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  #1  
Old 13 Mar 2005
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Erg Chebbi questions

Hi there. How possible is it to actually drive around or park up and camp in the dunes of Erg Chebbi etc? Do the locals take offence to this? I have heard of a lake that sometimes appears on the eastern side of the dunes in winter time, and wish to find it this coming winter. Thanks in advance, Nick.
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  #2  
Old 13 Mar 2005
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hello out there,

the best of erg chebbi is definitely the east side, which is readily accessible and lonely enough for wild camping in the surrounding dunes. only problem is that the big dunes are "locked" behind several hundred meters of small sand hills, so you can never get really close to the main erg.
on the western side you find yourself closer to erg chebbi, but the area is spoilt by tourism and you won't find any plot for camping between the neverending chain of hotes and campings.
nevertheless you should do the chebbi loop complete, which is not too difficult to drive. one of the most magnificient areas in morocco!

good luck to everyone
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  #3  
Old 13 Mar 2005
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...and the "lake" you been talking about seems to be dry almost any time. very few people saw water in it.
me myself have been there three times, and the place was dry and not impressive at all.
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Old 15 Mar 2005
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As i was there we drove all over Erg Chebbi and we were even with our two African Twins on the top of the dunes. There is a lot of tourism going on on the westside, but i never saw a lake there! I was there in september nad october 2001 and we were nearly the only tourists there! People were friendly and no problems at all!

Good Luck, Appie
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Old 19 Mar 2005
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Hi, once there was a lake in the erg chebbi area but with all the tourist expansion a lot of water was pumped up for tourist camps in the surroundings. I was there in the late 80's and you could see a lot of birdlife and there were also frog's in the lake.Every time when we crossed the area we saw that the lake was getting smaller and people who lived there, went away. You can still find the empty village's.
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  #6  
Old 11 Apr 2005
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Ditto the previous post about the south and east sides of Chebbi. Its touristy (4x4s and pedestrians from buses etc) all round there and youll get Berbers snooping round you as well. Dont get me wrong, youll get some peace and quiet if thats what youre after but there are better places.
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Old 11 Apr 2005
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Hello Runner. Thankyou (and everyone else) for your reply's. You mention there are better places to see than the erg Chebbi area. Are they still in Maroc or furthur south? Regards, Nick.
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Old 17 Apr 2005
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3 weeks ago I met 2 guys walking out of Merzouga and up in the dunes with their backpacks(and a lot of water). They intended to camp out in the sand and there was no one even taking notice of them.

Poul B-H
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Old 19 Apr 2005
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I've been there a couple of times in the last two years, most recently on Christmas day. Driving right round the erg shouldn't be a problem, it might even be possible in a 4X2 if you are careful about your route. The auberges on the western side run camel trips for tourists across the erg to the eastern side for a night in a "berber" camp, so there are at least two permanent camps on the eastern side of the dunes that would probably be worth avoiding if you are trying to get away from the commercial element. It is certainly worth a visit and I hope you enjoy it.

Mike
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  #10  
Old 28 Apr 2005
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The lake near erg Chebbi is dry since more than 10 years as far as I know.
The area is fine for camping, wherever you want.
But keep in mind that erg Chebbi is very small and that lots of tourists come around here... A very disapointing place now on my opinion...
You should better try erg Zehar or erg Chigaga. They are more in the south of Morocco, in the region of M'hamid (90km south of Zagora), close to the Algerian border. Erg Zehar ("the roaring lion"!) is especially wild.
Have a nice trip!
François
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Old 10 May 2005
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friends,
which route route to erg chebbi do you recommend for a heavy loaded bmw-gs?

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Old 10 May 2005
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Depends where you are coming from...
Anyway, main roads are (almost) perfectly good in Morocco.
To reach Erg Chebbi, you will only have earth road (sometimes big ruts: be careful) during the last kilometers, between Rissani and Merzouga. Actually, you'll have the choice between a concrete road and an earth road... Choose when you arrive!
Coming from Tangier or Ceuta (Sebta), I would suggest:
Chefchaouen (avoid the road between this city and Ketama: lots of boring drug dealers!), Ouazzane, Fes, Azrou, Midelt (avoid the "Cirque de Jaffar" where some incidents recently occured: children throwong stones!), Errachidia, Erfoud and Rissani. These roads are good. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that you are in Africa, which means that tou may find big holes, stones or sand on the road... without any warning...!
Have a nice trip
François
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Old 10 May 2005
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Aceras:
To reach Erg Chebbi, you will only have earth road (sometimes big ruts: be careful) during the last kilometers, between Rissani and Merzouga. Actually, you'll have the choice between a concrete road and an earth road... Choose when you arrive!

that´s what i meant, either the road from erfoud or rissani.
2 years ago we took the erfoud road and digged into large sand-spots. so which is the tarmac and which is the gravel road?

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Old 10 May 2005
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The tarmac road is from Rissani. But anyway, you will finish in the sand a few km before Merzouga. Not too bad nevertheless.
François
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  #15  
Old 11 May 2005
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The road from Rissani to Merzouga is one of the best and widest tarmac road in Morocco and it goes all the way to Merzouga. the only dirt road is the few hundred meters from Merzouga and out to the dunes.

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