This escapade in the Moroccan desert and southern Morocco is punctuated by charming stages, between authentic kasbah in an oasis of the palm grove of the Draa Valley, and nomadic camp in the heart of the largest dunes of the Moroccan desert, the dunes of Chegaga .
The south of Morocco is a marvel in the rough. Here, nature raises its colors: clusters of yellow dates hanging from palm trees, laurel bushes showing bright pink flowers along wadis, brown, beige or gray mountains, rooted in ocher earth and, from time to time , like mirages, countless ksour color of sand in the heart of green palm groves. Before giving way to powdered gold from the dunes of the Sahara.
Massive silhouettes glimpsed at the bend of an oasis path during your morocco desert trip with click excursions, fortified villages enclosed by blind walls, the ksour of the Great South are with their perfect proportions, their facades adorned with geometrical patterns on which play shadows and lights, pure chefs- architectural works. Your stop at ksar Tamnougalte, one of the oldest ksour in the Draa Valley will charm you.
Then drive to the Moroccan desert. The roundness of the dunes, the endless expanses, the sunsets, the starry night and the silence, Erg Cheggaga will enchant you. This short but intense Moroccan desert getaway will allow you to understand in a strong and simple way this great desert that is the Sahara.
Its relatively difficult access has kept it a still wild and authentic beauty due to its imposing surface. Between the sweetness of the sand and the roughness of the reg, this 4X4 Moroccan desert excursion to discover the beautiful palm groves of the south and the dunes of the Sahara, is only contrasts and beauty!
Organization of the trip
Day 1 – ouarzazate & the oasis of tamnougalte (300 kms)
We leave Marrakech to southern Morocco crossing the High Atlas at the neck of Tizi N’Tichka (2260m) down to Ouarzazate where we have lunch before continuing Agdz is the beginning of the Draa Valley. We will stop at the heart of the palm grove at the oasis of Tamnougalte in an authentic ksar.
Located in the huge palm grove of Agdz, Tamnougalt which means ‘meeting place’, was the capital of Berber Mezguita. It was an important crossroads at a time when large caravans were trading between Tafilalet and Timbuktu, as it controlled the entrance to the Draa Valley. It was also a strategic point because gold was transformed and minted in money.
Discover this authentic ksar and take a walk in the palm grove. In October it is the harvest of dates; life is intense. The oasis is the murmur of seguias, the dense shade of palm trees, the scent of lemon trees, freshly cut alfalfa and plowed land. One does not visit an oasis, one discovers it, one watches there at the sunrise the first songs of birds and the clear mists which graze the squares of alfalfa, one expects there the peace of the setting sun when men and animals go back tired to the town.
Day 2: the Moroccan Sahara (290km of which 90 km of track)
This morning, road to the Sahara. We will stop at Tamgroute where you can visit the village of potters. These pottery workshops, the oldest and most famous in Morocco, have existed since the 16th century. Seven families work there, 260 people. Potters still work in a traditional way. They extract their clay in underground galleries, and prepare their slip by treading under foot. They cook their pottery in traditional kilns heated with dry palms and bushes. Tamgroute ceramics, of a subtle green, between Reseda and fir, is very famous throughout Morocco.
We will continue our journey to the ksar Ouled Driss, a Saharan village founded at the beginning of the XVII century by nomads coming from the region of Golmine, where we will have lunch before taking the track towards the Sahara and the big dunes of Cheggaga. About an hour and a half from a track that follows the dry course of Draa to arrive at your bivouac at the foot of the Cheggaga dunes, a superb stage. Dinner and overnight at the camp.
Day 3 – djbel bani & ksar aït benhadou (270km)
Be early, and enjoy the sunrise on the ridge of the dunes, before finding your vehicle to reach the oasis of Foum Zguid through the desert massif of djbel Bani, natural border between the Sahara and the Atlas. Then we will go down to the Ksar Ait Benhaddou, through a mountain oasis chain offering a superb spectacle with the tormented relief of the surrounding mountains, with mauve brown hues.
Lunch and free visit of this splendid fortified group, classified World Heritage of Humanity by Unesco, which was one of the great economic and cultural crossroads of the region since antiquity.
Arrival in Marrakech at the end of the day after crossing the High Atlas.