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Property Review: Scarabeo Camp, Morocco

Turn off your cell phone (you won’t get service, anyway), pack some layers, and get ready for the most surreal desert camping experience, ever.
Photos: Carley Rudd Photography. 

We all got up before the sun to see the gorgeous sunrise over the Atlas mountains.

How we heard about it:

Scarabeo Desert Camp is on the bucket list of most avid travelers, so it’s trending all over social media right now.

In a sentence, it’s:

A luxurious “glamping” experience full of stunning sunrises and sunsets, picturesque rural views, and a great opportunity to unwind and relax for a night or two.

Why it’s so special:

We arrived in the late afternoon and were greeted by the incredible staff with delicious Moroccan treats and tea. The decor around the camp truly makes you feel like you’ve gone back in time with old cameras and suitcases, globes, beautiful lanterns, and luxurious oriental rugs. We spent that afternoon exploring every inch of the camp, as well as our own personal tents, and spent the night by the fire being serenaded by one of the staff members before an incredible, authentic Moroccan meal under the stars. There’s no internet access at Scarabeo Camp, so it really is the perfect opportunity to unplug and fall off the grid. The next morning, we all got up before the sun to see the gorgeous sunrise over the Atlas mountains and ate breakfast in one of the main tents.

Carley Rudd Photography

 Insider tip:

Check the weather before you go! It can get really cold during the night, but very hot during the day. We were pretty comfortable in sweatshirts and long pants in the evening, and if you get really cold, there are extra blankets on hand.

We recommend staying for:

One or two nights, max. You really are out in the MIDDLE of the Agafay desert, so one or two nights is enough time to fully experience everything Scarabeo Camp has to offer.

Best way to get there:

The camp is about a 45 minute drive from Marrakech. Scarabeo Camp does offer a shuttle service to and from the camp, but it can be quite pricey, so we opted to hire our own car service to take us out there. Keep in mind: it’s easy to make a wrong turn, or pass the camp entirely, so make sure your driver knows where to go. Or if you’ve rented a car, make sure you have an alert passenger with you that can help navigate.

What we’ll never forget:

Our trip included some pretty crazy weather! Even though it didn’t reach us directly, we could see heavy rain in the distance, which cast a gorgeous haze over the mountains. Because of the rain, we saw a rainbow over one of the tents at sunset.

There was also a thunderstorm happening in the distance, which would cause bolts of lightning to streak across the sky and light up the entire camp. We all laid on one of the giant rugs in the common area of the camp that night and watched for shooting stars, and every once in a while you’d see a flash of light out of the corner of your eye where the lightning would strike. It was unlike anything we’d ever experienced.

Good for kids? Overall, no.

The property is definitely safe, but it might be hard keeping young children entertained for long periods of time, as there’s not a lot of kid-friendly entertainment options.

What to pack:

Make sure you check the weather! The temperatures drop drastically at night, so you’ll want to make sure you pack some warm clothes. During the day the sun can get extremely hot. Layers are your BEST friend.

 

 

Worth wandering off the property for:

If you’re already going to be out in the Agafay desert, definitely make sure you check out the Marrakech city center.