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Our infrastructure
 

The creation and development of the Camp Bedouin in the Sahara is the result of two Luc, both passionate and persevering men !  Without significant financial means and away from all facilities, they struggle to maintain the activity in an exceptional site. The natural elements like sun, wind, salt water and sand strongly influence the smooth running of the business. Brimming with ideas and shrewdness, they manage to establish sanitary facilities, an electrical installation, quality accommodation, a renowned restaurant and a constant resupplying. Be aware of that before asking for a hot shower of fresh water lasting thirty minutes, a continuous electrical connection, your favorite iced beverage or anything else impossible in these remote places!

The access track

Our Camp is located 4.5 km from the main road and accessible all year long by a flat and wide track..

Numerous signs will help you to get from the road to the Camp so that even at night you could not go wrong.

We also maintain as much as possible the whole track for your comfort, but keep in mind that rock portions do not allow any improvement in places and in some others we need to keep some cross trenches to facilitate rain drainage and prevent the track from being muddy.

We work regularly to maintain the quality of access to our Camp.

The running water supply

The Moghrabian slab pours its overflow of little salty water just above our camp, creating a perennial water source quite unique in the desert. This natural supply is the very reason for our presence in this place. First, it ensures the development of Saharan vegetation, unexpected in these arid and sandy areas. It then allows to supply the Camp with undrinkable water but good for showers and other domestic purposes.

Although we benefit from the natural inclination of the ground for the delivery of spring water, it nevertheless required the construction of a collection well, long pipelines buried in the sand and a water tower.

The presence of salt in the water requires the exclusive use of PVC pipes and connections.

The first available plumber lives 50 km far from the Camp and we have even not yet found a really competent one... So we just can rely on ourselves !

The fresh water supply

Until recently, the previous owners, Luc and Martine, had to go till Laâyoune to fill up with fresh water, 50 km from the Camp. These laborious trips did certainly not allow to supply the entire facility with freshwater ! With a supply of only one thousand liters, fresh water is obviously reserved for cooking and household chores. It is not possible to use it for showers or any other too consuming use.

In 2012, however, Luc and Hafida renovate the water tower, develop a system of supply from the nearby village and install a system of pipes now allowing campers to ensure freshwater replenishment.

The combination of saltwater and freshwater, however, increases complexity in terms of maintenance, requires a doubling of water systems and to limit the plumbing materials to pvc given the accelerated degradation caused by winds, humidity, salt, sand and sun.

The hot water

Producing hot water for showers is a nightmare ! The classical solution of heating tanks with solar panels is impossible due to the salinity of the water which deteriorates rapidly tanks and all connections. The previous owner has therefore conceived an ingenious system of slow heating in truck tubes which have been adapted to contain salt water and then to deliver it in the showers. House made solar panels have been designed for that purpose. The set is full of tricks: a long pipe allows to extend the heating time, a system of communicating vessels can regulate the quantity that must go into the tubes, etc..

Of course, it remains subject to the weather conditions: no sun, then no hot water !

But most of all, the installation depends on daily human handling to ensure your hot showers: inattention, forgetfulness, a mistake can for example cause the implosion of the tube. In this case, besides water damage, the main difficulty will be to find the right spare parts and the skilled craftsman to adapt the inner tube…

If you are lucky enough to have hot water in the evening, enjoy it much, but especially think of those who follow you and have the same desire as you !

Anyway, in case of lack of hot water, if you are not too many in the case, we will be pleased to heat water on the gas. Just ask at the reception.

If you have opted for our guest room, do not worry : you can heat water as much as you need and whenever you want. Our installation is simple, but effective and not dependent on weather conditions or on other consumers !

Electricity generation

Subject of constant attention and cause of many worries, the electrical installation is the nerve center of the Camp.

And yet everything has been designed to consume the least electricity. Many lamps operate with small solar panels, others with energy saving bulbs. Timers limit consumption and access to electrical outlets for clients is restricted to the maximum. The coffee is prepared by hand without coffee machine, fruit juice is squeezed also by hand. The fridge runs on gas, as well as the oven and cookers. No major appliance like a washing machine, a pump or a drill can be switched on when the generator is not on.

Essential element due to the remoteness of our Camp from sources of supply, the deep freezer is really the one that requires significant electrical power. Without it, impossible to serve you a delicious camel tajine ! A gas deep freezer would be the ideal solution but it is no longer marketed in Morocco, only in Mauritania. We are currently considering how to buy it over there and how to carry it back to the Camp. 

Sure we could run the generator all day like at Ksar Tafnidilt’s or at Fort Bou Jerif’s, but we refuse to do so in order to preserve the tranquility of the place. At most we turn it on for one hour in the morning and one to two hours at night, especially if the sun and / or the wind do not show off. This generator is doubled by security.

A wind turbine provides half of the necessary supplies, provided there is enough wind. As maintenance and daily intervention are very limited, the wind turbine is probably the only element that does not cause frequent concern.

Solar panels provide the other half. Daily manipulations are multiple to take benefit of most of sunlight, by gradually tilting the panels in the right direction.

The coexistence of the three energy sources requires ongoing monitoring of indicators of production and consumption, and protocols for connecting and transition from one to another to reduce overload and unnecessary tension in the devices.

Downstream of the tools of power generation are connected a series of machines for converting between different voltages and ensuring automatic limitations. That means as many points of failure, knowing that some devices can be purchased only in Europe and that most cannot be properly repaired in Laâyoune due to the lack of skilled workforce.

Let’s not forget the harmful action of the sea air on the connections, cause of many failures which are often hard to identify!

The building materials supply

If the distance between Laâyoune and the Camp is only 50 km, you have to understand that everything must be trucked and that many drivers are reluctant to damage their tires on the track. It is difficult to organize, unreliable, never clearly priced.

The materials are often of poor quality: for example, bricks usually contain too little cement and crumble at the slightest manipulation.

The materials are very expensive. While there are millions of tons of sand around the camp, we should use river sand for construction, much better. It costs a fortune here!

Even water for the preparation of concrete or lime must be fresh: we have already described how tedious its supply is.

As for the construction of Bedouin tents, we could talk about it for hours! Despite our precise measurement, the manufacturer of the roof and wall panels made of canvas will be wrong with his cuttings and seams. Once transported by truck in one piece from Laayoune to the Camp, you will find that the roof is poorly designed and must be redone ...

The supply of food

Two main factors make the supply of perishables complex. First you have already understood previously that due to limited electrical production, the freezer can only be of modest size. The amount of frozen meals is thereby limited. Moreover, the inner characteristic of a campsite is that most customers arrive unexpectedly, without booking or telling in advance, most often at the last minute. And it may very well be a group of significant size! It is therefore necessary to travel regularly to Laâyoune even if the purchases are limited to meat and bread. A big waste of precious time!

Purchases in Laâyoune can be done at the souks: there are days and hours which are preferable to be sure that the store in question is open or to guarantee the quality of the product. For more rare products, we have to go to the closest supermarket, which is in Agadir, 600 km far from the Camp… A real headache!

Although there is a bread oven at Daoura, the nearby village, you never know when it's open and if there is any. There is no systematization. Moreover, it is common that the Saharan people are reluctant to sell us some, even at a higher price: they prefer to keep their limited production for themselves and not to work more.

So enjoy what we strive to serve you with quality and continuity; never forget that you are in the desert, not in a big city. Thank you for your understanding!

Maintenance of tents

We have already explained the difficulty in buying and bringing in tent roofs and wall decorations to our Camp.

The deliberate choice for nice tents with hard and rigid roof structure to guarantee comfort and an original type of accommodation is not without inconvenience to the manager of the Camp. The regular presence of moist winds on the one hand, the almost omnipresence of strong sun on the other hand require frequent replacement of outdoor canvas, an expensive item in the budget of the Camp.

We had to revise upward our pricing for the nights in a Bedouin tent for this reason.

Wastewater disposal

The system to process liquid water was designed in the state of the art, to minimize pollution of the premises and ensure healthiness for campers.

Waters from showers and sinks have their own settling and septic tanks, which require periodic maintenance, before emptying into the sebkha and helping an additional flora to grow.

Toilet waters have their own network before finally settling into a cesspool that is regularly cleaned.

Phone

Puplic phone is available in the nearby village of Daoura.

Ar rhe Camp, you will enjoy mobile phone connexion with no problem.