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Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • An English-speaking Moroccan leader
  • Excellent riad accommodation in Marrakesh and Ouled Berhil on twin share, bed and breakfast basis
  • All camping facilities and all meals on trek
  • Twin occupancy in triple tents with sleeping mattresses
  • Camelteers and camp staff to carry out all camp work
  • Costs of all porterage
  • Guided tour in Marrakesh with sightseeing as specified
  • International flights from London (flight inclusive only)
  • Single, timed, group airport transfers for international flights on arrival and departure
  • All road transport by private minibus
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

Sahara Camel Trek, Morocco

Walking & Trekking

Morocco | Walking & Trekking

New for 2020
Sahara Camel Trek, Morocco
Gentle

Suitable for people who enjoy easy-paced walks or exploring the countryside on foot.

Find out more...

Grade: Gentle ? Gentle
Duration:  9 days from the UK  
On trek: 6 days

Flight inclusive from £1,045,
Land only from £695

Book now or call 01453 844400

Immerse yourself in the dunes and oases of the Southern Morocco desert, explore historic Ait Benhaddou and wander the souks of Marrakesh.

Highlights

  • Trek across immense dunes, through oases and across a deep wadi in the capable company of your expert guide and camel team
  • Enjoy incredible desert sunsets and nights under the stars with no light pollution - a stargazing paradise
  • Have fresh bread cooked in sand ovens and enjoy traditional Berber cooking on trek
  • Return to Marrakesh via the wildlife rich Iriki National Park, the saffron fields of Talouine and the dramatic Tizi n’Test Pass
  • Stay in delightful riads and explore flamboyant Marrakesh with guided tours of the souks and the sights

Reviews

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New for 2020.

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We are delighted to introduce this unique trek that will take you to the western fringes of the Sahara and immerse you in the tranquillity of the wild, uninhabited landscapes of the world’s largest desert. Given the searing summer temperatures of the desert, this makes for an ideal trek in the winter months when the days are dry, warm and sunny and the nights cool and clear.

After a tour of the sights of Marrakesh, your desert adventure begins with a scenic, winding drive across the High Atlas Mountains and through the picturesque Valley of Draa to reach the small village of Mhamid, situated right on the edge of the Sahara. Here you meet your experienced trek crew and camel team who will act as your ships of the desert, carrying all the gear and provisions you need to enjoy a full service camping experience during your trek. You may even have the opportunity to take a ride on one of the camels during your desert trek.

Over the course of the next six days you will trek through the Sahara’s varied desert scenery: you cross palm groves, tamarisk oases and wide plateau; walk through Wadi Draa, the longest river bed in North Africa; and trek across the seemingly endless sea of sand dunes, climbing to their sandy peaks to enjoy spectacular sunsets over the desert wilderness. Evenings bring a hearty Moroccan meal round the campfire, hand-prepared by your excellent cook, followed by the spectacular nightly star show as you gaze upwards at the vast desert skies free from any light pollution.

At the end of the trek you will take a couple of days to wend your way back to Marrakesh via the Iriki National Park, which is an important stopping off point for many migratory birds, and you would hope to have the chance to spot some interesting wildlife too. You then visit the saffron fields at Talouine; a pretty Berber town set in lovely countryside, before staying the night in the wonderful Hotel Palais Riad Hida. On the final day, you take the high road over the dramatic Tizi n’Test Pass, visiting the Mosque at Tinmel (one of only two in Morocco open to non-Muslims), before finally reaching Marrakesh.

On the night you spend driving back to Marrakesh, and for your two nights in the city, you will stay in attractive riads of a very high standard. This will give you a more authentic experience and an indulgent taste of Moroccan life.


At a glance

Grade: Gentle
Gentle

Duration:  9 days from the UK  
On trek: 6 days

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 4 clients

Maximum group size: 12

Land only joining city: Marrakech

Accommodation types: Riad, Hotel, Camping

Meal arrangements: 8 x breakfasts, 6 x lunches, 6 x dinners (including a welcome dinner in Marrakesh)

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1
Fly to Marrakesh. Transfer to riad hotel in the Medina.
2
Drive via the High Atlas and Valley of Draa to Mhamid at the edge of the desert. Begin trek.
3
Trek across the Sidi Naji Plateau and camp near the Marabout.
4
Trek west to the big dunes of Erg Zaher.
5
Head east to the Wadi Draa and the Dunes at Erg Smar.
6
Trek to the tamarisk oases near Daiat Aoutid.
7
End trek. Drive through the Iriki National Park, visit the saffron town of Talouine.
8
Drive over the Tizi n’Test Pass, visit the Mosque at Tinmel. Return to Marrakesh.
9
Fly back to London.
Leader: Local leader, Morocco
Local leader, Morocco

The trip will be led by a qualified Berber guide who is ideally placed to give you an insight into and information about their country, especially as much of this tour runs through the Berber, or Tachelhit speaking parts of Morocco. The Moroccan government closely controls the appointment of both mountain and town guides. Your guide will have completed a year of training at the Centre for Mountain Guides in Tabant in the Central High Atlas. During their training, guides complete courses in First aid, Geography, History and the Natural science of Morocco as well as testing their fitness.

Our Moroccan leaders are selected on the basis of their experience, levels of spoken English and helpfulness. Like the Berber culture from which they come they are all very welcoming and have a love of showing you their country.


Sahara Camel Trek, Morocco Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Fly London to Marrakesh

    Arriving in Marrakesh you will be met at the airport and transferred to your riad accommodation in the heart of the Medina. The journey takes about 15 minutes to get to the old city walls and your driver will get you as near as possible to your overnight accommodation. Riads are converted town houses in the old parts of Moroccan cities, usually down small lanes where no cars or traffic can get to, so often a porter will help you out with luggage and his small cart will be able to take luggage to the riad from the minibus. Riads are built with rooms facing out onto a central courtyard and a garden/pool which is open to the sky, this is for coolness in the heat of the summer. The windows open to the courtyard and there are no windows to the street, as that would be noisy and hot. Often the riad is a haven from the heat and bustle outside, with a terrace where you can relax and have views over the city and the High Atlas Mountains in the distance.

    In the evening there will be a traditional dinner in Marrakesh to welcome you to Morocco.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Riad Palais De Princesses Or Riad Challa Or Similar, Marrakesh
  2. Day 2 - Drive to Mhamid via Ouarzazate and the Draa Valley – 450km, 7-8 hours. Start trek.
    sahara desert trek morocco walking along sand dunes.

    You begin your journey to the Sahara with a scenic drive over the High Atlas mountains, including a crossing of the pass of Tizi n Tichka at over 3,000m. The scenery is spectacular with high mountain peaks (often covered with snow until May and June) deep valleys and the twisting road below descending to the town of Ouarzazate. On the way down from the pass, you will go through small villages selling pottery and various fossils recovered from the desert. The town of Ouarzazate is mainly known for being the film capital of Morocco, with many films and TV shows made here or in nearby in Kasbah Ait Benhaddou, including Gladiator, Game of Thrones and Babel. The journey continues down the Valley of the Draa, which is an oasis of green palms, interspersed with the earthen ruins of Kasbah and fields of Alfafa and other crops. The landscape gets increasingly desert-like, until you arrive into Mhamid, the last village on the road before the true desert begins. Here you meet your camel team and start your trek. You will only go a short way into the desert walking past tamarisk groves on flat terrain until you reach your first camp.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Camp
  3. Day 3 - Trek through a tamarisk oasis and cross the Sidi Naji Plateau to camp near Marabout Sidi Naji - 5½-6 hours.

    After a breakfast served up for you by the cooks, you set out with the camels through the palm groves and tamarisk bushes. Under your feet you will see traces of old field boundaries - the fields long gone, swamped by the Sahara sands creeping northwards. You stop for lunch under a shady palm grove, and the guide will take you to an area where many fossils and shells have been found in the past; perhaps you will discover your own trilobite or shell as the sands shift in the wind revealing prehistoric treasures.

    As you near the end of the day's trek, the square building of the marabout of Sidi Naji comes into view and the ruined village surrounding it can just be seen. Much pottery lies in the ruins. Sidi Naji was a holy man and the ancient marabout was built as a shrine to his memory.

    Tonight you will enjoy a delicious dinner under the stars, maybe with some freshly baked bread from sand ovens.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Camp
  4. Day 4 - Trek to the dunes of Erg Zaher - 6 hours.

    This morning you will intially be walking through dunes and then on to flatter terrain where you can see the tamarisk oases on one side and the big dunes of Erg Zaher in the distance (Erg means dune). After lunch you continue your trek towards Erg Zaher, you may come across a large walled-off area that used to be the market area for a weekly souk; long gone and forgotten now, but a mark of the villages and people that used to live here. Eventually you reach the foot of the Erg Zaher range, and see your camp set up ready for your arrival. Tonight you could climb to the top of the nearest dune to see the beautiful sight of the sun setting over the ripple of the dunes; the colour of the sky and the sand changing constantly as the sun slowly sinks.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Camp
  5. Day 5 - Trek east through Wadi Draa to dunes at Erg Smar – 5 hours.

    This is a bit of a shorter day, so you can recover from yesterday's challenging dune walk. However you will still experience various terrains, including sandy areas, dunes and flat, baked earth. After crossing some dunes from Erg Zaher, you will see the wadi of the Draa river - the longest Wadi (dry river bed) in North Africa. After descending into the wadi, you cross between tamarisk groves that are able to survive on the water left behind by the very infrequent rains that flood the wadi every few years. Climbing up the other side you continue to walk on the flat desert floor.

    At the end of the day you reach a green spot in the desert, indicating the presence of a well that is used by a farmer to irrigate a few crops and grow some grass. Here the camels can stock up on fresh food and water and the water for the trek can be replenished. The nomad people tending the well are only here for a short time when grass can grow and the heat of the sun is not too intense. You may notice that the surrounding dunes of Erg Smar are much lighter and more golden than the darker orange hues of the Erg Zaher range.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Camp
  6. Day 6 - Trek to Mhamid. Camp in tamarisk groves near Daiat Aoutid – 5 hours.

    Today you start by following the side of the dunes of Erg Smar. You will mainly be trekking on the flat, baked earth which is just as much part of the desert as the dunes, but a lot easier to walk on! There are some small dunes to trek across, and the landscape becomes more and more dotted with tamarisk groves and acacia. This area is prone to sand storms whipping up from the surrounding erg and blowing across the plains, this is where wearing a seche, or long nomad scarf, comes in handy. The guide can show you how to put it on correctly to protect your face from the harsh, abrasive sand. The Nomads here (Ait Atta Tafoukht tribe and Touaregs) are sometimes called the 'blue men', from the blue dye on their faces from these scarves. If there is a clear day, mirages across the desert plain are common.

    Tonight is your last night to enjoy the incredible night sky, free from light pollution and sprinkled with the brilliant pinpricks of a million stars.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Camp
  7. Day 7 - End trek. End trek. Drive through the Iriki National Park, visit the saffron town of Talouine – 4 hours driving.

    It will take about an hour to finish your trek and you will then be met by your 4x4 transport for an interesting drive across the flat desert plain to the Iriki National Park. The park was formed in 1994 to primarily ensure the rehabilitation of the temporary wetlands, which are an important port of call for many migratory birds, including geese and flamingos. The park has the typical desert landscape of south-east Morocco with some of the dunes covered with tamarisk. There is a diverse mixture of wildlife and you may spot bustards, ostriches, Barbary sheep, dorcas gazelles, oryxes and striped hyenas. The park has very few permanent inhabitants, as most of the population are nomadic moving to and fro between summer and winter pastures; these routes unchanged over the centuries. We will then travel on to Talouine, a pretty little Berber town which lies in some lovely scenery around 1,500m above sea level. Talouine is home to Morocco's largest saffron fields and the violet crocuses are harvested for their beautiful red-gold stigma. The harvest takes place from mid-October to mid-November starting at dawn, and it takes around 200 flowers to produce 1 gram of saffron; making it more expensive than gold. From there we will end the day's travel in the small town of Ouled Berhil.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Riad Hida, Ouled Berhil
  8. Day 8 - Drive over the Tizi n’Test pass, visit the Mosque at Tinmel. Return to Marrakesh - 4-5 hours driving.

    After breakfast, we begin our final journey towards Marrakesh over the Tizi n'Test Pass. This awe-inspiring pass at 2,092m crosses the Atlas with a steep ascent up a myriad of hairpin bends rising 1,600m in about 30km, affording incredible panoramic vistas of the Tizi n'Test Mountains and the Nfiss River Valley. The road was blasted straight through the Atlas Mountains in the early part of the 20th Century by the French to create the first route between Marrakesh and the Souss plain. About 47km further on is the impressive Mosque at Tinmel. It is only one of two mosques open to non-Muslims in Morocco (the other being in Casablanca). It was built in 1156 to commemorate the founder of the Almohad dynasty, Mohamed Ibn Tumart. Tinmel was home to the Almohade Dynasty and the remains of the medieval fortress and the royal necropolis shelters can be seen, along with the remains of the founder Abdel Moumen and the spiritual master Ibn Toumert. We then carry on to the pretty town of Ouirgane where we will either stop for a coffee at the Ksar (Berber castle) or visit a Berber family for tea, before descending past Asni to the plains and finishing our journey to Marrakesh.

    Overnight iconOvernight: Riad Palais De Princesses Or Riad Challa Or Similar, Marrakesh
  9. Day 9 - Group transfer to airport. Fly to London.

    After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.


2020

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sat 4 Apr - Sun 12 Apr 2020 Available£695 Book£1095 Book
Sat 10 Oct - Sun 18 Oct 2020 Available£695 Book£1045 Book

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Not quite ready to book? Why not call us on 0044 (0)1453 844400 to hold a no obligation place while you make up your mind?

 
Optional supplements
  • Single Room & Tent Supplement
    From £110
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £64
No Surcharge Guarantee

No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

What’s included

  • An English-speaking Moroccan leader
  • Excellent riad accommodation in Marrakesh and Ouled Berhil on twin share, bed and breakfast basis
  • All camping facilities and all meals on trek
  • Twin occupancy in triple tents with sleeping mattresses
  • Camelteers and camp staff to carry out all camp work
  • Costs of all porterage
  • Guided tour in Marrakesh with sightseeing as specified
  • International flights from London (flight inclusive only)
  • Single, timed, group airport transfers for international flights on arrival and departure
  • All road transport by private minibus
  • A free high-quality Mountain Kingdoms kit bag
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa fees
  • Lunch and evening meals in Marrakesh
  • Mineral water


Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with Mountain Kingdoms: book extra hotel nights, relax at a beautiful beach resort, take a warm-up trek, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as rafting, birdwatching or a safari.

We're happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 or email info@mountainkingdoms.com and we will be pleased to help.

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