ABOUT LIVING MOROCCO
WHY LIVING MOROCCO IS DIFFERENT:
We taste the essence of Morocco: the vast, stark, diverse beauty of its land and people, and the living culture of its heritage, a rich confluence of Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. We do this by:
. offering the most unique and varied hiking trips found in Morocco (North Africa); many destinations can only be entered on foot, by mule, or camel. Each trip reflects incredible diversity: in ecosystems (from ocean, desert/oases, high mountains, plains, river valleys, to gorges and buttes), awesome scenery, types of Berber tribes, physical challenges, and activities we do.
. traveling in small, intimate groups (5-12 persons) facilitates access to out-of-the-way places unaccustomed to visitors.
. introducing special-interest journeys such as drawing outdoors from the landscape, Moroccan cuisine, the splendors of souk shopping, and yoga ... led by inspired pros.
. supporting local business and bringing currency directly to people in the countryside. No global high-rise hotels, guides on commission, and predictable packaged tours.
. following the ethics of responsible, non-invasive travel, respecting natural habitats and the traditions of indigenous people during our treks.
. setting up "shared exchanges" between you and our hosts. This means sharing meals with our Moroccan staff, staying at Berber homes overnight or for tea, visiting village schools, artisan co-ops, and exchanging verbal and non-verbal greetings, gifts, and extra-ordinary experiences.
. a range of accommodations and food to match, from nomadic camps to pashas' palaces: true to tradition, style, and warm hospitality.
. providing professional, sensitive leadership: each trip is co-led by an American Trip Leader and a Moroccan licensed wilderness guide trained by Living Morocco; our staff comes from the regions we explore.
WHAT LIVING MOROCCO TRIPS ARE LIKE
We bring together people who share common interests and values into a small band ranging from 5-12 persons so bonds develop easily and quickly. Groups are co-led by an experienced American and a well-trained Moroccan guide who have personally organized these trips based on a passion for, and familiar knowledge of, the regions; a concern for consistency, your safety and well-being, and a zest for true exploration. We schedule our trips in late spring and autumn, off-season, to enjoy Morocco at its best climate and without the tourist crowds.
Journey vs. Itinerary
Our emphasis is on the journey, not a stop-and-hurry-up, sight-seeing tour. We aim for a mix of reasonably challenging, evenly-paced physical activity, fun, cultural encounters, shared exchanges, and time alone to take in all the wondrous beauty. Although we follow a daily schedule, we believe in serendipity where opening your heart to what could be the simplest happening adds up to a string of unforgettable, joyful experiences.
Our group members are guests: within the context of Moroccan hospitality, this means true reciprocity, respecting the traditions, customs, and land of the hosts, especially in the more remote areas where survival depends on this. We are not invasive when we enter a village or wilderness; we seek to learn, and are sensitive to the differences between cultures; we act modestly in dress and manner; we abstain from alcohol while in the field to fit in with Muslim law; we might partake in some customs that brings us closer to our hosts, and we leave our "stops" pristine.
Land Rovers offers flexibility and mobility to our roving band. In places where there are no roads, we go on foot with mules carrying baggage, camp equipment, and provisions, and in the desert, a caravan of camels transports us to our destinations.
In towns, we stay at maison d'hotes or riyads (elegant B & B's) that become our sanctuaries, all with private baths. Here we rest, take meals, perhaps stroll in the garden courtyard or entertain in beautiful salons. While in the field, an exquisite setting is chosen that brings nature closer to us. A place so solitary you might hear the beating of your own heart. Our nomadic-style camp holds one-or-two-person sleeping tents arranged for privacy as well as cook, dining/lounge, toilet, and shower tents. Or if convenient, we can simply bed down in the home of a Berber family.
Living Morocco knows just how important good, reliable eating is when you are traveling in foreign places. In the field, we have a very caring, experienced native cook who grew up on regional Moroccan cuisine, but has been trained to know Western appetites. Emphasis is on fresh, well-balanced, and healthy ingredients in the creation of authentic dishes. Where possible, lodgings have been selected especially for their culinary excellence. Serving is done family-style, in most cases.
Prices listed in Trip Details and Trips Summary cover land arrangements only, and do not include international and internal flights. Our trip prices are based on the size of the group (two-tier pricing) and our resourcefulness, affording the best value for your travel dollars. We try to streamline our costs by directly dealing, in most cases, with our own sources in Morocco, and we try to pass this economy on to you. Initially, prices are calculated at the higher tier, 5-8 persons, where total costs are divided among a smaller number of group members. When the group is finalized prior to departure, a refund is issued if the second (or lower price) tier is reached; that is, when the group reaches 9-12 persons, and a larger number of people share the costs.