Erg Chebbi or Erg Chigaga? Many Marrakech visitors that can spare 3 or 4 days for a Morocco Sahara desert tour get confused about what direction they should take: Northeast to Erg Chebbi or south-east to Erg Chigaga (Cheggaga).
Their choice is always defined by the influence of their travel agent or previous travelers, but the major one is time and cost:
Erg Chebbi can be done in a minimum of 3 days – 2 nights, and one can easily find a shared desert tour departing Marrakech to Merzouga in 3 days, which is usually in an air-conditioned minibus.
Erg Chigaga (Cheggaga) is usually done in a minimum of 4 days – 3 nights, and since the paved road ends in Mhamid located south of Zagora, a 4X4 is needed for the last portion ( 3 hours drive ). For that reason, and also for the unpopularity of the tour, one is obliged to go on a private tour with family and friends in a 4×4, which of course will cost more.
Erg Chebbi is a well-developed area, with desert camps and hostels scattered around, the pink color sand dunes are huge ( sometimes 300 m high ), the drive to Erg Chebbi is pretty interesting as one can visit Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, Dades Valley, the Valley of the roses, the road of the Kasbahs and Todgha Gorges on the way.
The road to Erg Chebbi is paved all the way, and access to your Sahara desert camp is usually done by camels (an hour drive)
Erg Chigaga (Cheggaga) is becoming more and more popular among visitors that admire the silence and want to explore the Draa valley which is one of the best regions of the Moroccan Sahara desert. The last bit of the road is bumpy, but worth the drive as you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and only your driver’s GPS ( sometimes human ) will guide you through the sand dunes and rocky plateaus to your desert camp.
On your way back don’t forget to follow the Paris – Dakar Rally track via the dried Irikki Lake to Foum Zguid, where fossils and meteorites are often collected.
Marrakech desert trips will be glad to assist you with any further questions to organize your next shared Sahara desert tour to Erg Chebbi or private desert tour to Erg Cheggaga. Please note that we can tailor your Morocco desert tour according to your time and needs.0