Erg Chebbi – Merzouga, Morocco - Atlas Obscura

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Erg Chebbi

Merzouga, Morocco

God's Saharan sandbox of wrath. 


Glowing a brilliant orange under the Saharan sun, between the town of Merzouga and the Algerian border lies the Chebbi dunes.

One of only two ergs - a type large windy “sand sea” - in Morocco, the locals says the dune was created when a wealthy couple turned away a tired traveler and were thus punished by having thousands of tons of sand dropped over their house. Luckily, God made the right choice! The expanses of sand at Erg Chebbi shift daily in the wind to create spectacular dunes rising 150 meters in height over the rocky desert at their base.

Hotels and guided tours are plentiful in the neighboring towns, but local Berbers are more than happy to help out travelers looking to rough it on their own.

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