Join a local Berber family on a nomadic expedition through Morocco's Atlas Mountains
Each year, thousands of people migrate into the High Atlas Mountains to escape the heat of the lower valleys. Following 4,000-year-old routes and guided by the seasons, these families are part of the nomadic Ait Atta tribes of southeast Morocco. In 2017, we’ll be joining one such family on a special walking expedition through the mountains. Sleeping in moving campsites and partaking in daily chores – like animal herding and traditional bread making – you’ll meet locals in tiny Berber villages and breathe enough fresh air to last you a lifetime. This is a rare opportunity to form real connections with people from another part of the world, and experience an authentic, ancient and well-preserved way of life likely very different to your own.
In this one-of-a-kind experience, become part of the biannual migration of nomadic Ait Atta tribes people, a tradition that has taken place through the Atlas Mountains of Morocco for over 4,000 years
Spend the week with a Berber family, getting to know them personally. You can even ask them to teach you some basic Arabic so you can communicate like a local!
Get involved in life on the road, learning how to organise a camp every evening (and pack it up each morning)
Experience ancient nomadic culture and participate in daily chores such as milking goats, tending animal herds and learning to bake bread in the traditional way
Enjoy delicious, freshly prepared Moroccan food at your camp each day
Wander the vibrant souqs, embracing the sights, sounds and smells of Marrakech on a guided walking tour, then dine on tagine in the lively Djemaa el-Fna square
While we’ve put a lot of research and work into creating this trip, it’s a new adventure for Intrepid, and sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan. When we head to new destinations, we usually find there are more pleasant surprises in store than unpleasant ones, but either way, it’s important to be open and flexible. This is expedition travel after all!
As this is an active expedition, the physical demands are higher than on other trips (you’ll be walking on average 4-5 hours a day). That being said, the walk itself isn’t particularly challenging. While the path is rocky and you’ll be crossing some dry riverbeds, there are no mountains or passes to cross (so altitude sickness shouldn’t be a problem), and we take regular breaks along the way for tea and lunch. Still, we recommend that you have a decent level of fitness, and that you bring comfortable clothes, socks and supportive walking shoes. Please see the trip notes for more information about what to bring.
On days 2-6 of the trip, your accommodation will be in moving campsites. While you’ll be sharing facilities with the rest of the group, you will have your own tent for sleeping (please do not forget to bring your own sleeping bag). Conditions are basic, of course, but this is all part of experiencing nomadic Berber life on the road.
Please note that you’ll be required to help with setting and packing up the campsites each night and morning, as well as doing some basic chores. None of it will be physically demanding, and you’re sure to learn a lot more about nomadic life by getting involved.
At times, days 2-6 on the road may feel repetitive, and possibilities to spend time away from the group may be limited. Take this chance to interact with and learn from the nomads around you. When else in life will you have a chance to do this?
Even though we plan for this trip to depart at a good time of year weather-wise, we may encounter unexpected heat waves during the day. Please be mentally (and physically) prepared for this possibility, and understand that it’s normal. Rain and wind storms are also possible; in these cases, nomads don’t move as conditions can be dangerous. Trust your leader and Berber family – they have a lot of experience dealing with the elements.
This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2017. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Expedition Morocco – Walking with Berber Nomads trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. Please note that itinerary described in this document is for March departure. September departure runs in reverse order on days 2 – 6 due to a different direction in which Berbers are migrating.
2. Please note that on most of the days you will be camping in remote areas of Morocco. Tents and sleeping mats are provided, but you are required to bring your own sleeping bag.
3. Single supplement including single tent is available upon request.
Our Expedition Morocco – Walking with Berber Nomads trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 12 reviews in the last year.
If you want to truly get off the beaten path, to explore and to embrace another culture, go on this trip with the Berbers. Push yourself. Sleep in a cave. Hike through the glorious mountains and live with a full-of-life nomadic family. One of a kind experience.
Review submitted 19 Oct 2017
Being part of a beautiful and generous Berber Nomad family's migration in Morocco's Atlas Mts. was an incomparable experience. My precious memories of sharing their daily lives will be with me forever. The family's openness and their acceptance of our curiosity seemed natural and mutual. I loved being outdoors all day everyday except when sipping sweet mint tea or dining in caves. The mountains are gorgeous and the hillsides spectacular, especially when they are dotted with the family's goats, sheep, camels, mules and donkeys.
Review submitted 17 Oct 2017