Starting point M’hamid El Ghizlane
Our trekking tours start in Bounou, a small desert village just before M’hmid El Ghizlane. This is 90 kilometres south of Zagora and 25 kilometres north of the Algerian border.
M’hamid and the surrounding villages form the last big oasis ahead of the Sahara. The region used to be an important centre for nomadic tribes and the famous caravan route between Timbuktu and Marrakech.
Arrival from Marrakech
We recommend Marrakech as the starting point for your journey to M’hamid El Ghizlane. This can be done in two ways.
Option 1 – Arrival by car/tourist transport/CTM
Even if the drive to M’hamid El Ghizlane takes a whole day, we recommend this option for your arrival. On the way you will not only cross the spectacular route through the High Atlas, but you will also experience the impressive changes in nature and temperatures caused by the different climate zones. The foothills of the Atlas Mountains already give you a foretaste of the ochre landscape of the desert region. After about four hours you will reach the province of Ouarzazate. Here you make a stop at Ait Ben Haddou, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is perhaps already known to you as a film set from Game of Throns, Alexander, The Mummy, Gladiator and much more.
Now your way leads you through the valley of Wadi Draa. This river has an amazing influence on the landscape, being the basis for millions of date palms, agricultural parcels and numerous clay villages. As if this sight wasn’t breathtaking enough, the route is followed by endless mountain ranges with idiosyncratic formations. Flocks of goats and sheep pass through the streets and numerous donkeys help the local people with their agricultural work.
After another three hours drive you cross the gate to the desert: Zagora – a modern city with about 40.000 inhabitants, in which the nomads of the desert have settled in the last 40 years.
Now it still takes about one hour until you recognize the first dune foothills of the Sahara. Out of nowhere the small sand mountains appear on the horizon, while you pass a small mountain range. Suddenly the atmosphere changes and you reach another world.
In the early evening you reach the desert village Bounou near M’hamid El Ghizlane. You spend the first night in our guesthouse.
We will be happy to organise a suitable tourist transport for you. The price for the journey is not included in the package price and depends on the number of travellers. All details will be discussed with you personally.
The cheapest, but also most time-consuming journey is via CTM (175 MAD). The bus departs daily at 11:30 am near Marrakesh Central Station. The journey takes about 10 hours. Also here you have the possibility to make a stopover in Ouarzazate, but you have to plan an overnight stay.
Option 2 – Transfer by plane and taxi
If the journey by car takes too long, you can arrive comfortably by plane. This is possible every Wednesday and Friday with Air Arabia.
The flight costs about 25€ per person and can be booked on this page: https://www.airarabia.com/de (From Marrakech-Menara RAK to Zagora OZG)
The taxi we organize for you costs about 40€ for the route Zagora – Bounou.
Your way leads you through Tamegroute. We recommend a short stop to visit the Zaoiua of the Sufi Order and the pottery workshops.
The flight and the taxi ride take about 2.5 hours.