When you think of Morocco and Africa more generally one of the first things that pop to mind is the Sahara desert. With its endless sand dunes, starry night skies and huge red sunsets, it’s a popular attraction for many. However if you’re travelling to Marrakech, the Sahara Desert isn’t that easy to reach. The drive to the Sahara Desert from Marrakech takes at least 8 hours, with most tour companies doing regular stops throughout. We’re talking at least a 2 if not 3-day trip depending on how long you want to spend in the desert.
You might be wondering how can you live out your Moroccan desert glamping dreams then? Worry not, because the Agafay Desert, a short 45-minute drive out of Marrakech has plenty to offer. We visited Scarabeo Camp, a luxury desert camp in the Agafay Desert during our latest trip to Marrakech. In this post I share everything you need to know about planning your own Agafay Desert luxury camp experience.
About the Agafay Desert, Morocco
The Agafay is a short 45-minute drive away from the medina of Marrakech. It’s a stone desert, meaning that while you won’t find golden sand dunes you will still have the secluded desert experience. You can also see the High Atlas Mountains in the distance and their snow capped peaks. There are a number of activities you can do in the Agafay Desert, including camel riding, quad biking, trekking and stargazing. You could visit the Agafay Desert on a day trip, however if you want to get a real experience of the desert, I would recommend spending at least one night in a desert camp.
About Scarabeo Camp: A desert luxury camp
Which leads on to my next point; Scarabeo Camp. We spent two nights at Scarabeo Camp and it was easily one of the highlights of our Morocco trip. At Scarabeo Camp you will find big white tents, which stand out against the rocky desert backdrop. If like me you’ve never been camping, this is probably not what you will be expecting. Scarabeo Camp is glamping at its finest (glamorous + camping = glamping). The tents are very spacious with a double bed, a couch, a socket to charge your electronics, a separate toilet with shower, old-school travel accessories as décor and heating.
There are also three big communal tents, where breakfast and dinner are served. If you’re at the camp for lunch on a good weather day this will usually be served outside, in the shade of big white canvas parasols. The food at Scarabeo Camp was the best I’ve had in Morocco. As the sun starts to set they turn on all the candles and fires around the camp, and you can enjoy some live guitar music by the campfire. If you’re hoping to see the stars make sure to plan your visit when there is a new moon. We were there on a full moon night, which coupled to light clouds meant we could see hardly any stars. Depending on what time of the year you’re visiting it can get pretty cold in the desert at night, so make sure to stock up your fire before going to bed!
Have you ever stayed in a desert luxury camp in Morocco? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below! This was my experience glamping in the Agafay Desert, I hope you will find it useful in planning your own Agafay Desert camp experience. For me it was one of the highlights of my Morocco trip; getting away from the chaos of the medina and enjoying the peaceful calm of the desert was a truly unique experience.