The dunes of the mighty Erg Chebbi near Merzouga in Southern Morocco. The “gates” of the Sahara.
Silhouette of an hoopoe lark (Alaemon alaudipes) singing at sunset.
First sunlight on the dunes along the border between Morocco and Algeria.
Orange sands meet black mountains near the Erg Ouzina.
Cream-coloured courser (Cursorius cursorius) adult running.
Fossil lake on the route near Taouz.
Petrie's gecko (Stenodactylus petri).
Paleotropical fauna (antelopes, etc.) carved in the 8000 years-old petroglyphs of Aït Ouaazik in the Draa Valley.
Female and chick Pharaoh’s Eagle owl (Bubo bubo ascalaphus) at the nest site on a remote cliff.
Desert wheatear (Oenanthe deserti) adult male perched on desert Euphorbia (Euphorbia officinarum echinus).
Solitary Acacia tree in typical pre-Saharian landscape.
Saharawi family preparing tea in the desert.
Backlit Wind scorpion (Galeodibus sp.?).
Helmethead gecko (Gekonia chazalie) walking on dunes at night. Endemic of the Atlantic Sahara.
Eurasian Spoonbills (Platalea leucorodia) are an unusual sight on the Naila lagoon shores in the Atlantic Sahara.

These images illustrate a journey I made together with a friend across the very remote territories of Southern Morocco along its invisible border with Algeria. We had no previous desert experience, nor the budget to afford a real Saharian expedition, but only great passion and a deep longing to explore this wilderness. We traveled along off-road routes, from the “gates” of the great Sahara in the East -the sands of the famous Erg Chebbi- to the western coast, where the waters of the Ocean penetrate into the dunes at the Naila lagoon and seabirds meet true desert dwellers.

The documentation includes several of the magnificent 8000 years-old petroglyphs of Aït Ouazik and the incredible variety of patterns and geological structures of the North African desert. Along the way several seldom-observed and nocturnal species have been encountered: geckos, skinks, little mammals, spiders and wind scorpions. And, on top of everything, the characteristic birdlife of these regions: larks, wheatears, warblers, coursers, sand grouses, owls and many more. This is the story of a first contact with the rough, yet deeply charming Saharan wilderness.
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