Standard and luxury desert camps are the two options you will be offered, if you decided to experience desert life in a desert camp in Morocco. So, it is obvious that you will have some questions concerning the location, the price, the type of tents, the quality of food, and the activities which are offered. Yet, the main question is: what are the differences between standard and luxury desert camps?

In this article, I will try to give the main differences between standard and luxury desert camps regarding the location, the price, the type of tents, the bathrooms, the campsite and the food. Also, I will share with you the activities luxury desert camps offers which standard ones don’t, taking Erg Chebbi camps as an example.

Location

Location isn’t everything, but it still matters a lot. Whether a camp is luxurious or basic, this is where they differ from one another. The depth of the dunes you are in and the presence of other camps nearby are the two things to watch for.

In Erg Chebbi, the majority of the luxurious sites (but not all!) are situated close to a settlement or dirt road, while the regular campers are frequently positioned far too close to one another. From one tent to the next, you may hear music.

Price

Standard camps are a little bit budget-friendly, costing on average €40 – €80 per person per night, which includes a camel trek and a night in a tent with breakfast and dinner.

The cost of opulent desert camps varies greatly. The average cost of a night at one of these “transition” camps that brand themselves as luxurious is €100 per person. The average cost of a night at a luxury camp is €200 per person, and some may even require a minimum 2-night stay.

Type of Tents

Standard tents are often made of black wool, inside, there are carpets or blankets to cover the floor as well as some sort of bedding. The majority of conventional campers provide simple but clean double beds with a mattress and frame and lots of blankets to keep you warm if it gets chilly at night.

Luxury tents are larger that include extensive furniture and fittings, and king-size beds

Bathrooms

In standard camps, running water is rare, and bathrooms and showers are shared. The toilets are located behind the camp. Keep in mind that conventional camp toilets can have unpleasant odours.

Luxury campgrounds include larger tents with private bathrooms and showers; In other words, your tent will have a shower, sink, and toilet. Some luxurious camps include a restroom in the same structure as your tent.

Some models with better standards have an associated tent with a bathroom set-up (like stepping into another room). Keep in mind that a luxury desert camp may not always have running water, particularly if you are planning a vacation to Erg Chebbi where water is scarce. There are chemical toilets and water buckets for washing in opulent camps.

Campsite

Standard camps don’t have any developed facilities. They may have a simple restaurant set up as a dining tent, but for the most part, meals are served around campfires. They are set up so that clients can arrive in the evening and depart the following morning for just one night.

The luxury desert camps in Morocco may offer the same minimal amenities as ordinary campers; However, some offer a variety of rest areas near the camp, including sofas, salons, and sun loungers. Generally, they have dining establishments, and some may even have kitchens on the premises. For stays of two nights or longer, they are excellent.

The quality of food

The quality of this one varies greatly from camp to camp, whether it be a standard or luxury camp. However, lunches at opulent camps are considerably better presented, have more food and a wider variety, and generally taste better as well.

Activities in a luxury desert camp

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Concerning the activities that standard and luxury desert camp offer, the standard camps offer few activities like camel rides and sand boarding, while, luxury camps offer more activities than the standard ones like 4×4 tours, camel rides, driving quad and buggy and sand boarding as well. 

Below, I will share with you the activities that are offered by a luxury camp in Erg Chebbi, Merzouga.

4×4 Tour in Morocco

In this adventure, you visit the little communities of Erg Chebbi, Merzouga, and Khamlia. There, you meet the residents and ask them where you can find desert foxes. Also, you will have the chance to listen to their meditative Gnawa music, as you will be welcomed and given a cup of peppermint tea. 

Your next stop after leaving Khamlia is to take in the expansive beauty of the golden dunes close to the Algerian border. You will go to the home of a nomadic family who is dedicated to taking care of herds of cattle, goats, and camels; While savouring a delicious cup of tea you will get to know family members and learn about their way of life.

Then you will get the chance to travel to a location made of black volcanic rocks. You proceed, where the sandy scenery next to a lake will astound us (only in spring). After lunch, we’ll head back to the hotel to unwind. Local skilled in 4×4 driving and familiar with all the locations are the ones who will be in charge of this trip.

Camel Ride In Morocco

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The Merzouga camel ride in the Sahara desert starts just before sunset, which is typically at roughly 5:30 p.m., though it could be later depending on the season. The journey to the Erg Chebbi dunes on a camel takes close to 30 minutes.

You will dismount camels at the base of the Merzouga desert’s tallest dune, which is just 80 meters distant, so you can ascend to the top and watch the sunset from there. It will take around 10 minutes to climb to the summit of the dune for those who wish to witness a panoramic picture of the desert.

If you’d rather not scale the highest dunes, you may also see the sunset in the vicinity of the camel “parking.” Depending on the trip package, you will either head back to the town after taking in this stroll and the desert sunset show or stay the night in a desert tent. Locals, who are skilled at leading camel caravans and connoisseurs from all across the desert, will be relied on to conduct this activity.

Driving Quad & Buggy

Popular and magical, the quad and buggy ride around the Merzouga dunes. With the quad, you may have fun in the dunes, and Merzouga offers the option of an overnight camp. You will have the chance to experience the Merzouga desert by quad. You will be driven to this via the Algerian border by a guide and/or a local driver who is skilled at navigating the terrain. 

Sand-boarding

Similar to snowboarding, sandboarding is a sport that is played on the fine sand of the desert. It is a leisure activity that takes place in dunes rather than snow-capped mountains. There are fans of this tabla sport throughout the world, and it is commonly played in desert or coastal regions on dunes.

Although some people do it without subjecting themselves to the table, a snowboard is required. You simply slide down a dune while mounted on the board with both feet attached. Since you have to climb a dune on foot to get back to the top, it is less popular than snowboarding in part because it is very difficult to install a funicular there. Still, it is worth the experience.


Last but not least, I would like to say that, there are significant differences between luxury and standard desert camps. However, some camps advertise themselves as luxurious and are just transitional between standard and luxurious. So, give yourself time to choose the right camp that fulfils your expectations.