To say that heading out into the Moroccan desert for the first time is an exciting experience would be an understatement to say the least. When it comes to the exotic and the genuinely soul-stirring, there’s really very little that comes close to stepping into the sands of sprawling desert and soaking up the unique vistas around you. Needless to say, desert tours from Marrakech are big business these days and an absolute must for anyone visiting the area – even if only for a couple of days.
Of course, it’s hardly surprising that in the midst of the excitement, there will always be those who lose sight of common sense. In this instance, common sense refers to the kinds of things you really should be sure to pack before going anywhere near such an excursion in order to maximise not only your enjoyment, but your safety and wellbeing in general. This counts double for families taking kids along for the ride as while a good excursion provider will cover many bases, there are some things that remain the responsibility of the traveller.
So if planning to head out into the majesty of the Moroccan desert by way of an excursion, here’s a quick rundown of the most important items of all to bring along:
Your instincts may tell you to opt for the shortest of shorts and the skimpiest of tops – it is after all going to be pretty hot where you’re going. However, it’s actually a much better idea to pack light and loose clothing that covers your arms and legs as when the sun is really doing its business, you’ll be glad you’ve got something to help you cover up. What’s more, if your trip is one that stretches beyond the sunset, bear in mind that the desert can become very cold very quickly, so take along some layers for good measure.
Hat or Head Scarf
One of the most frequently-overlooked of all essential supplies is that of a hat or head covering of some sort. There’s always going to be a genuine heat-stroke risk in regions where the sun is exceptionally strong for much of the day and the head naturally isn’t going to spend much of the day in the shade. Once again, this is a point of particular importance for families bringing kids along for the ride.
Plenty of Sunscreen
The best way to look at sunscreen when heading out into the desert is that there’s really no such thing as too much. Here’s the kind of scenario where you should be looking at not only loading up on a seriously high factor, but slapping on way more of the stuff way more regularly than you usually might. Keeping covered up is always the best idea, but for faces, hands, feet, necks and so on, go big with the sunscreen.
Snacks and Drinks
There’s a good chance your excursion provider will supply basic snacks and drinks for the trip (be sure to ask!) but at the same time it’s a good idea to have a few of your own on-hand just in case you want something a little extra. Suffice to say, don’t make the mistake of bringing along anything that will spoil in the baking sun or will weigh you down along the way.
Sensible sunglasses doesn’t mean any sunglasses that help reduce brightness – it means a pair of quality sunglasses with complete UV protection. Just as is the case with your skin, it’s important to keep your eyes protected from the sun’s harmful rays and this can only be done with a pair of glasses that offer full UV protection. If unsure, it’s a good enough excuse to invest in a better pair!
In a nutshell – forget your camera (or forget to charge it for that matter!) and you’ll be kicking yourself for the rest of your trip. There will be so many amazing photo opportunities that a good camera and a full battery are both largely mandatory.
Last but not least, be sure to check with your excursion provider before setting off as to exactly what is provided for you and what you need to bring along for yourself. The reason being that it’s a good idea not to bring along anything that’s wholly unnecessary as a) it will weigh you down and b) it’s just more stuff to lose if you’re the absent-minded type. See what’s provided for you and then fill the gaps with your own supplies.