During my last visit to Merzouga sand dunes, accompanied by a family, which chose merzouga for its holiday destination. The entire group, 14 kids included, went trekking under the clear blue sky and prefect weather’s days. However, you cannot help but notice the hideous tires traces, messing the beauty of the desert, and the sounds of loud engins coming from bikes and 4*4 cars climbing the sand dunes poisoning its quit. One of the parent, asked if there any laws regulating driving these cars and motorbikes in the Sand dunes. – Unfortunately not- the guide responded. – Thanks Mr Minister of culture- sarcastically responded the parent. Merzouga sand dunes desert, is one of the most visited places in Morocco, if you ever been there, you will know why. A breath-taking 150m high sand dunes, caravans of camels walking slowly crossing the dunes, and houses nearby just as noticeable as the landscape. With the big Sahara on the horizon. The only alien is the bright saturated colours of the 4×4 cars, and off-road motorcycles.
Spans on an area of 50km, Erg Chebbi can handle quit a big number of people as long as they are not driving big laud machines, witch is the actual state.
Most of the people visit Merzouga desert for one or two days. they experience the camel ride, sleep under the starts in the middle of dunes, and watch the quite magical sunrise. Few people come with their big toys and ruin it for all, unfortunately.
What is unfortunate is the lack control over it; a cameleer said “The government should control the cars coming into dunes, they should Tax them, and specify an area just for their activities, otherwise we are living in a jungle, and everyone do as he wishes”.
Some travel agencies now prefer to go to Erg Chegaga instead, less spectacular, but much more quieter.
As the kids wore claiming and jumping on the sands while the camels walking forward, I was wondering why the parent blames the culture minister, and not the tourism minister? Those tourists do visit us to learn about our culture, living as we live, isn’t that the purpose of travelling! But I think it’s not only the culture minister who is responsible, also the tourism minister, the agriculture minister (As Erg Chebbi should be consider as a Nature reserve, if it’s not already the case), and our responsibility.
Regarding the joy of walking barefooted on the sand dunes, riding a camel to to watch one of the best sunrises in Morocco, most people who visit the desert will tell you there is something magical here, because they can not find the right words the describe the experience, an experience that change something in you. Sahraoui people said”Water cleans the body, desert cleans the soul”, after all it is magic.