Morocco: Camel trekking and desert hikes in Sahara with Akabar - Sahara Treks and the team of Ait Atta nomads

Article Index

 

The following hikes give a choice of Akabar - Sahara Treks' programme and can be extended as desired

 

The trekking dates you will find in menue under " Calendar - Information"

 

Trekking in Marokko 
 
 
 

Our long hikes:

Especially recommended are the long tours from 8 days onwards. We dive into the desert landscapes, hiking on narrow, barely visible herders' pathes through the lonely Jebel Bani mountains with its gorges and traverse vast plains, oases with palm trees, olive trees, oleander and many medicinal plants of the nomads. From the southern edge of the Jebel Bani, we look out over shimmering black plains, mountains and slabs of rock into the almost endless expanse of the Sahara. In the haze, the dunes can be guessed. Depending on the season and weather, either the mountains or the dune landscapes are focused.
Hafid Benyachou's carefully selected and tested tours allow travellers to be quiet and relaxed, as well as being cared for by his nomadic team with delicious Moroccan cuisine, berber tea and occasionally a campfire in the evening, where in the embers the traditional flatbread will be baked.
The special effect of the long desert walks is describes as follows by Jürgen Werner in his book "Wüstenwandern, Unterwegs am Rande der Unendlichkeit".

"Beinahe rund um die Uhr werden wir fremdbestimmt, und tagtäglich bombardieren uns Tausende von Sinneseindrücken....Wir sind eingespannt in einen Alltag, der uns viel zu wenig Zeit gewährt, Atem zu holen.
... Nur selten finden wir Muße, innezuhalten und uns umzusehen, wo wir uns eigentlich befinden, wo unser Herz, unsere Seele zu Hause sind. ...
Wenn wir in die Wüste gehen, ist alles anders. Es gibt wohl nur wenige Orte auf unserer Erde, die sich so wesentlich von den uns vertrauten Orten der Zivilisation unterscheiden wie die Wüste. Nichts ist dort so, wie wir es kennen und wie wir es aus unserem Leben gewohnt sind. Durchqueren wir die Wüste, durchqueren wir einen Raum der Stille und Unermesslichkeit. ...Jedoch das Gehen in der Wüste hält für uns viele Chancen bereit. Es kann uns von Begehrlichkeiten befreien und auch von negativem Denken und Überheblichkeit. Wenn wir es Blick beruhigt sich an den einfachen Formen von Sand, Felsen und Himmel."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

5 days camel trekking on nomadic paths through dunes and mountains

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From cave painting site to the nomads' village:
Ascent into this varied mountain landscape of Jebel Bani. Opportunity to visit the cave paintings which were discovered only in 2008. During the next four days the caravan will go through the diverse rock desert, valleys and canons of the Jebel Bani mountain range. On the way we will meet nomad families herding their flock. The trek ends in the mountain valley of Tafraout. Visit the semi-nomadic community, see their gardens, the nomadic school and individual homes. Overnight stay with a family or in the vicinity of the school. (Please read here for further information:  http://www.academia.edu/2459577/Rock_Art_and_Archaeology_in_Ifran-n-Taska_Eastern_Jebel_Bani_Morocco_First_Results_of_the_Moroccan-Italian_Research_Project)
 
 
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Caravan from the dunes to Jebel Bani Mountains:
The tour starts at the sand dunes of Oued Latash, continues through various dunes and leads across steppe landscape to the fascinating Oued L'Amhasser area in Jebel Bani mountains. We stay overnight in remote valleys, walk over plains, come to oasis and finally descend to the farmland of Alfeija. 

   

 

8 days camel trekking along ancient caravan routes                         

From the bustling Tafraout into the tranquility of the dunes
From the farmlands region Alfeija we climb up into Jebel Bani mountains. The hike leads along a stony river with its numerous water holes and reach the valley of Tafraout, where we can visit gardens, homes and the nomadic school of the semi-nomadic families. Next day, after crossing a pass we will reach the canyons of Oued L'Amhasser and visit the ruins of a town abandoned for centuries. On our way in the mountain range we will meet nomads herding their flock. The caravan finaly reaches the varying dune landscapes ot the South.
 
From the petroglyphs to the wide dune landscapes
Rise into the silence of the beautiful mountain surroundings of Jebel Bani with it's canons, oasis, rock slabs and wide plains. Stay of one day in order to visit the different places of cave paintings. The hike is continued over the black rock slabs of Taskhunt. In the next days the caravan will wander through sand dunes.
 
Hike on old nomadic paths through unspoilt countryside
Ascent to Jebel Bani mountain and overnight near the nomadic family Muhu. We continue this tour on old paces, yet untouched by tourism and pass through the canyons and stone rivers of Oued L'Amhasser. Thereafter we walk over steppe to the dune areas, where we are free from noisy jeep and quad-tourism.
 
 

     Video1     Video: Nomad woman preparing traditional bread

 

 

New: 9-day tour through the mountainous landscape of the Jebel Bani, into the Iriki plain and to wide dune areas. A challenging trekking tour in new areas far away from tourism. 9 days of silence, relaxation and taking care by the nomad team of the Jebel Bani area.

9-day trekking tour far away in the Jebel Bani mountains and in extraordinarily beautiful dune areas. This tour is in short form of 5-6 days only in the Jebel Bani mountains and a night in the Iriki-area or in the dunes possible and interesting for travelers who plan a 6-day trekking tour between May and July.

This hike is only offered by Akabar - Sahara treks and runs on paths of the Bani nomads. As in the new hiking area there were only two wells at a great distance from each other, the team has to take two additional camels to carry water with them in order to be safe.
The price for this very nice and interesting tour (9 days) is:
with 3 persons: 815 EUR, with 4 persons: 725 EUR, with 5 persons: 655 EUR and with 6 persons: 625 EUR.

Video to our new trek:

Video8

 

 


12 days camel trek -  pure relaxation
 
From the mountains to the vastness of the desert
Rise into the Jebel Bani mountain range nearby the farmland of Alfeja and crossing the plateau. After walking in the fascinating landscape of the black rock slabs we reach the dunes. In the coming days we hike through varied dune areas, arid plains, meet old sanctuaries such as Sidi Naji until we reach the white dunes of Erg Sahl and Tidri oasis .
 
On ancient caravan routes to Iriki Lake area
Nearby the farmland of Alfeija we walk up to the plateau. We will visit the places of cave paintings, images of thousands of years of colonisation of Jebel Bani mountain rang, which were discovered in 2008. The trek takes place on old caravan routes in diversified mountain landscape, far away from any tourism. We hike to the dunes of Erg Elmhazi and reach the area of Iriki National Park. In the following days we walk through varied dune landscapes.
 
From Iriki Lake area to the mountain wilderness of Jebel Bani
This interesting hike starts at Foum Zguid - Al Jarmia mountains - and goes on the Imdour Amsan tamarisk plains. From the heart of the Iriki National Park the caravan leads through the dunes of Erg Imhasi, the great Chegaga Dunes, Erg Sdra, Oued Latasch up to the very impressive area of Oued L'Amhasser with its rock formations and stone rivers. We walk across the mountain plains of Zouid and Tirrarin / Tafraout and finish this tour by leaving Jebel Bani near the farmlands of Alfeija.

         IMG 5711     


For the insatiable desert hikers, we offer a 15-day caravan hike starting from Merzouga to Zagora. We walk through the mountains, dunes, oases and meet some nomadic families. Details on request.  

 

Trekking-Prices 2019 (in EUR per person/day)

Prices for one person, groups and different trekking times are available on request!

 

Number of persons
 at 3 days at 5 days
at 8 days
at 10 days
2 persons 129 109 91 87
3 persons 107 92 77 74
4 persons 96 83 70 68
5 persons 95 79 65 63
6 - 7 persons 83 72 66 64
8 persons 83 70 64 62

 

50% discount for children under 12 years
Our offers are tightly calculated; food, wages and transfer costs are current prices in Morocco and are set by each partner. The prices of Akabar - Sahara Treks do not include any hidden discounts. For this reason, we are unable to offer discounts.


The trekking price includes: Jeep transfer from Zagora to the starting point of the trekking and return, camel trekking with English- or French-speaking guide, cook, chameliers, baggage camels, mineral water during trekking, full board with 3 meals a day, camping equipment, mattresses, blankets, sheets and large tent.

Riding camels extra from 15 EUR per day/camel. Extra tent for 1-2 persons 7 EUR/day

Not included: Hotel in Amezrou or Zagora, lunch and dinner at the hotel as well as drinks, gratuities to our nomadic crew:

Tipping is voluntary; the nomadic team will be delighted. At the end of the hike the tour guide collects  the tip and spread it evenly among the attendants.

 
 

 
 

Short treks from two to four days: 

Due to the many requests for two and four day camel trekking tours we offer you here some short tours. These hikes, however, only partly correspond to our philosophy of treks off the beaten path of tourism in the vastness of Sahara and contact with nomads of the Jebel Bani mountains. However, we assure that the guide and team come from nomadic families and the camels are taken only from nomads of the Ait Atta tribe.

Our caravans are individual, which means you only walk here with your partner/friend and not in a large group. For short trips from three persons we will gladly inform you about the price.

 

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Camel trekking tour from palm oasis to dunes of M'Hamid: 4 days tour

1. day: After your arrival in Zagora by your personal transport, our jeep driver will take you to the oasis of Zaouit Sidi Salah near Tagounite where our bivouac tents are already set up and the team awaits you for dinner.
2. day: We walk together with the nomad team and their camels through the oasis Zaouit Sidi Salah and discover locals working in their fields. We cross river Draa and sleep the night in the beautiful dunes of Erg Ngag where dunes meet the Ngag mountains.
3. day: This day we pass the ruins of the old religious kasbah Sidi Ishak and continue our caravan to the beautiful and slightly white dunes of Erg Sahel.
4. day: Having our last lunch together in the shadow of tamarisk trees we walk with our camels in direction of M'Hamid, the last village close to the Algerian border. Taxi transfer back to Zagora, night in hotel.
 

Trekking price for 2 persons*: 645 EUR,  (with 4 persons: 86 EUR/person/day; with 6 persons: 67 EUR/person/day) riding camel extra 15 EUR/day

 

 

 

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Camel trekking in dunes of Sahara: 3 days tour

1. day: After your arrival in Zagora by your personal transport, our jeep driver will take you to the dune and palm tree oasis of Wlad Driss. Here our bivouac tents are already set up and the nomad team awaits you for dinner.
2. day: Today we walk together with the nomad team and their camels through the oasis and carry further on to beautiful dunes with tamarisk tree. We will spend the night in the high dunes of Erg Hnanish.
3. day: We enjoy our last lunch together in the shadow of tamarisk trees we walk with our camels in direction of M'Hamid, the last village close to the Algerian border. Taxi transfer back to Zagora, night in hotel.

Trekking price for 2 persons*:  490 EUR (with 4 persons: 65 EUR/person/day; with 6 persons: 50 EUR/person/day) riding camel extra 15 EUR/day

 

P1090797

From the fascinating black rock and stone desert into the dunes: 4 days trekking tour

1. day: After your arrival in Zagora by your personal transport, our jeep driver will take you to Alewej mountain part of Jebel Bani. Here our bivouac tents are already set up and the nomad team awaits you for dinner.
2. day: Next morning, after an abundant breakfast we climb up into the mountain range with its plains, rocks and hidden oasis. Lunch on the plateau with great view of the dunes in front of us. We walk over black gravel and rocks.Lunch in palm tree oasis, night either close to the tents of a nomad's community which live in the area between mountains and dunes or we put up the tents in the beautiful dunes of Erg Hnina.
3. day: The caravan continues the trek through the green river bed of Oued L'Amhacer in direction of the dunes. Lunch in shadow of tamarisk trees and night near the huge dunes of Chegaga, yet away from touristic areas.
4. day: Walk through interesting Sahara landscapes with dunes and dried out river beds. Here we have the chance to see animals like gazelles and a variety of desert plants. Lunch break under tamarisk trees, afterwards the jeep takes us back to Zagora via M'Hamid. Night in hotel.
 

Trekking-price for 2 persons*:745 EUR(with 4 persons: 67 EUR/person/day; with 6 persons: 55 EUR/person/day) riding camel extra 15 EUR/day

 
 
 

P1000518

From Oued L'Amhasser to the dunes;: 5 days camel trekking tour

1. day: After your arrival in Zagora by your personal transport, our jeep driver will take you up to Feum Laacharon in the Jebel Bani mountain range. Here our bivouac tents are already set up and the nomad team awaits you for dinner.
2. day: Next morning after an abundant breakfast we walk inside Jebel Bani with its plains, rocks and hidden oasis. Lunch close to a beautiful natural oasis of palm trees and in afternoon walk in a canyon which becomes a river after rainfall. The night will also be spend near an oasis.
3. day: We continue the walk through the fascinating landscape of Oued L'Amhacer, an acient canyon with lots of rocky water basins and lakes. We will reach the tents of a nomad family, have tea together and stay nearby for the night in order to have an idea about their life far away from villages.
4. day: Today the trek carries on in the river bed of Oued L'Amhacer until we reach the first Sahara dunes. Lunch will be taken in a small palm tree oasis, for the night we will stay in the beautiful dunes of Erg Hnina.
5. day: We continue our camel trek through dune landscapes until midday and have the last lunch together in the shadow of tamarisk trees. Afterwards the jeep will pick us up to Zagora via M'Hamid. Night in hotel.
 

Trekking-price for 2 persons*: 915 EUR(with 4 persons: 87 EUR/person/day; with 6 persons: 71 EUR/person/day) riding camel extra 15 EUR/day

 

*The trekking price includes: Jeep transfer from Zagora to the starting point of the trekking and return, camel trekking with English- or French-speaking guide, cook, chameliers, baggage camels,  mineral water during trekking, 3 meals per day, camping equipment, mattresses, blankets, sheets and large tent, for couples small tents

Riding camels extra from 15 € per day/camel

Not included: Journey to Zagora, breakfast and lunch of 1st. day, on 4. or 5. day hotel in Amezrou or Zagora, lunch and dinner at the hotel as well as drinks, gratuities to our nomadic crew

 

 

Sahara music festivals plus camel trekking

 

10 days camel trekking plus Taragalte music festival  http://www.taragalte.org

26.10.2019: Arrival in Marrakech, our taxi will pick you up at airport or hotel and takes you directly to Zagora. With arrival at midnight in Ourzazate, the taxi will take you to a riad in Ourzazate. You will be picked up for Zagora after breakfast.

27.10.2019: In Zagora you have the chance to visit the huge authentic open air market of the region which takes place on wednesdays and sundays. You will see traders of all kind, farmers and the nomadic population. Lunch in the heart of the nearby Amezrou oasis under palm trees. Thereafter jeep transfer of one to two hours to the foot of Jebel Bani mountains where the  team of Akabar with their camels await you. After a walk up into Bani mountains and over the rocky plains we stay for dinner and overnight in a beautiful oasis of palm trees.

28.10.2019: Together with our camels and the team we walk through the fascinating area of the river "Oued L'Amhasser" with its rocky bassins or lakes. At lunchtime you will have a chance to swim. We will spend the night near a nomad family, have tea together and thus get an idea about nomad's life in Sahara Morocco.

29.10.2019: After breakfast we wander over a hamada with its black grid and rocks where you might see also Fata Morganas. Lunchtime under tamarisk trees near the dried out river bed of Oued Laatach. The night will be spend in beautiful dunes mixed with stones which contain fossils, called Erg Talhat.

30.10.2019: Our camel trekking tour carries on to a nice area of dunes and tamarisk trees, crossing the dry bed of river Draa, the longest moroccanian river with 1200 km length. We will sleep in the beautiful Boghbra dunes near the river.

31.10.2019: We follow river Draa through Sahara landscapes until we are close to the village of M'Hamid, which is near the Algerian border. Overnight in an oasis called Ighef Nofrokh.

01.11.2019: After breakfast we leave our small bivuac and walk or ride on our camels to M'Hamid where the Taragalte Festival takes place.  On this festival you find a huge mixture of Sahara music from Morocco, Mali, Algeria. Mauretania and others and it represents also an important meeting for nomads of Sahara to exchange experiencxce and ideas.

02.11.2019: We enjoy another day and evening enjoying the beautiful music of Festival Taragalte in M'Hamid. Third night in our bivouac in the oasis of Ighef Nofrokh.

03.11.2019: After last breakfast in Sahara we say goodbye to the team and camels. Jeep transfer to Zagora. If your flight from Ouarzazate takes place very early the next morning, you will carry on to Agdez,  visit the very old Kasbah of Tamnogalte, where you have an impression about old Morrocanian towns in the past. Lunch in Agdez, late afternoon in Ouarzazate. Possibility for sight seeing and shopping.

04.11.2019: After breakfast, when the return flight departs from Ouarzazate, the taxi will take you to the airport. For the return flight from Marrakech, the taxi will take you to the hotel or directly to the airport.

Or, if you like to stay in a cosy and quiet riad in Amezrou/Zagora, the jeep will drop you there and you may enjoy another day in Zagora. The taxi will take you back to the airport/town of your arrival.

The total price: for 3 persons 930 EUR/person for 4 persons 830 EUR/person, for 6 persons 680 EUR/person, for 8 persons 670 EUR/person

Included in the price: taxi to and from Marrakech, jeep transfer to and from desert, full board with three meals a day during the trek, tea, mineral water, mattresses, blankets, sheets, large tent, for couples double tents, cook, chamelier, guide, camels,  2 nights with breakfast in riad (single room supplement for hotel accommodation of 2 nights: 50,00 EUR), dinner in hotel.

Not included in the price: flights, tips, entry ticket to the festival, personal expenses

If you arrive at Ouarzazate or by plane in Zagora, the price will be reduced accordingly

 

 

10 days camel trekking and visit of the International Nomad Festival of M'Hamid 2020  http://www.nomadsfestival.org

04.04.2020: Arrival in Marrakech, our taxi picks you up from the airport or hotel and takes you directly to Zagora. If you arrive around midnight in Ourzazate, the taxi will take you to a nearby riad. You will be picked up after breakfast and travel on to Zagora.

05.04.2020:  In Zagora you have the chance to visit the huge authentic open air market of the region, where on sundays and wednesdays traders of all kinds, farmers and the nomad population meet. Lunch under palm trees in the heart of the nearby oasis Amezrou. Afterwards jeep transfer to the nomad festival of M'Hamid where you can meet different cultures and enjoy the music of Sahara from countries like Morocco, Algeria and Mali. Dinner and overnight in our tents in an oasis near M'Hamid.

06.04.2020: After breakfast there is the possibility to discover the beauty of the palm oasis in the surroundings of M'Hamid on foot or riding a camel. After lunch visit other concerts of the music festival. For dinner and overnight stay the team of Akabar - Sahara Treks waits in the oasis.

07.04.2020: Start of the trekking tour to the heart of the "Great South" of the Moroccan Sahara. After crossing the longest river of Morocco, the Draa with 1.200 km, lunch at a well. Here we meet nomads watering their herds or groups of semi-wild donkeys. After some hiking hours, overnight near the river in the beautiful dune area of Boghbra.

08.04.2020: The hike takes place through different desert landscapes to the favourite river of the nomads, Oued Naam, which rises in the Bani mountains. Here is plenty of food for the sheep and goat herds. The caravan spends lunch in the shade of tamarisks and the night in the beautiful large dunes of Erg Bogern.

09.04.2020: On this day we hike directly to our overnight place in the dunes of Erg Talhat. They are covered with stones containing fossils. After lunch you have free time to relax, photograph fossils, go for a walk, ride a camel.

10.04.2020: After breakfast we change direction to get to know the rocky landscape of the Sahara after having seen the dunes. We hike over "black" hamadas, which are plains with black, glittering gravel, where you can also see Fata Morganas in the heat. The caravan spends lunch in the shade of tamarisks. Now we go directly into the Bani mountains where we meet a nomad family in the evening, drink tea together and get a small insight into the life of nomads in Morocco.

11.04.2020: On this day we cross the primeval gorges of Oued L'Amhasser. Rock pools and small lakes offer the possibility for bathing or swimming. Overnight stay in the beautiful, naturally formed oasis Diabi with its palms, water basins and rock plates.

12.04.2020: After the last breakfast in the desert we hike two to three hours, say goodbye to the team and the camels and let the jeep take us to Zagora. If your return flight goes from Ouarzazate already the next morning, you drive from Zagora further to Agdez and visit there the historical Kasbah of Tamnogalte, which offers you an impression of the life in Moroccan cities of past times. Lunch in Agdez, afternoon in Ouarzazate, if you like you can visit the city and/or do some shopping.

Alternatively, you can spend the night in a cosy and quiet riad in Amezrou/Zagora. The jeep will drop you off and you can enjoy another day in Zagora. The taxi will take you back to the airport/city of your arrival.

The total price: for 3 persons 930 EUR/person,  for 4 persons 830 EUR/person, for 6 persons  680 EUR/person, for 8 persons 670 EUR/person

Included in the price: taxi to and from Marrakech, jeep transfer to and from desert, full board with three meals a day during the trek, tea, mineral water, mattresses, blankets, sheets, large tent, for couples double tents, cook, chamelier, guide, camels,  2 nights with breakfast in riad (single room supplement for hotel accommodation of 2 nights: 50,00 EUR), dinner in hotel.

Not included in the price: flights, tips, entry ticket to the festival, personal expenses

If you arrive at Ouarzazate or by plane in Zagora, the price will be reduced accordingly