Camel Rides and Tickets in Marrakech

Camel riding is, without a doubt, one of the most popular activities in Marrakech. Here's how, where and how much it costs

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

Camel Rides and Tickets in Marrakech

Sunset camel ride in the desert | ©Inbal Malca

If we had to describe Marrakech, we would think of the scent of spices, the colours of the desert, the bustle of the souk... and the camels. Riding a camel through the landscapes of Marrakech is a fascinating experience.

The most convenient option

Marrakech Palm Grove Camel Ride

Explore Marrakech's Palm Grove by camel

Discover this popular and fascinating place in the most original way possible, with a camel ride of one hour with a professional guide.

On this camel ride through the palm grove of Marrakech, you will have the opportunity to discover the Marrakech palm grove on a camel. This one-hour ride will give you the chance to blend into the atmosphere by trying on traditional Moroccan Saharan clothes.

What's more, you won't miss a single detail as you'll be accompanied by an expert guide who will teach you numerous interesting facts and will immerse you in the local customs and culture. Not only that, but you'll also have the chance to visit a Berber village and, at the end of the tour, you'll be able to enjoy a mint tea.

Recommended if... you go with family or friends, it's even more fun.

Excursions to the desert with camel rides

Atlas Waterfalls| ©fredsharples
Atlas Waterfalls| ©fredsharples

If you want to ride a camel during your visit to Marrakech, you have several options. Come with me and I'll explain in detail so you won't have any doubts about which one to choose.

Day trip to the Agafay desert with camel ride

This is one of the most popular options: to go and return in the same day from Marrakech to the Agafay desert, located at the foot of the Atlas Mountain s, and enjoy the wonderful waterfalls of the area and the view of different Berber villages during your camel ride. Early in the morning, a driver will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the desert area.

In one of these villages there will be free time for lunch: for an additional six euros to the price of the tour you will be offered lunch in a local house, but you can also explore the surroundings at your leisure and look for some typical dishes to try or even bring your own food (the latter I do not recommend because of the weight of the backpack during the camel ride and because the drink will get warm during the day).

What I liked most about this tour is that the experience includes not only the camel ride but also beautiful views and close contact with the local people who will invite you for Berber tea. The locals are used to the contact with the tourist population so it is easy to understand them (at least the younger ones) in French or English and in any case the guide can translate. Despite being aware that this is a "prepared" experience, I still found it very authentic.

Excursion to the Zagora desert

Resting to continue the excursion
Resting to continue the excursion

On this 2 day trip to the Zagora desert, seven hours from Marrakech, you will have an incredible adventure, sleeping under the stars in a Berber camp, visiting the town of Ait Ben Haddou and riding a camel. A very complete experience in which you will be accompanied by an expert guide who will tell you many details about the place and how people live in the desert.

In addition, transport is included, so you don't have to worry about transport, and you'll have the opportunity to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes. And if you are one of those who like to do gastronomic tourism, with this excursion you will have the opportunity to enjoy a typical dinner and breakfast.

Excursion to the desert of Merzouga

This three-day excursion to the Merzouga desert is a real journey, as it is no less than 600 kilometres from Marrakech. Accompanied by an expert guide who will give you all the details about this impressive place, known as the pearl of the Sahara desert, you will enjoy a 2-hour camel ride. Dinner and breakfast are also included, so you'll be able to sample Moroccan cuisine.

Of course, this experience includes accommodation and one of the nights you will sleep in a camp in the middle of the desert. Yes, just as you read, something unforgettable. What's more, if you're a lover of wildlife, you won't be disappointed, as in this desert you can find various species such as desert foxes, spiny-tailed lizards and sand vipers.

You should know that this proposal has two options to choose from: the quad tour or an excursion that ends in Fez.

Half day excursion to the Jebilet desert with camel ride

Camels in the Moroccan desert| ©Fabien Bazanegue
Camels in the Moroccan desert| ©Fabien Bazanegue

An intermediate option between a full day camel ride and the short tour outside Marrakech is this half-day camel trek to the Jebilet Desert. It lasts approximately half a day (with a morning and an afternoon departure). The destination is Jebilet, a stone desert north of the city, the camel ride lasts about two hours and you will have tea and pancakes with local inhabitants.

This tour is available in English and French. A driver will pick you up from your hotel at your chosen time and, together with a small group of about 16 people maximum, will drive you to the Jebilet desert area where your tour begins. At this point a local guide will show you how to get on the camel and lead you on a tour of the area. If you can keep your balance, don't forget to take photos along the way for your memories, the area is worth it.

At a certain point along the way, there will be a stop for tea and pancakes with a local family who will tell you interesting stories about life in the desert and the main rituals of the Berber people.

Is camel riding in Marrakech worth it?

Camel riding is a highly sought-after experience for people travelling to Morocco, and you certainly won't get the chance to do it in many places.

If you're wondering whether riding a camel is like riding a horse, I'd say no. It's not. It's just a matter of sitting correctly and coordinating your movement with that of the animal to avoid back pain. The guide will explain how to do this, but it is not difficult, although the movement may be uncomfortable for some people. If you think this may be your case, choose a short walk or one with breaks. Avoid the experience if you have back problems and if at any time you feel uncomfortable, let your guide know.

Also, bear in mind that the camels on this type of tour are in a caravan. In other words, the expert guide leads a line of camels and the others follow him. Camels are very calm and docile animals and are used to carrying tourists, so you don't have to be afraid and just let yourself go.

Book a camel ride in the Palm Grove

When can you take a camel ride in Marrakech?

Camel rides take place almost every day at different times. Groups tend to be of the same size so there is no advantage to doing them one day or the other due to crowds; you can select the date that best suits your travel plans.

You won't have a problem with the weather either, as Morocco's climate is usually quite stable. In the rare event that adverse circumstances arise and the ride is cancelled due to rain or a sandstorm, you will be refunded or rescheduled for another day.

Book a camel ride in the Palm Grove

Can children ride a camel?

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied on this type of tour, mainly to prevent the camel from falling off if they are unable to keep their balance, not because the animal is going to reveal itself.

However, the minimum age to ride a camel is two years old.

Book a camel ride in the Palm Grove

What recommendations should I bear in mind when riding a camel?

Camel trekking in the dunes| ©Yeo Khee
Camel trekking in the dunes| ©Yeo Khee

Most camel trekking tours from Marrakech are notable for their convenience for travellers, as the tour usually picks you up at your hotel and takes you back once you've finished. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you leave your hotel:

  • Take water: Don't forget that you will be camel trekking in the desert; sometimes the camel drivers themselves will provide you with water, sometimes not. There is nowhere to buy water during the ride (you are in the desert) and with the heat, at least I got quite thirsty during the ride. Fill up a bottle of cold water before leaving the hotel and carry it in a backpack.
  • Wear comfortable clothes: If you're wearing shorts, you may find it uncomfortable to rub against the camel's saddle, so I recommend long, wide trousers with trainers that allow you to stand on them to keep your balance properly. Remember that it is hot and it is best to wear light clothing that protects you from the sun. Sometimes the camel drivers themselves will give you typical desert clothing to wear during the trip to protect you from the sun.
  • Protect yourself from the sun: The sun is very strong in the desert, although sometimes the wind blows and you don't realise it. It's normal to use sunscreen on your arms and legs, but one area that many people forget about is the back of your neck; in fact, turbans are used for this on many of these excursions, and the Berbers themselves sometimes provide it. Regardless of this, bring a scarf to cover yourself, wear sunglasses and carry sunscreen in case you need to use it along the way.
  • Don't worry about food: On short camel treks you don't have to worry about food because they only last about two hours. As for the day or half-day excursions, you don't have much to worry about either; at lunchtime you'll either be offered to pay a small extra supplement for lunch at a Berber house or you'll be dropped off at a place where you can buy something on your own. You can carry some snacks in your backpack if you like, but it's not usually necessary.
  • Be careful with photos: Of course, you can take photos on the camel or ask your guide to take them either before you get on the camel or once you are on the camel. Where you have to be careful is when you take your camera out during the ride to take pictures of the scenery; the movement of the camel can cause you to lose your balance and your mobile phone or camera to fall to the ground. Ask your guide to stop if you want to take a picture.
  • Tipping is not included: The price of these tours does not include tips either to the Berber guide who drives the camel or to the family who may invite you to tea on longer excursions. It is not necessary, but if you want to give them some money you can do so; not only will they not be offended because they are used to it, but they will thank you kindly.

Book a camel ride in the Palm Grove

Frequently asked questions about camel treks

Silhouettes at sunset
Silhouettes at sunset

Is the experience recommended for pregnant women?

In order to avoid falls or back pain, the experience is not recommended for pregnant women.

Is it possible to visit the desert without riding a camel?

Excursions to the desert usually involve a camel ride, but this does not mean that it is a prerequisite for visiting the desert or touring the local villages. In fact, the Berbers often go on foot instead of riding a camel, so if you ask them, they will have no problem accompanying you on foot rather than on a camel.

Book a camel ride in the Palm Grove

Other interesting activities in Marrakech

Souk Spice Shop| ©Jose Ramirez
Souk Spice Shop| ©Jose Ramirez

If you haven't already done so, you should consider booking a guided tour of the city. The souk can seem like a labyrinth and with a local guide you'll be sure to see all the special sights without missing a single one. If you're in the mood to go out and discover the area around the city, you're in luck because there are some amazing places within walking distance, allowing you to take day trips or even overnight trips to the desert. Here are the ones I like the most in this article: 10 Day Trips and Excursions from Marrakech.

Book a souk tour