Morocco: Women's Expedition

Trip Code: XMRW

Why we love it

Find out what it means to be female in Morocco as you travel with an all-women group, a local female leader, the M’Goun Valley’s first local female guide, and meet plenty of inspiring women along the way., Learn from the best as you take part in a traditional couscous cooking lesson, find out how to make fresh khobz (flatbread), and be welcomed into the home of a local woman in Marrakech for a meal you won’t forget., Spend four days hiking between remote villages in the M’Goun Valley, accompanied by Mama Bia, a local female guide who will bring the region to life with her incomparable knowledge and experience., Join your female hosts and take part in traditional music, singing and storytelling – a unique opportunity to get involved and learn about this joyful part of Moroccan culture., Get dressed up in traditional kohl and henna make up and take part in a very special party imitating an Amazigh wedding., Visit the historic town of Ait Benhaddou and its iconic mudbrick ksar. You’ll soon see why this eye-catching site has been used as a backdrop in many famous films.

Is this trip right for me?

This trip involves walking from 4 to 7 hours on Days 3-6. The walk will lead you through picturesque valleys but the terrain may be unstable in places, rocky and hilly. Consider appropriate footwear and necessary clothing, including a warm jacket and rain coat.

You will need to bring a 3/4 season sleeping bag on this trip. Even though you will be staying in guesthouses and gites, they may not be heated so a warm sleeping bag is essential.

The village accommodation on this trip is simple. You will be sharing rooms with other female travellers. On Day 5 there are two big rooms for the group so you may share your room with up to five other travellers. Bathroom facilities are shared, but you can expect a hot shower each evening.

You will have a chance to participate in different activities, from rug-weaving to baking and make-up workshops. While none are compulsory, we’d suggest you come prepared to share some fun times with other women while learning some new skills.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 2 and 6 (Gite) and Days 3, 4 and 5 (Guesthouse) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

What to bring/pack

LUGGAGE
What you need to bring will vary according to your travel plans pre or post this trip. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. We recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb as your luggage will be carried by mules while you trek from one village to the next. For your own comfort and safety, luggage should be kept to an absolute minimum. The use of a backpack, soft sports bag or duffel bag is required - hard suitcases aren’t fit to be carried by mules. If you are planning to travel for longer period of time, and hard suitcase is more suitable luggage for you overall, you will be able to leave it at the hotel in Marrakech and take a smaller, soft bag for the time of trekking. Also, a day pack for carrying your essentials is a key. Your main luggage will be taken by mules and you will not have access to it during your trek. Essential everyday items must be carried by you.

WATER BOTTLE:
Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. We recommend at least a 1.5litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Also, it will not be possible to buy bottled water during the trek on the regular basis.

VALUABLES:
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.

PACKING LIST:
- 3/4 seasons sleeping bag
- Day pack
- Torch/head torch
- Ear plugs and eye cover if you are a light sleeper
- Personal medications (plus extra)
- Sun Cream and sunglasses
- Anti-bacterial hand wash
- Insect Repellent
- Extra Batteries
- Wet wipes
- Warm trousers
- Long-sleeved thermal top and long johns
- Hiking boots with good ankle support
- Closed toes sandals or trainers to cross streams and rivers
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Toilet paper
- Towel
- Water purification tablets, 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

3

A good level of fitness is recommended and will certainly help increase the enjoyment of the trip and allow you to make the most of included walks. This trip involves walking from 4 to 7 hours on Days 3-6. Trekking will be on a mixture of rocky paths, over a pebbled dry riverbed and with inclines and declines.

Joining your group

Hotel Meriem, 154, Med El Beqal, Marrakech, 40000, MOROCCO

This hotel has large spacious rooms with air-conditioning and television. The hotel has a swimming pool and wifi is available in the rooms.

Joining instructions

Please make sure that you provide your flight details no later than 14 days before departure to book your arrival transfer with us. For your confirmed arrival transfer, you’ll be met outside Marrakech Airport (RAK) by a transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign. The driver will wait a maximum of one hour from the time the plane lands. In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +212 0661243106 or +212 066619276.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi from the airport to your hotel. The price should be agreed before entering the vehicle and should be approximately MAD250 during daylight hours and MAD300 at night.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Meriem, 154, Med El Beqal, Marrakech, 40000, MOROCCO

This hotel has large spacious rooms with air-conditioning and television. The hotel has a swimming pool and wifi is available in the rooms.

If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. If your driver has not arrived within 30 minutes of the scheduled pick up time, or your departing flight is cancelled or changed, please contact the transfer operator directly: +212 0661243106 and +212 0666192766.

Taxi fare from your hotel to the airport will cost approximately MAD100 - MAD200 to prebook. If hailing a taxi on the street, the price should be agreed before entering the vehicle. Please ask your leader or hotel staff for assistance in arranging a taxi.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 7

Lunches included: 4

Dinners included: 6

Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the walking sections of the trip in remote villages in Morocco. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Intrepid 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.

Climate & seasonal information

Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. In October, in remote mountain villages evenings and nights temperature can drop to 5 or even less degrees Celcius. During the day it should be pleasant if the sun is out, but it is important to be prepared for wind and possibly rain. Warm jacket is a must.

EID AL-ADHA
Eid Al-Adha (Sacrifice Feast) will take place in Morocco 19 - 23 July 2021 and 9 - 13 July 2022. 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.

RAMADAN
The important month of Ramadan will be in progress 22 March - 20 April 2023 and 10 March to 08 April 2024, 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 our 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/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader 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 number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +212 661922693

Accommodations

Due to the villages and locations we will be visiting, the accommodation on this trip, apart from Marrakech, is rather basic. You will stay in family run guesthouses and local gites. That means you will be sharing rooms with a few other travellers. Bathroom facilities will also be shared. While the accommodation is basic, it is clean, atmospheric and very authentic. Staying in gites and family houses will allow you to experience the way local people live in this part of Morocco.
For more details about accommodation, please check the day-to-day itinerary.

Transportation

We will travel in a private minibus from Marrakech to Boutghra. The road may be windy at times so make sure you are sufficiently prepared if you tend to have difficulty with mountainous drives. From Day 2 onwards you will be hiking through rural Morocco. Please expect uneven, rocky paths, river crossings and some steady inclines. Nothing is too strenuous, but you should come prepared to walk for up to 7 hours a day.


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