Last September, after travelling independently in the North of Morocco with its historic places, my son and I had a few days to spare in Marrakesh. To go across the High Atlas and possibly get a glimpse of the desert, we knew we would not want to do that on our own. Desert Majesty was very responsive and looked promising. The logistics of pick-up and drop-off in Marrakesh were ideal to decide on a 3-day/2-night trip. It exceeded our expectations in terms of drivers/guides, the tour itself. After Merzouga and a completely unexpected dromedary desert ride, sleeping under the shooting stars, I was hooked.
Speaking enthusiastically about the experience and my wish to return for at least 3 nights in the desert, my friend Julia was game. Desert Majesty put together our itinerary with pick-up in Marrakesh and drop-off in Essaouira.
Ali was our assigned driver, guide. Knowing those narrow, switchback Atlas mountain roads, it was important to have a confidence inspiring driver. Ali made us feel comfortable be it at stops, lunch places, Riads, visiting sights, answering our many questions about Morocco, family life, schools, etc. all of which led to very lively, interesting exchanges. In addition to his excellent driving/guide skills, he displayed a wonderful sense of humor with plenty of spontaneous laughter and smiles on both sides.
During the off-road part after Erg Chegaga to Foum-zguid, he stopped at “watering” wells where herds of goats rushed to drink and a small caravan stopped as well, at an oasis which could have been out of a “picture book”, pointed to nomads and a large camel herd, explained some nomad enclosures. Hewent far beyond the written itinerary and kept us interested and alert during the long stretches of necessary driving. We felt well taken care of, trusted him implicitly.
Our desert trip started in a bivouac in MHamid where we met our desert guides: the two Omars. One was an excellent cook—never thought that food could be so fresh, so varied and well presented on a red “table cloth” in the desert. Watching bread being baked in the desert sand was quite an experience. It was by far the best bread we ate. Omar, the wonderful cook was very much in tune with the desert. He pointed out plants and even found a lizard in the sand by knowing its tracks. We learned about camels, why “grass bushels” were better food than tree leaves, why the camels would return early in the morning after having been given the limited freedom of finding food. The camels were well chosen for us.
Arriving in Essaouira at the Gate closest to our Riad, Ali arranged with one of the luggage carriers to take us there through the narrow alleys of the Medina to the Riad. This was the point where our tour came to an end, and it fell like saying good-bye to a friend, a family member.
Thank you Desert Majesty; thank you, Ali for your excellent services. You made it easy to highly recommend Desert Majesty and you.