THE HIGH ATLAS MOUNTAINS
- 8 days (6 on horseback)
- Activity: Horseback riding
- Comfort: Camping
- Level: confirmed
Discover a horseback ride in the heart of the Moroccan High Atlas at the foot of Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa (4167m). On barb stallions, docile and balanced, you cross the most alpine landscapes of Morocco. Discover the high plateaus and forgotten valleys of Morocco. Numerous earth and stone villages clinging to the mountainside welcome a Berber population with centuries-old traditions.
- The contrasting landscapes of the High Atlas : green valleys, dry plateaus, red mountains, snowy peaks and dense woodland
- Immersion in the heart of the Berber culture : beautiful villages and traditional farming
- Mobile trail on traditional Moroccan Barb stallions which are well trained
- Panoramic views over the High Atlas from the mountain paths.
- High level of service whilst camping during the ride (dinner tent, shower tent, toilet tent)
The High Atlas Mountains
*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 ride from Marrakech.
- Reception & airport transfers to and from the airport.
Type of accommodation
- Camping/bivouacs: 3-seater tents for 2 people and foam mattresses.
- Ecolodge des Terres d'Amanar base 2 persons per room at the beginning and the end of the ride
- Full board from diner D01 to breakfast D08.
- Filtered water or in case mineral water served during the ride.
Group pharmacy (first aid)
Single room and tent supplement on request.
Pick up at the airport of Marrakech.
On request, pick up from another airport or another city
OUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
Cancellation, Interruption and Repatriation Insurance.
- Visits of Marrakech 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 : Marrakesh - Tahanaout
Accommodation : Terres d’Amanar
Meet & greet at airport & immediate transfer to the riding centre of Amanar
Installation in your LODGE
According to arrival time, you may get to meet your horse.
Dinner & overnight in Terres d’Amanar
Day 2 : Terres D’amanar - Azib Tatult : 3 ½hours riding
Accommodation : Mountain camp
The horses will be tacked up so that everyone has a chance to try out their horse and the guide can check everyone is safe. After the ride briefing and equipment double check the ride sets off.
This first day will take you along a trail and through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains until you reach the camping place next to Tatult village.
Day 3 : Azib Tatult - Tassa Ouirgane Saline : 5 ½ hours riding
Accommodation : Mountain camp
Continue riding on the trail before climbing up a path in the direction of the N’Kik plateau. From there you will have spectacular views towards the Amizmiz Valley and the Takerkoust Lake. After Tizi N’Ousaud pass you stop for a picnic break. In the afternoon you climb down the trail and follow a path across a forest of thuya & green oaks until you reach your camping spot by the village Tassa Ouirgane Saline.
Day 4 : Tassa Ouirgane Saline - Tizi Zougarine : 5 hours riding
Accommodation : Inn
Today you ride across Tassa Ouirgane valley and enjoy the fresh air by Azzadne Oued (river) with its pretty Berber villages. Picnic by the river in Azerfssane. The afternoon will be spent in Azzadne valley along mountain paths before you take the trail to Tiziane village.Overnight in an inn.
Day 5 : Tizi Zougarine - Ounskra : 6 hours riding
Accommodation : Inn
This morning you climb in the direction of Tizi N’Oudide pass (at 2,100m). Then you ride down to Matate village overlooking Gheghaya valley. Enjoy a picnic by the river in Aguerssiwale. In the afternoon you and your horses climb again to Aguerssiwale pass and then along the superb D’Imnane valley with its little villages nestled at the foot of the mountains.
Overnight in an inn.
Day 6 : Tachdirte – Tiselit : 5 ½ hours riding
Accommodation : Mountain camp
Today you will reach Tizi N’Addi (3,100m) which will offer a wonderful view over the High Atlas and the Toubkal Summit (at 4,167m, the highest one in North Africa). You then ride through the Oukaïmeden plateau which is a winter sport resort and have your picnic right after the Tizi ‘N Ouka pass (2,800m).
In the afternoon, ride down the trail overlooking the Haouz plain until you reach Tiselit, where the camp will be set up.
Day 7 : Tiselit - Terre D’Amanar : 4 hours riding
Accommodation : Terres d’Amanar
Your last day riding will take you to the village of Asni through a forest of oaks & junipers. Have your picnic in the shade of the Alep pine trees at the foot of Djebel Choucht. In the afternoon you enjoy the last canters of the trail as you ride back to Terres d’Amanar.
Dinner and overnight at Terres d’Amanar.
Day 8 : Terres d’Amanar - 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.
On this ride on mountain days, a majority of steps. But the terrain is steep and all your technique to relieve your mount will be in awakening!
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 April & October.
It will be necessary for the rise of Tizi Nou Addi to put the foot on the ground on a good hour of rise.
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 Tahanaout: Ecolodge or Lodge tent in double or triple room or even quadruple tent.
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 Atlas Mountains, long and heavy rains are rare but not non-existent. On the other hand in summer showers or thunderstorms are on certain daily periods. They never last long and protect us from the sun in the afternoon! But global warming makes all standards obsolete!
From April to June and from September to October the temperatures remain pleasant 20°/25° in altitude.
In the heart of the summer (July/August), the days can be hot for the first two days with an average mountain temperature of 30/35° in the middle of the day.
At night the temperatures will always be very pleasant but cool under the showers.
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 early spring and late fall.
- Thermal underwear (april & october).
- 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 ° (April/ May / September / October) and light from mid-June to mid-September.
- 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