Western Sahara Safari Tours & Holidays

Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast and in the Maghreb region of North and West Africa. About 20% of the territory is controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, while the remaining 80% of the territory is occupied and administered by neighbouring Morocco.

Western Sahara is a sparsely-populated area of mostly desert situated on the northwest coast of Africa. A former Spanish colony, it was annexed by Morocco in 1975. Since then it has been the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Morocco and its indigenous Saharawi people, led by the Polisario Front.

Western Sahara is a non-self-governing territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria.  As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (favoured by the Polisario Front) and integration into Morocco.

After crossing the rocky and forlorn expanses of the Hamada (stone desert) south from Tarfaya, the Western Saharan city of Dakhla is an appealingly relaxed destination. A constant feature is the cobalt intensity of the Atlantic Ocean, softened here by palm trees, a pleasant oceanfront esplanade and a shallow island-studded lagoon.

How to get to Western Sahara

The only international airport is in El Aaiun international airport, the capital. Flights come from the Canary Islands, Morocco, and Spain. Other airports are located in Dakhla and Smara.

To arrive by car, one must either pass through Moroccan-controlled checkpoints along the border or enter into the Free Zone through Mauritania. The latter has virtually no roads, so driving will be possible only with a sport-utility vehicle.

Passport, Visa and Entry requirements for Western Sahara

If your stay in Western Sahara is under 90 days, you do not need a visa. You do need to have a valid passport that needs to be valid at the time of entry with one empty page for a stamp.

The health sector of Western Sahara

Changes in economic and political conditions in the Saharan countries during the last decade forced us to reconsider the health systems on a regional as well as local scale. The traditional medicines of the various cultures will play an important role in these processes. Traditional medicine is not the medicine of the poor before the introduction of European medicine it assured health care, however, there is no medical insurance that caters for international travellers so ensure you purchase travel and medical insurance before travelling to western Sahara and also pack a small medical kit with necessary medical supplies like tablets for headache, stomach upsets, Anti-malarial drugs and wound infection control drugs.

Malaria and Yellow fever vaccination for Western Sahara

Country requirement: a yellow fever vaccination certificate is required for travellers arriving from countries with a risk of yellow fever transmission. Recommended for all travellers aged 9 months or over going to areas south of the Sahara Desert.

Although the risk of malaria is low in Western Sahara, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. Some travellers to certain areas who are at higher risk for complications from malaria (such as pregnant women) may need to take extra precautions, like antimalarial medicine.

The currency of Western Sahara

The Sahrawi peseta is the currency of the partially recognized Sahrawi Arab Democratic. As this territory is mostly controlled by Morocco; the circulating currency in that part of the country is the Moroccan dirham, with Algerian dinars.

Official Language of Western Sahara

Modern Standard Arabic and Spanish, the former colonial language, are the official languages of the Polisario Front, based in Tindouf, Algeria. Hassaniya, an Arabic dialect, is the native language spoken in Western Sahara and in the refugee camps in Tindouf in Algeria.

Best time to travel to Western Sahara

The middle-year months have very comfortable weather with high temperatures that are comfortable. These months see the least precipitation with about 0 days of precipitation per month. June – August is the second busiest season for tourism in Western Sahara, so lodging and other accommodations may cost slightly more.

What to wear in Western Sahara

Travellers travelling to Western Sahara must ensure they pack decent dressing clothes as the country is dominated by Islam and showing off you’re to be hidden might result in confrontation or unnecessary attention and they must be light clothing as the heat can be excessive in the Day.

What to bring while travelling to Western Sahara

Travelling to Western Sahara can be regarded as an adventure expedition in Africa and knowing what to pack comes in handy as the country is a desert country and it’s often dusty and hot.

  • Sunglasses
  • hut
  • sunscreen
  • Ziplock plastic bag to protect your things from dust
  • European electrical adaptor
  • Photocopies of visa
  • Photocopies passport
  • Light sleeping bag or sheet

Car hire and driving in Western Sahara

The roads are a bit narrow in places requiring vehicles travelling in opposite directions, for one of them to pull over off the tarmac on to the beaten-earth hard shoulder. However, as traffic is light and intermittent mostly it’s not such a big deal, however, take great care of holes, sharp stones and edges. The only road South of the N1 is kept in good repair for national security purposes, in places where blowing sand might build up; bulldozer machinery is kept on standby nearby to quickly clear roads. Maybe it’s not a good idea to self-drive in Western Sahara.

Accommodation in Western Sahara

Mostly dominated by the desert, there is limited development in Western Sahara making it difficult to find decent accommodation throughout the country but there some decent accommodation facilities in the main capital Dakhla and few Auberges on the beach sides.

Local food of Western Sahara

A major staple food of Western Sahara is the couscous that often accompanies one way or another all the food dishes. The influences of southern cuisine make them consume peanut as an accompaniment of some dishes.

For meat, the Sahrawis favour the Camel and Goat, pork is not eaten, since it is not halal Lamb also occupies a prominent place. Some tribes are famous for growing wheat, barley and cereals in general.

Tipping while Travelling in Western Sahara

Travellers are advised to give decent tips to those that work tirelessly to ensure you enjoy your safari vacation in Western Sahara bear in mind this is a poor and disputed territory so any cash can change Lives.

Further information for Western Sahara

Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa that borders Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, and the Atlantic Ocean. It has a total area of 266,000 sq. km. It consists of mostly desert and is one of the most sparsely populated areas in the world.

Tourists can travel freely in most Moroccan-controlled parts of what is called the Saharan Provinces (an administrative area created to include the former Spanish Sahara, while not coinciding with its boundaries), but do check first on the political situation.

Safety of Western Sahara

Away from the main Laayoune-Nouadhibou road landmines are a real threat. Mines have not thoroughly been cleared from the Morocco-Polisario conflict, and even just outside of Laayoune in the dunes, it’s not safe to go walking or off-roading.

So while travelling to Western Sahara ensure you book a safari with a safari operator that knows where to go and where not to go.


Dakhla National Park Western Sahara




5 Days Discover Western Sahara safari
7 Days Western Sahara Explorer safari


Visit Boujdour light house Western Sahara
Visit Dakhla Atlantic town Western Sahara
Visit El Aaiún (Laayoune) city Western Sahara
Visit Guelta Zemmour Oasis Town Western Sahara
Visit Smara (Semara) Town in Western Sahara
Visit Tarfaya town in Western Sahara


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