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Merzouga & Erg Chebbi, Morocco
Fast Facts
Pack & Saddle
Paleo & Archeo
Kid-Friendly Hotels
Points of Interest Nearby

Merzouga Dunes


Photo by Valentina Marconi

Whether you intend to follow in the footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia, watch the sun rise or set over sand dunes, or share your campfire with a Tuareg, those mysterious desert men dressed in long robes and turbans, a trip to Merzouga and the Erg Chebbi in the Moroccan Sahara is a must for families interested in discovering the secrets of this vast and mystifying land. Ride to the top of the Erg Chebbi dunes on a camel or a quad. Practice the art of climbing in the sand. Roll, slide or sand board nearly 200 meters (650 feet) down. Or wait until it gets dark to count the stars.

But there's more to the desert than sand dunes and camels. Merzouga is a great place to hunt for fossils and watch birds and desert wildlife. Head out to the fossil site on the road to Erfoud, and if you're lucky, discover bones or teeth of a Mosasaur. And while it almost never rains in Merzouga, in spring, a seasonal lake forms just northwest of the town. Take a moment to relax and enjoy the flamingos and migratory birds.

History & Culture
The Sahara, the largest desert in the world, literally splits Africa in two. Learn more about the desert and its people, the Tuareg and Berbers.
Online maps are a great travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Map the imperial cities - Marrakesh, Fez, Meknes and Rabat - as well as Berber villages, desert oasis and mountain ranges. Use online maps to pinpoint your family travel destination and get a lay of the land.
Books are a great way to introduce young children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. We've compiled a list of books about Morocco and books by Moroccan authors for children of various ages and with varying interests. What better why to begin a journey that a trip through literature?
Music & Sound
Moroccan music is a web of rhythm and sound. And it comes in a variety of forms. Arab-Andalusian music, a classical tradition imported from Muslim Spain, combines rhythm, vocals and instrumentals in complicated musical structure called nawbat or harmonic modes. Berber music, played at weddings, festivals and tribal gatherings, are poems and tales told through song. Moroccan popular music is rooted in Arabic style but influenced by African, Western and all forms of Moroccan music.
Read Moroccan newspapers online and, in addition to brushing up on Moroccan current events, find out what's happening from Casablanca to Tamegroute and discover what Moroccans are reading about.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning lots of fun. Learn about Ibn Battuta, an explorer from Tangier, and take a virtual tour with this 14th century traveler. Map the routes followed by Ibn Battuta and Marco Polo and compare the two. View images of daily life and discover the Moroccan culture. Get fun facts about Morocco. Test your knowledge before you depart and again when you return. Print the information you find fascinating and take it with you on your family trip. Explain your findings to your family members and use the things you learn to make your travel journal really cool.
Associations and non-profit organizations are a valuable resource as well as means to get involved. Find out more about a few of the organizations working to preserve the Amazigh Berber culture as well as those working to conserve Morocco's national treasures.
Free Travel Journal
Get a free kids travel journal to document your family vacation.
Download PDF
Travel Trivia
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