Sahara Family Holiday
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We loved camping in the sahara - the space is amazing and the sand dunes great fun and the night sky spectacular. The drive through the Atlas mountains was amazing. The whole journey was incredible - a real family holiday.
Morocco is a fascinating and intoxicating country, full of vibrant colours and glorious scenery. My eight year old son and I enjoyed every minute of our Saharan Sands holiday, which delivered some unforgettable moments: Singing the Hokey Cokey, in a tent in the desert, with a team of camelteers; enjoying fantastic food, cooked by our own chef and drinking endless glasses of gorgeously aromatic mint tea; sleeping in a tent made from camel hair; watching the sun set over the dunes and seeing the kids slide down the sand like they were sledging.
Our guide, Mohamed was superb, possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of his homeland, along with boundless energy. He was able to switch from talking about Moroccan politics, with the adults, to playing an obscure form of Moroccan desert football, with the children, in an instant.
The landscape of Morocco was amazing. Every area we visited was different. Mountains, deserts, lush green fields and the martian type interior were all a feast for the eyes. The Sahara desert was an fantastic highlight and it was wonderful to sleep under the stars. The kids loved climbing up and down the sand dunes. I would throughally recommend a visit.
Our tour leader Mohamed Hjira was an excellent guide and host. He couldn't have been bettered. Calm, articulate, knowledgeable and very friendly.
Our tour guide was excellent - knowledgeable and helpful and fun. Visiting the desert was the highlight of the trip - magical. The chef who travelled with us was wonderful, producing amazing meals in tough environments - everyone ate very well! We wish he'd come with us to Marrakesh.
[Least enjoyed] The campsite in the village near the desert, we expected to be in the desert not in a village for the camping. The bins had not been emptied while we were away in the desert! The restaurants in Marrakesh were very slow and relatively expensive with average quality food.
We would have liked to have more nights in the desert, the camping was fun and more what we were expecting than the campsite in the village.
The hotels were simple, basic accommodation. The location of the hotel in Marrakesh was disappointing as it was a long walk to the centre.
He was a great facilitator for the trip, ensuring that we all got a lot out of the trip. The kids loved him! He was helpful and supportive throughout the trip.
Mrs N - Travelled in April 2012
The camel trek and booking a hamam on the last day.
The adverse weather conditions meant that in the desert there were no stars at night.Therefore the berber stories and campfire were also aborted even though something else could have been arranged. The vegetarian food was dreadful in the restaurants and the service was always awful. Many meals were forgotten, usually my sons. Ed's birthday was in his words the worst. His lovely cake was presented at 11pm after another horrible meal. Edward just thought noone cared. He had travelled much of the day and the guide had never mentioned it until then.He said that in his culture birthdays were not celebrated. The cake was lovely but I was saddened that Ed hadn't enjoyed himself. He may be 14 but he's still young.
I didn't wnat to write a negative report as the Indian holiday had been amazing. This holiday was wondeful in other ways. The camel trip was just what I wanted and I had such fun in the hamam which I booked myself. More time should be spent in Marrakesh. I thought the guide lacked initiative for entertainment when things are different to the usual like weather or birthdays. Although he enjoyed talking to some guests I felt overlooked as a single person and often very left out. It wasn't a great holiday and I really hope that China will be as amazing as the India one last year.
I have made my comments in another box.
Mrs F travelled in April 2012
Camping in the desert was fantastic if a little chilly. The children loved the freedom and enjoyed hurling themselves down the dunes.
Camping 'Berber style' is essentially sleeping under blankets on sticks and when we were there in Feb it was EXTREMELY cold. Also on site the toilets were not always functioning and the showers were more of a dribble than a downpour. However the children thought this lack of washing facility was a positive!
What a star
Mr R - Travelled in February 2012
The highlight for our children was definitely playing on the sand dunes with the other children on the tour. For the adults it was either bartering in the souks of Marrakech or the amazing number of stars visible at night in the desert. The pace of life in the desert was also a real plus. Within days of being on the tour work felt a million miles away.
The wait in Casablanca airport on the first night was the least enjoyable part of the trip. A three hour wait late at night with children when you don't have any currency is not the best way to spend the first evening. It does add a sense of getting of the beaten track however.
At first I thought that perhaps more could have been put into the itinerary than just going to Tazzarine and essentially just waiting there for a night either side of the camel trek. On reflection though it really helped set a relaxed pace that made the trip more enjoyable.
The hotel in Marrakech was a bit of a disappointment. It was a reasonable distance from the Medina (although there was a direct bus) and the rooms were not that great. In particular a hotel with reliable hot water after a few nights in the desert would be appreciated.
Our group leader Slimane Aziz and his assistant Mohamed Mazoz were bout outstanding and I would recommend them to any group. They were particularly good with the children teaching them Moraccan cards and learning some their games. Slimane's knowledge in particular was excellent and he answered all questions confidently or would find an answer if he didn't know. His organisation skills were outstanding and the trip ran very smoothly. None of the group wanted to do the tour of the Atlas Studios and he dealt with this easily, ensuring we got to see other things in the extra time this generated. Both of them are highly recommended.
Mr R - Travelled in February 2012
Thoroughly enjoyed the camel trek - to really get away from it all.
[Least enjoyed] The lack of shower facilities / hot water at the fixed camp.
During the road trips, volunteering / sharing information about the surrounding area / local history would have been appreciated.
Mr M - Travelled in December 2011