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Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

Thornton Cleveleys...
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Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

Okay, so the plan for next year is one week travelling to Erg Chebbi and back and then the second week staying just outside Marrakech again.

Theoretically, we could manage the trip to Merzouga on public transport BUT it's probably best if we travel by car given my fatigue issues.

Neither of us drive so the options are either booking a tour which includes car, driver and accommodation OR finding a driver and organising accommodation myself OR chancing it getting Grand Taxis from stop to stop.

I have a few quotes from various tour companies and they all come in at around 100 euros per person per day (4WD, driver, hotels/tent, breakfast, dinner). Does this seem about right?

It is going to be a bit of a budget stretch - even with 12 months' saving - so I thought I'd ask you lovely lot for advice as well as contacting companies myself.

(PS yes, I've used the search bar and I am reading trip reports and contacting TA members via private message but I am of the opinion that you can never have too much knowledge...............and we all know that TA forum members are veritable fountains of information!)

Thank you xxxx

Canada
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1. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

I have done the Marrakesh/Erg Chebbi run a few times and I think you are being quoted reasonable prices. Giving yourself a week to do it sounds like the right amount of time--there is much to see and do around Erg Chebbi that is interesting and unusual: fossil fields, Genoua singers, flamingos at the lake, visiting nomadic families and local artisans. There are various points of interest along the way, too, depending on what you like to see.

If you have fatigue issues, having a driver will allow you to indicate when and where you would like to stop. Public transportation can be considerably more taxing. You can take your time and enjoy the route. Travelling with someone who knows the languages is also very helpful.

Cardiff, United...
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2. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

Hire your own private driver and book the accommodation as you go along, this is what we did and it worked out great for us. When booking accommodation this way, you can go inside the hotel, ask to look at their rooms, haggle them down a little and then decide if you want to stay there or have a look at another hotel. If you go on an organised tour, you are stuck with the accommodation they book (usually the cheapest they can find).

The cost of the accommodation can vary from as little as £10 a night per person to £50+. What we found was that the accommodation is a lot cheaper than you find in Marrakech and you can find somewhere nice for around £15-20 per person per night (inc breakfast).

The driver will charge a total of around £100 per day (in total, not per person), this will include a 7 seater type air-conditioned vehicle and will include all of the drivers expenses.

The actual Merzouga overnight tent experience will cost between £20-30 per person, this will include camel rides, nights camping, evening meal and breakfast.

It is a great place to go, it is so peaceful there in the night, I always want to go back there but you need at least 4 or 5 days to do it in a relaxed way.

Edited: 05 June 2012, 11:17
London
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3. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

Hi,

I would certainly endorse the view in using a private driver to take the strain.

On my trip, this is exactly what I did and candidly it was the best thing I did. The driver in question didn't just ferry my family and I the fairly long distances we wanted to travel but was an absolute mine -full of information and spoke great English owing to spending some time in the US many years before.

His flexibility and caring nature went above and beyond the call of duty coupled his fees were very reasonable. He did not charge for the detours, the muti-stops or that the schedule you might have agreed with him was extended beyond the time and distance.

I would highly recommend.

Blue.

Blue

Thornton Cleveleys...
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4. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

Thanks for the help folk.

My main concern is getting the desert camp right - trip reports either seem to say that the experience was wonderful or terrible! I really want to make sure that we choose the right camp with the right hotel.

Canada
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5. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

When I have gone with a guide and driver, we have always had the option of looking at our room before staying. I have not found that we were given the cheapest room possible--most companies do not want clients to be disappointed. In my experience, Moroccans can negotiate better accommodations' prices than I can on my own.

100 euros is a good price when you consider what you are getting. Camps do not vary a whole lot--I have stayed in several. The desert experience is stunning regardless of the hotel. Enjoy.

Thornton Cleveleys...
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6. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

To be honest, I don't really have a clue about the cost of driving (hiring car, petrol etc) as neither I nor my husband drive.

I had looked at accommodation along the route and I'd seen fairly nice places to stay (inc breakfast and dinner) for around 60 euros total, so I originally assumed it would only be an extra 100 or so for the car and driver. The 200 euros per day total doesn't include lunch or drinks - so I'm really trying to find the most affordable option. I'd prefer to hire a driver and book my own accommodation but I really want to get it all booked before we get to Marrakech and there aren't a lot of private drivers advertising on the internet!

We're not terribly bothered about luxury on the trip as we'll have a week to relax in our villa outside Marrakech once we get back.

The other problem is my husband who wants to do the night in the desert but doesn't want to ride a camel because he thinks it's unfair for them to have to carry his weight (he's a BIG guy). I haven't worked this one out yet - I can only imagine that he'll have to walk alongside the camels.

Edited: 06 June 2012, 01:46
marrakech
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7. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

Hi,

Your husband has a soft heart but really shouldn't worry about the camel. They are very strong and can carry very heavy weights ;-)

Luxembourg City...
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8. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

We (2 people) would also like to do a Marrakech-Erg Chebbi tour. I noticed that www.cameltrekking.com lists cheaper prices than mentioned in this topic. For example, they only ask 180 euro per person for a 4 day tour. Is there a catch somewhere?

I also saw mentioned that the prices in Morocco itself would be cheaper. Could anyone make an estimate of how much the difference would be?

Edited: 04 July 2012, 18:32
Castril De La Pena...
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9. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

You could cut quite a bit of the cost by getting the CTM bus from Marrakech to Ouarzazate and the same on the return, then start your 'dune trek' from Ouarzazate. I've used the bus several times, it takes about 5 hours including a comfort/food stop half way. Cost is about 80dh pp each way plus 5dh for each suitcase.

Cardiff, United...
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10. Re: Query re:prices for Marrakech - Erg Chebbi tour

180 Euros sounds too cheap for a 4 day tour, maybe it works out that if there are 4 of you, you will each pay 180 euros, if there are only 2 of you (and no-one else on that tour) then you will have to pay a suppliment.

I would say the cheapest price with a private driver would be around £260 each (320 Euros if there are 2 of you on the tour), this would include all travel, accommodation, breakfast and desert experience. The price would be reduced to around £160 each (200 Euros if there were 4 of you). Cheaper again if there are more of you (based on a 7 seater type vehicle).

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