Jebel Sahro Ride and Marrakech Trip Notes

    • 8
    • XZXS
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $1,230
      CAD $1,230
      AUD $1,230
      EUR €880
      GBP £699
      NZD $1,540
      ZAR R7,970
      CHF FR905
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    • Cycling
    • Original
Book
Print Version
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2013
Jebel Sahro Ride and Marrakech
Trip code: XZXS
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
As our least-demanding Moroccan off-road trip, you don't have to be an expert biker to enjoy the superb scenic contrast of Morocco's exotic south. We start the week riding through the date palms and lush oases of the Draa Valley before arriving at the imposing volcanic gateway of Bab'n'Ali. Our journey past isolated Berber settlements where nomads tend their herds of goats, and numerous villages with mud-brick houses and ancient kasbahs, allows us to witness the traditional way of life. Riding amid the stunning Atlas Mountains to the impressive Saharan sand dunes is exciting, but not too long or technical, making this the ideal introduction to off-road biking in Morocco. Our adventure is complete with an overnight stay overlooking the famous Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou followed by a transfer over the incredible Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2260m) to the beautiful 'Pink City' of Marrakech. We have a full day to explore this exotic city, including the medina, the busy souks or the beautiful Majorelle Gardens. A night time visit to the colourful Djemaa el Fna is not to be missed!
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Also available to purchaseSingle travellersWhat to take
We also recommendAccommodationHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point A couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point descriptionThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeJoining point instructionsFeedback
Spending moneyArrival complications
TippingFinish point
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Cycling
Map
Jebel Sahro Ride and Marrakech
Itinerary
Day 1 Ouarzazate
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.
Arrive in Ouarzazate and enjoy a free afternoon to explore this gateway to the desert.
The film capital of Morocco, Ouarzazate is the location where productions such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Sheltering Sky and Black Hawk Down were filmed.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Tamnougalt
The day begins with an hour transfer to Tizi-n-Tinififft (1700 m), which is the start point for our cycling and a 3 km tarmac descent. The views are magnificent, and shortly after our initial descent we turn onto the gritty pistes descending down to a small oases. After lunch we cross a small river and take a fast and smooth piste around the base of Jebel Kissane, passing through many palmeries and isolated Berber villages. We ride directly to our hotel, next to Kasbah Tamnougalt.
Now a sleepy village, Tamnougalt was once an important trade hub for the Sahara. The town contains a famous kasbah among other interesting structures, many of which have distinctive wall decorations.
Approx. distance 35 km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 3 Draa Valley & Zagora
We start with a short visit to the beautiful and historic Tamnougalt Kasbah, set amidst the lush, irrigated green fields and palmeries of the Draa Valley. We then take a short singletrack ride exploring the palmeries, which leads us to an undulating piste nestled below the dramatic, near vertical brown valley walls. Along the way some optional singletrack sections are on offer before we arrive in the small village of Tansikht. We transfer the last 60 km by road, following the river into the desert gateway town of Zagora. You are now only 52 days by camel from Timbuktu...
Zagora is known as the 'doors of the desert', as it's the last town before the Draa River. This is a palmerie town with great pottery and ceramic workshops on the way into the desert.
Approx. distance 30 km
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 4-5 Jebel Sahro
After a scenic 15km transfer, we return to the Draa Valley and follow the piste as it rolls along the valley floor and towards the beautifully remote Jebel Sahro. The scenery gradually changes, becoming drier and rockier as we follow the escarpment wall. Many Berber villages and kasbahs line the route and during the winter months nomads can also be seen tending their flock among the hills. The ride offers up to 55 km off-road after which we will load the bikes onto the 4x4s and transfer the last 25 km to the small oasis village of Nkob with its many mud brick ksours (castles).
Approx. distance 55 km
The following day is the hardest day of the trip, but the effort is well rewarded with stunning views over the Jebel Sahro, an excellent descent, and a visit to the amazing rock formations at Bab n'Ali.
'Bab' means gate and that's how these two spectacular rock pillars appear, sticking up in the heart of the wild and rugged Jebel Sahro.
From here, it is a tough and unrelenting 16 km climb to the top of the 2200 m Tizi n' Tazzazert (approx 900 m ascent). The climb is optional, though the reward in terms of both the views and the achievement is well worthwhile. Those transferring to the top of the climb are still left with 15 km of scenic piste, which is mostly downhill. At the end of the piste, a 30 km transfer takes us to our hotel in Boulmane-Dades at the head of the impressive Dades Gorge.
Flanked on both sides by high limestone cliffs, Dades Valley features bizarre rock formations with picturesque kasbahs dotted amongst the crops and palms.
Approx. distance 45 km
Included Activities
  • Visit to Bab n'Ali rock formations
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 6 Atlas Mountains
We leave directly from the hotel this morning and ride the first 10 km on tarmac passing through the small town of Boumalne and the beautiful river views of the Dades Valley. We turn off initially onto a bumpy piste, to begin the last day's exploration of this extraordinary region. An undulating ride through the spectacular red rock desert walls of the Dades Gorge brings us to the the village of Bou Thrar. From here there's a final 5 km (400 m) rocky climb to a 2000 m pass from where it is possible to overlook both the High Atlas to the north and the Jebel Sahro to the south. What goes up must come down, and we're rewarded with a final blast downhill across the remote desert plains.
From here we transfer (approx 2 hours) to the stunning 11th Century Unesco-protected Kasbah of Ait Behaddou. In the late afternoon there is time to visit the famous Kasbah, which was the set for many films including Gladiator, before relaxing at the hotel pool / bar.
Approx. distance 45 km
Centuries ago, Ait Benhaddou was an important stop for the caravans passing through as they carried salt across the Sahara, returning with gold, ivory and slaves. Today, its grand kasbah is still one of the most beautiful in all of Morocco and a World Heritage site. This fortified village is a fine example of clay architecture and is also famous for its role on the silver screen, featuring in numerous films such as Lawrence of Arabia, The Jewel of the Nile and Gladiator.
Optional Activities
  • Visit to the Kasbah - Free
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Days 7-8 Marrakech
After an early morning transfer to Marrakech, we enjoy a day exploring the vibrant 'Pink City' soaking up the atmosphere and setting, with views of snow-capped peaks in the background.
Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Be enticed by the alluring scents and brilliant colours of the spice markets, the sounds of the musicians, the rich folds of carpets, delectable foods, acrobats and perfumed gardens.
The monuments of Marrakech are numerous and range from the well-known Koutoubia Mosque and its superb minaret - famous throughout the Islamic world and the 'sister' to the Giralda in far-away Seville, to the lesser-known tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent). There's the Palais Bahia, a superb example of Muslim architecture, and the ruins of the Palais Badi, reputedly one of the most beautiful palaces in the world in its time. The Saadian tombs are a recently uncovered gem of the Medina. All of the above can be a challenge to locate, but that's all part of the experience of exploring the phenomenal medinas of Morocco.
Today is free for individual sightseeing - so you can choose whether to brave the haggling of the souqs, visit the more peaceful Jardin Majorelle or relax in one of the many hamam steam baths. In the evening, we can visit the Djemma el Fna, the open air central square around which Marrakech revolves. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now with the snake charmers, water sellers, travelling musicians, acrobats and food stalls, it is an entertaining and colourful experience for both Moroccan and overseas visitors.
The following day is departure day. There are no activities planned and you may depart at any time.
Optional Activities
  • Museum of Marrakech - MAD40
  • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
  • Photography Museum - MAD40
  • Medersa Ben Youssef - MAD40
  • Marjorelle Gardens - MAD50
  • Saadien Tombs - MAD10
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • Bicycle Hire XZXS (XZXS)
  • Single supplement XZXS (XZXS)
We also recommend
If this trip is not quite right for you, cast your eye over these alternatives:
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
    Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
    Culture shock rating

    Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
    Physical rating

    This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Optional activities
    A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
    There are many opportunities to purchase souvenirs and handicrafts while on this trip. While we do not make arrangements for specific shopping excursions due to our passengers feedback, there may be opportunities where your local guides can offer services if you are particularly interested. Please note it is customary for local guides (not Intrepid group leaders) to accept commission from the factory or shop in exchange for their service. You are under no obligation to purchase anything from local guides and we do encourage you to enjoy shopping in the markets to compare prices and quality.
    In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for those who have not experienced this before. Often the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.
    Many travellers when coming to Morocco are interested in purchasing a carpet - they are colourful, good quality and inexpensive when compared to home. However, be aware that Moroccan carpet salesmen are experts in their field and unwary shoppers can end up paying more than they bargained for. If you are interested in purchasing carpets talk with you group leader about bargaining tactics.
    Money Exchange
    Currency exchange rates often fluctuate. For the most up to date rates please refer to the following website: www.oanda.com.
    MOROCCO
    The official currency of Morocco is Dirham (MAD).
    Moroccan Dirhams cannot be purchased outside of Morocco, but it is easy to get cash on arrival.
    The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is by Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Check with your bank for information on international fees. There are now ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout all Moroccan cities.
    There are few problems changing money. There are many banks, all operating with equal exchange rates, and without commission. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange. Please note that Australian Dollars (AUD) are not accepted in Morocco.
    Travellers' cheques are not recommended in Morocco. While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques this is rare and the process is very time consuming, and commissions can be high (up to 10%).
    For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothing.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    The Middle East is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming and the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, roadside stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist-friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you shouldn't expect the Middle East to always be a budget destination.
    Tipping
    If you are happy with the services providing a tip is appropriate, although not compulsory. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
    The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
    Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
    Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides.
    Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
    Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline MAD30 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    PROFILE:
    - 5 days cycling, average 45km per day
    - 90% off-road
    - 90% vehicle support
    - Moderate level of fitness required, off-road experience advisable but not essential.
    Bike hire Morocco: Specialized Rockhopper Comp with suspension forks £85, paid on booking.
    MINIMUM AGE:
    The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
    LOCAL PARTNER:
    This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
    Group size
    Maximum of 15 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
    Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
    www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Accommodation
    Hotel (7 nts)
    Meals
    7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners
    Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
    EUR 150.00
    Breakfasts in Morocco are generally simple affairs consisting of bread, butter, jam, coffee/tea and juice (or similar). This is typical of breakfasts in Morocco hotels and large American/English style breakfasts are generally not available.
    Transport
    4x4, Bicycle
    The support vehicle will carry all your luggage and personal belongings. The vehicle will follow the riders all of the time, allowing you to cycle as much or as little as you like (although not everyone may be able to travel in the support vehicle at once).
    Group leader
    There will be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed. An experienced English-speaking cycle guide and local driver will accompany all groups.
    Joining point
    Les Jardins de Ouarzazate
    Route de Zagora
    Tabounte
    Ouarzazate
    MOROCCO
    Joining point description
    The Les Jardins de Ouarzazate Hotel features a private garden, terrace, restaurant and swimming pool. Rooms are air conditioned.
    http://www.lesjardinsdeouarzazate.com/indexen.htm
    Joining point instructions
    Intrepid offer an arrival transfer service. Please ask your agent at time of booking.
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Finish point
    Hotel Amani
    11, Rue Aboubakr Sediq
    Marrakech
    MOROCCO
    Emergency contact
    In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our partner EXODUS on their 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1582 644 100.
    For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    MOROCCO:
    Australia: No - Not required
    Belgium: No - Not required
    Canada: No - Not required
    Germany: No - Not required
    Ireland: No - Not required
    Netherlands: No - Not required
    New Zealand: No - Not required
    South Africa: Yes - in advance (in general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days)
    Switzerland: No - Not required
    UK: No - Not required
    USA: No - Not required
    Those who do not require visas to visit Morocco as a tourist, are stamped in on arrival for 3 months.
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE:
    Plenty of people choose to bring their own bikes on our cycle trips. If you wish to bring your own bike, please note that we cannot guarantee against small scratches and paintwork damage involved in the loading and unloading from support vehicles.
    HELMETS:
    Please note that helmets must be worn when riding on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
    EXTRA BIKE BITS:
    You may like to bring your own saddle (excluding the seat post), or over gel cover to fit to the hire bikes. We encourage this, if it's your preference. However, please note that you are responsible for your own equipment, and removing your saddle at the end of the trip. We can't guarantee the return of any bike parts left behind.
    PERSONAL EQUIPMENT::
    A helmet, eye-protection (sunglasses), cycling gloves and water bottles or hydration system (e.g. camelbak). Please note that helmets must be worn when riding off-road on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
    RECOMMENDED CYCLING CLOTHING::
    Padded cycling shorts (with loose 'over-shorts' where recommended), breathable clothing, and a lightweight waterproof / windproof top. Shoes with relatively stiff soles are better for biking, but are not essential unless you are cycling long distances. Most people want to carry certain items with them during the day while cycling, for this for this we recommend a large bum-bag or small close-fitting day pack.
    FIRST AID KIT:
    You should bring a small, personal first aid kit with you including items such as high factor sunscreen, lip balm and chamois cream if required.
    HELMETS: Please note that helmets must be worn when riding on all our Cycling holidays. You must bring your own helmet with you for this trip, as they are not available for hire.
    Health
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    ASTHMA:
    For some travellers, the Sahara sands can bring on bouts of asthma. If you suffer from asthma even occasionally, we recommend you bring your medication as it can not be administered by your group leader and may not be readily available while you are travelling.
    Safety
    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
    We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
    Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
    For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
    PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
    While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
    SCAMS:
    When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.
    MOROCCAN TAGINES:
    Moroccan ceramic tagines bought in the souks or other shops in Morocco may contain high levels of lead. We strongly recommend you have any tagine you buy in Morocco tested before cooking with it or buy for decorative purposes only.
    TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
    Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    When packing be aware that dress standards are conservative and you should dress accordingly. To respect the local culture and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. As a guideline, shoulders and knees at the minimum (and everything in between including midriff and cleavage) should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts and singlet tops is not appropriate and may well restrict your entry into sites of a religious nature, family homes, and will limit your local interaction opportunities in general. Loose, lightweight, long clothing is both respectful and cool in the predominantly warm climate.
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    Feedback
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.