Ben and I wanted to do a camel dessert experience in Morocco, and we were not disappointed! A very special experience, I don’t regret it at all, despite my sore bum. I don’t think I will do it again, but it was still very special.
The driver, Ibrahim picked us up directly from the Riad, and we were off on our 4 day, 3 night adventure! It was priced at €340 per person.
I would recommend the 4D/3N option over the 3D/2N option, there is a lot of driving involved, and it may be too hectic and rushed if you did the shorter option.
Camel tour 31 March:
We drove south of Fez towards a small town called Merzouga. Our driver, Ibrahim, stopped along the way to point out some of the viewpoints. We saw a beautiful lake that had the most beautiful blue green water. Then we drove along the Ziz Valley, there was a beautiful gorge there with date trees, was really picturesque. We reached Merzouga, where we stayed at Ibrahim’s cousins Riad/Backpackers. Ibrahim’s cousins name is Adi.
Camel tour 1 April:
Ben’s 32nd birthday on the 1st of April!
Adi and Ahmed took us to Erg Chebbi, the dessert. We went to see the Gnawa tribe, who came from Sudan. They performed their traditional musical instruments for us. All instruments are made by the tribespeople. We drove around and found the mines for fossils and quartz. We also visited a car museum. Then Adi and Ahmed took us to visit the Berber nomads, so we got to see how they live in their tents. It is very simple living. We came back to Merzouga for lunch and rest.
Around 5.30pm, we met the two German girls (Brita and Barbara) and we mounted the camels – Naima, Ali, Mohammed and Berkha. Berkha was mine, he was the littlest one at the back. It was kind of scary when the camel stood up, as he is such an awkward animal. I closed my eyes at this time, so no panicking. The “saddle” was very uncomfortable, and there were no stirrups. We travelled for about 1 hour 15 minutes to see the sunset, then on to the Berber camp.
The Berber camp set up was quite sophisticated, they had cemented all of the individual dwellings, put actual beds in them, some dwellings even had private ensuites! As there were so few of us, we just shared the common toilet. They had plumbing and solar panels! Each of the tents had a light, and a switch.
We had a great time chatting with Brita and Barbara, then two Americans turned up – Ben and Lindsey – they are med students from Georgia. We had a really fun time with all of them and with the guides who were there with us. The guides played some local instruments for us, then we got to play for them! They called us their camel women. We told a bunch of Dad jokes, it was really funny, which our guides struggled to understand. The guides had also bought a cake for Ben’s birthday, and they really made it so special.
Camel tour 2 April:
We woke up at 6.40am to watch the sunrise, unfortunately it was quite cloudy, so not the best sunrise. My bum was quite sore from the previous days riding, I only made it another 30 minutes on Berkha. I asked to be let down, and walked the rest of the way. I got to guide the camels walking for a bit, that was fun.
After having breakfast and showering at the backpackers, we got back in the car with Ibrahim to continue on our journey.
We headed down to the Todra Valley and Gorge and Dades Valley and Gorge, was really beautiful. Saw the Monkeys fingers formation which was quite cool.
We saw a lot of abandoned structures. We were told that the families who owned them simply abandoned them and moved to another side of the town for a better house etc. But these abandoned houses are still owned by those people and they are doing absolutely nothing to improve, rebuild or repurpose. Quite a waste to be honest.
Camel tour 3 April:
We headed on to the Rose Valley. On the water, we drove through the longest road in Morocco – Road of a Thousand Kasbahs – 25km. The Rose Valley grows Damascus Roses. These roses bloom and are harvested in May, then they are sent to Casablanca to the factories to be made into various Rose products – rose oil, rose cream, rose lotion, rose lipstick, rose you name it. Then the products are sent back to the Rose Valley to be sold.
Drove on to Ouarzazate – the Hollywood of Morocco. Here, movies like Gladiator, Indiana Jones and Game of Thrones were filmed. We visited the Cinema Museum, it was the most bizarre museum I have ever been in – there were no explanations, no exhibits, just a bunch of old movie props that had been abandoned.
Then we drove to Ait Bin Haddou which was another set used for Gladiator and Game of Thrones. We walked up to the Ksar Ait Bin Haddou for the panoramic view.
We bought a little watercolour painting here, they use green tea mixed with sugar, saffron mixed with lemon and indigo stone to make the paintings. Then they use the heat from fire to darken and seal the colours.
We stopped at Tizni Tichka which had a 2260m elevation to see the High Atlas Mountains, before continuing on to Marrakech.