Dades Gorges, Zagora, Erg Chagaga – 5 days

 

1st day: Marrakesh – Dades gorges
Morning departure at 8 o’clock from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh to cross the High Atlas Mountains. After the Tichka pass, the highest pass in Africa, you reach Ouarzazate, the largest town in the area, and continue through the Skoura Oasis, where olives, almonds, lucerne, barley and fruit tress such as apple, apricots, figs and pomegranates are grown. Here numerous ancient kasbahs, some sadly in ruins, stand amongst the palm trees, but you will visit a very famous kasbah, Kasbah Amredhil, which used to be depicted on the old 50 dirham banknote.  It has been beautifully restored so is intact and well worth a visit.  From here, the route takes us through Kela’a M’gouna, the Valley of Roses, with a stop to see nationally treasured cosmetic articles made locally from the valley’s abundant roses. You stop in the Dades gorge in a guest house for the night.

2nd day: Dades gorges – Zagora
After breakfast, we go south, through the Saghro mountain range, (“Saghro” in Tamazight, the Berber language, means “drought” and this area is certainly very dry and rocky. Annual rainfall is only 100 mm in the southern slopes and 300 mm at the summits.)  You cross the Tizi-n’Tazazert pass at 2283 metres, driving along the newly completed and asphalted road (2019) to reach N’Kob for lunch. From here our route takes us to the Dra’a Valley, which we join at Tansikht and where we turn south to Zagora. The road follows the ancient caravan route between the Dra’a River and the mountains and gives a view of the gardens and kasbahs in the valley. We stop just south of the town in the Zagora dunes, where you will have a camel ride of an hour to an hour & a half and dinner in a camp of nomad tents.

3rd day: Zagora – Chagaga dunes
The next morning we continue to M’hamid and Erg Lihoudi, where there is an opportunity for another camel ride if you wish.  Lunch is in M’hamid itself, and you can visit the old “ksar” of Mhamid, which is a traditional, partially covered, adobe village.  Later we make our way across another 60km through the varying features of the desert; ‘erg’ (dunes), ‘hammada’ (stony desert), oases, to the Erg Chagaga dunes. These are the greatest dunes in Morocco and are approximately 300m high and 35km long. You could ride the camels to the bottom of the dunes if you wish for a wonderful view of the setting sun, before returning to the camp at the foot of the dunes.

4th day: Chagaga dunes – Ouarzazate
After breakfast, the road crosses another 90km of the desert, passing Lake Iriqui, as well as fossils finds for enthusiasts. The first village at the very edge of the desert is Foum Zguid. “Foum” means “mouth” – so is the mouth/source of the Zguid River.  We travel north past amazing rock formations and oases of palm trees until we reach the town of Taznakht, a small Berber town famous for its rugs and gelims. You will have lunch here before continuing to Ouarzazate for the night in a riad.

5th day: Ouarzazate – Marrakesh
After breakfast, we continue our desert trip to visit the famous Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou. This site has frequently been used as the background for some memorable scenes in many film masterpieces, such as “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Gladiator”. It is also one of Morocco’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. We visit the Kasbah and have lunch, before driving along the beautiful Ounila Valley, full of gardens and fields down below the road as it follows the river bed. After Inmiter, you could ask your driver to see whether the salt mine caves are open. Shortly afterwards, we visit Kasbah Telouet, the palatial residence of the one-time Pasha of Marrakesh, Thami Glaoui, who owned that salt mine which made the Glouis very rich.  The Kasbah now stands in ruins and the two older parts from the 18th and 19th Centuries are in particular disrepair. After Glaoui fled the country following the departure of the French, the Kasbah was plundered and abandoned. From here, we drive across the Tizi-n-Tichka pass and back to Marrakesh, which we reach by the afternoon.

Prices per person

No Days Meals
5  All inclusive
Total price
2 persons
545 € *
1090 € *
3 persons
465 € *
1395 € *
4 persons
435 € *
1740 € *
5 persons
415 € *
2075 € *
6 persons
415 € *
2490 € *

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 4×4;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

An option to go to and return from the camp by 4×4.

included. These prices are liable to fluctuation according to the current exchange rate.

Book Now