In the small Moroccan town of Merzouga, located near the Sahara Desert's edge and close to the Algerian border, camel herders maintain a time-honored tradition passed down through generations. In late October 2020, I had the opportunity to experience this unique culture firsthand when Youssef and his family hosted me through Couchsurfing. They not only provided me with accommodation in their guest room but also showed me around the town, pointing out local gathering spots and tourist attractions.
During my stay, I observed how the camel herders in Merzouga tend to their animals with great care, ensuring they receive enough nourishment and attention. Youssef, in particular, displayed an extraordinary connection with the camels, earning him the nickname of a "camel whisperer." When I asked him about his uncanny ability to understand the animals, he simply replied, "Of course I understand them; they are my family." The experience left me in awe of the longstanding bond between the herders and their camels in this ancient part of North Africa.
Overall, the camel herders of Merzouga possess an innate understanding of their camels, forming an inseparable bond rooted in mutual respect and reliance.