Colors of the Sahara Desert: A Travel Photography Exposé

The colors of the Sahara are more dramatic than we expected. The array of golden-orange that paints the sand dunes is both impressive and ever changing. We visited Morocco several years ago as the last stop on our around the world adventures.

Here are some of the photo highlights from the Sahara desert:

Classic image of the camels with the colors of the Sahara in the background

The colors of the Sahara sands create the perfect backdrop for this classic moment as the camels passed.

Sahara desert in Morocco

The riad owner looks out over the desert. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house with an interior garden or courtyard. Many riads have been converted to guest houses (hotels) and we stayed in one in nearly every town we visited in Morocco.

Colors of the Sahara desert in Morocco

The colors of the Sahara change as the day progresses.

Ruins in Sahara desert in Morocco

I loved the contrast of these motorbikes against the ruins.

Mosque in the Sahara desert in Morocco

Mosque in the desert on a hazy day.

Sarah jumping in the sand dunes.

Sarah jumping in the sand dunes.

Colors of the Sahara desert in Morocco

Motorbikers enjoying the dunes help to show the vast openness.

No roads on the dunes.

No official roads on the dunes.

Colors of the Sahara desert in Morocco

More colors of the Sahara

Camel in the Sahara desert

Camel in the desert

Women carrying the crops on a donkey in the Sahara in Morocco

These women are carrying the crops on a donkey.

Sunset in the Sahara desert in Morocco

Sunset and a photo from the series in which I made the Albom Adventures logo.

Interesting Information

  • The Sahara is the largest hot desert in the world. Overall, it is the world’s third largest after the cold deserts of Antarctica and the Arctic.
  • It covers an area of 9.2 million square kilometres in parts of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan and Tunisia. I shot all of the photos on this page in Morocco between Ait Ben Haddou and Merzouga.
  • “Sahara desert” is a redundant name as “Sahara” is Arabic for desert.

While I have shared a few of these images before, most were rediscovered as I moved 40,000 photos to Lightroom. We spent 32 days in Morocco in 2012. Aside from the Sahara, our Moroccan highlights included the blue city of Chefchaouen, the ancient Roman ruins of Volubilis, surfing in Essaouira, a festival in Fes, and learning to cook from a Berber Family.

Did you enjoy these colors of the Sahara?

If you enjoyed these photos, please share it on social media, including Pinterest.

This is one of a collection of photos highlighting the colors of the Sahara desert in Morocco.

This post is linked at BeThere2Day for Wordless Wednesday on Tuesday, Through My Lens, Life Thru the Lens, Our World Tuesdays, Travel Tuesday, Ruby Tuesday Too, and Outdoor Wednesday.

Grammarly proofread this page. (Try it for free)

An Unusual Cemetery in Comillas in Northern Spain
Visiting a Bedouin Camp in the Moroccan Sahara


  1. says

    How dead looking. All I see is sand upon sand, upon sand. How hot was it outside when you there? Did you have a lot of water for you?

    Have a great night my friend. See ya.

    Cruisin Paul

    • says

      I don’t see that when I look at my shots, nor when I was in the desert. I find it alive with color variation. As for the heat, I love hot weather. I don’t really remember how hot it was. I would imagine it was in the high 30s at times (90s F).

  2. says

    These are awesome shots! I haven’t been to Sahara, but i have seen the Dubai Dessert for a safari. Though it is not as grand the views and colors are amazing too, and the night show and dinner after the safari is an experience to stay for life.

  3. says

    There’s something very special about desert light, and you’ve captured it in these photos. Well, you’ve captured a lot more, too. Love the textures and the way you’ve set shown people against this vast space. Really beautiful.

  4. says

    Your photos are beautiful. I’m glad that you rediscovered them. I had a big external hard drive with a gazillion images and went bad and I mourned the loss and then like six or seven years later office depot had a $49 special where they could recover data from a hard disk and I took it there and they did it. I got them all back and uploaded them to flickr. It took months to tag them all but was I ever happy and grateful.

    That said, I love your photos and the colors and the exotic scenes and I am glad that you rediscovered them.

    • says

      I think my heart stopped for a moment when I read your comment. I always have two copies of every photo, and when we travel, they are never together. I am so glad you got your photos back.

  5. says

    I enjoyed the journey through the Sahara desert with you. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. I’ve lived in New Mexico where there is alot of desert for about 10 years. Far different than living in Oregon for sure. It has it’s own beauty as well though.

    • says

      I love New Mexico. I spent about 6 weeks driving through your lovely state when the girls were little. However, I will admit that I like Oregon even more. We just drove the coast earlier in 2016 and I am in love with it. If we ever move back to the states, I could see myself living there.

  6. says

    Wow! Sahara desert was really a great place though it’s a little bit hot but being there will be a kind of dream for me. Stunning photos indeed! Thanks, Rhonda.

  7. says

    Hi Rhonda – I haven’t seen the Sahara – though at some stage I’d love to … but the Skeleton coast in Namibia has dunes and is known as the Namib Desert – the colours are extraordinary, and constantly change with the various rocks … beautiful shots you’ve given us – modern and old .. .fascinating and your header – great .. cheers Hilary

  8. says

    I didn’t realize Sahara was desert in Arabic. (Shows you how poor my Arabic is even after 20 years here.) I know everyone calls them sand dunes but if the Moroccan ones are anything like in Egypt, they’re more like dirt dunes where the dirt is as fine as flour, and it turns to yucky mud if any water gets into it. The shores in the west are more of a glassy sand and water passes through. Thanks for the great pics!

    • says

      I think that we never become truly fluent in another language unless we learn it as a child. We were never on the dunes when they were wet. It was hot and dry, so I have no idea if they turn to mud. It felt like sand to me.

  9. says

    Not a place I have ever thought to go, although I have been in the Negev and barely in the Sinai. Just not at the top of my list. Cool images and culture thought. Enjoyed viewing these photos.

  10. says

    What a beautiful area of the Sahara desert. I enjoyed your photos. The colors are amazing and the area is so vast and undisturbed. Well, except for Sarah jumping in the perfectly formed dunes….lol

  11. says

    I want to see the world. Instead I cyber travel to places. Oh how I enjoyed going to the Sahara Desert with you. I loved how Sarah was jumping in the sand like it was the ocean. I loved how you show the viewer there wasn’t any roads. My favorite was seeing the woman moving their crops on a donkey. Thanks so much for these wonderful photographs. Do you live near there?

    • says

      I am happy to take you with us on our adventures. We couldn’t live much farther from the Sahara, we live in New Zealand. The Sahara is just one of many special places we have visited in our lifetime.

  12. says

    They are magnificent indeed. We went to Egypt and Morocco but we missed the dessert tour. It reminded me of the Death Valley, California as well… I hope I will visit Sahara soon 🙂

    • says

      We didn’t tour, we drove ourselves out to the desert. We did go with a guide onto the dunes. That was a good choice as our driver made a poor choice and we had to dig the car out of the sand. Or should I say, the men had to it.

  13. says

    Ah, you have some outstanding photos here, Rhonda. This must have been a great journey. Hope to get to Sahara someday and compete with your pictures (LOL)!

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