When most people think of the Sahara, the first word that comes to mind is probably not “glamorous” or “luxurious.” However, with the recent “glamping” phenomenon, it has become possible to have a luxury desert experience. Glamping, or glamourous camping, has caught on recently as a global trend that allows people to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort . I was fortunate to have the opportunity to stay at Sahara Stars Camp, a beautiful new glampsite in the Erg Chebbi dunes of the Sahara, for one night back in May 2017 and cannot recommend it more highly. If you’re looking for a luxury desert experience away from the heat, bugs, and dirt characteristic of most desert campsites, then glamping in the Sahara with Sahara Stars Camp is for you.
Sahara Stars Camp is located in the Erg Chebbi dunes of the Sahara in Morocco. Erg Chebbi is one of two main ergs, large seas of dunes formed by wind-blown sand, in the Moroccan Sahara. The campsite is located about a 45 minute camel ride from the edge of the desert, but my ride there took over an hour due to our stopping several times for photos. Because the campsite is located on a plateau rather than in a valley, it was not hot at all at the campsite at night. There were only a few other campsites located near Sahara Stars Camp, and none were so close that it felt crowded.
When I traveled to the Sahara back in May 2017, the brand new Sahara Stars Camp had 6 cabins on its property. However, I was informed that there are plans to expand to 10 cabins by October 2017. Each cabin includes a double bed and twin bed, bathroom, shower, desk, chairs, outlets, and lots of comfortable and beautifully designed rugs. Each cabin features a different color scheme and comfortably houses up to four people.
Since this was my first experience with glamping, I had no idea what to expect. When I walked into my cabin, I immediately noticed the beautiful light grey color scheme that so perfectly matched my style. The cabin was very spacious and reminded me of a nice hotel room. Facing the bathroom vanity area, I saw a room with a toilet on one side, and a room with a shower on the other. The shower was a pleasant surprise as I was not expecting to have this kind of luxury in the middle of the desert.
The bedding, towels, rugs, and even slippers (yes, I was given comfortable slippers in the middle of the desert) felt soft to the touch and provided a sense of luxury that I would never expect to have in the desert. The room was spotless, and for someone who attracts mosquitos like its my life’s purpose, I was surprised to wake up the next morning without a single mosquito bite. Finally, I was very impressed by the property’s attention and care for the environment, as all electricity in the cabins is solar powered. This encouraged me to remember to turn off the lights whenever I left the cabin so I could conserve electricity to plug in my devices at night, and it helped ensure that no energy goes to waste.
When you book your stay with Sahara Stars Camp, your dinner and breakfast the next morning are included. Upon arrival, I was immediately treated to a welcome drink, and after settling into my cabin, I was served a four course dinner consisting of flavors from all over the world. After eating tajine and cous cous (both of which I love) for every meal, I welcomed a change in cuisine that night. I would’ve been happy having anything to eat in the desert, so the four course meal was a touch of luxury that again surprised me.
The next morning, I had to leave early to meet my tour group back at the edge of the desert, where we would be taking off to head back to Fes and Marrakech. Even though I had to leave before breakfast is typically served at Sahara Stars Camp, the staff made sure to prepare breakfast for me early so I would be able to have something to eat before I departed. I am a big breakfast person and thus was very grateful for their special provisions.
THE DESERT EXPERIENCE
After dinner, I sat outside gazing up at the stars. Around 10pm, the staff turned off the lights at the campsite and lit the campfire. The guests and staff all sat around the campfire playing the drums, singing, and dancing. In that moment, I felt all my cares disappear and simply tuned in to enjoy the moment. As the music played on, I continued to marvel at the number of stars in the sky. I have never seen so many stars before.
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES
While my stay at Sahara Stars Camp was planned for me through Marrakech Desert Trips, it is possible to plan your entire Sahara experience through Sahara Stars Camp. In addition to providing accommodations, Sahara Stars Camp can organize your transportation to the desert (typically from Marrakech or Fes, but it is possible for them to organize a trip for you from anywhere in Morocco), local experiences such as visits to Berber communities and homes, and activities in the desert such as ATV rides and sand boarding.
Glamping in the Sahara with Sahara Stars Camp was one of my best memories from Morocco. While I would have enjoyed gazing at the stars and drumming with the locals at night regardless, the fact that I could do so in such comfort was an added benefit that enhanced my experience that much more. Whether you’re traveling to the Sahara on a solo trip, with a group of friends, on your honeymoon, or for a birthday party, Sahara Stars Camp will take care of you and ensure that you have the best experience possible.
To make a booking or inquire about other services offered by Sahara Stars Camp, contact Hassan via email or text at the information provided below, and make sure you tell him I sent you.
Contact: Hassan (owner)
Email: [email protected]
A big thank you to Sahara Stars Camp for making my stay possible. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.
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