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Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

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San Francisco, CA
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Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

We are a couple in our mid thirties with our 5 year daughter. I'm planning the last few details of our trip to Morocco end of this month one of which is the desert camp. We will be arriving in Merzouga from Tinerhir by rental car. We want to arrive by 2 PM and head for a berber desert camp that same afternoon to spend the night. From reading the forums I've been advised that booking this through an established hotel or riad is the best and I've contacted several of them. The questions I have are

1) Which is the better spot to book from - Hassilabied, Merzouga Centre or further towards Taouz (like Nomad Palace of L' Homme Du Desert). I ask because I'm wondering which spot will be more picturesque but also from which spot will the camel trek into the dunes be shorter. To give you an idea, aside from the two hotels mentioned above, i've received quotes from Riad Nezha, Auberge Les Roches, Auberge La Source

2) I'm getting a little concerned about how strenuous the camel trek could potentially be. Some reports state 2 hours and others state 1 hour. How long is this trek really. I'm concerned only because we are with a five year old child. All the hotels have told me she can ride with me or my wife.

3) Any input on whether we are doing a wise thing by doing the camel trek to the camp? I know this is subjective and dependent on the individual child but would still love to hear any personal advice based on experience.

Thanks much!

Stockholm, Sweden
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1. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

I saw smaller children there enjoying but now it can be warm in the desert, so make sure that your child manage maybe 35 or more degree. Of course at night and in the camp it is cooler, but before you come there.

To the camp it takes between 1,5 - 2 hours, but you can also talk with the hotel and ask them about length and make agree how long you will go. Your child will be sitting with you or your wife.

In my opinion the best place in Erg Chebbi is outside the Hasilabaid - Merzouga. Just for example Nomad palace is good place and they have also swimming pool so ... Or Yasmina hotel, on other side of sand dunes, I mean in beginning on sand dunes, after Rissani.

Edited: 07 May 2014, 09:31
Toronto
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2. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

We stayed/went with Kasbah Mohayut and had a good experience. There was a family staying at the hotel with young kids and they did an afternoon visit and did not stay in the desert over night.

San Francisco, CA
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3. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

Thanks for the responses.

Khamlia - do they camps at flexible locations. If I talk to make the camel trek shorter to roughly an hour will they set up camp at a different location than they normally do?

Also, from which location do you think the trek into the dunes is shorter or is it really all the same from any of those hotels.

4. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

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Taroudant, Morocco
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5. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

My suggestion is, since it has been confirmed that the weather is very hot right now, forget about taking a conducted tour. From your hotel in Merzouga, you can spend some time walking in the dunes, early morning or in the early evening preferably. You can't get lost as there are many good landmarks. This is probably best for all of you, especially for your child.

Find a comfortable and air conditioned hotel in your guidebook, and make a reservation NOW, before you arrive.

Stockholm, Sweden
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6. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

Shooney, If you anyway want to go to the desert even if it is hot, try to find some accommodation with the pool so your children can play and cool off in the water.

As I know so often they have possibility to use different camps, one near and one other deeper in sand dunes. So best is to ask and they arrange for you exactly what you wish.

Nice hotel with pool and even good camp have Yasmina hotel and then Nomad palace. Both are outside this busy area around Merzouga.

Or if you wish to be anyway near Merzouga, then my favorite hotel even if a little more expensive is Kanz Erremal. But even there they can give you better price if you "cry" that you have a budget and small children etc. LOL and often it works good.

P.S. to stay in sand dunes overnight will be cooler than at hotel

Edited: 18 May 2014, 11:28
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7. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

This April we stayed in Merzouga at the Moyahut Hotel. It is located right next to the dunes. We did not want to spend the night in a tent, so just went on a camel ride arranged by the hotel. It was about 1/2 hour ride across the dunes to see the sunset, and then 1/2 ride back. It was a great experience.

San Francisco, CA
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8. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

Thank you all for the excellent advice. We have decided to go for it - the desert camp - after all its only one night and not something one gets a chance to do very often. We are in contact with a few lodgings there including Kasbah Azalay which looks really beautiful and has a swimming pool - if they will let us use it before the trip and after returning from the camp.

9. Re: Erg Chebbi Desert Camp with 5 year old?

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