From the medinas of Marrakech to the sands of the Sahara - introducing our newest short break
Giant gorges, ancient architecture and a taste of local hospitality await you on a three-day mini-adventure from the buzzing streets of Marrakesh to the serene stillness of the Sahara Desert. Be transported to what can feel like another world as you wind your way through the towering Todra Valley and roam the earthen architecture at Ait Benhaddou (of Hollywood fame). You'll then have the best seat in the house for a magical Saharan sunset - on the back of a camel - before finishing your day in the desert sleeping under the stars. Believe us, this is one trip you’ll be glad you went on.
3-day Sahara Desert tour from Marrakesh
Highlights of the Sahara Mini Adventure
Reviews of tours featuring the Sahara Desert
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
The Sahara Desert is located in North Africa. It spans a mighty 9,200,000 square kilometres across 10 countries, including Morocco, Egypt, Mali and Libya. It's the world's largest hot desert, and the third-largest desert after Antarctica and the Arctic.
As a desert region, the Sahara can experience extreme weather. Winter (December to February) can be very cold, with overnight temperatures dropping to 5°C or lower. You'll need a sleeping bag, thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter. Oh, and be prepared for cold showers at your desert camp!
Summer (June to September) can be very hot with intense temperatures that can reach the high 40°Cs. This might be too uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. It’s super important to use sun protection and stay hydrated. That said, the desert can still get pretty chilly at night when the sun goes down, so you'll need a fleece to rug up.
Spring (March to May) sees the arrival of strong winds and there is an increased risk of sandstorms in April – but don't worry, your leader will always check the forecast beforehand to see if it's safe to stay in the desert.
The best time to visit the Sahara Desert is during the spring months between March to May, as well as the autumn months of October and November. During these times, the desert temperatures are hot but manageable and the nights don’t get quite as cold. Although one thing to note is that between January to May there is usually a higher number of sandstorms recorded, especially in April.
What to pack will differ slightly depending on the time of year and the activities you'll be doing. But below are the basics you'll need:
- Light scarf or face mask can be handy for preventing you from inhaling desert dust
- Sun hat – wide-brimmed, ideally, to protect your face and head from the sun's rays and strong winds
- Sunscreen – when you're in the desert, it goes without saying!
- Small daypack for day trips and excursions
- Light, loose-fitting pants
- Joggers or jeans for camel rides
- Long-sleeved shirts
- Fleece – for all seasons
- Warm layers (for winter trips) – you'll need thermals, gloves, a woolly hat and a fleece to rug up as the temperatures can drop to below freezing at night
- Small head torch – handy for going to the bathroom at night
- Thongs (flip flops) for camp
- Hiking shoes or runners
The Sahara Desert is one of the fiercest environments for animal life. The mammals that live in the Sahara range from Saharan cheetahs, dromedary camels and desert foxes to gazelles, ostrich, hyrax and African wild dogs. Reptile life includes the desert crocodile, sand viper and the desert monitor. Other common species include the deathstalker scorpion and the Saharan silver ant as well as over 90 species of birds.
You sure do. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their tour. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.