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I had a wonderful time on this tour. I booked the tour as an individual, so I was a bit annoyed at having to pay a substantial surplus, but it was worth it (especially as it meant I was by myself). I was promptly met by Mostafa, my guide and driver for the three days, at a pre-arranged meeting point just off to main square in the medina. Mostafa can communicate essential information in English and respond to simple questions, but he struggles beyond that. However, he speaks excellent French and is also one of the few people I have come across in my time learning standard Arabic who can talk fluently, at length and gladly in MSA, which was great for us both, if a little challenging at times. However, if there are other students of Arabic out there, I thoroughly recommend taking any tour with Mostafa, who is just a really great guy and excellent company.
The tour itself fits in an awful lot, so it will at times feel long, but there are plenty of opportunities to get out and about, including a self-guided tour of Aït Benhaddou, a tour of a movie set (in disrepair!) in Ouarzazate and then in Ourzazate itself on the first day. Incidentally, lunch on the first day was included as part of the movie set tour. We arrived into Ourzazate at about 4pm and checked into the hotel, which was quite nice, had lovely views from its pool and spa and hammam facilities (which weren't available).
Day two was more driving down through the Draa Valley to Zagora for lunch, arriving in Mhamid by mid-afternoon. In the end, we went to Erg Chiagaga, not Erg Lihoudi, which was great. I was alone at the camp and was very well looked after. The camels did, however, look a little sad. The camel ride up to the dunes was on arrival at about 16:30. In the early morning, I had a walk up myself, then breakfast and then back in the car to Marrakech. Lots of driving, but stunning views through the snowy and very windy mountains! We arrived back in Marrakech at about 18:00. It was a fantastic trip.
Incredible value for money. Mustafa is a fantastic guide, who put our safety and wellbeing first. He was flexible and adaptable and tailored the tour to suit our personal interests. The first hotel in Ouarzazate offered a terrace pool and restaurant, spa facilities and a bar. The highlight for us was the basic camp that we got to by trekking on camels for a couple of hours into the heart of the Sahara. Surrounded by huge, soft sandunes, sitting around a campfire eating soup and tagine was a truly authentic experience. The mud huts were basic but comfortable and had rustic charm but we chose to sleep under the stars outside instead. Waking up to the sunrise over the dunes is an experience we will never forget. Although on the outset it looked like we were trying to see and do a lot in a very short time, we came away feeling like we've really seen Morocco while still having plenty of time to relax and take it all in.
Trip to M'Hamid was spectacular. The hotel at Ousazarate was excellent. My guide Mostafa did everything possible to make me comfortable. I only wish he spoke English. Highlight of trip was listening to him recite portions of the Quran in Arabic. The Sahara camp was disorganized and never saw the dunes
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