The last village
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.
Hotels and alternatives
Auberge Camping Africa (t. 055 )
Auberge la Palmeraie (t. 070 501289)
les Dunes d'Or 6 km off the road. (t. 055 )
Kasbah Panorama (t. 062 085573)
Lac du Sahara (t. 055 )
Auberge Cafe du Sud (t. 061 216166)
Chez Julia (t. 070 181360)
Nomad Palace (t. 061 563611)
Kasbah le Touareg (t. 055 )
Ksar Sania (t. 055 577414)
More hotels in Erg Chebbi, a few km north.
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.
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.