Morocco - Riding camels through the Sahara

Trip Start Oct 10, 2011
Trip End Nov 11, 2011

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Flag of Morocco  , Souss-Massa-Drâa,
Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We elected to particpate in a 2 day, 1 night tour to Zagora, on the fringes of the Sahara desert. There wasn't a whole lot of information about the tour provided by our Riad, so we weren't completely sure what to expect.

The drive from Marrakech to Zagora was a lot longer than we thought it would be! We set off at about 8am in the morning and didn't arrive in Zagora until 6pm at night! In between was A LOT of driving on the very twisty roads through the Atlas mountains, making Sophia feel very nauseated indeed. As in places like China and Vietnam, the driver was very skilled, overtaking large trucks on loopy roads, and avoiding many near-incidents!

We also stopped off briefly at a scenic old town where Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator (as well as several other movies) were filmed. It was a beautiful town, almost completely made out of the mixture of straw and mud that they use here, which makes it seem as if the city is 'rising out of the earth' (as WikiTravel puts it!).

When we arrived in Zagora, it was well into dusk, meaning that most of our camel ride was in total darkness! It took about an hour and a half by camel to travel from Zagora to the camp site where we would sleep in a tent overnight. Our guides, ethnic north African tribesman called Berbers, tied camels into groups of four and each of them led one of the front camels. Camels are really quite nice animals, very docile. I want one!

Upon arrival at the camp we grouped together in a large Berber tent and enjoyed sweet green tea (which they liked to call 'Berber Whisky') and dinner. This was followed by some traditional singing and drumming around a campfire before we headed to our shared tents for the night.

The following morning we were treated to a splendid sunrise over the distant mountains and small sand dunes (and some very unhappy-sounding camels). After breakfast, we had a second camel tour back through a small village to the vans and headed back toward Marrakech. On the way, we visited another scenic town with an old palace, and we managed to get a few more photos of the desolate Atlas mountains.

One of the highlights of the trip so far.
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Peter on

Morocco looks hot and dry, but no more so than North Queensland. Nice camels!
You guys certainly know how to have a holiday! xxx Peter

annie on

the camel trek sounds & looks very exciting!!!

sophiatravels on

We've had a lot of fun, yes, The camels we great actually! :)
(Ash here.)

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