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Calling out to off-road bikers who have reasonable experience and want some more. If you have a previous sand experience, you surely would not want to miss this tour as Moto Aventures will teach you how to deal with the dunes. Feel the adrenaline as you ride fast on 85 percent off-road, across vast dried desert lakes, through sandy river beds, fesh-fesh, and rocky tracks up through the southern foothills of the High Atlas Mountains. Yours to conquer are the three dune areas of Erg Chegaga or the "Sea of Dunes," the Ousina Rimal dunes close to the desert bivouac, and the famous Cathedral Dunes of Erg Chebbi, at 154 meters, the highest in Morocco! Wind your way over the Jbel Saghro, considered some of the most beautiful mountains in Morocco. Spend the nights in top quality accommodations or under the stars in the bivouac, 90 kilometers from the nearest road, with a campfire, local musicians, beer, and wine.
During this motorcycle tour, you will stay at twin-share rooms in top-quality accommodations or desert bivouacs.
You will stay in Ouarzazate on nights one and seven.
Relax in Foum Zguid on night two.
Unwind in Oualid Driss on night three.
Get cozy in Ouzina on night four.
Doze off in Merzouga on night five.
Have a well-earned rest in Dades on night six.
You will arrive at Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ) and have a short transfer to the three-star Riad-style hotel.
You will have breakfast at 08:00 a.m. and leave at 09:00 a.m. You will travel 17 kilometers on asphalt before turning onto your first track of the day. It will take 80 kilometers before you see asphalt again so there will be plenty of time to get used to your bike and the terrain.
The track will be twisting and undulating, with a few loose rocky sections. A refreshment stop at the tarmac, then you will be off again along a 50-kilometer fast but twisting section of hard packed sand. Watch out for surprises.
You will enjoy a picnic lunch under an acacia tree near the gold mine in Bou Azzer.
After lunch, you will have some nice desert riding through low hills before hitting the plateau leading towards Foum Zguid and your hotel for the evening. The hotel has a great pool and beer waiting for you.
It will be a long dune day. You will leave your hotel for five kilometers on the road to the town of Foum Zguid where you will refuel before heading out into the desert. Rocky at first, you will soon arrive at the hopefully dry lake bed of Lake Iriki. Then, 40 kilometers of fast riding across the lake will bring you to the western side of the Chegaga Dunes.
For those up for it, there are also around 40 kilometers of medium sized dunes to be crossed before you arrive at the bivouac where you will stop for lunch. As there are plenty more opportunities of dune riding later on, those not wanting to commit to the dunes at that early stage of the tour can take a 60-kilometer diversion around the dunes.
However, you will have an 18-kilometer sandy riverbed to negotiate before the lunch stop. After lunch, there will be some fast riding across a plateau and some small dunes to cross before you reach the asphalt in M'Hamid. Thereafter, six kilometers of road will bring you to your three-star hotel, where, as always, pool and beers await.
It will be a fast days’ ride, skirting the Algerian border. Leaving at 09:00 a.m., you will head to the six-kilometer back up the road to M'Hamid where you will refuel the bikes. From there, you will head straight back into the small dunes and sandy riverbeds and 40 kilometers north towards the village of Tazzarine.
You will refuel and set off winding through the palmeraie alongside the River Draa. Once back into the desert, you can expect to be stopped by the Moroccan military on at least two different occasions as the border with Algeria is not far away and has become a sensitive area once again.
Thereafter, great and fast desert tracks once used on the Paris-Dakar Rally await you. You will stop and see the crash site of the South African, Elmer Symons, who died there in 2007 whilst participating in the rally. The site is marked by a large stone cairn. A waypoint on your GPS will remind you to take care on the fast desert tracks.
Lunch will be at a desert auberge on Lake Maider, a large dry soda lake. Foreign-owned and serving only Portuguese food, it will be a nice change from couscous and tajine!
From there it is 60 kilometers of sand and fesh-fesh or bulldust before you arrive at the Desert Bivouac for the evening which is located alongside some medium dunes. You will ascend a 60-meter dune and toast the sunset before having an amazing meal and listening to the local drummers whilst sitting around a blazing campfire.
It will be a short fifth day as you maximize your time in the big “cathedral” dunes of Erg Chebbi. After breakfast, you will leave the bivouac at 09:00 a.m. and set off for Morocco’s highest dunes in Erg Chebbi. There are more than 20 cathedral dunes that are more than 100 meters in height with the highest being 154 meters above the plateau. For those of you up to it, you can ride them all.
The track from the bivouac to the dunes will traverse an open plain with many acacia trees. The area reminds one of East Africa, just missing the giraffe grazing in the trees. Expect some sandy and rocky sections on what is in the most part of a fast couple of hours riding.
On arrival at the hotel, you will have a quick coffee break and move into your rooms before venturing out into the sand. You will be back for lunch at the hotel. After lunch, you will relax by the hotel pool until 04:00 p.m. then you will hit the dunes again until sunset. Then, you can have a beer while watching the sun go down from one of the highest dunes.
It will be your longest day with some fast desert riding and some slow mountain sections as you traverse the Jbel Saghro mountain range. As usual, you will leave the hotel at 09:00 a.m. The first 50 kilometers will be the same as the last 50 kilometers of yesterday's ride.
From there to your lunch stop, you will have some very mixed riding on what are totally new tracks for you. It will range from a very messy 10 kilometers as you try to cross the Gheris River to long and fast sections across the many wide open plateaux to be found in the area. There are many areas where the sand has been blown up against the hills, making some very spectacular long dune climbs that you can explore.
Lunch will be arranged at a small local auberge in a desert village where you will have the best beef tagine in Morocco. After lunch, you will refuel and set off again on some of your favorite trails in the area with lots of hard packed sandy tracks, a memorable 12-kilometer sandy riverbed as well as the very picturesque Jbel Saghro mountain range. Your hotel in the evening will have a rooftop swimming pool with a heated Jacuzzi set in it. To top it off, you may want to have a plentiful buffet for dinner.
After breakfast, you will refuel and then ride up the Dades Gorge and off in a westerly direction following the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Undulating and fast sections interspersed with rocky trails through major washouts and gullies will bring you out onto a plateau.
You will indulge in a picnic lunch somewhere up on the plateau. A sandy twisting riverbed and a further 20 kilometers of fast trails across a flat plateau will bring you back to Ouarzazate and your first night’s hotel.
You will be transferred back to Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ) on day eight.
JohnnyMaroc as he is known in the bike world, was born in Tanzania. He worked for the 16 years prior to Moto Aventures in the oil-related diving business before biking solo from London to Cape Town. He has hyperbaric medical training and experience from his years working offshore as well as his Wilderness Medical Certificate, and safety on our tours is one of his main concerns. John is also responsible for track finding and checking, plotting the routes for the GPS and together with Su, setting up the logistics for our tours. He is a very experienced off-road rider.
Having been brought up on a charter sailing ship in the Netherlands, means tourism, hospitality and adventure are in her bones. After working as a hospitality manager, safari camp manager and lodge manager in several African countries she started working for MotoAventures in 2020. With her offshore Medical First Aid and Medical Care certificate she is good to go! She is responsible for driving the assistance vehicle on most off-road tours, for the ‘on ground’ smooth running of the off-road tours and the well-being of our guests. She has also added Dutch and German to our team’s languages.
This motorcycle tour will take place in Ouarzazate, Foum Zguid, Erg Chigaga, Oualid Driss, Ouzina, Erg Chebbi, Merzouga, Jbel Saghro, Dades Gorge, and the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. The tour will start and end in Ouarzazate.
During this motorcycle tour, breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided daily. Half-board meals will be served on your accommodations as well as picnic or cafe lunches when you are on the go. Drinking water during the day’s biking will be carried in the four-by-four.
Please book your flight to arrive at Ouarzazate Airport (OZZ). Transfer from and to the airport is included.
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