Day 1 / Among the Tamarisk trees
Leave the village of M’hamid and trek west in the direction of the great dunes of Erg Chigaga, with the mountain ridge of the Jebel Bani far to your north but in sight for the entire trek. Cross dry river beds (e.g. Oued Naam), and walk through a variety of desert vegetation and scrub before the terrain opens out and becomes more stark. As the day’s trek draws to a close, expect to camp amidst gently rolling dunes and Tamarisk trees, which offer shelter.
Day 2 / West of Bougarn
Progressing westwards, reach ever-more remote terrain, and larger sand dunes (e.g. Bougarn) surrounded by broad, dry earth plateaux and desert hamada (black stone). Scramble over the dunes and you’ll be able to see Erg Chigaga in the distance. Camp will be made west of Bougarn, in the seclusion of smaller dunes and shrubs.
Day 3 / Erg Chigaga & 4×4 journey back to M’hamid
As the sand becomes deeper (in former water courses/dried rivers), the surrounding plateaux open out to different kinds of plant and tree-life, and you will trek near an area that offers grazing land for the elusive Dorcas gazelle. You will start to trek through bigger dunes before reaching the last plateau bordering Erg Chigaga. Reach Erg Chigaga in time to enjoy sunset. Settle down and make camp once more or look forward to the 4×4 journey back to M’hamid.