Trekking with Nomads
A glimpse into nomadic life while travelling with the last nomads of Morocco!
Twice a year the nomadic people of the Ait Atta tribe go in search of fodder for their large flocks of animals. Each year, depending on grazing requirements and the vagaries of the climate, they follow a seasonal migratory pattern with their livestock and entire households.
Over eight days you will travel with a family of the Ait Atta, a Berber tribe whose origins allegedly date back to Goliath, as they migrate with their livestock from their homeland in JbelSaghro through the Dades Valley to the summer pastures in the High Atlas Mountains or the other way around. Your guide will be a member of the Ait Atta clan. You will be introduced to traditions that are centuries old and passed from one generation of the Ait Atta to the next.
It is an amazing and unique cultural experience not found in many other places. The trek takes you back in time crossing eroded plateaus, rocky peaks and dotted green oases in a team of a caravan, following therhythm of the goats, camels, humans…
The trek is possible only twice a year. In the beginning of summer, nomads of Ait Atta travel to their land in the High Atlas, following their flock. As the first snow starts to fall at the beginning of winter, they start charging their luggage back to their home origin in the JbelSaghro Mountains. It is a lifestyle that connects the nomads with their animals.
This is far from a standard tourist experience; travelling with the nomadic Ait Atta means fitting into the organization of the caravan and accepting the decisions of the nomads’ chief for the breaks, campsites and departure times. It also requires that each member of the team helps with simple chores; loading pack animals, collecting the firewood, gathering sheep and goats. However, while this will be a relatively unstructured journey with potential for surprises, it is unlikely to be anything but a unique experience.
Travel with Nomads
The highlight of the trip:
- Exceptional experience in sharing every moment with the Ait Atta tribe.
- Trekking to cross the High Atlas and head towards the south.
- Discover Ouzoud waterfalls and the valley of AitBougmez.
The departure date for the trip:
20th September to 30th September 2016.
Trek options and daily path:
The trek takes 4 to 7 hours a day. Everyday you will have the choice of either following the shepherd with his flock of goats and sheep or follow the dromedaries and charge through with the luggage.
All our hikes are led by graduates of the Moroccan Guiding School, who speak fluent English, French as well as other languages, They are very professional with a deep understanding and knowledge of the land, history and traditions of the country in which you will spend time with the people you will meet. They are also qualified in first aid.
All your meals will be carefully prepared by our cooks who use the spices of North Africa to create tasty and appetizing food – fuel for your hike.
You won’t find many who speak your language but you will see their kindness in the way they treat their animals. At night they will share their music and community spirit with you and you will bond with farmers, shepherds and nomad, fathers, brothers and sons. Taking you to see their hidden pastures, sharing their way of life and showing you their country earns them some additional income. This allows them to buy not only the essentials such as sugar, oil, tea but also books and educational materials for their children.
Their loyalty and motivation to show you the best the nomads of Morocco have to offer and this will make your trip not only a success but unforgettable.
Our nomad family:
They are a part of our tribe in the south of Morocco and some of them are our families, they don’t speak your language but they will be very happy to accompany you and show you every step in their daily life.
- Minimum age is 12 years.
- Suitability – you need to be in a good physical condition and reasonably fit.
- Level 2 – medium. This route is not technically difficult (you don’t need to be an experienced rock climber)
but you need to be reasonably fit and accustomed to completing day hikes. You will be walking an average of six hours each day and sleeping in bivouacs.
- Best temperature, not cold nor hot: mainly mid April to the end of May and the start of September to the beginning of November.
The trek requires you to be physically fine and in good health. In certain places mentioned in the itinerary emergency measures may be quite difficult to access therefore a thorough health checkup is strongly recommended prior to departure.
Luggage and Equipments: You will travel on foot, but your luggage and camping equipment with supplies it will be carried by mules and camels. Please do use a soft travel bag and make sure your belongings don’t weigh more than 15kg. You may carry a very small daypack for your valuables, water and camera. This should not weigh more than 10 kg.
The price depends on the number of the group
Your subscription will not be confirmed till we have the receipt of:
- 20% of the quote of the trip as a deposit to secure your reservation.
- Full personal details: full name, copy of your passport, Address, Phone number.
- Number of your passport or identity card.
- Phone number of a person we can contact in case of emergency.
- Copy of your travel insurance (name, number of the contract, and phone number of your insurance company).
- Riad in the heart of Marrakech on the first day.
- Guest house in AitBougmez valley.
- During the trek 1 tent for two persons with two mattresses.
- Guest house in Dades.
Moroccan Nomads Travel: discover Morocco nomadic life
Program: Moroccan Nomads Travel
Day 1: Transfer from the airport to the riad in Marrakech
Your guide will welcome you in the airport and drive you to your riad in the heart of Medina in Marrakech. Free time and free dinner in the City.
Day 2: Marrakech – Ouzoud waterfalls – Ait Bougmez valley
After a Moroccan breakfast, we start driving to Ait Bougmez valley. On the way we will drive 16km off the main road to visit the famous waterfalls of Ouzoud, a great natural place where there is opportunity for a small walk. Barbary apes are easily observed in the forest there.
We continue our way to Ait Bougmez via Azilal and witness amazing views of the High Atlas throughout the 78km snaking road.
We arrive at our guest house in Ait Bougmez. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 3: Ait Bougmez – Ifran – Tamda (Nomads pasture)
We meet our muleteers and load the mules. As we walk through the valley of Aitbougmez towards the nomads place, we will cross fields while meeting the local people.
First meeting with the nomad family and night in the tents.
5 hours walk.
Day 4: Tamda – Pass of Tizi-n-Tirghiste (2629 m) – Plateau Izoughar (2525 m)
By the first light of the day, the nomad family will wake up and start preparing for the trip. After having breakfast, they will start dismantling their goat hair ten and packing up the luggage on the camels and mules. The journey will take us towards the lake of Izoughar. We will cross Tizi n Tirghist with 2629m altitude. We continue down the valley of Ait Bougmez but this time accompanied with nomads and their flocks, then following the path up towards our first camp in Izoughar lake 2500m. Night in tents.
4h30 hours walk.
Day 5: Lake of Izoughar– Edge of Tizi n Igrourne (3200 m)
As a caravan, we continue our 5th day towards the Edge of Tizi N Igrouren getting close to the High Atlas central peaks among the wild landscapes. Sharing every moment with the nomad family.
We arrive at Aqqa N Izoughar and camp in the Edge of Tizi n Igrouren.
5 hours walk.
Day 6: Tizi –N- Igrourne (2700m) – Tizi – N- Tamgmart (2976m)
Today’s itinerary will offer us an amazing view by crossing the Mountain of Adrar n Amzourka. We will have to cross Tizi Igourane and Tizi N Tamgmart 3976m to reach the top with its amazing landscapes and then we go down towards our camp.
6 hours walk.
Night in tents with full board.
Day 7: Tizi-n- Tamgmart – Imejdag (2380m)
Today’s journey will take us to the heart of the Atlas in the territory of the M’goun tribes. Here we find a succession of mountains to the lunar landscapes. At the top of Jbel Abouch, we discover breathtaking views stretching out of sight until the Jebel Saghro. We reach our camp in Assfalou Azouggagh.
5 hours walk.
Overnight in tents. Dinner and breakfast included.
Day 8: Imejdag – Tizi-n-Toudate (2700m)- Imjegarne (1800m)
Our day towards Imejgaren follows, as usual, l the steps of nomads in their descent towards the origin land of the south. We continue towards the source of water in Taghbalout N Tizi to water the animals and pick up water for the camp. We cross Tizi N Toudatt (2700m) and descent to Aqqa N Imjgaren. We will follow the river bed to find our nomad camp in Imjgaren.
Overnight in tents with full board.
Day 9: Imejgarne (2380m)- Tizi-n-Mademt – Ait Youl Dades (1600m)
It is our last day with the nomad family, which will lead us to the green valley of Dades. We will follow the dry river of Tghia N Imjegaren and cross Tizi-N-Madante at 2000m to join our guest house in Tililitine, not far from the valley of Dades.
Night in the guest house with dinner and breakfast.
5 hours walk
Day 10: Ait Youl Dades – Marrakech
Time to say goodbye to our nomad family friends who will continue their way towards Jebel Saghro now. We join AitYoul village where we will find our bus to drive us to Marrakech. On our way back we will cross the valley of the roses and Ouarzazate city before we cross the High Atlas mountain via Tizi N Tichka pass to Marrakech.
Overnight in the Riad. 6 hours drive.
Day 11: Transfer to Marrakech / Casablanca airport
End of your trip: Moroccan Nomads Travel.
Include / not include
|Included||Two airport transfers. Two night accommodation in Marrakech on Bed and Breakfast basis in a riad. English speaking guide. Transfers round trip from Marrakech. Five nights in tents (bivouac) with the nomads. 1 + 1 Cook and French/English speaking guide. Mules for carrying luggage and equipment. Full board from day 1 to day 7. Ready for you – mass tent, three tents/igloos for two people, mattress and blankets, tent for kitchen and utensils.|
|What is not included||International flights. Sleeping bags (rental available). Tips and extras. Meals in Marrakech. Soft Drinks during the tour.|