About Luxury Sahara Adventure
Our most popular short desert trip. A high quality journey to the REAL Sahara in just two days. This tour includes ONE night in a deluxe Bedouin camp at the fabulous and wild Tizi dunes.
Activity code: ITCLFD05z
Duration: 2 Days Desert ONLY / 5 Days Holiday version
The Sahara feels like such a distant image that it would not seem possible to get there and back in two days from Marrakech. With Rediscover the World a visit to the real desert of Morocco's deep south is a reality. One of the best areas of the Sahara is just a little south of Zagora and it is here that we offer this stunning, high quality adventure.
This is our favourite and most popular short desert adventure. A high quality journey from Marrakech which crosses the High Atlas at the Tichka Pass and takes you to the REAL Sahara and back in just two days. This tour includes an extended camel ride through the desert to your overnight Bedouin camp at the fabulous wild location of Erg Tizi. There is also plenty of sightseeing and all your meals as part of the fully-inclusive package.
From your hotel or riad in Marrakech your journey will begin across the Glaoua Plains and up via the winding road over the High Atlas Mountains through the Tizi n'Tichka (2260m). From this high point you will see a dramatic change in the countryside - from high mountain ranges to semi-desert and oases. On your way out you will stop at the magnificently exotic kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, declared a World Heritage Site; here Hollywood has shot many of its films, including, as everyone will tell you, "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gladiator". Further south you will encounter Ouarzazate and drive down the beautiful Draa Valley to the oasis town of Zagora prior to your final journey into the Sahara by 4WD and camel.
You will spend the night out in the desert, in a genuine Bedouin camp at the stunning dunes of Erg Tizi. The sunsets and sunrises in the rarefied air of the desert can simply take your breath away and the night may be spent in our carpeted deluxe Caidal tents or out in the open under an awesome canopy of the starlit heavens.
All travel is by air-conditioned vehicle, there is an extended camel ride into the desert with an overnight stay in a Bedouin tent in a beautiful and peaceful setting.
WE RECOMMENDED YOU BRING: day pack (for camera, water bottles, hat, etc.); windcheater (seasonal), broad-brimmed hat (or you may purchase a 'Cheche' before you set out from Zagora); personal toiletries and towel; hygienic wipes (or gel); small First Aid kit; torch with batteries (non-essential); filled water bottle(s); sunscreen, sunglasses; nibbles and/or dried fruit. Drinking chocolate if preferred. Extra toilet rolls could come in handy! For those who wear contact lenses, perhaps it would be a good idea to bring along a spare pair of glasses.
CLOTHING: Comfortable clothes for travelling, loose clothing for the camel ride and warmer layers for the colder desert nights.
Departing from your hotel or riad in Marrakech around 7am (7:30am at the latest) you will set off south with your driver in a comfortable, air-conditioned 4WD over the Glaoua Plain to cross the High Atlas Mountains via the fabulous Tizi n’Tichka Pass. This road doesn't look too far on the map but with so many twists and turns it is a slow but incredible climb up and over by one of very few routes across the High Atlas. There will be opportunities to stop and take pictures at suitably dramatic moments.
From the Tizi-n-Tichka pass, continue to reach the Kasbah of Tamdakhte and then the world-famous Ait Ben Haddou, visit and lunch in a restaurant overlooking the kasbah. Following refreshments on down alongside the Oued Ouarzazate to the ex-French Foreign Legion town of Ouarzazate and then for a further 100 miles through the delightful and dramatic Valley of the Oued Drâa. Along the way visit the charming village of Agdz with a panoramic view of the Draa Valley; continue to Tansikht and take the track along the Draa Valley eventually to Zagora.
The town of Zagora (an Arabised version of the name Caesar) was once famously "52 days to Timbuctou" and is dominated by the tagine pot-shaped Jbel Zagora. Here you will set out for your adventure towards the south-east deep into a sub-Saharan desert landscape of many small dunes, interspersed with the black gravelly 'Reg' stretches of the Jbel Tadrart basin. Go with the camel for a meharee to arrive in the Berber camp at the dunes of Tizi, a luxury camp installed in the pure Berber tradition to celebrate the best moments of life.
After a welcoming traditional glass or two of mint tea, your dinner of vegetable tagine, or of chicken, couscous, mint tea, bread and fruit will be served. This night may be spent in your tents or out in the open air if you wish, under the awesome canopy of the starlit heavens around a blazing fire (subject to local conditions) to witness the magnificent sunset, the rarefied heavens turning from bright blue to cobalt, to yellow to gold, to purple to black. The sands and stones change their colour too, in step with the lowering rays. A convivial atmosphere around fire to the sound of Sahraoui folklore, night under tent.
NB. the deluxe camp is completely separate to any other "camps" in the area, sheltered by a few low dunes. The quality of the accommodation tents is very high as is the general feel of the camp itself being large Caidal tents rather than the smaller traditional Bedouin ones.
Having witnessed an awesome sunset the night before, now is the hour for an even more startling sunrise before your Bedouin breakfast of mint tea, bread, jams and cheeses.
* Please ask if you wish to be woken for sunrise; as Day One will have been a long day your guide will not automatically wake you. Alternatively, your guide will confirm the local sunrise time for you to set your alarm.
After breakfast, you’ll somewhat reluctantly strike off towards the north-east and relative civilization, departing on a shorter camel ride and now only 50 Days to Timbuktu. Back now onto the tarmac road at Tagounite and on to an unusual tightly-knitted grouping of ksours and still-inhabited underground kasbahs; this is the ancient village of Tamegroute, a seat of learning since the XIth century, with its incredible Library of XIII century illuminated Koran scrolls written on gazelle hide, some works of Pythagoras and some original maps of Alexandria, together with some very early mathematics text books, books of poetry, dictionaries, a history of Fez and much more; a voluntary - contribution to the upkeep of the Library is always appreciated. Continue your stroll through the alleyways of the kasbah to the ancient Pottery Co-Operative, where pottery is being produced in the simplest of manners, in the simplest of kilns. If you have been to Fes, or have seen photographs of this Imperial City, here you'll see the famous green glaze associated with its tiled roofs, for the founders of the XVIIth century Abou Ben Naceur 'Naciri Brotherhood' in Tamegroute invited craftsmen and potters to this remote area with the intent to turn it into a thriving caravan hub city.
Onwards now to Zagora and to Agdz, visit the Kasbah Tamnougalt then continue to Ouarzazate via Tizi n'Tnifift, lunch en route. In the afternoon drive over the Adrar N'Dern Mountains to your hotel or riad in Marrakech, arriving there around 7pm after a really incredible journey into the Sahara.
Day 1 - arrival into Marrakech; private transfer to your accommodation.
- Stay at e.g. Riad Mur Akush - 2nts BB
Day 2 - private guided city tour (am)
Day 3 & 4 - on desert adventure as per itinerary above.
- stay at e.g. Riad Mur Akush - 1nt BB.
Day 5 - private transfer to Marrakech Airport.
Fully-inclusive Sahara excursion by 4WD & camel meharee from Marrakech. Overnight at Erg Lihoudi Bedouin camp; all meals, sightseeing, accommodation & activities included. Holiday version also includes extra 3nts accommodation, airport transfers, city tour
Deluxe Upgrade (*must equal total group size). - Luxury Caidal Tent accommodation; bar service, extra food, live folklore entertainment: 45 GBP per person
Date range: , Option: Luxury Desert Adventure ONLY
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Date range: , Option: Full Holiday version
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All prices are per person
"Thank you for your help in organising this holiday, we had a fantastic time! The desert tour and camel trek was a real highlight, and the riad in Marrakech was perfect - beautiful rooms and helpful staff. All the logistics ran smoothly and the local guides were very good (although the stop in Tamagroute was not so interesting). Overall a great experience and I will contact you if we decide to visit any of the other destinations offered by RTW."
T Hall, UK, Sept 2016
"Well Morocco was amazing and we had an absolutely fab time - so grateful for all your hard work, the riad was amazing - i've never stayed anywhere so luxurious or personal, the desert trip memorable and the whole time relaxing, interesting, cultural and mind blowing. We cannot thank you enough, and we are going to try and get away together without kids more often. We have some great pictures and memories, I will try and put some on the FB site, or if you want me to write a recommendation or anything please let me know."
S O'Brien, UK, June, 2015
"Ali on the Zagora desert trip was also excellent, we spent a considerable time with him in the car and he seemed to know when we wanted to be quiet or chat - very good guide."
F Middleton, UK, March 2013