FROM: USD $835

Trek the Sahara - 8 Days

Trek through the heart of Morocco's magnificent Sahara Desert on this unique walking holiday. Follow in the Berbers' footsteps, marvel at towering sand dunes, snaking wadis and beautiful deserted villages, and wild camp for three nights under the Saharan sky on one of our most adventurous tours.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates

Trip Highlights

Walking through the heart of the magnificent Sahara - the third largest desert in the world
Hiking on little-used trails and enjoying the incredible feeling of remoteness
Camping amongst magnificent dunes and beneath star-filled Saharan skies - a true wilderness experience
Experiencing an incredible variety of rich desert landscapes from dry wadis to the sweeping crests of dunes
Enjoying sunsets, sunrises and star gazing amongst the magnificent dunes of Zahar
Exploring magical Marrakech and the colourful UNESCO listed Djeema El Fna

Included

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Return airport transfers on days 1 and 8
Escorted by an English speaking Moroccan tour leader
Group size - Minimum: 4 Maximum: 12
2 nights simple hotels, 2 nights fixed camps and 3 nights wild camping
A full service trek including food and all equipment (excluding personal equipment)
All land transport involved in the itinerary

Not Included

Tipping - an entirely personal gesture.
International flights and visa

Itinerary

Day 1

Marrakech

Upon arrival at Marrakech airport you will be met and transferred to our hotel in the city. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city or just relax at the hotel. This evening we enjoy our first group meal together at the hotel.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Dinner

Day 2

Tichka Pass (2260m)

Marrakech - Ouled Driss. After breakfast we travel out of the city and across the High Atlas via Tichka Pass (2260m) - the highest road in the country. After we have crossed the mountains we descend into Ouarzazate and the Draa Valley. The largest palm grove in Morocco is here and stretches for over 100km on the banks of the River Draa. Then we pass through Agdz, Zagora and Tagounit en route to our final destination Ouled Driss - perched on the edge of the Sahara. During this incredibly scenic journey there will be plenty of stops for photo opportunities.

We arrive at our traditional Berber camp late afternoon and this evening we enjoy our first dinner in the desert. Our desert accommodation is in fixed tents, which have been upgraded with certain western comforts such as hot showers.
Overnight: Ouled Driss - fixed camp  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

El Ghizlane

Ouled Driss - El Ghizlane. Whilst enjoying our breakfast our trusty camels will be loaded up before we head out into the desert. We travel east today across palm groves and fields as we reach the edge of the sands and the dramatic cliffs of the harmada of Draa in the south. Whilst we are walking, our camels will be following slowly behind as they meander the dunes towards El Ghizlane. We will pass through a small and deserted village whose previous inhabitants had mastered the art of living comfortably in this arid environment.

We stop for an early lunch at Rass Nkhel before our final two hours of walking. Our camp tonight is near the holy shrine of Sidi Naji. Dinner tonight is amongst the dunes.
Overnight: El Ghizlane - wild camp  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Dunes & Desert

El Ghizlane - Zahar. Today we continue along the left bank of the Draa (Morocco's longest river) which is surrounded by a desert landscape shaped mainly by the wind. In the Sahara desert there is a special vocabulary to describe the different forms that deserts take. 'Wadi' is a dry river valley, 'hamada' a wind-swept stony plain and 'reg' is a gravel plain.

When talking about a desert, especially one as famous as the Sahara, many people's imaginations conjure up vast seas of sand rippled with sand dunes - these are known as 'erg'. Today we'll encounter all of these forms as we walk from our camp towards the distant dunes of Erg Ez-Zahar.

Our camels will join us at first as we head to Malga Ouedane - the meeting of the Wadis where we will stop for lunch. This afternoon we continue through a vast empty expanse to reach the magnificent dunes of Zahar. Our camp this evening is in the middle of the dunes. We will sip tea and admire the sunset before enjoying dinner and settling down for a night beneath the stars.
Overnight: Zahar - wild camp  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Draa riverbed walk

Zahar - Tilhatine. This morning we begin to head north and cross a wide bed of the Draa. The Draa is home to some incredible fauna like the tamarisk and acacia trees which are able to find water from the dry stony desert floor. Our lunch today is under the shade of the tamarisk trees before we continue into the desert. Our final destination is Tilhatine - a part of the desert with smaller dunes.
Overnight: Tilhatine - wild camp  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

El Mansour Eddhabi dam

Tilhatine - Ouled Driss. After breakfast we continue our trek on the right bank of the wadi - this wadi has remained dry for 35 years since El Mansour Eddhabi dam near Ouarzazate was constructed. Before then the waters would reach Iriki Lake during desert rainstorms and it supported a rich ecology of fish and birds - it is now a dry plateau. After lunch at Ras Nkhile we cross the dry riverbed and walk back to our fixed camp back at Ouled Driss.
Overnight: Ouled Driss - fixed camp  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Atlas Mountains

Ouled Driss - Marrakech. We have an early breakfast this morning before we drive back to Marrakech via the Atlas Mountains. After hotel check in we will head out into the famous Djeema El Fna for dinner on our final night.
Overnight: Marrakech  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Marrakech

Our adventure ends today and complimentary airport transfers are provided. Should you wish to extend your stay we are happy to arrange post tour accommodation for you.
Breakfast

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday involves walking for 6-7 hours on each of the 4 trekking days, over a variety of contrasting desert terrain, including rugged trails, stoney paths and soft desert sand. We wild camp for 3 nights on this holiday whilst in the desert, which is a real highlight of the holiday. All our camping and personal equipment is carried by the camels so it is only necessary to carry a small daypack with daily essentials. Winter daytime temperatures in the desert are pleasant and walking at this time of year should be quite comfortable.

Before booking this trip please refer to the Trip Notes for further information about the trek, including the distance covered each day.

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room/tent.

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2018
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $835
USD $180
USD $835
USD $180
2019
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
USD $835
USD $180
USD $835
USD $180
USD $835
USD $180
USD $835
USD $180
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USD $835
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In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Marrakech
Ends
Marrakech
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
Simple hotels, fixed and wild camping.
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 6, Dinner: 7
Visiting
Marrakech, Ouled Driss, El Ghizlane, Zahar, Tilhatine
Countries
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