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Riding trail in Morocco's Sahara desert

Horses, Dunes and Nomads

8 days / 6 days riding from £ 1,050

Riding levels

Each of our trips is assigned a minimum level of riding ability required. This reflects whether there is technical riding required; the terrain to be covered; the liveliness of the horses; the length of the riding days and the riding fitness required.




For novice riders, these riding holidays will give beginners the chance to get used to being in the saddle. In general, a beginner/ novice hasn't learned how to canter and has not yet mastered rising trot. They are able to mount safely and to control a horse at a walk. 



For intermediate riders who are at ease at 2 paces (walk and rising trot and are starting to canter in a forward seat) out in open countryside. The intermediate rider is able to mount and dismount their horse unassisted, use basic riding aids, ride at a rising trot for at least 10 minutes, to change and control the pace from a walk to a trot and comfortably canter over short distances.



For experienced riders who have mastered all 3 paces (walk, rising trot, canter in a forward seat) over uneven terrain. The experienced rider rides regularly, has a good seat and is confident of their own ability. They are able to control the horse at speed and change direction of their horse at any pace and in any circumstance as needed.



For advanced riders who have mastered all 4paces (walk, rising trot, canter gallop in a forward seat) over uneven terrain on all types of horses including those that are very spirited. The advanced rider rides regularly has good physical fitness, has good soft hands and has the ability to gallop for long stretches without getting tired.



For all riders, whether they are novices, intermediate level, experienced or advanced. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance training, natural horsemanship, trail riding orcentre based safaris.



For beginners and intermediate level riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capability of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For beginners, intermediate level  and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level and experienced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For intermediate level, experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtrainingendurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.



For experiencedand advanced riders. Each rider will be allocated a horse that is suited to their ability level. These riding holidays have a level of difficulty that can be adapted to the capabilities of each rider. For example: working with cattle on a ranch, dressage training, long-distance ridingtraining,endurance ridingtraining natural horsemanship and centre based safaris.

Comfort

Each of our rides has been assigned an expected level of comfort

Nights in hotels, guesthouses, B&B's or homestays. Double or twin rooms with bathrooms.

 

EQUUS JOURNEYS Fingerpost Cottage
Hopton Wafers
Shropshire, DY140NA. UK
Phone : +44 (0) 1905 388977
INFO@EQUUS-JOURNEYS.COM

Imprimer

MOROCCO-Horses, Dunes and Nomads

8 days / 6 days riding from 1050£


Activity :

Level :

Comfort :

A horseback trail ride through the Sahara desert in the south-east of Morocco where you spend the nights in comfortable desert inns and riads. Ride through beautiful landscapes of mountains, open desert and sand dunes on superb Barb-Arab horses.

Strengths

- Visit the most beautiful areas of the Moroccan Sahara, far from the beaten track
- Plenty of opportunities for fast canters and gallops across wide open spaces
- The comfort of nights spent in desert inns or guesthouses with showers possible every night
- Discover Morocco in all its splendour including Dades Valley and impressive views of the Atlas mountains

Itinerary

Day 1: LONDON - OUARZAZATE - No riding

Accommodation : FINT HOTEL

Fly in to Ouarzazate or Marrakech.

There are currently no direct flights from the UK to Ouarzazate and so it may be easier to fly to Marrakech and transfer by road to Ouarzazate. If flying to Marrakech then you need to arrive by 14:00 to allow time for the transfer (4 hrs) which is an extra 130 Euro for the vehicle, payable locally and split between all who are sharing the transfer.

You will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: OUARZAZATE - IMI N'CHAABTE - TAFRAOUT - 2-3 hours riding

Accommodation : Kem Kem Inn

Meet in your hotel reception at 07:00 and transfer in the direction of Zagora through the Draa valley, until reaching Tansikht. Continue along the Djebel Sagho, passing through Nkob and Tazzarine and stop for a picnic along the way. After about 6 hours drive you turn off the tar road and follow a track for 60kms to Mcissi.

Here you will meet the team and horses. After a short riding assessment you will set out into the desert for your first ride amongst the dunes.

Overnight in a comfortable inn.

Day 3: TAFRAOUT - FOUM MHARECH - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : RIAD NOMAD

Ride through the village of Tafraout and reach the plateau of Ahbouche Ntkouyte (Lake Tafraout). The terrain is perfect for some decent canters. Ride along the base of Tattihate, between Djbel Mohre and Djbel Zireg. The scenic splendour of the Sahara desert is laid out before you - endless dunes alternating with distant cliffs.

At the end of the day you reach a beautiful inn in the desert valley of Mharech where you spend the night. The inn is located over a hill with stunning views over the valley.

Day 4: FOUM MHARECH - REMLIA DUNES - OUZINA DUNES - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : Inn OUZINA RIMAL

Set off riding south, through the Tamarisk trees and sand dunes. Your journey takes you across the Chouiref plateau to Tizi n Guidou pass and on to the abandoned village of N'Oubahllou. The orange dunes of Remlia provide a spectacular background for pictures before you ride down to another vast plateau where horses and riders alike will enjoy a gallop. Keeping the mountains and "Mount Tajine" to your left, the ride alternates between long stretches of walk, trots and controlled canters before you reach your inn for the night.

Day 5: OUZINA DUNES - JDAID - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Auberge ITRANE SAHARA

Depart on horseback through the superb dunes at Ouzina. Your trail will take you from the dunes and onto plateaus - from sand to rocky mountain. Your day in the Sahara ends at the village of Taghaoucht-n-Jdaid - a place of water.

Day 6: JDAID - MERZOUGA - 5 hours riding

In the morning, you will ride through various environments until reaching the highest sand dunes in Morocco: Erg Chebbi. Enjoy stunning views while your horses carry you safely through the large seas of dunes. Night in the desert.

Day 7: MERZOUGA - OUARZAZATE - 3 hours riding

Accommodation : FINT HOTEL

Your final morning on horseback takes you from Chebbi Erg to Taouz where you say goodbye to the team and horses. You are then transferred in the direction of Erfoud, Boumlane and Dades along the "road of a thousand kasbahs" until reaching Ouarzazate.

Dinner in town and overnight in a hotel.

Day 8: OUARZAZATE - LONDON -

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to London. If you are flying from Marrakech then your flight must depart later than 16:00 to allow time for the road transfer (payable locally).


Price details

- International flights are not included.

- Groups are comprised of 2 - 10 riders

- There is a small group supplement if the group has fewer than 3 riders. Rides are confirmed from just two riders with the payment of an additional supplementary charge of c. £175 per person (£355 in 2019)

- There is no single room supplementary charge if you are willing to share a room in the hotel in Ouarzazate. It is possible to guarantee a single room for £180 (Ouarzazate only) or £465 for the whole trip.

- There are no direct flights from the UK to Ouarzazate; a transfer from Marrakech airport on payment of an additional transfer charge is possible. This is currently €140 (£130) for the vehicle each way and is payable locally and split between the number of people sharing the transfer. If flying into Marrakech your flight must arrive before 14:00 on day 1 and leave after 15:00 on Day 8.
Please Note
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.

PRICE INCLUDES

Support Team

1 English-speaking horse guide
1 groom

Logistics

1 cook
1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
1 vehicle and driver

Inland transports

Accommodation

2 person tents and foam mattress
Double/triple room in hotel standard 3/4*

Meals

Mineral water and softs served during meals
Full board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8

Additional equipment

First aid kit

OPTION

Accommodation

Single room supplement

PRICE DOESN'T INCLUDE

Meals

Lunch on day 1 and day 8 are not included depending on your arrival/departure time
Beverage (except during the trek) and personal extra
Dinner on day 7 is not included in the price

Transport

Transfers outside normal hours

Extra

Tips to local team

Insurance

Cancellation and travel insurances are not included. Please note that insurance is mandatory. We recommend taking out an insurance policy as soon as your trip is booked in case of cancellation

TIPS

It is customary to tip the local team as a gesture of thanks and we would recommend c. £30 for the week, but you should give what you feel is right.

HORSES

The horses are Barb or Barb Arabian and many are stallions. They are forward going but sensible and perfectly adapted to the desert landscape with big hearts, small feet and smooth paces. They are not particularly big and stand 14hh - 15.2hh.

MINIMUM RIDING ABILITY

You need to be a competent rider and able to control your horse at all paces in open spaces. You should be able to canter in forward seat and be balanced with good hands.

There is a rider weight limit of 90kg. Please also advice us if you are tall so that we can ensure a suitable horse is available.

PACE

The pace varies depending on the terrain. There are plenty of opportunities for long trots and canters and when the terrain is suitable there may also be occasions to gallop. There are also long stretches of walking when the ground is soft sand or rocky.

Please note that the canters will be single file in places, particularly at the start of the ride, but it may be possible to spread out on some canters later in the week, depending on the abilities of the group.

TACKING ABILITY AND PARTICIPATION

You will be expected to groom, saddle and un-tack your horse. You can also assist with feeding and watering the horses if you wish.

TRIP CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED EXPERIENCE

You need to be physically fit for the long hours in the saddle, sometimes at a fast pace. You should be prepared for cold nights, particularly in December and January.
Experience of riding a trail of several days would be an advantage but is not required. Riders who do not ride regularly should ensure they are back in the saddle and riding fit before departure. It is of particular importance to ensure you are comfortable and balanced when riding at speed across rough terrain and open spaces.

Visiting a new country offers the opportunity to meet other cultures with different mentalities, therefore it is important to accept these differences and respect the local way of life.

EQUESTRIAN EQUIPMENT

There are saddle bags on some of the horses so that you can carry suncream etc with you during the day.
English saddles and bridles.

COMFORT

You stay in comfortable desert hotels in twin or triple rooms with shared bathrooms. Showers are available every night.
In Ouarzazate you stay in a 4 star hotel.

CLIMATE

In southern Morocco the rains are rare but not non-existent and in recent years the Sahara has experienced substantial rainfall.
In the Spring and Autumn months the temperatures are pleasantly warm. In October and April the temperatures can be 35c during the day, dropping to 20c at night whilst in November, February and March it is a little cooler (25c daytime and 12c night).
In the heart of the winter (December/January) the mornings and evenings can be cold, as low as minus 5c. At midday the temperatures will be 18-20c can drop rapidly once the sun sets.
In summer it is too hot to ride (45c) and so no desert trails run in the summer.

Meals

You will usually have a cold picnic-style lunch with delicious salads and a hot evening meal. Breakfast is continental and evening meals are typical Moroccan cuisine.

Water is provided on the trail - please bring your own bottle to fill in the mornings.

Support Team

Guide and local team

You will be guided by local Moroccan's who are familiar with the horses and the landscape. They will be accompanied by grooms. At least one of the guides will speak English but the grooms may only speak French and Arabic.

Packing list

Head
-Equus Journeys strongly recommend that you wear a riding helmet and that you take your own to ensure a correct fit.
-Sunhat for when not riding
- Sunglasses - with a cord attached so they don't fly off when riding
- Buff or bandana

Upper body
- Long sleeved shirts provide protection from the sun and dust
- T-shirts
- Fleece, jumper or jacket - the evenings can be cold
- Waterproof jacket - the rains can be difficult to foresee and it's better to be prepared. Layering is key to cope with the fluctuations in temperature between day and night
- Casual clothes for the evening

Legs
- Lightweight, comfortable riding trousers or jodhpurs - we recommend riding in them at home before taking them on holiday to ensure they don't rub
- Shorts for lazy lunchtimes
- Casual clothes for the evening

Hands and Feet
- Comfortable riding boots. We recommend short boots with half chaps as long chaps/long boots can get very hot.
- Sandals, flip-flops or trainers for moving around the camp
- Gloves - your hands are particularly exposed to the sun whilst riding

Nightwear
- Thermals are a good option for sleeping in, or a t-shirt and shorts for warmer nights
- You can also take a silk or fleece sleeping bag liner for extra comfort

Our Recommendations
- Please don't take a hard sided suitcase. Your luggage should be soft sided and you should pack it into two bags if it weighs more than 15kg so it's easier for the team to transport between camps
- Take a second, smaller bag to pack things you may need during the day such as a book or suncream then you can easily access it during the long lunch break
- We recommend travelling in your riding boots and carrying your hat and some riding clothes in your hand luggage - then if your luggage goes astray you are still able to ride!

Other useful items
- Swimsuit
- Water bottle (1.5 litre or two x 1 litre)
- Hand sanitiser
- Camera and high capacity memory card. Spare battery
- Bumbag for carrying your camera and small items whilst riding
- Toilet paper and small plastic bags for taking rubbish away

In your luggage
- Any liquids, such as shampoo, moisturiser, deodorant unless they are less than 100ml and all bottles can fit in a small, clear, plastic ziplock bag.
- Small penknife

In your hand luggage
- Any valuables, such as your camera, ipod, ipad etc.
- Your riding hat

Medical kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm - must be high factor
- Insect repellent
- Any medication you regularly take
- Blister plasters in case of any rubs
- Antiseptic cream, plasters, aspirin, anti-histamine, insect-bite salve etc...
- Rehydration sachets (dioralyte or similar)
- Spare prescription glasses/contact lenses
- Ear plugs, particularly if you are a light sleeper

ENTRY FORMALITIES

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the valid visa requirements for entry.
We will endeavour to keep this section up to date, but please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/morocco.html (US citizens) or https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/morocco/entry-requirements (UK citizens) for further information.

To enter Morocco, a passport valid for the duration of your stay is required by all British, American, Canadian and EU nationals.

Passport note:
You should ensure that your passport is stamped when you enter the country. Some tourists have experienced difficulties leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay in Morocco. No additional period of validity beyond this is required.

Visas
Visas are not required by British, American, Canadian and EU nationals for stays in Morocco of up to three months.

Addresses of consulates

  • Paris | Ambassade du Maroc
    5, rue Le Tasse
    75116 Paris
    Tél. : 01.45.20.69.35
    Fax :
    info@amb-maroc.fr
  • Ambassade de France au Maroc
    1 rue Aguelmane Sidi Ali Agdal BP 602
    Rabat - Chellah

    Tél. : +212 5 37 27 66 00
    Fax : +212 5 37 27 67 11
    webmestre@ambafrance-ma.org
  • Moroccan Consulate
    Diamond House
    97-99 Praed Street, Paddington
    W2 1NT London
    Tél. : +44 020 7724 0624
    Fax :

HEALTH

There are no legal requirements regarding vaccinations. Still, it's a good thing to get your vaccinations in order before travelling to Morocco. The general vaccination against Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) is recommended. Also both hepatitis A as well as typhoid would be recommended.
Malaria is very rare and present only in a few remote areas. Don't underestimate this tropical disease and take precautions. Buy repellent (preferably with 50% DEET), and sleep under a net.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of your booking with Equus Journeys that you have travel insurance which covers you for the riding activities to be undertaken. Your travel insurance should cover you for medical expenses and repatriation. Your guides will require your travel insurance details before they allow you to ride and may refuse to let you ride if you cannot provide them. You should take your insurance documents with you.

TELEPHONE AND JET LAG

The telephone dialling code is +212.
Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies. Coverage is good in towns and cities, and across the west of Morocco, but a little more erratic east and further south.

Time zone: GMT

BUDGET AND MONEY

The official currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). One dirham is equivalent with 100 santimat (singular: santim).
- Banknotes 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 dirham
- Coins 1, 5, 10, 20 santimat; ½, 1, 2, 5, and 10 dirham

VOLTAGE

127/220 volts AC, 50Hz, depending on age and location of building. Plugs usually have two round pins or the standard three pin UK.

ACTIVITY :Trail Riding

LEVEL :Help

COMFORT :Help

A horseback trail ride through the Sahara desert in the south-east of Morocco where you spend the nights in comfortable desert inns and riads. Ride through beautiful landscapes of mountains, open desert and sand dunes on superb Barb-Arab horses.

  • Riding in the Sahara desert
    Trail riding in Morocco's Sahara Desert
  • You ride beautiful Barb horses
    Horseback trail riding in the Sahara in Morocco
  • Breakfast time for the horses in the Sahara desert
    Riding trails in Morocco through the Sahara Dessert
  • An oasis in the dunes
    Oasis and dunes in Sahara, Morocco
  • Settling in for a night at camp after a day's ride
    Riding trails in Morocco's Sahara Desert
  • The guide riding a stallion
    Arabian horse in Sahara desert
  • Out on the trail in the Sahara desert
    Trail riding through the Sahara Desert in Morocco
  • Cantering in Morocco's Sahara Desert
    Riding in the dunes in Morocco

STRENGTHS

- Visit the most beautiful areas of the Moroccan Sahara, far from the beaten track
- Plenty of opportunities for fast canters and gallops across wide open spaces
- The comfort of nights spent in desert inns or guesthouses with showers possible every night
- Discover Morocco in all its splendour including Dades Valley and impressive views of the Atlas mountains

ITINERARY

Day 1: LONDON - OUARZAZATE - No riding

Accommodation : FINT HOTEL

Fly in to Ouarzazate or Marrakech.

There are currently no direct flights from the UK to Ouarzazate and so it may be easier to fly to Marrakech and transfer by road to Ouarzazate. If flying to Marrakech then you need to arrive by 14:00 to allow time for the transfer (4 hrs) which is an extra 130 Euro for the vehicle, payable locally and split between all who are sharing the transfer.

You will be transferred to your hotel.

Day 2: OUARZAZATE - IMI N'CHAABTE - TAFRAOUT - 2-3 hours riding

Accommodation : Kem Kem Inn

Meet in your hotel reception at 07:00 and transfer in the direction of Zagora through the Draa valley, until reaching Tansikht. Continue along the Djebel Sagho, passing through Nkob and Tazzarine and stop for a picnic along the way. After about 6 hours drive you turn off the tar road and follow a track for 60kms to Mcissi.

Here you will meet the team and horses. After a short riding assessment you will set out into the desert for your first ride amongst the dunes.

Overnight in a comfortable inn.

Day 3: TAFRAOUT - FOUM MHARECH - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : RIAD NOMAD

Ride through the village of Tafraout and reach the plateau of Ahbouche Ntkouyte (Lake Tafraout). The terrain is perfect for some decent canters. Ride along the base of Tattihate, between Djbel Mohre and Djbel Zireg. The scenic splendour of the Sahara desert is laid out before you - endless dunes alternating with distant cliffs.

At the end of the day you reach a beautiful inn in the desert valley of Mharech where you spend the night. The inn is located over a hill with stunning views over the valley.

Day 4: FOUM MHARECH - REMLIA DUNES - OUZINA DUNES - 4-6 hours riding

Accommodation : Inn OUZINA RIMAL

Set off riding south, through the Tamarisk trees and sand dunes. Your journey takes you across the Chouiref plateau to Tizi n Guidou pass and on to the abandoned village of N'Oubahllou. The orange dunes of Remlia provide a spectacular background for pictures before you ride down to another vast plateau where horses and riders alike will enjoy a gallop. Keeping the mountains and "Mount Tajine" to your left, the ride alternates between long stretches of walk, trots and controlled canters before you reach your inn for the night.

Day 5: OUZINA DUNES - JDAID - 4-5 hours riding

Accommodation : Auberge ITRANE SAHARA

Depart on horseback through the superb dunes at Ouzina. Your trail will take you from the dunes and onto plateaus - from sand to rocky mountain. Your day in the Sahara ends at the village of Taghaoucht-n-Jdaid - a place of water.

Day 6: JDAID - MERZOUGA - 5 hours riding

In the morning, you will ride through various environments until reaching the highest sand dunes in Morocco: Erg Chebbi. Enjoy stunning views while your horses carry you safely through the large seas of dunes. Night in the desert.

Day 7: MERZOUGA - OUARZAZATE - 3 hours riding

Accommodation : FINT HOTEL

Your final morning on horseback takes you from Chebbi Erg to Taouz where you say goodbye to the team and horses. You are then transferred in the direction of Erfoud, Boumlane and Dades along the "road of a thousand kasbahs" until reaching Ouarzazate.

Dinner in town and overnight in a hotel.

Day 8: OUARZAZATE - LONDON -

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to London. If you are flying from Marrakech then your flight must depart later than 16:00 to allow time for the road transfer (payable locally).

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YOUR ADVISOR

Did you know?

On this horseback trail in Morocco you stay in riads and desert inns. 

Riads are traditional Moroccan houses which are inwardly focussed with an interior courtyard or garden. The main reason for this was the Islamic requirement for privacy for women but they also provided privacy for the whole family and protection from the weather. There are usually no large windows on the exterior walls and all rooms open onto the interior atrium space which often has orange and lemon trees and a fountain.

The walls of riads are adorned with tadelakt plaster and zellige tiles which often depict quotes from the Q'uran in Arabic. Many are very ornate and have been beautifully restored, particularly those in Marrakech and Essaouira. 

The riads and inns are very remote and do not provide alcohol, although the fare is delicious and traditional: couscous, tajines, kefta, etc. Water and electricity are precious resources and you will be asked to preserve them as much as possible.