Trekking the Ait Bougmez Happy Valley – High Atlas Foothills.Long accessible for a short 4 months of the year, and then largely only on foot, work upgrading roads and tracks since 2001 has opened up this beautiful area as never before. This new accessibility makes it easier to visit these once-remote villages, enjoy Berber/Amazigh hospitality, see timeless traditions and farming techniques, as well as new initiatives undertaken by the villagers to improve their lives and that of future generations; forget mobile phones, Ipads and all the stresses of modern living! Marvel at spectacular striped hills with soaring peaks as a backdrop to ancient rock and clay villages, orchards and farms clinging to impossible valley slopes. This area is also home to magnificent soaring eagles, mountain sheep and gazelles as well as smaller creatures, so take the time to look around as you pass by.
Our tours take you by vehicle and on foot and while they are not strenuous treks, a certain level of fitness is recommended and we would be happy to discuss this further with you.
Marrakech – Cascades d’Ouzoud – Ait Bougmez Agouti Camp:You will be picked up from your Marrakech accommodation by private vehicle and guide to begin the journey east. The first stop will be at one of Marrakech’s most popular day trips for tourists and locals alike, about 167kms from the city – the stunning Cascades d’Ouzoud. These waterfalls tumble down three tiers of rock 110m to the canyon below, and once past the tourist shops and restaurants above the falls, the cool of the canyon and pools in the river below will provide a delightful luncheon picnic spot.After lunch our drive continues through the town of Azilal, then taking a spectacular winding mountain road to cross the Tizi Oughbar Pass (2200m), we drop down to the valley of Ait Bougmez. This is the region known as the “Happy Valley”. Overnight camp at Agouti(1760m). Views can be had from here of the spectacular M’Goun Massif, another of the High Atlas’ popular trekking regions and second highest mountain in North Africa.
Distance today – 240kms ; Time – 5h driving.with lunch break
Agouti – Aguerd Noudad – Ain Ait Imi Camp:Today we begin our trek through theHappyValley. After breakfast our pathway takes us through the special natural beauty of this area, past traditional villages with tiny plots of stone terraced cultivated land clinging to the hillsides, or orchards of apples, cherry and walnuts among many other fruits. You may see the locals harvesting their crops, depending on time of year. We stop for lunch near the old, very interestingvillageofAguer-n-Ouzro, under the shade of nearby walnut trees and alongside a spring. After 2 hours, we will continue the trek via thevillageofAit Imi(2083m) with overnight camp at Ain Ait Imi.
Duration: 05hrs Includes: dinner and night .
Ain Ait Inmi – Rbat:After breakfast we continue our hike through the Happy Valley, the path talking us through more small villages, their gardens and orchards. We stop at the village of Ibakalouin to see ancient dinosaur tracks dating back to about 170 million years ago, then continue to Rbat where we camp for the night alongside a cooling stream. We are now at an altitude of about 2108m
Duration: 05hrs Includes B.L.D.
Rbat – Ifran – Ait Hkim Valley – Timite:After breakfast we continue our hike past thevillageofRbatthen leave the valley and cross the plateau of Aqqa-n-Oulzouay (at about 2473m) to join theAitHkmiValleyvia Ifran village. We continue through this unspoilt region of timeless landscape, to lunch at a carefully chosen spot by the river where shade trees offer a welcome rest. Having been refreshed, we continue to thevillageofTimitewhere we overnight in a local guesthouse or Gite. We are now at an altitude of about 1950m.
Duration: 6hrs Includes B.L.D
Timite – Marrakech:After breakfast we begin our return journey to Marrakech, reluctantly leaving the valleys behind. We meet the main road again, then head back to Marrakech.