For generations M’hamid Sahara was a lush and green region, a paradise with plenty of natural spaces and the last home of hundreds of nomads. But with the problems of climate change and the construction of a dam stopping the Draa River and choking the main source of water, the desert started dying. This destruction included 1 25 kilometre lake called Iriqi that dried out slowly since the seventies. The Sahara became more dry than ever before and as the lake died, the trees and plants growing around it also died. The water became salty and this made life more difficult. It also caused an imbalance of the eco system of the region. Ending up with both animals and nomads suffering from the lack of food and water:
This trek is made to raise people’s awareness about the problem of climate change in general and how it is damaging life in the Sahara desert in particular.
Your safari drive will take you through a variety of landscapes with stops in different areas where we will break for tea and lunch, ending at a portable camping spot in complete privacy at Erg Zahar where you will stay overnight.
This morning, after enjoying a delicious breakfast at our camp, you will join your 4×4 and the safari drive will start by going off-road in the Sahara through the Draa Valley towards Lbour, where we will be exposed to the stunning view of the Bani Mountains. “Lbour region” is a collection of wild lush desert valleys and you will have the opportunity to see camel and goat herders.
Right after reaching Lbour, we will stop to walk a while in order to see the camels grazing here and if lucky, we will meet with the nomads. A cup of mint tea, prepared by your guides, will be served under the shade of a tamarisk tree at a beautiful place among the white dunes in a very special spot where you can walk and learn about different plants and trees growing around.
After the tea break, we will stop for a visit to Erg Smar Kasbah (a dilapidated nomad farmer’s settlement) which will tell much about how much life once was, in this part of the world. The drive to this place, is in itself, a chance to discover more scenery all along the way because this part of M’hamid is very remote and it is witnessing so much desertification including the death of trees and long empty flatlands.
Here we will set for a long fabulous lunch on the eco-camp at the oasis of erg smar in order to learn about the farming spot and the animals and how this project of oasis is helping the eco-system . the small oasis is surrounded by beautiful red dunes which made it a little paradise in the middle of nowhere . Here you will discover how magical the desert is when you find yourself . After enjoying our lunch and visit at the oasis, we will be driven in the middle of the deep Draa Valley to reach the eastern bank, where the undulating dunes of Erg Zahar are located.
After a while, several unique dunes, with dramatically different shapes, will be in front of you to hike in order to reach the other side. What is not expected is how you will feel after you see the surrounding dunes from the top of the furthest dune of Zahar.
Now the day draws to a close and here we will set camp, cocooned by the dunes all around us and after some time to relax and soak up the sunset, dinner will be served around the camp-fire.
note: Erg Zahar is the best alternative for those who want to enjoy the remote beauty of the Sahara Desert without sharing their experience with other people.
Today the destination is the famous Erg Chegaga , the largest sand dune in Morocco.
This morning we start our drive by saying goodbye to the screaming dunes, then we cross the Draa Valley again. But this time the terrain will be open and the route will become totally mysterious as you never know what to expect to see today.
The way to get to Erg Chegaga will not be done in the blink of an eye. In fact, It is a long journey that will raise your awareness on climate change issue and how it is affecting both nature and humans that are embodied by the Sahara and nomads.
You will be exposed to a variety of dunes as you will be circling the great dune of Erg Chegaga from the east and if you are lucky enough you may meet with wild gazelle in their remote home far from civilisation. You will be driving by the old channel that used to pour water on Iriqi lake but as the Draa River changed its route, where you can only see its dry old trench.
Then we reach the dry lake of Iriqi which is an example of how climate change damaged the eco system of the Sahara desert. We will take a relaxing break on Iriqi lake’s endless horizon and discover how tiny we are in comparison with the 25 empty kilometres that was the home of flora and fauna and one of the main stops for birds migrating to and from Africa.
Right after Iriqi lake you will head to the nomadic settlement of the Dradir Tribe. This is a small nomad tribe that live between the mountains and the great sand sea of Erg Chegaga. It is considered to be one of the last nomadic communities in the region of M’hamid and you will be able to visit the nomads’ tents and have your lunch under the shade of an Acacia tree next to their settlement. This provides the opportunity to discover how they keep their special nomadic lifestyle alive in the twenty first century. Learn about their life as nomads living in the desert with their goats and donkeys and how their children get their schooling in this remote area.
By the end of the day you will be driven to the camp under the big dunes of Erg Chegaga and here you will have different options as the place is very large and you can choose either to camp next to the grazing spot of camels with a panoramic view or to hike the highest dune to get to the top and enjoy the view from up high.
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