M'Goun-River
M'Goun-River
M'Goun river
local people
Green meadow
Green oasis
Kasbah
The citadel
The kasbah
Ancient fort
Beautiful arabic horse
Open spaces
Rocky ride
Geological formation
Village children
Oasis water
Neat tack
tented accommodation

On this point to point camping trail you will discover the most beautiful, natural and cultural wonders of unspoilt authentic Morocco. We start from the Skoura palm grove, one of the most beautiful oases of southern Morocco with its impressive Kasbah citadel. You will cross the high plateaus of the southern side of the Atlas Mountains where the summits reach 4,000m to finally enter the immense Valley of the Roses along the M’Goun River. Here roses are cultivated for their essence which is used in perfume blends and is exported worldwide. The best season to see the roses in blossom is from March to May. 

There is one long day of riding, but in general this trail is not as challenging as the other Sahara trails. Barb Arab stallions are the true highlight of this ride, strong & well trained they will accompany you all along this trek. These beautiful horses will allow you to get to magnificent remote places, barely touched by tourism. This is a camping trail with hotel accommodation on the first and the last day. Showers are available each evening, luggage and food is carried by support vehicle.

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Day 1
Arrive at Ouarzazate. If you fly to Marrakech you must be scheduled to arrive before 2pm to allow for the four hour transfer (extra cost) to Ouarzazate. If you can only get an evening flight to Marrakech then you should arrive the previous day. Meet at Ouarzazate and be transferred to your hotel. Overnight in a riad in Skoura palm grove.

Day 2 - Skoura to Aghbalou
You meet at the horses’ winter base just outside Skoura. First there is an evaluation of everybody’s riding level and a matching of horses.
After a ride briefing, you set off through the Skoura palm grove and onto the arid plateaus of Aït Saïd Oumanssour. Camp at the foot of the mountains. (approx. 4 hrs riding)

Day 3 - Aghbalou to Aguerd
In the morning you cross the Tamassent plateaus to reach Toundount. Here you will have a beautiful view over the valley with its almond trees. In the afternoon there should be the opportunity for some long canters on the plateau until you reach Tiflit village. You then climb up through steep gorges to your camp next to Aguerd village. Overnight in camp (approx. 5 hours riding)

Day 4- Aguerd to Taoujgalt
Today you ride along Nait Tounert and past many villages with beautiful views over the cultivated terraces. After your picnic lunch, you ride across a plateau and then to a pass that overlooks the Azaghar-N-Aiguer valley. Finally you ride along a narrow path that leads to your camping spot. (1900 m) Overnight in camp (approx. 5.5 hrs riding)

Day 5 - Taoujgalt to Agouti
Today in the Assif El Qati Valley you will see many examples of the beautiful architecture of the typical ksour (castle) of southern Morocco. These look spectacular against the green background of their gardens and the ochre cliffs behind which perhaps were once lived in by troglodytes. Camp in Agouti (approx. 5 hours riding)

Day 6- Agouti to Boutaghrar
Well-preserved traditional villages will be part of the scenery as you ride along the El Qati Valley. The paths you follow are fenced with wild rose bushes and in May the blossoming roses exhale the most delicate perfume. The kaleidoscope of colours - pink for the roses, green for the plantations & ochre for the rocks- is a delightful show. This region is famous for its rose plantations. The rose essence is used in well-known perfume blends and is exported worldwide. Overnight in camp on the way to Boutaghrar. (approx. 6.5 hrs riding)

Day 7 - Boutaghrar to Timstiquite to Ouarzazate
You leave the refreshing area of the M’Goun River and ride along mule-paths until you arrive in Timstiquite village. After lunch in the valley, return to Ouarzazate and the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight in a hotel in Ouarzazate. (approx. 2.5 hrs riding).

Day 8 - Ouarzazat/ Marrakech
After breakfast transfer to Ouarzazate airport for your return flight. If departing from Marrakech your flight should depart after 4pm (to allow for the four hour transfer).

There is a full backup team with vehicle for the length of your stay. You will be requested to assist with grooming and saddling your horse.

Level required:
One must be a good horseman and fairly fit. The horses are all stallions as it is customary not to castrate riding horses. They all have individual characters and are well schooled, of good temperament and no more difficult to handle than normal riding horses. Certain stages may force you to have longer days than usual. Certain passages in the mountains force us to dismount. A sense of humour and common sense are essential as well as the capacity to enjoy remote mountains and desert scenery.

Alcohol
Alcohol is not provided on this trip. You are welcome to bring your own from your country of origin or purchase in Marrakech before the trip.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

The horses used for this ride are Arab Barb crosses, ideal for the climate and terrain. They are all stallions as it is customary not to castrate riding horses. They all have individual characters and are well schooled, of good temperament and no more difficult to handle than normal riding horses. They are generally 14.2-15.2hh. The tack is English saddles, snaffle bridles. Saddle bags are provided. Time is spent on the first day to match you to your horse. The riding is at all paces once everyone is comfortable with their horses and there are some long days. The temperatures can vary from very hot and dusty days in the desert to cool nights. The terrain varies from vast open stony desert to sandy riverbeds and plateaus. There are some rocky steep areas. The views are amazing and every day brings new delights.

Rider requirements

To go on this ride you should be comfortable spending up to six hours a day in the saddle and ride at all paces. You should be fit and able to accept an adventurous environment.

The minimum age for this ride is 12 years. In general this is not a trip taken by children.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

This is a camping trail so accommodation is in tents and hotel at the first and last day. Showers are available each evening. Single tents are available upon request (additional charge). There is shade available to eat at lunch times, either natural or a simple tent is erected. There is a large tent for eating and relaxing and also a shower tent and a chemical toilet. There is a separate shower tent and you are provided with a large bucket of hot water for showering.


The food on the ride is thoughtfully prepared to give you a taste of Morocco and include European diet. Remember the language here is French and the French love their food so it will be good! Breakfast is simple continental style, lunches are picnic with beautifully prepared salads. The horse often have a bath at lunch time! Dinner will include balanced slightly spicy local food such as Cous-cous and rice dishes served in a traditional Tagin. Traditional Berber mint tea is a really refreshing and welcome treat. Most special diets can be catered for.

Alcohol is not included on the trail but you are welcome to buy your own in Marrakech to take along with you. The back up includes a truck carrying the luggage and tents which will meet you most lunchtimes, there is a cook, driver, a horse guide who cares for the horses and an English speaking guide.

Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.

General information:

A valid passport is required for travel to Morocco. Visas are not required for U.K. or other European nationals at the time of going to print. In the UK the British Foreign Office gives travel advice on 0207 008 0232/0233.

The Honorary British Consulate in Marrakesh is at: 55 Boulevard Zerktouni, Residence Taib, tel: (212) (44) 435095.

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morrocco in the U.K is at 49 Queen's Gate Gardens, London SW7 5NE. Telephone: (020) 7581 5001/4. Email: mail@sifamaldn.org.

Climate Summary

The days can be warm to very hot (30's celsius) and the nights generally cooler (16-22C). It can be dusty and on occasion windy. It is usually very sunny and most of the water in this region is melted snow from the Atlas mountains in wide rivers that run for only a few months of the year.

Climate Chart

Health

Please check with your doctor for any vaccinations required. You should take an insect repellent that contains DEET to prevent mosquito bites.
The most common cause of injuries to visitors to Morocco is on the roads, every precaution must be taken when travelling in cars or bikes.

For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org

Health (ride specific)

Although there are no compulsory vaccinations it is recommended you see your local doctor for up to date information.
Malaria has been known to occur in the northern coastal areas at certain times of year. Water must be purified or boiled if not using mineral water. Mineral water is widely available for purchase at about 40p per litre. If not buying mineral water you should bring water purification tablets or drops with you. We recommend Micropur tablets which are tasteless.
A first aid kit is carried on all rides but we would suggest basic travellers medicines such as Dioralyte, Immodium and any other routine medication you may require.
We do advise taking plenty of sunscreen!

Electricity

Voltage is the same as in the UK (220V or 110V, 50Hz) and most appliances such as battery chargers for videos, hair dryers etc. can be plugged in with appropriate adapters. These are available for purchase at most airports and travel shops.

Film and Camera Equipment

You will be in a remote area and we suggest you bring sufficient film and batteries with you from the UK.

Packing List

We have put together a suggested packing list for your trip. This should be used as a guideline as requirements may very according to your programme and preferences. A laundry service is available at the hotel.

• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard. If you do not have one we can arrange for you to borrow a helmet, please request before you book so we can confirm.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and long-sleeved shirts
• Sunhat
• Sunglasses
• Fleece - Although the weather is generally very warm, the evenings can be a bit cooler
• Warm layers - At times the evening temperature drops significantly
• Casual Clothes - for when out of the saddle
• A sleeping bag
• Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
• Raincoat - although it rains very rarely it may be a good idea to pack a waterproof/ windproof jacket
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take insect repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - an absolute must! It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding
• A copy of your passport

Programmes

This is an 8 day/7 night programme with 6 days riding available on set departure dates. Private departures for groups of 4 or more can be arranged.

Departure Dates

2019: 21, 28 April; 5, 12 May.
2020: 19, 26 April; 3 May.

Pricing
No single supplement is charged if the rider is willing to share with someone of the same sex, and a sharer can be found.


No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
2020 High Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more709
2020 High Season8d/7n6supplement group of 2329
2020 High Season8d/7n6single supplement115
20198d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more679
20198d/7n6supplement group of 2329
20198d/7n6single supplement115
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more679
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6supplement group of 2329
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6single supplement115
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
2020 High Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more809
2020 High Season8d/7n6supplement group of 2375
2020 High Season8d/7n6single supplement129
20198d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more769
20198d/7n6supplement group of 2375
20198d/7n6single supplement129
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more769
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6supplement group of 2375
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6single supplement129
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
2020 High Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more959
2020 High Season8d/7n6supplement group of 2439
2020 High Season8d/7n6single supplement155
20198d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more915
20198d/7n6supplement group of 2439
20198d/7n6single supplement155
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more915
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6supplement group of 2439
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6single supplement155
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
2020 High Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more8,885
2020 High Season8d/7n6supplement group of 24,089
2020 High Season8d/7n6single supplement1,409
20198d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more8,459
20198d/7n6supplement group of 24,089
20198d/7n6single supplement1,409
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6double pp group of 3 or more8,459
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6supplement group of 24,089
2020 Mid Season8d/7n6single supplement1,409
Recommended Reading

RECOMMENDED READING – Of course a good guide book is invaluable but in addition:. The Conquest of Morocco by Douglas Porch examines the takeover of Morocco by Paris, leading to the establishment of the protectorate. Peter Mayne's highly readable A Year in Marrakesh is his account of time spent living among the people of the city and observations on their lives. Their Heads Are Green is an intriguing collection of short stories about North Africa by the famous Tangier resident Paul Bowles (author of Sheltering Sky). The House of Si Abdallah: the oral history of a Moroccan family, by Henry Munson Jr, is a unique insight into the daily life and thoughts of Moroccans, mainly through the eyes of a traditional pedlar in Tangier. A fascinating look at the lives of Moroccan women is Leonora Peet's Women of Marrakesh. Over 40 years (1930-70) Peets got about as close as a non-Muslim can to the lives of local women. Iain Finlayson's Tangier: city of the dream is an intriguing look at some of the western literati who found a new home in Morocco at one time or another. For the equestrian traveller who would like to see what is possible on horseback visit www.thelongridersguild.com also a fantastic place to acquire your equestrian travel books is www.horsetravelbooks.com


Other Information

Cooking will be done for you but you will be requested to assist with grooming and saddling your horse.
We recommend you bring 2 water bottles, mineral water will be supplied. It is also possible to buy mineral water for about 60p per bottle in local shops as well as the usual array of carbonated drinks.

Other Country Information

The Kingdom of Morocco is on the north-west corner of Africa. Morocco has a history as an independent nation state stretching back to the 9th century interrupted only by the brief interlude of the Protectorate (1912-1956) when the country was divided into French and Spanish zones.

Morocco's cities are bustling and full of life, usually centering around the market place. The muslim country is deeply spiritual and this mysticism is echoed in the dazzling art work found throughout. The power of the evil eye is a potent force for many Moroccans. One way of warding it off is to show the open palm of the hand, fingers pointing upwards. This 'hand of Fatima' (the Prophet's daughter) can frequently be spotted on stickers, painted on doors or as jewellery.

Morocco is on GMT. The international dialling code for Morocco is 212 and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram. They are on GMT.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Ouarzazate Airport.
It is also possible to fly to Marrakech; from where we can arrange a transfer for you or you can take a bus to Ouarzazate (additional cost)
Transfer:
2019/20; Included from Ourzazate, from Marrakech transfers €140 per vehicle (1-8pax) each way, payable on site.
Flight Guide:
London - Ouarzazate return from £275 - 390
London - Marrakech return from £150 - £250
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