Drive south through the Tiz n Tichka pass in Morocco's High Atlas Mountains, then east to the Valley of the Roses to find the starting point for treks through hidden valleys where life remains almost biblical
Here Berber communities live lives dependent on their flocks - with few signs of modern life and its trappings; cars, electricity and even roads.
Our trekking itineraries in Morocco are typically four days and three nights, starting with a 4-5 hour journey by jeep to the starting point, where your private crew and pack animals await you. The treks take you up arid hills, plains peppered with sweet scented herbs and then, suddenly, impossibly lush valleys.
Stone sheep folds yield up their flocks each morning, tended by nomadic Berber families, children appear and follow you, shy and curious, before peeling away as you walk on. Village men tend iridescent terraces of barley dotted with apple and almond orchards. These are biblical scenes and each day brings something new.
WE WALKED THROUGH DUSTY OCHRE FOOTHILLS, FOLLOWING A THIN STREAM LINED WITH WILD PINK OLEANDERS AND FRAGRANT THYME”
Meet the camp
Your private camp is transported by mules or camels. Watching the art of packing and balancing each animal's load early in the morning by an expert crew is worth delaying the start of the day’s walking. Tents are white canvas, roomy and comfortable, with soft mattresses and colourful Berber carpets. A private washing tent with sectioned off shower and loo arrangement make this experience far from basic.
Up into the Mountains
Depending on quite how mobile and adventurous you feel like being a choice can be made between the lavish Caidal camp or a simple mobile camp at the planning stage. Your Berber cook produces food that would rival the best restaurants in Marrakech eaten in a silk lined tent, sitting low on cushions around a candlelit table. Mint tea and mineral water are provided but alcohol can easily be brought.
Breakfast consists of flat bread, baked on hot fire stones the night before, fig jams, soft sweet pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice. Delicately spiced soup and tagines prepared with all the knowledge of centuries of Berber cuisine are produced each evening, meals completed with sweet pastries and mint tea poured high from silver pots.
Days spent gently exploring
The trekking is gentle, but you should be prepared to walk for several hours a day through varied scenery. The treks we organise are always private so you won't join a group of strangers. You're accompanied by an experienced Berber guide and a crew of around 6, made up of muleteers, camel drivers and a cook. We can arrange riding mules for those who would like a rest from walking.
Nights under the stars
A long lunch is taken each day, carried by the ‘lunch mule’. Expect something along the lines of lamb kebabs, tuna salads or a vegetable couscous, never a hasty sandwich. Mattresses are carried by the mule and midday siestas punctuate the day’s walking giving plenty of opportunity to contemplate your surroundins at your liesure. At night dinner is eaten in the warmth of the brocaded dining tent.
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!"