Unleash your inner adventurer and embrace the exhilaration of sandboarding in Morocco! Glide down the sun-kissed desert dunes of the Sahara Desert, surrounded by breath-taking landscapes, and create unforgettable memories in this captivating and thrilling escapade.
Popular Sandboarding Locations
The Merzouga Dunes, also known as Erg Chebbi Dunes, are one of the most popular sandboarding destinations in Morocco. These dunes cover an area of 28 kilometers from north to south and rise up to 150 meters from the rocky desert. Located close to the town of Merzouga, this area offers a great opportunity for sandboarding enthusiasts to glide down its smooth slopes.
Visitors can join organized desert tours that include sandboarding as part of their activities. These tours typically provide all necessary equipment and safety gear for sandboarding, as well as professional guides who ensure that each participant enjoys a thrilling yet safe experience.
Erg Chigaga Dunes
Erg Chigaga is another incredible location for sandboarding in Morocco. Located further away from major tourist hubs, these dunes offer a more secluded and authentic desert adventure. Erg Chigaga stretches for approximately 40 kilometers and reaches heights of up to 300 meters, making it a perfect spot for adrenaline junkies seeking a challenge.
There are a number of tour operators offering sandboarding excursions in the Erg Chigaga region. Participants can choose between half-day and full-day trips, often bundled with other desert activities such as camel rides and quad biking. In addition, overnight desert camping experiences are available for those who want to fully immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of the Moroccan Sahara desert.
Equipment and Gear
A key piece of equipment needed for sandboarding in Morocco is a sandboard. The sandboard is designed specifically for gliding across or down sand dunes.
While different types of boards can be used, it’s essential to choose one suitable for the terrain found in the Moroccan desert.
Prices for sandboarding in Merzouga, a popular location for the activity, typically range from 20€ to 25€ per person, with the option to adjust the duration of the experience.
For your safety while sandboarding in Morocco, certain protective gear is recommended. This may include:
- Elbow pads
- Knee pads
These pieces of equipment are designed to help prevent injuries during falls or collisions and can also shield you from the sand when moving at high speed.
Comfortable, season-appropriate clothing is essential for an enjoyable sandboarding experience. Consider the following recommendations for your trip:
- Long sleeves to protect from the sun and wind
- Long pants or skirts for added protection
- Sturdy, comfortable shoes for walking and boarding (e.g., sports sneakers)
- A warm jacket for cooler desert temperatures
Remember that children participating in sandboarding should always be accompanied by an adult for their safety.
How to Sandboard
Sandboarding in Morocco involves gliding down the sandy dunes, particularly in areas like Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga. Before you start, it’s crucial to learn some basic techniques to ride safely and with confidence.
Firstly, strap your feet securely into the sandboard bindings. Position your body facing downhill, with your dominant foot forward. Bend your knees slightly, lean forward and maintain your body centered over the board. To turn, simply shift your weight to the toe or heel edge of the board, depending on the direction you want to go.
Remember to control your speed while sandboarding. To slow down, apply pressure on the edge of the board and lean back, creating more friction with the sand. Balance is key to maintaining control, so try to avoid leaning too far forward or backward.
Once you’re comfortable with the basic sandboarding techniques, you might want to try some advanced moves to enhance your experience. Here are two popular advanced maneuvers:
- Carving: Carving involves making smooth, S-shaped turns by transferring your weight from one edge of the board to the other. Initiate a carve by shifting your weight on your front foot while leaning toward the edge of the board, then transfer the pressure to your back foot and lean into the turn. The key to carving is maintaining balance and fluidity in your movements.
- Jumps: To perform a jump, approach a small bump or ridge in the sand with speed. As you approach the takeoff point, bend your knees and then extend them as you reach the lip of the jump. Lift your legs up and maintain a stable position in the air until you land smoothly back onto the dunes.
While sandboarding in Morocco offers a thrilling adventure, it’s essential to practice these techniques and progress at your own pace. Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, to ensure your experience is both enjoyable and safe.
Safety Tips and Guidelines
Sandboarding in Morocco is an exciting and enjoyable activity, but it is essential to follow some safety tips and guidelines to ensure a memorable experience. Here are some recommendations:
- Essential gear: Sandboarding requires some necessary equipment such as a sandboard, elbow and knee pads, goggles, water, sunscreen, and comfortable clothing. Wearing proper safety gear will help minimize the risk of injuries and discomfort.
- Choose the right location: Morocco offers various sandboarding opportunities, with popular locations including the Erg Chebbi desert and Erg Chigaga golden dunes. Opt for reputable tour operators who can guide you to the best spots, ensuring your safety and a memorable experience.
- Practice basic techniques: Before venturing out on the dunes, familiarize yourself with basic sandboarding techniques, such as maintaining balance and controlling your speed. Many tour operators offer sandboarding lessons to help beginners learn these skills safely.
- Observe local weather conditions: Pay attention to the weather forecast, and avoid sandboarding during sandstorms or extreme heat. Ideal conditions for sandboarding include sunny days without strong winds.
- Stay hydrated: The Moroccan desert can be scorching, so it is crucial to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and avoid heat exhaustion.
- Follow the buddy system: Sandboarding with a partner or in a group will not only enhance the fun but also increase safety. In case of any mishap or injury, having someone nearby to help can make a significant difference.
By adhering to these safety tips and guidelines, you can enjoy a thrilling sandboarding experience in Morocco and make unforgettable memories.
Organized Tours and Lessons
Sandboarding in Morocco has become a popular activity, offering unique and thrilling experiences to visitors. There are several companies that specialize in providing organized tours and lessons for sandboarding enthusiasts. These trips cane be combined with other activities such as camel trekking.
Some reputable companies that offer sandboarding tours and lessons in Morocco include:
- Viator – Featuring a variety of top-rated sandboarding experiences in different locations across Morocco from a day trip to a 3 day tour.
- Mouhou Tours – Offers sandboarding adventures in Merzouga, including a Sahara Surf experience.
- Ecolodge Adventures – Provides sandboarding activities in Agadir, with a focus on blending adventure and local culture such a drinking mint tea in the Merzouga desert.
These companies offer various packages catering to different skill levels and preferences, ensuring that everyone can find a suitable sandboarding experience in Morocco.
Many sandboarding companies offer lesson packages to help beginners learn the necessary skills for this exhilarating sport. Some examples include:
– Sandboarding lessons in Merzouga with prices ranging from 20€ to 25€ per person. Duration is optional.
– Offers various sandboarding lessons and packages in multiple locations throughout Morocco from the Atlantic coast to the High Atlas Mountains. Pricing and duration vary depending on the selected tour.
Lesson packages typically include instruction from experienced guides, equipment rental, and practice opportunities to ensure participants can enjoy the thrill of sandboarding safely and confidently.
Best Time to Visit
Morocco sandboarding can be enjoyed year-round, but some seasons offer more favorable conditions. With a focus on the weather, the ideal time to plan a visit for sandboarding in Morocco would be during the spring months, which span from mid-March to May, or in the fall, from September to October.
During these periods, the weather is warm yet pleasant, providing a comfortable experience when tackling the sand dunes.
Visitors should be aware that the Sahara and Agafay desert can experience sandstorms during the spring, which may impact sandboarding conditions. Additionally, the northern regions of Morocco can have persistent rainfall throughout spring, which could limit outdoor activities in that area.
For those who prefer balmy temperatures and are looking for a true beach experience, high season, from March to May and September to October, is the best time for visiting coastal regions.
When planning a sandboarding trip to Morocco, consider the following points:
- Spring (mid-March to May) and fall (September to October) offer favorable weather conditions for sandboarding
- Be prepared for the possibility of sandstorms in the Sahara during the spring months
- Coastal regions can be visited year-round, but high season provides the best beach experience
By considering these factors, travelers can better plan their sandboarding and sand surfing adventures in Morocco, North Africa for an enjoyable and memorable experience.
FAQs on Sandboarding Morocco
Is sandboarding harder than snowboarding?
The difficulty of sandboarding compared to snowboarding varies depending on individual experience and personal preference. Some people find sandboarding more challenging due to the increased friction between the board and the sand, which can make turning and stopping more difficult.
Others find sandboarding easier, as the softer surface of sand provides a more forgiving landing in case of a fall. Ultimately, the difficulty may depend on the specific conditions, such as the type of sand, slope gradient, and individual skill level.
Where are the sand dunes in Morocco?
Morocco is home to several impressive sand dunes, particularly in the Sahara Desert. Some of the most popular sand dunes in Morocco for sandboarding and other desert activities include:
- Erg Chebbi: Located near the town of Merzouga in southeastern Morocco, Erg Chebbi is one of the most famous dune fields in the country. These golden sand dunes can reach heights of up to 150 metres, making them an ideal spot for sandboarding.
- Erg Chigaga: Situated in the remote area of M’Hamid El Ghizlane, Erg Chigaga is another popular sandboarding destination. These dunes are less accessible than Erg Chebbi but offer a more off-the-beaten-path experience.
- Zagora Desert: The dunes around the town of Zagora, also in southeastern Morocco, provide a more accessible option for sandboarding, especially for travellers with limited time.
These are just a few examples of the stunning sand dunes in Morocco that provide thrilling sandboarding opportunities and a unique way to experience the beauty of the Sahara Desert.