Children relaxing on the sand dunes

Camels & Kasbahs

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8 days
from
895 CAD
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 9 reviews >
Moderate
Learn more
Trip code: 
FMK
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Family
Min age:
5
Group size:
4–16

Family adventure through the souks of Marrakech, Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert

Journey through the beautiful palm groves of the Draa Valley before arriving at the amazing Sahara Desert for our first highlight - a camel safari ride, some wonderful nomad hospitality and camping out under the desert stars. We then visit the magnificent Kasbah Ait Benhaddou - the perfect backdrop to many Hollywood films including Gladiator. After spending the night at our comfortable eco-lodge with the friendly Berbers, we assist with a variety of community activities at the remote village of Tijhza, nestled high in the Atlas Mountains. Our final treat is the colourful souks, palaces and mosques of Marrakech, which comes alive at night with snake charmers, travelling musicians, acrobats and storytellers.

A number of changes are being made to this product for travel after the 1st January 2018. This trip will now run on an alternative itinerary, flying in and out of Marrakech, instead of into Ouarzazate and out of Marrakech. Please click here to view the correct version. 

Highlights

  • Camel trek in the Sahara Desert
  • Walk in the High Atlas Mountains
  • Traditional hammam in Tijhza
  • Visit the Kasbahs of Ait Benhaddou and Taourirt
  • All hotels have swimming pools

Key information

4 nights hotel; 2 nights camping In the desert we sleep in traditional Bedouin-style tents, 1 night in mountain gite.

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights

 

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa's and Vaccinations
  • Single supplement

 

Call us on
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Ouarzazate
to
Marrakech
  • Day 1

    Start Ouarzazate.

    Arrive Ouarzazate
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Drive to Tazzarine. Visit the local palmerie. Overnight in permanent tented camp.

    Our adventure begins in Ouarzazate, nicknamed as the 'door to the desert' because it used to be a crossing point for African traders on their way to Europe. It is home to the Atlas Film Studios, the setting for many Hollywood films, as well as Game of Thones and BBC's Atlantis. It's also home to the impressive Kasbah Taourirt. Originally home to the former caid (mayor), this kasbah was later owned by T'hami El Glaoui who is better known as the Lord of the Atlas. The Krupps field gun that secured the Glaoui power is now displayed outside the kasbah. We then head south along the Draa Valley, a huge palmery containing over four million palm trees, edged by many ksours (fortified villages) to our permanent Bedouin camp for the evening near Tazzarine. During the warmer months some people like to take their beds outside and sleep under the stars.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Morning camel trek; continue by vehicle to N'Kob; afternoon free to laze by the pool. Camp in the grounds of a converted kasbah.

    We get up early for an exciting four-hour camel trip through the desert to Tamashelt. Riding a camel is a fun and truly memorable experience although it can be a bit bumpy and sore after a while! After our safari, we stop for a short walk around one of the palmeries before heading to N'kob. With its swimming pool, we can enjoy a well-deserved break after our adventure on the 'ships of the desert'. We stay in the communal tents around an auberge and are served traditional Bedouin food.
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Travel from N'Kob to Ouarzazate; afternoon visit Kasbah Ait Benhaddou.

    After sunrise we head back up through the beautiful palm oases of the Draa Valley, until we reach the well-preserved Kasbah Ait Benhaddou. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most spectacular sights of the Atlas and made famous as the location of several Hollywood films, including 'Lawrence of Arabia'. There may only be a handful of families who still live within the walls yet as we wander around enjoying impressive views, we also learn its importance as a major point on the trading caravan route from the desert.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Transfer to High Atlas Mountains; afternoon helping the inhabitants in the remote village of Tijhza.

    Today we continue our journey heading into the High Atlas Mountains for a completely different and rewarding experience. After a short drive, we can enjoy a 1½ hour picturesque walk on a gentle gradient to our kasbah, where we spend the night (our bags will be transported separately for us). If the villagers are working on various schemes, then we hope to get involved and join in, it could be helping to rebuild a wall, or helping paint a classroom at the local school. The best experience is a football match with the local kids and other optional activities that let us gain insight into the unique Berber culture. Our base for the night is simple rural accommodation that overlooks this remote village which was surprisingly only connected to the national electricity grid in 2004 and running water to every home over the last 4 years. There will also be the opportunity to support the latest development of Exodus' ongoing work in the village with a visit to the local hammam which is now included free of charge.
    Basic Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Morning walk through the villages of the Tijhza Valley. Scenic drive over mountain passes to Marrakech.

    In the morning we enjoy an optional 3-4 hour walk through the villages of the Tijhza Valley, passing fields cultivated with almond and fig trees, with the peaks of the High Atlas as a fitting backdrop. We then say goodbye to our new friends and head back to our bus for a scenic drive over the mountains to Marrakech. En route, we visit the amazing fortress of Telouet. Once, the mountains were controlled by feudal clans, including the most powerful Glaoui clans. Their power stretched across Morocco into Europe. Now Telouet stands abandoned and crumbling, and we can take a look at this labyrinthine, fairy-tale structure from the outside. Our route continues over the main pass, Tizi'n'Tichka, which at 2260m is the highest road pass in Morocco and is truly spectacular (approximately 4 hour journey).
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Morning walking tour of Marrakech; afternoon and evening free.

    This morning we take a guided tour (on foot) of the 'Pink City' of Marrakech where we can soak up the atmosphere of this bustling and vibrant city, with its maze of bazaars, palaces and mosques. In the afternoon there is free time to simply potter around the souks, visit the more peaceful Jardin Majorelle, take a hammam (steam bath) or maybe enjoy a 'caleche' ride (horse-drawn carriage). No visit to Marrakech is complete without a visit to the Djemma el Fna, the open-air central square around which Marrakech revolves. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now, with the foodstalls, snake charmers, juice-sellers, travelling musicians and acrobats, the square is a place of entertainment for both Moroccan and overseas visitors.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    End Marrakech.

    Transfer to airport for flight to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Morocco

No visa required by British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Morocco

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Tetanus, Tetanus and Hepatitis A.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 1 lunch and 3 dinners included.

Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea.

When eating out, meals are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost about £4 (approx. US$6.50). In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal with wine is from £20 (approx. US$30) upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 (approx. US$8-15) without drinks. £15 (approx. US$25) a day for food should be sufficient. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices but expect to pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader will recommend restaurants each evening.

Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the more rural or trekking sections of the trip.

Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home. 

Plastic waste is an issue in Morrocco. We advise you buy your own purification tablets in the UK and take them with you. Bottled water in large containers is stored in the bus for you to re-fill your own bottles.

Weather

Please note this chart denotes the average temperatures in Marrakech. From April to June, and in September, Marrakech and the north are pleasantly hot, with temperatures averaging 26°C in the day and falling to 16°C at night. It is unusual for there to be much humidity so it is quite pleasant except at midday when the sun is very strong. Desert temperatures are similar to those in Marrakech, with the nights usually a little cooler and the days a little hotter. Mountain temperatures are cooler than in Marrakech. In the winter months, the daytime temperatures in Marrakech are around 18 to 22°C with night temperatures falling to 4 to 7°C. The days should be clear and sunny, and a particularly attractive feature of the winter months is the clear views of the snow-covered Atlas. The temperatures in the south are generally a couple of degrees higher than those prevailing north of the mountains. There is a small chance of rain and it has been even been known to snow very infrequently in January and sometimes February on the higher desert plateaux (in which case it is cold at night and early in the morning on the southern side of the Atlas).

Is this trip for you?

The advantages of travelling to Morocco are the minimal time difference and that vaccinations are not necessary. This trip provides a wonderful opportunity to see Southern Morocco, combining beautiful deserts with superb mountain scenery. Along with its incredible history, we also explore Morocco's blend of the natural, human and exotic. We spend quality time in the places that matter, the pace is not rushed but a couple of the road journeys are long (3-4 hours). Please note that camels are not always the most comfortable ride but certainly an unforgettable experience! The tented campsite is quite basic and communal, yet there is no other base from which we can enjoy the silence and peacefulness of the desert. In the mountains, our accommodation is in rooms with all bedding provided. This is the only Moroccan family holiday to offer a true Berber experience in the remote Tijhza Village in the Atlas Mountains. Please note there is no central heating in the desert or mountains and it can get very cold at night from October to March (you will need to come prepared with adequate clothing and sleeping bags) as well as very hot during the daytime in April and May. In Tijhza additional blankets will be provided, if it's very cold. Ramadan Please note Ramadan runs from 27th May to 25th June 2017. During Ramadan, our local guides and drivers choose to work and so we continue to run trips in this period. However, it does need to be recognised that the energy levels of our local staff may be a bit lower and that some restaurants may be closed during the day. Having said this, Ramadan is a unique time to visit a Muslim country - each evening the streets empty for an hour while everyone breaks their fast, and there's a feeling of festivity in the air every night.

Call us on
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels, Gite & Camping

You will spend 4 nights in hotels and 2 nights camping. In the desert you will sleep in a traditional Bedouin – style tents which normally sleep 8 people. There is also one night spent in a simple mountain gite. Morocco is opening up to mainstream tourism, however, accommodation standards are comparable with those found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

You can request a single room on this trip subject to availability. The cost of the single supplement is GBP100 which applies only to hotels (4 nights).

We endeavour to provide twin or triple rooms for all family clients – for trip specific details please download the Trip Notes.

Call us on
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed June 2016
    Alan Murphy

    Brilliant brilliant brilliant!

    Weather fantastic; guide fantastic; place fantastic; experience unique!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing how a self sufficient ancient way of life could be so fulfilling.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top rate!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go, go go in case this way of life disappears before you go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A wonderful unique experience.
  • Reviewed April 2016
    William Simmonds

    Rock the Kasbah

    We travelled with our two sons age 12 and 9 years. The pre-trip information and support was great and the trip proved to exceed our expectations.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Ait Ben Haddou.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Just the right blend of informative and friendly whilst remaining calm and laid back. Great with the kids and a reassuring presence. He was also excellent company.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare for a few long journey's. The Moroccan people we met were all very friendly and polite. If you can, spend some time before or after the trip to relax and explore Morocco at your own pace. We spent some time post tour on the coast in Essouria (a few hours from Marrakech) which we absolutely loved.
  • Reviewed January 2015
    Kerry Meek

    Meek's Camels Kasbahs trip

    The "Camels and Kasbahs" trip was our first adventure travel holiday as a family and our first trip with Exodus. We loved it and were very impressed by the whole experience. We travelled to Morocco in late December, a perfect time to visit. As one of four like-minded families, we spent seven days travelling and exploring rural and urban parts of Morocco. The first five days were spent in the villages, towns and picturesque remote parts of the High Atlas mountains. This contrasted greatly with the hubbub of busy city life in Marrakech for the last two days. The trip is extremely well organised to allow you to take in a mixture of places and experiences from camping out in bedouin tents, bumpy camel rides, iconic tourist sites, busy souks and a really humbling taste of simple village life. Morocco is a beautiful country and the people there are extremely friendly and welcoming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It is very difficult to pick out the best or most inspirational moments from the trip because every day was so different, each with unique experiences. Our girls were particularly moved by the trip to Tijhza, the project village in the High Atlas mountains, which Exodus has supported for over ten years. They enjoyed the contact with the local children, playing a game of football on a dusty, rocky pitch with players in sandals and thin souled shoes. It's amazing how a simple game of football can bring people together. Many buildings in the village had been damaged in recent storms but even a month after the flash floods, people were rebuilding and mending their homes. Whilst the storms had caused a vast degree of damage in the rural parts of the country that we visited, it had also led to a dramatic change in the landscape. Dry, barren land was covered in green shoots. Locals were out collecting herbs, families were picnicking in the luscious plantations and Behouin groups, normally settled higher up in the mountains had ventured lower down into the valleys to feed themselves and their livestock on the abnormal abundance of greenery. The trip name refers to camels and this was a highlight for many of the children. Our girls enjoyed sitting on their own camel (which of course they had named), wrapped in Moroccan scarves, before playing in the sand dunes. They also enjoyed plodding up the hill on mules to Tijhza.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our tour guide was called Abdellah. He has worked for Exodus for over ten years and is very proud of both his job and his country. Abdellah greeted us on day one with a huge smile and continued to smile throughout the trip. His happy nature was infectious. Abdellah's kind, considerate character made him a perfect guide for the family trip. He always provided helpful advice and had a soft spot for the children. He was a very knowledgeable guide, providing snippets of information at key moments throughout the trip. If asked questions or for more information, Abdellah was more than happy to oblige. As we walked through plantations he informed us of the names of plants, walking through kasbahs he spoke confidently of the history linked to them and as we drove through the winding roads past villages he described the cultures and traditions of the country. On the day that we went to visit the iconic Ait Ben Haddou, we arrived a couple of hours before sunset. As other cars were leaving the site, we arrived and walked up the narrow deserted lanes to the top to appreciate the view and see the sun disappear behind the far off mountains. Avoiding the crowds of the day, made it a much more memorable experience. I don't think you could get a better insight into a country without a guide. Whilst you can read information about the place that you are travelling to, a guide from the country has a true understanding and is able to speak the languages and communicate with locals.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you travel to Morocco in late winter be prepared for a mixture of temperatures; the sun is pleasantly warming during the day but at night it can get quite chilly, particularly up in the High Atlas mountains and when camping out in the bedouin tents. So be prepared with your layers. You don't need to bring American dollars. Bring a small amount of Moroccan Dirham as well as some English pounds. There are plenty of cash machines in the towns and cities to top up from. At the start of the trip the leader creates a kitty, which everyone contributes to. It is a great idea since any tips to local guides come from the kitty rather than each family having to sort out tips. The trip notes might suggest bringing swimming costumes. Although there may be swimming pools at some of the gites they are very cold at this time of year. Pack them if you think you're brave enough!
  • Reviewed January 2014
    Anonymous

    CAMELS & KASBAHS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    My son and I had a fabulous trip to Morocco during October half term 2013; it was my son's first real adventure holiday and we plan to take lots more!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The camel trek was certainly a highlight for us - and hunting for fossils in the desert.  My son says that his mule ride up into the mountains was much more comfortable though!The colours of Morocco were amazing, the clear blue skies and beautiful mountains - we have many fantastic photographs to remind us of our trip.  The people were warm and welcoming and my son really enjoyed his taste of a culture far removed from his own

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mohamed Maachou was a great leader and really helped us make the most of our Moroccan experience.  He is a family man and made sure that the children were safe and happy and didn't miss a thing.  My son was thrilled at his knowledge of the bird life and his expertise with the camera.  His patience is admirable!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for some longish drives - this may be a bit difficult for younger children.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We look forward to booking our next holiday with Exodus - the customer service was outstanding from start to end. We had a great adventure but had the comfort of feeling safe the whole time.
  • Reviewed December 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMELS & KASBAHS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    A fantastic holiday for adults and children alike, with a great mixture of desert, mountains and city.  All the hotel accommodation was excellent, the camping was an adventure in itself,  the restaurants our guide took us to were great (and well priced) and the other trip members were all like minded individuals which made the trip easy going.  The guide was very knowledgeable, well organised and most importantly very friendly and always available to help.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Our family especially loved the camel ride (and climbing the sand dunes) and the walks in the mountains.  Viewing the stars from the roof of the mountain gite was a moment to treasure forever!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Yahyah was fantastic - very friendly, great with the children and had lots of good tips.  He definitely made the trip special!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The pools are freezing at this time of year - even with wetsuits for the children.  Brace yourselves!  We took a mixture of Euros, Dollars and Sterling, but to be honest just having Sterling would have been fine (and cheaper because of Foreign Exchange fees).  Dont forget you are going to rural parts of a Muslim country so take conservative clothing - long sleeves and long legs.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Highly recommended by our family!
  • Reviewed November 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMELS & KASBAHS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Really varied and kids loved it! Especially the mountain trek...

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The most amazing, massive sand dune! Running down that and being able to see across the Sahara for miles and miles....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Really experienced and most helpful

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Taking useful stuff for the local kids and school. Coats if you are travelling in October

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great group of folk and that made all he difference!
  • Reviewed February 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMELS & KASBAHS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Excellent family trip which we all enjoyed for different reasons. The highlight for the kids was the the camel trek in to the desert and the 'sand surfing' down the dunes. For me it was very special to visit Tijhza village and volunteer for an afternoon and help build the hammam. Overall it's a busy trip but very satisfying and weather is excellent at October half-term - not too hot in the desert.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Volunteering at Tighza was unique and cery enjoyable. Personally I enjoyed the football match with local children at the the village school as a personal highlight!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdullah has been leading this trip for many years and he was exceptional. He has children of his own and naturally knows what families are looking for. He also spoke fluent Berber, Arabic, French and English - all of which he used constantly to help us communicate with everyone we met.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring good walking shoes / boots as there are laods of opportunities for walking, many of which are extra to what is in the trip Notes. Abdullah's speciality is taking groups on impromptu walks arounds villages, date groves, and towns to give the groups a real feel for how the local people live and work in Morocco.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are looking for a trip that has winter-sun, loads of variety, camel trekking and sand dunes - this is ideal. If you like to lie by the beach forget it! This is a busy holiday. My son is hyper-active and even he was exhausted! Remember there are a few nights camping in bedouin tents, so it is basic for a few nights but comfort levels increase as the trip progresses, with hotels with pools towards the end. Don't forget almost all accommodation has pools - maybe bring wet-suits for the kids as the pools aren't heated!
  • Reviewed January 2013
    Anonymous

    CAMELS & KASBAHS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    Overall it was a very good holiday. We saw a lot of Morocco, Abdullah, the guide, was excellent, as was our driver (Abdellah!), but was slightly disappointed that our tent experiences were more akin to a campsite at home.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk up to and back from Tijhza was great.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader was excellent. Very informative and inclusive. I think I can speak for all of us to say that he made us all feel at ease.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Watch out for the snake charmers in al Fna square. They think it is OK to invade your privacy by depositing a snake around your neck without asking, but become quite aggitated if you invade their privacy by taking a picture.....in a public place, that may include their snakes!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It would have been good if we were told in advance that we were going to be in Morocco dring the Eid festival, which meant that the majority of Marrakech was closed!
  • Reviewed November 2012
    Anonymous

    CAMELS & KASBAHS - FAMILY HOLIDAY

    A good mixture of rural and city, camping and hotels, leisurely walks and camel trek.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The first night in the camp, looking at the stars was wonderful.  We were initially disappointed that the camp site was indeed a permanent camp site, rather than sleeping in a camp out in the desert, but the upside was the clean showers and loos!  The walk down from the mountain village through the villages and fields was lovely; interesting, leisurely and an education in how people live their day to day lives in the villages.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Abdellah was informative, personable, more than happy to please and educate and had a great sense of humour.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a busy week, with a fair bit of travelling although the travelling was broken up by stops for photographs, lunch etc.  We don't have young children and I think it would be quite hard work camping in the Bedouin tents with very young children - however, our teenager loved every minute of the holiday.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Morocco has fantastic scenery - it's very mountainous, and we never tired of looking at the landscape.  Although it's a busy trip there are quiet times when you can have time to yourself.  We got up around 7.30am every morning and found ourselves struggling to keep awake past 9pm!

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