How Morocco put us into a coma!
Blog by Gylfi Tryggvason from Iceland
Four Day Desert Trip in Morocco
Our trip with So Morocco began on a nice Wednesday morning when Ali, our Berber guide for the next four days, knocked on our riad’s door. We opened the door and saw the biggest smile we have ever seen. He was so happy and friendly and welcomed us from the first second. We walked to the car and off we went. There was a looooong trip ahead.
How long should your Morocco Tour be?
Firstly, I want to go through the thoughts that were on our minds in the process of booking our 4-day desert tour with So Morocco. The fact is we weren’t sure about the idea of spending 4 days, out of our 8 days in total in Morocco, on a tour that included driving 1200 (yes, 1200) km. After the tour we are very thankful we decided to still do it. After everything we experienced on this tour, we can only imagine how uneventful, mundane and unexciting our vacation would have been if we had not done this tour. Instead, we learned a lot about Morocco. We learned even more about people. But we learned most about ourselves. And we wouldn’t have done it without So Morocco Ltd.
Our Berber Driver / Guide
Ali is a local Berber. Being born and raised in the desert and mountains, his wisdom about the Berber society is endless. He told us all about the Berber life in the mountains as he drove us through the Atlas Mountains, up to 2260 metres high, through the stunning snake-shaped roads. Everywhere we went, he was greeted with handshakes and smiles. Like a king returning home.
Iceland v Morocco
Coming from Iceland, we believe we know a thing or two about beautiful nature. We had no idea about how beautiful Morocco was. All the nature pearls we would see on our way. The landscape is so much more than just desert. The monkey fingers mountains were indescribable. Also the small town of Tutragorz (don’t know how to spell it hehe), hidden between two big rocks with the river running towards this secret village.
But, the star of the show was obviously the desert we visited, Erg Chebbi. The moment when we all of a sudden realised that we weren’t looking at some mountains, but the up to 150 metres high sand dunes, is a moment we will never forget. Driving towards them and seeing them get bigger and bigger every second was amazing. Everything after that is just a bizarre, blurry memory. It was like we went into a coma. We were there, we could feel the sand, we could see the dunes, smell the air, ride the camels etc. It was so much different than everything we had ever known. Our whole time in the desert was like a dream. We started by driving around many small villages in the neighbourhood with Ali and Ahmed, another So Morocco guide who lives in the desert and is an expert on everything related to it. They told us all about the life in the desert.
The surprising highlight of the trip was visiting a nomad family. I am not even going to try to describe it. It’s a moment one MUST live by himself! You can read all about, watch every documentary you want, but nothing will replace the feeling of actually being there and seeing them redefine minimalism. It was a beautiful experience and the smiles of the two beautiful children we met were brighter than the sun. It got us thinking about the real meaning of life, it was really touching and will probably affect us in a good way for the rest of our lives.
The Desert Camp
After that, we rode a camel to our luxury desert camps. When we arrived there, we were welcomed with the same love we received from every Berber we met in the whole tour. Staying the night at camps like that was breathtaking. We tried quad bugging, watched the sunset, had a very impressive dinner, watching the locals play African music with the campfire in the middle and playing with them too, then laying back and seeing the billions of stars lighting up the whole sky, waking up and watching the sun rising behind the dunes… what can we say about that?! No words, pictures or videos will do it justice. In fact, nothing will do this whole tour justice. We had read all we could read about this tour, Erg Chebbi, Morocco and Africa but it is nothing compared to actually experiencing it with the local Berbers of Morocco.
Ali was an outstanding guide, happy all the time and could answer any of our weird questions. In addition, he even gave us so many great tips about the culture that helped us in the rest of our vacation in Marrakech. Our overall experience was amazing, the desert itself is, as you know, indescribable. The dark horse of the tour was all of the wonderful Berber people we got to see and know a little. And of course, Ali, he was almost too nice.
Marrakech is not for everyone and going from Ali and the peaceful beauty of our trip to all the pushy salesmen and harassment in Marrakech was a shock, but it’s always interesting to get to know different cultures. The trip was just perfect and this tour was the perfect introduction to Morocco. We definitely recommend doing it at the start of your trip to Morocco as you will gain great knowledge that will also be priceless to help you on the rest of your stay in this beautiful country!
All Tour Operators offer the Four Day Desert Trip from Marrakech – but there is a huge difference in quality. We take you away from the usual touristic sites and create an individual and authentic experience in order to ensure that you get most out of this short tour. We are experts in the desert area and our Local Manager was born in the dunes and lives in one of the desert villages. In fact, we believe that the ONLY way to do this tour is with a private tour operator with strong local knowledge.