4x4 excursion in Merzouga

Kasbah Azalay | Hotel & Bivouac – Merzouga

Enjoy your 4x4 excursion with our local guide in Merzouga

I am glad that you are interested in the 4×4 excursion. It’s a great way to see more of the desert and learn about its history and culture. Some of the places you can visit on a 4×4 excursion are:

  • The seasonal lake of Merzouga, where you can see flamingos and other birds when there is water.
  • The village of Khamlia, where you can listen to Gnawa music, is a traditional African style of music that originated from slaves and nomads.
  • The Mifis lead mines, where you can see the old mining equipment and the houses of the workers.
  • Nomadic Families, where you meet local people who live in tents and move through the desert with their animals.

The duration of a 4×4 excursion depends on the provider and the itinerary, but is usually 4 to 5 hours. Some providers may offer longer or shorter tours depending on your preferences and budget. You can choose the departure time that works best for you, but most tours start in the morning or afternoon.

Let’s start with Merzouga Lake, also known as Dayet Srij Lake. It is a seasonal lake that fills with water when it rains, usually between October and April. The lake attracts many birds, especially flamingos, who come to feed on the algae and crustaceans in the water. You can admire the contrast between the blue water and the golden sand dunes, and take beautiful photos of the wildlife and landscape. A lake is also a sacred place for the locals, who believe that it has healing powers.

The Mifis lead mines are located on the other side of the Erg Chebbi dunes, near a small town called Mefes1. They were started during the French colonization and are known to produce minerals such as iron, zinc and lead. Lead is used to make kohl, a cosmetic applied around the eyes to enhance their beauty. You can visit the mines and see how they work, and also meet some nomads who live nearby in Berber-style tents. The mines are a fascinating example of the geological and cultural diversity of the desert.

Gnaoua music is a type of spiritual music that originated from the black African slaves that were brought to Morocco. It combines elements of Islamic Sufism, Berber traditions and African rhythms1. Gnaoua music is performed by groups of musicians playing instruments such as the guembri (a three-stringed lute), the qraqeb (metal castanets) and the mesa (a large drum). They also sing songs praising God, the Prophet and the saints. One of the best places to experience Gnaoua music is Khamlia, a small town near Merzouga where many Gnaoua musicians live. You can visit their houses and enjoy a live performance of their captivating music.

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