a VirtualTourist member from The Hague
I am planning to go to Erfoud, Morocco and want to go to Merzouga in my campervan. Does anyone know what the roads are like and is it possible to camp free there? Is there a good roadmap somewhere? I camped many times in the stone desert about 5 km. south of Erfoud and that is wonderfull. If you drive a km. from the tarmic road in the desert you can camp there without being bothered.
(I don't go alone, I bring my husband and dog!)
From what I remember...it was about five years ago....the actual road peters of south of Rissani, & then its what seemed like hard sand. I was travelling in a minibus, & it had no trouble with the terrain. So a campervan should be fine. As to whether you'll get hassled...hey, you're in Morocco! You know the deal!
I dont understand that if youve camped there many times that you dont know what the roads are like? or have all the way to ERfoud but havent been to Merzouga to know what the roads are like.
To get to Merzouga you go via Rissani which is all tar sealed road, and from Rissani to Merzouga is all tar sealed road. Then there are many piste/stoney roads that are signposted off the main road to numerous augberges that are out there in the desert. We drove about in a normal car many times, camped many times near the dunes, but a number of sections were a close shave to getting stuck and a number of times we did get stuck - either got out of it with our own push or others came past and helped us out - for as remote and desolate it looks, its not, there are rather a lot of people about that go past before too long - a campervan which is heavier is of course going to have more chances involved of being stuck - there is a road in the desert that runs from Merzouga up through Hassi Labied to say Yasmina auberge which is fairly easy to follow and general its quite hard packed sand and sort of piste - we generally camped out in that area. but again I think a campervan might be a bit more risky out that way unless you have a guide with you who does know the roads.
I would definitely say not to get talked into staying at Sable Dor which is a cheap auberge and enclosed camping place as I know the guy there who is a sociopath without any integrity or scruples in league with his french mistress.
but there are a few places even around Merzouga town you could probably find that you would be happy with to park your campervan. Maybe look up Chez Julia, an auberge in Merzouga run by a european woman, and get some ideas from her or even camp near her place.
Or just go park, even if you have to pay a little, out at or near one of the auberges out in the desert - they are all quite a distance between each other - such as ERg Chebbi auberge - ie follow their signposted piste roads and park up near them - Erg Chebbi auberge is near the biggest/highest part of the dunes and quite a good access road to drive on. Or Auberge du Sud. You can go have some interesting meals with them/in their auberge every now and then which would be nice.
You might find the DK eyewitness guide handy for this area, and also the Lonely Planet does have a little map to give a fairly good idea of where the auberges are and how they line up following the ERg Chebbi dunes behind the main tar seal road from Rissani to Merzouga.
Long road in a good shape makes the drive short, " never drive into the rough roads; the Rissani Merzouga road is good, and I would recommend a village 4km before Merzouga -Hassi Labied- there you can have a peace and friendly poeple, noo false guides and yes avoid that hotel called (Sable Dor chez Izabelle).
you even can camp anywhere in that village and nobody will desturb you, the public lights turn off at midnight and the peace swip the desert.
------------Avoid Merzouga downtown------------------
Thank you for your helpful reply.
It does sound strange going to Erfoud so many times and not go to Merzouga. There are 3 reasons.
1. always went in a now 25 year old Mercedes van and had it sprayed there every year (and welded together) so it would go through the MOT again. So no transport
2. We always go there to buy a truckload of fossils and are busy doing that.
3. We have a shop in Portugal, where we live, and we have to be back there as soon as possible to run it.
Now my father gave me this amazing campervan that does not need fixing up so we have a day or so to see Merzouga.
But thanks again for your help, greetings, Marjolijn
going to Merzouga from arfoud is very easy all what you have to do is;start from arfoud to rissani it is about 20km.then from rissani to Merzouga about 35km.the road is good and no apiste.
be free to contact me for more information iam a driver taxi in arfoud.good luck
hello dear yes wed ur camprvan yes is poseble bat is in merzouga match betr bicous most peple cament to de south caming spichly te merzouga becous erfoud is only crousin is in way and best camping plic is in merzouga