Destination: The Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert
Essence of the trip:
A unique journey in wild mountains and remote desert. Beginning with time in a remote Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains, you’ll summit Mount Mgoun, the most challenging mountain in North Africa, before continuing your expedition by heading deep into the Sahara desert. Cross vast dunes and travel as nomads do in order to reach your final destination of the salt flats of Lake Iriqi on the Algerian border.
This trip will give you:
The opportunity to summit the challenging Mount Mgoun after two days of un-routed trekking. You will be carving your own path through unpredictable terrain.
The experience of journeying deep into the Moroccan part of the Sahara desert by camel and quad bike, crossing imposing sand dunes and reaching areas that few tourists ever get to en route to the ethereal salt flats of Lake Iriqi.
The chance to travel as nomads do through the desert, moving quietly across a beautiful landscape and camping in traditional tents still used by the nomadic tribes.
The opportunity to meet nomadic Berber tribes and learn first-hand the methods they use to survive the harsh desert environment and which will be key for the completion of your trip.
As soon as you arrive into Marrakech, your expert guides will transfer you towards the Atlas Mountains, which are home to the highest and most dramatic peaks in North Africa. As you ascend higher and higher by 4×4, you will journey through increasingly dramatic mountain passes, before eventually heading off-road towards the incredibly remote Berber village of Magdaz, which is far beyond the reach of any normal tourist. On your arrival some hours later you will be welcomed with a traditional feast, which will be attended by the village elders, for a totally unique cultural experience.
The following morning the physical side of your adventure will begin, as you will begin a 2-day trek up Morocco’s second highest mountain, Mgoun. Due to its remote location, Mgoun is far less travelled than Morocco’s highest peak, Toubkal, so you are highly unlikely to see any other people at all as you make your way to the summit, which provides truly spectacular views as far as the iconic Erg Chebbi sand dunes on a clear morning.
After summiting Mgoun at sunrise, you will then descend to a 4×4 pick up point, before being transferred through the stunning Tiz n Outfi pass towards the Skoura Oasis east of Quarzazate, where you will spend the night at the Ben Moro Kasbah. The next day you will rise early to begin a trek towards the desert, where you will meet traditional nomadic tribes and learn first-hand how to survive within the unforgiving environment of the Sahara, before sleeping in a traditional camel wool tent that night.
The following day, you will rise before dawn to mount your camel and venture deeper into the desert, crossing the high dunes towards the Algerian border as you watch the sun rise in the distance. The soft sand and steep gradients make this journey impassable by any other means, so you will be covering ground that only nomads have ever previously traversed and will eventually end the day at a nomad encampment, where you will enjoy some traditional Saharan hospitality and a goat meshui.
Having used the age-old way of crossing the Sahara up to this point, the next morning you will increase the pace of things as you race a quad bike across the rolling sand dunes until you reach the salt flats of Lake Iriq, which is a vast barren area, ringed by mountains and famous for its mirages. Here a helicopter will be waiting for you and will take off from the flats to transport you back to Marrakech via an unforgettably scenic flight back over the Sahara and the stunning regions you will have journeyed through during your epic adventure over the last week.
If you are interested in taking this trip and would like to discuss it in more detail with our team of experts get in touch here or call us on 0207 426 9899 (UK) or 1-888 341 9663 (US) to start planning your trip.