Sahara Desert Trek
Oct 10 2020
Oct 17 2020
The Sahara Desert Trek is a great fun adventure. You will meet brilliant people, travel to a fantastic place, do an amazing challenge and in the process raise much needed funds for the charity.
Where and When?
The 8 day trip (5 days trekking) will take place from Saturday 10th October to Saturday 17th October 2020 in southern Morocco and covers a total distance of almost 100km on foot.
The cost of the trip is £1,300. For those that pay the cost of the trip themselves, we ask that you raise as much as you can over and above the trip cost remembering that all funds raised go directly to Odyssey and are used to fund our courses.
Others may prefer to fundraise the whole amount. This means fundraising £1,300 to cover costs with a minimum of £1,500 for Odyssey on top (total £2,800). Signing up for the trip early gives plenty of time to raise the necessary funds.
Day 1. London to Quarzarate - the journey begins with a Royal Air Maroc flight from Heathrow to Casablanca, then on to Ouarzazate, the capital of Southern Morocco and the threshold of the Sahara. We arrive late in the evening and transfer to a hotel for a good night’s sleep.
Day 2. Into the Sahara - the challenge begins. We take a coach out of town, following the route of many films before us, for Ouarzazate is Morocco’s answer to Hollywood and many famous films have been shot in the spectacular locations that abound here on the fringes of the desert. Film buffs can look out for the atmospheric Kasbah of Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky, the adventurous canyons of Romancing the Stone, or the epic landscapes of Lawrence of Arabia and Jesus of Nazareth.
We stop for lunch at Tazzerine, then climb aboard open trucks. Little by little human habitation fizzles out, as we bump and jolt towards the heart of the Sahara. When the track gives out at Oum Jrane, we disembark and walk, giving those travel-weary muscles a welcome stretch. All the day’s long journey becomes worthwhile when we reach camp, where we shall spend our first night in the desert. Here, beyond the glare of civilisation, the cold, dry desert night reveals stars as you have never seen them, piled high, layer on layer, seemingly close enough to touch. It is a sight never to be forgotten. (3-4km)
Day 3. Wadi to desert plateau. Today we follow the course of the Boukechba, now a dry and rocky valley, into our first region of erg or dunes. Nothing can quite prepare you for the wonder of this extraordinary landscape, which, with the play of the wind and shadow, seems to ripple and dance before your very eyes. As the sun climbs high in the sky, we thankfully come to a band of tamarisk trees, clinging improbably to life amid the shifting sands. Here we stop for rest and lunch in the shade. The afternoon’s walk leads us from the dunes to another typical feature of Saharan topography – the reg. This area of flat, boulder-strewn plain seems at first to be lifeless, but in fact teems with creatures successfully adapted to its harsh, arid conditions. As we settle into our overnight camp at dusk, many of these animals begin to emerge, using the cool night hours to forage and hunt by the light of the blazing stars. (22km)
Day 4. Across the sands. After waking at 7am, followed by a good breakfast with coffee and orange juice, we do a little bit of limbering up and stretching before aiming to start walking at 8.30, so we can get a good few miles in before lunch, which today is taken under the shade of another isolated group of tamarisk trees. A small diversion can be made into the village of Tafraoute, where no doubt many local children will come out to meet the group. Alternatively, a direct route can be taken direct to camp which lies at the foot of a huge dune. (20km)
Day 5. Mountain and oasis. This morning we have a climb to reach the top of a huge sand dune which we follow as it snakes along in a fine edged crest. An exhilarating descent of the dune leads us down on to some plains which are crossed before a range of hills is encountered with a small climb, followed by a descent to a lunch spot where the support crew will have erected some cover so we can rest in the shade whilst having lunch. Continuing after lunch we cross another plain, encounter a rock field where we can search for interesting fossils, and finish the day by passing through a beautiful gorge to camp. (18km)
Day 6. Walking with the winds. Our final morning of trekking takes us across a wide open plain with expansive views of the surrounding country. Here we might experience one of the poetically named, but bullying desert winds – the Sirocco, or perhaps the Haboob before finding another tent erected to give us shade for lunch. The final afternoon can be tough as we traverse an extensive range of dunes, before arriving at our camp which is hidden from view until we are almost there. Tonight will be our last night in the lonely desert – but first we must party, celebrating our achievements with our newfound Moroccan friends. (26km)
Day 7. Back to civilisation. It is worth rising at dawn to witness one last spectacular desert sunrise. Today, we view the desert in a different rhythm, as we ride back in open-air trucks to the road where our coaches are waiting. The return journey to Quarzarate takes around 4 hours, where civilisation beckons in the form of a welcome shower and a final night of well-deserved celebration.
Day 8. Home. We leave early in the morning for our flight back to London via Casablanca.
• This route is subject to weather conditions, permits and the overall fitness of the group and consequently may change in some details. However, the structure of the trek will remain the same • Each day requires about eight hours of activity • Visas are not needed for UK passport holders other nationalities need to make their own checks.
Active & Health – Trekking
Event Contact Details