The Sahara Desert is huge, encompassing one-third of the African continent. Weather conditions vary across the desert's sub-regions: in Morocco, in the northwest section of the desert, September marks the end of summer and the start of autumn.
Average temperatures hover in the low 80s, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the low 70s. It may be hard to believe that rainfall is possible in the world's driest desert, but precipitation does happen—and statistically speaking, September is the wettest month in the Moroccan Sahara. There's a 14% chance of encountering a rainy day: it doesn't seem like much, but when you consider there's a 0% chance of rain in December, it's a possibility worth noting.
For more information, see our article on Morocco in September.
Crowds & Costs
September is a popular time to visit Morocco, but thanks to the start of the school year in the US and Europe, it's not as busy as the summer months. You'll see bigger crowds in the first week of the month—and prices to match at key destinations—with numbers tapering off as September rolls on. You should still book ahead if you're traveling to the Moroccan Sahara at this time of year (or any other time), especially if you have your heart set on particular accommodations and tours.
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What To Do
September days are hot. You can still do lots of outdoor activities in the desert, from exploring the dunes of Erg Chebbi to riding in a 4x4 to boarding a camel for a ride across the sand, but you'll want to plan on early-morning excursions and sunset outings so that you're not exposed to the harsh sunshine in the middle of the day.
If you plan to visit Erg Chebbi, stay overnight in Erfoud or Merzouga so you can get an early start on a morning tour. Same with the dunes of Erg Chigaga: stay in Zagora so you can be up before dawn and take advantage of the cooler weather early in the day. Seek shelter in the afternoon, then plan on star-gazing after dark: it's a wonderful time for it, as September nights usually have clear skies.
Visiting the Morrocan Sahara in September? Check out these itineraries.
Moroccan Highlights: Fes, the Sahara Desert, & Marrakech - 6 Days This whirlwind trip takes you to Morocco's top attractions, including Fes, the Sahara Desert, and Marrakech.
Marrakech & Grand Tour of the Sahara Desert - 6 Days Explore the peaks of the High Atlas mountains and the vast sandy landscapes of the Sahara on this outdoorsy tour.
Morocco's Imperial Cities & the Sahara Desert - 13 Days See Casablanca, Fes, Essaouira, the Erg Chebbi Dunes and more on this well-rounded trip plan.