South Moroccan Desert Ride:
In the winter months some of the best riding is possible in the southern Moroccan desert near the Sahara. There are a variety of trails in this region but this is in our opinion the one with the most beautiful and varied scenery. This trail allows us to experience the vastness of the desert interspersed with kasbahs, oases, dunes and small adobe settlements. There are beautiful valleys to discover on this ride, eventhough we are far from anywhere, there are comfortable riads and lodges welcoming us each night,except for one night, where we stay in a cosy and magical nomad encampment in the dunes.
The horses are magnificent Barb-Arab stallions and the guiding is impeccable.
Departure & Return Location
Ouarzazate, Morocco (Google Map)
€ 1320 (3-8 riders)
This beautiful trail starts almost 500kms east of Ouarzazate and is an exhilarating and exotic adventure from start to finish. The Barb Arab stallions are the true highlight of this ride: strong & well trained, they will carry you, seemingly effortlessly, across the desert in the course of the week. These beautiful horses will allow you to get to magnificent remote places, barely touched by tourism. The general pace of the ride is walk and trot with many opportunities for fast canters and some exciting gallops in these vast open spaces.
You should be a confident rider fit enough for an average of 5 hours in the saddle each day.
Arrive at Ouarzazate. If you fly to Marrakech you must be scheduled to arrive before 2pm to allow for the four hour transfer to Ouarzazate. The cost of the transfer is 170 Euros each way and is split between the group. If you can only get an evening flight to Marrakech then you should arrive the previous day. We can arrange for a very comfortable stay in a Riad in Marrakesh. Alternatively fly to Ouarzazate and be transferred to the hotel. Overnight and dinner in hotel in Ouarzazate at Le Flint or similar hotel. Lunch is not included on this day.
After breakfast you will be met by your guide in the hotel lobby at 7 am.Transfer from Ouarzazate and drive south east in the direction of Zagora crossing the Draw Valley. to Tansikht and follow the chain of the Jebel Sagho to the north and go through Nkob and Tazzarine where you leave the paved road to head for Mcissi (the total time in the vehicle is about six hours and covers 420 kms. of road and 60 kms. of dirt track). You will picnic on the way and then meet your guides and horses. There will be time for a ride and you will get your first taste of the real Sahara where you will find dry arroyos and sand dunes on your way to a comfortable inn where you will spend the night.
Ride through the village of Tafraout and arrive at the plateau of Ahbouche Ntkouyte (Lake Tarafout). The terrain is ideal for some brisk gallops here. Continue to the foot of Tattihate, between Jebel Mohreon the right and Jebel Zireg on the left. From here you get a marvelous view of the splendor of the Sahara; infinite dunes alternating with jagged cliffs as a background. Near here you will find your lovely inn (Riad Nomad) located in the Valley of Mharech.
Ride through beautiful country, passing through into the Valley of Wad Ghriss. You’re moving into the desert, with the breathtaking landscape of dunes and mountains, replete with oases throughout. Overnight and dinner in a guesthouse.
Head out on horseback passing the superb dunes of Ouzina. Today the ride alternates between the dunes and the area between the mountains and the sand. This dry day in the true desert continues to your inn at the village of Taghaoucht N’Jdaid where your horses can finally have a drink. Overnight in a lodge. Lunch stop is at Ras N’khel which is the end of the valley. Dinner and overnight in a desert camp.
Ride through country dotted with tamarisk and find yourself at the feet of the highest dunes in Morocco – the dunes of the Chebbi Erg. Both rider and horse alike enjoy this special location. Overnight in a riad.
Last morning on horseback in the Chebbi Erg before saying goodbye to your horses and heading for Ouarzazate by car, going through Erfoud, Boumlane and Dades on “the road of the thousand Kasbahs.” Relax in your hotel in Ouarzazate and have a farewell dinner in town.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back . If you are flying from Marrakech then your flight must depart later than 16:00 to allow time for the transfer (payable locally).