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 2018, we’ll be joining such families 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 / 9-15km 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.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Morocco Expedition – 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 & April departures. September & October departures run 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 Morocco Expedition – Walking with Berber Nomads trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 24 reviews in the last year.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to get to know a Berber family and experience their pace of life. The biggest surprise to me was the amount of fun involved. Once the days walk and work was done, the family liked nothing better than to sing and dance and to teach us how to sing and dance with them. Life slowed down as we walked through the hills and valleys putting the world to rights in long conversations, with no phone signals to interrupt us. I recommend meandering with the sheep and goats in the morning and catching up with the others later. The first day's walk was tiring as the ground was rough and stoney but don't be put off, the terrain gets easier. It was warm when the sun was up and cold when it went down. I had a puffa jacket and a woolly hat on in the evenings. There were lots of ways to get involved in the camp in the morning and evening, whether that was loading donkeys, chasing chickens, or fetching brushwood for the fire (bring gloves). The openness and trust shown to us by this family was humbling.
Review submitted 09 Jun 2018
For the "young at heart" and those that want a close encounter of the country and culture of choice =go Intrepid travel. They are an extremely responsible tour organisation that gives back and supports the local families that are involved in all aspects of Intrepid Tours in a huge and meaningful way to create ongoing support.
Review submitted 23 Apr 2018