking view of the sweeping Erg Chebbi dunes – a view that I simply couldn’t get enough photos of. And, not that I needed it, but free wifi was available as well!
The service matched the five-star property, and certainly didn’t disappoint. The young men at the camp were attentive and hospitable, and made us feel like we were at home. After dinner, they took the energy up a notch with a Berber drum session.
I must admit that I was most excited about watching the sunrise over the dunes, and it was nothing short of mesmerizing. The staff advise you the night before of what time you should wake up to see the sunrise, and it’s as easy as that. You don’t need to go anywhere, because the camp is already in the ideal location. In typical fashion, I wanted to wander a little bit farther than the rest of the guests, so I roamed the dunes on foot to watch the sunrise in solitude, and it was beautiful.
After a big buffet breakfast at the camp following the sunrise, we were taken for a ride in a 4×4 over the dunes. We also tried sandboarding, which was also pretty fun. Other options for morning activities include ATVs or a camel ride back to the pick-up point.
My expectations of a night in the desert were far exceeded, thanks to Sahara Stars Desert Camp – it was truly an experience that I will never forget.
A special thanks to Sahara Stars Desert Camp for hosting us. Please note that although this stay was sponsored, the views presented in this post are entirely my own.