I want a Sahara experience...

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I am 27 years old and a solo female traveler currently living in Senegal and I’m getting a major itch to see the Sahara. Anyone have any experience with tours or companies or options for solo travelers to see/drive/camp/trek the desert? Also any tips on when to go?

Thanks in advance. :)

Laura Pucik 24/09/13    Activity and adventureAfrica Link Report

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The best places to access the Moroccan Sahara (and in which to organise trips) are Merzouga and Zagora, though if you go to the latter it will usually work out cheaper to push on further south to M’Hamid, which is closer to the Sahara proper.

Pretty much all the hotels and auberges in all of these towns will run trips into the desert, but recommended specialist agencies include bestofmerzouga.com (Merzouga), caravane-sud.com (Zagora) and saharaservices.info and zbartravel.com (M’Hamid); the latter also has an office in Ouarzazate.

Although it’s more expensive, a trip to the remote Erg Chigaga dunes, 60km southwest of M’Hamid, is probably the most likely to match your expectations of camping under Saharan skies.

Keith Drew 25/09/13    Link Report

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That’s some great info! Thanks! I just googled Erg Chigaga dunes and it’s gorgeous. I’ll look into it.

Laura Pucik 26/09/13    Link Report

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I did a Moroccan Sahara trip with Moroccan Trail and can vouch for them being a great company. Guide was hilarious and had really good English, was reasonably priced too compared to others. This is their website: http://moroccantrail.com/

Lottie Gross 25/09/13    Link Report

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You’re actually the second person recently that’s mentioned this group! It’s encouraging that you’ve had a good experience with them. Thanks!

Laura Pucik 26/09/13    Link Report

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No problem – I hope you get the Sahara fix you’re looking for :) if you can, ask for Mustafa as your guide if you go with Moroccan Trails. He was great fun and ended up hanging out with us at the hostel when we returned from the desert!

Lottie Gross 26/09/13    Link Report

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Well my own experience was an independent one, I have been camping in the sahara and was the expedition medic for a charity expedition a few years back, so I cant offer any personal recommendation, but I do know intrepid travel are an established company that offer a variety of experiences such as this one http://www.intrepidtravel.com/uk/tunisia/sahara-desert-trek-66800.

If you can get a cheap flight to Morrocco I know there are dozens of independent tour operators all offering a variety of tours there too, again I cant personally recommend any of them other than to tell you they are there. Sorry I cant be of more help.

September to November and April to May are the best times to visit IMO as they avoid the extremes of summer and winter.

Michael Huxley 24/09/13    Link Report

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It was! Im a nurse myself and its easy enough to do! Very worthwhile. It sounds like morrocco is on the cards then!;-)

Michael Huxley 25/09/13    Link Report

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Thanks for the info! I’m a nurse, so I imagine being an expedition medic was an awesome experience. I’m just too close to the Sahara out here not to go, but I’ve wanted to see Morocco anyway, so maybe this’ll be my excuse. :)

Laura Pucik 25/09/13    Link Report

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