RIDERS OF THE KASBAH
- 8 days (6 on horseback)
- Activity: Horseback riding
- Comfort: Camping
- Level: confirmed
Nestled south of the snowy peaks of the High Atlas Mountains that protect it from the Atlantic depressions, the Southern foothills of the Atlas Mountains is an ideal site for horseback riding from October to April.
Starting from Skoura, through the mountain oases that nestle on each river at the foot of the Great Atlas, this beautiful route allows us to discover on horseback these wonderful kasbah villages still far from the touristic tours. Desert mountain landscapes animated by numerous villages, with their large "kasbahs" (fortified houses) so characteristic that defy the mountains!
- The palm grove of Skoura.
- The many villages scattered at the foot of the Atlas.
- Huge desert plateaus for beautiful gallops!
- The lower Dades valley always in water for the pleasure of our horses.
RIDERS OF THE KASBAH
*2021 prices from 3 pax
- Price per person and excluding flights.
- Groups are composed of a minimum of 3 international riders and a maximum of 12 riders.
- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €250 per person. Once the group has reached 3 people, we will remove this supplement from your invoice and refund you if you have already paid it.
- Single supplement room/tent : 140€
The itinerary may be modified at anytime for security reasons, meteorological or events beyond our control such as blocked roads, rivers in flood, drought, strikes and local holidays. Equus Journeys, our local partners and their local guides will always strive to find the best solution and will alter the itinerary as needed.
The names of the hotels and accommodation are given for information only and depending on availability, they may be modified without notice and replaced by another of a similar standard.
OUR PRICE INCLUDES
1 French-speaking and/or English-speaking Moroccan guide following the group and 01 groom (on horseback) beyond 5 riders.
- 1 vehicle and driver
- 1 cook
- 1 horse equipped with saddle and bridle per rider
- Minibus or 4x4 to reach the start of the hike from Ouarzazate.
- Reception & airport transfers to and from the airport.
Type of accommodation
- Camping/bivouacs: 3-seater tents for 2 people and foam mattresses
- Hotel 3*** based on 2 persons per room in Ouarzazate.
- Full board from diner D01 to breakfast D08.
- Filtered water or in case mineral water served during the hike.
Group pharmacy (first aid)
Single room and tent supplement on request.
Pick up at the airport of Ouarzazate.
On request, pick up from another airport or another city.
OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Cancellation, Interruption and Repatriation Insurance.
- Visits of Marrakech or Ouarzazate in case.
- All museum entries and other during the trip.
- Lunch on D1 and D8 (depending on your flight schedule)
- Drinks and personal extras.
- Supplement for groups of 2 participants: 250€ per person.
- Tips for local teams.
- Possibility of privatization. Quote on request.
Day 1 : Arrival in Ouarzazate airport
Accommodation : 3 star hotel in Ouarzazate
Meet & greet at airport
Overnight in hotel in Ouarzazate
Day 2 : Ouarzazate – Skoura : 2hours ½ riding
Accommodation : Mountain camp
Transfer to the palm grove of Skoura (40km) .
Today will be dedicated to the riders’ evaluation & adapted allocation of the horses.
In the afternoon, we will go for a ride in order to finalize all the adjustments necessary to the trek.
Overnight in a bivouac
Day 3 to 6 : Big loop from the North to the West of the Palmeraie : 5 to 6 hours riding per day
Accommodation : Mountain camp
According to the weather conditions, our trek will take us on either side of the Dades River. In winter time, we will ride across the Djebel Saghro, a land of steppe with green spots here & there, the domain of the Aït Atta nomadic tribe.
In spring time, we will go for the Berber villages nestled in the Atlas valleys or for the banks of the Dades River, a green ribbon sprinkled with ochre kasbah…Whatever journey we choose, we will enjoy wonderful magic bivouacs under the stars, appreciate having dinner in a Berber home with a family that has invited us for the night or even savouring a glass of mint tea in a « khaima » (nomad tent made of goat hairs)
Day 7 : Dades Valley – Skoura – Ouarzazate : 2 hours ½ riding
Accommodation : Hotel Le Fint
This morning, we will have our last trek of the week, back to Skoura with our Barb companions. Once the last care dispensed to our horses, we will board our minibus & head to Ouarzazate (40 km)
Time at leisure.Dinner in a superb small restaurant and night at the hotel.
Day 8 : Ouarzazate - Airport
Breakfast and transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule.
Bearded stallion horses and bearded Arabs, selected and trained by our team, enduring, lively and docile. They are admirably adapted to the paths of the High Atlas: small sure-footed and big-hearted, their gaits are raised. Height at the withers: 1.45 m to 1.55 m.
They will amaze you on this hike by their resistance on sometimes the most difficult paths... You will come back for them!
THE HORSES AND LEVEL
Minimum technical requirements
Perfect mastery of the 3 gaits in outdoor and open terrain: trotting with the trotters off, galloping in balance and in groups, keeping control of the horse (distance, direction) at brisk paces with a light hand. Minimum academic equivalent of gallop 4.
Riders over 90kg and over 1m95 must consult us before registration. Good physical conditions required.
The basic pace in hiking is the step. Good regular trots and gallops every half day: from the small collected canter to unbridled gallops when the terrain allows it.Note that the gallops are done in line, especially at the beginning of the ride, because of the temperament of the stallions.
Autonomy and participation
Everyone is required to dress, saddle, bridle and unhook his horse. They are also expected to participate in camp tasks, including the setting up and dismantling of tents. You can participate according to your wishes in the care of the horses (distribution of water and food).
Level and experience required
Good physical condition and good endurance on horseback. Expect cold evenings in December & January.
A multi-day horseback riding experience is a plus, but is not mandatory. Riders who don't ride regularly must get back in the saddle before the ride.
Encountering different cultures and mentalities implies an acceptance of these differences and respect for them.
Tailor-made hiking saddles, very practical saddlebags are available.
Bombs or helmets are not mandatory but strongly recommended. Our partner has a few bombs, but preferably bring your own equipment. In case of request, please do so when you register.
In camp: Tents for two people with mattresses, Moroccan caïdal tent for meals, shower tent with hot water morning / evening, toilet tent.
In Ouarzazate : Hotel 3 stars in double room.
Copious dinners, cold at noon and hot in the evening at the bivouac.
The cook takes care of everything.
In order to avoid plastic bottles, please provide micro-pure tablets or we provide filtered water (catadyn ceramic filter). We advise you to take with you one or two metal cans... to avoid plastic.
In the south of Morocco the rains are rare but not non-existent. Since a few years very important rainy events have been affecting the south of the country.
From October to November and from February to April the temperatures remain pleasant see warm 35°/20° (October and April) 25°/12° (November, February, March).
In the heart of winter, mornings and evenings are cool to cold (up to -5° at the end of December). At noon, temperatures reach 18°/20°C to decline fairly quickly in the evening. In summer, the climate is torrid (around 45°C) and riding is not organized.
Local Team Guide
French / English-speaking Moroccan equestrian guides assisted by grooms.
It is customary, as a sign of thanks, to give a tip to the local teams. You can foresee about 30€ / 40€ for the whole team.
- A riding helmet: it is seriously recommended and often mandatory. Manufacturers (GPA, HKM, LAS Helmets, Lamicell, Troxel, Equithème...) offer today ventilated, solid and light riding helmets, pleasant under all latitudes. There are also protective shells to put under your hat (Ranch & Rider, Lexington Safety Products) or western helmets (Troxel).
- Cap or hat for the sun (essential)
- A bandana, scarf or chèche to protect the neck or face from dust and sunlight
- A pair of high protection sunglasses
- A hat or hood in winter (December and January)
- Thermal underwear (December and January).
- Cotton T-shirts + long-sleeved shirts (for protection against the sun) or T-shirts made of quick-drying technical materials.
- 1 light fleece or equivalent
- 1 warm fleece or equivalent (From November to mid-Februar).
- 1 warm Goretex-type jacket (waterproof and breathable) (From December to mid-February) .
- 2 riding breeches or long leather chaps
- 1 spare pair of pants (hiking or jeans or equivalent)
- 1 swimsuit may be useful (swimming, toilet)
- Cotton or non-irritating synthetic underwear
Feet and Hands
- 1 pair of light walking shoes (essential for the ascent of the pass) with chaps or boots with specific mini-chaps for riding
- 1 pair of sneakers or equivalent light shoes for the evening.
- Several pairs of socks
- 1 pair of gloves to protect yourself from the sun, cold and rubbin
Little tricks on horseback
- Soothing cream very useful in the corners of your intimacy irritated by long hours on horseback.
- Nothing on your back, everything in your jacket or a banana on your belly: lipstick,sunscreen, passport, small camera or mini camera (waterproof), cords, glasses... more accessible than fonts.
- Riding backpacks are not allowed
- Sleeping bag warm comfort 2 °/-5 ° (October to November and from February to April) and -5° or -8° (December and January).
- We also advise you to double this one with a meat bag which will be very useful on hot nights.
- Soft travel bag/case
- 2 metal cans of 1 liter or equivalent
- Headlamp, batteries and spare bulbs
- Toilet kit (biodegradable wipes to replace water, micropur...)
- Toilet paper + lighter to burn it after use
- A Swiss Army knife or equivalent (in the hold!!)
- Small paper bags to throw in the trash can
- Earplugs can be useful for those who would have light sleep as a roommate.
- Camera (with a spare battery)
- A pair of binoculars possiblyt
As a precaution, list your drug allergies in your pharmacy.
- Personal medications
- 1 Broad-spectrum antibiotic
- Aspirin or paracetamol
- Anti Diarrhea
- Vitamin C
- Highly protective sun cream for lips and skin
- Eye drops
- Moisturizing cream for after sun.
- A roll of plaster
- A 10 cm wide adhesive elastic band
- A box of bandages is
- Ready-to-use disinfectant pouches
- Micropur or Hydroclonazone tablets to disinfect water
- An anti-mosquito cream and spray