KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - DAKHLA
Dakhla is an idyllic 45 kilometre lagoon situated in the very south of the Moroccan Sahara desert, featuring beautiful, big beaches, three good wave spots, amazing wind and sunshine all through the year with beach assistance and boat security, and all within easy reach from Europe.
Dakhla offers a great variety of kitesurfing spots and conditions year round, perfect for all levels. The lagoon is immense, so it's always easy to find some space. The most popular areas are around the kite camps, but a few kilometres south you'll find the famous 'speed spot', which works perfectly at low tide, offering phenomenal flat water. The wind is offshore and there's no safety boat, so although it's very special, don't ride here alone. The lagoon can be ridden at both high and low tide, though high tide does provide the best opportunity for beginners as the water is waist-deep. For advanced riders the flat water at low tide doesn't get any better.
Most people imagine Dakhla to have only flat water, but there are a variety of wave spots between a five and 20 minute drive with incredible conditions, particularly during the winter months. The PKRA hosts their wave competition here alongside the freestyle event. You'll need a 4x4 to get to the spots, but schools organise regular transfers to the wave spots of Foum Lobouir and Pointe D'Or. The first is close to town and can be accessed in a normal car, and features side-shore wind from the north offering up some spectacular conditions. Pointe D'Or needs 4x4 access. There is generally less wind at the wave spots and a 4/3 or 3/2 wetsuit on the coast is a good idea. Take a kite surfari on the Atlantic coast and don't miss out on an excellent downwinder from Dakhla to Duna Blanca, which is a brilliant way of discovering the full beauty of the lagoon. Only warning is of some shells in the sand, so be careful not step on them or drag your kite over them.
WIND, WEATHER & WATER
Wind generally blows from the NE: 14 - 25 knots in winter, increasing to 30 knots in the summer months of July and August. Usually lighter in the morning, the wind increases at lunch time until dropping off again at sunset, so it's possible to kite all day, until around 7pm. Waves are best November - February. In summer you'll use your seven and nine metre a lot, and in winter a 12 will see more action.
The weather's good all year, from 20 - 30°C / 68 - 86°F during the day, dropping to 12 - 15°C / 54 - 60°F at night. In the height of summer boardshorts and bikinis during the day, shorty the rest of the year and a warm sweatshirt and jeans for the evenings. The water temp sits around 19 - 24°C / 66 - 75°F all year. In strong winds it feels much colder, so maybe pack a longer wetsuit. During the summer a shorty or even just boardshorts will be enough. January and February are the coldest months.
Fly into Dakhla (VIL), although there are no direct flights from outside Morocco. There are also seven flights per week from Casablanca and two from
Agadir. Be prepared to spend a night in Casablanca for your connecting flight on your way home. Twice a week there's also a service from Las Palmas, Gran Canaria with Canary Fly (www.canaryfly.es). Tickets can be booked through Kitemorocco allowing you to take a board bag for free.
If you are staying at the camp no rental car is necessary as you can kite directly in front of your room. Transfers to town and back are £10 per person, and these must be organised as there are no taxis in town. If you stay in town rent a car to get to the kite spot or daily 4x4 transfers can be arranged with schools to a variety of spots. The Moroccan coast is great to explore, so it is worth hiring a car if you fancy your own trip at some point.
Lots of accommodation right next to the lagoon. Stay at the camps located directly on the spot in either bungalows or tents, from superior luxury to eco group lodgings. Alternatively stay in hotels in Dakhla town, where you are closer to the wave spots, restaurants and shops. Dakhla Attitude offer a variety of different options from traditional bedouin tents to luxury suites. The brand-new KiteWorldWide Villa Camp Dakhla opens Feb 14, 2014 and offers luxury mini villas at the lagoon. - See the video below.
FOOD & DRINK
Expect a combination of European and Moroccan cuisine. Vegetarians can be catered for, although you usually have to warn them in advance. You'll find plenty of traditional Moroccan meals in town, from very cheap to more upmarket restaurants, and you can even find sushi now. A good local tip is PK25 that offers the best pizzas and kebabs in town. Remember not to bring alcohol from abroad as it can only be sold and consumed in certain places.
The Pink Flamingo Bar at Dakhla Attitude assures the nightlife in Dakhla. Guests from other hotels in Dakhla often come over to have a drink, dance and enjoy the evening. The bar has a dance floor, DJ table, disco lights, ping pong, snooker, darts and more games to keep you occupied in the evenings.
Go surfing, SUPing, wakeboarding, take a fishing trip or visit Dragon Island. Head to the city and sample the traditional culture, hire a quad bike, go horse riding or take a 4x4 into the desert. For non-kiting partners this really is a place to unwind and relax. Take a spa and treat yourself to a variety of massages, or just chill in the beach bar with a Mojito and a good book!