We have given a grading to each of our trek itineraries. Trek grading takes into account a number of factors including, length of trek and walking days; average altitude reached; altitude gains and losses during the trek; trail conditions; level of support during trek (porters, mules, camels, etc); weather conditions; remoteness of the trek and availability of services
Our grading is designed to give you an overall indication of the difficulty of a trek so you may better judge your fitness for a particular itinerary. Many factors can contribute to the difficulty of a trek and it is not always possible to be absolutely precise in grading. Our best advice is to undertake some fitness preparation before you come on your trek so you are better able to cope with conditions and make the most of your trip.
A – Easy
Previous trekking experience not necessary. Suitable for those in good health who lead an active life. Usually shorter duration treks at lower altitudes. Expect occasional ascents and descents with some exertion. Walking generally 4 to 5 hours per day.
You need to be in good health, reasonably fit and normally be undertaking regular exercise. Previous hill walking experience recommended. May include some walking at higher altitudes. Harder short-duration trek or medium duration treks, which may include a longer or more difficult day for a pass crossing. Walking generally 5 to 7 hrs per day.
C – Strenuous
You must be fit for treks at this grade and should do good preparation before your trip. Higher altitudes are usually reached during the trek, with greater gains and losses as high passes are crossed. More remote areas may be covered. Walking normally from 6 to 8 hrs per day. Previous trekking experience is highly recommended.
D – Hard
You must be fit and have some previous trekking experience, preferably at high altitudes. You must be confident of your physical condition and be able to cope with long, continuous trekking days, often on difficult terrain. Extremes of high altitude and weather may be encountered. Walking from 6 to 9 hrs per day, occasionally more for difficult sections.
The deserts and mountains of Morocco are a relatively sheltered domain. The environment is fragile and the socio-cultural traditions should be respected. We ask that you take note of the following guidelines:
Trekkers' clothing should be modest (covered shoulders, upper arms and legs) especially in or around villages.
Always ask permission before photographing local people and respect their wishes if they refuse.
Please do not distribute sweets, pens, money and other items to children as it encourages begging.
Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting your trek guide.
Degradable refuse should be safely burnt and the remains buried. Other refuse (tins, bottles, etc) should be carried out of the area to an appropriate place for disposal.
Crops and plantations should be respected and only dead wood used for fires.
Water supplies are drawn from local streams, so please limit the use of soaps and detergents and make sure you use those that are biodegradable/eco-friendly. When toileting in the wild, please keep away from water sources.
Where there is a toilet, please use it. Where there is none, keep away from water sources and make sure you bury your waste. Toilet paper should be used sparingly and be burned and buried safely or taken out of the area for disposal.
To help stay healthy during your trek you should ensure you drink plenty of water at all times, even when the temperatures are cooler. Use high factor sunscreen, lip balm and wear a hat to protect against the sun, even when overcast. When cold wear a head covering and gloves to reduce loss of body heat.
Always maintain personal hygiene and use disinfectant for your hands, especially after toilet and before eating. We recommend you bring some disinfectant/antibacterial hand gel which can be used even when there is no water supply.
Water for bathing during a trek may be limited, so we recommend you bring wet wipes/moist tissues (must be disposed of correctly).
There may be a limit to the amount of bottled drinking water that can be carried during the trek. In this case, water may have to be drawn from local wells. This water should not be considered drinkable unless boiled or treated. You should bring water purifying tablets or iodine with you, as these are not readily available in Morocco . We recommend you also bring your own sturdy water bottle (and insulated carrier bag) so you can treat your own water easily.
You should bring your own personal medical supplies, including rehydration salts, blister kit, supply of plasters, pain killers, anti-diarrhoea medication, sunscreen, insect repellent, necessary medicines, etc.
Should you encounter any problems, please make sure you let your trek guide know.
Trek Food and Drinks
All meals are provided during the trek, as stated in the itinerary. Water and soft drinks are at your own expense. Meals are prepared by our trek support team, but if you would like to lend a hand, you will be more than welcome! Food is bought locally and the choice of food and availability of fresh items depends on the season. Breakfast is usually a simple affair of bread, jam, tea/coffee. Lunches normally consist of salads, occasionally with eggs or tinned fish. Dinners are normally traditional Berber-style meals of soup and tagine. Biscuits and trail-mix are supplied while walking, and of course plenty of mint tea! You may also like to bring your own snacks especially energy bars, chocolate, sweets and dried fruits.
Please note that meat is often the main feature of a meal and can be found in many dishes, even if only as stock. Therefore, if you are a strict vegetarian you may experience a distinct lack of variety in the food available. Meat is usually substituted with eggs, cheese or lentils. Separate vegetarian meals can be prepared. Whilst we will do our best to accommodate special requests, all food is bought locally and variety may be limited, so your patience and understanding is requested. If you have special dietary needs, you should come prepared with your own food/ snacks as supplements. You may like to even bring your own vegetarian stock cubes for soup preparation. You must advise us at the time of booking if you have special dietary requirements.
Trek Support Team
Your trek will be led by a qualified mountain guide, normally English-speaking. You will also be accompanied by muleteers/camel drivers (mules/camels carry luggage and equipment during the trek) and a cook (for groups of 5 or more people). Your trek team will take care of necessary tasks, such as preparation of meals, loading of mules/camels and setup of communal camp facilities (you will need to set up your own sleeping tents). But a helping hand from you is always welcome!
Most trek itineraries include nights spent camping. We provide two-person tents with foam mattresses. If you would prefer a little more comfort, you may like to also bring your own sleeping mat. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping sheet for the trek. There will usually be a communal tent set up for eating or just getting out of the elements.
Some itineraries include accommodation in a village house or gite. Sleeping arrangements are usually multishare. Washing and toilet facilities will be communal.
As you will be trekking through remote areas, washing and toilet facilities are basic and may be limited, if non-existent. Most often only cold water is available. As far as possible camp sites are chosen near to water sources, however this is not always feasible. A water supply is carried when sources are limited, but this is mostly required for cooking and drinking purposes, so bathing may not be possible. Toilet facilities will normally be squat toilets, however fixed structures are unlikely to exist in remote trekking areas, therefore toilets will be ‘au naturelle'. Please observe our tips on responsible trekking and ensure that you bury and burn any waste, or carry it away with you.
Note re upgrading accommodation – should you wish to upgrade your trip accommodation, this does not normally apply to trekking parts of an itinerary. In most itineraries there are no alternatives to camping or the village gite that we specify in the itinerary. Should there be the possibility of an alternative, we will advise this when providing details for an upgrade request.
Trek Equipment and Luggage Requirements
All equipment and luggage is carried on mules/camels, however there is a limit to the amount of luggage that should be taken on a trek. Personal luggage to be carried on the trek should be limited to 12kg per person . You should bring a durable soft duffle bag or frameless backpack for your luggage – hard suitcases and framed bags are not suitable for loading on mules/camels. Any luggage not required during the trek can usually be left in storage at your hotel from where you started. You should come prepared with an extra bag for this.
We provide all camping and cooking equipment required during the trek, with the exception of sleeping bags. We recommend you bring a 3 to 4 season sleeping bag, depending on the time of year you are trekking. A sleeping sheet (lightweight insert for your sleeping bag) is always a useful addition as it can be used separately when hot, or can help add insulation when cold.
We provide simple foam mattresses for the tents. Should you prefer extra comfort, you should bring your own sleeping mat/trek mattress. Please ensure that it can be packed well and reasonably small for transporting on the mules/camels.
Our treks usually follow mule paths or tracks. However footing can often be treacherous, with loose shale rocks or sand. We recommend you bring good hiking boots with ankle support. You should ensure they are well broken in before coming on your trip to reduce the possibility of blisters or walking problems. If you prefer, you may also like to bring a walking pole to assist you on difficult paths.
Morocco is a Muslim country, and as such dress should be fairly modest. We recommend you wear long or three-quarter length trousers (as opposed to shorts) during your trek and cover your shoulders, especially when visiting villages. Items such as a large scarf or sarong can be useful for covering up, or protection from the elements.
There are a number of other items that we recommend you bring for your trekking trip:
Daypack for carrying camera, water, sweater and other personal items you might need each day whilst trekking
Small travel towel
Water bottle and carrier
Torch and spare batteries
Toilet paper and matches/lighter for burning it (can buy these locally on arrival)
Hat, sunglasses, lip balm and high factor sunscreen for protection
Sandals or lightweight shoes for use around camp
Personal medical kit
Spare film and batteries for cameras
Book or other items you might want for relaxing time