Sahara Mini Adventure

Trip Code: XMHA

Why we love it

Camp under the desert skies of the Sahara and travel by camel to incredible sunset views over the Erg Chebbi dunes., Travel with an expert local leader and ride in comfort in a private vehicle from the bustle of Marrakech to the serenity of the Sahara., Visit with the women of the Tawesna Association and a Todra women’s association to learn about the work they’re doing to support local Moroccan women., Make stops in the ancient ksar of Ait Benhaddou and the lush Todra Valley and get a feel for local life., Enjoy iconic Moroccan and Amazigh dishes each day and feel the warmth of Moroccan hospitality.

Is this trip right for me?

Don’t let the heat keep you from exploring the world! Summer temperatures can be extremely high in Morocco (over 40°C), so it’s important to use sun protection, wear layers to combat the heat and drink plenty of water.

As Morocco has a tipping culture, travellers are expected to tip small amounts for most services, so please be prepared. Your trip leader and the 'Money Matters' section of our Essential Trip Information will help to provide you with some suggestions as to what amounts are appropriate.

Although you shouldn’t expect any aggressive selling techniques in Morocco, please be aware that you may be approached by shop owners and street vendors offering their goods to you on regular occasions.

We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may differ from Western standards. You’ll spend one night in a basic desert camp with shared facilities and no electricity.

As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, solo travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it! Please note that a single supplement is not available on this trip.

Important information

1.The bus will depart at 8 am sharp. Please arrive at the meeting place at least 15 min prior to departures to be able to finalize boarding.
2. Your desert camp is a simple affair, with bedding and basic toilet facilities provided. The blankets provided are usually sufficient for most travellers between April and October, but you may like to bring your own sleeping bag for extra warmth, especially between November and March.
3. There’s no electricity at the campsite, so it’s important to come prepared with fully charged phones, cameras and everything else you may need.
4. On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage, we strongly recommend keeping the weight around 15kg / 33lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. We also recommend a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc.

What to bring/pack

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage and walk with it for short distances or up or down a flight of stairs. Our travellers usually find the smaller their luggage is, the more they enjoy the trip not having to worry about carrying heavy bags! Aim to keep your main luggage under 15kg.

Many travellers carry their luggage in a compact smaller suitcase or backpack with wheels. We recommend your bag has carry straps or handles so it is easy to lift and carry for the times you are unable to wheel it (ie. on rough surfaces or up steps).

If you are taking overnight trains, or primarily using public transport then the smaller your luggage the easier it will be to store under or above bunks. Large suitcases may not be able to be taken on board. A lockable bag or small padlock for your bag will be useful especially when travelling on public transportation as well.

You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water, camera, swimming suit, waterproof pouch/bag for phone, hiking shoes and jacket etc. when you’re exploring during the day.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:, https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your group leader or local representative will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination and if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day. If you are walking or trekking as part of your trip you will need to carry at least 2L of water with you., SLEEPING BAGS
Please review the weather at the time of year you plan to visit Morocco, particularly the overnight temperatures. If you feel the cold, from November to March you may find the heating and blankets to be insufficient at night. You may like to bring a sleeping bag or thermals to sleep in. Sleeping bags cannot be hired while on the trip and are not easy to buy outside of large cities., DRONES IN MOROCCO
Please note that drones are not permitted to enter or be used in Morocco, neither for personal nor professional/commercial use.

Physical rating

 
2

Morocco is a country which may be very different to anything you have experienced before. Heat, pollution, poverty and the crowds can result in initial culture shock but should be seen as an exciting new challenge. During our time here we have come to love this wonderfully different country but we know that we should always expect to encounter some difficulties along the way. In Morocco there are very different attitudes to time keeping, public cleanliness, privacy and service. If you are able to travel with a lot of patience and a sense of humour, then we know that you - like all of us - will be captivated by Morocco.

Long and rough travel days:
There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort.
The best part about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and fun stops en-route such as mountain passes, kasbahs, palmeries, sand dunes, goats up trees etc...

Early mornings:
On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination.

Physical fitness levels:
A good level of fitness is recommended and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip and help you to make the most of the variety of optional walks and hikes around towns and villages.

Joining your group

Cafe de France., J2G7+G2G Jamaa El-Fnna, Rue des Banques, Marrakech, 40000, MOROCCO

Café de France is a classic spot, located right on Jamaa El-Fnna square. Opened in 1912 it is one of the oldest and most famous cafes in Marrakech, and it is still a very popular spot, both among tourists and locals.

Alternate Joining Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this joining point.
01 Nov 2024 (XMHA241101)
02 Nov 2024 (XMHA241102)
04 Nov 2024 (XMHA241104)
05 Nov 2024 (XMHA241105)
07 Nov 2024 (XMHA241107)
08 Nov 2024 (XMHA241108)
10 Nov 2024 (XMHA241110)
11 Nov 2024 (XMHA241111)
13 Nov 2024 (XMHA241113)
14 Nov 2024 (XMHA241114)
16 Nov 2024 (XMHA241116)
17 Nov 2024 (XMHA241117)
19 Nov 2024 (XMHA241119)
20 Nov 2024 (XMHA241120)
22 Nov 2024 (XMHA241122)
23 Nov 2024 (XMHA241123)
25 Nov 2024 (XMHA241125)
26 Nov 2024 (XMHA241126)
28 Nov 2024 (XMHA241128)
29 Nov 2024 (XMHA241129)
01 Dec 2024 (XMHA241201)
02 Dec 2024 (XMHA241202)
04 Dec 2024 (XMHA241204)
05 Dec 2024 (XMHA241205)
07 Dec 2024 (XMHA241207)
08 Dec 2024 (XMHA241208)
10 Dec 2024 (XMHA241210)
11 Dec 2024 (XMHA241211)
13 Dec 2024 (XMHA241213)
14 Dec 2024 (XMHA241214)
16 Dec 2024 (XMHA241216)
17 Dec 2024 (XMHA241217)
19 Dec 2024 (XMHA241219)
20 Dec 2024 (XMHA241220)
22 Dec 2024 (XMHA241222)
23 Dec 2024 (XMHA241223)
25 Dec 2024 (XMHA241225)
26 Dec 2024 (XMHA241226)
28 Dec 2024 (XMHA241228)
29 Dec 2024 (XMHA241229)
Cafe de France
J2G7+G2G Jamaa El-Fnna
Rue des Banques
Marrakech
40000
MOROCCO

Joining instructions

Cafe de France is right in the Jamaa El-Fnna square. For this trip the bus will be waiting in front of it and will depart at 8 am sharp. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to departure.

Finishing your trip

Cafe de France., J2G7+G2G Jamaa El-Fnna, Rue des Banques, Marrakech, 40000, MOROCCO

Café de France is a classic spot, located right on Jamaa El-Fnna square. Opened in 1912 it is one of the oldest and most famous cafes in Marrakech, and it is still a very popular spot, both among tourists and locals.

Alternate Finish Point

For trips departing on the following dates
use this finish point.
01 Nov 2024 (XMHA241101)
02 Nov 2024 (XMHA241102)
04 Nov 2024 (XMHA241104)
05 Nov 2024 (XMHA241105)
07 Nov 2024 (XMHA241107)
08 Nov 2024 (XMHA241108)
10 Nov 2024 (XMHA241110)
11 Nov 2024 (XMHA241111)
13 Nov 2024 (XMHA241113)
14 Nov 2024 (XMHA241114)
16 Nov 2024 (XMHA241116)
17 Nov 2024 (XMHA241117)
19 Nov 2024 (XMHA241119)
20 Nov 2024 (XMHA241120)
22 Nov 2024 (XMHA241122)
23 Nov 2024 (XMHA241123)
25 Nov 2024 (XMHA241125)
26 Nov 2024 (XMHA241126)
28 Nov 2024 (XMHA241128)
29 Nov 2024 (XMHA241129)
01 Dec 2024 (XMHA241201)
02 Dec 2024 (XMHA241202)
04 Dec 2024 (XMHA241204)
05 Dec 2024 (XMHA241205)
07 Dec 2024 (XMHA241207)
08 Dec 2024 (XMHA241208)
10 Dec 2024 (XMHA241210)
11 Dec 2024 (XMHA241211)
13 Dec 2024 (XMHA241213)
14 Dec 2024 (XMHA241214)
16 Dec 2024 (XMHA241216)
17 Dec 2024 (XMHA241217)
19 Dec 2024 (XMHA241219)
20 Dec 2024 (XMHA241220)
22 Dec 2024 (XMHA241222)
23 Dec 2024 (XMHA241223)
25 Dec 2024 (XMHA241225)
26 Dec 2024 (XMHA241226)
28 Dec 2024 (XMHA241228)
29 Dec 2024 (XMHA241229)
Cafe de France
J2G7+G2G Jamaa El-Fnna
Rue des Banques
Marrakech
40000
MOROCCO

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 2

Lunches included: 2

Dinners included: 1

Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about MAD 30. In main towns, it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from MAD 220 upwards. Generally, dinner is likely to cost between MAD 80-120 depending on what you drink - so an estimate for food would be about MAD 150-200 a day. Soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but generally speaking, alcohol is not widely available in Morocco due for cultural and religious reasons. Still, in some hotels and restaurants, you will be able to purchase beer, wine and spirits, but you will pay foreign prices or more for imported alcohol. Please be aware of local laws, believes and traditions, and be very sensitive and respectful while consuming alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian couscous and tajine or omelets. This is particularly the case in rural parts of this itinerary. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

Climate & seasonal information

WEATHER IN MOROCCO
As a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Winter (November to March) can be very cold, particularly in the mountains and the desert, with overnight temperatures dropping to 5 degrees Celsius or below. Even in summer the desert gets cold at night. It is recommended to bring a sleeping bag, thermals, a scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.  Please be prepared for cold showers.

Summer (May to September) can be very hot everywhere, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. 

Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating or air conditioning as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which are limited in some places.

EID AL-ADHA
Eid Al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) will take place in Morocco 16 – 17 June 2024 and 6 – 1 June 2025. This festival honours the sacrifice Abraham made of his own son. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: one-third of the share is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is retained by the family. Please expect delays or complete suspension of public services during that time which may be disruptive to the trip schedule. For some, it may also be disturbing to see animals being sacrificed, as this can take place in public.

HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAIN PASSES
On this trip, you will cross the High Atlas Mountains through the impressive Tizi n’Tichka pass that rises to the altitude of 2,260 metres above sea level (7,415 ft). It is a great mountain road with breathtaking views. During the winter months (November to March) this part of Morocco can be hit by heavy snowfalls and it is possible for Tizi n’Tichka to become impassable. This usually lasts only for a day until authorities have a chance to clear the road. In the event of a snowstorm, your itinerary may be required to change. This is dealt with on the ground and depending on the situation we may re-route your itinerary or reverse it.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 10 March to 08 April 2024 and 1 March to 30 March 2025 and  and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan, business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it's a period of national holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be affected.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader or local representative may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the group leader or local representative to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the numbers below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +212 661922693

Accommodations

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.

Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

We've sourced our accommodation very carefully and picked the best possible hotels in line with the Intrepid style of travel, but please note that service and accommodation in Morocco may be different from standards you are used to at home.

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multi-share basis. We pair up solo travellers with another traveller of the same gender as per the gender marker on each of their passports. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite (even if you paid for single room supplement) and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

HEATING
Some of our guesthouses/hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It's also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers, which are a pleasure for most of the year. Air-conditioning systems (if available) don't always function.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip, we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

Transportation

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from the main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads, and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days, we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best part about all of these long drives is the spectacular views and fun stops en route such as mountain passes, kasbahs, palmeries, sand dunes, goats up trees, etc.

We also use public transport on some of our trips around Morocco. Be it a train or a public bus, remember that the best part of it is the possibility to interact with local people traveling along with you.