Marrakech & Camel Trek In The Sahara

Program Overview
Country: Morocco

Aït Benhaddou is a ‘fortified city’, or ksar, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. It is known for its Kasbahs and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987 and several films have been shot there, such as The Last Temptation of Christ, The Mummy, Gladiator,Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven and Prince of Persia.

Ouarzazate lies on the confluence of three important oasis valley systems:  the Ouarzazate, Dadès and Drâa.  As one travels southeast from Ouarzazate to Zagora, the contrast of bare sun-baked rock with the lush green of the palm groves forms some beautiful scenery.  A labyrinth of irrigation channels feeds the fertile, palm-shaded terraces of farmland in the Drâa valley.  Dates are the primary commercial crop, and the best eating dates are found in Zagora.  The Drâa Valley has always been strongly influenced and interlinked with the destiny of the surrounding nomadic tribes.  It has served as a stepping-stone for Saharan explorations since the 10thcentury.  Your experience in the Sahara will include an overnight in a nomad camp and a camel trek into the desert.

Marrakech is the gateway city to the Sahara. Legend and fact both contribute to the explanation of Marrakech’s unique character.  The town’s origins are attributed to the development of an oasis, which grew out of the refuse of caravans from the south, whose food supplies contained dates.  The palm groves that sprang up provided an ideal place for the Saharan nomad Almoravids to settle.  Since this time, Marrakech has seen many dynasties and fortunes rise and fall, resulting in a remarkably beautiful city which has not only become the capital of southern Morocco but an integral city to the Islamic world.  The cultural, natural and historical attractions of this traditional Berber capital, seat to nearly all of Morocco’s dynasties over the last thousand years, make Marrakech the top tourism destination in North Africa.