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9 days 8 nights
As the renowned American author Paul Bowles observed, “no one who has stayed in the Sahara for a while is quite the same as when he came.” Experience your very own “Baptism of Solitude” through this perspective-changing, 9-day Sahara Desert experience. Five nights are spent under the vast, star-lit sky, and your days trekking among the spectacular sunrises, wide open landscape, and sandy dunes. Heritage visits to the UNESCO site of Ait Ben Haddou and Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Africa, complete your itinerary.
You will be picked up at the Marrakesh airport by your Experience Curator to be escorted in a mini bus to the riad or hotel. Take your time to refresh prior to dinner. You will enjoy the opportunity to get to know your fellow guests and team as we dine together. After dinner (each evening), you will be offered a briefing for the next day to ensure you are always prepared.
After breakfast, we will drive to Ouarzazate, known as the ‘Door of the Sahara’. We will first stop for lunch at Ait Ben Haddou, a majestic kasbah (fortress) and a UNESCO World Heritage site
We continue driving to Ouarzazate, where many famous shows such as Gladiator and Game of Thrones have been filmed. Enjoy free time to stroll around this compact city, inhabited by Berbers who constructed many of the prominent kasbahs and mud cast buildings for which the area is known.
After breakfast, we will set off by mini bus to our first camp in Faija. On the way, we will visit the impressive Taourirt Kasbah before we reach the panoramic landscape of the Draa Valley.
We will take a short cool walk under the oasis of palm trees surrounded by henna plants. Then we continue for Zagora, favoured by tourists for its ‘Timbuktu is 52 days away” signpost. We will have lunch here, and there is opportunity to browse the local market. Guests love to get into the Moroccan spirit by purchasing a traditional head scarf to protect their head from the hot desert sun.
Arriving at our first camp site in Faija, we will meet our dromedary team who will escort us through the desert. Dinner is freshly prepared by our team.
After breakfast, we start our first day walking with a short uphill trek through the Bani Mountain, onto the dry river of Om Laachar. Enjoy the tranquil, peaceful environment as you get your first view of the amazing Sahara landscape – the French call this first encounter, “le bapteme de la solitude.”
After a picnic lunch, we move on to our next camp site with afternoon tea and lots of time to rest, relax and experience the rugged wilderness prior to dinner. The sky in Morocco is often so crystal clear that you can see numerous star consolations. There is a wonderful feeling of freedom that is incomparable to anything else. Some guests love to absorb the moonlit sky and enjoy bivouacking in the open air.
After breakfast, we set off for our next destination, Amda n-Omssafi. Hopefully, we will meet some nomads from the Ait Aatta tribes on the journey. They often invite us to share mint tea with them in their nomad tents.
After lunch, we arrive at Amda-n-Ossafi camp. Dinner is followed by a relaxed evening prior to an early start tomorrow. Enjoy this free time to take photos, read or simply gaze at the wide open space. Chat with our guides who are all very knowledgeable about the history, traditions and lifestyle of the area.
After breakfast, our trek gets a little tougher as the walk is now purely desert sand. We will have lots of breaks and a picnic lunch in the middle of the dunes. The sand goes on as far as the eyes can see.
You will be amazed by the immensity of the scenery and how we find our way through the vast open landscape. Don’t worry. Our dromedary team knows the Sahara ‘blindfolded’ as they have walked it for years. You are in good hands. Here we will enjoy our first night camping in the middle of the dunes. Savour the amazing sun rises and sunsets of the vast Sahara.
Wake up in the morning and explore the footprints outside the tents from the activities the night before. Guess the different footprints of animals and insects; it is truly magical. After breakfast, we continue our steady walk through the dunes. We enjoy a picnic lunch along the way, and arrive at our evening camp on one of the highest dunes within this area, around 50m. The panorama from this height is simply breathtaking. Savour your dinner under millions of stars and say goodbye to our desert dromedary team.
We pack our bags after breakfast and return to Marrakech on 4×4 jeeps. We will drive through the famous dry lake of Iriqi, a flat scenic plateau area favoured by both locals and tourists for ‘crazy rally driving.’ After a picnic lunch on the way at Foumzguit, we will reach the bustling city of Marrakech.
You will be ready to relax, take a swim, or indulge in a hamman, spa or massage. In the evening, we offer an optional visit to the Jamaa Ifna Square to dine in a traditional Moroccan restaurant.
This is your time to spend as you wish until your departure. If your flight is in the late afternoon, why not take an open air city bus tour to see all the famous monuments of the “Red City?”
Please make sure you are back at your riad or hotel at least three hours prior to your flight departure for your airport transfer.
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