Erg Chigaga dunes
More than 2 hours away from the southernmost parts of Zagora, the Chigaga erg is the largest group of dunes in Morocco. These dunes offer a unique experience…a complete immersion into the environment of the imposing and endless Saharan desert. To reach the erg which .is 40 km long and 15 km wide, a guide is required unless you are very familiar with this vast area. Its immense dunes are on the borders of the Drâa valley, where the river flows underground for hundreds of kilometers before reappearing in the Atlantic coast.
You may get to the Chigaga erg from M’hamid, using SUVs, hiking or by a camel trip ofl 5 to 7 days. Following the sandy trail, you will see the splendid dunes dotting the horizon. Upon arrival, you will receive an incredibly warm welcome, and the refreshing traditional mint tea, in one of the camps on the edge of the erg. These camps are decorated with beautiful fabrics and ornaments that sparkle brilliantly beneath the glow of the fires and lamps that light the night.
If you choose to hike, you will find the holy oasis of Oum Mâalag and the dry lake of Iriki a local wildlife sanctuary and a national park since 1994. In winter, which is the rainy season, the lake is partially filled by water. Migratory birds and pink flamingo stop here creating a superb sight in the heart of the desert. The park is planning to introduce some extinct species such as the oryx, the addax and the red neck ostrich. Ecologic tourism is promoted by the park and use of any SUVs or camping in this area is strictly prohibited to help preserve and maintain the beauty of the amazing wildlife.