Desert culture: kindness

In the challenging Sahara desert climate, the highest virtue is mutual kindness. It lies at the very foundation of desert culture. Every person you meet is considered a friend.

Why you need to be kind
in the desert

The demanding climate of the Sahara has also shaped its beautiful culture. In extreme conditions, an individual cannot survive alone – community and mutual support are crucial. That’s why kindness lies at the core of interpersonal relationships among desert nomads.

Desert culture: everybody is a friend

We just stopped to set up a camp for tonight. It’s been quite a demanding time: scorching sun and warm wind were our companions all day long. Our desert tour guides are unpacking camels, guests are resting under a palm tree while we notice a person approaching. Big turban, traditional gandora, barefoot. Our guides drop everything they were up to: it’s time to host a guest with a glass of tea!

Saharan extended greetings

After long lasting greetings (How are you? Are you good? How is your mother, your father, your brother, aunt and all the kids… And again: are you ok, everybody is ok? Reassuring each other that everything is alright everywhere near is a part of each conversation here) it’s time to sit, drink tea and talk. Does our guest need anything? Run out of water, food, cigarettes? They can be busy desert tour guides, but as they are nomad people, they will be always ready to help. 

Snacks in a tomb: desert tour to Sidi Naji

There is a place not far from village M’hamid which we visit during this desert tour. Its ruins still stand on the top of a small hill of Sidi Naji. It is called after a wise man, a desert healer who lived here in the 14th century. His resting place – tomb made of stone – is not only believed to have special healing powers, but it is also stocked with water and food: dates and nuts left by crossing caravans. Everything one brings in here is considered a gift for Sidi Naji, and help for the next ones to come.

Happy desert people

People of the Sahara are patient. They can walk hungry or thirsty for a long time. What’s their secret? Maybe they just know that sooner or later they will meet a friend, a good person who will help in their struggle. “We are happy people here” – says Mohamed Khidouma, head of our desert tour – “Happy with this little we have, because we can really count on each other”.

We invite you to find out more about our desert tours in Morocco! Be your own travel crafter – together we will create your best desert story.