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.
A unique change to walk with the Berber Nomads in Morocco. Travel from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains as you join a local Berber family making their annual journey from the hot city to the cool mountains.
For thousands of years, Berbers have been guided by the seasons and the nomadic traditions of the Ait Atta tribes. Become part of the family on a very special eight-day walking expedition.
You’ll sleep in remote mobile campsites and help with the daily chores like animal herding and food preparation. Travel through Berber villages along the way and breath the ever fresher air as you leave the city behind. If you’re looking for a chance to make strong connections with people living a deeply authentic and completely different way of life, this is the adventure for you.
- Discover the Medina in Marrakech and try to not get lost
- Cross one of the highest passes in Northern Africa, the Tizi N Tichka pass
- Enjoy delicious home cooked Moroccan dishes
- Learn how to bake bread in the traditional nomadic way
In Marrakech you’ll have time to explore the city before heading out. Enjoy the tropical gardens once owned by French painter Jacques Majorelle and check out the twisting endless alleys of the Medina. When it’s time to leave the city, you’ll be heading to Imassen at the base of the Atlas Mountains. This is where you’ll meet the Berber family that you’ll be joining on this journey. The work starts right away as you help to pack and prepare the equipment before dinner.
The first day of walking (about 4-5 hours) takes you to Bouyeghd. As you walk you’ll have the chance to start getting to know your hosts and to start getting a feel for the nomadic lifestyle. You’ll see that the ease of finding water depends on recent snow and rain fall. Days start early, and that there is always work to do before there’s a chance to sit down for the evening.
The journey takes you through places like Imi n Taghia village, Laasker gorge, Aklim village, and Valley Ait Hmad. The trek ends near Ait Hmad and, if you’ve been paying attention to the cooks, you’ll have a lovely opportunity to prepare a thank you dinner for your hosts before departing in the morning. The last night is spent in the vibrant Jemaa el Fna – a square that comes to life each evening when the story-tellers, musicians, and fire-eaters arrive. It’s a fun and perfect way to end your week in Morocco.
Immerse yourself in another culture and a new (yet ancient) way of life. Enquire today to learn more about this walking with the Berber Nomads in Morocco adventure.
Why We Love This Adventure
- Spend the week with a Berber family, getting to know them personally.
- 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
- Get involved in life on the road, learning how to organise a camp every evening (and pack it up each morning)
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.
Welcome to Marrakech, Morocco!
Day 1 Marrakech
Your expedition begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you’re going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We’ll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive early, perhaps get your bearings of the city with a walk around town.
Marrakech is a feast for the senses. Explore the Medina and the seemingly endless mosaic of souqs, each devoted to a separate trade – pottery, woodwork, copper, leather, carpets and spices. You might also like to visit the famous Koutoubia Mosque or check out the lesser-known tropical gardens of the French painter Jacques Majorelle (now owned by Yves Saint Laurent).
Notes: If you can’t arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you’re able to attend. We’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Day 2 Imassen
Today will be an early start. Travelling by private vehicle, head into the Skoura region of the Atlas Mountains. About 2,500 kilometres (1,600 miles) long, the mountain range extends through Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Cross over the Tizi N Tichka pass, one of the highest in North Africa. Upon arrival, there’s a one-hour walk to the first nomadic camp in Imassen, where you’ll meet your Berber family and discuss the next four days. After helping prepare and pack the equipment for the trek, sit down to a delicious dinner with the family and get to know each other.
Day 3 Bouyeghd
Rise early this morning for breakfast. After packing up the campsite equipment (don’t worry – you’ll be shown how), head off towards Bouyeghd. The walk should take around 4-5 hours. Once there, sit down for a picnic lunch before continuing onto your camp at the base of Azefgue Mountain. While there is a nearby spring, water availability will depend on how much rain and snow has fallen that year. Help the family set up camp for the evening, before sitting down together again for dinner.
Day 4 Imi n Taghia
Hopefully by now you’re getting used to rising early! This morning, the family will teach you how to prepare and bake bread in the traditional nomadic way. Gender roles differ between tribes and families, but generally women look after the campsite, bring water and do the cooking, while men herd the sheep and go to the weekly markets for produce exchange.
After breakfast, pack up and head on towards Imi N Taghia, passing through Laasker gorge along the way. You’ll be walking for around 4.5 hours in total. Once you’ve enjoyed lunch, help set up the tents and campsite for the evening in Imi n Taghia, and lend a hand in dinner preparation.
Day 5 Aklim
Rise early again to bake bread with the family, before packing up and walking towards Aklim. Today’s trek takes around 4-5 hours. You’ll pass through traditional Berber villages on the way, giving you a great chance to practice any local phrases you’ve learnt. After lunch, help set up camp for the evening and sit down to relax before dinner.
Day 6 Ait Hmad
You’re probably getting pretty good at that bread baking by now! After packing up the campsite and eating breakfast, depart Aklim and make your way to Valley Ait Hmad, passing through more Berber villages en route (a 4-5 hour walk in total). Eat a picnic lunch and pitch the tents at your campsite. Tonight is the last night you’ll spend with your Berber family – hopefully you’ve got to know them pretty well by now. With your leader and group, we suggest you draw on the traditional cooking methods you’ve learnt over the past few days and prepare a final thank you meal for the family.
Day 7 Marrakech
Today, the walking component of your adventure comes to an end. After bidding farewell to your new Berber friends, you’ll be transported back to Marrakech in a private vehicle with the rest of the group. On arrival, join the thronging crowds for dinner at the famous public square – Jemaa el Fna. Every night the square comes alive with musicians, story-tellers, fire-eaters and hundreds of small outdoor restaurants. Hotel accommodation is included for the night.
Day 8 Marrakech
Your Moroccan Expedition comes to an end after breakfast today. As there are no activities planned, you are free to depart the accommodation at any time.
PriceFrom GBP £765
For the full list of included activities please make an enquiry and we’ll send full details over to you.
What's Not included
Please request full details
Trip Duration8 days
Start LocationMarrakech, Morocco
End LocationMarrakech, Morocco
Average Group SizeBetween 4 and 12
Hotel (2 nights), Nomadic camp (5 nights)
Walking , Private minibus
This Trip is Suitable For
This trip has a physical rating by the operator of 2 out of 5. Get in touch to find out more about what this means and what to expect.
This is an active expedition – 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.
For the full trip notes please make an enquiry and we’ll send them right away to help you decide if this is the perfect trip for you.
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.
Frequently Asked QuestionsIs this a hands-on adventure?
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. You’ll get to 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.Will it be very hot?
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.
Dates & Availability
- 22 Sep 2018 – 29 Sep 2018
- 06 Oct 2018 – 13 Oct 2018
- 23 Mar 2019 – 30 Mar 2019
We love this operator for the freedom and flexibility they give travellers to get off the tourist trails and really experience local cultures. Their style of small group travel is perfect for solo travellers, couples or small groups of friends and their grassroots style of travel seeks to have a positive impact on the communities they visit.
They use local leaders, local accommodation & transport and support local community projects, ensuring sustainability is at the centre of everything they do.
In addition, they expect their staff and travellers to demonstrate the principles of responsible travel – respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
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