Half the fun is getting there!
It’s a spectacular trip — the drive is a reason in itself for visiting the desert. It’s an eclectic mix of mountain passes, lush valleys, Berber villages clinging to the mountain side, dilapidated kasbahs, palm groves and awe inspiring rock formations. It is simply an exciting voyage, as one travels through a myriad of landscapes from the frenetic activity of Marrakech to the calm and open vistas of the desert.
The trip to the desert is quite long, about 9 hours, but it should not be rushed. There’s a timelessness about the desert, and the trip should not be governed by the need to arrive anywhere at a specific time. For sure, one wants to arrive at the camp near sunset, but you don’t want to hurry either.
Ideally, the preferred itinerary, provided you have time, is to spend one night at a some Kasbah en Road to the desert, some days in the desert and then return to Marrakech or Fez (Fes ). if you don’t have so much time available, you can either drive direct to the desert, or reduce the length of stay at the camp to two nights.
So, if you are going directly to the camp from Marrakech or Fes we suggest you depart as early as possible, about 06:00. If staying en route a departure sometime after breakfast is fine.
Most guests take a 4×4 with driver, not only because it is more relaxing and informative, but also because the camp is difficult to find and the drive in the desert quite technical. However, it is also possible to self-drive as far as ERFOUD and rent from there a 4×4 with driver. For those seeking adventure you can rent a 4×4 in Marrakech and drive to the camp although you will require a guide from Erfoud or Merzouga .
There is no specific itinerary, because everyone has different interests and wants to do things at a different pace.
The nearest commercial airport is Ouarzazate, which is 4 hours from the camp. There is currently a daily flight from Casablanca which arrives at midnight and departs at 05:30.
At the weekend there is also an additional flight which departs at 19:00 from Casabalanca and 20:45 from Ouarzazate. This is also a good connecting flight to Fes.
More information is available on the Royal Air Maroc website, www.royalairmaroc.com
By helicopter and light aircraft
An alternative way of getting to the camp is to charter a helicopter or light aircraft.
The helicopter can take up to 5 passengers. The journey from Marrakech to the camp takes one-and-a-half hours. The helicopter can land adjacent to the camp.
There are 3 light aircraft available, ranging in capacity from 7 to 18 seats. The light aircraft lands in Errachidia , which is two hours from the camp.
The trips in both the helicopter and the light aircraft are amazing, with fantastic views of the Atlas Mountains, the lush valleys and the desert. The helicopter though can only fly over the mountains in fine weather, which is about 80% of the time. The light aircraft can fly over the Atlas Mountains in any weather.
The helicopter costs about 5800 euro from Marrakech to the camp for a one-way trip. If returning within 24 hours the price is the same. To park the helicopter at the camp costs approx. 3000 euro per day.
The light aircraft is cheaper. The price for a one-way trip from Marrakech to Errachidia is approx. 4200 euro, and increases to 5000 euro if there are more than 9 passengers. For the return trip the charge is about 6000 euro and an additional 1000 euro for each day the plane is parked in Errachidia
Please note that these prices are for indication purposes only