I can strongly recommend a stay at the small and peaceful village of Khamlia close to Merzouga if you really want to live an unique desert experience. This small oasis submerged in the Sahara-desert is populated by the Gnawa tribe or Bambaras, who originate from Subsaharian tribes and who nowadays are more known for their spiritual Gnawa music.The Khamlia-based group Pigeons du Sable is widely known and have toured in Europe. They perform every day in Khamlia and you can support the local economy buying their cd's.
Most visitors get to Khamlia only with a tour just for a short stop to listen to the music and many say that this is one of the most highlighted experiences o their tour.That's why I want to let you know that there are possibilities to stay at the village for several days and they can help you arrange your stay with all the typical activities like the camel-tour, a night at the desert in Erg Chebbi and other interesting activities like a guided visit to the beautiful and historical important surroundings of Rissani, stopping by its souk and local market. You can also take part of the daily activities of the village like the farming or teaching at school, playing with the kids, baking, cooking tagines and having chats with the locals that speak english, french or spanish, and overall enjoy the way of living of this remarkably welcoming and openhearted people.
It's difficult to sum up with a few words the overwhelming experience of living together with the genuine people of Khamlia and surely you will feel something different and much more comfortable like in no other place of Morocco.
There is a recently built complex of khaimas, or beduoine tents where you can sleep in comfortable beds, with the facilities of toilets and hot showers, a nicely decorated room for reunions and the outdoor khaimas where you gather around a fireplace to enjoy the incredible Saharan night under the stars and palmtrees, sipping your good cup of mint tea.
I recommend to get here by hiring your own car or with a tour. Once in Khamlia you can arrange your stay with all the different activities you wish to enjoy.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.