I did this trip with my 2 sons from 18 and 22 years Christmas 2016. It was an unforgettable experience. The amazing and shifting landscapes, the wonderful Kashba's, the palm-oasis, the high Atlas mountains, the Todra canon and the rock and sand desert in Erfoud, Erg Chebbi , its was a stunning 3 days trip. As special thank goes to our kind driver and guide/host Hussein, he brought us safely from and back to Marrakesh. We booked the comfort/ luxery class for our stay in the desert. It was absolutely an onforgettable night. We had a comfortable tent, woth shower and toilet, the staf prepaired us a wonderful meal. Highly recommended this trip, value for money.
the ride in the van is long, AC worked well, at the begining its a curvy road, i was getting almost sick, but the driver stops few times to stretch your legs ,use bathroom, etc. the best part is the night in the desert, what a magestic place! we picked the luxury tent, and it was worth it! we played drums at night around a fire, and we had a fun group. next day wake up early and see the sunrise, it was awesome. Going back to Marrakech is a long drive, again, be prepared. the agent from ANDO travel was great also, he always answer when contacted, and was corteous always.
In general a good trip, but a few negatives:The minibus was full and rather cramped. You have to spend rather a long time in the bus. First night Hotel Bougafer was Ok, but not great and bed was very hard. Next day a visit to the big Kasbah which was great but you get taken to the usual man who spends 45mins trying to sell you carpets. Next night was in the desert. The camel ride was great (but sore). We paid for tor the upgrade at the desert came which was worth it. But the upgrade is only the camp, not the hotel. Next day is a very very very long and uncomfortable drive back to Marrakech. The driver who was supposed to also be our guide, whilst friendly, said pretty much nothing on the trip.
It was definitely worth it driver Mohammed was extremely nice, first hotel stay was good, but the first tour to the movie set uniesco village where they shot gladiator and GOT the guide was total ripoff. He barely gave any tour and took so much tip from us... The second tour guide for Berber village on the 2nd day was extremely funny and nice though.
We just did this tour a couple of weeks ago. Our tour was managed by Ando Travel. We loved everything about the Marrakech tour to Erg Chebbi. We did spend the extra for the luxury camping. It is a long trip and you are in a minibus for many hours over the 3 days but the trip is broken up with many stops along the way. Our driver Louis would make stops for everyone to accommodate bathrooms, ATM, shopping for Argan/Olive oils, rose water, cofffee etc. We booked the tour to take the camel ride and camp in the desert. I was not expecting the breathtaking and stunning views throughout the Atlas Mountains. Ait Benhaddou kasbah where Games of Thrones is filmed was also a unique stop. The Todra Gorge was also spectacular! The terrain and scenery throughout this tour was such a pleasant surprise. The hotel for the overnight stay was ok. We did AC and private amenities. The stop at the Berber village where we saw local's farming, learned about the agriculture, and saw a carpet demonstration were engaging and great learning experiences. Finally we made it to the Sahara for the camel ride to camp. The sunset over the desert was beautiful and the color changes of the sand in the light was simply magical! The desert was AMAZING! Our tent was also more than expected! So glad we paid for the deluxe. It was so nice! We had a quick sleep and we were back up and off to see the sunrise and trek back on the camels to meet the van. The last day was spent driving back to Marrakech. We had plenty of stops for lunch, bathroom, and shopping along the way. All along our tour, the guides were so knowledgeable and friendly. I cant say enough good things about them. The spoke so many languages and made it fun for everyone. And the food was delicious! I have a deep respect and appreciation for the Moroccans who worked to cook and feed us all during Ramadan! That could not have been easy! I guess the only regret is that I wish we had booked two nights in the desert to really experience the Sahara! It was not long enough to enjoy the beauty given the long drive. Lastly, I would not let the touristy aspects deter you from this trip. The scenery is worth every minute. You dont have to shop and buy things in the stalls that they take you to, and you can also go eat at different locations from the places you are taken. Food wasnt so expensive as some other commenters stated. Lunch for 10-15 US/pp is quite reasonable especially given that there were several courses. Just have alot of small change in Dirhams to pay for bathroom stops and tips. Enjoy!
Tour bus driver did not speak English or French, through no fault of his own. He was a polite and competent driver, but nothing more and didn't provide any information. The restaurants they take you to are tourist only, anticipate spending about 80-120 MAD per meal for very mediocre food with few options. The stops/tours often require a tip, I wouldn't believe any language that says the money goes to any particularly good cause for the local population but we were responsible tourists and tipped generously regardless. The vehicle itself was a minivan of 7 passengers, 2 of which had two be seated in very uncomfortable middle seats. The scenery in the desert is spectacular but go ahead and book a cheaper tour while in Marrakech. We paid extra due to all the positive reviews but had a very mediocre experience.
If you did your research you will find there are many tours like this one. The classic traps apply to this one as well: the places they take you for lunch are as expensive as they get in Morocco, there will be other short visits during the day with guides which mandatory tip is not included and you will do a lot of driving. However, if you know these are the rules, everything will be absolutely perfect with this trip.
I am not here to describe it, many people already did it, only to say that Guillaume our diver was fantastic. He stopped every time we asked him to, he was nice, a very good driver, an excelent company and did his best to make us have the best time.
Regarding the company: if you provide your Rhiad location they will contact you one day before telling you when you will be picked up. It's pointless to contact them before that, you will only get a generic answer.
If you are reading this and are unsure to hire this one or the same trip provided by another company, there is really no reason for not hiring this one.
This was a great experience, I went with my girlfriend and we were joined in the 7-seater car by a couple of groups of tourists also visiting Marrakech. Our driver Hisham was brilliant - very friendly and laid back and from the traditional Berber people himself. The tour involved lots of driving as there was alot of distance to cover over the 3 days. The stops for toilets and drinks were frequent enough - just be warned that at every single comfort stop there will be a Berber person trying to sell you their wares of rocks, clothes, pottery etc! Once you get the hang of bargaining then it can be quite fun if you see something you truly fancy.
Alot of the meal stops were at very touristic cafes at which the food was quite disappointing and the portions a bit on the small side.
We spent the first night in a hotel which was made with traditional methods with clay walls which we found a bit chilly, however there was plenty of thick blankets on the bed so we slept very well. The second night spent in the Sahara desert was pretty fun as we sat in a circle around the fireplace singing berber songs and banging drums. The guides made sure to get everyone involved which unfortunately subjected my fellow travellers to my awful singing voice!
Highlights of the trip for me were seeing the incredible valleys and mountains, visiting the Western Sahara and experiencing the hospitality of the Berber people. The camel ride to our camp was disappointing - they were really slow and uncomfortable so it was a relief to arrive at the camp.
All in all we had a great time and made wonderful memories, but we both agreed that 3 days was enough time to do so much driving and sight-seeing.