Scarabeo Camp is about 45 minutes outside of Marrakech and is located in a rock desert. This means you’ll see rocky hills rather than the smooth sand of the Sahara, so don’t go in expecting sand otherwise you’ll be disappointed.
The tents are bright white against the startlingly bleak backdrop, and the entire vibe feels like something out of an Elizabeth Peters novel. Luckily it wasn’t… in that no one was murdered (that I know of)!
We were taken to our tent and, since I’d never been glamping before (glamorous + camping = glamping), I was excited to see what it would be like.
This tent was definitely fancier than the one in the Berber camp, with a full bed, bathroom and shower, and old-world travel accessories as decor.
In the 115-degree heat it was much too hot to stay in the tent, so we walked around the camp to explore, moving as slowly as possible in the heat.
We even made a few friends along the way.
You can ride camels at the camp, but after our long ride through the Sahara Desert we’d reached our camel quota. So we watched the other visitors venture off on the adult camels.
With the baby camels trailing behind them.
A peaceful quiet settled over the camp, and Marisa and I settled in at one of the main tents to watch the light change, waiting for the heat of the day to subside.
We were a bit hungry, so we asked our host for a snack. His reply?
“No snack. Yes snacks.”
And with a smile he then brought us several dishes to munch on.
The camp is pretty, there’s no doubt about that. But be prepared: there’s not much to do. So my choices were either reading, sitting alone with my thoughts, or talking to Marisa. Of course I chose sitting alone with my thoughts (just kidding Marisa)!
The heat and the lack of activities forces you into stillness, which was especially difficult for this fast-paced New Yorker!
When the sun finally disappeared and we could stand the heat, Marisa and I headed out into the camp to sit outside. While we waited for the fire to be lit, a man rushed up to us and frantically asked if we’d seen where the camels went. We glanced over to the area where the camels had last been, and sure enough they were gone! We hadn’t seen them leave, but a British couple mentioned they had seen the camels venture off into the open desert about 30 minutes before.
The man raced off, and as the sky darkened we could just see his white djellaba rushing back and forth in the distance, zig-zaging across the desert. While I felt sorry for him about the camels, if I’m being honest I have to admit the situation was a little bit funny too!
The staff lit the fire, and as darkness fell we watched as they moved around the camp, lighting the dozens of lanterns placed throughout.
Then once the staff broke their Ramadan fast they called us over to the main tent for dinner.
The atmosphere was stunning, with the tent lit only by candlelight and the nearby lanterns.
And during dinner we received some good news: the camels had been found!
After dinner everyone walked out into the camp, settling into the various chairs and lounges to look at the stars. If camp had been boring before it certainly wasn’t now, as the desert caused voices to carry and Marisa and I overheard several scandalous stories!
When we were finally ready for bed we walked back to our tent, following the path which was now marked by flickering lanterns. The lantern light was enough to navigate inside our tent too, and we only turned on our cellphone flashlights to confirm there were no snakes in the tent and no massive bugs in our bed!
The next morning we woke up early to watch the sunrise. While camping in the Sahara Desert, clouds had obstructed both the sunrise and sunset, so we were hoping this time it would be spectacular. There were still too many clouds, unfortunately, but I’m glad we at least tried!
Then, after going back to sleep for a little bit, the day was already growing hot when we wandered over to the main area for a picturesque breakfast, the perfect end to our Scarabeo Camp experience.
Glamping at Scarabeo Camp is very different from camping in the Sahara Desert with the Berbers, and I’m glad we had both experiences. While the tents at Scarabeo Camp are much nicer, the Berber camp is a more authentic Moroccan experience, plus it has the gorgeous sand dunes you picture when you think of a desert. Therefore, if you can make it out to the Sahara Desert, that would be my recommendation. However, it is far, so if you don’t have time then Scarabeo Camp is a nice way to escape Marrakech. I just wouldn’t stay more than one night, if I were you, since there really isn’t much to do, especially in the heat.
To book your stay at Scarabeo Camp, click here.