Rock carvings in South Morocco - 7 days
1st day: Marrakesh – Ouarzazate
Morning departure from your hotel/riad in Marrakesh at 8 o'clock and driving across the High Atlas mountains. At panoramic viewpoints, there will be opportunities to stop and take photos. The first scheduled stop is at the Kasbah of Telouet, which served as a palatial residence and the headquarters of the powerful Glaoui tribe. Here you will stop for lunch. Then the route crosses the Ounila Valley and leads along the stunning road to the Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, the oldest and most famous Kasbah in Morocco and a UNESCO World Heritage site. In Ouarzazate you spend the night in a riad.
2nd day: Ouarzazate to Zagora
After breakfast you continue south down towards Agdez at the head of the Dra’a Valley, once the longest river in Morocco. Here nearby, you can visit the oldest Kasbah in the valley, Kasbah Tamnougalte, which is well worth a visit. Parts of it are still inhabited whilst others, especially the Mellah, the Jewish quarter, is slowly crumbling after the last person emigrated in the early ‘60s. We go off-road along the ancient caravan route between the mountains and the river, passing many villages and gardens so that you can gain a better idea of the way of life along the oases. Travelling along from there, you leave the road at Tinzouline to visit the first rock carvings of the tour at Foum Chenna. Turning back about 15 km, you cross the Dra’a River at Tansikht to continue to the small Berber town of N’kob. Between N’kob and Tazzarine and before you reach that village, the road turns south and then west to the village of Ait Ouazik, where the rock carvings were only discovered very recently. These carvings are remarkable for their deep incisions with simple, accurate and highly appealing outlines of animals. This site is estimated to be at least 5000 years old. We continue to Zagora to spend the night there
3rd day: Zagora – Chagaga
After breakfast you continue south to M’hamid, the end of the paved road and the dunes of Erg Lihoudi. In the afternoon, there is the departure for the Erg Chagaga dunes (300m) with 60km of off-road. This route passes different features of the desert; "erg", ‘hammada’, oases. These dunes are far away from civilization, in the desert proper …… and the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming. Dinner and a night’s sleep are in a bivouac of nomad tents.
4th day: Chagaga – Tata
After breakfast we drive another 90 km across the Sahara over the stony desert, “reg” and “hammada” and across the now dried-up Lake Iriqui. In the middle of this lake, we can search for fossils. At the edge of the desert at Foum Zguid, we turn west along the edge of the desert along the asphalted road to Tata which few people visit. This is the old Algeria to Zagora caravan route and passes oases and the Jebel Bani Mountains, which later give way to the Anti Atlas. In Tata is it worth visiting the Kasbah and the small museum!
5th day: Tata
The whole day is spent exploring the rock art sites at Oum La Leg, Oued Mestakou and at Tiggane. All three of these sites are situated quite near to each other in the Oued (river) Tata valley). In the afternoon we shall drive south-west towards Akka, where there are many artefacts at a Neolithic site there. These special engravings are all to be found close together along a spectacular ridge. We return to Tata for the night.
6th day: Tata to Taroudant
From Tata we continue to Imaoun where carvings can be found side by side on the outcrops of rock. The site is situated at break in the ridge rising up from the river plain. From here you head north following the Tata river and passing through Tiata Tagmoute, a small Berber town, to join the Tilouine to Tafraoute road, which you do at Ighrem. From here we continue to travel north to Taroudante for lunch. Taoudant is called “the little Marrakesh” and is worth exploring for the afternoon before spending the night there.
7th day: Taroudant to Marrakesh
After breakfast, we climb back up the High Atlas Mountains across the famous Tizi-n-Test pass, stopping at the Tinmal mosque, which may be visited by non-Moslems. Lunch will be in a mountain restaurant with superb views. The road continues through the mountains to Asni and Tahanoute, which is one of the most beautiful roads in Morocco, with amazing views of the High Atlas mountains and Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa and a favourite trekking destination. We reach Marrakesh in the late afternoon / early evening.
Prices per person
- There is a 25% reduction for children under 12 years old whilst we do not charge for children under 5 .The price for trips includes the transport in a private air-conditioned 4x4;Toyota Prado or Mitsubishi Pajero,and fuel. Experienced English-, French-, Spanish- and Italian-speaking driver / guide, all accommodation and meals as well as the camel ride on the relevant tours. Drinks and tips are not included.These prices are liable to fluctuation according to the current exchange rate.