An oasis in the desert that is drawing kite boarders from all over the world to this remote location.
Sunrise over Dakhla Lagoon
Dakhla is a small city in Western Sahara, a disputed territory currently administered by Morocco. Dakhla has a huge tidal lagoon, some beautiful surf beaches and solid consistent wind that make for an amazing world class kiting location.
Quick Location Overview:
Location: Dakhla Lagoon, Morocco (map link)
Windy Months: April – September
Air Temperature: 28 – 35°C (82 – 95°F)
Water Temperature: 16 – 24°C (60 – 75°F)
Water Flatness: Flat lagoon with small chop in the middle of the lagoon
Beach/Ground Type: Sandy
Best Wind Direction: North
Wind speed: 20-30knts
Wind time: All day and night
Wind Expectations: 6 out of 7 days
Experience level: Beginner – Expert
Gear rental/Storage: Dakhla Spirit, Dakhla Attitude, Ocean Vagabond
Accommodation: Dakhla Spirit, Dakhla Attitude, Ocean Vagabond
Closest Airport: Dakhla Airport (Airport Code: VIL)
Wind conditions: The best time to visit Dakhla is from April to September as this is when the highest probability of wind. The wind tends to come from the north and funnels down the lagoon with very consistent winds from 18–30 knts most days.
Water Conditions: Water temp is 18–22 degrees Celsius with flat, smooth water in the lagoon with some small chop right in the center. There are also a couple of great surf spots near Dakhla that offer great kite conditions also.
Where to stay: There are many kite camps that have started to appear around the north end of the lagoon and also other simple options in Dakhla itself. Most people choose to stay at one of the lagoon kite camps as you can simply get the most time on the water. If you want a little more luxury, I would suggest Ocean Vagabond or if with a larger group Dakhla Attitude or if you are traveling solo I suggest Dakhla Spirit as it is a lot smaller and it is easier to meet people. All these places are approximately 30–40 minutes drive north from Dakhla itself.
How to get there: To get to Dakhla there is currently only flights from Casablanca once a day via Royal Air Moroc. There is word that there will be soon a direct flight from Paris via another carrier. Most of the kite camps have transport to/from the airport included with their accommodation pricing.
Is it safe: Dakhla is a very small area in one of the least dense populated areas on the planet (Population density: 2.3 people per sq km) but as it is a disputed territory there are many police check points in the region. Driving from the airport to the lagoon you will cross at least 2. The people are very friendly and helpful and I never had any issues during the stay I was there.
A view from Dakhla Spirit camp
Who goes there: Kite boarders and the occasional windsurfer. As Morocco has a large French speaking community I found about 60% of the people that were staying were French. Another 30% were European and the other 10% made up of international travelers.
Internet: The internet/cellular quality in Dakhla is okay around the lagoon and the majority of the area. The local cellular carrier has good prices for their data to keep you connected. Most camps sell the sim cards or you can pick one up in Dakhla town. The wifi at the camps is pretty horrible as you normally have everyone trying to use it at once which causes most of their networks to crash and or cause slow speeds.
Money: They accept major credit cards at most of the kite camps around the lagoon also Moroccan Dirham or Euro’s seemed to be widely accepted.
No wind activities: Surfing is your best bet or SUPing around the lagoon. There is also a small fishing village about 30 mins drive north of the lagoon that is a great place to visit for a surf.
Must Do Activities: As a kiter staying in the Dakhla region I highly recommend you travel to the following spots;
White Dune: On the eastern side of the lagoon lays a large (+10m high) dune that creates an awesome place for an adventurous kiter to jump into the flat waters below.
Speed Spot: Around the small northern peninsula of the lagoon on the eastern side is one of the smoothest flat water spots I have been to around the world. It is very shallow water (knee deep) and the wind is very strong which makes for some exhilarating speed sessions. My top speed that I recorded is 49km/h on a twin tip.
Most camps in the area organise daily trips to these locations so make sure to ask.
Luggage Tip: At the time of writing this, Royal Air Moroc has a great luggage policy that state “A 23 kg kite board measuring up to 220x40x40cm is free of charge” which is super awesome.
Do you have some other information you would like to share about this location? Feel free to comment below.
Also published on Medium.