From Casablanca to the Sahara
Morocco will fascinate anyone with a true spirit of adventure.
From the walled Imperial cities with their bustling souks and grand palaces, to the immense space and solitude of the legendary Sahara, the country offers an unrivaled experience.
Our tours start from the cities of Casablanca or Marrakesh. Itineraries are completely customized and allow for absolute flexibility.
From Marrakesh, the road winds up into the High Atlas, the dramatic mountain range that splits this part of Morocco into two. At it's peak, Mount Toubkal, the atlas reaches 4165 meters ( 13,536 feet). Using the Tis'n test pass, the summit is still over 2000 meters.
Inhabited by Berber tribes, the atmosphere in the mountains is very different from the Arab dominated cities. Mountain villages hang precariously, surrounded by vertiginous terracing where the villagers grow their food. Snow covered in the winter,the valleys and rugged peaks are an amazing contrast to the Imperial cities.
The pass descends into Ouzarzate, a city centered around a desert kasbah (castle). From where you will reach the Draa valley. Thousands of date palms line the banks of the Draa river. The most striking aspect of this part of the trip are the local people. Dressed in bright colors,whether selling their wares from road side stalls or just walking about, these are a happy people with ready smiles and eager to offer their hospitality.
The Draa valley becomes more arid at the desert town of Zagora, with the palms fading and the sand beginning to dominate. Many tours use Zagora as a stepping off point for the desert. Yhe town was once the point of departure for the camel trains leading to Timbuktu.
Today, though, a thin ribbon of tarmac road leads deeper into the hammada, the stony desert, and closer to the sand sea of the deeper sahara.
One hundred kilomaters from Zagora, there can be no doubt that you have left civilisation behind and with it, mass tourism.
A scruffy, but very friendly village clusters around the end of the tarmac. Here we pickup our desert guides. The dunes are constantly moving, and routes that were once passable can be closed after a single sand storm. The only answer is expert local knowledge. Born in the area, they know exactly where to find an oasis, where the sand is firm and can be crossed, and where it is soft and you will be stuck.
Itineraries are always customized to a point to suit personal preferences. but to traverse the dunes at dusk, reaching the bivouac after dark, brings a tremendous reward the next morning. A night spent under traditional Berber tents around a campfire is an experience that should not be missed.
The sunrise over the desert in the early morning hours is a spectacular site to see.