Moroccan Desert Adventure


Marrakech – whisper it and instantly your mind goes to a place of seduction and spices. Experience it for yourself. This intense 1-week journey reveals the secrets of Morocco and is filled with all the activities and energy you crave. In the company of other young travellers, dance beside a campfire in the Sahara, go rock climbing in Todra, an...

What's Included

Overnight camel excursion to a Berber tented camp in the desert. Local village farmland walk (Todra). Visit to Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah. Orientation walk in Essaouira. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.

Highlights

Stand in the shadows of Todra Gorge, take in the dramatic view at Ait Ben Haddou, see history come to life in ancient medinas, ride a camel to a desert camp, explore this land of mystery for yourself.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Important Notes

1. Itinerary pace. This is a very fast paced itinerary which covers lots of ground. While this is great as it allows us to see a huge amount in the available time, it also means some early starts, some long drives in the mini van and less free time than many other G Adventures. We feel that if you enter this trip with this knowledge and expectation, you will appreciate even more the variety of locations we are able to include in this itinerary. 2 Transport. We use a 16-seater minivan for this tour. With a full group every seat will be used. The legroom in the minivan is possibly smaller than you may be used to and taller passengers may find space a little cramped. It is important to be aware that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts. 3. Camel ride and desert camp. Please note that it is not possible to reach our desert camp by 4WD or any other vehicle. There is the option to walk (can be very hot and tiring) for those who cannot/prefer not to ride a camel. 4. Weather: Please note that the climate in Morocco can be both very hot during the day in summer months (up to 50°C) and cold at night in the mountains in autumn, early spring and winter (down to -6°C). Summer months, from April to September are very hot throughout Morocco. Winter months November to March can be cool to cold, especially in the Atlas Mountains, with high probability of snowfall. Most Moroccan buildings are not equipped with heating, so without proper layers you will be cold at night. Please bring appropriate clothing for the months in which you are travelling and check temperatures before you leave. Bedding is provided in the desert camp and the gîte, but in winter months if you feel the cold you may wish to bring a sleeping bag too. 5. RAMADAN According to the lunar cycle, Ramadan will fall between May 27th and June 25th, 2017. Please note that Ramadan is a month of fasting observed by Muslims throughout the world, during which time the followers of Islam should not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset. There may be some limitations to services and disruptions to schedules during Ramadan, but generally our tours still operate effectively during this period and food is available to non-Muslims throughout the day. It is very important to display increased cultural sensitivity during Ramadan. Please wear loose fitting clothes, that cover knees and shoulders, and try to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public out of respect for those who can't at that time.

Group Leader Description

This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of Morocco, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. We also use certified local city guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 14, avg 10.

Meals Included

7 breakfasts, 1 dinner

Meals

Breakfasts on tour Many breakfasts are included as part of your tour. Moroccan breakfasts tend to be different from your usual cereal and toast morning fare – most will be very simple - a croissant or sweet roll with jam and instant coffee and some hotels will have buffets where you will have more variety. While you are experiencing what a Moroccan family would eat, some travellers do find the provided breakfasts a bit “bread heavy” and enjoy buying fruit the day before to supplement their breakfast. Lunches and dinners Moroccan cuisine is world famous and your CEO will be taking the chance to show you the best of it. Staples include cous cous, a type of grain topped with stew, tagine which is actually the name of the pot this tasty dish is cooked in, and brochette, bbq skewers of meat. These meals will generally cost between 45- 70 MAD depending on the type of restaurant and which part of the country you are in. Other tastes not to be missed include pastilla, a sweet pasty with a savoury filling which is traditionally pigeon and harira, a delicious soup based on chick peas and filling enough when teamed with fresh bread to be a whole lunch. If you are heading to the coast the fresh seafood cooked at one of the local markets is a must eat! Snacks Morocco's fresh orange juice is highly recommended and you should not leave without trying a glass. The brave can try the tiny snails which are perhaps the local's favourite snack but you might prefer a cone of piping hot bite-size fried cake donuts. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Transport

Private air-con van, public bus, camel.

About our Transportation

Please note that there is a lot of fast paced travel on this itinerary which necessitates some long travel days in our mini van. We feel that if you enter this trip with this knowledge and expectation, you will appreciate even more the variety of locations we are able to include in this itinerary. We use a 16-seater minivan and with a full group every seat will be used. The legroom in the minivan is possibly smaller than you may be used to and taller passengers may find space a little cramped. It is important to be aware that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts. The minivans have air conditioning, however please note that summer temperatures in Morocco can easily reach 50 celsius. When the outside temperature is so hot, a minibus air conditioning system will not be able to cool the bus to the temperatures you are used to enjoying at home. Please bear in mind that travelling in Morocco in summer will inevitably involve very hot temperatures and some discomfort may be experienced when travelling.

Solo Travellers

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.

Accommodation

Hotels (6 nts), tented desert camp (1 nt, multi-share).

About Accommodation

On this trip you can expect to stay in local hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. Where a town has both an ancient medina and a "ville nouvelle" we generally stay in the ville nouvelle, both because the standard of hotels is higher, and because travellers (especially women) often find the medinas at night a little confronting. Please note that Morocco is a developing country and as such the infrastructure is not as reliable as you would expect at home. Expect quirky plumbing and the odd cold shower! In the desert we will spend a night at a nomad camp: Facilities at the camp are very basic. Travellers will sleep in multi-share tents (4 persons per tent). Mattresses and bedding are provided. For those travelling in the winter months (Nov- April), we recommend a sleeping bag for additional warmth. There will be the chance to take a shower after breakfast on our return to Merzouga the following morning.

Joining Hotel

For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.

Joining Instructions

When you arrive to Marrakesh Menara Airport, you will have several options to get to the Hotel Majorelle. If you are taking a taxi, upon exiting the main terminal, walk straight ahead into the main car park where you will see the taxi stand with many taxis all queued and waiting. The cost of a taxi can be as much as 200MAD, but please haggle to get a lower price. If you are using public transit, when exiting the main terminal building, you will need to walk through the car park and out of the car park exit (approximately a 1km walk) to reach the bus stop. You will need to take the N° 19 bus from outside of the airport grounds and that will take you to Jemaa El Fna and then onto Bab Doukkala Bus Station making other stops along the way. From Bab Doukkala Bus Station, you will need to take a taxi to the hotel. The journey takes approx. 50-60 minutes and a single bus ticket currently costs 50MAD. The cost of a taxi from the bus station to the hotel can be between 40MAD and 100MAD. Please haggle to get the lowest price possible. If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, please look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign outside of the terminal hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way! Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned on this day. Upon arrival to the city on day 1 (or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us), please make your way to the joining hotel (note that check-in time will be in the afternoon). Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note or bulletin board in the reception with a note from your CEO. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on day 1 (usually between 5pm and 7pm), where you will get a chance to meet your CEO and other travellers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details! If you are arriving later and will miss the Welcome Meeting, your CEO will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need, and with morning instructions for the next day.

Arrival Complications

We do not expect any complications and nor should you but the following information is supplied in case of extra ordinary circumstances. PRE-BOOKED AIRPORT TO HOTEL TRANSFERS If you have pre-arranged an arrival transfer, please look for the driver holding a G Adventures sign outside of the terminal hall. Please approach them, and ask them who they are supposed to be picking up (do not tell them your name, they should have this information already). Once they give you the correct name, have your passport ready to show them and you will be on your way! If you are unable to locate your G Adventures airport representative, please call our local staff at +212 528 824898 (during office hours Mon-Fri) or +212 661 429700 (after office hours or at any time if you are unable to get through to the office) They will assist you in getting to the joining hotel. If you have arrived at Casablanca airport, before calling please double-check with the airport staff which terminal you have arrived at. (This may not be the terminal stated on your airline ticket, as Casablanca flight arrivals often experience a change in arrival terminal). Please make your way to the Airport Information Desk in Terminal 1 (this is a short walk from the other terminals) If you are not travelling with a telephone, please head to the airport Information booth who will be able to assist you in the purchase of a phone card and direct you to a telephone. If for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, or your flight is delayed, please call the above numbers to inform our staff so we can re-book your transfer.

Emergency Contact

Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible. AIRPORT TRANSFER  If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel. EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS G Adventures Local Representative (Morocco) During Office hours (Weekdays, 9am-5pm Local Time): +212 (0)528 824898 After hours emergency number: +212 (0)661 429700 If you are unable to contact either of these numbers please phone G Adventures Regional Emergency Cell Phone (Cairo, Egypt): +201222211699 If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you. Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100 Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000 Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000 Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618 Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307 Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999

Finishing Point Instructions

Please note this tour finishes upon arrival to Marrakech at approximately 12pm, please book ongoing travel after 4pm. We are able to organize extra accommodation post-trip should you require it. Please enquire at the time of booking.

What to Take

You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible. We highly recommend using a backpack or light sports bag, whichever you find easiest to carry, plus a small daypack. Luggage space on public transport is limited. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them between transport and hotels (max. 15-20mins walking), hopping on and off trains and public buses and up and down stairs.

Checklist

Conservative Dress: • Modest clothing that covers knees and shoulders (Long pants, long skirts, shirts that cover shoulders) • Shawl or scarf (for temple visits) Documents: • Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border) • Insurance info (required) (With photocopies) • Passport (required) (With photocopies) • Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies) • Vouchers and pre-departure information (required) Essentials: • Binoculars (optional) • Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries) • Cash, credit and debit cards • Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights) • Ear plugs • First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking) • Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal) • Fleece top/sweater • Footwear • Hat • Locks for bags • Long pants/jeans • Moneybelt • Outlet adapter • Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.) • Reusable water bottle • Shirts/t-shirts • Sleepwear • Small travel towel • Sunglasses • Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable) • Watch and alarm clock • Waterproof backpack cover • Windproof rain jacket Optional Items: • Sleeping bag (optional) (Optional, but recommended for winter months) • Swimwear Warm Weather: • Sandals/flip-flops • Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended) • Sun hat/bandana Note: For departures from Nov-Feb the weather can be cold, please bring warm clothing.

Laundry

Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Visas

All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). To date, citizens of the UK, EU, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not need visas for visits of up to three-months. Other nationalities may need to organise a visa pre travel- please check the individual requirements of your passport nationality. Please note this information is given in good faith, is beyond G Adventures's control and subject to change at any time. Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is the individual's responsibility to ensure that travel documentation is correct.

Detailed Trip Notes

Climate: The climate in Morocco is Mediterranean along the coast, becoming more extreme towards the interior of the country. The winter months are from October to March and are characterized by cold nights and pleasant days. Summer is from April to September and starts off very pleasantly with moderate temperatures until mid-June when temperatures get extremely hot, to return to more moderate heat in late September. Inland, the climate is very dry and high temperatures predominate during the day for most of the year, except in the higher mountain areas. It rains generally only in short bursts in the period from the beginning of November until March. Electricity: Morocco uses 220V, 50Hz and plugs are two prong rounded (as for Europe). Languages: Arabic is the official language of Morocco, spoken in the distinctive Moroccan dialect. Approximately 40% of the population (mainly in rural areas) speak Berber in one of its three different dialects (Tarafit, Tashelhiyt and Tamazight). French is Morocco's unofficial second language and is taught universally, serving as the country's primary language in economics and commerce, as well as being widely used in education and government. Many Moroccans in the north of the country speak Spanish and English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Capital city: Rabat Principal ethnic groups: 30% Arab, 60% Berber Religion: Islam is the official state religion with almost the entire population being Sunni Muslim. 1% are Christian and about 0.2% are Jewish.

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 and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

The local currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). ATMs are very common in Morocco with Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. .While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work - it is important you check with your bank before departure and advisable to travel with more than one type of card. Visa cards are the most widely accepted credit cards, but are generally only useful for larger/expensive purchases. You should be aware when purchasing products or services on a credit card, that a fee usually applies. The foreign currency most commonly accepted in Morocco is the Euro. You will be able to exchange Euros, as well as GBP and USD at money exchange offices in major cities. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of cash (Euro/GBP or USD) and cards is best. As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Departure Tax

Usually included in your ticket, check with your air travel agent.

Tipping

Morocco has a strong tipping culture - it is customary and even expected to tip small service providers such as restaurant and bar waiters, hotel staff, reception, cleaning personnel, bell boys, taxis and van drivers. Tips are regarded as an essential means of supplementing income for those working in the tourism industry. Even though this might not be customary to you, nor such common practice in your home country, it is generally expected and of great significance to the people who will be assisting you during your travels. Depending on your preference and/or that of the group, you may choose to tip individually, organize the tipping with your travelling companions, or, your CEO will offer to collect the tip money at the beginning of your tour and tip as a group with your participation as the tour progresses. A recommendation for tipping small service providers is about $3 USD per day, depending on the quality of the service (this does not include your G Adventures CEO). Feel free to ask your CEO for the breakdown/distribution of the tips. Note that if you have been very disappointed by a particular service, please inform your CEO right away, and the tip will be adjusted accordingly. Also, at the end of your trip if you felt your G Adventures CEO did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated. The precise amount is entirely a personal preference, however $20-25 USD per person per week can be used as a general guideline.

Optional Activities

Your CEO will recommend different optional activities, feel free to ask him/her for more information. Please note that as this is a very fast-paced trip indeed, the available time for optional activities is limited. Please note that prices are quoted in Moroccan Dirham (Dh) Marrakech Traditional Hammam (steam bath) including massage – Dh 300 Moroccan 3 course dinner and folklore entertainment in a traditional restaurant overlooking the famous Djemma el Fna Square - Dh 400 Ali Ben Youssef Medersa - Dh 40 Koubba Ba’adiyn - Dh 40 Museum of Marrakech - Dh 40 El Badi Palace - Dh10 Dar si Said - Dh10 Majorelle and Museum of Islamic Art - Dh 50 Bicycle hire – Dh 70–100 per day Merzouga Half-day 4x4 excursion around the Dunes of Merzouga Price: 25 euro per person (270 dirhams) Includes: 4x4 jeeps with driver/guide Ait Benhaddou Cooking class - Dh100 (includes dinner) Essaouira Camel ride on beach at Essaouira Price: 29 euro per person (315 dirhams) Includes: riding camel, transfers from/to hotel. Surf lessons – Dh 480 – 900 (depending on length) Horse riding - Dh 250 Quad biking - Dh 450 Kite Surfing – Dh 35 1(hrs), Dh 50 (2hrs) Surfing rental - Dhs15, 20, 25, 30 (1hr, 2 hrs, 3 hrs, 1 day) Boat excursion along the coast: Dh 20 (1hr) All Essaouira activities are weather and season dependent. All prices are per person (unless stated otherwise), and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Health

Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure. There are no specific health requirements for this trip. However, you should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit, hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements . Please be aware that we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities for some time during this trip, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the G Adventures brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please contact us at travel@gadventures.com should you require any clarification on what is involved on your itinerary. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

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. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions. Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately. Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s). Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit: www.gadventures.com/travel-resources/safety/

Trip Specific Safety

Like anywhere in the world, major cities have areas safer than others, use common sense, be aware of your surroundings and mind your personal belongings. It is important to note that as it is not a legal requirement in buses in Morocco, your vehicle may not be equipped with seat belts.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information. The medical questionnaire can be found online at: www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any 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 our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects. To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)

Local Dress

While visiting mosques and other religious monuments you should dress modestly, cover your shoulders and you shouldn't wear short shorts or skirts. Outside of capital cities and the more touristic centres, local dress is often more conservative and as a matter of respect we ask that both men and women are aware of this and recommend loose-fitting clothes with your shoulders covered. Ask your CEO for more specific advice.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

Newsletter

Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/ Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.

International Flights

Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.

Max Pax

14

Group Leader

Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.

Day 1 Marrakech

Arrive at any time. Meet your group for the welcome meeting. Afterwards, head out for a night on the town. Additional Notes: On arrival, check the notice board (or ask reception) for the exact time and location of the group meeting. Afterwards, there will be the possibility to go out for a meal as a group in a nearby local restaurant. If you arrive late, no worries, your leader will leave you a message at the front desk. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Big Night Out

Day 2 Marrakech/Nkob (1B)

Travel west into the desert, and stop off at Nkob, which is flanked by the Saghrou Mountains. Transport: Private Vehicle (9.00 hour(s))

Day 3 Nkob/Merzouga (1B, 1D)

In late afternoon, set off by camel to a desert camp deep in the dunes. Learn to tie a turban to keep the desert sun off your face and add a little flare to photos. Enjoy a warm welcome (with mint tea). A traditional dinner under the stars, cooked by our hosts, awaits. In the evening, listen to stories about life in this region and, perhaps, some traditional music on the drums. Additional Notes: Notes for the Sahara Desert tented camp stay: There will be a chance to repack and take only overnight bags out to the desert. The accommodations are basic, with four people per tent (though feel free to sleep out under the stars). Bathroom facilities are basic and shared. Mattresses with sheet and blanket are provided. For winter months (Nov- April), we recommend bringing a sleeping bag for additional warmth. There will be the chance to shower upon arrival in Merzouga the following morning. Included Activities: Overnight at Berber Desert Camp Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours) Ride out to the tented camp for the night. Local guides will teach you how to mount and dismount and other handy camel-related safety tips. Camel (1.00 hour(s))

Day 4 Merzouga/Todra Gorge (1B)

Rise early to get on the trusty camels. Watch the sun rise before returning to Merzouga. Depart early from the camp. Make the first stop of the day at Tineghir to visit the town and go for a walk through the palm groves. Then head to the breathtaking Todra Gorge to spend the night nestled between the sheer cliff walls among the palm trees and gurgling river. This serene spot is great for hiking, relaxing on the edge of the river or sampling some local Berber delicacies. Included Activities: Todra Gorge Visit and Walk Through Palm Groves Transport: Head back to Merzouga and wave goodbye to your new humpback friend. Camel (1.00 hour(s)) Private Vehicle (3.50 hour(s))

Day 5 Todra Gorge/Aït Ben Haddou (1B)

Travel along the “Route of 1000 Kasbahs” to the thriving town of Ouarzazate for a lunch stop. This town is home to Atlas Film Studios, where many films have been shot over the years, including "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gladiator." Continue on to the fascinating and beautiful Aït Ben Haddou, a wonderful example of a kasbah. Included Activities: Aït Ben Haddou Kasbah Guided Tour Transport: Private Vehicle (4.00 hour(s))

Day 6 Aït Ben Haddou/Essaouira (1B)

Travel to the coast, and take in the laidback vibe of this coastal town on an orientation walk. Included Activities: Orientation Walk Transport: Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s))

Day 7 Essaouira (1B)

In the morning, don't miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to the port, with their baskets full of fish. Afterwards, head up to the ramparts on the old city wall for a great view over the city and out to sea. Browse the shops and art galleries or take a stroll along the long, sandy beach. This is the perfect place to unwind and relax with a cold beer or shisha pipe (waterpipe). The active might choose to take a surfing or windsurfing lesson, hire a fishing rod or just take a long walk on the beach. In the evening, head to one of the local barbecue fish cafes where you can pick out the catch of the day and have it cooked to perfection for an amazing seafood dinner. Essaouira is also famous for its music scene and offers a great chance to check out a live performance.

Day 8 Essaouira/Marrakech (1B)

Continue on to Marrakech where the tour ends upon arrival in the early afternoon. Additional Notes: Please book any onward travel after 4pm. Included Activities: Departure Day (Activities) Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s))

Route Map

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