AGAFAY DESERT & ATLAS EXPERIENCE
Based for 2 nights at Nkhila Lodge in the Agafay Desert & 2 nights at Kasbah Africa in the Atlas, this short break holiday offers a scenic contrast of desert wilderness, Atlas mountains, river and Berber villages.
Transfers between Marrakech and both locations, all meals and two activities are included in this great value package.
Nkhila Lodge is set in a remarkable wilderness location with a backdrop of the Atlas mountains, and with a choice of activities available. In the Atlas mountains, at Kasbah Africa, manicured lawns lead out to a big swimming pool and landscaped gardens abundant with fruit trees. This 4 night short break combines both properties, creating a unique experience for guests. At Nkhila you'll stay in a tented ‘stargazing’ room built on stilts, on the top of a white dune. At Kasbah Africa you will be accommodated in a stone-built junior suite with a private terrace and views of the Azzaden River valley and Takerkhort Nature Reserve.
Day 1 – To Nkhila Lodge in the Agafay Desert
From Marrakech medina it takes just under an hour to reach the Agafay Desert and Nkhila Camp (45 minutes from Marrakech Menara airport). As we leave the bright lights of the city behind and enter the rural province of Al Haouz, the landscape changes from olives groves to the rolling barren hills of the Agafay Desert. Eventually we leave the asphalt behind and follow desert tracks to reach Douar Nkhila village on the eastern edge of Agafay. Our final approach is spectacular: we twist around arid hillsides until reaching Nkhila Lodge, perched on stilts, with the High Atlas mountains looming in the distance. On arrival at camp we will be greeted with a refreshing glass of mint tea and briefed by our host. Depending on your arrival hour there may be time for a short desert orientation walk. Alternatively, relax and soak up the views. Dinner tonight will be served in your choice of location – either in the privacy of your tent, on the balcony, in the dining tent, or under an outside canopy-covered dining spot. Depending on when you stay, the lodge may be illuminated at night by the moon or experience an amazing dark sky full of stars. Try out one of Nkhila’s telescopes and enjoy some stargazing.
Day 2 – Included activity: Morning desert walk or camel ride
This morning you can choose your included activity – a desert walk or camel ride! At Nkhila one of the most popular walks is along the river canyon below camp to Nkhila village. On this scenic walk we descend from camp to the dry riverbed to the west, then walk along the riverbed passing beneath sandstone rock walls to reach an oasis of palm trees and Nkhila village. We return to the lodge following the 4x4 track in time for lunch. In the afternoon there is the option to join a desert cooking workshop. Moroccan cuisine is exciting, appealing to look at, delicately spiced with subtle blends of flavours, full of fresh ingredients and delicious to eat. At Nkhila Lodge you can learn to cook some traditional Moroccan dishes under the guidance of the professional local chef. If cooking’s not your thing, you could visit the local Berber market in the nearest local town of Tamesloht (Friday is market day) or just relax in the comfort of your tent, read a book and enjoy the view! Lunch and dinner is included today.
Day 3 – To Kasbah Africa in the Atlas Mountains via Kik Plateau
This morning, if you are feeling active, there is an option to join a quad-bike adventure and ride desert tracks over rolling hills and along river valleys close to Nkhila. Alternatively, choose to ride around the shores of Lake Takerkoust on an optional quad bike adventure en route to Kasbah Africa. It is also possible to ride a quad from Nkhila to Lake Takerkoust, then continue by 4x4 to Kasbah Africa. From Lake Takerkoust, in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, head up to the Kik Plateau for amazing panoramic views of the Agafay Desert and beyond. Try and spot Nkhila Lodge on the east side of the desert! Next, cross the Kik Plateau passing fields and farms with a backdrop of High Atlas peaks. We descend the Plateau and drive into the Azzaden Valley to Kasbah Africa. Lunch and dinner is included today.
Day 4 – Included activity: Berbers of Tassa Ouirgane
One of Kasbah Africa's most popular excursions, the Berbers of Tassa Ouirgane trip offers an insight into traditional Berber life in the Azzaden Valley. Enjoying a half or full day with the Berbers you will gain an insight into Berber culture, local community, farming and more. This excursion is on foot (approx. 6 km of tracks and trails) from and back to Kasbah Africa but transport can be arranged if necessary. You'll also have time to enjoy the peaceful surroundings and nature at Kasbah Africa. From deep-green olive groves to dramatic dark night skies, this is a slice of North African wilderness at its best. Manicured lawns lead out to a big swimming pool and landscaped gardens abundant with fruit trees.
Day 5 – Transfer back to Marrakech. The experience is over!
Your transfer today can return you to your choice of accommodation in Marrakech, to our Moroccan Hideaway, Riad Africa, or directly to Marrakech airport.
HOLIDAY PRICE PER PERSON
SHARING A DOUBLE OR TWIN ROOM/TENT
Private transfers by 4x4 vehicle from Marrkech to Agafay and then to Ouirgane and back to Marrakech; two activities as detailed in itinerary with English-speaking guide; accommodation in a double or twin Kasbah Africa junior suite & Nkhila Lodge stargazing tent; four breakfasts, four lunches, four dinners; local tourist taxes; use of binoculars, telescope and Planisphere.
Tips, beverages, optional activities and items of a personal nature.
Standard: 05 January to 28 February, 01 June to 30 September, 21 November to 20 December.
High: 01 March to 31 May, 01 October to 20 November, 21 December to 04 January.
It is possible to book this package at any time of the year subject to availability.
Bring walking shoes if planning to walk some of the many excellent trails around Nkhila Lodge and Kasbah Africa. We also recommend a camera, sun hat and sunglasses.