AGAFAY & ATLAS
Based for 3 nights at Riad Africa in Marrakech Medina, 1 night at Nkhila Lodge in the Agafay Desert & 3 nights at Kasbah Africa in the Atlas, this holiday combines Red City culture with desert wilderness and Atlas mountain nature and Berber villages.
Transfers between properties, most meals, accommodation and four activities are included in this great value package.
In Marrakech, Riad Africa offers a central location close to the numerous attractions of Marrakech, including the most animated square in Africa – Djemaa el Fna. By contrast, Nkhila Lodge is set in a wilderness location with a backdrop of the Atlas mountains, and with a choice of adventurous activities available. In the Atlas mountains, Kasbah Africa is perched on the valley side above the banks of the Azzaden River Valley. This week-long holiday combines Riad Africa with Nkhila Lodge and Kasbah Africa to create a unique triple-centre experience for guests. At Riad Africa you'll sleep in a very comfortable superior room. At Nkhila you'll stay in a tented ‘stargazing’ room built on stilts, on the top of a white dune. Finally, at Kasbah Africa your room will be a stone-built junior suite with river and mountain view.
Day 1 – To Riad Africa in Marrakech Medina
On arrival in Marrakech you will be met at Menara airport and transferred to Riad Africa, your accommodation in the heart of Marrakech medina. With palaces and palm groves, rose gardens, and a backdrop of the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas Mountains, Marrakech is the capital of the Moroccan South, a cultural crossroads and keeper of tradition and folklore. After time to settle in the famous souks of Marrakech offer an intoxicating passage to Africa’s most famous meeting place – the huge medieval square of Place Djemaa el Fna.
Day 2 – Included activity: Highlights of Marrakech tour
For first time visitors to Marrakech, a great way of getting to grips with this magical city is on a half day guided highlights walking tour of its World Heritage listed medina. The rich history of Marrakech is reflected in its numerous attractions and the wealth of monuments, mosques, museums and palaces this city offers. The minaret of Koutoubia Mosque is the landmark and emblem of the city and a good start point for a day of sightseeing. Other important quarters within the old city ramparts include Kasbah and Mellah (the Jewish quarter), both in the south and close to the Royal Palaces. Popular attractions include the Saadien Tombs, Palais Badia, the 16th century ruins of the Badi Palace and the Dar Si Said Museum (Museum of Moroccan Arts). Just north of the souks are the Musee de Marrakech, the impressive Ben Youssef Medersa and the Koubba Ba’ Adyin – the remains of an Almoravid mosque built in 1106.
Day 3 – Included activity: Caleche tour of Palaces & Gardens
During our time in Marrakech we include a horse-drawn carriage tour of the city walls and famous gardens of the city. Offering a shady retreat from the mid-day sun with towering palm trees, orchards of fruit and olive trees, pools, fountains and abundant bird life, the gardens of Marrakech are a ‘must-see’. You’ll have chance to visit the Menara Gardens and botanical gardens of Majorelle as well as make a tour around the entire city walls.
Day 4 – To Nkhila Lodge in the Agafay Desert. Sunset camel ride or walk
From Marrakech medina it takes just under an hour to reach the Agafay Desert and Nkhila Lodge. 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. In the early evening there's time for a camel ride to enjoy the setting sun over western Agafay. If camel riding is not your thing, there are several short scenic walks to enjoy. Tonight dinner 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. Lunch and dinner is included today.
Day 5 – 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 6 – 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. Lunch and dinner is included today.
Day 7 – Day at leisure at Kasbah Africa: Optional cooking workshop or walk
This afternoon take your time to experience the Kasbah’s breathtaking natural setting. Take tea under the willow trees, enjoy some bird spotting (over 150 species of birds are native to the area) and search for the usually shy “Sanglier” – wild black pig – in the Takerkhort Wildlife Reserve. In Spring, Autumn and Summer months there’s always time for a swim and a laze in a hammock. In Winter, get cosy by your own log fire or in the comfort of the lounge bar. Torort village is just 15 minutes away on foot. Here just 70 families live in adobe houses on the slopes above the Azzaden river. Today you could consider an optional activity – cook or walk! In the comfort of Kasbah Africa you can learn to cook some traditional Moroccan dishes under the guidance of Kasbah Africa’s professional local chef. Alternatively head out on a day walk in and around the Ouirgane Valley, accompanied by a local Berber guide. There are a choice of trails available from 1 hour to a full day, depending on your ability and interests. Lunch and dinner is included today.
Day 8 – Transfer back to Marrakech. The experience is over!
Your transfer today can return you to 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 the Atlas and back to Marrakech; four activities as detailed in itinerary with English-speaking guide; accommodation in a double or twin Riad Africa superior room, Nkhila Lodge stargazing tent & Kasbah Africa double or twin junior suite; seven 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.