As anyone who's seen the English patient will know, the deserts of north Africa are an almost impossibly romantic backdrop to a love affair. Few things will be more memorable than exploring the dunes and deserts of Morocco with your own Kristen or Ralph, from the privacy of an exotic Berber tented camp.
Something about the desert's fundamental incompatibility life makes it irresistible. Unless you're a scorpion, beetle or at best a camel, life in the desert is no joke. The semi nomadic pattern of human life in these epic mountains and deserts reinforces the sense that any human foothold here is merely ephemeral.
However, from the comfort of an exotic bivouac, with cold drinks and superb food, or watching the sunrise in the crisp morning air from the top of a dune, you and your new partner are afforded a privileged window onto one if the most dramatic environments in the African continent.
As long as you dont leave your partner in a remote desert cave and forget to go back, this could be the start of a lifelong adventure.
I recorded these tree frogs while exploring in Southern Tarangire a couple of weeks ago. Incredible how loud they are...and how much they seem to have to say.
If you head south through the Dades Gorge in Southern Morocco, following the tight winding road as it loops and twists its way through the extraordinary red scenery, after a while you'll come to a little turning that darts off to the west. It's one that you could easily miss, but its a cracker - an unmade track, deserted apart from a few Berber folk with their donkeys - that leads through sensational country to the M'goun Valley. What a drive to do in the late afternoon as the sun begins to dip towards the horizon, lighting up layer upon layer of hills and mountains. Definitely one of our favourites...
Interested? - find out more about travelling by 4x4 in the wilds of Morocco
Surely one of the best touches, when you arrive in the little town of Imlil in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains on your way to Kasbah Toubkal, is the deeply charming mule, with its attendant muleteer, waiting to carry your bags for you. There’s no road to the front door of this eyrie-like Kasbah, so instead, you park in the dusty little town and are met by the mule and his friend who load your bags into colourful panniers and set off up the hillside.
There follows a steady climb of 10 minutes or so, that takes you gently zigzagging through groves of walnut trees to your destination, perched eyrie-like on a hill top looking at the snowy summit of North Africa’s highest mountain. You're actually only 45 minutes from Marrakech, but it feels like a forgotten world (which probably explains why Scorsese chose to film his movie Kandun about the Dalai Lama here). The sound of the Muezzin’s call to prayer rolling down the valleys in the half light is an indelible memory of staying here…