One of the main reasons I selected Morocco for my birthday trip this year is the Camel Ride and Desert Camp experience in the Sahara.
Watching movies from Lawrence from Arabia to Mummy intrigued me even more. So on the eve of my birthday (August 16), the fantasy became a reality.
However, I was not pleased about the nine-hour drive to get there. The day started early around 7 am and we made a couple of stops to stretch our legs.
One of the stops was in the town of Ifrane known as Switzerland of Morocco. It is in the Middle Atlas Mountains. It’s known for its alpine-style architecture and nearby ski slopes and forests. The town is very picturesque where even the Royals come for their holiday vacation. Also, this is where the Moroccan soccer (futbol) team trains during the summer because of the cooler temperature.
Road Trip to the Sahara
As we are driving along, we have amazing, breath-taking views of the majestic Atlas Mountains.
“The Atlas Mountains extend some 2,500km across northwestern Africa, spanning Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, separating the Atlantic and Mediterranean coastline from the Sahara Desert.”
Our next stop was a picnic lunch so we stopped at a grocery store to buy our food. Because I was not in the mood to create a meal, rotisserie chicken was on deck. Following this, we had our evening meal at a very quaint hotel. By then, I had no idea what town I was in.
We are back on the road
And the next stop was to an Oasis
Our second to last stop was to pick up turbans for the camel ride in the desert. As soon as we arrived, I saw mine immediately.
Our final stop would be the hotel where we would store our bags.
However, no more than 100 feet away from the entrance, our minivan got stuck in the sand. Just know that others had to push. I was on supervisory patrol lol
Once we had the van out of the sand, we decided to walk to the hotel. The entrance is very grand
We had about 45 minutes to refresh ourselves before the camel ride so why not dip our feet in the pool.
Then it was time for us to suit up for a camel ride. We were first given helmets and safety instructions. Of course, I had to take a photo of me with the Sahara in the background
So allow me to introduce you to my camel Blanc. It means white in French. I explained to her my expectations and we had a good understanding not to throw me off lol.
Camels are not small animals and nothing like a horse. We were told not to touch their face as they may bite. Who would do that anyway?
Below are the steps to get on a camel.
- Wear long pants and long socks to protect your skin. …
- Approach the sitting camel from the side, slowly and confidently. …
- Throw your leg over the middle of the humps and quickly mount it. …
- Lean backward as the camel starts to stand. …
- Slowly lean forward as it gets onto its front legs.
You will be startled initially as it like going on a roller coaster. Now finding a comfortable spot on the camel is a whole different topic.
Now we are off on our camel ride.
Then we arrived at our desert camp. This would be my first time camping and so I chose the desert in a foreign country! Who does this? lol
Our camp is equipped with solar panels.
Where we will be sleeping
The bedroom. We moved the mattress outside to sleep under the stars
The bathroom with working toilets
Our meal beef Tajine
Then lights out since we would be up at 0530 for sunrise camel ride
Oh we did get to play a little in the desert
Now the best part was the sunrise ride on my birthday. Below are several moments that were captured.
This had to be one of the best birthday adventure(s). Also, at dinner my tour mates surprised me with a cake and a song! What an adventure! Happy birthday to me!