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A Desert Tale – Morocco revived

November 28, 2023

We were thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit the Moroccan Sahara so soon after the September 2023 earthquake. This trek has consistently been a beloved destination for the charities we collaborate with and is one of our most popular challenges. Our first trip back to Morocco since the earthquake departed in mid-October 2023. Our enthusiastic tour managers, who had explored the region within the last 12 months, accompanied the groups departing from the UK and reported back on their memorable trips.

Sahara Desert again, again and again

Ally Pinney, DTC’s Marketing Executive, returned with her group from Acorns Children’s Hospice and said:

“The Sahara was the very first of my overseas adventures six years ago before I came to work for Different Travel.  I fell in love with it back then and have been lucky enough to return twice more as a tour manager for Different Travel. When I heard about the quake, my initial thoughts were with my guide Abdul, whom I had been lucky enough to work with before, and if they were all safe. Thankfully, after a few silent days whilst their comms were down, I heard from him that he and his family were safe.”

Sahara desert

 

Itinerary

Our standard Sahara Desert itinerary will see you trek up to 50km across this diverse landscape over two half and two full days. You will be trekking across a20231025 184604 varied terrain including dried-up riverbeds, rocky plains as well as the infamous sand dunes.

When you are standing atop a dune and immersed in the experience, it’s easy to feel like you are in the middle of nowhere. The vastness of the sandy terrain as you stare out whilst watching the sunset will have you believe you are the only person for miles.

You will go back to basics as you camp two to a tent, eat dinner with your team sat on mats in a communal mess tent or around the campfire and comes to grips with very basic toilet facilities (see image on the right for size of the toilet tent!).

Along the way, you are bound to form life-long friendships with your fellow team members as you share stories, sing around the campfire, watch bread being baked on coals in the hot sand (weather permitting) and encourage others on their personal journey.

Some of our trips even have the option to give back to the community you are visiting by volunteering at a local project.

Participant Emma Neale said:

“It was the most amazing trip. I loved EVERYTHING about it. I loved that we were all there for Acorns (a charity very close to my heart and everyone there). I loved seeing the sunset and the sunrise every day and sleeping under the stars. I loved meeting so many different people and forming new friendships and I also loved that we helped with volunteering and made a real difference to their lives.”

An all-time favourite

The desert is one of DTC Accounts & Customer Service Executive Liv Corline’s favourite go-to places! She says:

“The Sahara desert is one of the most incredible places I’ve ever been to. The landscapes are constantly changing, it’s an absolutely magical place. I love sand! I love sleeping under the stars! Camp food is insanely good too! However one of the most rewarding things is sitting around the campfire, sharing life stories and watching my groups enjoying the desert as much as I do and discovering its magnificence.”

Speaking of her thoughts of the earthquake, Liv, who recently returned with supporters of St Michael’s Hospice, goes on to say:

“It was devastating to hear of the families who had lost loved ones and were having to rebuild their lives. But I was moved by the resilience of the Moroccan people who are faced with rebuilding their lives after the earthquake.”

Ruhubia Akbor, DTC Brand & Marketing Manager, who was tour manager for the group from St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice, added:

“The Sahara Desert Trek is one of our most popular challenges and it’s easy to see why. Words and pictures will never do this trip justice. You have to experience it for yourself to truly understand what it means. Traversing the dunes and plains, sleeping under the stars, sharing the adventure with a bunch of incredible, like-minded people, truly gives you memories that you will cherish forever. I can’t wait to go back!”

Sahara desert

 

Dani, previous participant, said:

“It was honestly the best thing I’ve ever experienced. I will remember it for the rest of my life. I laughed until I cried and met the most amazing people who will be friends for life!”

Weather changes

During these recent treks we learnt the earthquake had disrupted weather patterns resulting in daytime heat being hotter than usual and with unseasonably warm night time temperatures. In a twist, the team from St Luke’s arrived into the Sahara desert into a torrential downpour; something we had not seen in all the years we had been there.

However, to keep thriving and continue to pick themselves up, Morocco are desperate for the return of tourism! I don’t think there are any issues with that, Marrakech was certainly buzzing when we were there!

Other groups recently returned from the Sahara Desert were Julia’s House, Dragonfly Cancer Trust and Dove House Hospice.

Would you like to experience the Sahara for yourself? You can discover our upcoming Saharan trips by visiting this link.

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