Morocco Safaris: How to see more of Morocco via a Safari

Photo of author
Last updated on:

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission. Read the full disclosure policy here.

Morocco Safaris – How To Get Out Into the Desert and Experience the Real Morocco

Introduction to Morocco Safaris

Morocco is a bucket list destination for many travelers, famous for its beautiful landscapes, including deserts and mountains, rich culture, bustling markets, and delectable cuisine. But one of the most delightful ways to explore Morocco, often overlooked by people, is a Safari.

Safaris in Morocco are not animal safaris as in other parts of the world but rather desert safaris that will make you fall in love with the sandy dunes in the vast, majestic deserts.

This post will put forth all the details about safaris in Morocco you need to know to make your trip unforgettable. Read on!

Sunset from a bush camp somewhere in Morocco
Sunset from a bush camp in the Moroccan desert.

Why Choose Morocco for Your Safari?

Rich in biodiversity and a nature lover's paradise, Morocco offers a variety of landscapes, from the expansive Sahara Desert with its towering dunes, which could be up to 600 feet high, to the rugged peaks of the High Atlas Mountains. 

Safari tours typically include exploring the hidden treasures of Morocco and sightseeing, along with several exciting activities for those seeking a thrill. You get a chance to immerse yourself into the cultures of the desert regions. 

That means that no matter what adventure you seek, you can find it here.

Types of Safaris In Morocco

Morocco offers a few types of safaris, each providing a unique experience. Some of the different types of safaris in Morocco include:

Desert Safaris

Embarking on a desert safari tour allows you to explore and admire the Sahara Desert. It typically includes mesmerizing experiences like camel rides, overnight stays in desert camps, star gazing, and the opportunity to admire the most breathtaking sunsets and sunrises.

Wildlife Safaris

While they are not as well-known as African safaris, Morocco offers several different wildlife safaris in areas like the High Atlas Mountains and the national parks, where you can spot Barbary macaques, birds, and other unique wildlife.

Adventure Safaris

For the more adventurous traveler, Morocco offers safaris that include trekking, off-road driving, and camping in remote areas, providing an adrenaline-filled experience.

Cultural Safaris

Cultural tours focus on bringing you close to the rich cultural heritage of Morocco, including visits to traditional Berber villages, historic cities like Marrakech and Fes, and interactions with local communities.

These are some of the diverse safari tours available in Morocco, each catering to different interests and preferences. 

Moroccan desert architecture - not to be missed.
Moroccan desert architecture – something you could see on a Moroccan Safari.

Popular Morocco Safari Destinations

While there are various types of safaris in Morocco, some offer a unique experience that appeals to the most people. The following are some of the most popular destinations for safaris in Morocco:

Atlas Mountains and Three Valleys & Waterfalls

The majestic Atlas Mountains feature some of the most beautiful Moroccan landscapes with stunning views. 

You can explore the picturesque Three Valleys and Waterfalls and have the opportunity to indulge in fun-filled experiences like camel rides, trekking, rock climbing, bird watching, hiking and more. 

Home to the Berber community, the fresh mountain air and diverse terrain make it an ideal destination for those seeking a blend of nature and cultural experiences.

Moroccan Mountains village view.
Stunning views in the Moroccan Mountains.

Merzouga Desert

Known for its iconic dunes, Merzouga or Erg Chebbi is a popular destination for camel treks and overnight stays in luxury desert camps. 

The massive desert with captivating golden dunes offers a unique experience, allowing visitors to get to know the Sahara firsthand. The region is known for its well-organized camel treks that you can use to get to camping areas right under the stars.

Marrakech

Marrakech, the most vibrant city in Morocco and a gateway to the desert, offers various safari experiences. 

You can explore the nearby Agafay Desert for a day trip and get a taste of the desert landscape without going too deep into it. The city is a cultural hub with busy markets, historic sites, and a lively atmosphere that presents a little bit of everything Morocco has. 

Fes

Fes, known for its historical significance, is a common starting point for Morocco desert safaris. 

Travelers can journey into the Sahara Desert and explore the astounding sandy landscapes. The city provides a glimpse into traditional Berber culture and is the perfect place for those seeking a truly Moroccan experience.

Ouarzazate

Ouarzazate is strategically located near the Draa Valley and the dunes of Erg Chebbi. 

Travelers can use this city as a base for excursions into the Draa Valley, where the palm groves and ancient kasbahs are the key highlights. 


Wendy Wu Wanderlust Tour Sale

Essential Tips for Morocco Safaris

Embarking on a safari in Morocco requires some forethought and preparation to ensure a smooth and enjoyable time. Here are some essential tips for your Morocco safari:

Plan According to the Season

Morocco experiences diverse climates. The desert can be scorching in summer, while the mountains can be chilly in the winter, especially January. Plan your safari based on the season and region to optimize your experience.

I was stunned at just how cold Morocco was. Last time I was there is was November and even in that early part of winter some places were very cold. Of course the altitude factors in once you get into the mountains but even on the coast it can get very brisk.

With my headscarf in the Mdina in Fes
Staying warm in the Mdina in Fes

Pack Appropriate Clothing

Bring layers for varying temperatures. Comfortable, breathable clothing is crucial, especially for desert excursions. Do not forget a hat, sunglasses, and SPF sunscreen for protection against sunburns.

Hydrate 

Morocco's warm climate can be dehydrating, particularly in the desert. Carry a reusable water bottle and stay well-hydrated to avoid fatigue and low blood pressure.

Respect Local Customs

Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, and while Moroccans are generally friendly people, you must respect their unique traditions and customs to avoid offending anyone. Dress modestly by covering your shoulders and legs, especially in rural villages. 

Always take prior permission before clicking pictures of people. Avoid public displays of affection and eating and drinking in front of others during the holy month of Ramadan.

Pack Comfortable Footwear

Whether trekking in the mountains or navigating the desert dunes, comfortable and sturdy footwear is essential during a safari tour. Break in your shoes before the safari to prevent discomfort.

Choose a Reputable Safari Operator

Research and select a reputable safari operator. Read reviews, check for certifications, and ensure they prioritize responsible tourism practices.

By keeping these essential tips in mind, you will be better equipped to enjoy a memorable and culturally enriching safari experience in Morocco.

Check What is Supplied and What Is Not

Once you have nailed down which operator you would like to use, be sure to check what items are included in your safari. For example, are sleeping bags included or do you need to bring your own. If they are, what rating are they? You might want to consider taking your own just in case.

The first time I went to Morocco I had a sleeping bag I took with me, but it was nowhere near warm enough. Those were the days I didn't really know that sleeping bags had ratings and warmth values.

Once we started out to the desert I discovered very quickly that my bag wasn't warm enough and I was sleeping in my puffer and 2 layers of clothes. I couldn't get another sleeping bag anywhere but I did manage to buy a blanket which made me toasty warm.

It was so heavy, but worked like a charm. I just gave it away when I moved on to Mauritania.

My nice warm blanket in my camp bed on my Moroccan safari

Planning your Morocco Safari: What to Know

When planning your Morocco safari, consider these essential factors for a pleasant time:

Destinations

Do your research before picking your Safari destinations. Each location provides a slightly different experience. So you need to know what you are interested in before booking the safari to get the perfect experience and avoid disappointments.

Safari Options

Explore the diverse safari experiences available in Morocco, including camel treks, desert camps, and 4×4 tours. Popular choices include the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, Merzouga, and surrounding areas.

Also check if it is a camping safari or not. Most are especially if you want to go more remote, however some offer more permanent camps so it does pay to check.

Know You Will Be With A Group

Unless you have a large friend group or are a family group, you will be travelling with other people you've never met. This can be so much fun, but of course there is usually at least one person you wouldn't choose to socialise with at home. Be prepared to smile, nod and just keep quiet. Trust me this is heaps easier for a week or so than to get into it with another guest.

You all have paid and have the right to be there so be prepared that there may be someone you don't care for, but there is also probably other like minded people you will make friends with and be friends with forever.

Some of our group on a 9 month overland trip through Africa. A fantastic bunch of people.
Some of my friends from a 9 month overland trip through Africa. A fantastic bunch of people.

Tour Operators

The right tour operator can make or break your entire trip. 

Private bespoke tours can tailor the itinerary to your preferences, but there are lots of different tour operators who offer great packages from the get-go that you can choose from. So try those before you go for a custom tour.


Unique Experiences of Morocco Safaris

Besides admiring the jaw-dropping dunes, there are many different activities you can try out throughout safaris in Morocco. These include but are not limited to camel trekking and picnics in the Sahara, 4×4 desert excursions, stargazing without any light pollution, sandboarding, hot air balloon rides, and trekking in the High Atlas.

Whether you want a thrilling adventure or a relaxing retreat, Morocco caters to all preferences.

The Best Time to Go for Morocco Safaris

The spring season is one of the best times for Morocco safaris. The weather is mild without being too cold or sweltering hot, and landscapes come to life with blooming wildflowers. It is an ideal time to explore the Atlas Mountains, enjoy desert excursions, and visit cultural destinations.

Temperatures in summer months from June to August can exceed 40°C, making the heat unbearable in the desert region.

Like spring, fall has pleasant temperatures, making it another suitable time for safaris. You can trek in the Atlas Mountains, experience the desert charm, and explore the cities. You do not really have to bundle up too much, and the heat is not blazing either. 

However, this is also the peak tourist season. But if the crowds do not bother you, this is a great time to visit Morocco.

Winter is the coldest time in Morocco, with temperatures varying by region. The coastal areas stay mild, while the Atlas Mountains can be chilly and snowy, providing the ideal opportunity for skiing or snowboarding for adrenaline-junkies. 

The desert is pleasant enough during the day for activities but has colder nights, often requiring layers of clothing to keep yourself warm and comfortable.

Me at Kasbah of the Udayas Rabat Morocco
Morocco has quite distinct rainy seasons so be sure to check the are where you are going to ensure you aren't rained in for most of your trip.

Jenny Marsden - Charge The Globe
About the author

Meet Jenny, a passionate Australian travel blogger who has explored 103 countries to date. With over 30 years of travel experience, Jenny has a wealth of knowledge to share with her readers about the cultures, landscapes, and people she has encountered on her journeys. She's always battling unfashionably frizzy hair and you will never catch Jenny in anything but comfortable shoes. Learn more about Jenny and her travels.


The Cost of Morocco Safaris

The cost of Morocco safaris depends on the activities you book and the duration of your trip. Some trips are just a few hours, while others are overnight or go on for up to a week. However, the average cost ranges anywhere between $40- $200. 

Here are a few options you can check out to get started:

1 Night Camel Trekking Tour in Merzouga Desert Camp

Price: From $48 USD

The 1 Night Camel Trekking Tour in the Merzouga is one of the cheapest safaris in Morocco you can book, yet providing great value for money. You get an overnight trip in the Merzouga Desert with a complete Berber camp setup, and a bumpy camel ride. 

Watch the sun go down while relaxing with a cup of tea and have dinner as night falls. Admire the glorious starlit night sky before calling it a day and returning to your camp.

2-Days Zagora Trip from Marrakech to Atlas and Camel Trek and Desert Camp

Price: From $92 USD

If you do not want to keep things limited to the desert, you can make your trip more eventful by booking a two day Zagora trip that starts at Marrakech and goes through Atlas, Draa Valley, and Zagora. 

The tour starts from the busy city of Marrakech before heading to the villages near the Atlas Mountains and taking a camel ride in Zagora. 

On the way back to Marrakech, you can explore some of Morocco's key highlights, including the charming ancient kasbahs in Ouarzazate and the small village of Ait Benhaddou, known for its unique Berber architecture.

3 Day Marrakech to Merzouga Group Tour With Sahara Holiday Tours

Priced from $234 USD (220 Euro)

This tour crossed the Atlas Mountains on a fantastic 3 day adventure. Your three-day desert journey from Marrakech to Merzouga begins bright and early after breakfast, when your welcoming guide from Sahara Holiday Tours collects you from your Marrakech hotel or riad. You'll embark on a picturesque drive to the High Atlas Mountains, traversing the mountain range through the Tizi n'Tichka pass, which stands at 2,205 meters above sea level, the highest significant mountain pass in North Africa. Known as the “Gateway to the Sahara,” this pass offers sweeping views of the surrounding terrain.

Day 2 sees you visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ait Ben Haddou featured in many films and TV shows. You will also see the Dades valley with its amazing oases, lines of date palms and incredible rock formations. Then you will mount your trusty camel for a trek into the desert to your Berber encampment which is your home for the night.

After rising just pre-dawn to see the stunning desert sunrise you will freshen up before heading to the Draa Valley and river to see the very impressive kasbahs in the area. Finally you will be dropped back to your hotel or riad in Marrakech at the end of this final day.

Guests riding camels to their desert camp in Morocco
Guests riding camels to their desert camp in Morocco

Luxury Camp 3 days desert trip Marrakech to Merzouga & Camel trek

Price: From $206 USD

This is a three-day luxurious trip in the Moroccan desert with a luxury tent, including a private bathroom in the Merzouga Desert, great food and transport, all included in the $206 package. Each person also gets a camel to ride on through the trip, so you do not miss out on one of the best parts of a Moroccan Safari. 

The only downside for some about this package might be that it is a group safari with 17 people. That keeps the cost down and makes it more affordable, but you get a wholesome experience with people with similar interests. Book it with your whole family or go on the adventure with like-minded strangers. You will be in for a memorable time either way. 

Mt Toubkal Ascent Express Trek 2 Days 1 Night

Price: From $153 USD

If you wish to have a more thrilling Moroccan escapade besides a desert safari, consider booking the Mt Toubkal Trek. This is more of a hike than a safari but it is something that I know at least a few of my readers will want to do.

Climb up Mount Toubkal while taking in the gorgeous views of the Valley of Imlil and Sidi Chamharouch before heading back to the base camp. 

No matter what your skill level is when it comes to mountaineering, you can get up this mountain if you have a decent fitness level and can walk long distances. Hike up and enjoy the beautiful views of the Atlas Mountains, green valleys, and Berber towns along the way and as you reach the summit.

Choosing Your Own Moroccan Safari

Of course you will want to check times and availability for your Moroccan adventure. Check out the Viator widget below to find something that suits your style and budget and go from there. I love both GetYourGuide and Viator as you have a security of paying a large operator who doesn't release your money until you have started on your journey. If there are any challenges they will go into bat for you, however I've used them both for years and never had a single challenge that I can recall.


Conclusion: Why Morocco Safaris are a Must-Experience Adventure

Morocco is the dream destination for safari enthusiasts. Whether you are fond of camel riding, hot air balloon rides, want to get up close with the local wildlife, or simply want to slide across the magical sand dunes in the desert, You will find a suitable safari for your interests here. 

With all the options mentioned in the post above, you are set to make your Moroccan Safari experience one to cherish forever!