They say the first people to settle on the Moroccan lands were Les Maures, is this the way that they arrived? With 52 days from the last major Waddi and Timbuktu you will find the capital of the Draa Valley; Zagora. 360 km to Marrakech. 615 km to Casablanca. 550 km to Agadir.
There are other ways of getting to Zagora apart from the traditional trade route to Timbuktu. Airport and taxi are easy. Otherwise its the 5 hr drive from Marrakech which will give you the impressions of the Draa Valley that you will keep for a life time as the Waddi snakes its way into the approaching Sahara sands.
This snaking valley from Agdez to M'hamid holds the Draa River; the longest river in Morocco, its course takes it from the High Atlas mountains to the Atlantic Ocean on the way it is swallowed up by the sands and rock of the desert before reappearing on the coast close to Agadir.
With the air temperature being close to 40'c and more in the summer, you move, you sweat. You will not see the water literally running off your body as the super hot air evaporates it into history. If you get out into the sun be careful. The best time of the day is the morning, get up when its dark, and enjoy the most breath taking sun rises of your life, the colours are out of this world, the temperature is pleasant, as the sun rises over the sands.
A waddi stretching into the Sahara holding thousands of the palm trees living off the sweet water from Agdz to Mhamid; the Draa Valley. The main agriculture is the sweet dates which have been planted on the sides of the the river. Here you will find over 50 varieties of date which are being farmed by the local population.
Sahara Travel : The town gives the impression of an economy based on the trade which passes through her gates. They all offer guides, who will show you around. If its a trip to M'hamid by Camel, 4x4, mountain bike (VTT), Quad or motorbike you will have no problems finding a professional guide to show you about.
This town of Zagora gives an ideal opening into Sahara travel. The hotels, camping and products needed for a comfortable holiday are present.
You can discover the waddi and the desert on the back of a camel (dromedary- fast one- humped brother.) and spend the evenings camped under the "hotel of 1000 stars" as you talk about the days happenings from your nomade tent. You will have eaten "Khobz " from the local ovens with your tajine cooked on an open fire.
Traditionally these caravans were led by nomadic desert tribes (Sanhaga, Zagoua, Toubou and Tuareg) these nomadic men's knowledge of the land and ownership of their camels "the ship of the desert" has now opened up a new market for them. Or you can leave from Marrakech in a 4x4 for a superb off and on road tour taking in the main parts of this beautiful countryside form the security of a Land Rover.
Need a garage? This is the general garage of Zagora. I had the back end of the camper rebuilt after the hard Moroccan pistes had shaken the back end.. Zaouit Elbaraka. If you are doing a tour and need a mechanic on the trip, you will be able to take one of the team with you for the duration.
Larose des Sables - This Bazaar in Zagora has a good collection of meteorites which have been found in the Sahara.
Great doors which have been collected from the surrounding villages and many other items... Tea for everybody who opens the door. Centre of the town in front of the (market) souk. Which is open on Wednesdays and Sundays. Here you will find the best prices. Watch out they know how to barter!