Sahara Camel Trek (3 nights)

CAS 402-111
  • Crossing the High-Atlas Mountains
  • Palm groves, ksours and Kasbahs
  • Camel trek in the Sahara
  • Dinner under the stars at nomad camp
  • Marrakech
Program Overview
Country: Morocco
Depart: Apr 11, 2020 10:00 AM
Return: Apr 14, 2020 5:00 PM
Duration: Overnight Program
Capacity: 40
Difficulty: Strenuous
Program Fee
$715.00 (early booking: $687.00)

Field Work Conflicts
  • E-311B-17857 Intermediate Creative Writing: Poetry
  • IE-272-14754 World Interdependence - Current Global Issues (Focus: Poverty, Inequality, and Policy) (Section 1)
  • MU-132-15324 Exploring World Music (Section 1)

***Please note that this program involves a long driving distances with stops: around 8 hrs on day 1, 6 hrs on day 2 & 9 hrs in the bus on day 3. Much of the travel is over winding mountain roads and may not be suitable for those prone to car sickness.***

Explore the Sahara in this program through Ouarzazate. The city lies on the confluence of three important oasis valley systems: the Ouarzazate, Dadès, and Drâa. Bare sunbaked rock turns into lush green palm grove forms as participants move from Ouarzazate to Zagora. A labyrinth of irrigation channels feeds the fertile, palm-shaded terraces of farmland in the surrounding Drâa valley. Dates are the primary commercial crop, and the best dates are found in Zagora. The Drâa Valley has always been strongly influenced by the surrounding nomadic tribes and has served as a stepping-stone for Saharan explorations since the 10th century. Experience the Sahara through an overnight stay in a nomad camp (check out those stars!) and a camel trek into the desert. Prepare to be sore!

On the way to the Sahara, stop in the ‘fortified city’ (ksar) of Aït Benhaddou, along the former caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech in present-day Morocco. Known for its Kasbahs, it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. Several films have been shot there, such as The Last Temptation of Christ, The Mummy, Gladiator, Alexander, Kingdom of Heaven and Prince of Persia. After the camel trek, spend the last evening and day in Marrakech, the gateway city to the Sahara.

“You get to see a lot of the beautiful country while spending time with friends and of course there is the amazing time of riding camels!” – Spring 2019 Student Voyager


Day 1

Travel to Ait Ourir via Marrakech

  • Departure to Ait Ourir with lunch stop in Marrakech (~3.5 hours drive)
  • Ait Ourir – Ouarzazate (~3.5 hours)
  • Dinner and local folklore in the Kasbah tifoultout
  • Overnight at hotel

Day 2

Sleep Under the Stars in Zagora

  • Travel Ouarzazate – Zagora (~4.5 hours)
  • Zagora – Oulad Driss (~1.5 hours)
  • Camel trek to Camp (Mint tea break) (up to ~2 hours)
  • Evening, dinner and night under nomad tents

Day 3

Camel Trek and Exploration

  • Berber breakfast
  • Camel Trek ( up to ~2 hours)
  • Travel to Zagora (Mint tea break) (~1.5 hours)
  • Travel to Ait Benhadou for lunch (~3.5 hours)
  • Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech (~3.5 hours)
  • Dinner at a traditional Riad in the Medina
  • Overnight hotel

**Long travel day! 9 hr drive on day 3 with stop on the way for lunch


Day 4

Explore Marrakech then Return to Casablanca 

  • Free morning to visit Marrakech and to have lunch on own
  • Marrakech – Casablanca (~4 hours)

 ***Times and activities are tentative and subject to change. Please be flexible.***

Meals Included

Day 1: Lunch, dinner
Day 2: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 3: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Day 4: Breakfast

Special Note

  • Please note that this overland involves a long driving distances with stops: around 8 hrs on day 1, 6 on day 2 & 9 on day 3
  • This program may not be suitable for those prone to car sickness
  • This program is not suitable for people with reduced mobility
  • Bring a swimsuit for swimming stops in Zagora and the hotel in Ouarzazate