Sahara Experience – Be Prepared
In preparation for your Introduction to Sahara Experience, please consider the following:
- Is Your passport valid for 6 months after your departure date from Morocco?
- Take out local currency in ATM in Morocco, dirham, MAD (we recommend the use of ATM:s in Marrakech, Ouarzazate or Zagora). You will not be able to buy anything with a credit card – cash is king in Morocco.
- Carry copies of your passport in two other places
- You are responsible for your own travel insurance – Please make sure we have a copy of your policy number and phone to call in case of emergency before arrival
- We need an emergency contact + copy of passport + CIN(Moroccan entry no) before arrival
- Please let us know of any allergies or medical conditions before arrival
We would recommend that you bring the following:
- Comfortable hiking shoes & socks, sandals
- Small backpack
- Camera with extra batteries, no electricity in the desert
- Your own sleeping bag. Nights can be 0C. We sleep in tents or under starlit sky when we are with the camel caravane. In Sahara Sunrise desert camp you are in a naturally warmer earth house.
- Bring a sleeping pad/thermarest if wanted for your extra comfort.
- Clothes for outdoor living. Use layers and bring a windstopper jacket!!
- Caftans, turbans, you can buy in Tagounite
- Clothes to change into at night.
- Warm sweater/layers.
- Headlight/torch with extra batteries
- Toilet bag, bandaids, “compeed” etc for your feet
- Sunblock 30 and sunhat. Use a turban too!! Apply sunblock several times a day.
- Bring something to read, audiobook
- Solarpanel charger is optional but recommended if you want to use your electronics.
- Traveling towel & soap, swim gear for hammam, pool
- Please pack light in backs that can be carried on a camel and rough environment
- Deck of cards, games that we can play together, instruments.
Traveling with children to Morocco
Victoria (of Vilostrada Foundation) took her own children into Morocco the first time when they were 2 and 5. The people in Sahara have taught her children humanity, hospitality and kindness. Lucas and Maj became world citizens that meet the world with a smile with the lessons they learnt here. In the first three months of 2017, they also lived many weeks together with the Nomads in the Sahara – Victoria, the kids (and two dogs). And the conclusion: the world belongs to all of us and we have more in common that what sets us apart.
Read more in Vilostrada blog post: Traveling to Morocco with children
A few musts when traveling with the little ones:
- Bring a basic pharmacy kit with you. There are two local pharmacies in Tagounite that may sometimes be out of stock for what you might need.
- Always carry plenty of water/snacks, protect from the sun and bring clothing/shoes to manage all elements.
- Allow more time for all activities and lots of room for the unexpected. Children have a beautiful eye and way to open the beauty of life if we allow them.
We do not believe there is a minimum age for travel.You as a parent know in your heart when it is time to go travel.
Traveling with disabilities
If you allow us time to prepare, we will find solutions. Due to the raw beauty of Sahara and her ever-changing element, we do put safety first. As long as we can take care of you in a desired, safe way, we are here for you and will try to accommodate your travel wishes.
Our community and environment
Please help us keep the camp and environment clean by placing all your rubbish in the designated bins and composting your food scraps. We try to reuse as many of the empty water bottles in our community activities in collaboration with Association Tidri.
We proudly work with the locals of Tagounite that used to be Nomads all year (and now also keep a house for their family in the village). Their dromedaries or as they are usually referred to here, camels, are healthy, well-looked after and they know their Sahara. They carry you and all the equipment we need to be safe and enjoy our time trekking. We pay a fair price and take care of each other.
Always ask the guide or the camel owner for advice before coming really close to the animal. Generally the camel’s left leg is weaker than right so use the left side to climb onto your seat, avoid walking right behind the camel.
We keep this a top priority. Always take an experienced guide with you when you go into the Sahara. The weather, even on a sunny day, can turn into a dangerous place if you for example have a flat tire, running out of water, medical situation or the sandstorm comes. With Sahara Sunrise, we set up routines that we follow to keep everyone safe. Please therefore, answer the questionnaire we send you before your arrival in a timely manner and provide us with all the information we ask of you.
Travel insurance and In Case of Emergency
This is your responsibility have a travel insurance that covers medical transports and costs. May we suggest that you carry this with you at all times with in minimum a passport copy and telephone number to next of kin (ICE number in your phone too). All these three items, we will ask for a copy of before arrival. Please also consider leaving all above and your itinerary with someone back home with the telephone numbers to the place(s) where you plan to stay and local guide(s).
We will also alert the local police office of your presence, as required by law.
If an accident happens, we will work with the local police to get you the best care possible. Our nearest hospital is in Zagora, one hour away from Tagounite. May we recommend that you bring all needed medications before you arrive. We do have two local pharmacies, but they do not always carry all you might need in stock.
Disclaimer form/waiver form
All families are required to fill this out before embarking on any adventure with us.
Allergies, food requests and medical conditions
We will send you a form to fill out before you arrive. Since Tagounite is a small village, we are sometimes limited with lactose and gluten alternatives that you might be used to at home. We keep and open dialogue and will find the best solutions.
May we recommend that you bring all needed medications before you arrive. We do have two local pharmacies, but they do not always carry all you might need in stock.
We recommend you buy a Moroccan sim card and charge it with both calling and internet access. The starting kit is 50 MAD (€5). You can then recharge easily for 10, 25 MAD depending on usage. In the Draa Valley both Maroc Telecom and Orange work well. Most days, you will decent access to work and calling is best on whatsapp and regular calls. But when the sandstorm or rain comes, count on poor coverage.
The best time to visit the Draa Valley is end of September – March. Temperatures vary from +35 -+20C and nights +23C – +7C. Please check the local weather forecast before arrival. We always recommend bringing layers of clothing, hats, scarves and to try to keep an even body temperature during the whole day for the best experience. During the cooler months Nov-Jan, bring warm hat, gloves, jacket and thermal underwear to wear at night.
All houses are non-isolated and cool. When you stay with us at Sahara Sunrise Camp, we build warm fires each night and also stay in earth houses that keep a decent inside temperature even when it is cold outside. We will supply a recommended packing list before arrival.