Merzouga is a small desert town of about 500 inhabitants in the province of Errachidia ( Meknès -Tafilalet region ) in the south of Morocco.
Merzouga is located at the foot of the sand dunes of Erg Chebbi at an altitude of about 800 meters above sea level. d. M. The nearest major town is Erfoud, about 45 miles to the north; Rissani is slightly closer ( about 40 km).
The sprawling city is built entirely in clay construction ( rammed earth ), with most buildings (hotels, restaurants, shops, etc.) are more recent and were only built in the years after 1980.
The inhabitants of Merzouga and other nearby villages ( Tanamoust, Hassilabied others) lived for centuries on the cultivation of cereals ( barley ) and vegetables ( broad beans etc.) on their oasis fields ( oases ). The fields were supplied by traditional underground irrigation channels ( foggaras / khettaras ) with the necessary water which has accumulated over centuries in large deposits beneath the dunes. Even in small scale livestock farming was possible where the animals were fed with the plant waste.
Traditional village life are nowhere in Merzouga; however, the tourist infrastructure is well developed: Some larger hotels even have a pool.
The N 13 continues to about 25 kilometers away, and directly located on the Algerian border town Taouz. Here you can find petroglyphs and several Steintumuli, whose age and function is unclear.
West of Merzouga forms after heavy rains in winter, a lake, the Sri Dayet; within a few days to find what one flamingos.
After a violent night storm on the night of 26 to 27 May 2006 floods caused severe damage to buildings, cars and the traditional irrigation system. The flood made many people homeless, three were killed. Even animals died in their collapsed stables.
On December 16, 2006 Jean Michel Jarre held in the dunes Merzouga before the concert en: Water for Life for the benefit of UNESCO, with which he fought for more responsible use of water.