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What people are saying about Ait Benhaddou
This experience was truly incredible. Although the drive to and from the desert can be taxing, we enjoyed the multiple stops along the way. Our driver, Simo, was extremely friendly, stopping whenever someone in the van requested a break and always doing so with a smile. One thing to note: you'll stop A LOT on your way to the desert. There are several opportunities to explore villages, check out sites, and just stretch your legs. During this, you will notice many tourists doing the same, being herded around by other local guides. I personally liked this, as I got to ask our guides about the impact of tourism on their communities. However, others may scoff at the "lack of authenticity" to which I respond: Tourism is a pillar of the Moroccan economy and these tours are authentically how these people make money. We heard tourists complain about a lack of Moroccan realness and their refusal to tip guides. Hopefully, this isn't you. Hopefully, you are open to this culture's hospitality.
First things first make sure you have the right expectations before embarking on this adventure. There is a lot of driving as it is impossible to get out to Merzouga and the edge of the Sahara Desert in any less time. This is also of course a shared experience so you will spend some time with a group of people you haven't met before. In saying that, my girlfriend and I had an absolutely awesome time on this trip. Our driver Haj was incredibly friendly and did a great job of transporting us around Morocco. The awe you feel when you first sight the sand dunes as you head towards Merzouga on the second day is unbelievable. I'd recommend withdrawing 800 Dirham or so per person before the trip starts as you will need around 100-150 Dirham for lunch each day, 20-30 Dirham to buy bottled water each day and some extra cash to tip the guides each day and to buy things such as head scarfs for the Sahara. Also we didn't get confirmation of pickup location till 4pm the afternoon before
We did the 3 day tour to Merzouga from Marrakech this week. It was one of the most unbelievable experiences we have ever had. The Sahara is truly amazing. It is a long drive, however on the way it is split up with a night in a hotel and lots of other activities. The hotel on the first night was very clean and comfortable with good air conditioning and a big swimming pool. All of the guides that we met along the way were very friendly and knowledgable. The driver was also great and made plenty of toilet and water stops. The bus was also comfortable and the air conditioning was used the whole journey there and back. On the way back it is just a straight journey on the bus and yes it is long, however the journey is absolutely worth it for the experience!!! Riding the camels in to the Sahara and watching the sunset and sunrise was breathtaking. The actual camp is also much more comfortable than we expected, was really great and the Berber tribe were so good and accommodating!
My wife and I went to Ait Ben-Haddou on September 27. It was a very hot day and the trip from Marrakech by car took us about four hours of time (one way). Nevertheless, it was all fine and interesting. We would like to send a special thank you to our driver Abdul! His driving was cautious, his manner open and patient. He provided water and kindly answered our questions throughout the day (my wife and I were the only participants). At several stopps on our way, he informed us on the locations and the way of life in the Atlas mountains. It was information on first hand, as Abdul himself grew up in a Berber village. Ait Ben-Haddou itself was worth the visit. Located on the intersection between the Atlas and the desert, the Kasbah reminds of bygone times, as well as of sceneries of some well-known motion pictures.
I took this trip on 24/09 solo, haj was our driver. A tidy, friendly and caring gentleman who always smiles and easily to chat to. He gave me unconditional help when I needed. The best local I met in Morocco during my trip there. Just saying thank you very much and your kindness is remembered. Wish you and your family all the best. Last but not least, wish your boss see this and give you a PAY RISE for your hard work :) The trip itself was mostly like what it says in the descriptions.