A magical night in Merzouga: Sleeping beneath the stars at Caranvanserai luxury desert camp

 

It’s the stuff kids’ dreams are made of: camping out beneath a galaxy of stars deep in the Sahara Desert. For me, this dream became a recent reality when we spent 1 night at Caravanserai luxury desert camp. There are many activities you can search for in Merzouga, but for sleeping, Caravanserai’s perfect for the glamping desert experience.

Being the fourth place we’d visited during our Morocco road trip, I couldn’t wait to step on desert land. A tingle rushes up your spine when you see the terrain slowly turn from cement to sand.

The ultimate desert camp experience at Caravanserai

A surreal feeling overwhelms you the second you step out of the car into Merzouga. For me, it was knowing I was about to embark on something I’d always wanted — but had been too nervous — to try.

The meeting point’s nothing more than a place to leave your bags and use the bathroom if necessary. After a brief chat (about buying wine) with our friendly guide for Caravanserai, he took us by jeep to the start of the Sahara Desert.

Travel tip: Alcohol isn’t easy to buy in rural Morocco, so ask your guide beforehand if you’d like some.

Camel ride by sunset

Once dropped off, we chose to journey to the camp by camel. Waiting patiently and quietly with its Berber guide were 2 grand and furry, constantly chewing camels. If it’s your first time riding a camel, you’ll enjoy it, though your derriere may be a bit numb at the end! There’s also the choice to go by ATV or car at an additional cost of €50 each.

Caravanserai luxury desert camp - silhouette

As promised in the itinerary, we began the 1-hour sunset camel ride to camp. Watching our silhouettes on the camels in the sand dunes, with the sun setting in the distance is a memory I’ll cherish forever. Our Berber guide was as humble as the camels, only stopping to ask if we were ok, and to take our photos.

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“On the other side is a sight so magnificent, it actually stirred great emotion in me.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera
Luxury experience in Vienna - Vienna State Opera

“No words can describe the feeling of sitting on top of a dune and watching an orchestra of stars dance above your head.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten
Luxury experience in Vienna - Burggarten

Setting our sights on Caravanserai

We reached camp just as the last glimmer of sunlight was on its way out. Once you manage to unmount from your camel, there’s a short walk up a sand dune to reach the other side.

If it’s easier, I suggest removing your shoes when walking up the dunes. It can be trickier than it looks, plus you also get to feel desert sand between your toes.

On the other side is a sight so magnificent, it actually stirred great emotion in me. Caravanserai’s home to 7 luxury tents, as well as an intimate setting between the dunes. From the tents to the outdoor lounge with seating areas and soft lighting, it was everything I’d imagined.

On top of this, travelling in October, the climate was ideal, and I never once felt cold during our desert stay.

Luxury desert camp accommodation

Upon stepping into the tent, it’s almost impossible not to want to jump straight away onto the bed. Yes, it’s that spacious, and comfortable too. Furnishings are simple yet elegant, such as the Moroccan style carpeting and bathroom.

Speaking of the bathroom, if you like showering near enough in the outdoors, you’ll love this. The hot water runs perfectly, and they also provide shampoo if you need it. The tent also has electricity, but discourages using items like hairdryers, as it takes up a lot of energy.

Dinner and live entertainment

Dinner — and breakfast too —is served in the main tent, and starts depending on what time you arrive. The meals are fragrant and traditional. To start, we had a traditional Moroccan soup, followed by an assortment of salads, chicken tagine, and fruits for dessert.

A very sweet highlight of the dinner was when our guide appeared with a bottle of red wine! We hadn’t remembered our earlier request, and thought he’d been joking! Turns out he definitely wasn’t. Anything other than water isn’t included in the price, but you can buy (soft drinks) on site.

Once dinner’s finished, the real fun begins outside with some live Berber entertainment. Playing a selection of local songs, and using traditional instruments, we clapped, cheered and yes, even danced along to the beats. The music had the power of bringing everyone together, regardless of country or language. It was an eventful moment, and one I’d happily relive again.

The finale: the stars and sunrise

It’s safe to say I didn’t get much sleep during my stay at Caravanserai. The adrenalin and excitement of the evening, not to mention the other friendly people we’d met, all played a part.

However, there was another great distraction for my lack of sleep: the mesmerising and hypnotic night sky. No words can describe the feeling of sitting on top of a dune and watching an orchestra of stars dance above your head.

Luxury experience in Vienna - Kunsthistorisches Museum

“Calm, peaceful, and with the distant murmurings of a camel, it’s what makes travel so worthwhile.”

FOLLOWING THE RIVERA

If you’re lucky, you’ll catch sight of a few falling stars too. It’s during moments like this when you see the world at its beautiful best. Calm, peaceful, and with the distant murmurings of a camel, it’s what makes travel so worthwhile.

Sunrise in the desert’s equally impressive and begins around 6.20am. Shake off the sleep, grab whatever is nearest (jacket too) and don’t miss seeing the start of a new day.

Have you ever glamped out in the Sahara Desert? How did your experience fare? Write me a note, I’m waiting to hearing it!

Book your luxury camp desert experience with Caravanserai, and treat yourself to a night under a million stars.

Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by Caravanserai, all views are my own and based on my own experience.

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