Morocco horseback riding
A fascinating ride through the valleys of south of Morocco where the High Atlas Mountains open way to the Sahara during the temperate weather of the winter months. These land host incredible variety of features to this landscape; the mountains of djebel Saghro, the sinuous palm groves of Dades River Valley, and the sandy barren expanse of the Sahara with typical desert oases. Along the route you stop in kasbahs and meet the Berber people in these traditional villages who call this challenging land home.
Morocco is only hours flight from Europe and US and has long been a favorite winter destination for visitors who revel in its vital and colorful traditions. From Ouarzazate with its northern colourful flanks on the horizon dominated by the snowcapped Atlas Mountains. It sits astride the Draa River, and is a major crossroads. The spectacular landscape has not escaped the attention of nature admirers which has taken advantage of the varied and beautiful terrain to shoot many films here, including “Lawrence of Arabia.” Many streams rush down from the mountains, and wherever water is available oases verdant with olive trees, date palms and terraced wheat fields flourish in sharp contrast to the bleak surrounding desert.
- Day 1: Upon arrival you will be met up by our rep/ guide and transferred to the 3- star hotel in Ouarzarzate, a 4-hour drive. Dinner and overnight at this hotel in Ouarzazate.
- Day 2: Ait Marssid/ Bab N’Ali, Early breakfast in the hotel. Drive 3 hours from Ourzazate to Ait Marssid. You will have a chance to try out the horses, finding comfortable saddles, arrange saddle bags and coats etc. and make any changes necessary to horse and rider combinations this morning. Follow a nomadic track through the narrow pass of Tizi N’Tazazarte (2283m) before stopping for a picnic with a panoramic sight of the volcanic mass of Mountain Saghro. The afternoon you will descend this track where you settle at your first camp. 4 hours riding, 29kms.
- Day 3: Bab N’Ali/ Amada N’Oumarirh Today you wind through the N’Sit Valley discovering Berber villages at the foot of Mountain Saghro. After a picnic at Anagame you leave the windy valley with wonderful sights and sounds and finish with a long canter along the plateau of Amda Oumarirh. You will camp tonight under the shade of the acacias. 5- 6 hours riding, 33kms.
- Day 4: Amada N’Oumarirh/ Assafour After breakfast today you slip between the mountains of the Saghro and the last outcroppings before the big Sahara. You cross a desert plateau, descending into palm groves and ending at Imi Ouaqqa for a picnic lunch. In the afternoon you follow Bou Isserfane Valley with its beautiful villages and large palm grove of Tazzarine, and have your first sighting of the superb sand dunes. Camp near Assafour. 6 hours riding, 36kms.
- Day 5: Assafour/ Foum Tizza Keep riding across the huge open spaces of the desert plateau at the foot of Djbel Serdrar, gently working your way towards the Saharan plains. Picnic by the shade of the acacias not far from the dunes and enjoy good fast paced canters throughout your day. Your campsite is at the foot of the dunes of Tizza. 5 hours riding, 28kms.
- Day 6: Foum Tizza/ Taghbalt You will cross some small tongues of sand between Djbel and Toukal before finding the hidden oasis of Taqcha, shortly followed by lunch in the plam trees. Your afternoon ride follows small gorges of the Taghbalt Valley. A few villages punctuate your ride but you remain at the edge of the civilization which clings to the greenery of the river valleys and palm plantations. Tonight’s camp is at the foot of the grand dunes of Taghbalt. 6-7 hours riding, 42kms.
- Day 7: Taghbalt After some exhilarating long canters on the plateau of Eferd, and meandering through the last of the villages, enjoy a picnic under the acacias. After lunch you say goodbye to the horses and drive by mini bus 3 hours to Ouarzazate. Overnight and dinner at a 3 star hotel in Ouarzazate. 2-3 hours riding, 20kms.
- Day 8: Depart. Early breakfast at the hotel in Ouarzazate, depart for Marrakesh no later than 9.00am. A packed lunch will be sent along for the 4-hour drive. Do not book flights departing Marrakesh prior to 3.00pm.