Akabar - Sahara Treks - Come with us! Experience desert and nomad culture in Morocco!

Trekking and Homestay - our philosophy

For our treks only personally known nomads from the Jebel Bani mountains with their own camels are employed. By this way the chameliers can contribute with their own animals to the family's income: each chamelier receives an amount per camel and day. Hafid Benyachou hereby supports some herder families of the Jebel Bani. The cook and helpers are also from Tafraout area. Benyachou also employs nomads and their camels of other desert areas when they are in desperate situation.

Your booking with us allows nomads to continue living in their environment and not being forced to emigrate to cities. During the caravan, you will appreciate the special way of life, attention and friendliness of the inhabitants of the desert. For lunch and dinner we will sit together with our companions.
A desert hike and stay at nomads are very simple, without any comfort.  Yet, the traveler will be rewarded by the warmth, openness and catching joie de vivre of the desert dwellers. We also require that our guests are tolerant and flexible, and willing to integrate into the community and  are requested to help like collecting fire wood, getting water and cleaning up. On our walks we want to leave the desert clean and without large traces, therefore, combustible waste is incinerated and others taken back to Zagora and disposed there.
For us, it is important to carry out prudent and sustainable tourism, so as not to affect negatively the existing structures and culture of the nomads (more under "information": intercultural training)

Our offers are very tightly calculated, hotel and transport costs are current prices in Morocco. For this reason, it is not possible for us to reduce prices.

 

Hafid Benyachou and Monika Boch-Jacuk

 

 

 

 

 

  The Team:        P1020545    DSC02850                           
      

            
IMG 8841 Portrt2

Hafid Benyachou, Zagora is responsible for organisation, trekking, homestay and round trips. He descends from a nomad family of the Ait Atta tribe. After his abitur Benyachou studied teaching in Agadir and taught for several years children and young people at the nomadic school of Tafraout. He is the consultant for the nomads of Tafraout area and supports them actively in enforcing their interests outside the desert. So he set up with them the association "Association Akabar for Sustainable Development and Culture"; furthermore he is contact person and translator for the Italian organisation Il Mondo Incantato  www.assmondoincantato.com and for the German voluntary organisation "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen" (see aid projects for nomads). Hafid has several years experience as a trekking guide for the company of his brother. In 2014 he founded his trekking company "Akabar - Sahara treks". Benyachou has visited Germany in 2013 and during his stay he visited travel agencies and the head office of "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen" in Berlin, where he described the water situation of Tafraout area and asked for help. 




IMG 8924Portraet Moni

My name is Monika Boch-Jacuk and I am responsible for creating the website, contacts to interested travelers and travel advice as well as support of nomadic families. I studied International Business M.Sc. (GB) and worked for several years in banks. Desert and its inhabitants have always interested me; I have done hiking in desert for many years and thus gained my trekking experience. This year (2017) is my 11th time in southern Morocco.
In 2011, after a trekking tour through the desert of southern Morocco, I stranded with nomadic families far away in a remote valley. I have been there several times,  taught young nomads in English and now I am trying along with H. Benyachou to help them to an additional income by offering trekking and homestay. Hereto, there are reports in Stern Magazin Viva ! No. 2/ 2013 and in the in-house newspaper of the Sparkasse Markgräflerland " Hausgeist 2013 ":

By chance, I stumbled upon the commitment of the German organisation "Ingenieure ohne Grenzen" and as at that time (summer 2012) some families already left the valley of Tafraout due to dwindling wells, I described the situation to the employees of the Berlin headquarters of "Engineers" and asking if help would be appreciated. In August 2013, Hafid Benyachou and I visited the responsible engineer of Berlin headquarter, who informed us that the engineer's group "Munich" was already interested in the task. There was a lot of correspondence, Skype and the sending of rock samples to Munich. In November 2014 two teams of "engineers" examined the water situation of almost all wells in Tafraout valley, supported by Hafid (as translator and organisator of food etc.) and the nomads association Akabar.

I am voluntary engaged for the people of Sahara and in supporting business of "Akabar - Sahara treks"; thus no extra costs from Germany are included in our prices.

 

 

IMG 20140518 102155My name is Silvia Conrad and I am since years trekking participant with Hafid Benyachou and his nomad team. The desert and its inhabitants have fascinated me immidiately.
I teach Hatha Yoga in the Southern Germany and will accompany you on yoga and trekking hikes during my holidays. Therefore I should know the times of your scheduld trekking monthes in advance.
25 years ago I had my first encounter with Yoga and came over again into contact with the tradition of Yoga on my various trips to Asia. Coming on intensive way in touch with my body and breath immediately fascinated me and since then Yoga accompanies me in my daily life. Among others I was inspired by Jyengar Yoga.
I like to teach the classical asanas as a flow, the sun salutation and it's variations, those also held powerful and long. This intensive work will support us and let us be attentive in everyday life.

           


 P1050460  Khadija Ahabal: resonsible for guests staying in Tafraout

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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Mohamed "Larbi" is our driver, counselor and friend, and member - treasurer - of the nomads Association Akabar Tafraout. He is also strongly committed to the nomadic communities of Jebel Bani and the subsequent desert areas. It is always a special experience with Larbi and his old jeep to be on the road with him, because Larbi is very humorous, friendly and attentive and on a tour with him, the fun factor comes not too short. Larbi speaks Arabic and French. Trekking guests are also invited to his house and Larbi lets them enjoy Arabian hospitality and the delicious tajines prepared by his wife.

 

 

 

  P1000768 Lahsen Rabouze, older brother of Yusuf, is our cook. From breakfast to dinner he conjures delicious Moroccan cuisine on the "table"

 

 

 

 

 

 P1020417 Mohamed Okhye is nomad, chamelier and a great cook. He guides especially our very small groups like single travellers and couples. Mohamed can read from your face. He is responsible for the camels; for the treks he takes the camels of various nomadic families of Jebel Bani and Boujah area, who thus have an income.

 

 

 

 

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  Ydir Okhye is Mohamed's older brother and responsible for guiding and camels. And like his borther also a great cook; his plain breads baked in sand or on hot stones are very delicious.

 

 

 

    

 

P1000737 Yusuf Rabouze is our experienced junior guide and also chamelier. He is from a nomad family who lived with it's herd until last year in Jebel Bani mountains, yet moved near Tafraout village. Yusuf is about 20 years old, went to the nomad school of Tafraout, thus speaks a little English. He is always very happy to accompany interested travellers on their trekking tour. He knows the desert - mountains and dunes - by heart 

 

 

 

20150407 162946 Kopie   Yusuf Karmoud is chamelier/nomad from a hidden valley in the Jebel Bani range; some of our treks are passing his grounds.                            


                                       
       

 

                               

                  Video2   

.   Video: Akabar - Sahara Treks   
          

   

 
             

                     Video6       Berber music by Mohammed and Yusuf