Dades: mules, Merzouga: Camels - 8 days
1st day: Marrakesh – Dades Gorges
Morning departure from your hotel/riad in Marrakesh at 8 o'clock and cross the High Atlas Mountains over Tizi-n-Tichka, the highest mountain pass in Africa. We continue to the Dades Gorge, 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 see the cosmetic articles locally-made from the valley’s abundant roses. These products are well-known throughout Morocco and are highly valued. You stop in the Dades gorge in a hotel by the river for the night.
2nd, 3rd and 4th days:
After breakfast, a trek of three days and two nights in the area surrounding the Dades Gorge begins. During the trek, mules carry the equipment (blankets, mattresses, kitchen equipment as well as personal luggage). The pace and length of each portion of the trek is set by the hikers, allowing time to stop as and when desirable or necessary. You will probably spend one night with a Berber family and the other higher up the mountains in caves with Berber nomads tending their goats up there.
5th day: the mountains – Merzouga
In the morning, we walk back to the hostel to freshen up with a shower, before driving to the Erg Chebbi dunes in Merzouga, stopping along the way to visit the Toudgha Gorge and stopping again later at Rissani for lunch. Alternatively you will have lunch in the bivouac on arrival, where you will spend the night.
6th day: Merzouga
In the morning, a three-hour camel ride across the great sand dunes and through the stony Sahara, is scheduled, stopping to prepare lunch among the dunes. In the afternoon, a camel ride for another two hours is programmed to reach the high dunes (Erg Chebbi). From here, at 250m, the sunset is a spectacular sight. Dinner and the night are in a bivouac at the foot of the dunes.
7th day: Merzouga – Ouarzazate
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. We then drive back east to the Dra’a Valley via the villages of Tazzarine (featured in the film ‘Babel’) and N’Qob for lunch. In the afternoon, we drive to Tanasikht, along the track of the ancient caravan route, reaching the Dra’a valley, full of large palm trees and ancient Kasbahs, at Agdez. The road then crosses the Tizi-n- Tinfifite pass to Ouarzazate and the night in a riad.
8th day Ouarzazate – Marrakesh
After breakfast, there isa visit to Kasbah Taourirt which was the residence of the Pasha of Marrakesh and where he held his goods brought in the caravans from sub-Saharan Africa before he sold them. The day continues with a visit to Ait ben Haddou, a World Heritage site and the backdrop for many Hollywood blockbusters. It is the most famous Kasbah in Morocco. From there the road continues to Telouet, along the new asphalted road. This kasbah is set right in the midst of the mountains and was once the seat of the last Pasha of Marrakesh, El Glaoui, from where the highest pass in Africa, Tizi-n-Tichka was controlled. At the end of the afternoon we arrive in Marrakesh.
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.