In Morocco, as travellers, we are paying guests, exploring and learning about an age-old culture and captivated by a world so different from our own. Customs and traditions based either on religion or culture passed down through the generations can sometimes seem strange and unusual. Listening and observing without always understanding and without passing judgment, can enhance and enrich our experience of participating in this very different way of life.
As we move around and through this environment, we leave behind impressions of ourselves and our own world – we are important ambassadors. Let us make sure that the memories we leave are ones of warmth, generosity, openness, curiosity and respect for this different society and for this environment which others experience on a daily basis. Moroccans are very welcoming and hospitable people and it is up to us to keep faith with this.
A fragile environment
The desert is very much alive, just look around you at the myriads of animal tracks on your morning climb to watch the sunrise. It is also other people’s living space. With this in mind and considering also that the dryness of the desert means that even a paper tissue rots only exceedingly slowly, please be careful to remove ALL litter.
Throughout Morocco it is also important that we are conscious and careful of our water consumption. This is a country under constant threat of drought. We are all individually responsible for maintaining a sustainable environment wherever we are.
Useful tips and things to bring
Luggage: Make sure your bag is lightweight, tough and resistant. Your main bag will be carried by camel. Please note that suitcases are not suitable for loading onto camels.
You may also need a smaller backpack for your daily trekking needs.
A long cotton scarf to wrap around your head is recommended if it is windy and the sand is blowing. We can help you with the purchase of one here and show you how to wrap it too, it is called a shash
Lightweight breathable T-shirts and shirts with long sleeves (to avoid sunburn).Lightweight trousers and walking shorts (Trousers are more comfortable for camel riding.)
Walking shoes or trainers with sturdy soles.
Sunscreen (at least SPF15 or higher).
Ski mask/extreme sports goggles (to protect against possible sandstorms and absolutely essential if you plan to wear your contact lenses)
Head lamp or flashlight.
Lighter or matches.
Toilet paper (which you can also buy in Morocco).
Wet-wipes. ( if you are going for several days by mobile bivouac, body wipes used for invalids are brilliant for freshening up a bit too)
ZipLock-type baggies (useful for everything)
Bottled water (although some will be provided)
Warm Clothing: fleece, gloves, windbreaker, warm hat, warm socks, trousers and nightwear (Between November and April, the desert can be very cold at night).
Medical supplies: Prescription drugs, painkillers, bandages, and plasters of different sizes, topical disinfectant, eyedrops, sunburn lotion, and diarrhoea medication.
You may also want to bring a small, robust cushion to use as extra padding whilst camel riding, spending a lot of time sitting on a camel can leave you a bit saddle sore otherwise…
When to visit
Best times to visit are between October and May, be prepared for the possibility of sandstorms between February and April
The desert is just too hot June – September, so if you want to explore it properly, best to visit outside these months. October/November and March/April are good choices
Temperatures can drop by 20°C in the desert between night and day, so be wary of this and check temperatures in advance. And be prepared with a good sleeping bag if you are camping.