This is the real reason to come to Morocco; to experience the raw untouched wilderness of the deserts and to immerse your self for at least a few days in this extraordinary environment.
We use two superb tented camps for this - the Desert Light Mobile or the altogether more upscale Luxury Desert Camp. Both of these camps are deeply spoiling experiences. If you're looking to get right out there, consider spending a few days walking in the wild, with a private camp carried by camels.
Despite, or perhaps because of, the almost total lack of life, the idea of the desert holds an endlessly romantic appeal. The reality doesn’t disappoint either. White tents at the foot of a caramel 500 ft high dune. A walk along a gently climbing ridge that rolls up from the flat plain like a sleeping dinosaur. Up and up over square black rocks wedged into the orange sand. Along paths with steep drops on either side, below your feet a steep slope of sand until the flat plain that stretches out as far as the eye can see.
The walk ends on top of the highest dune, its perfect ridge like whipped cream, folding down to a terrace from where you watch the sun go down – the temperature dropping perceptibly as it does so. As the sun dips below the horizon you drop off the crest of the dune and down the seemingly vertical face towards camp. Long loping strides in the soft sand. Children make it to the bottom of the dune in less than a couple of minutes - adults take a little longer. For both, a truly magical way to arrive in camp.
There simply isn’t a better way to access and experience the remote wilderness areas of Morocco’s extensive southern deserts. While you travel by day with your private guide and vehicle, the camps are carried by a dedicated team who move ahead of you with a 4x4 setting up camp in time for your arrival and moving with you as you explore deeper into the wild. Nights are spent in splendid isolation under a firmament bright with stars.
ARRIVE IN THE DESERT
Travel deep into the Sahara desert in the company of experienced Berber guides who will introduce you to the hidden valleys, red-mud built Kasbahs, huge oases of palm-dates and stunning undiscovered desert scenery with wonderfully dramatic panoramas offering impressive sunsets and sunrises over otherworldly sea of endless sand dunes. Without a doubt, driving and camping in comfortable private and charming mobile tented camps is the ideal way to discover and to experience the incredible and magical Sahara desert with ever-changing landscapes providing a source of amazement.
Discover the Draa Valley
The morning is spent driving along the Draa Valley through fascinating landscapes with spectacular colours and ever-changing scenery. We first cross the Jebel Saghrou range, which is an area of pristine natural beauty considered since the mists of time to be home of the nomadic people of Ait Atta tribe. Once crossing the Col of Ait Saoun, 1670 metres, we rejoin the Draa valley and drive along this verdant oasis stretching over 112 miles, from Agdez to Mhamid village. The Draa valley is famous for its huge-palm oases and hundreds of kasbahs and fortified mud-red villages where the Draa River gives way to the deep desert.
VAST SAND DUNES
Head deep into the Sahara desert of Jebel Bani, situated 75 kilometres south east of Mhamid. Heading towards the Erg Chegaga and Erg Abidlya dunes we enjoy a spectacular off-road drive that crosses the rough desert pistes to reach Morocco’s most dramatic desert scenery, an endless sea of shifting wind-swept sand dunes that's formed into picturesque undulating crests and large Ergs. On arrival at Erg Mhazil dunes, we set off on an unforgettable 3-hour walk that will give us you the opportunity to genuinely experience the majesty of the Sahara desert with its endless sand dunes and breathtaking scenery. Late in the afternoon, before the sun goes down, we will climb one the big dunes to watch the sun set and the sand change colour as night falls. The evening we make fire and admire the purely desert sky full with stars and night out in the open air with moments of real pleasure to discover constellations. Our Caidale mobile tented camping is set up in the middle of the dunes of Erg Mhazil.
BACK TO MARRAKECH
Early wake-up this morning to catch up the awe-inspiring sunrise over one the highest sand dunes of Erg Mhazil and back to camp for breakfast. We then rejoin our 4x4 vehicles for our return journey to Marrakesh. This long driving journey includes a rough off-road drive for around two hours to rejoin the main road at Foum Zguid followed by a journey of some five hours over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh.
Our experienced travellers include:
It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.
All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.
"They were incredibly helpful with choosing which camps we should go to and they took extra time to learn about us as a family so that they could be most able to advise us...I found them extremely willing to answer any questions and always responded in an extremely quick manner. Our itinerary went exactly as outlined and was very comforting to have someone every step of the way who was there to facilitate our moves between camps. We felt very lucky to have seen the parts of Kenya that we did and we would have never been able to research enough to affect the same things on our own."
"Natural High provides great personalized service - they have incredible knowledge of Africa, and work with you to focus your interests and match you with an amazing experience. We have always had unbelievable trips with Natural High!"
Best holiday and a true "once in a lifetime" experience
"I've been on many lovely holidays, but have never before had the ultimate luxury of such a personalised itinerary. Natural High Safari's attention to detail and total consideration of our particular requirements was quite simply brilliant! Our guide Joseph taught us more than we could ever have hoped, and my sons are looking forward to taking him on an English Safari, though we'll be sorely challenged to make it remotely as exciting and wonderful as the trip we had with him."
"Excellent the partner in Belize, excellent guide and service. The program choosen for he group was realy tailor made."
"Have just returned from a fabulous holiday booked through Natural High safaris. From the initial conversations through to the end of the holiday it was easy and stress-free. Everything went without a hitch, transfer times and connecting flights were all perfectly co-ordinated and the accommodation was lovely. My only niggle was that I couldn't get hold of Vanessa at the office and sometimes my messages were not passed on so I had to call again. Thank you too for all the little goodies that you sent through before and after our trip - a lovely touch!"