- My Experience
- Kite Spot Info
- Working Remotely
aaa free to contact me for additional tips and recommendations.
Pretty much kitesurf, work, sleep on repeat!
In fact, Dakhla is where I took some of my first kitesurfing lessons in 2016.
I returned for the months of April until June 2019, looking to collaborate with a kiteschool during my stay.
My first month was spent at a friends in town, sharing plenty of delicious tagine, introducing a rescued pup to the kite life and exploring the beautiful Saharan kite spots with Mad Camel.
Then it was time to live the desert life, after being connected with Dakhla Experience as a content creator and moving into staff housing at the lagoon.
As you might expect, living in town and at the lagoon are like two different worlds.
The town is traditional, waking up to the sounds of morning pray and becoming immersed in the ‘real’ life of Dakhla, an experience not many have.
The lagoon on the other hand is built for kiters, filled with holiday makers and kitesurf instructors, where you quite literally feel lost in the Sahara.
I split my time between working remotely, creating content and taking in the pink hues during sunset sessions with the odd dolphin if I was lucky!
- Kitesurfing everyday with enough space
- Long wind season
- Good teaching/learning conditions
- Unforgettable Saharan views
- Learning to surf with talented Moroccans
- Several uncrowded kite spots
- Lots of other kiters to socialise with
- Feeling chilly but I’m pretty sensitive to the cold
- After a few months I was missing green nature
- Unstable internet connection
- Needing a car to get around
KITE SPOT INFO
The large lagoon sits alongside the Atlantic, with a split of land protecting it from the ocean.
You’ll find several kite camps assembled around this watersport playground. Wind stats promise over 300 days of kiting per year, so if you’re looking for a short break with a high chance of wind, this is the place!
The wind usually picks up from around 10am, with side onshore winds often getting stronger throughout the day, flat to choppy water.
During peak high tide the lagoon tends to get gustier, and sometimes changes direction just slightly.
The water is around 18-19°C, so a wetsuit is necessary, although the sun shines all day whilst the wind blows.
The optimal months are from April until September, December and January being least reliable.
- Beginners are spoilt with a large standing area to practice their kite control from, and plenty of shallow water during high tide, leaving a decent practice space.
- Independent kiters can make the most of their session, navigating their way around the large lagoon with magical views to the Sahara desert.
- Downwinds are available to the famous White Dune (most popular), the oyster farm, and even to the town on request.
Other spots to check out:
- Speed spot (flat water, offshore wind)
- Dream spot (close to the Canynon)
- Oum Lamboiur & La Sarga (waves)
- Foiling (although little rentals at the time)
- Surf (best months Oct – May)
- Oyster farm
Within Europe, direct flights from Paris are available pretty cheap with transavia. These flights however do not include luggage, so you will have to pay extra.
I have always flown with Air Maroc, where kitesurf luggage up to 23kg is free of charge. This usually includes a stop over in Casablanca, often no longer than an hour or two. I would not rely on the WiFi at Casablanca for airport entertainment although.
Generally, a visa is not required for stays of up to 90 days. For more info on visa extensions, click here.
Taxi’s are very cheap within town, but they don’t drive to the lagoon. If you have a reservation at one of the camps, they usually arrange your transfers to and from the airport.
You’ll need to rent a car if you’re based in town. However, if you’re associated with a mobile school for a kiteboarding course or trips, you can arrange traveling with them to the kiteboarding spots.
At the Lagoon
Now if you have a somewhat larger budget, you can choose to stay at one of the many kite camps located along the main lagoon. The styles of camps vary from your desert tents to luxury bungalows overlooking the spot.
Here you can enjoy waking up to the scenic views of the desert, my favourite part of the day.
Some camps are closer to the water than others, nonetheless not much of walk to start your kite session.
Prices usually include food with accommodation, although visitors would tend to check out other camps in case they fancied trying another restaurant for dinner or simply wanted a change of scenery for their evening.
You might be able to find a free space in a car to make the trip to other camps on wheels.
Staying at the lagoon would be my preference, however I wasn’t having to dig into my budget to stay there since I was living in staff accommodation.
Whether you’re planning a short kite trip or wanting to stay a little longer, there are options in town for those on a lower budget compared to the lagoon.
You can find accommodation options on AirBnB or Booking which I recommend organising in advance to find the right match for you.
I stayed in Al Quassam, Moulay Rachid and Tirss are also recommended areas.
Since you will need some form of transport to get to the kite spots, renting a car is kind of a must.
It’s around a 30 min drive to the main lagoon entrance, with an additional 15 mins or so if you’d like to get to the other side. The wave spot, known as Oum Lamboiur is 15 minutes away.
Being located in town has its perks, with a few hotels and local restaurants, as well as markets to hand for those that like cooking such as myself.
Whilst living here, a favourite local restaurant of mine was Chez Ntifi (Moroccan food), located in El Massira close to the local fruit and veg market.
If I was walking around town I would ensure to wear long clothing covering my shoulders and legs. As a microclimate, it’s also not as warm as you might anticipate.
It’s a traditional town that comes alive at night, but with not much to see the main attraction for visiters is to hit the water spots asap.
I wouldn’t say that Dakhla is an ideal place for a digital nomad but it’s not so surprising considering you’re in the desert!
Yes, I had WiFi at the camps and in the apartment but it was unstable. The town was definitely more reliable since you could also visit one or two hotels and restaurants with better internet speed if needed.
You’ll likely survive through switching from SIM card data to WiFi every so often. However with this in mind, you’ll have little issues just sending emails and making Whatsapp calls.
It’s definitely recommended to purchase a SIM card for back-up. My choice was Maroc Telecom, topping up with 50 Dirhams (5 EUR) for 5GB at a time.
You can purchase a sim from the Maroc Telecom office downtown for 20 Dirham (2 EUR).
Just remember to bring your passport, and scratch card top ups are available from many of the small stores in town.
From the Lagoon
You might find yourself waking up at the kitesurf spot feeling disconnected in the Sahara.
Breakfast will be served at the camp where you can start your work or make conversation with other kiters, perhaps even planning an afternoon downwind together.
If you’re not working indoors, then protecting your devices from the dust is a suggestion. You might be lucky and have good enough connection from the comfort of your own bungalow.
Otherwise, depending on the camp the communal areas will also make for a nice work atmosphere with views to other kitesurfers on the lagoon.
Perhaps you have found a nice private room or apartment with a decent WiFi connection.
If you need a change, you can look for a local cafe, sip on strong Moroccan coffee and take in the culture around you. Mornings are particularly quiet.
Then when you need a break or you have finished your days work, it will be time to fulfill those cravings for the water and make your way to one of the kite spots.