About A Day & Night with Desert Nomads
Off the beaten track; three days in the saddle - get away from it all and slow down.
Activity code: Nomads - 03z
Duration: 3 Days
The Sahara feels like such a distant image from Marrakech but with Rediscover the World a visit to the real desert of Morocco's deep south is a reality. The nearest section of the Sahara is just a little south of Zagora and it is in this region that we offer this extended meharee of three days. Slow your pace, get away from the crowds, experience the nomadic life for a few days in the southern region of Morocco. This itinerary is the only one with multiple days riding on camels and visits places not included elsewhere.
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. Either outbound or on your return you will stop at the magnificently exotic ksour of Aït Ben Haddou, declared, and rightly so, 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 to Ouarzazate and down the beautiful Drâa Valley to the small oasis town of Zagora.
Your first night is in genuine nomad tents, hosted by a local family; the second night is at the Authetic Erg Tizi camp with all the facilities - NB. neither accommodation on this trip is "deluxe". The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away, the nights may be spent in our carpeted, nomadic tents or out in the open under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.
All travel to and from the desert is by air-conditioned, 4WD vehicle, most meals and sightseeing are included and, crucially, there are multiple meharees (camel rides) into the desert with overnight stays in traditional Bedouin tents in beautiful and peaceful settings. All our desert trips are based on including private transfers from Marrakech; please contact us to arrange accommodation - we are experts for small hotels and riads across Morocco.
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.
Rendez-vous with your driver at 7:30am and depart in an air-conditioned 4WD across the plains and up into the High Atlas through the Tichka Pass. Along the way you will visit the Kasbahs of Tamdakhte and Ait Ben Haddou, then arrive in Ouarzazate where a tasty lunch will be served. Afterwards, head up and over the lunar landscape of the Tizi n'Tinififft and into the Draa Valley with its wide-open vistas. Once down into the palmeraies and oases along the river you will reach the village of Agdz with its panoramic views of the valley, continue to Tansikht where your driver will take you on an off-road track for the final leg of today’s route. Meet with the camel drovers near Zagora to depart on a 2 hour meharee to the home of a nomadic family, a real cultural discovery! You are welcome to assist the family with some of their daily tasks, like preparing the evening meal, to really discover their way of life, including sleeping at home in the tent according to tradition.
After observing a truly wonderful sunrise you will have breakfast before again participating in some of the daily activities of your host family such as fetching water and feeding cattle or collecting wood. Enjoy lunch before mounting camels for a 2-3 hour ride accross the plateau behind Jebel Bani to arrive at the Tizi camp in the late afternoon. A night in a bivouac of charm where a hot shower is guaranteed; tonight you will have the opportunity to admire the sunset on the great dune before spending the evening chatting with the chameliers by the campfire with music.
After breakfast, a small 30 minutes camel ride and then back up the Draa Valley, stopping at Agdz, continuing to Ouarzazate via Tizi n'Tnifift, with lunch en route. Return via Tizi N'Tichka reaching Marrakech in the early evening.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch