Morocco Trekking Adventure

/ 8

1. In Brief

Trek for a fortnight in the mystical heights of the ancient Atlas Mountains, where indigenous Berber tribesmen have maintained a culture and heritage that reaches back over thousands of years. Visit tiny Moroccan tearooms where the scent of heavy perfume hangs over steaming cups of fragrant mint tea. Delve down winding alleyways in the world famous markets, where you can haggle over delicately painted ceramics and intricate hand-woven fabrics.

Catch sight of the region's most captivating views such as the cobalt blue Lake Ifni from above, as you weave your way along the spine of the Atlas mountain range. Accompanied by a caravan of camels and mules, the traditional means of transporting goods and luggage, you will wind your way along well worn herder's paths, spotting eagles wheeling in the sky above and absorbing the spectacular vistas. Each night you will enjoy comfortable accommodation varying from homestays to terracotta tiled hostels, giving you an intimate and fascinating insight into Morocco's mountain villages and communities. With Berber tribesmen as your guides, you will gain privileged access to the most obscure, beautiful and least trodden routes, and will benefit from their intricate knowledge of the terrain and culture. Challenge yourself with this extraordinary adventure trek and discover this breathtaking North African country!

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Make lifelong friends
  • Trek in the magnificent heights of the Atlas mountains
  • Gain privileged access to Morocco's least trodden routes

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS

  • Minimum age of 18 years

FAST FACTS

Location Morocco
Activities Mountain trekking
Transport Airport pick-up & drop-off
Berber mule 
Accommodation Varies

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas & equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Accommodation
Airport pick-up & drop-off
Ground transfers to project
Project orientation
Project equipment
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

2. The project

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

They call themselves the "Amazigh", the proud raiders, however most people know them as Berbers. An ancient tribal community, Morocco's mountain people sustain a lifestyle that has changed little over the centuries, by defending their language and culture against would be invaders from the world over – French, Roman, and Arab. However in recent years the tide of globalisation in the form of an American-Moroccan oil development has encroached upon their land, an invasion that the Berbers describe as the assault of yet another conquering army. This represents the real possibility that the culture, embodied in its language and arcane traditional practices, is being forced into retreat, and it is said that there is no longer any "hinterland" where the indigenous heritage can be preserved.

In order to support these increasingly marginalised indigenous communities and enable them to resist the forces of globalisation which are overwhelming their cultural identity, it is essential that projects and expeditions such as this utilise local skills and traditional knowledge, as well as supporting the local economy through the purchase of food and goods from local suppliers. In this way, ecotourism provides benefits to support ancient traditions and assist in maintaining and empowering indigenous cultures.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

Your two week trekking adventure will be led by project staff and expert local Berber tribesmen who have an intimate knowledge of the route, ensuring that your experience will be exciting and safe. You will be travelling on foot with a caravan of mules to carry the expedition luggage. You will cover a significant distance every day, over a six-hour period, giving you the opportunity to push yourself physically as you absorb the spectacular vistas and breathe the clean mountain air. You will have the chance to tackle some of the most exhilarating peaks in Africa, including the infamous Djebel Toubkal, where you will discover views that will take your breath away. Your tour of the High Atlas region and local Berber villages will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Trekking Itinerary

 

Day 1: 

Upon arrival at Marrakesh airport you will be collected by our coordinator and transferred to a guesthouse in Marrakesh, where you will stay for one night. Tonight is a great opportunity to meet your fellow trekkers and explore the maze-like souks and busy market stalls of Marrakesh. 

Day 2: 

The following morning you will have a gentle start to the day with a minibus journey to the famous ski resort of Oukaïmeden, which at 2600m altitude has a beautiful view over several villages below.  Here you will meet the local muleteers team. After lunch, you’ll head through the sheep-pens of Tiferguine before setting up camp at the impressive foot of the col of Ouhattar (3000m). Camp consists of a bivouac shelter, which will be basic but a fantastic way to appreciate the beautiful surroundings. 1 ½ hours walking. 

Day 3:   

Today will get you into the spirit of the trek as you traverse your first mountain pass, descending over villages, to join the high valley of Ourika. You will pass through a number of Berber villages including Tamguist, Anfli and Tiourdiou. Bivouac camp. 6 hours walking.

Day 4:   

Carrying on along the valley of Ourika you’ll make the ascent up the col of Tamater (2200m), before descending down to the Assif N’oufra. Bivouac near the river. 6 hours walking. 

Day 5: 

Today’s trek will see you navigate the twisting track around the rocky outcrop that hides Amenzel. After this section the landscape changes as the valley widens into several basins. In the afternoon, you cross the Tizi Oumchichki (2981m) where you can stop for lunch and appreciate the famous summit of Mount Toubkal. Bivouac on the river bank of Tinnizer (2200m). 6 ½ hours walking.

Day 6: 

This is a longer day, but one that rewards you with spectacular views. After crossing a 3200m pass, you will follow the watershed down to Assif Ouraï, then traverse the Tizi pass (3120m), which swings over the village of Amzouzart. Night in transit accommodation. 7-8 hours walking. 

Day 7: 

This is a shorter day than the previous four, as you climb to the only lake in the High Atlas region. A 3 ½ hour ascent brings you to the Lake of Ifni, which is nestled amongst steep moraine slopes. Take the afternoon to swim, relax and reflect on today’s activities with your fellow trekkers.  

Day 8: 

Early breakfast this morning, as you leave for the col of Ouanoums (3660 m) that rises through magnificent rugged scenery. Bivouac on the other slope of the col, (3300m) at the foot of Mount Toubkal. 6 hours walking. 

Day 9: 

Today is regarded as one of the most memorable stretches as you climb to the summit of Toubkal. At 4167m, it is the highest point in North Africa, and once at the top there are superb panoramic views over Marrakesh towards the plains below. It is a relatively pleasant 4 hour climb with no technical difficulties.  Tonight you will return to the same bivouac. 6 ½ hours walking. 

Day 10: 

Take advantage of being in the heart of Toubkal to climb another striking peak, Ouanoukrim (4089m). After a well deserved lunch, you will go down to the Assif ‘N’ Issoubouane reaching Armed. The route goes via the hermitage of Sidi Shamaroush, a place frequented by pilgrims. 4 hours walking. 

Day 11: 

On this stage you will make the beautiful ascent to reach the high pass of Tizi N’Tzikert (3000m). Take in the magnificent views over the corridors of Tazzarart, as you descend into the sheep-pens of Tamzoult (2250m). 4-5 hours walking. 

Day 12:   

Descend through the valley of Assif N’Ouissadene, taking the opportunity to discover numerous villages and cultures. You will set up camp for the night along the river bank. 5 ½ hours walking. 

Day 13:   

This will be your last day of trekking before being transferred back to Marrakesh. In the morning you will descend through the forest that leads to Ouirgane (810m), where the minibus awaits. After a quick breakfast you will be driven back to Marrakesh, and booked into a hotel where you will stay for the next two nights. Get settled in the accommodation and enjoy a night out sampling the street food, exploring the souks and night markets, and marvelling at the street entertainers and snake charmers in the Djema El Fna.

Day 14: 

The day is yours to explore this fascinating and mysterious city. Take some time to visit the tanneries, purchase some spices or relax over some traditional mint tea. Tonight is the final evening with your fellow trekkers so take the chance to reflect on the incredible journey you have all completed.

Day 15:  

You will be transferred back to the airport by your project coordinator.

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will be met upon arrival at Marrakech airport by friendly project staff and transferred to a local guesthouse for your first night before transferring to the High Atlas region the following day. You should look to arrive on the first Friday of the month. 

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

A range of accommodation is incorporated into the journey as you make your way across the mountain range, with stops at different villages every night. You will enjoy a truly authentic experience with stays in basic bivouac tents, mountain refuges, charming teahouses and small but comfortable hostels, appreciating the legendary hospitality of the Moroccan people.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Moroccan food has grown in popularity across the world due to its appealing combination of fresh, healthy ingredients, diverse and aromatic flavours and exotic presentation. Try cous cous flavoured with turmeric and sweet juicy sultanas, or enjoy lamb kebabs cooked over a traditional clay ground oven and served with fresh baked breads. You will be responsible for your own food provision for the first night in Marrakech.  During the day on the trek, you will eat a basic but nutritious breakfast of locally sourced bread, cheeses, jams and tea, with dinner being homemade soup followed by a meat dish. All meals will be eaten in a mess tent which you will set up each night.

4. The reviews

I got to meet some incredible locals who always offered me the most amazing sweet mint tea!  | 11 Oct 2016
I love Morocco.  After not too much deliberation and a decision based primarily on food I op...

Read more


1 to 1

5. Gallery

AutoViewer requires JavaScript and the Flash Player. Get Flash here.

6. Extras

ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Morocco has an impressive array of activities to occupy visitors, and you may wish to add some of these pursuits onto the beginning or end of your trip, at a small additional cost. Try a camel ride to experience the historic Moroccan method of transport, or sand dune surfing for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure sport. You may also have the chance to venture round some of the wonderful souks full of dark, mysterious shop doorways that you are sure to want to explore. Morocco also has fantastic beaches and you may want to relax and unwind at the end of your mountain adventure with a few days on the coast.
 

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

15 days $1,945

DEPARTURE DATES

Monthly

DURATION

15 days

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off
  • Ground transfers to project
  • Project orientation
  • Project equipment
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Marrakech (RAK)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


/ 8