- 8 days (6 on horseback)
- Activity: Horseback riding
- Comfort: Camping
- Level: confirmed
An exploration in the Erg Chgagga desert accompanied by our horses. A new adventure offered itself to us and with the help of a camel caravan, we were able to explore an ever wilder and more treacherous landscape, in pursuit of hidden wells and dunes.
From the sunset to the bivouacs under a starry sky, we dreamed... of spaces to cut the breath that reminds us of those of the westerns and this accompanied by our friends the horses! Who made this trip unforgettable.
- An ivory of dunes and the ascent of the highest dune of the Moroccan South
- Exceptional bivouac sites in the sands
- A permanent contact with the Saharan atmosphere
- The immensity of the dry lake of Iriki
- The superb mountains of M'Douar K'Bir and S'Msrir
- A real crossing of the desert.
* From 5 pers.
- Price per person and excluding flights.
- Groups are composed of a minimum of 3 international riders and a maximum of 10 riders.
- Please note: the ride will also confirm for 2 riders on payment of a supplement of c. €300 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 & end of the ride from Ouarzazate.
Type of accommodation
- Camping/bivouacs: 3-seater tents for 2 people and foam mattresses.
- Full board from lunch D01 to breakfast D08.
- Filtered water or in case mineral water served during the hike.
Group pharmacy (first aid)
Single tent supplement +40€/person for the week.
Pick up at the airport of Ouarzazate.
OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Cancellation, Interruption and Repatriation Insurance.
- Lunch on 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 : Ouarzazate - Ouled Driss : 3H driving
Accommodation : Desert camp
A very beautiful road which is more than a transfer but a real part of your trip.
We immediately take the road to go down the Draa valley and join our caravan south of Zagora and Jebel Bani. (170 km, 3H00 of road) Meeting with the team and attribution of the horses and a little bit of saddling up at a few steps from the camp.
Night in bivouac in the middle of small dunes and some acacias. A beautiful entry in the desert.
Day 2 : Ouled Driss – Puits de Mouzmou – Oued N’Naam :5 hours riding
Accommodation : Desert camp
A varied stage which presents various faces of the desert at the end of the last oases.
Early breakfast and departure of the horseback ride to the southwest. This morning easy ground through beautiful small dunes, in the north the horizon dominated by the Djebel Bani, in the south from the top of the dunes we see the mountains bordering with Algeria. We arrive in the middle of the tamarisk trees at the well of Mouzmou for lunch. A pleasant nap in the shade of the tamarisk.
This afternoon we leave the dunes to cross the regs which give us a completely different aspect of the desert, more austere, rougher.
For the bivouac we find the small dunes which isolate us from the big plateaus...
Dinner and bivouac around a small campfire.
Day 3 : OUED NAAM – Tal Htine – Oued l’Ataach : 5 hours riding
Accommodation : Desert camp
A stage in the heart of the desert, the isolation starts to invade us.
Early breakfast at sunrise.
Care to our horses and we raise the camp, we put "the hand to the paste"... It takes two good hours to give the signal of the departure in these first days!
This morning we cross stretches of sand, wadis, hills with pebbles burned by the sun. We find, a few steps from a well still in water, a magnificent tamarisk. It is used as a parasol for lunch.
We always leave towards the West after our small nap in the sun or in the shade of the few trees which huddle in this undulation. We cross a succession of wadis (dried up of course), stony sandy hills to dominate at the end of the day the superb canyon of the Oued l'Ataach which will welcome us for the night.... The wadi is invaded by the Tamaris which retain the sand and form as many small basins which make of it superb corners of bivouac.
Dinner and night in the Oued l'Ataach around a small campfire.
Day 4 : OUED L’ATAACH – OUM LAALAG- CHGGAGA : 5 hours riding
Accommodation : Desert camp
The immensity of the Sahara starts to be felt, the marks are at least 20/30 kilometers away!
This morning we are a little more used to it and the preparation will be faster? We leave our shelter in the N/NW direction. Our goal, visible since this morning, is the mountain between the Djebel Bani and the dunes that we see to the S/SW... At the foot of this mountain, the Oum Laalag awaits us for lunch. Oum Laalag, literally the wadi of leeches in Berber. This morning we cross many stony plateaus interspersed with dry wadi beds. The picnic is hidden in a recess of the canyon according to the winds or the sun and the weather conditions of the day.
In the afternoon we head south on a plateau that offers beautiful views of the "plains" that open the access to the dunes of Chggaga. We descend on these "plains" which separate us from the dunes. In winter, they are often green, invaded by the "pastures" so sought after by the nomads and their dromedaries. We take advantage of it to chain some beautiful paces on an ideal ground: of real "fields of races"! We arrive on a well, stop to refresh our horses and we find a few hundred meters our course in the middle of tamarisks and Euphorbias (Calotropis Procera).
We take the time of the stroll (pedestrian) to climb one of the highest dunes of Morocco to admire the sunset.
Dinner, campfire and bivouac a few steps from the dunes.
Day 5 : CHEGAGA – HASSI EL BIAD- ERG GHOUL : 6 hours riding
Accommodation : Desert camp
Stage in a "laughing" desert of very isolated dunes, punctuated with numerous vegetal corners (tamarisk, euphorbia, acacias and pastures).
Early breakfast in this superb bivouac dominated by the dunes, then we leave towards the dunes for some forays on these sandy slopes! The horses manage very well on the "hard" sides and we can go up sometimes quite high. Then we go along the high dunes towards the West and obliquely N/NW to cross long dune strips very wild where it is not rare to see some gazelles. We are in a real sea of dunes!
A well is waiting for us at the exit of the dunes... We must not lose the azimuth to find it, it is caught in a vice between the erg and the mountains of Bani. Some nomadic camps stand on the edge of the dunes. A nomadic school is even present in the places. Picnic in the shade of a tamarisk.
The landscape this afternoon is more "African savanna" with many acacias which mark out the course. We walk between mountains and dunes. At the next well we quench our horses' thirst before turning south and joining the dunes and our bivouac in a dune "arena".
Dinner and night in bivouac... But not a twig tonight to make a fire... The erg Ghoul (the erg of hercule literally) does not offer a single tree and therefore dead wood!
Day 6 : ERG GHOUL –IRIKI – RIVE D’IRIKI : 6 to 7 hours riding
Accommodation : Desert camp
Long stage in an atmosphere of desert immensity.
Early wake up, breakfast and passage to the well to quench the horses' thirst. Direction due west to approach the "plain" of Iriki. It is or rather it was a huge lake, to this day completely dried up. It is nowadays very rare that the winter rains of the Atlas manage to feed it enough. Water still comes down from Jebel Bani but the Draa's is unfortunately stopped by the Ouarzazate dam. It used to be a refuge for migratory birds, they now prefer a route along the ocean. This "plain" is a stretch of more than 40 km rigorously flat... as flat as the water of a lake. But be careful on days with sandy winds... no obstacle will divert or slow it down! The dryness which reigns here makes the ground very hard but does not prevent us from aligning many paces. We cross this immensity on a small length to come to picnic on the northern bank. Some acacias offer the essential shade for a nap (short unfortunately, the road is long).
This afternoon, depending on the conditions, we cross either directly by the black stone plateaus interspersed with small valleys, or bypass the escarpments on the banks of Iriki. On the plateaus there are many fossil sites, especially "Ortoceras", mollusks that disappeared 250 million years ago! We see the mountains of M'Douar which bar the horizon to the southwest ... they serve as a landmark to find our bivouac a few steps from a well, unfortunately a little salty for our horses.
Dinner and night in bivouac...
Day 7 : RIVE D’IRIKI- M’DOUAR S’RIR – M’DOUAR KEBIR : 6 to 7 hours riding
Accommodation : Desert camp
Magnificent stage, long but very varied under the decoration of the mountains of M' Douar.
You should not hesitate to get up early this morning, before breakfast, to admire the sunrise on the mountains... You should not delay either, the stage is long until the next wells. We are in the steppe this morning to join the foothills of the mountain. Landscapes of small dunes very vegetated, crossed by the nomads with their herds of dromedaries and goats. A well with excellent water awaits us hidden in the middle of the dunes and "forest" .... We wonder how our guide arrives right on it! The horses enjoy this clear and abundant water! We cross between M'Douar Srir and M'Douar Kbir, names to the two so recognizable mountains. They remind us of the great American canyons! We go along the cliff of Kbir where some clumps of palm trees are huddled together which make us think that oases are not very far. Indeed we arrive late for the picnic at a very beautiful well in the middle of many superb palm trees. Nice shadows for a short nap!
This afternoon we still have to join a big track for a bivouac a few steps away with a magnificent view on the mountains... Rendezvous with our truck, it waits for us to bring back tomorrow morning at the first hour our horses to the equestrian center!
Bivouac, campfire and night.
Day 8 : M’DOUAR KEBIR – FOUM Z’GUID - OUARZAZATE 3h driving.
Very beautiful desert mountain road.
Transfer to the airport of Ouarzazate
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. Possibility on request to spend the night in Riad in Medina (extra charge).
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-Februar) .
- 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