Morocco: Camels to Casbahs

Imperial Cities, Atlas Mountains, and the Golden Dunes of the Sahara

Trip Level

This trip is rated Level 2+, Moderate. It combines overland travel and cultural exploration with a 2-night stay at a private luxury camp in the desert, which includes the opportunity to ride a camel, 4WD or walk in the Sahara.

Average Day
• 3-5 hours on your feet exploring towns, cities, and cultural centers
• 2 hours driving

Challenge Days
• Day 9: we hike for a total of about 3 hours and drive for 3-4 hours

How Tough is This Trip?
Most days we will be exploring a variety of cities, museums and cultural sites on foot, so being comfortable walking for several hours a day is important.

Weather

Morocco has climatic variations but the weather is largely moderate, with a cooling influence from the Mediterranean and Atlantic. The average temperature is 62°-73°F on the west coast and 50°-80°F in the interior. In the mountains, peaks are snow-capped most of the year but it can be hot during the daytime. In the south, the weather is hot and dry throughout the year, and temperatures can drop dramatically at night.

Accommodations

We enjoy first-class hotels and high-end riads in the cities and smaller, quainter lodges in the more remote areas. We spend two nights at a private Sahara desert camp while on the camel trek, where we provide all the comforts you would want in a luxury tented camp. Canvas interiors are hung with bright fabrics and carpeted with Moroccan rugs. Comfortable beds are covered by cozy duvets. You’ll have a washstand, shower, and toilet within your tent, separated from the sleeping room by traditional white curtains. Meals are served in a large dining tent with a comfortable lounging area outside.

Cuisine

Meals will be a mix of à la carte and family style at local restaurants, cafés and hotels. Tajine (a slow-cooked meat stew often made with chicken, seafood, vegetables, olives, prunes, or almonds) is an important staple of Moroccan cuisine, as is couscous, kebab, and harira, a rich, spiced bean soup. We will also be eating dishes with a more French influence as well as seafood.

Transporation

The majority of your transportation is provided in a comfortable air-conditioned minibus. On some of the smaller, more remote roads where larger vehicles cannot easily access, we use Toyota 4WD Land Cruisers. Filtered water is carried on board our vehicles at all times for your use.

CAMEL RIDING

In the Sahara, we enjoy two days of exploring the desert landscape via camel. On the first day, we drive into the desert to meet our camels and Tuareg cameleers. You can walk or ride camels, or you can opt to ride to camp by 4WD vehicle. The next day, several options are available—you can explore a small mountain called M’ifis and the dunes of Erg Znagui by camel, enjoy a walk, or simply stay in camp and enjoy the surroundings. The desert walking is not difficult but covers a variety of terrain with no trails, from hard-packed desert to vast sand dunes. Our camels are roped together in groups of three or four and led by a cameleer. Most people alternately ride and walk, as camel riding for long periods can be uncomfortable. You can walk if you don't want to ride a camel at all, or relax in the camp instead.

Please note: Camels can be unpredictable animals. It is possible for the camel to stumble on rough terrain or make a sudden erratic movement. Since camels cannot be saddled as securely as horses, the possibility of a fall is increased. It’s important to follow the instruction and guidance of your Trip Leader, and to stay alert while riding. Anyone participating in this optional activity must acknowledge the inherent risks in riding and perhaps falling from the saddle, and agree to accept responsibility.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.

References

We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.