since 2009

Scarabeo Camp, Agafay

Out-of-Africa elegant camp in the middle of Agafay desert.

Short on time and want to live the desert experience in Morocco ? If you don’t have the 8 hours it takes to travel by land to the dunes of Erg Chebbi, or the budget to afford a small plane flight into the dunes, you have Agafay desert, just 45 minutes drive from Marrakech. Well, the truth is that Agafay desert is not really a desert. It’s a startling revelation, as one is surrounded by nothing but biscuit-coloured waves of rock that stretch as far as the eye can see; an isolated palm tree flapping its fronds and a couple of camels grazing peacefully add to the illusion. To compliment all that, some camps have pitched their tents here. One of them is Scarabeo Camp, run by Vincent and Florence, a Belgian couple. Inside the white canvas tents, the Out Of Africa vibe continues: rush mats cover the ground, the wooden double bed covered in a thick Moroccan wool, stacked vintage suitcases, iron lanterns suspended on posts, leather pouffs, an antique globe and a silver Moroccan tea table. The bathroom is a more grass – roots approach: there’s a sturdy wood bucket, a small mirror and vanity beneath which sits a hammered silver urn to wash hands and brush teeth, and a small flushing loo. And we can go on talking about how impressive meals are for such remote coordinates, but the true luxury is out there: the millions of stars at night, the stretching views and the sunrise. And that’s definitely desert.