(High Atlas Mountain, Skoura, Erg Chigaga, Ouarzazate, Marrakech)
There are colors in Morocco that exist nowhere else on Earth and aromas that seem straight from Heaven. Your first-class journey will have you sensing the finest Morocco has to offer.
Morocco offers a peerless and enduring fascination. With its richly-woven heritage, unique architecture and breathtaking landscapes of sand, mountains and surf, the country seduces all who cross its borders. Private vehicles and expert local guides will be at your service on this exclusive journey as you explore beautiful Arab cities, strikingly stark deserts and towering mountain ranges. In the evenings, relax in luxury tented camps and riads that offer sumptuous surroundings and heavenly Moroccan charms.
Start your journey in the high Atlas Mountains and stroll along a quiet lane overlooking the majestic snow-capped peaks. you will explore the series of hairpin turns, and visit a traditional Berber village. Then continue tour journey towards the Zagora, where a 4x4 vehicle will be waiting to take you to the dunes of Erg Chigaga, the doorway to the Sahara desert. Witness a glorious sunset over the desert from your tented camp, then behold a night sky you’ve never laid eyes on before. Enjoy an off road excursion through the Palm grove Oasis before heading to Marrakech to view the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque, El-Bahia Palace, and the famous Saadian Tombs. Discover the synergized spirit of North African and Oriental cultures and traditions whilst journeying along the once caravan routes between the High Atlas Mountain Range and the Sahara. Visit the capital and Imperial city of Marrakech; from medina to mosque this city has it all. Marvel at the ancient architecture as the city’s history whispers through the narrow alleyways and squares, where the once nightly carnival of singers, tumblers, sorcerers, herbalists, story-tellers and snake charmers enchanted the city, leaving an impression on the local people and their culture, which is sure to not only spark your interest but also entice your spirit. Experience the true essence of the Berber culture during this exclusive visit to Morocco whilst rooming in luxurious accommodations and touring in privately driven vehicles with highly experienced and knowledgeable guides throughout.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Welcome to Morocco! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by our local representative.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer from Casablanca to Marrakech. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
The Kasbah du Toubkal is an extraordinary venture, the product of an imaginative Berber and European partnership. There is a shared belief that the beauty of the Toubkal National Park should be accessible to all who respect it. To this end the Kasbah has been transformed using traditional methods, from the home of a Feudal Caid into an unprecedented haven; one that provides a variety of accommodation and event possibilities to meet differing requirements.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will be at your disposal for the day.
Prepare for a day of exploration and cultural enrichment as you head out aboard a 4-Wheel Drive vehicle into the picturesque surroundings of the High Atlas Mountains Ranges accompanied by a local expert guide. Depart in the morning from Asni to the hamlet if Imlil where the off-road adventure begins. Enjoy the view as you'll be driven along the serpentine, non-graveled roads to one of the highest perched villages of the range, some 2000 feet high. En-route, marvel at the many terrace-lined towns and small mud-brick houses. Make a stop along the way to the local old hydraulic and olive press which to this day is still in use. A visit to the Takherkhort Reserve is also scheduled where you can enjoy a walk through native flora and fauna, stopping along the way to take some photos of the Barbary sheep and the over 150 species of birdlife. Upon your arrival to the Mountain Lodge you will feel the greatest sense of homeliness and comfort by the welcoming scent of freshly baked bread, as the local woman demonstrate Berber hospitality at its finest. As the ancient oven continues to bake, you will be seated on a panoramic terrace and served local delicacies and of course some of that freshly baked bread as you admire the almost surreal surroundings. From here, you will be driven to the town of Tahanoute, a picturesque village set amongst a variety of olive groves, and citrus trees for an opportunity to admire the red clay structures built according traditional Berber construction techniques. A local resident will prepare a home-cooked meal for your enjoyment, with a special "table-setting" atop their roof. This opportunity allows you to experience the everyday life of these mountain people.
Travel in a private vehicle with an English speaking driver for this transfer between the High Atlas Mountain region and Skoura. The approximate travel time is 3.5 hours.
Depart at around 10AM for a morning off road excursion through the Palm grove Oasis around Skoura. Marvel at the mud architecture of the Kasbahs providing amazing views of the Atlas Mountain range. The palm groves of the area were laid out in the 12th century by the Almohad sultan Yacoub el-Mansour and named after its original inhabitants, the Berbers of the Haskourene tribe. Skoura is often referred to as the “Valley of One Thousand Kasbahs” and boast some of the most famed kasbahs in Morocco. The Ben Morro Kasbah stands on the left of the road above Skoura. It was built in the 17th Century, completely restored, and converted into a guest house. The most imposing of the kasbahs in this area that you will tour is 17th Century Amerhidil Kasbah. This fortified residence once belonged to the most powerful family responsible for protecting the village and its lands called the Glaoui. Today it is owned by the Sheikh of Amerhidil. Finally, the Kasbah of Aït Abou, built in the 1800’s and the oldest Kasbah in the palm grove, is six stories with walls 25 m high. Its surrounding buildings have been turned into a garden filled with pomegranate, apple, pear, fig, quince and olive trees that provide the necessary shading for growing crops.
Ideally located 45 minutes from Ouarzazate City (international airport) towards the Dadés & Todra Gorges, Merzouga’s desert. This exclusive ‘maison d’hôtes’ of a typical and traditional architecture, is nestled in a palm grove, 6 kilometers from the village of Skoura stretching towards the High Atlas Mountains.
A private vehicle with an English speaking driver will provide a transfer from Skoura to M'Hamid. you will be driving through the stunning, colourful valley of the Dades, dividing the High Atlas from the Djebel Sarhro range. The travel time is approximately 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Once in M'hamid you will be taken by 4x4 vheicle through the dunes between M'Hamid and Erg Chigaga, Morocco. The approximate travel time is 2 hours.
The Erg Chigaga Luxury Camp is located in the middle of the desert outside of the imperial city of Marrakech. Experience the tranquility of the simmering vistas, intense colourful dunes by day and the magical clear skies and bright stars in the evening. This private nomadic camp boasts spacious tented accommodations accompanied by typically excellent Berber hospitality. Enjoy your special night under the stars at this beautiful Oasis in a premium tented camp. Experience a camel ride at sunset and sunrise from the top of the dunes. Your desert experience includes an authentic Moroccan dinner under the stars and breakfast in the morning.
A private vehicle with driver will provide a transfer between Erg Chigaga and M'Hamid, Morocco. The approximate travel time is 2 hours.
A private vehicle with an English speaking driver will provide a transfer from M'Hamid to Ouarzazate. The travel time is approximately 4 hours.
On the edge of the desert at Ouarzazate where the stunning light shines on a setting of natural beauty, Hotel Riad Ksar Ighnda opens its doors for you onto the Atlas Mountains: a rendezvous for discerning lovers of luxurious sensations and relaxation.
Relax as a private vehicle with English speaking driver provides a transfer towards Marrakech, for a visit to the village of Ait Ben Haddou. Located approximately 60 kilometers from Skoura this fortified village (or ksar) is ideally positioned along a once frequented, ancient caravan route linking the Sahara and Marrakech. Ait Ben Haddou has been used in numerous Hollywood film productions for its distinctive architecture. In 1987 this famed location was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, travel to the village of Telouet, located approximately 1 hour north of Ait Ben Haddou. Telouet hosts one of the area's most recognized structures, the palace of the 'Lord of the Atlas.' This palace was the residence of the once Vizier of Marrakech, back in the early 20th Century. An evocative relic of the time when the Glaoui clan ruled over the Atlas and Marrakech, the palace was the family’s Headquarters and was situated in a dramatic location, on a broad mountain valley, providing sweeping views of the peaks on all sides. Continue from here back onto the main road back to Marrakech, crossing on the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka passage through the High Atlas Mountains range on the way. Whilst passing take time to notice the many beautifully-terraced valleys and adobe villages perched precipitously on the hillsides.
Travel today between Ouarzazate and Marrakech in a private vehicle with an English speaking driver. The route through Ouarzazate to Marrakech offers wonderful photo opportunities including views of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Aït Ben Haddou, where movies such as Gladiator and Jesus Of Nazareth were filmed, and the dramatic Tizi n'Tichka mountain pass.
The Les Jardins de la Médina Hotel is located in down-town Marrakech, in the Kasbah district, close to the Royal Palace, and just a few minutes walk from the famous Jemma El Fnaa square lined with colourful markets. This 4 stars hotel is a magical place hidden behind high walls, and boasts picturesque gardens filled with oranges, olives and jacaranda trees. Les Jardins de la Medina Marrakech is one of Marrakech's most stylish hotel offering guests the comfort and amenities associated with modern hotels but set in the historical style of a traditional Moroccan riad.
Your tour usually starts at the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. This mosque's beautiful minaret dominates the skyline of Marrakech and can be seen from almost every approach to the city thanks to a long-standing planning ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above the height of a palm tree. You will also visit the El-Bahia Palace, this 19th century palace is elaborate in its decoration and was built over a period of seven years for Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. There are row after row of apartments—that once housed Ahmed's harem—a trapezoidal garden, a huge tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures, both in the form of antique objects d'art and the palace's convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture. One of most visited sites in Morocco is the Saadian Tombs which were only accessible via the mosque next door. However, in 1917 they were opened to the public and can now be accessed via a narrow passage that leads to an enclosed garden watched over by two mausoleums that include more than one hundred mosaic decorated tombs. The Koranic School Medersa Ben Youssef which is a Theological college founded by the Merenid Sultan Abu Hassan in the 14th century, and restored in 1564 by the Saadians who made it the largest theological college in the Maghreb and a rival to the important Medersa Bou Inania in Fés.
After breakfast, your guide will meet you and you'll drive to the coastal city of Essaouria (approx 2.5 hours) Upon arrival you'll embark on a tour of this charming whitewashed town which was formerly a Portuguese colony. You'll explore the lively port, the colourful souk its ramparts, and the lovely street of thuya craftsman. For lunch you may wish to eat at one of the many fish stalls near to the port where the mornings catch is on display and cooked right in front of you. You'll have the rest of the day to explore on your own before driving back to Marrakech.
Morning guided tour by horse drawn carriage of the Gardens of Majorelle, a property acquired in 1922 by the painter of the same name. Since 1980 it has belonged to Yves Saint Laurent and is an oasis in the heart of the city rich with flora. You'll also explore the Gardens of Menara. Planted with olive-trees, the park extends for over a hundred hectares and has in its center an immense pool dating from the XIIth century. At the edge of water, a small Saadien house completely rebuilt during the last century takes on an array of beautiful gilded colours as the sun sets. The rest of the afternoon/evening is free for you to enjoy the city.
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
Sleep in this morning and relax at your hotel.
A private vehicle with English speaking driver will provide a transfer between Marrakech and Casablanca. The approximate travel time is 2 hours and 30 minutes.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
Avi J.Moskovitz ,
February 03, 2014
"We finally returned from the most magical vacation in Morocco and we cannot thank Lily and Kensington Tours enough!! This trip was beyond amazing and we are so appreciative for everything done to make this trip happen last minute for us!
We had a spectacular tour guide that spoke 8 languages, Ismail, and the friendliest and warmest driver, Said, whom made the experience absolutely phenomenal! Not only did we learn and see, but we laughed, danced, ate like pigs, kissed camels and snakes, ran in the Sahara desert under the stars, and enjoyed life - which is the best gift of all!
Avi J. Moskovitz & Armando Silva
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
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