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Morocco Desert Trek

This 7-day trek through the Sahara Desert encourages travellers to challenge themselves. We believe that trekking in the Sahara Desert is the best way to explore the less renowned routes in the East of Morocco

During this trip travellers will discover the Jebel Bani, trek through the dunes of Tilhatine, the dunes of Bougarn. They will also sleep under the Saharan night sky, a truly magical experience, and meet the friendly nomads of the Desert.

Clients will trek through a diverse landscape from flat desert floors whilst searching dinosaur footprints to perfect wind-blown sand dunes and salt-pans which form unusual mirages. Moreover, at night time look up at the night sky to see a star-strewn sky, which is a truly memorable experience.

For those looking for a trek with no sounds, no people, no roads and just endless sand this remote and vast desert trek is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life and western culture.

Highlights of this trek include wild camping under the stars, magnificent rolling dunes, complete solitude and a chance to get away from the madness of modern life.

Overview

Duration : 7 days
Period : From October to April
Level : Easy to medium
Highest point : Tishka pass 2,260m
Accommodation : Hotel & camp ground in desert

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech.
Meet you at the Marrakech Airport and drop you off at your hotel. Depending on arrival time, we could arrange a city tour for you.

Day 2: Marrakech – Ouled Driss
We drive across the High Atlas Mountains via Tizi N Tichka (2,260m) to Ouarzazate, the gate way to the Sahara and then Draa palm grove, the largest palm oases in Morocco stretching more than 100 km. Next, we pass many towns along the way like Agdz, Zagora, Tagounit to Ouled Driss the Edge of the Sahara where we meet the camels and their cameleers. We will spend the night in traditional Berber camp with tents or “Khaimas” which have been upgraded with certain western comforts such as hot showers.

Day 3: Ouled Driss – holy shrine of Sidi Naji
Our trek starts today. In the morning we load the camels and head to Hamada. Enjoy a spectacular view of Jebel Saghro and Banni Mountains. We pass through a deserted village before reaching a flat plateau with little vegetation, and maybe some Bedouin nomads to get to our first golden dunes. After lunch in an oasis at Rass Nkhel, we take two-hour walk to get to our camp near the holy shrine of Sidi Naji. Dinner among the dunes while enjoying the magnificent sunset.

DISTANCE: 35km
TIME: 7-8 hrs trekking

Day 4: Sidi Naji – Dunes of Zahar
After breakfast we start our day trekking along the left bank of the Draa surrounded by a desert landscape shaped by the wind. We walk through different terrains, such as ‘Reg’, a gravel plain, ‘Hamada’, a wind-swept stony plain, and ’Wadis’, dry riverbeds, as we make our way towards the dunes of Zahar. After a leisurely lunch break, we continue through a vast empty expanse to reach the magnificent dunes of Zahar. Here we set up our camp among these dunes and watch the incredible sunset while enjoying the tea. Finally, we settle down for another night beneath the stars after dinner.

DISTANCE: 16Km
TIME: 4-5 hrs Trekking

Day 5: Zhar Dunes – Dunes of Tilhatine
Today we walk through small sand dunes of Zhar, then continue towards north and cross a wide bed of the Draa dotted with tamarisk and acacia trees. We have lunch in the shade of a dense patch of tamarisk before continuing through the desert to reach the smaller dunes of Tilhatine. Tonight we camp near a well which gives the camels a well-earned drink and us the opportunity to enjoy a wash if we wish!

DISTANCE: 20km
TIME: 7-8 hrs Trekking

Day 6: Dunes of Tilhatine – Our Berber campground at Ouled Driss
Wake up early to contemplate the sunrise on the Dunes of Tilhatine. The last stage of our trek starts today on the right bank of a wadi which has remained dry for the past 35 years since the construction of the El-Mansour-Eddhabi Dam near Ouarzazate. Previously during desert rainstorms, the waters would reach Iriki Lake and supported a rich ecological system of fish and birds. Today dunes block the passage of any water and the former lake is now a dry plateau. After lunch in the shade of the palm trees at Ras Nkhile, we will cross a dry riverbed to walk on a plateau dotted with small dunes to reach our campground at Ouled Driss.

DISTANCE: 23km
TIME: 7 hrs Trekking

Day 7: Ouled Driss – Marrakech
Meet our driver and drive back to Marrakech along the Draa Valley via the desert towns of Zagora and Ouarzazate. Arrive at Marrakech in the afternoon and free time to explore the city and its Medina.

Day 8: Marrakech – Airport
Depending on your flight schedule, you could spend some time exploring the city before our pre-arranged transfer takes you back to the Airport.

Price includes:

  • English-speaking Berber expert mountain guides
  • Camels and cameleers to carry your luggage
  • Berber Cook
  • All meals on the hike
  • Accommodation in Hotel/camping during the Trek 
  • Round-trip Transportation between the trek and your accommodation in Marrakech
  • Camping Materials (Tents & Mattress) for summer treks

Price does not includes:

  • Travel insurance
  • Soft/alcoholic drinks
  • Tips and personal expenses

The price depends on many factors, including the number of guests, the time of the year (low vs. high peak tour season), type of accommodation you want (basic, comfort, luxury), any additional activities you want to add, etc. For this reason, please get in touch with us. Being an expert in small group travel, we will try our best to incorporate your inputs into the itinerary.

AVAILABILITY & DATES

This trek runs from October to April. We skip the summer season because temperatures can reach over 40°.

This trek is available to be booked separately or can be combined with any of the other cross-country tours, active tours or day trips we offer. We can also customize the itinerary to meet your specific requirement. Please get in touch with us for details.

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