Unique Morocco Tours

Erg Chigaga or Erg Chebbi

Erg Chigaga or Erg Chebbi: All You Need to Know

Erg Chebbi Erg Chebbi is a large dune field located in the Sahara Desert in southeastern Morocco. It is situated near the town of Merzouga, which is about 35 kilometers (22 miles) southeast of Rissani and about 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the Algerian border.

Erg Chebbi is known for its stunning and unique sand dunes, some of which can reach heights of up to 150 meters (492 feet). The area is a popular destination for tourists seeking desert experiences, including camel treks and overnight stays in traditional Berber desert camps.


Erg Chigaga Erg Chigaga is another place with sand dunes in the Sahara, but it’s located more to the west, about 50 kilometers from the town of M’hamid.

It’s a bit more remote and less crowded than Erg Chebbi, offering a quieter desert experience. People also go there for camel rides and to enjoy the peaceful desert surroundings.

Differences between Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi


Erg Chebbi: Located in southeastern Morocco, near the town of Merzouga.

Erg Chigaga: Located in the southern part of Morocco, about 50 kilometers west of the town of M’hamid.


Erg Chebbi: More easily accessible compared to Erg Chigaga. The town of Merzouga is a common starting point for tours and excursions to Erg Chebbi.

Erg Chigaga: More remote and less accessible. Getting to Erg Chigaga often involves longer and more challenging journeys, adding to its sense of seclusion.

Size and Landscape:

Erg Chebbi: Known for its impressive and relatively tall sand dunes, some reaching up to 150 meters in height. The landscape includes a mix of large and small dunes.

Erg Chigaga: Features a vast expanse of sand dunes, and while the dunes might not be as tall as those in Erg Chebbi, they offer a more remote and expansive desert experience.

Tourist Traffic:

Erg Chebbi: More popular and attracts a higher number of tourists. The town of Merzouga is well-established as a base for desert excursions, and accommodations and services are more readily available.

Erg Chigaga: Generally less crowded and more tranquil. It appeals to those seeking a quieter and more secluded desert experience.


Erg Chebbi: Offers a range of activities, including camel treks, 4×4 excursions, and overnight stays in desert camps.

Erg Chigaga: Similar activities are available, such as camel rides and 4×4 trips, but it is often chosen by travelers looking for a more off-the-beaten-path experience.


Best time to visit Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi

The optimal time to visit Erg Chebbi is during the fall (September to November) and spring (March to May). During these months, the weather is milder, and daytime temperatures are not as scorching as in the summer. Winter (December to February) is also a good time to visit, but nighttime temperatures can be chilly.

Similar to Erg Chebbi, the best time to visit Erg Chigaga is during the fall and spring months when temperatures are more moderate. The fall and spring months provide a good balance between comfortable temperatures and a less harsh desert environment. Winter is also suitable, but, like Erg Chebbi, nights can be cold.

During the summer months (June to August), both Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi experience extremely high temperatures, especially during the daytime, making it less enjoyable for outdoor activities. Additionally, the summer months can bring sandstorms to the region.


Some Tips When visiting Erg Chigaga and Erg Chebbi

Dress appropriately: The desert can be extremely hot during the day and cold at night, so it’s important to dress in layers and wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. It’s also advisable to wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing to stay comfortable in the desert environment.

Stay hydrated: Dehydration is a common issue in the desert, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It’s also a good idea to carry a reusable water bottle and refill it whenever possible.

Respect the environment: The desert ecosystem is fragile, so it’s important to minimize your impact on the environment. Avoid leaving any trash behind and follow the instructions of your guide to ensure the preservation of the desert.

Embrace the local culture: The desert is home to the Berber people, who have a rich cultural heritage. Take the time to learn about their traditions and customs, and be respectful of their way of life.

Be prepared for basic facilities: While some desert camps offer luxurious amenities, others may have more basic facilities. It’s a good idea to bring your own toiletries and any other essentials you may need during your stay.

Wrapping up

Both Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga provide unique and breathtaking desert landscapes, each with its own characteristics and charm. The choice between the two often depends on the type of experience a traveler is seeking.

If you’re looking for a well-established and popular desert destination, Erg Chebbi might be the better choice. If you prefer a more remote and tranquil experience, Erg Chigaga could be the right fit.