Lifestyle & Travel
Jun 26, 2018
TEA IN THE DESERT, MY DEAR?
On these modern times, adventure tourism in exotic far away places became exotic, but on Southeast Morocco there is a small oasis amongst the dunes that will delight even the most otiose and adventure hostile tourist
By FLÁVIO GONÇALVES
In the heart of the Sahara, more precisely located on the dunes of Erg Chebbi, near the small village of Merzouga, we can find Auberge Café du Sud.
Relegating us to scenarios that look right out of a classic film about the whereabouts of the Foreign Legion on Marocco, this luxury Auberge is strategically located on the world's most famous desert will guarantee you a dream vacations in themed suites or even on tents that standout between the dunes, with all of todays' modern luxuries, obviously.
Besides the option to sleep on berbere tents, you can also feel like one and ride on the Sahara desert on one of the camel excursions that the Auberge organizes specifically for its guests. Camel excursions are the most sought out feature of the Auberge Café du Sud, just for a moment or throughout a hole day you can experience first hand the caravans that used to cross the African deserts between immemorial cities to trade spices and salt, on the broader excursions (that can last several days) that the Auberge organizes you can visit the Great Dune and, as a good nomad should, sleep on tents within an oasis.
If you don't have much of a vein for adventure and you rather have a more relaxing visit, the Auberge also organizes guided tours on four wheeled traction or moto squads, this last option being the best of two worlds in case you're not feeling adventurous enough to ride a camel, but you're not wishing to completely surrender to the otiose side of tourism, the moto squads allow to ally comfort to adventure.
The Auberge is located within a stone fortification, a large pool with a view to the dunes where you can swim during both the day and the night, under the stars, it has luxury as well as standard rooms with traditional Moroccan decoration that will make you feel like a real Calipha, outdoor tents right in front of the hotel whose inside is also worthy of a monarch, a restaurant where you can taste the exotic, spicy and musky tastes of the upmost traditional local cuisine.
Besides the luxury rooms and also the more conventional standard rooms, the evenings with live music on the desert is also one of the activities you can enjoy while tasting the traditional mint tea boiled over an open wood fire, the above mentioned excursions on camel, 4x4 and moto squads include the options of witnessing the Sunrise, the Sunset, visiting the oasis that are two hours away from the Auberge or visit the fossil agglomerates on Erfoud, the rupestrian cave paintings on the caves on Taouz and Rissani Kasbahs or even the Vulcanic plateau of Hamada du Draa.
The Auberge is also famous for it's yearly planning of the New Year's Eve Party. The Café du Sud prepares a banquet of epic proportions for its guests, gathers a considerable number of musicians that play traditional berbere instruments while singing traditional chants. The patrons assure that on New Year's Eve you will go to your room or tent very late or perhaps not at all, so you can enjoy the first Sunrise of the year over the dunes of Erg Cheggi, whose colour palette very much contributed to the mythic image we currently hold of the dunes of the Sahara.
If you like to travel with your family, the Auberge has a four bedroom house for rent, Riad Café du Sud, an elegant building with two suites and two rooms equipped with air conditioned and all the luxuries you would ever need to enjoy a staying on the desert, falling asleep to the sound of the twisting sands and waking up to the sound of singing birds.