Surfing in Western Sahara
Western Sahara is a desert country located in the northwest part of Africa just south of Morocco. The country is currently administered by their northern neighbor and a referendum for the annexation of this nation to the moroccan territory has been postponed several times. Technically, no other country recognises the annexation of this nation and the rest of Africa knows this country as Republica Sahraoui. If you visit this country we recommend to avoid any political discussions with the locals since we never know who is pro or con the separation from Morocco. Although Western Sahara suffers a political turmoil for quite a while the country is considered safe and the coast is clear for any adventurous surfer who is keen to get out of the beaten path. There are plenty of surf spots scattered along the rugged desertic coast and great swell consistency during the winter time. There are good waves around the capital Laâyoune and in the Dakhla Peninsula but best places to surf are usually in remote locations, but always uncrowded. No matter what name you prefer to call this country the truth is that Western Sahara (or Republica Sahraoui) is a place of raw beauty where perfect waves are found in the middle of a harsh, but stunning beautiful nothingness.
Climate in Western Sahara
The climate in Western Sahara is desert with sunny and mild weather on the coast, and very warm in the interior during summer. On the coast a cold current maintains the climate particularly mild all year round, especially where the coast is more exposed to north-east trade winds. The surfing season happens from October to February. This is when the swells are bigger and extremely consistent with high quality waves compared to any other surf destination on the planet.
Best surf spots in Western Sahara
There are many surf spots scattered along the coast of Western Sahara. You will find great waves near the capital Laâyoune and in the Dakhla Peninsula. If you go outside these areas you are less exposed to political tension and will probably find better and uncrowded surf spots. Here are the list of registered surf spots in the country: Al Marsa, Candelaria, Cap Blanc, Cazuelas, Chhoucha, Cordero, Dakhla, Foum El Bouir, Foum El Oued, Garitas, La Corniche - Sahara, La Gouira, Laâyoune Plage, Lagtoua, Masdoud, N1, Patos, Plage Al Mahariyat, Plage De Sassel, Plage Lamhoune, Playa De La Sistia, Playa De Las Ballenas, Playa De Los Arciprestes, Playa Del Médano, Pointe De L'or, Ponta Negra - Western Sahara, Skaymat, Tamania (Cap 8), Tarf Entayreft, Tarf Noa, Uad El Graeg, Untouchables, Westpoint, Zbarat and Nouâdhibou.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $2 USD. Mid-range meals start at $10 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $30-50 USD.
There is one place where you might be able to rent from, but it’s probably best to bring your own gear.
Prepaid SIM cards
Maroc Telecom (IAM) is a good choice. SIM cards can be purchased from retailers, kiosks, small shops.
Prepaid packages start at $5 USD.
There is little to no public transportation in Western Sahara.
Taxis are shared.
It might be best to hire your own vehicle (4x4) and driver, around $80 USD a day.
Note: there are many police checkpoints on the roads. Usually very amicable, just time-consuming.
$1.02 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Mostly windy conditions. Can be difficult to get to surf spots.
How to prepare
Citizens from 67 countries, including EU, US, and Australia, can enter Western Sahara without a visa for up to 90 days.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Arabic is the official language. You will not find many English speakers, yet the locals are extremely friendly and will always try to help as best they can.
The currency is the Moroccan dirham (MAD).
Best time to go
From October to February.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Check surf pictures of West Sahara at #surfwesternsahara.