Dunes of the Sahara Traverse

The ultimate walking holiday through the beautiful Moroccan Sahara

8

days

Trek

From $820 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • Spectacular sunset from Morocco`s highest dune - Erg Chegaga
  • Wild dune desert camping under magical Saharan stars
  • Explore Marrakech and the colourful UNESCO Djemaa-el-Fna
  • Tamarisk trees, palm groves, Berber camps and sacred water

Experience the magical world of the Sahara, with its spectacular sunsets and sunrises, magnificent dunes and star-filled silent nights on this excellent walking adventure in Morocco!  Beyond the Atlas, the road descends through the palm-fringed Draa Valley to Zagora “the gateway to the Sahara” and comes to an end in the vicinity of the oasis town of M' Hamid.  After a wonderful night in a fixed Berber camp, we plunge into the desert and set off hiking across a magnificent region, home to the semi-Nomadic Ait Atta Berber people.  We trek towards the giant dunes known as Erg Chegaga, home to the highest dune in Morocco, which we’ll climb and explore!  With our team of camels and their handlers, we walk for 4 days, crossing spectacular dunes, some of which can be an amazing 200 metres high.  Each night, we set up camp amongst the dunes, watch sunsets, view starry skies, wake to Saharan sunsets and experience the hospitality of our local team.  The occasional rocky plateaux and a rare tamarisk tree break the uniformity of the rolling sand ridges, but this is a unique Saharan experience, far from the nearest settlement or road – a perfect introduction to desert trekking on a true dune adventure!

Dunes of the Sahara Traverse or Edge of Sahara Trek - which one is for me?

We offer two fantastic desert treks in Morocco and are often asked "what are the main differences between the two."  If you are looking to hike to the highest sand dune in Morocco by journeying across a rich variety of desert scenery, trek for between 5 - 6 hours a day, experience 1 night at a fixed Berber camp and 4 nights of wild desert camping, then Dunes of the Sahara Traverse is perfect for you.  However, if you're looking to move up a grade, hiking for between 6 - 7 hours a day, trek through some of the Sahara's most dramatic scenery, experience wadis, watch the sunset from the dunes of Erg Ez-Zahar, wild camp for 3 nights and experience a fixed camp for 2 nights, then our Edge of Sahara Trek ticks all those boxes.

A Genuine Small Group Experience - The Secret of Our Success in Morocoo

We are proud to say that our holidays in Morocco are limited to a maximum group size of 12, ensuring we leave only our footprints on the trails whilst enjoying a genuine small group adventure. We've been taking our clients walking, trekking and mountaineering for almost thirty years so we know the ingredients of a good guide and a successful group adventure.  Those who are new to desert trekking will take particular comfort in the presence of our experienced Moroccan guides, who we believe are the best in the business.

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday involves walking for 5-6 hours on each of the 4 trekking days, over a variety of terrain from rugged trails to soft desert sand.  We wild camp for 4 nights on this holiday whilst in the desert, which is a real highlight of the holiday.  All our camping and personal equipment is carried by the camels so it is only necessary to carry a small daypack with daily essentials.  Winter daytime temperatures in the desert are pleasant and walking at this time of year should be quite comfortable.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrakech. Complimentary transfers from Marrakech Airport are provided.
  • Spectacular transfer across the High Atlas via the Tizi n Tichka (2260m) to Ouled Driss.
  • Trek through Draa Valley palm groves to the dunes of El Mazouaria and famed well of Oued Naamou.
  • Trek into the heart of the desert passing Tamarisk trees to the great dune of Erg Bouguerne.
  • Wadi trekking to the great dune of Erg Chegaga via the sacred water source of Foumlaalag.
  • Time to climb and explore Morocco's highest dune, the great dune of Erg Chegaga.
  • Transfer to Marrakech. Late afternoon to explore the city and colourful Djemaa-el-Fna.
  • Departure Day. Complimentary transfers to Marrakech Airport are provided.
2016
Sat 20 Feb - Sat 27 Feb Code DCT /01/16/ Adult$820 Status Limited Availability Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /01/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 20 Feb and departs on Sat 27 Feb
  • This departure has limited availability and departs within weeks. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 19 Mar - Sat 26 Mar Code DCT /02/16/ Adult$820 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /02/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 19 Mar and departs on Sat 26 Mar
  • This departure is guaranteed and departs within weeks. Secure your place today with full payment
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 09 Apr - Sat 16 Apr Code DCT /03/16/ Adult$820 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /03/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 09 Apr and departs on Sat 16 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 01 Oct - Sat 08 Oct Code DCT /04/16/ Adult$820 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /04/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 01 Oct and departs on Sat 08 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 22 Oct - Sat 29 Oct Code DCT /05/16/ Adult$820 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 22 Oct and departs on Sat 29 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 26 Nov - Sat 03 Dec Code DCT /06/16/ Adult$820 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /06/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 26 Nov and departs on Sat 03 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 24 Dec - Sat 31 Dec Code DCT /07/16/ Adult$820 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /07/16/
  • This tour begins on Sat 24 Dec and departs on Sat 31 Dec
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
2017
Sat 18 Feb - Sat 25 Feb Code DCT /01/17/ Adult$820 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 18 Feb and departs on Sat 25 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 18 Mar - Sat 25 Mar Code DCT /02/17/ Adult$820 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 18 Mar and departs on Sat 25 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
Sat 08 Apr - Sat 15 Apr Code DCT /03/17/ Adult$820 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Dunes of the Sahara Traverse
  • The departure reference for this tour is DCT /03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sat 08 Apr and departs on Sat 15 Apr
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $65
  • Single Tent $105
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Marrakech Airport, which is approximately 15 minutes drive away from the group hotel in downtown Marrakech. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' section of the holiday dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Marrakech. These include Easyjet who have flights from London, Manchester & Glasgow, Thomson Airways who have flights from London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol & Glasgow and Ryanair who have flights from London. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

We have undertaken to guarantee that all of our Land Only prices will not change once you have booked your holiday. Unlike some of our competitors we have decided never to surcharge, whether you are booking for this year or the next.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • point
  • trip direction
  • peaks
  • airport
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Marrakech. Complimentary transfers from Marrakech Airport are provided.

    On arrival in Marrakech you will be met by your guide or a KE representative who will assist with the short transfer to the group hotel in the city. Depending on your flight arrival time, after settling in you may have the opportunity to do a little exploration of the central square of the Djemaa-el-Fna and the fascinating labyrinth of souks behind the square. KE Land Only package begins with dinner. Tonight the evening meal is taken at the group hotel or a restaurant in the medina. The trip leader will give a briefing during dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Spectacular transfer across the High Atlas via the Tizi n Tichka (2260m) to Ouled Driss.

    Setting off after breakfast we travel by private minibus across the High Atlas via the ‘Tizi n Tichka’, the Tichka Pass (2260m), the highest road pass in Morocco. On the other side of the mountains we descend to Ouarzazate where we enter the Draa Valley, the largest palm grove in the country, stretching for more than 100km along the banks of the River Draa. We pass through Agdz, Zagora, and Tagounit to reach Ouled Driss on the edge of the Sahara desert. This is a full days drive, but we are rewarded with some fantastic and ever-changing scenery. We should arrive in Ouled Driss in the late afternoon and we stay tonight in a fixed camp of traditional Berber tents or ‘Khaimas’ which have been upgraded with certain western comforts such as hot showers. Here we meet our camel guides and our cook, who prepares dinner, which we eat in the cosy seating area at camp.

    • Accommodation Fixed Camp

    • Meals bld

  • Trek through Draa Valley palm groves to the dunes of El Mazouaria and famed well of Oued Naamou.

    Loading our camels we head west into the desert. The palm groves of the Draa Valley gradually disappear and are replaced by dunes. On this first day the dunes are very small as we begin to penetrate the Sahara. The Sahara desert stretches from the snowy mountains of the High Atlas in the west to the Red Sea coast almost 5000kms to the east. Most of the landscape has been shaped over time by the winds, and it includes sand dunes (Ergs), barren stone plateaux, gravel plains, dry valleys, salt flats and mountain ranges. The area we will explore is home to semi-nomadic Ait Atta Berber people, who have lived in the area for centuries, before the Arab and Islaamic influences arrived in the 7th century. We have lunch in the shade of a Tamarisk tree near the small dunes of El Mazouaria. After a long lunch break we continue to our campsite which is situated at the famous well of Oued Naamou. Camping by the well gives us the luxury of a wash tonight. We set up camp at the edge of the dunes for the night. From the top of the dunes, the sunset is an incredible sight. Sunsets, sunrises and the stars at nights are the true delights of desert travel.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 120m

    • Distance 21km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 150m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Trek into the heart of the desert passing Tamarisk trees to the great dune of Erg Bouguerne.

    Today the true desert begins as we become immersed in the sand dunes and the vast stoney plains that the desert is famous for. We pass by our first dune, Erg Oued Naam, nearby an area of Tamarisk trees. A small hill called Jebel Bani ensures that we travel in the correct direction here as we head further west. Again we catch up with the cook and the camels who are preparing lunch for us in the shade of a tree. We start with our mint tea and then enjoy a relaxed lunch, with maybe some time to read our books or have a little siesta! Continuing on we pass through further dunes and the rocky plateaux towards the large Erg Bouguerne and our camp for the night.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 30m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 50m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Wadi trekking to the great dune of Erg Chegaga via the sacred water source of Foumlaalag.

    We enjoy our breakfast in the sunshine in the dunes and pack up for another days walking. Today we find ourselves in a large wadi (valley), wadi Laatch with giant Tamarisk trees before crossing a large rocky plain and further dunes to a sacred source of water at Foumlaalag. This oasis in the desert has palm trees and a deserted village as people have moved away for a better life with amenities. We stop for lunch and have a chance to look around this special place. After our break we continue for approximately another 2 hours and arrive at the foot of our destination the dunes of Chegaga and our camp location.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 100m

    • Distance 23km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 100m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs trekking

  • Time to climb and explore Morocco's highest dune, the great dune of Erg Chegaga.

    We have a full day exploring this famous dune here in the Moroccan Sahara desert. We travel up and down experiencing the different colours, shades and ripples that the sand produces. These dunes move constantly and each time we visit the sands will have changed shape and sizes. To walk to the summit of the biggest dune takes around an hour, about 200m vertical height gain. We head northwards towards Bani and the sharp peaked dunes of El Ghoul. It’s very peaceful here and we feel very remote. We set up camp in the middles of the large dunes for the last night.

    • Accommodation Camping

    • Ascent 180m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 200m

    • Time 5 - 6 hrs trekking

  • Transfer to Marrakech. Late afternoon to explore the city and colourful Djemaa-el-Fna.

    After an early breakfast we to the road head at Zawyat Sidi Abdenbi, which takes around 30 mins. Here we meet our vehicles and we drive back across the Atlas to Marrakech arriving here in the late afternoon. We check into our hotel and after showering and changing we will certainly want to check out the remarkable central square of the Djemaa-el-Fna. This is the focus of activities for local people and tourists alike and here you will see troupes of Berber acrobats, musicians, snake-charmers, water sellers and story tellers. We take our dinner tonight either in our hotel or a nearby restaurant.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure Day. Complimentary transfers to Marrakech Airport are provided.

    KE Land Only package ends after breakfast. There is a complimentary transfer to the airport to check in for the return flight.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local leader
  • Marrakech Airport transfers (on Day 1 & 8)
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

On trek, the food is a mixture of local and international, all purchased locally and cooked for us by our trek cooks. Breakfast is porridge and continental style, with tea and coffee, cereals including muesli, bread, jam and honey. A morning snack is also provided and this can consists of a piece of fruit (apple, orange), or Moroccan “trail mix” of dried figs and dates, peanuts, sugar coated peanuts and other nuts. Lunch usually starts with the Berber speciality of mint tea, followed by a freshly prepared salad - onion, tomatoes, green peppers, grated carrot, green beans, with tinned sweetcorn or peas, rice, pasta or couscous added. Hard and soft cheeses, tinned fish, olives, biscuits and bread are also on the lunchtime menu. Dinner starts off with soup and bread. The main course is usually rice, pasta, cous-cous, spaghetti, with a vegetable stew (or tagine) consisting of some of the following - onion, potato, carrot, green pepper, zucchini, turnip, parsnip. green beans, peas. On certain nights there will be some meat (usually chicken, lamb or beef). All dishes come with traditional sauces which are rarely (spicy) hot. Desserts usually consist of fruit, some fresh but more likely tinned, including pineapple, apricot, pears, peaches or mixed. To round off dinner, there is the usual range of hot drinks.

All meals are included in the holiday price from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8.
All clients arriving on Day 1 and departing on Day 8 of the itinerary will be provided with complimentary airport transfers. Clients booking a Land Only Package should let us know if Marrakech Airport transfers are not required and MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. If you intend to make your own transfer arrangements at Marrakech Airport, taxis are available outside the arrivals hall at all times. They are equipped with meters but most taxi drivers are reluctant to use them and you should either insist on a meter or agree the fare before setting off. The standard fare to the city in a "petit taxi" should be no more than £6 though you may have to pay a little more if arriving late at night. The airport is approximately 4 miles from the city and the journey takes 10 - 15 minutes.

During this trip the group will spend two nights at a tourist class hotel in Marrakech. While there are several more expensive hotels in Marrakech, we try to strike the right balance of a comfortable and conveniently located hotel while maintaining a really good value holiday. In Ouled Driss, we will be staying at a fixed camp with four people per room. There are showers and a sheltered comfortable seating area where we will be served dinner. Whilst on trek there will be a total of 4 nights wild camping. All accommodation in Marrakech and camping is based on twin sharing. It is possible to hire a single tent while on trek for an additional cost (not available for the 1 night in Ouled Driss). Please note single tent hire does not include single rooms in hotels. For the 2 hotel nights in Marrakech single rooms are available for a supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Marrakech are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

A typical day starts with an early morning wake-up call. After breakfast, during which camp is struck and the camels are loaded, we start walking in the pleasant cool of the morning. Lunch is usually taken at a shady spot after 3 or 4 hours walking, and on some days this stop will be extended into a long break of up to 2 - 2.5 hours to avoid walking in the hottest part of the day. The afternoon session tends to be shorter than the morning and we will usually reach our overnight stop with plenty of time to explore before enjoying a desert sunset. On most days we will be walking for 6 or 7 hours at a reasonably leisurely pace which allows time for stops and to take pictures. As evening comes on the temperature drops and we may light a camp fire. Dinner is a 3-course meal which we will normally eat alfresco. This is a great time of day for reliving the events of the trek so far and for general socialising.
An English-speaking professional local leader will accompany the group throughout the holiday. In addition the group will be supported on trek by a team of cooks and camp staff, baggage animals (camels) and their handlers.
Approximately £100 should be allowed for miscellaneous expenses. This amount will cover tips for the trek crew, soft drinks, snacks, and also lunches in Marrakech if you should happen to arrive early in the day or depart late in the day. If you wish to purchase bottled water for the trek (rather than drink the treated water supplied) then please allow 10 dirham per 1.5 litre bottle. Marrakech is a great place for souvenir buying and all major credit cards are accepted. If you are intending to buy expensive items, you should budget accordingly. It is not possible to obtain or exchange Moroccan currency (Dirham) outside the country. You can withdraw money in local currency from ATM’s in Marrakech or your travel money can be carried in the form of cash or travellers cheques. (Sterling and US dollars are easily exchanged, but note that it can be difficult to exchange travellers cheques at banks in Morocco, and commission payments are often very high). Credit cards can be used to purchase goods and it is a good idea to carry one in case of emergency.

Tips are the accepted way of saying ‘thank you’ to your local guides and porters. They do not form part of their wages and any tips they receive are seen as a personal thank you from group members. For our part, we advise local teams that tips are not a duty or a prerequisite but are a bonus and entirely dependent on the service that was given. For your trek crew we recommend that you give a tip if you feel that their services have met your satisfaction. We will provide guidelines on how much to tip the local staff along with your joining instructions but it should be remembered that this is your ‘thank-you’ to the crew and the final amount should be decided by the group. We estimate that approximately £30 per group member should provide an appropriate level of tips. However, for the KE leader, we leave the tipping amount totally at your own discretion.

On the trek your personal equipment will be carried by camels. Your baggage on trek should not weigh more than 15kg. Items not required for this part of the trip can be left at the group hotel in Marrakech. We recommend that you bring a fold away bag for this purpose.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The altitudes attained on this holiday are not extreme and the maximum altitude attained is no more than the equivalent of a pressurised cabin on an international flight. The only time you may ‘feel’ the altitude is when you cross the Alps by road on the Tizi n Tichka as it is above 2000 metres - the high point of the trip. You should pay particular attention to your hydration levels on this day.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots - light weight for the heat, and ankle height to prevent sand entering

  • Socks

  • Underwear

  • Trekking trousers

  • Waterproof over trousers (it can rain in the desert!)

  • Lightweight windproof jacket

  • Long sleeved loose fitting shirts or T-shirts (wicking)

  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper

  • Wide brimmed sunhat

  • Warm hat

  • Headscarf or buff (to protect against the sun and wind, can be purchased locally)

  • Sunglasses

  • Lightweight thermal gloves

  • Sun protection (including total bloc for lips, nose etc.)

  • Water bottles 1 Litre x2 – hydration system e.g. camelbak or platypus useful.

  • Sleeping bag (comfort rated -5°C)*

  • Antibacterial handwash

  • Wash bag and toiletries

  • Toilet roll

  • Water purification tablets

  • Small trek towel

  • Small padlock (to lock your KE kit bag)

  • Light daypack 25/30 litres

  • Head-torch and spare batteries

  • Basic First Aid Kit, including pain killers, plasters, blister protection (e.g. compeed), insect repellant, and rehydration salts.

The following items are optional:

  • Trainers or sandals (for camp use)

  • Trekking poles (recommended)

  • Gaiters (useful to prevent sand getting into boots)

  • Shorts (should only be worn outside towns and villages)

  • Sleeping bag liner

  • Toilet roll

  • Pen-knife (note: always pack sharp objects in hold baggage)

  • Repair kit – (eg. needle, thread, duct tape)

  • Travel clothes

  • Camera

Notes:

*Available for hire/rental through KE Adventure Travel.

 

Please note that showers are not available in the desert and there is a limited amount of washing water, wet wipes are useful to wash in the interim.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Morocco

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Morocco is the Dhiram.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on a trekking or climbing holiday, getting some additional exercise. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. For this desert holiday you need to be aerobically fit and also capable for walking up to 6 or 7 hours each day on a variety of terrain from hard rock to soft desert sand. We would suggest that you adopt a weekly exercise regime. Regular walking in hill or back country is the best preparation but if this is not possible, regular exercise with your preferred sport or pastime such as jogging, squash and swimming, will develop better fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

It is warm in the desert during the day even in the winter months of November through to April. At this time we can expect daytime temperatures to be a pleasant 20 - 25°C, rising to 30°C or more around mid-day. In the evening the temperature will drop to an average of 5 – 10°C but can reach lower than this overnight. The evenings and nights can be chilly and are a dramatic change from the daytime temperatures. Rain is rare in the desert but not unheard of and short-lived storms bringing rain can occur.

  • Lonely Planet Guide – Morocco.

  • Rough Guide to Morocco

  • A Hedonist's Guide to Marrakech. Paul Sullivan

  • A Year in Marrakesh. Peter Mayne

  • Desert Divers. Sven Lindqvist

  • Lords of the Atlas. Gavin Maxwell

EWP maps

Maps for this region are notoriously difficult to come by. The publisher EWP does make a series covering various regions of the Atlas and adjacent to the Atlas at 1:160,000. These maps are generally based on Russian military maps with all cyrillic text replaced by latin alphabet.

Extend Your Holiday

Imperial Cities of Morocco

This exotic extension starts in Meknes, the beautiful 17th-century imperial headquarters of Sultan Moulay Ismael.  A fortified city-within-a-city complete with elaborate palaces, decorative mosques, mystical dungeons and charming gardens!  After exploring the heart of Meknes we move onto the atmospheric UNESCO Roman masterpiece of Volubilis, the best preserved archaeological site in the country and an atmospheric place to explore.  However nothing can prepare us for the magical riot of Fez, with its UNESCO old town and city walls extending for 10 miles!  The fantastic medina, mediaeval Fez el Bali and the modern "ville nouvelle" is a wonderful melting pot on the senses. We finish in cosmopolitan Rabat, complete with tree-lined boulevards and beautiful colonial architecture. This fantastic extension ensures you are completely immersed in a variety of contrasting cities!  (Please note this extension includes a local driver but not a KE leader.  This gives you more freedom to explore at leisure pre/post KE group trip). 

Imperial Cities of Morocco

From $870 per person

More info

Essaouira Riad and Atlantic Coast

Friendly Essaouira provides a beautiful base for this colouful Atlantic Coast extension which offers a  fantastic start or end to our holidays in Morocco.  Described as the prettiest town in the country, the UNESCO port and medina are a riot of colour and activity.  To ensure a relaxing time in Essaouira we take care of private return transfers and riad accommodation for 3 nights at the comfortable Riad Maison du Sud, situated within the ramparts of the medina and just a few minutes walk from the sea. Redecorated in Moorish style, it has a snug sitting room and sunny roof terrace with views of the Mellah and the Atlantic Ocean.  Essaouira has plenty of things to so and do so we leave your days free for you to enjoy at leisure.  This extension starts and ends in Marrakech.

Essaouira Riad and Coast

From $310 per person

More info

Marrakech Full Day City Tour

Marrakech History & Gardens

From $105 per person

More info

Golden Tulip

From $55 per room per night

Riad Villa Harmonie

From $91 per room per night Located in the heart of the historic medina and just a short walk from the Djema El Fna, Riad Villa Harmonie is a beautifully restored riad. Built around 2 patios, with palm and orange trees, banana plants and roof-top terrace, this is the ideal place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but close enough to explore the souks and medina on foot. Rooms are decorated in traditional Moroccan style with modern comforts and private bathrooms. There are 3 different grades of room available depending on size, facilities and location.

Riad Slitine

From $157 per room per night Riad Slitine is in the heart of the medina, close to the Bahia and Badi Palaces, the Tombs of the Saadian Kings. The building dates back to the 17th century and has been recently refurbished in style. The house, built around four patios, has a swimming pool ideal for cooling off in the heat of the Moroccan summer. Complete with hammam, beauty treatments and jacuzzi, the Riad Slitine is truly luxurious. Riad Slitine has 16 luxury, air-conditioned rooms and suites, all with modern comforts including mini-bar, hair-dryers and wifi. Prices are reflective of room size, location and facilities.

Riad Petit Prince

From $113 per room per night Situated in the heart of Marrakech between the central Djema el-Fna and the new town of Gueliz, this family-run riad offers a serene and cosy atmosphere in the middle of bustling Marrakech. Riad du Petit Prince is comfortable and stylish with its leafy terraced seating areas and refreshing plunge pool in the shade of the courtyard. The restaurant serves both Moroccan and European meals. One advantage of staying here is that you are just as close to the shops, restaurants and clubs of the modern French quarters as you are to the Djema el Fna Square. There are 3 grades of room available. Massages are available (additional cost).

Riad Aladdin

From $122 per room per night Backing on to the Badi Palace in the medina, Riad Aladdin consists of three riads linked by a beautiful terrace where you can watch storks gliding to their nests in the Palace ramparts. With its terraces and comfortable lounges, there are many inviting nooks and crannies to escape the busy day. The 17 rooms are spread around the patios, each with its own Moroccan style. In summer you will appreciate the cool of the patio with its shady shutters, and in winter, the warmth of the hammam and the gentle breeze on the terrace. All rooms have air-conditioning and there are 3 different grades available.

Recent Reviews & Blog Posts