Kasbahs, Dra’a Valley, Zagora, Erg Chagaga – 4 days

 

1st day: Marrakesh – Ouarzazate
Morning departure at 8.30 from your hotel or riad in Marrakesh to cross the High Atlas Mountains. After the Tichka pass, the highest in North Africa at 2260 m, you leave the main road and take a side road to the Telouet Kasbah, which belonged to the Lords of the Atlas, the Glaoui family. Each addition to the building now stands in ruins exposed to the wind and the rain, having been abandoned and plundered after the last Pasha fled the country following the departure of the French in 1956. Wait to be pleasantly surprised by the traditional interior decoration as you reach the farthest end of the Kasbah.

From here you drive along the beautiful and awe-inspiring Ounila Valley, full of bends in the roads, surprises at the hues of the rock and soil, Berber villages and gardens, as well as smaller Kasbahs.  Almost at the end of the road, you reach Aït Ben Haddou, where you stop for a tasty lunch, after which you will be energised to visit this UNESCO World Heritage site and famous backdrop to innumerable Hollywood blockbusters. We continue the short distance to Ouarzazate for the night in a riad or guest house.

2nd day: Ouarzazate – Mhamid
After breakfast, the trip continues to Agdez, crossing the Tizi-n-Tinfifte pass with views of extraordinary rock formations in the rocky hills. Shortly after this small town, you stop to visit Kasbah Tamnougalte, the oldest Kasbah in the Dra’a Valley, before taking the ancient caravan road between the river and the mountains for a short while. On the way, we pass many villages and gardens so that you can gain a better idea of the way of life in the life-giving oases. Once in Zagora, we stop for lunch. In the afternoon we drive further south still, to M’hamid, the gate to the desert. Here a one- to two-hour camel ride leads to the highest dune to enjoy an unforgettable sunset and to spend the beauty of the night in a nomad tent close to the dunes of Erg Lihoudi.

3rd day: M’hamid – Chagaga
After breakfast, you return to M’hamid to visit the old village across the now frequently dry Dra’a river. 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, where nomadic life is hard, subject to the vagaries of the wind, sandstorms and sparse rainfall.  But the silence and the expanse of the sand are overwhelming. Here you could have a second camel ride if you wish. Dinner and a night’s sleep are in a camp of nomad tents.

4th day: Chagaga – Marrakesh
After breakfast, the road takes us through another 90km of the desert with varying scenery; Lake Iriqui, where you are very likely to experience a vast mirage in the heat haze, mountains, and fossils. Lunch will be in Foum Zguid, the first village after the desert, where it is also possible to freshen up with a shower. From here the drive back to Marrakesh is along paved roads via the village of Taznakht, famous for its Berber carpets and rugs. Crossing the High Atlas once again but with amazingly different views travelling in the other direction, we reach Marrakesh at the end of the afternoon.

Prices per person

No Days Meals
4  All inclusive
Total price
2 persons
450 € *
900 € *
3 persons
395 € *
1185 € *
4 persons
385 € *
1540 € *
5 persons
365 € *
1825 € *
6 persons
365 € *
2190 € *

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, a Toyota Prado and fuel, an experienced English/French/Spanish/Italian-speaking driver/guide, all accommodation and meals as well as the camel ride on the relevant tours. Drinks and tips are not included.

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

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

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