Philipp Marxen


Find me in Dakhla in late 2022!

Visiting Dakhla

Wanna know how Dakhla is like? 

I recently had the opportunity to visit the beautiful desert town of Dakhla in southwestern Morocco (which is disputed as it is also Western Sahara). 

Dakhla is located on the Atlantic coast on a 45 km peninsula and is known for its fishing industry and as a Moroccan military base, as well as its stunning lagoon and strong northern winds, which make it a popular destination for kite surfing.

I arrived in Dakhla by direct flight from Paris, which was a great convenience. Upon arriving, I was struck by the beauty of the desert landscape from afare and the clear blue skies. Dakhla is a growing town, with a population of about 100,000 people, and it has a laid-back and friendly atmosphere. 

First, I settled into town surrounded almost exclusively by locals. Later, I visited La Sarga, a popular kite surfing spot on the edge of the lagoon. I had always wanted to try kite surfing and I was excited to learn in such a beautiful location. The northern winds in Dakhla are strong and consistent, making it an ideal place to learn and practice kite surfing.

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that there are very few shops in Dakhla and it was difficult to find a place to rent a scooter or other transportation. This made it difficult to explore the town and the surrounding area. However, I was able to find a kite surfing school that offered lessons and rentals, and I was able to start my lessons.

The kite surfing lessons were a lot of fun and I quickly learned the basics of the sport. The instructors were friendly and patient, and the water was mostly clear and luke warm. A neo is not necessary but recommended at the lagoon. The water in the ocean is colder. I enjoyed the feeling of getting dragged across the surface of the water and the sense of freedom that kite surfing provides.

In addition to kite surfing, I also had the opportunity to explore the town of Dakhla and try some of the local Moroccan food. The food in Dakhla was delicious and very affordable, with a wide variety of dishes to choose from. I particularly enjoyed trying some of the seafood dishes, as Dakhla is a fishing town and the seafood is fresh and flavorful. Mostly however, I had vegetarian couscous on Fridays and Tagine or soup on other days.

One of the highlights of my trip to Dakhla was visiting the lagoon, which is a stunning natural feature of the town. The lagoon is a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery. I spent a few hours exploring the lagoon by foot, marveling at the beauty of the area. And looking over the cliffs of the African mainland in a 10 km distance across the lagoon.

During my time in Dakhla, I also noticed that there are relatively few services and amenities in the town, compared to other tourist destinations in Morocco. This includes a lack of rental shops and limited dining options. However, I found that the locals were friendly and welcoming, and I enjoyed the sense of authenticity that Dakhla offers.

One thing that surprised me about Dakhla was that there were fewer people who spoke French compared to other places I had visited in Morocco, such as Essaouira. However, I found that some people were able to communicate in basic English and were willing to help me if I had any questions or needed assistance.

Overall, my trip to Dakhla was a good and memorable experience. I enjoyed starting to learn kite surfing in such a beautiful location, and I loved exploring the town and trying the local Moroccan food. I would definitely recommend Dakhla to anyone who is interested in kite surfing or simply wants to experience a unique and authentic part of Africa almost without tourists if you venture out of the kite surfing bubble. So, if you are planning a trip to Morocco and are looking for a different and exciting destination, consider visiting Dakhla and experiencing all that it has to offer – which is not that much. So focus on kite surfing and reading books 😂

Next stop on the journey: Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok!

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