M’Hamid is known to be the “City of Gazelles”, located near the southeastern border of Morocco edging the desert. The place is the last haven of the Draa Valley prior to the arid and immense expanses of the Hamada. M’Hamid is a town with the perfect location to warmly welcome guests like you as you travel and explore the road with several kasbahs or the Sahara all day.
The city of M’Hamid was considered a grand caravan destination before it eventually fell into its tranquil state today. It was also once a lonesome sanctuary but those days are now over. This Sahara desert village located in the heart of the Zagora region is one of the spots where the Sahara begins, the other one is the Merzouga.
This place is the true Sahara Desert and is the best place for you to experience Moroccan travel and Sahara Trek. It is an arguably authentic part of Sahara Desert. To reach M’Hamid, it would take you 5hrs from Ouarzazate and 7-8hrs from Marrakesh. Bounou is the original name of M’Hamid. The place evolved from the combination of the local tribes of Drawa, Hassani, and Ait Atta Berbers.
You can find a Kasbah 2 kilometres away from the main road. Aside from this, the major attraction here are the Chigaga Erg dunes which are located 50 kilometers from the town. Moreover, trips to the desert is also a popular attraction. There are overnight and several day tours that you can choose from either via camel, motorbike, 4X4, or quad bike.
Shelters and Excursions in the Desert
You will surely have unforgettable moments on your day trips to the Sahara. You can go on for many days and experience how the nomadic Saharious live. These are the blue men of the Sahara who will guide you amid the dunes and unveil their traditions and cultures if you would want to listen to them.
From M’Hamid, you can go for an adventure in Chigaga Erg. These dunes are absolutely splendid and can be reached by a 4WD only after a 45-minute trekking. This place is quite far from the civilization so it makes a great set up for encampments. You can also visit the Lehoudi Erg not very far from this place. It is much bigger so there is no need for a 4-wheel drive just to get there.
The ancient lake of Iriki is on the east of M’Hamid near Foum Zguid is great for excursions across the desert. It is an ideal spot for desert trekking. You can also walk to the north of M’Hamid which is Draa Valley. You can reach the oases of Ouled Driss for about 6 kilometers.
How to Reach M’Hamid
It is from the Ouarzazate where the nearest international airport is located and that is about 170 kilometers. Just like other cities in Morocco, you can reach M’Hamid via bus or taxi. Once you are already here, you can have a lot of activities and things to do especially if you will rent a car. It is a 5-hour drive from Ouarzazate.