Erg Chebbi is one of Morocco's two Saharan ergs – large seas of dunes formed by wind-blown sand. The other is Erg Chigaga near M'hamid. The dunes of Erg Chebbi reach a height of up to 150 meters in places and altogether spans an area of 50 km from north to south and up to 5–10 km from east to west The nearest sizable town is Erfoud, about 60 km further north. One other city is Rissani, around 40 km from Merzouga, and from the 8th to the 14th century there was a separate kingdom, known as Sijilmassa, which was prosperous owing to former caravan routes.
Erg Chegaga Dunes
Erg Chegaga (or Chigaga) is one of two major dunes of the Sahara in Morocco, the other being the Erg Chebbi of Merzouga. This dune is located in the Daar-tafilalet area and is located about 60 km west of the rural town of M'Hamid El Ghizlane, itself located about 98 km south of the town of Zagora. With a length of approximately 40 km to 15 km wide, some dunes around a height of 360 m (170 m more than Erg Chebbi), it is the largest and wildest of Morocco. Because it is relatively difficult to access – it is only accessible by 4x4, camel or on foot – Erg Chigaga remains as untouched as Erg Chebbi, which can make for a memorable desert experience.
Mhamid El Ghizlane
M'Hamid El Ghizlane (in Berber : ⵜⴰⵔⴰⴳⴰⵍⵜ Taragalt, in Arabic: محاميد الغزلان for 'plain of gazelles') is a small oasis town in southern Morocco(Zagora Province in the Drâa-Tafilalet Region) with about 7500 inhabitants.
Merzouga is a small Moroccan town in the Sahara Desert, near the Algerian border. It’s known as a gateway to Erg Chebbi, a huge expanse of sand dunes north of town. West of Merzouga, Dayet Srji is a seasonal salt lake that’s often dry in summer. When full, it attracts a wide range of migratory and desert birds, including desert warblers, Egyptian nightjars and, occasionally, flamingos.