This is a unique and authentic desert trekking experience with wild camping and eco accommodation. This five day desert trek would suit reasonably fit and experienced trekkers.
When we arrive at the trek start point today, the camels will be all loaded up with all our supplies for our 5 day adventure, and ready to go. Then as one unified caravan, we will set off on our desert trekking adventure.
On the first day the walk is long, but you will be so excited to be in this environment where everything is new and you are just starting to get to know your camels and guides, so the time will pass quickly.
We will walk along the valley of acacia and palms in tune with the rhythm of the camels until lunch time, which will be at Hassi Nejarh. Hassi means well and we always try to stop near a water source for the sake of the camels. After lunch in the shade of a palm, the trekking will continue on towards our destination for the day.
The walking surface is mostly flat, rocky and dry sand by the side of Tissardmine river until we reach the Sahara miracle that is Safsaf.
Safsaf Oasis is an idyllic desert oasis. With wild and lush vegetation and a stream of precious water in which you can swim. In Moroccan Arabic, the name Safsaf means poplar tree and we will set camp in this secluded spot, alive with migratory birds, between the wild palms and poplar trees.
Dinner will be cooked on a small fire and you can relax in this piece of paradise and enjoy the abundance of life which arrives here for the gift of water.
We suggest waking early in order to watch the dawn bird activity on the wadi here in this narrow mountain gorge.
Then we will enjoy our breakfast and maybe an early swim in the cool waters before we pack up the camp. We start our hiking today by saying goodbye to the oasis and walk together with the camels to Tissardmine.
It is another long walk today and we will stop often to rest and take refreshments until we reach the place we will stop by the Laaouina spring for a picnic and a long rest. Later, when the midday heat has passed, we will continue on. We will separate from our camels for an hour now while we take a slightly different route through the mountains, regrouping to make the final leg along the valley to the destination for the day, which is a place called Tissardmine.
This is a tiny traditional Berber village of less than 20 homes and your accommodation tonight is a secluded and tranquil eco retreat which welcomes artists and trekkers alike.
This guesthouse is totally solar powered and most of the cooking is done on open fires. The water is from the well and their drinking water is brought in in large tanks so you will be able to fill your re-usable bottles with this supply. They work closely with a Spanish architect and engineer who is trialling new studies in dune movement and weather monitoring as well as re-introducing old methods (lost to misguided western development ways) in building for cooling houses.
We can enjoy a leisurely breakfast and a morning shower here because the trek is shorter today. So when you are ready we will re-load the camels and set off towards Hassi Sbat.
The terrain in this area is a mixture of black volcanic desert, small mountains and sandy dunes and is absolutely littered with fossils from the time that this whole area was under the sea.
We will stop for our picnic lunch under the shade of an acacia tree and relax with time to just absorb the stark beauty of the environment. After lunch we set off to an area of desert where we will find nomadic people living.
On arrival at Hassi Sbat, we will share tea with the nomads and you will be able to witness and learn about their way of life and how they survive in the desert despite the extra challenges brought to them by climate change and the rapid desertification of the front line on which they live.
You can help to find sticks for firewood for the evening fire. Then as night falls, we will set our camp next to theirs and enjoy stories and music around the welcoming warmth of the camp fire.
Saying goodbye to our friends this morning, we will set off towards the iconic undulating high dunes of your imagination.
This area of desert, known as Erg Chebbi, consists of 22km of sand dunes of extraordinary beauty. Famous for it’s apricot colours, these mountains of sand reach peaks of 150metres height.
Lunch will be at Yasmina Dune and you can relax under the palm trees while your guides prepare and layout a tasty picnic for you.
After lunch we continue hiking the undulating soft sand dunes until our Walking with Nomads caravan reaches the last wild camping spot of your trek. This is one of the highest and most sacred of dunes, called B’outfel which means the dune of snow. So called because in the winter the sand on top of this dune freezes and in the early morning, right after the sunrise, it becomes white.
This high dune valley is a magical place and the camp will be set cocooned by pristine dunes all around. As the camp is built and the dinner is cooked, you will want to enjoy this picture perfect scene and take many photos in the magic hour of sunset light. Then dinner will be served on a traditional carpet under a tamarisk tree nestled down in the soft sands.
Tonight, enjoy the spiritual music and lay back to watch the milky way in this dark sky area, before crawling into your tents to sleep like babies.
This morning we will enjoy a slow start as the shape and colours of the dunes are reason enough to linger and relax in one spot for a while. If you are feeling energetic and want to make the most of your last day desert trek, you can climb the high dune in order to witness the desert from the top and if you do it early enough you can catch the sunrise from one of the best viewing spots in the whole world. It is impossible not to feel the sense of romanticism that exists here.
Your last day trekking distance is moderate but the going is tough, walking on the soft and shifting sands of dramatically different shapes, is very tiring. We will stop many times to catch our breath, absorb the surroundings and take refreshment breaks of fruit and dates in order to stay refreshed and hydrated.
The trek will continue to B’ouikniwen, which means the twin dunes and then to Obira Oasis where we can stop for a very welcome lunch break. Here we will relax and enjoy the peace until, finally , as we follow our camels and rise up over the crest of the last dune, you will see the beautiful camp where you will spend your last night in absolute luxury, Berber style.
Set in the sand-sea valley with panoramic views, the charm of the desert was never more evident than in this intimate and eco friendly camp. The first and only luxury camp in the area to have been built as an eco camp, the nomadic owner considers it his duty to treat his ancestral home with the respect it deserves and he has implemented an impressive list of eco achievements despite the exceptional challenges of the desert.
You will be able to take a very welcome hot shower in your private tent’s en-suite in the knowledge that the water has been sourced from their own well and is heated by the many solar panels they have invested. The toiletries provided are all argan based, natural and biodegradable and the waste water is taken through an ingenious waste water system before being used to irrigate the small oasis they have planted behind the camp.
All the furnishings are hand made locally from natural materials and dinner is a heavenly creation made by their Berber Chef from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients. They even have a surprisingly good vegan menu – something which is almost unheard of in Morocco let alone in the desert.
Relax with a cold drink and a warm welcome and enjoy the comfort of this environmentally friendly camp on the last night of your authentic 5 day desert trekking adventure.
Tomorrow morning we will arrange an onward transfer from the camp to the transit point of your choice.