On our beautiful planet, there are locations that everybody has heard of, and most people would like to visit at least once. The Pyramids of Egypt are a classic example, as is the Colosseum in Rome, and the Parthenon in Greece. Everybody knows where those places are, and everyone understands why they’d be popular with tourists. If you tell people that you want to visit the equally-famous Sahara Desert in Africa, though, they might look at you like you’ve lost your mind.
We grow up believing that the Sahara is the hottest and most dangerous place on Earth. It can be if you visit the wrong part of it, or go at the wrong time of year – but stay close to the right areas and time your visit well, and it’s a spectacular destination that has to be seen to be believed. The Sahara is a place of ancient beauty and wonder, where long-abandoned sandstone ruins stand silently next to lakes of warm water, and the horizon runs around you for as far as you can see, turning a glowing shade of orange as the sun goes down. Forget everything you think you know about the Sahara Desert, and start thinking of it as a place you should experience instead.
When you do start thinking of it, you’ll find out that you’re not alone. Thousands of people visit the Sahara every year, often as part of a vacation to nearby Morocco. The Sahara has such popular mass appeal that it’s even the central attraction of the popular mobile slots ‘Magic of Sahara,’ with players drawn to spend their money on the mobile slot by the lure of the desert. There are many mobile slots which draw inspiration from Africa, but they usually focus on the wildlife (Great Rhino and Hot Safari being two of the mobile slots in question). The desert has an appeal all of its own, and the people who made the Magic of Sahara mobile slot understand that. If you’re brave enough to go and see it with your own eyes, so will you.
Here are a few things you should know before you set off.
- The Local Dress Style Is Conservative
Nobody expects you to cover yourself head to toe in the middle of the desert. What you wear before you get there, though, matters a lot to the people around you. The safest and most-used route into the Sahara Desert is through Morocco, and Morocco is a particularly conservative country. Whether you’re male or female, try to avoid having too much flesh on display. Go for light, loose-fitting clothing that offers you protection from the sun without baring too much of your skin, and you should be fine. Once you’re out in the desert and away from civilization, you can afford to be a little more relaxed about the dress code. Your tour guide – which you should have because you should never go into the desert without one – will keep you appraised of the local social norms.
- You Need A Full Week
There are travel guides online that claim to tell you how to do the Sahara in a single day, or over a weekend. While we don’t doubt that it’s feasible to get from an airport in your home country to the Sahara and back again in a 24-48 hour period, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. The Sahara is too big to fully appreciate in such a short stay, and doing so might deny you the pure pleasure of sleeping in the desert, under the stars. The majority of regulated and professionally-conducted tours of the Sahara start in Merzouga. You can only get to Merzouga from Morocco, and your journey from Morocco to Merzouga is close to four hundred miles. By the time you’ve got there, you’ll be exhausted, and you’ll also be considering the practicalities of how to get back. Merzouga should be your gateway to the Sahara, not the only part of it you see. Book yourself at least a week, and give yourself the chance to become immersed in the culture.
- Weather Is Important
You’ve probably heard of a sandstorm, but hearing about them and being in the middle of one is not the same thing. Sandstorms in the Sahara are sometimes so violent that some of the dust makes it all the way to America. There’s no way to guarantee you’ll avoid adverse weather in the Sahara, but you can improve your chances of staying out of trouble. Don’t even consider going between November and April; the Sahara might be a desert, but winter still happens there, and Saharan winters are miserable. Sandstorms are frequent, and the temperature at night dips well below freezing. Anywhere between May and October is more likely to be warm and serene, although June and July are especially hot, and so best avoided if you don’t cope well with high temperatures.
- It’s Full Of Life
We’ve taught ourselves to believe that deserts are barren places, devoid of life. Some of them are, and much of the Sahara is, but not all of it. You’ll find animal and human life all over the Sahara Desert, and many of the locals will be very pleased to see you! The natives of the Sahara are the Bedouin, who are happy to share the secrets of their way of life with visitors. They often host night-time dances around fires, where authentic music is played. Some of the more knowledgeable tour guides might take you fossil hunting, or give you a personalized tour of the villages in the Sahara – both populated and abandoned. You’ll also almost certainly befriend a camel, each of which has its own unique personality just as humans do. You might be able to take a ride on one – if they feel like accommodating you!
To borrow a quote from ‘The Lion King,’ in the Sahara there is more to see than can ever be seen, and more to do than can ever be done. Nowhere else in the world will you see a canopy of brighter stars that the Saharan sky at night, when the sun goes down and they’re the only source of illumination. Some Bedouin still rely on them to navigate, and may even show you how. This is a mystical, magical landscape that simply doesn’t get enough love from the global tourism market – so dare to be different, and give it a try.
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