Sahara Camel Trek (3 nights)

CAS 402-101
Highlights

• 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: 04/11/2017 0800
Return: 04/14/2017 1700
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Moderate
Capacity: Min 96 / Max 120
Program Fee
$584 (early booking: $556)

Field Work Conflicts
  • MGT 360 Social and Sustainable Venturing (Section 2)
  • IE 470 Women and Development
  • ANTH 120 Human Origins and Variation

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 you 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. Your experience in the Sahara will include an overnight stay in a nomad camp (check out those stars!) and a 2-hour camel trek into the desert. Keep in mind that means a 2-hour trek back out the next day! You will be sore.

On your 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 your camel trek, spend your last evening and day in Marrakech, the gateway city to the Sahara. Please note: This program involves LONG bus rides (6-7 hours multiple days) in order to travel to the Sahara and then back to Marrakech and Casablanca. Much of the travel is over winding mountain roads and may not be suitable for those prone to car sickness. Bring a swimsuit for swimming stops in Zagora and the hotel in Ouarzazate.

Itinerary

Day 1

Travel to Ait Ourir via Marrakech

  • Departure to Ait Ourir with lunch stop in Marrakech
  • Ait Ourir – Ouarzazate
  • Dinner and local folklore in the Kasbah tifoultout
  • Overnight at hotel Atlas Asni or similar

Day 2

Sleep Under the Stars in Zagora

  • Travel Ouarzazate – Zagora
  • Zagora – Wlad Driss
  • Camel trek to Camp (Mint tea break)
  • Evening, dinner and night under nomad tents

Day 3

Camel Trek and Exploration

  • Berber breakfast
  • Camel Trek
  • Travel to Zagora (Mint tea break)
  • Travel to Ait Benhadou
  • Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech
  • Dinner in Jamaa El Fna square
  • Overnight hotel

*12 hrs 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

Meals Included

  • Lunch x 3
  • Dinner x 3

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 is NOT suitable for people with reduced mobility.
* All ages are allowed, less than 12 years old should be with their belongings/ parents and they will be sharing the room with them depending on available spacious rooms.
* Sites and order of visits are subject to change due to weather or other operational influences.
*Guests are encouraged to wear flat, comfortable shoes, and to bring along hats and sun glasses for sightseeing.