"Getting The Hump in Zagora!" Top 5 Page for this destination Zagora by suvanki
Zagora Travel Guide: 112 reviews and 296 photos
Zagora is situated at the edge of the Sahara Desert, it gained importance as a trading post, with traders carrying goods such as barley, goatskins,salt and dates to places such as Timbuctou, then returning with gold, slaves, ivory and ostrich feathers. However, the coastal trading of the 19th century saw a decline in the trans - Saharan trading routes. The town later developed as a French Foreign Legion post.
Zagora has recently re -established itself as a tourist spot, with hotels and shops accommodating travellers wishing to experience some of the desert life, with camel treks and overnight stays in Bedoin camps.
Zagora was the first destination on our 8 day tour. We'd set off from Ouarzazate after breakfast (stopping to visit the bank and supermarket- for beers/wine/snacks etc).
Pulling up outside a hotel, we transferred our overnight bags to the panniers of our awaiting camels, then gingerly mounted our transport for the 2 hour ride into the desert. Our 16 camels were tied in 4 teams of 4 - (A dromidary 4x4!!!)
I'd chosen a docile looking beast, light brown colouring, with an S branded into its' neck - S for Sue!
At its drivers command, I was hurtled forwards, then up in 2 stages, and we were of- Along the road , then onto scrubland, passing by groups of boys playing football or swimming in the pools of water, who soon caught up with us to shout ' Bonjour, sava?' followed by bon bon? stylo?
After an hour we could see dunes in the distance, and as we got nearer black dots became tents.
There were probably about half a dozen or more such camps dotted about.
Well after 2 hours I can't say I was too sorry to get off my camel! We all dismounted, and sat/sprawled on the carpeted area of our camp, willing the circulation back into our saddle sore derrieres!
After unrolling our sleeping bags onto our mattresses, we settled down to our meal of harrira soup followed by a tasty tagine and fruit platter, which was interrupted by a sand storm! Although we were protected from the main force of the sand, we did find that our meal was peppered with grains of Saharan sand- as I said, this was our taste of the Sahara! I was also informed by my 'room mate' for the night that she couldn't see my sleeping bag for sand- our tent had a hole in the roof! (My room mate is now a VTer- Fatehpur- who no doubt will soon be writing about this trip)
After the sandstorm, and we'd finished our meal, some of the group retired to bed, some of us sat around, listening to the drum playing and singing, as we chatted over a night cap (or 2).
I woke early, and left the tent to watch the sunrise. It was very peaceful, with only the murmour from the nearby camels ( and a few sounds of snoring!) One of our group was up before me, sketching pictures on a nearby dune. I wandered a bit further afield, enjoying the sight of the approaching sunrise, and the increasing warm rays, and enjoying the quiet beginning to the morning.
After breakfast, we packed our bags, then it was time to face another 2 hour camel ride! Some of the more sensible members of our group decided that walking was the better option, Hmmm! I opted for the return leg to Zagora on my trusty dromidary- Well I can only describe it as an endurance test! IF I ever volunteer for a camel ride again, I'll be bringing lots of padding with me!To rub salt in the wound, at the end of our journey, my camel just flopped down! I thought I'd fractured every bone in my lower body!!! Ah well it was an experience!
- Pros:A chance to experience something of the desert
- Cons:Camel riding can be VERY uncomfortable!
- In a nutshell:Merzouga is probably a better option for the desert experience
After an unsettled few hours sleep, I got up as light was breaking. Leaving our tent, I wandered off over to a sand... more travel advice
After our camel ride to this camp, we had all built up an appetite, and were more than ready to sit on our saddle sore... more travel advice
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Zagora Travel Guide
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- "Getting The Hump in Zagora!"
- "Les folies berberes"
- "Zagora and the Draa Valley"
- "The Gate of the Desert"
- "Not quite the end of the road"
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