Feeling Sick in the Desert: Exploring the Sahara in Morocco (with Food Poisoning)

I’ve had a love affair with Morocco for a number of years, and I couldn’t wait to share it with Daniel since we were so close living in Granada. After checking out Rabat, Chefchouen, and Fes, it was time to head into the desert. I had a similar experience once before when traveling with Gutsy Women Travel, but this would be a new adventure—no glamping. We would also be riding our camels for several hours out to the nomad camp where we would be staying.

food poisoning in morocco

After I adjusted Daniel’s turban on his head, we began the long journey across the desert sands to the tent where we would be staying. I find Moroccan nomad culture to be fascinating, and how they are having to adjust their cultural practices to a changing world is interesting to experience. Once we had felt the rocking of the camels for nearly two hours, we were introduced to our nomad family and shown our accommodations for the night.

food poisoning in morocco

I personally find the desert incredibly peaceful, and Daniel and I settled in with our books and listened to baby goats bleating to their mothers. We were served a delicious dinner of Berber fare, couscous and vegetables—items that would keep in the heat of the desert. I slept wonderfully tucked into the camel hair blankets made by hand, and I could see the stars winking at me outside the tent.

food poisoning in morocco

The next day, it was another long camel ride to the Berber camp where we would be staying before we got back on a bus and headed to Marrakesh. I tried to remember to drink plenty of water, because even in late February, it was hot. I took in the orange sand and how it expanded for miles—it was amazing to think that people still lived out here and knew exactly where they were going even if all the dunes looked the same to me.

food poisoning in morocco

Once we had arrived at the Berber camp, we were shown to our room. We were the only guests during this time of year, and we spent a few hours nursing our sore asses from the extensive camel rides before trying out some sand boarding. Lunch was served, and I devoured it in a matter of moments.

It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that I started to feel a little sick. To avoid the heat, we went back to our tent while our Berber hosts began making our dinner.

“I don’t feel so good,” I told Daniel.

He tucked me in and told me just to relax—it would be an hour or two before dinner would be finished. As soon as I was in bed, I felt my stomach complain.

“I have to get out of here,” I said, standing up quickly and running to the tent where the bathroom was. Before I made it to the restroom, I found myself heaving up the lunch that had been prepared a few hours before.

Over the next few hours, I drank enough mint tea to drown myself in. It wasn’t long before Daniel started to experience some of the same symptoms—and his lasted well into the night. Our Berber hosts were very upset, and you could tell that they felt bad for causing our sickness. It was part of desert life—food spoiled. I felt horrible that they had to witness us feeling so lousy.

It was another long, long camel ride back to civilization. It took everything Daniel had not to puke over the side of his beast, and it would be several days before we would feel normal again. Despite all this, I would go back to the Moroccan desert in a heartbeat—just perhaps I’d watch what I was eating a bit more.

Have you ever gotten food poisoning while traveling?

Keep wandering,

Alex Signature Wander

10 thoughts on “Feeling Sick in the Desert: Exploring the Sahara in Morocco (with Food Poisoning)

  1. Jessica Fradono says:

    YES! I got Bali Belly on the plane ride to Bangkok. I spent almost the entire 4 hour flight in the plane bathroom and then the first night in Bangkok in bed. The hour-long car ride from the airport to the hotel was terrible. Despite all that, I loved Bali and have since been back …heading there again next week — hopefully Bali-Belly-Free. Glad you’re feeling better.

    Reply
    1. Alex Schnee says:

      Awe, man! That can be so miserable…especially while flying. I hope you enjoy your Bali experience without te food poisoning this time. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Shalet Jimmy says:

    How are you feeling now? Food poisoning during any travel whether it’s short or long would mar the experience. But I could feel that despite the illness you and your partner had to undergo, you were enjoying the desert.

    Reply
    1. Alex Schnee says:

      For sure! All part of the adventure. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  3. josypheen says:

    Rubbish. I am sorry you felt so bad! Would you be tempted to go back when you’re feeling less gross?

    Reply
    1. Alex Schnee says:

      Oh, absolutely. It was my second time in the desert and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Morocco is a place that never gets old–even with food poisoning!

      Reply
      1. josypheen says:

        It’s funny, although I loved some things about Morocco, it’s one of the few places I am not really keen to re-visit.

        I totally understand why people love it (beautiful scenery and architecture, bright colours and tasty food…) I just never felt comfortable there as so many people tried to scam us. 🙁

        Reply

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