Morocco Holidays in Camps and Bivouacs
The Sahara, whose name itself conjures up romantic images of vast unending sands, charming desert oasis, and of course the sheltering sky is another not to be missed adventure in Morocco. If visitors to Morocco really want to lose themselves and get away from it all, there is no more extreme way to do so than to set off across the great desert. An overnight camel ride to a Berber encampment is a highlight and unforgettable experience.
We leave the snowy heights of the High Atlas and discover the oasis and palm groves, the ancient caravan routes and the secret places where we have our bivouacs. On the route of the green palm-grove of the Draa Valley, we pass through the well known Ait Benhaddou, and after Ouarzazate the amazing hidden Oasis of Fint. We reach the large flat and arid lands of the Sahara desert and if you have the chance to go a little further (another 60 km by camel or 4 wheeled vehicle) through the sacred oasis you can reach the big Chegaga dunes rising to 300m. Turn left and you can reach the town of Merzouga and the dunes of Erg Chebbi.
Here there is so much more than the eye can see, at sunset waves of dunes are all shades of ochre and gold as the sky turns through reds, oranges, purples and indigos as it darkens into night. Then if you are fortunate the sky will become a canopy of billions of stars that feel so close you could reach up and touch them. The milky way is there, the shooting stars are there too. It is truly a magical humbling experience and one that will touch your soul. A visit to the desert speaks to us all and if we care to listen, will draw you back many times to relive that feeling and emotion. We are from these desert lands, we know what it is saying, and we invite you to join us on a journey to experience for yourselves the magic of holiday in the bivouacs.
35 kilometers from Marrakech, in the small stone desert of Agafay. The camp siting affords stunning views of the Agafay’s barren grandeur and beyond to the snow-capped Atlas mountains. In camp Agafey you to silently savour this mystical desert landscape still untouched by tourism. Most of the activities offered are designed for you to enjoy the great outdoors and breathtaking panoramas of the region – quads and buggies, horse riding and mountain biking, trek with a mountain guide (picnic at a picturesque spot) and yoga class (depending on the teacher’s availability). Contact us for the rates of the different activities.
On the old caravan route from Tombouktou to Marrakech is the Ksar of Ait Benhaddou. A fortified adobe town built to house the travelers is still inhabited today by 8 to 10 Berber families. One of our favorite places to stop and make our bivouac camps is in this region.
Picnics are a popular activity in Morocco. Sundays particularly are the favorite day when families take off to some pretty spot in nature and enjoy the fresh air, relax unwind and eat great food in good company. We love to bring our clients for picnics too. As part of our tours and instead of a restaurant for lunch we often organize them.
OASIS OF FINT
Leave your mobile phone turned off and your ipad in your luggage. Open your eyes and ears. Drink in the colors, aromas sights and sounds of this spectacular oasis. Hidden away in the folds of the strange hills that surround this fertile gem is Oasis of Fint. At night listen to the songs of the tiny frogs while you gaze at the myriad of stars above and listen to the local musicians.
The original, iconic ‘Tombouctou, 52 jours’ (Timbuktu, 52 days) sign featuring a nomad with a smirking camel may have been swept away in an inexplicable government beautification scheme – but Zagora’s fame as a desert outpost remains indelible. The Saadians launched their expedition to conquer Timbuktu here in 1591, and desert caravans passing through Zagora gave this isolated spot cosmopolitan character. These days Zagora remains a trading post and meeting place, hosting a regional souk on Wednesdays and Sundays and putting on a variety of lively festivals.
Merzouga is a village in the Sahara Desert on the edge of Erg Chebbi, a 50km long and 5km wide set of sand dunes that reach up to 350m high. Most people are here to take a camel safari into the dunes, and to get a taste of remote Berber life. Our bivouacs can be for one night or one week. Maybe you will come and forget time as you unwind, stress and relax into the rhythm of the music and the life.
Chegaga is situated 60 km from M’Hamid El Ghizlane. It takes 3 days on foot or by camel to reach the Bivouacs or perhaps 2 hours in a 4×4. The desert camp lies at the foot of the Chegaga dunes, they are approx 300 meters high and are the most extensive dunes in the Moroccan Sahara. This really is the ideal location to get away from it all and disappear into the sunset!