AGAFAY DESERT ESCAPE
Based for 3 nights at Nkhila Lodge in the Agafay Desert, this short break holiday offers luxury escapism into a desert wilderness just a short drive from Marrakech airport.
Transfers from and back to Marrakech, all meals, stargazing tent and two activities are included in this great value package.
Set in a remarkable wilderness location with a backdrop of the Atlas Mountains, and with a choice of activities available, a stay at Nkhila Lodge needs to be savoured not rushed. On this short break holiday, you will spend three nights at the camp, staying in a tented ‘stargazing’ room built on stilts, on the top of a white dune. All meals are included and two activities. Here you can watch the sun rise over eastern hills or see a sublime sunset to the west. Or simply do nothing, take off your watch, turn off your tablet and just relax!
Day 1 – To Nkhila Lodge in the Agafay Desert
From Marrakech medina it takes just under an hour to reach the Agafay Desert and Nkhila Camp (45 minutes from Marrakech Menara airport). As we leave the bright lights of the city behind and enter the rural province of Al Haouz, the landscape changes from olives groves to the rolling barren hills of the Agafay Desert. Eventually we leave the asphalt behind and follow desert tracks to reach Douar Nkhila village on the eastern edge of Agafay. Our final approach is spectacular: we twist around arid hillsides until reaching Nkhila Lodge, perched on stilts, with the High Atlas mountains looming in the distance. On arrival at camp we will be greeted with a refreshing glass of mint tea and briefed by our host. Depending on your arrival hour there may be time for a short desert orientation walk. Alternatively, relax and soak up the views. Dinner tonight will be served in your choice of location – either in the privacy of your tent, on the balcony, in the dining tent, or under an outside canopy-covered dining spot.
Day 2 – Included activity: 4x4 adventure to Lake Takerkoust & Kik Plateau
This morning we enjoy an excursion by 4x4 exploring the Agafay Desert. We will also drive to Lake Takerkoust in the foothills of the Atlas mountains, and up to the Kik Plateau for amazing panoramic views of the Agafay Desert and beyond. Try and spot Nkhila Lodge on the east side of the desert! We return to Nkhila for a late lunch and have the afternoon free to relax.
If you are feeling active, there is an option to join a quad-bike adventure and ride desert tracks over rolling hills in another area of Agafay Desert. Depending on when you stay, the lodge may be illuminated at night by the moon or experience an amazing dark sky full of stars. Try out one of Nkhila’s telescopes and enjoy some stargazing. Dinner is included.
Day 3 – Included activity: Morning desert walk or camel ride
This morning you can choose your included activity – a desert walk or camel ride! At Nkhila one of the most popular walks is along the river canyon below camp to Nkhila village. On this scenic walk we descend from camp to the dry riverbed to the west, then walk along the riverbed passing beneath sandstone rock walls to reach an oasis of palm trees and Nkhila village. We return to the lodge following the 4x4 track in time for lunch. Alternatively, ride a camel along the same route.
In the afternoon there is the option to join a desert cooking workshop. Moroccan cuisine is exciting, appealing to look at, delicately spiced with subtle blends of flavours, full of fresh ingredients and delicious to eat. At Nkhila Lodge you can learn to cook some traditional Moroccan dishes under the guidance of the professional local chef. If cooking’s not your thing, you could visit the local Berber market in the nearest local town of Tamesloht (Friday is market day) or just relax in the comfort of your tent, read a book and enjoy the view! Dinner is included.
Day 4 – Transfer back to Marrakech. The escape is over!
HOLIDAY PRICE PER PERSON
SHARING A DOUBLE OR TWIN STARGAZING TENT
Private transfers by 4x4 vehicle from/back to Marrakech; two activities as detailed in itinerary with English-speaking guide; accommodation in a double or twin Nkhila Lodge stargazing tent; three breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners; local tourist taxes; use of binoculars, telescope and Planisphere.
Tips, beverages, optional activities and items of a personal nature.
Standard: 05 January to 28 February, 01 June to 30 September, 21 November to 20 December.
High: 01 March to 31 May, 01 October to 20 November, 21 December to 04 January.
It is possible to book this package at any time of the year subject to availability.
Bring walking shoes if planning to walk some of the many excellent trails around Nkhila Lodge. We also recommend a camera, sun hat and sunglasses.