15 Jaw-Dropping Photos of the Sahara Desert

Teddy Minford

The Sahara Desert is the stuff dreams are made of. If you’ve ever wanted to sleep under the stars, wake up at sunrise, and feel like you’re the only person on the planet, there’s no better place to visit than the Erg Chebi Dunes outside of Merzouga, Morocco. Isolated enough so that you can see every star in the sky, but close enough to civilization that you can get there in a day’s drive, this is one part of Morocco that should be on everybody’s itinerary.—Teddy Minford

Teddy Minford

Sahara

We drove from Marrakech to the Sahara desert in one very long day. The landscape changed dramatically as we descended from the Atlas Mountains. It looked uncannily like the American Southwest.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

Since we arrived (by camel!) after dark, we didn’t really know what our camp (glamp) looked like until we woke up the next morning at sunrise.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

One day we took a 4×4 tour of the dunes and the surrounding desert. The sand was so many different colors, from burnt orange to tan to black.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

Our first stop was a crumbling Kasbah. It looks ancient, but it’s actually less than 100 years old. Wind and sand really take their toll on structures in the desert.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

Parts of the Kasbah were still standing and we got to climb around it (but our driver wouldn’t let us go inside in case it collapsed).

Teddy Minford

Sahara

Those little lumps in the distance are a Berber village, which was made up of a few different tents. When we drove past some kids came running out to say hi so we stopped and visited for a while.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

This is a graveyard for nomadic herders. Our driver had a saying in Arabic that roughly translated to “Bless those who have gone ahead of us, as we are sure to follow.”

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Sahara

A lone palm tree.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

We stopped for lunch and set up the most beautiful picnic I have ever been to.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

After lunch we roamed the dunes on our own, which was probably the highlight of the entire trip.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

The patterns on the sand were incredible.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

I felt like I was in a Windows screensaver. It was so surreal and beautiful.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

There were random, untended camels hanging out all over the place. This guy looked right at me.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

We stayed at Merzouga Luxury Desert Camp, which was well worth the splurge. There are a few luxury glamping outfitters in Erg Chebi, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Make sure you stay for two nights so you get to have a full day exploring the desert.

Teddy Minford

Sahara

At sunrise and sunset, the color of the sand changes dramatically.