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North-south traverse of the central Atlas range
with the ascent of M’Goun (4067m)
and passage through the M’Goun gorges
20/04/19 to 03/05/19
We are offering an original and novel journey through the central High Atlas mountain range, including the ascent of its highest peak, M’Goun (4067m), and the unforgettable descent of the M’Goun gorges.
This hike allows us to explore the huge variety of landscapes and cultural diversity of Berber country, renowned for its warmth and hospitality.
We traverse the whole of the central High Atlas range. It is dominated by Jebel M’Goun (4067m), the second highest peak in North Africa, which we can also climb, although this is not compulsory.
From the green and lush valleys of the north our route leads us through savagely beautiful high pastures. The mule-drivers paths wind their way through a realm of red limestone and stunning gorges to the mineral ochre expanses and oases of the south. This outstanding route finally leads us to the waters of the impressive M’Goun gorges.
We return via the ‘valley of the roses’ and the ‘route of a thousand Kasbahs’, to re-join Marrakech for a day of relaxation and exploration and two nights in a traditional Riad.
D1: Flight France-Marrakech. We are met at the airport and transfer to a three-star hotel for the first night.
D2: Morning start for the drive to Azilal and the high plateaus of the central Atlas region. A roughly six-hour drive takes us to the valley of wadi Lakhdar and the handsome village of Abachkou, where we meet our mule drivers. We take a short walk in the Ait Bougemmez valley to stretch our legs. We spend the night hosted by local inhabitants.
D3: Having loaded the mules, we leave Abachkou and follow the beautiful river in the valley of the Ait Bouwali tribe. We walk at times in the wadi and others along the mountainside to the village of Rougoult (1850m). We next climb the steep-sided Aqqa Dadghour valley. We spend the night at the foot of the red and ochre limestone cliffs of Jebel Tarkeddid, whose summit sits at an altitude of 2600m. 6-7 hours walking.
D4: In the morning we cross the Tizi Rougoult pass (2860m), from where we are afforded stunning views over the upper Tessaout valley. We climb up to the Tillibit’N’Tarkeddid plateau (3000m). The Tarkeddid coombe is a gathering point for the flocks belonging to the Ait Atta transhumant pastoralists, who bring them here for the summer from the south, and Jebel Sagho in particular. We spend the night not far from the source of the Tessaout river (2900m). 6 hours walking.
D5: Ascent of the highest point in the central High Atlas range, Jebel M’Goun (4067m). The climb is not technically difficult. There are 360º panoramic views over the central High Atlas range and southern Morocco (the climb is optional and we can shorten the day by passing lower down with the mule drivers). A long descent into the Oullilimt valley takes us to the spot where we spend the night. 10 hours walking.
D6: A short and pretty morning of walking. We pass the Assif Oullillmt ‘fairy chimneys’ before returning to our camp on the edge of the wadi. The rest of the morning is given over to rest and relaxation by the Oullilimt wadi. Naturally there is a walk in the afternoon, for those still keen for more…
D7: We follow the meanderings of the M’Goun wadi, which is peppered with numerous pretty villages such as Elmrabitine and Wawchki. We spend the night not far from the entrance to the M’Goun gorges. 5-6 hours walking.
D8: We explore the M’Goun gorges, which includes walking through the water in the most spectacular part of the gorges. This large canyon is over 600m deep and several metres wide. There is a spectacular ambiance throughout. At the exit from the gorges the wadi bed widens and Berber villages are visible in the distance. We camp beside the wadi M’Goun. 5-6 hours walking.
D9: Having passed the village of Aguerzaka, we reach another set of gorges that are less steep but just as beautiful. The gorges and cliffs gradually give way to fields and terraces in the lower M’goun valley. Our walk now takes us through the waters and among pink laurels and tamarix. We have our first glimpses of rose gardens in the heart of the ‘valley of the roses’ and the first Kasbahs of the south. Our trek finishes in the town of Boutaghrar with its ochre earthen walls. 6 hours walking.
D10: In the morning we join our 4x4s and follow a beautiful track through the valley of the roses to Oalla M’Goun. We continue along the ‘route of a thousand Kasbahs’ to the town of Skoura and on to Ouarzazata (lunch in restaurant). We cross the Atlas mountains via the Tizi N’Tichka and return to Marrakech. Night in Riad in the Marrakech medina.
D11: Free day in Marrakech, exploring the medina, its monuments and souks. Night in Riad.
D12: Return flight to France.
Price: around 1400€ per person
Based on group of 8 to 12 people. Price calculated 04/10/18, based on exchange rates, flights and services available on that day, and may be subject to adjustment between then and the departure date.
- 2 guides (a member of the Compagnie together with his friend, an experienced local guide) gives us greater flexibility and freedom to manage any unforeseen circumstances.
- 1 good (!) cook
- 1 team of experienced mule drivers
- Healthy (!) mules
- Good quality food
- Extra food from France (dried meats, cheese, infusions, wine, pastis…)
- 2-person tents with clean mattresses and covers
- 1 Berber tent for the evenings
- 1 kitchen tent
- All meals in Marrakech, including an unforgettable gourmet dinner in a Riad
- 1 group first aid kit
- 1 satellite phone for calls to family and friends (if required), in case of emergencies and for optimal organisation
- 1 26W solar panel and universal charger for recharging batteries
- Various transfers by minibus and 4x4
- 2 nights in a Riad in the Marrakech medina
- 1 night (first night) in a 3-star Marrakech hotel
Price does not include:
- Return flight France-Morocco
- Drinks with meals in restaurants
- Any tips
This trek is open to all strong walkers. It is eight days long during which we walk for an average of six hours per day carrying a light daypack, with a longer day for the ascent of M’Goun. Mules will carry our other personal belongings with which we are reunited each evening.
8 to 12 participants with 1 guide.
Participants must be over 18. (no exception)
We spend most nights in two-person tents with one night in a lodge and one night hosted by local inhabitants.
Equipment: A complete gear list including administrative details is provided on reservation.
Date 2019 : 20/04 au 03/05/2019
Meeting: Marrakech airport