This ‘lost world’- an almost virgin territory for experienced climbers and mountain walkers is something definitely not to be missed. A tough hike over shattered rock leading to spectacular views and a true sense of isolation on a verdant plateau in an otherwise stark landscape.This ‘lost world’- an almost virgin territory for experienced climbers and mountain walkers is something definitely not to be missed. A tough hike over shattered rock leading to spectacular views and a true sense of isolation on a verdant plateau in an otherwise stark landscape.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: GRADE TWO TO THREE- Between moderate and mostly strenuous, boots essential. You need to be reasonably confident of your fitness and endurance levels, preferably having had previous experience of trekking at altitude and variations of climate, full support team, clearly there are many differing factors that contribute to the difficulty of a particular hike, including length of day, terrain, altitude and weather conditions. Since these factors are necessarily variable, any system of grades can only provide a general indication. We have tried to make our system as clear as possible, but it cannot account for personal abilities or experience.
We set out early from Agadir to drive eastwards for some 70 minute alongside the trailing edge of the Western High Atlas- witch stretch from Agadir to Tunis, in Tunisia- towards the pre Islamic era Berber town of tarouddant, known also as Marrakech in Miniature.At Tafdachte we change our vehicle to an open lighttruck- the sole method of transport, other than 4WD- which can take us into this virgin (for hikers) region- or continue on in our 4 Wd, depending on the vehicle selected- to drive along a tortuous dirt road fr more than 3 hours up into the upper foothills of the Tichka Plateau range, until we reach the Berber market village market of Afensou. Here we alight from our vehicle for a “warm-up” hike of a couple of hours in the valley up through the remarkable Ait Oued Hajj Valley, with its stark slopes, sudden palmeraies and terraced irrigated fields, to the Berber village of Hadd Imoulas. We shall picnic in the surrounding area prior to taking an easy 2 hour hike around the slopes along zigzagging mule tracks, passing through several Berber hamlets clinging to the slopes, with more terraced irrigated fields of barley and corn, palmeraies and almond groves, the ever-present twinned peaks of Jbels Tinergwet (3551m) and Awlim (3482m) frowning down on us. We circle back to Imoulas to our campsite and dinner for the night.
After an early breakfast and camp struck, we set out further up the valley slopes along corkscrewing mule tracks, passing the hamlets of Al Khoums, Aguerd and Megdal between tne Akouchtim and Igui Lbour Heights, until we reach the last village in the upper valley- Igounane. Here we shall stop for our welcome picnic. Now it gets hard. We get to hike up the stony and steep, winding mule and goat tracks for some 3 hours ever closer to the highest peaks in the Plateau of a Thousand Peaks, until we reach the Aazib, where we shall pitch our tents and dine under the vast canopy of stars and stark mountain tops.
Eat a hearty breakfast, for today is going to be quite a challenge. Early this morning, and I mean early, we strike out fot the summit of Jbel Tinergwet. Due the relative inaccessibility of this region, very few hikers or trekkers have made it to the top of this awesome peak. After half a day’s slog up hairpin mule and goat trails we get to sit on the summit to picnic amidst the incredible panorama of the craggy peaks of the continuing chain- Tit Ouilli (3247m), Mtdadene (3366m), and Moulay Ali (3349m), the Tichka Plain, the distant fertile Souss Plain and the Adrar Tighemit (2139m). Whenever you are ready, we set off back down for another 4 to 5 hours to the Aazib Issoual for our very welcome dinner and bivouac.
DAY4: AAZIB ISSOUAL- IGHIL- IFRANE- TANFACHT. Breakfast, camp struck and we’re off on a relatively easy 6 hour hike down dose winding, narrow mule tracks alongside a small assif, past occasional palmeraies and isolated terraced, irrigated plots through the hamlets of Ighil, Issoulane and Ifrane, where we shall stop for our picnic, surrounded by almond trees and an impressive quiet. From here, we strike out down a dirt path for another 2 to 3 hours until we reach the Berber village of Tanfacht for our dinner and overnight in a basic Berber family’s house.
Breakfast, camp struck and we’re off on a relatively easy 6 hour hike down dose winding, narrow mule tracks alongside a small assif, past occasional palmeraies and isolated terraced, irrigated plots through the hamlets of Ighil, Issoulane and Ifrane, where we shall stop for our picnic, surrounded by almond trees and an impressive quiet. From here, we strike out down a dirt path for another 2 to 3 hours until we reach the Berber village of Tanfacht for our dinner and overnight in a basic Berber family’s house.
Our last convivial breakfast together with our guide and muleteers prior to setting off towards the east along a pleasant valley with picnic en route, back to Afensou, where we rejoin our “camionette”, or 4WD, some 2½ hours later which takes us down this splendid, isoulated valley to Tafdachte, where we change t oa Grand Taxi on to Tarouddant, or continue in our 4 WD? AND BACK TO Agadir and the end of a stimulating few days’ adventure hiking.
Private round trip transportation Agadir to Tarouddant and to and from trailhead. An experienced licensed bi –lingual mountain guide throughout. 3 nights’ accommodation in bivouac, 1 night Berber House, 4 picnic lunches, 3 breakfasts and 3 dinners, igloo tents and undermates, cook, pack animals and support team.
After breakfast and check-out, you will meet your driver for your 3 hour transfer to Casablanca’s airport for your flight.
Medical or accident insurances outside of the Taxis or 4 WDs. No local insurance is carried by the camionettes. Gratuities to guide/ muleteer. Any expenditure of a personal nature. Bottled or gaseous water, nor anything not specifically mentioned in the itinerary.
stout walking boots, sleeping bags (3-4 seasons), windcheaters or slickers, hats, ski caps, gloves (seasonal), small First Ait Kit, filled water bottle and /or water purification tablets/drops- usually iodine, lip balm, personal toiletries and towels, rambler pole(s), thermal underwear(November to April), LED headlamp or torch with batteries, insect repellent, sunglasses and sunblock, trowel and penknife- do not pack in hand baggage for flights, hygienic ‘Wipes’, nibbles ( dried fruit or muesli). Camera and extra toilet rolls would come in handy.
N.B: Meals are normally:
Breakfast- mint tea, coffee, milk, bread, butter, jam, cheese, honey,cereal.
Picnic lunch- Fresh Moroccan salad; cheese, tinned tuna fish, mint tea, bread, fruit.
Dinner- Tagine (chicken or mutton), couscous or spaghetti rotated according to the duration of the trek, bread, coffee, mint tea, cake, fruit,
those vegetarians or vegans amongst us need to pre-advice at time of reservation.
Please be prepared for minimal ablutions- and absolutely no “tourists”.