Excursions into the dunes of the magnificent Sahara, by camel or 4×4, with options for an overnight stay in standard or luxury nomad tents under the stars
Tour through the Sahara Desert with a camel, Choose to ride ‘your’ camel, enjoying the soft sand under your feet, The camels are the ultimate way to explore the Sahara, riding on the camel, you slip into the rhythm of the desert, you rise at dawn and rest in the full heat of the early afternoon. In the evening you camp, the camels rest and graze, while you can relax with a pot of tea, you can truly enjoy this nomadic experience and these memories will stay with you forever!
If you are looking for a dynamic, all-terrain adventure then we recommend this Atlas and Desert combined trip with Toubkal Trekking Guide. We will arrange for you to be collected from your hotel in Marrakech around 8am on the first day of the tour. From there, your driver will bring you Imlil, which is situated 1740m above sea level. Imlil is a mountainous Berber village located 65km south of Marrakech and the drive will take around 90mins. From the village of Imlil we will begin our trek to the summit of Jebel Toubkal. In the village you will be introduced to you trekking crew and muleteer. They will be your guides along this adventure and take care of you baggage and food while ensuring that you are provided with all necessary trekking equipment. One of our official Berber mountain guides will give you a tour of the village and then you begin your ascent. You will take a break at the shrine Sidi Chamharouch (2500m), where we will stop for food and refreshments that have been prepared by your personal cook. Following lunch, the hike will continue to the refuge at 3200m. Here you will be greeted with some warming mint tea and you can take a hot shower to clean off the mountain dust before sitting down to a hot traditional Moroccan dinner. During the summer months you have the option of spending the night in a tent.
You will begin day two with an early start so you won't be climbing under the full intensity of the daytime sun. Breakfast will be served at 5am and the second part of the ascent will start at 5:30am. Along the way there will be another chance to rest and refuel with a snack of fruit and nuts. This part of the hike will take around 3-4 hours and you will be rewarded with epic views of the distant mountain villages and the High Atlas Peaks. When you reach the summit, the group will rest for around 45 minutes before beginning the decent. The views from the top are magnificent and you will need some time to take it all in. On the decent, we will stop for lunch at the hut and then follow the same route back down to the village of Imlil.
After breakfast on Day 3 in the village of Imlil, you will begin your journey to the Sahara. You will continue through the High Atlas Mountains through the pass of Tizi n'Tichka, passing by many Berber villages. You will be invited to enjoy the view at the riverside oasis and see the Kasbahs that are scattered over the hillsides. You will stop for lunch before heading onward to the Valley of the Roses,and then you'll arrive at your final resting place for the day, Dades.
Following breakfast you will be taken to the Todra Gorge. Here you will have some time to relax and enjoy the stunning gorge. You will then continue to Auberge du Sud at the Dunes of Erg Chebbi. You will be invited to spend the night in the desert camp with the Tuareg tribe, the nomads of the Sahara. You will be amazed by the star filled desert sky and then you will enjoy a restful night's sleep.
On Day 5 you will wake up to the sunrise amongst the sand dunes. Enjoy a traditional breakfast before beginning you return journey to Marrakech via the city of Ouarzazate, ‘the door of the desert'.
What to pack for Toubkal?
Visitors are advised to prepare for mountain conditions. It is normally warm and exposed during the day, and cold in the evenings, and very cold on the summit! You will feel the raw power of the mountains. Note: There are opportunities to rent equipment. Let us know in advance.
- Good hiking shoes are absolutely essential. The trail is long and can be rough and uneven at times, good foot support will make the journey far more enjoyable.
- Light comfortable clothes for hiking. Light, long sleeves and long pants are ideal hiking attire as they will help to keep the sun off.
- Warm layers, for the night and the early morning start on the second day. A jacket, long pants, gloves, and a warm hat are recommended, as the morning will be very cold.
- Sun protection. The sun at high elevations is strong. It is wise to bring sunscreen, a sun hat, and polarized sunglasses, as much of the hike is very exposed.
- A buff or a scarf. This will help protect your face from the wind as well as help you to keep warm the morning of the summit.
- Lip balm & moisturizer. This is one that is easily forgotten, but when it comes to areas drier than our skin is used to, lip balm and moisturizer are an essential part of staying comfortable.
- Trekking poles (optional). Some of the terrain is fairly uneven, trekking poles can be helpful for navigating these parts, and for the steep downhill, to keep the weight off your knees.
- Ice axe and crampons (November-April). These will be necessary for navigating winter conditions on the mountain.
- Camera (optional). The views from the top are incredible.
- Your favourite snacks (optional). The hike, although not exceptionally long is at a very high altitude, which can make it very tiring. Although your guide will have some nuts and dates for sustenance, a little bit of your favourite chocolate or candy can come in handy. Experience has shown that having chocolate or your favourite snack, on hand can be a big morale booster when the going gets tough. Know your body and your energy levels.
- A sleeping bag (optional). Although the refuge offers blankets, some prefer to have their own sleeping bag as well
- Portable Power Bank (optional). If you spend a lot of time on your favourite device and want to charge it overnight, a portable power bank may be necessary, as the refuge near the summit may not have consistent power.
- Toilet paper
- Headtorch (recommended)