Sahara Desert Dream

Morning departure by the 4×4 from Ouarzazate to the Dades gorges and Todra gorges, passing the oasis of Skoura, where numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees. From here, our route takes us through Kela’a M’gouna, the valley of roses, where we stop to have a berber tea. From here we drive off-road along the road of a thousand kasbahs to the Dades gorges for lunch. If anyone would like to, it can gladly be arranged to share lunch with a berber family. After lunch there is time for a walk alongside the Boumalne Dades river before continuing to the Todra gorges for the night.

After breakfast, there is time to walk a little in the Tinghir palm grove. The itinerary continues to the dunes of Merzouga via the Ziz valley, the oasis of Tafilalet and arrive in Erfoud in time for lunch. In the afternoon, our trip continues to Merzouga dunes for a walk so as to reach the dunes of Erg Chebbi (250m). From the top of the dunes the sunset is spectacular. Here, at Erg Chebbi, we will have dinner and spend the night in a campsite.

We trek by dromedary for two days to discover the most beautiful desert of Morocco and its vast dunes with varying features of the desert; ‘erg’, ‘reg’, ‘hammada’, oases. After sunset, the night will be spent in a nomad tent, which is also the venue for dinner. Walking time during the trek is approximately 4 hours a day (2 hours in the morning, and the same again in the afternoon), although it is also possible to ride the camels. Other camels are there to carry the equipment. Meals and tents are prepared by our guides and camel drivers.

If you wake up early enough, you can watch the spectacle of the sunrise, when the colour of the dunes and the play of shadows are an awesome sight. The return to the hostel in Merzouga for having a shower is on camel back and, after having breakfast, the itinerary continues to the Dra’a valley via the villages of RissaniAlnifTazzarine (featured in the film ‘Babel’), and N’Qob where we stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive along the ancient caravan route and the Dra’a valley, with its huge palm trees and ancient kasbahs. At the end of the afternoon, the kasbah of Tamnougalte offers dinner and a night’s rest.

After breakfast there will be a visit to the kasbah itself before returning to Ouarzazate, via the mountain pass of Tizi-n-Tinfifte (1660m). Once in Ouarzazate, an unpaved track to the oasis of Fint, nestling among the mountains, which once served as the crossroads of caravans, provides a hidden delight. After lunch, a visit to the Atlas Film Studios is scheduled before driving to the kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou (the most famous kasbah in Morocco and the subject of many post-cards. This Kasbah sets the scene for many Hollywood blockbuster films, such as ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Alexander’ and ‘The Gladiator’. It is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage sites in Morocco and was elected as such in 1987). The return to Ouarzazate will complete the trip at the end of the afternoon.

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