Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Toubkal and Sleep in the Sahara

Trek across the beautiful Atlas Mountains to North Africa's highest peak (4167m) and sleep in the desert

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Trip Ref #10148

Adventures / Summit Fever

Climb Mount Toubkal and Sleep in the Sahara

Trek across the beautiful Atlas Mountains to North Africa's highest peak (4167m) and sleep in the desert

DURATION

6 nights

LOCATION

Morocco

ANNUAL LEAVE

5 days off work

SEASON

April—Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 14 people

MEETING POINT

Marrakech Menara Airport

ACCOMMODATION

Traditional riad · Mountain hut · Hotel · Campsite

DIFFICULTY

Challenging

No technical experience required, but a very good level of physical condition and fitness is needed.

Experience the best of Morocco - from the highest point in North Africa, to the wild scenery of the northern Sahara

Climb to the summit of Mount Toubkal and be rewarded with the sunrise of a lifetime

Take a road trip to the desert and trek by camel to a Berber village to sleep surrounded by rolling sand dunes

What's it like?

    See the photos our community shared

    All our reviews are verified

    We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

    Giuseppe, June 2022

    The local host is very professional and kind. The trip was great and matched my expectations

    Stephanie, June 2022

    The trip was amazing and will remain a fab memory for a lifetime. Mt Toubkal, whilst steep and challenging after the base camp and on the way down it was definitely sweeter after difficulty and I loved it My highlight was riding the camel in the desert Ibrahim our guide and Hassan our driver were incredible at their job and amazing company

    Andy, April 2022

    Superb trip, well organised, fantastic guides, great challenge. Well done MBA!!

    James, May 2022

    It was an amazing feeling to see so much and explore Morocco in one week. The trip was great, being able to explore a large proportion of Morocco, from Marrakech to climbing the highest point in North Africa, and camping in the desert was incredible!

    Gian, May 2022

    The trip was overall an experience we will remember, made of nice and less nice bits. My girlfriend and I were very happy MBA would cater for vegans but we found out that was not really the case. Hosts often didn't know what 'vegan' means. They were however generally very kind and made their best to drop ingredients which would not fit the diet. However this translated into suboptimal outcomes and very little variety - ie on most cases bread and jam for breakfast & veggies and couscous for lunch/dinner. MBA should ensure that hosts are informed of guests' dietary requirements and prepared accordingly. With respect to the first part of the trip worth mentioning is the ascent to Toubkal which felt quite dangerous in some parts. We walked in the dark on some long iced slippery ridges and some of us didn't even have walking poles - these should be mandatory if snow/ice is still around and crampons are deemed unnecessary. Following the first three days in the mountains we headed to the desert on a small bus. This was not a nice experience as we spent most of the time on the bus on a very tight schedule, with no time to enjoy nice places we would see or stay overnight. Bottomline we got to see quite many places in a few days which was definitely nice. However, as mentioned above, there are many aspects that should be improved to make the overall experience more pleasant.

    Peter, September 2021

    We got unlucky with the weather, but the guide was great and the group was great fun.

    Floris, May 2022

    I have mixed feelings about this trip. The first part of the trip, climbing mount Toubkal, is amazing and easily exceeded my expectations. It's tough but it's doable and totally worth it. The beauty of the Atlas mountains really blew me away. The second part of the trip is quite different and involves lots and lots of driving (not only on the way back to Marrakech, but also the 2 days before that). I know the driving is mentioned in the trip's description but the emphasis is very much on the sights and activities. In reality however you will spend a large portion of the day in the van only to briefly get out to see a sight and take a picture. Especially the last part of trip (camel ride in the desert and staying in a Berber camp) felt a bit like an all-inclusive bus tour to me. It's a long drive there, and when you get there you realise you're not really in the wilderness as there are many other camel tours and camps which are purely built for mass-tourism. After the camel ride you'll have dinner and go to bed. Only to get up very early and drive all the way back to Marrakech. Personally I'd have rather skipped this part to have more time for relaxation, sights and outdoor activities in the mountains. To summarise: I'm happy I did the trip. The hiking part is absolutely amazing but the part going to the desert not so much because it was too much driving and felt like mass-tourism. All in all the trip was a good introduction to Morocco for me. 3/5

    Kirstie, May 2022

    This trip itinerary is not programmed well at all. Roughly half of the group got altitude sickness/food poisoning and the entire group was exhausted for most of the trip. The hike should be split into three days (Which is was when I booked and then later changed to two days). Day two is getting up at 3am to start hiking, given no food on the 8 hours ascent and return to camp. Then having a late lunch and having to quickly pack before doing a further 5 hours ascent back to town. We then have been hiking for 13 hours in the hot sun, given no additional water at lunch so a lot of people ran out of water during the second leg. Get to the rooms which aren’t ready, so we are waiting around for 45 minutes while everyone is exhausted and thirsty. That night a lot of the group started vomiting and were sick the rest of the trip. Then there is no down time and the rest of the trip is spent sitting in a car. There’s no real time to enjoy anything as we spend 90% of the day in a car, 5% in an identical restaurant for lunch and then the other 5% briefly seeing a sight. I wouldn’t recommend this trip and everyone else seemed to be equally disappointed in it. My recommendation would be to have the hike over three days, then the remaining days of the trip could be spent on shorter drives and then doing small hikes around the other sites such as a the gorge.

    Olivia, May 2022

    Ibrahim our guide was fantastic. The trip itinerary needs reviewing, far too much driving.

    Sean, May 2022

    Overall a fantastic trip which I would highly recommend. It includes time in the city time in the mountains and time in the desert which proved a great introduction to this wonderful country. The climb to Mount Toubkal is tough and a good level of fitness is required. After the summit you walk all the way back down to Imlil which makes for a very long day. The visit to the desert is also incredible. There is a lot of driving to get there but it is well interspersed with interesting stops along the way. Overall a very memorable trip

    Included

    Guides

    Local, professional, English-speaking guide

    Accommodation

    2 nights in a riad, 1 night in a mountain refuge, 2 nights in hotels and 1 night in a Berber camp

    Meals

    All meals in the mountains and breakfast and dinners in the desert

    Transfers

    To and from the airport and everything in-between

    Porterage

    Mules and muleteers to carry your overnight luggage during your climb

    Not Included

    Flights to and from the meeting point

    Travel insurance

    Tips for your guides

    Some meals as described

    The Area

    map

    Logistics

    Starts

    Marrakech Menara Airport

    Arrive anytime on Day 1

    Ends

    Marrakech Menara Airport

    Depart anytime on Day 7

    Transfers

    Private transfers between the airport and your Riad are included for any time (and day) you choose to arrive or depart.

    Travel options

    There are regular flights to Marrakech from airports across the UK and Europe.

    Day 1

    Traditional riad · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 2

    Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 3

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 4

    Hotel · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 5

    Campsite · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 6

    Traditional riad · Twin share

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    Day 7

    Departure day

    Breakfast

    Lunch

    Dinner

    What is the food like?

    Moroccan food is a unique blend of sweet and savoury flavours. Local specialities include tajines (a stew cooked in an earthenware pot), couscous, and pastilles (flaky pastries stuffed with meat and dusted with cinnamon and sugar). Food is often spiced with cumin, turmeric and ginger.

    Meals on the trek are fresh, healthy and cooked by your Berber muleteers. Breakfast will usually feature bread, jam, cookies, fruit, juice, coffee and milk, while lunch will feature salad, tomatoes, carrots, lentils, beans, rice or pasta, fish (sardines, tuna) and seasonal fruit. Dinner meanwhile, will usually include soup, a classic Moroccan tajine, couscous, olives, nuts and fruit.

    Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

    What is the accommodation like?

    Marrakech

    In Marrakech, you'll stay in a beautiful riad - traditional Moroccan houses with an interior garden or courtyard. The exact riad you stay in will be confirmed nearer the time based on availability and group size. All are chosen for their excellent reputation, location, beautiful decor and welcoming service.

    The Atlas Mountains

    You'll stay in a mixed dorm in a mountain refuge en-route to the top of Mount Toubkal. Facilities are basic, however, there is a fun, social area where you can meet other climbers from all around the world.

    Imlil and the Dades Valley

    You'll stay in a twin room in small but comfortable hotels with unique decor and ensuite bathrooms.

    The Sahara

    You'll stay in a traditional Berber camp in the desert in permanent, carpeted tents with full beds, or, if you prefer, blankets for sleeping under the stars.

    Upgrades

    For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room and single tent can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability). This is only available for the nights in Imlil, Dades and in the Berber camp, not for the night spent on the mountain.

    Day 1

    Check out the sights and smells of Marrakech

    Your host will meet you at the airport and take you to your traditional riad accommodation in Marrakech’s historic medina. You'll then get the chance to spend the day exploring the city’s colourful souks, wander the UNESCO-listed main square and indulge in some amazing Moroccan food.

    Day 2

    Hike to the Toubkal Refuge

    Hiking

    5-6hrs · 10km · 1540m up · 130m down

    Wake up early and drive through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains to Imlil, where you'll meet your support crew and start your trek. Ascend the dramatic Mizane Valley, passing Berber farming villages and stop for lunch on the trail. In the afternoon you’ll arrive at the refuge where you can settle in, meet other hikers and refuel with a well-earned dinner cooked by your support crew. Sleep well before your summit attempt tomorrow.

    Day 3

    Summit Mount Toubkal

    Hiking

    10hrs · 17km · 1130m up · 2530m down

    Wake while it’s still dark and begin your ascent. Reach the final ridge and finish the climb to the top (4167m) in time to watch the sunrise over the mountains and the distant Sahara. Rest up and then begin the descent back to Imlil where you’ll sleep soundly in a comfortable hotel.

    Day 4

    Road trip to the Dades Valley

    Driving

    6-7hrs

    Take a scenic drive over the Atlas Mountains and descend toward the unworldly landscape of the Sahara Desert, passing Kasbahs (fortified homes) and oases. You'll also have the option to stop at the Ouarzazate Film Studios and Ait Benhaddou, famous as the filming location for movies and TV shows including Gladiator and Game of Thrones. Arrive in the Dades Valley and take a hike to explore it or just relax back at your hotel.

    Day 5

    Road trip to Todra Gorge and camel trek to the Berber camp

    Driving

    6hrs

    Drive through Todra Gorge, an impressive canyon with sheer, 160m cliff walls and then take a short hike to a date palm oasis. Rendevous with your camels in Merzouga, gear up and ride into the desert. Arrive at a traditional Berber camp surrounded by dramatic dunes and enjoy dinner around the fire before sleeping under the stars or in a comfortable, carpeted Berber tent.

    Day 6

    Sunrise camel trek and road trip back to Marrakech

    Driving

    10hrs

    Wake early and enjoy a sunrise camel trek back to Merzouga. Eat breakfast, shower off the desert and then drive back to Marrakech, stopping along the way for photos, exploration and food. You’ll arrive at your riad in the early evening in time to find a restaurant for couscous or a tasty tajine before collapsing into bed.

    Day 7

    Time to go home. What a week.

    Relax over your last Moroccan breakfast, explore the town some more if you have time, then transfer to the airport to catch your flight home.

    15% Off Outdoor Gear

    In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

    What's provided?

    • Sleeping bag (you can bring your own if you'd rather)

    What do I need to bring?

    • Warm jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • Warm hat and light gloves or mittens
    • Light-weight, breathable hiking shirts and trousers
    • Broken-in hiking boots of hiking shoes
    • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sun block)
    • First aid kit
    • Personal toiletries
    • Sanitary supplies (toilet paper, wet wipes, and ziplock baggies to carry stuff out)
    • Head torch
    • Day-pack
    • Water bottle
    • Towel
    • Sleeping bag liner

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Double/Twin Room

    Per Night

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

    Payable Before Departure

    Pre/Post Trip Accommodation Single Room

    Per Night

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    Payable Before Departure

    Optional Private Room Upgrade

    We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

    What's the number?
    It works out on average at 419kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

    The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

    But what does the number mean?
    Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

    • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
    • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
    • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

    What are we doing about it?
    Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

    Want to know more?
    Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

    No technical climbing experience is needed, however, the elevation, loose footing and time involved in climbing Mount Toubkal means a moderate to high level of fitness is required. The camel trek, though potentially a little uncomfortable, is easy for most travelers.

    Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

    From April to October, daytime temperatures in the Atlas Mountains are typically warm (25 - 30°C) but cool off considerably at night, and the higher you go, the cooler it gets. In the winter, daytime temperatures are still warm (10 - 20°C), but nighttime temperatures can drop below freezing. Afternoon storms are always possible, but the amounts are small and generally don’t prevent anyone from enjoying the trek.

    View detailed weather for the climb here on Mountain Forecast

    The desert is considerably hotter than the mountains, though nighttime temperatures drop significantly and can even approach freezing in the winter.

    If you have extra luggage and would like to leave it in Marrakech your host will look after it for you.

    We recommend checking out the country specific information here and also talking to a travel nurse.

    For current advice about travelling in Morocco, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

    Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip for good service. Your guide will help with advice however we suggest a minimum of 200 - 250 Dirham per person.

    Of course, you are free to tip more or less and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

    There is a lot of distance to cover on this trip, Morocco is a big country! The driving times listed include stops for sightseeing and eating however so most find it pretty easy going and a nice time to relax having climbed a mountain in the first part of the trip.

    Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

    Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

    Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

    We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

    We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

    If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

    All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

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