About Classic Sahara Adventure
A great value journey to the Sahara - includes ONE night in a Bedouin camp at the private oasis of Tellougui, arriving by camel in time for sunset.
Activity code: ITCLFD06z
Duration: 2 Days
The Sahara feels like such a distant image that it would not seem possible to get there and back in two days from Marrakech. With Rediscover the World a visit to the real desert of Morocco's deep south is a reality; one of the closest areas of the Sahara is just a little south of Zagora and it is here that we offer this stunning, high quality adventure.
This particular desert trip is great value and includes an incredible drive over the High Atlas via the Tichka Pass and an extended camel ride through the palmeraies to your overnight Bedouin camp at the private oasis of Tellougui, arriving just in time for sunset. There is also plenty of sightseeing and all your meals as part of this fully-inclusive package.
From your hotel or riad in Marrakech your journey will begin across the Glaoua Plains and up via the winding road over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi n'Tichka (2260m). From this high point you will see a dramatic change in the countryside - from high mountain ranges to semi-desert and oases. On your return you will stop at the magnificently exotic kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, declared a World Heritage Site; here Hollywood has shot many of its films, including, as everyone will tell you, "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gladiator". Further south you will encounter Ouarzazate and drive down the beautiful and dramatic Draa Valley to the small kasbah-like Hotel Fibule Du Draa in the oasis town of Zagora for lunch by the pool prior to your final journey into the Sahara by 4WD and camel.
From Zagora there is an extended camel ride ("Meharee") of 2-3 hours through the palmeraies beyond the small villages en route to the private Tellougui Oasis where you will spend the night out in the desert, in a Bedouin camp. The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away, this night may be spent in our carpetted, nomadic tents or out in the open under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.
All travel is by air-conditioned 4WD vehicle, there is an extended camel ride into the desert with an overnight stay in a Bedouin tent in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
WE RECOMMENDED YOU BRING: day pack (for camera, water bottles, hat, etc.); windcheater (seasonal), broad-brimmed hat (or you may purchase a 'Cheche' before you set out from Zagora); personal toiletries and towel; hygienic wipes (or gel); small First Aid kit; torch with batteries (non-essential); filled water bottle(s); sunscreen, sunglasses; nibbles and/or dried fruit. Drinking chocolate if preferred. Extra toilet rolls could come in handy! For those who wear contact lenses, perhaps it would be a good idea to bring along a spare pair of glasses.
CLOTHING: Comfortable clothes for travelling, loose clothing for the camel ride and warmer layers for the colder desert nights.
From your hotel or riad in Marrakech set out at 7:30am across the Glaoua Plains, up via the winding road over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi n’Tichka (2260m), then down alongside the Oued Ouarzazate to see a dramatic change in the countryside - from high mountain ranges to semi-desert and oases. Your driver will make a stop at the magnificently exotic kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, declared a World Heritage Site. Here you may have some time to visit these various kasbahs, so closely-knit that they appear to be but one complete building, backed up against the looming mountain in a stretch of unforgiving hammada. The thick, high, sheer, elaborately decorated pisé walls, stepped-up housing, turreted, crenellated ramparts, balustrades and arched 'babs' are a sight not to be missed. Here Hollywood has shot many of its epic films including, as everyone will tell you, "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gladiator". One of the more spectacular sights in the Atlas ranges, set upon a rock above a reed-strewn assif, commanding the area for miles around, this kasbah controlled the route to Marrakech until the French blasted a road through the Tizi n'Tichka in the late 1920s.
There is a light lunch here before continuing ever further south to Ouarzazate and down the beautiful Draa Valley to the small kasbah-like Hotel Fibule Du Draa in the oasis village of Zagora. From here (at the southern edge of the town) you will set out on your "Ships of the Desert" adventure of some 3 hours through the small palmeraie areas of the villages and towards the southwest into a desert of many small dunes. The area is interspersed with black gravelly 'Reg' stretches of the El Fajia plain and isolated enough to let your imagination take hold. As the air has heated up, the winds have risen to make the sand swirl about you’ll notice that older dunes appear darker, for the iron in the sand has finally oxidised. Here, some 8km from Zagora, is the "bivouac" for the night in a carpeted Bedouin tent at Tellougui set amidst some small dunes and a private oasis. After a welcoming traditional tea ceremony, you shall have dinner of vegetable tagine, tea, bread and fruit.
The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away, far more than the hot air has done, so far. This night may be spent in the nomadic tent or out in the open air under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.
Having witnessed an awesome sunset the night before, now is the hour for an even more startling sunrise* before a Bedouin breakfast of tea, bread, jams and cheeses.
* Please ask if you wish to be woken for sunrise; as Day One will have been a long day your guide will not automatically wake you. Alternatively, your guide will confirm the local sunrise time for you to set your alarm.
After which, your dromedaries saddled, you will, somewhat reluctantly, strike off back towards the north-east and relative civilisation, passing through the lush oases with dangling bunches of dates, accompanied by the scents of oleander, mint and orange, via the ksar Asrir Ignaoun, with its sun-dried mud and reed buildings known as pise, tiny Sarte and Douar Amezrou, home to an old Jewish kasbah and where there are still silver shops working Berber jewellery, to arrive finally at the Fibule Du Daa hotel in Zagora sometime around 10am.
From Zagora this morning, your driver will take you the short distance down to the ancient village of Tamegroute, a seat of learning since the 11th Century, with its incredible Library of 13th Century illuminated Koranic scrolls written on gazelle hide; some works of Pythagoras and some original maps of Alexandria, even an ancient maths primer. Why not continue your stroll through the alleyways of the kasbah to the ancient pottery co-operative, where pottery has been produced in the simplest of manners, in the simplest of kilns for centuries. If you have been to Fez, or have seen photographs of this Imperial City, here you'll see the famous green glaze associated with its tiled roofs. The founders of the 17th Century Abou Ben Naceur 'Naciri Brotherhood' in Tamegroute invited craftsmen and potters to this remote area with the intent to turn it into a thriving caravan hub city.
Your journey brings you back to Zagora just after midday to freshen up (including a shower). Afterwards, set off back up the Draa Valley with some 14km off-road touring in the Valley of 1000 Kasbahs (to the east of the river valley, i.e. the opposite bank to the main road you travelled along on day 1) then on to the French Protectorate-era city of Ouarzazate, where you'll make a short tour and a stop for lunch before continuing on up over the Adrar N'Deren and down across the Glaoua Plains to Marrakech and your hotel or riad, arriving there around 8pm after a really incredible journey into the sub-Sahara.
Day 1 - arrival into Marrakech; private transfer to your accommodation.
- Stay at e.g. Ksar Anika - 2nts BB
Day 2 - private guided city tour (am)
Day 3 & 4 - on desert adventure as per itinerary above.
- stay at e.g. Ksar Anika - 1nt BB.
Day 5 - private transfer to Marrakech Airport.
Fully-inclusive Sahara excursion by 4WD & camel meharee from Marrakech. Overnight at Tellougui Oasis camp; all meals, sightseeing, accommodation & activities included. Holiday version also includes extra 3nts accomm, airport transfers, city tour and taxes.
Date range: , Option: Classic Desert Adventure ONLY
|2 people||3 people||4 people||5 people||6 people|
Date range: , Option: Full Holiday version
|2 people||3 people||4 people|
All prices are per person