Morocco’s Dar Ahlam Nomade

The tented camp in the Sahara is a dreamlike haven of silence and solitude

Dar Ahlam Nomade tented camp in the dunes of the Sahara, Morocco.
Dar Ahlam Nomade tented camp in the dunes of the Sahara, Morocco.

Thierry Teyssier is not a hotelier by métier (visit Maisons des Rêves, his exquisite design boutique in Paris, to understand his day-job calling). This hasn’t stopped him turning Dar Ahlam in southern Morocco into an oasis that tops many people’s best lists. But it is Dar Ahlam Nomade (www.maisondesreves.com; from €1,650), his tented camp near the Algerian border in the saffron dunes of the Sahara, that still pervades my dreams years after I visited it. Here, you exit the 21st century and enter a tableau as imagined by Thesiger or Lawrence, with a liberal dusting of Merchant Ivory. It features you, the dunes, your simply but elegantly appointed bivouac and a skeleton staff who fade and materialise like shadows, scripting your stay perfectly. You are borne, at dusk, to a spectacular candlelit tent for a tangia stew; you are woken with murmurs at dawn, and led to an immaculately set table atop a dune to watch the rosy disc of the sun rise, over delicate fruits stewed with spices. Its genius is in the framing of the camp’s – and increasingly, the world’s – most covetable luxuries: solitude and silence.

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For other ways to penetrate the wilderness, see a clutch of new mobile safari camps, from Kenya’s Northern Frontier to Ladakh’s Nubra Valley

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