Travel Diaries : Merzouga

friends in the desert
“We made it to the nothingness and realised it was everything”
Seven friends flying in from five different countries, the meeting spot a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. This was our introduction to the Moroccan Western Sahara. A barren land with sand as far as the eye can see. After a treacherous bus ride from all directions we arrived at our final destination, Merzouga. Situated on the edge of the dunes this sleepy city offers a place to rest before spending our long awaited night under the stars.
The day is warm and we are greeted by friendly locals, eager to be the ones to share with us a piece of their life. As we set out it becomes evident just how able our new friends are at navigating the open space. A life skill undoubtedly necessary when you live in The Sahara, impressive nonetheless. We ditched the camels and opted for the more adventurous route. Equipped with buggies and two Berber men by our side, we hit the dunes ready to explore everything that was on offer.
The Berber people have not only mastered the Desert, but also the art of survival. Living on this land for thousands of years and still today their culture lives strong. Berber’s and the country’s appreciation for their culture can be seen everywhere. So it was a real blessing to have the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be inside their land living as they do. We arrived in what can only be described as a Desert Oasis, with palm trees and Berber tents, our home for the night.
We took to the dunes by foot, keen to climb as high as we could to catch the much anticipated sunset. For as far as we could see the sky and sand meet without interference, the rays of sun pound onto us with force. The desert is unforgiving and magical all at once. The sun slowly disappears into the distance, leaving behind a beautiful array of colours. With the sun escapes the warmth and temperatures quickly drop, so we took refuge in our small Berber Village.
The sky is now filled with billions of stars. We gather around and devour a traditionally prepared tagine. Using bread and our hands we all share one pot, just as the Moroccans do. Finishing the night laying under that lit up night sky just waiting for another shooting star to create a sparkle.
hostel merzouga
streets of merzouga
sand dunes merzouga
friends adventuring on a buggy in the western sahara
a Berber man in the desert
riding a buggy into the desert
hanging at the merzouga hostel
a boy wandering in the desert
sitting on the desert buggy
catching the desert buggy in the sahara
exploring the dunes of the sahara
A boy smoking a joint in the desert
a selfie inside the buggy
Sand-boarding in the desert
a group of friends on their buggy in the western sahara
getting instructions off the Berbers before our trek into the western Sahara
Chilling on the dunes
Friends exploring the desert