Trekking with shepherds in the Atlas Mountains

“A unique opportunity to join a nomadic Moroccan family and their cattle on their annual migration through the Atlas Mountains. Offering challenging trekking and an insight into centuries-old tradition.”

Highlights

Marrakech | Jbel Saghro | Ighlil M’goun | 11 days of trekking with nomadic shepherds | Learn traditional customs | Experience authentic nomadic daily life

Description of Trekking with shepherds in the Atlas Mountains

This two-week small group tour through the Atlas Mountains gives you the unique opportunity to experience the daily life of Morocco’s nomadic Berber shepherds. You’ll share in the everyday life of a shepherd family, hiking with them for 11 days through the Jbel Saghro mountain range and Ighil M’goun as they move their cattle from the desert to the cooler north. This is a very special trip, only happening once each year.

Transhumance, the seasonal movement of people and their animals, has been practised since the beginning of time and this yearly tour timed to coincide with the northerly migration of Morocco’s nomads offers an exciting opportunity to experience centuries old traditions and customs. While trekking through the desert-backed mountains is challenging, the warmth of your host family’s welcome and the stories you will share underneath the stars each night will make the hike more than worth it.

You will start and finish your trip in a comfortable, traditional riad in heart of old Marrakech with free time to enjoy the sights, smells and quirky corners of this fascinating, ancient city.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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For departure dates contact us on 01273 823 700
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Trekking with shepherds in the Atlas Mountains

Environment

Your small group of travellers will follow along the itinerary the recommendations of your local tour leader regarding environmental issues. There a few main areas to be considered in this trip, as it is a purely trekking experience, in order to reduce our impact on the environment.

Regarding water, this adventure is especially sensitive on this matter, as part of it happens in dry areas, where water is more valuable than gold. You will experience nomad life and how the communities living in oases and extremely dry areas manage and optimise the water and you will learn to appreciate an important resource that we take for granted.

With regards to our impact on the local environment, you will receive guidance from your tour leader in order to reduce this as much as possible. We will make sure we leave no garbage or waste along our way and pay extreme attention to waste management in general during our trip.

Community

The main purpose of this tour is supporting the communities of transhumance nomads in a non-intrusive and mutually enriching way. Our relationship with the nomad families has been established since many years and improved to make sure that our participation in their nomad routes does not have an impact on their daily routine and their practices. Your small group of adventurers will camp next to the kettle and the family, learning about their customs while respecting their space. You will have the opportunity to experience nomad shepherd life from the inside while they will have also the chance to learn about you and your friends. This tour contributes to the maintenance of the nomadic shepherding practices, as the families receive a direct economic income, but more importantly, they receive the indirect recognition provided by our travellers' admiration. We participate only once a year on this practice and promote the continuation of their traditions and the actual shepherding. Meaning, we pay special attention of preventing nomad families to become tour guides and stop their original practices. We encourage them to reinforce and maintain their shepherding while bringing some travellers along.
We recognised the issues that nomadic shepherds are going through, as it is a practice in danger of disappearing and with this tour we intend to contribute to maintain this practice while improving their quality of life and bringing mutual admiration between travellers and nomads.

Additionally, your Moroccan tour leader will be your link with the nomads and the Moroccan culture. She will introduce yourself to their traditions and practices and will avoid cultural clashes, making sure your group is aware on how to respect their lifestyle.

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