Erg Chigaga dunes, The charming Sahara desert of Morocco
Erg Chegaga or Erg Chigaga is one of the beautiful sand dunes in southeast Morocco. Situated around 500Km from Marrakech city, 310km from Ouarzazate, only 45km from the small village of Mhamid. With its golden sea dunes and varied Ergs, we can definitely call it the charming Sahara desert of Morocco. This wild Moroccan Sahara can be explored only in 4wd tours or by old-style camel trekking trip if you love real adventures.
We have two types of desert in the country: rocky desert that we refer to as REG and sandy desert is called ERG. To explore Chegaga you get a chance to off-road from Reg to Erg to better understand our epic Sahara experience.
After Erg Chebbi dunes, Chegaga is the most common destination for every traveler who is seeking adventure in the Sahara desert of Morocco.
Erg chegaga tours from Marrakech
The red city of Marrakech is the tourism capital of Morocco. It is the best point where you can start your desert adventure to Chegaga dunes. 3 days from Marrakech to Erg Chegaga would be enough not only to explore Erg Chigaga and spend a night in these majestic dunes but also to visit the largest valley of palm trees in Morocco, Draa valley, Visit the UNESCO site of Ait Ben Haddou.
You could also travel to Chegaga dunes from Agadir or a different city. Make sure that the best way to get to the dunes is either a 4wd car, around 2 hours off-road, or by camel trekking.
Desert camps in Chegaga dunes
Accommodations in the Sahara are tented camps, properly equipped with the required comfort amenities. A Desert camp in Chegaga can host up to 50 People in the opening air, which makes it the best place where you can enjoy stargazing or just nice moments around the fire in winter.
There are several Desert Sahara camps in Erg Chigaga, offering all the amusement for a magical night. There is always the opportunity to ride camels from these camps. Luxury desert camps provide all the necessities for comfort in this wild in the middle of the dunes where nothing you can see but the dunes on the horizon.
Staying in a desert camp costs between 60-200 dollars per night, however, this price may rise up and down depending on the quality of the camp and the season.
Desert trips From Mhamid:
Mhamid El Ghizlane is a small village center where the paved road ends and where the Ergs start. This town hosts every year the Taragalte Festival just a few kilometers away from the village. The town knows for its desert trips to Erg Chegaga which would take only a few kilometers to drive off-road.
Trekking in the Sahara desert also is one of the best activities that you can start from Mhamid. Walk side by side with camels while enjoying the peaceful environment of the Sahara. This type of adventure is widely famous in the region of Chigaga and takes over a week.
Highlights Nearby Erg Chegaga desert:
Erg Lihoudi: Small dunes just a few minutes drive from Mhamid. Where you can also spend a night under the starry night of the Sahara.
lriki Lake: It’s a dry lake in Iriqui national park one of the highlights of the Sahara exploration in Erg Chegaga heading towards Foum Zguid. Offers some exotic landscape of a flat plateau over 40km long.
Draa valley: Accommodates the largest palm grove in the country with the longest hydraulic system of irrigation. Longs over 200 km, starting from the Dam in Ouarzazate eastwards then westwards all the way to Mhamid Elghizlan.
The Kasbahs and Ksars: Are interesting Berber architecture worth discovering in this region such as the case of Kasbahs of Ait Ben Haddou 30km before Ouarzazate.
Tamgroute village: After a few kilometers from Zagora you will find Tamgroute village, which hosts poetry handcraft activity that is native to the area as well as the historical most influential Zaouia ( Brotherhood/ lodge), known as zaouia Nasiriyya (1603–1674).
Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga tour?
If you are looking for a Moroccan Sahara desert tour, wonder if Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga you want to see?
Both Ergs offer camel riding experience, overnight in a desert camp, and amazing landscapes. However Erg Chebbi is easy to access, the paved road reaches the village of Merzouga just a few meters from the dunes, allowing you to get the supplies and services including post, bus, hospital…
Erg Chegaga is the more wild desert in Morocco and needs some hours of driving off-road to reach the camp. If you wish for more adventure “into the wild” then Chegaga may be better. As mentioned before it’s a place for trekking in the Sahara if you are into these wild adventures or for anyone who is interested in desert photography in Morocco.