THE RIDE IN THE DESERTMOROCCO ON HORSE BACK: Loop circuit from Zagora, 160 km south east of Ouarzazate.
Duration: 8 days/7 nights - 6-day loop circuit on horseback
Day 1: Welcome at Ouarzazate airport and transfer to Zagora.Night in hotel.
Days 2 - 7: Circuit on horseback. 4 nights in bivouac and 1 night in a tent of Touareg. Visit of an old Ksar and a traditional museum on the third day of the tour. Return to Zagora in the early afternoon. Transfer to Ouarzazate and night in hotel. Visit of the Taourit kasbah in Ouarzazate and of Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah depending on return flight timing.
Day 8: Transfer to Ouarzazate airport and return flight.
The first part of the trek makes us discover the immense palm grove of the valley of Draa which zigzags to the village of Ouled Driss. It is strewed with small gardens surrounding fortified villages (ksours) which are built of adobe and generously decorated . The second part of the trek makes us ride across immense spaces with dunes (erg) or rocks (reg), early warning signs of the Great Sahara.
Every day offers a different face of the desert. It is the place for frequent unusual encounters. Some Touareg families with their herds of goats and dromedaries and whose tents are woven from black or brown wools are the only signs of human presence in these arid places.
The starry nights and colours at sunrise/set are extraordinary beautiful.
REMARK: According to the flights timetable at certain periods, you may spend the first night in a hotel in Ouarzazate instead of in Zagora. In that case, transfer to Zagora in the early morning the day after.
Day 1 : Flight to Morocco. Arrival in Ouarzazate. And night in Zagora or Ouarzazate in case of late arrival.
Horse trek departure: Zagora southeast of Ouerzazate. 163 km.
(150 min. drive).
Day 2 : Zagora - Beni Ali
First, we are riding across the palm grove of Zagora along the Wadi Draa, then passing a river crossing and several kasbahs. Bivouac at a wadi near the village of Beni Ali.
Day 3 : Beni Ali - Tagounit
Ride in the gorges of Wadi Draa, then on a large arid plateau (reg) which ends in the palm grove of Tagounit. Bivouac among dunes and palm trees, near the village of Blida.
Day 4 : Tagounit - Ouled dris
We are going on our way by the path along the valley to the village of Zaouit Sidi Saleh. Then leaving the valley , we are passing foum Larjam pass, riding past very old - previous to the Arabic presence- graves of nomadic and Berber soldiers. From there, we can enjoy the ocean of dunes extending far over M'Hamed. The border to Sahara has just been crossed. Bivouac in nomadic tent in Ouled Driss (serviced camping place).
Day 5 : Ouled Dris- Bir M'Hamed
Day in the desert far from any human settlement except some nomadic tents. Arid and magical landscapes mixing reg and erg.
Bivouac near Bir M'Hamed well.
Day 6 : Bir M'Hamed - Faija
The surrounding desert seems to have no limit. Covered by sand (erg) or rocks (reg), the Saharan tracks run in a network of cross overs preceding small mountains which we are about to cross. The colours, especially at sunset, are fabulous. Some umbrella acacias resist the dought. Ride in gorges and over Jnia pass. Spectacular view on the Draa valley and all the surrounding desert areas.
Bivouac at well of d'el Faija.
Day 7 : Faija- Zagora
Last riding day. We have to ride first on a sand covered plateau, frequented by some herds of dromedaries, then back to palm groves and the water of wadi Draa. In the end, our trek leads us back to our starting base across the palm grove. After lunch, transfer to Ouarzazate. Dinner and night in hotel.
Day 8 : Zagora
Transfer to Ouarzazate airport and return flight.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.