morocco: of the desert, dromedaries & berbers

From Merzouga, we took a “camel” trek out to the pre-Saharan steppes known as Erg Chebbi in the evening just before sunset.  Berber guides, Aziz in blue, Moha in white, led our animals, actually known as dromedaries, tied together in groups of 5 or 6, out and over the glowing sands.  We climbed up the burnt orange dunes as the sinking sun cast shadows in the dips and waves. My thigh and belly muscles got a workout as we climbed and descended. At the ridge line of the dune, the sand blew voraciously, getting in our eyes, mouths and in the lenses of our cameras. The Berber boys helped us wrap scarves around our heads like turbans. It was a romantic and stunning landscape.


Erg Chebbi


dromedaries in Merzouga


dromedaries in Merzouga


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


Erg Chebbi


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


dunes at Erg Chebbi


footprints in the sand


dunes and shadows


“camel” trek at Erg Chebbi


dunes at sunset


dunes and shadows




Erg Chebbi with Merzouga in the distance


Erg Chebbi


Erg Chebbi and dromedaries


me on the ridge


dromedary in the desert


turban unraveling

Sadly, while we were on our trek, people roared around on quad bikes up and down the dunes, making an awful racket and disturbing the otherwise peaceful environment.

I learned that a dromedary has one hump and a camel has two humps. The dromedary is most common to the Middle East and has short hair and long legs.  The camel is common to Mongolia’s Gobi Desert and has longer hair to protect it from harsh winters.

Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco’s several ergs – large seas of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. This and several other ergs are within an area of semi-arid Pre-Saharan Steppes and not part of the Sahara desert which lies some distance to the south.  Merzouga, the local tourist center, is located on the western lee of the dunes, together with some 70 or more hotels and auberges running north-south along the dunes.

*Sunday, April 14, 2019*


“PHOTOGRAPHY” INVITATION:  I invite you to create a photography intention and then create a blog post for a place you have visited. Alternately, you can post a thematic post about a place, photos of whatever you discovered that set your heart afire. You can also do a thematic post of something you have found throughout all your travels: churches, doors, people reading, people hiking, mountains, patterns, all black & white, whatever!

In my case, my intention was to look for thematic possibilities during my trip to Morocco.  The desert, camels and Berbers are quintessentially Moroccan and I wanted to capture the magic of the desert at sunset.

You probably have your own ideas about this, but in case you’d like some ideas, you can visit my page: photography inspiration.

I challenge you to post no more than 20-25 photos (I have more here!) and to write less than 1,500 words about any travel-related photography intention you set for yourself. Include the link in the comments below by Wednesday, January 1 at 1:00 p.m. EST.  When I write my post in response to this challenge on Thursday, January 2, I’ll include your links in that post.

This will be an ongoing invitation, every first, second, and third (& 5th, if there is one) Thursday of each month. Feel free to jump in at any time. 🙂

I hope you’ll join in our community. I look forward to reading your posts!