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The last village

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga is for most travellers the final stop on the journey south from Rissani, or Erfoud. It is a hulking village, a place of extremes. It can be years without rain here, but a few years back, heaven opened up and flooded the place, destroying most houses.
The main attraction here, must be the Saharan lake of Dayet Sriji, quite a surprise to come by. Morocco is a country of very few natural lakes, so finding a real one here, about an hour of travel south of everything, feels unreal. It is a real salty one, making agriculture impossible, yet it is a true lake.
In the lake there are numerous birds, of which flamgoes will be the most fascinating for most to watch. I had a small accident with my camera, which destroyed the good pictures I made of the birds. The one of to the left is the closest I have to any flamingo.From a not-too-far distance, the village of Merzouga merges with the surrounding landscape. That applies even to the inhabitants, of which most are dressed in traditional jellabas of earten colours.
In between all the trees of the oasis, run canals. Considering how far you are from the next trace of civilization, how barren the nature is, and how hot it is all through the year, it is surprising to see how strongly the water streams through the canals.

Merzouga, Morocco

Merzouga hotels

Auberge Camping Africa (t. 055 ) Good value for money
Auberge la Palmeraie (t. 070 501289) Good value for money
les Dunes d'Or 6 km off the road. (t. 055 ) Good value for money
Kasbah Panorama (t. 062 085573) Good value for money
Lac du Sahara (t. 055 ) Good value for money

Auberge Cafe du Sud (t. 061 216166) Good value for money
Chez Julia (t. 070 181360) Excellent value for money
Nomad Palace (t. 061 563611) Good value for money

Kasbah le Touareg (t. 055 ) Good value for money
Ksar Sania (t. 055 577414) Excellent value for money

More hotels in Erg Chebbi, a few km north.

Hotels and alternatives
Over recent years, many hotels of different sorts have been built near Merzouga. Options are excellent, prices are fine. As you will see, Merzouga only has happy smileys.
Two of the cheapest hotels, the Auberge Camping Africa and the Lac du Sahara lets their guests rent skis, snowboards and boogie boards for free.
The village of Hassi Labied is 5 km north of Merzouga.

Restaurants and alternatives
There are plenty of very simple cafés in Merzouga, that most willingly will prepare you an adequate meal. But prices can be brutal, so ask before you order.

Change Money
Nothing. Do this in Rissani, 50 km north-west or Erfoud, 75 km north.

There are some buses going out here, but it is best to arrange for your own transportation.

Do not visit without sun glasses, a hat and plenty of water.

By Tore Kjeilen