A Day in the Sahara Desert – Photo Reportage
The Sahara Desert and its Mysticism
To spend a day in the Sahara Desert is one of the most unforgettable experiences one can have.
Our guide, Mohammed, is an experienced guide on the indecipherable for us roads in the desert. I have no idea how he finds the track in this wilderness, but he showed us part of the desert, near the popular Merzouga, where tourists rarely go.
There are unique formations often found in the Sahara Desert. Two of them are the sandy roses and the stone fossils. The nomads, living in the desert, sell these natural creations to tourists these and in this way earn money to help their poor families.
Because of the prolonged drought (it has not rained since January 9, 2000, in this part of Morocco), the people are suffering together with the animals. Camels, which were common sight 20 years ago, in these days can be barely seen in the desert. I do not know how the donkeys survive, but it seems that they are the main helpers of the Berbers.
If you have a guide and experience in off-road driving, it is not necessary to be a large 4×4 vehicle in the desert. Our Dacia Duster, which we rented in Casablanca, did a great job on this trip.
The children of nomads living in the desert do not go to school. It is not possible because of the unsettled life that these families have. Unfortunately, they remain uneducated and if later they go to live in the cities, they have no chance to find a good job.
When you are in the desert very quickly you are conquered by the calm and the peace of mind. The feeling is so strong that you want to never leave this place. However, you must regain your sanity soon, because for tens of kilometers around you there is nothing but a few families of nomadic Berbers from whom you can learn how to survive in the desert.
In the recent years, 70% of the nomads have abandoned their nomadic life and have gone to live in the settlements. The main reason for this is the drought. Because of the lack of water, they have nothing to eat, and can not feed their animals. The few remaining nomadic Berbers living in their tents live a very poor life.
Berbers are tribe living mainly in desert areas of North Africa. They differ from the Arab population of Morocco with their light skin and blue or green eyes. Women and children are very beautiful, and one Berber bride costs very expensive – for her groom must pay at least 40 camels!
Sand dunes have different colors according to the time of day and the distance from which you watch them. They are often more beautiful if you observe them from far.
Merzouga is the most popular place for tourists in Morocco who want to see the sand dunes. There, the dunes are the biggest and the sand is the most saturated color. Many of the visitors love to walk on the sands, while others come with 4×4 cars to climb the dunes with them. It is not forbidden, but definitely, destroys the integrity and shape of sand dunes with beautiful red color.
Although it is almost impossible to see camels among the nomads, many of them are used for tourist attraction not only in the countryside but also in major cities such as Marrakesh.
The tourism industry in Morocco is developing so rapidly that in the area around the sand dunes where a few years ago there were no building now there are about forty accommodations. Almost all of them are with the traditional architecture of the local “Kasbah” (castle) and offer basic amenities needed by a tourist.
The door to the Sahara – this is the name of the arch located in Risani, the last town before the desert.
Have you been to a desert? Where was that and how it felt?
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