What riding level should I have ?
You should feel comfortable at all gaits and have some experience of long rides. We spend between 4 and 5 hours on horseback every day. During a typical day we mostly walk, there is some trot, sometimes we walk beside our horses and when the conditions are right, we go for a fast canter. There are two guides on horseback so that we can split into smaller groups in order to allow for different paces. We are not in a competition but on vacation !
Air travel ? What happens if I don't fly from Paris ?
Prices are calculated on the basis of a Paris departure. If you wish to leave from a different place, we'll be happy to take care of everything. Just ask us and we'll give the best available rates from your point of departure.
What about the horses ?
The Barb-arab horses are absolutely fabulous. I selected them myself after riding them extensively. They have been schooled and are kept by a french Saumur instructor living in Morocco. These horses only do trips and are used to working every day. Some of them are perfect for beginners and others for higher level riders. Whichever the destination, we always ride the same horses, so they are used to working together.
Cool, very nice, likes treats and hugs but manages to win all the races !!
Simple, lots of blood, extremely beautiful. Very good tempered but needs a rider who can take fast gallop starts !
Very nice and comfortable, cool and laid back...
Nice, nice, nice …
Excellent for beginners !
And also ….
ANAKA, very cool but wins races too !
BARNUM, hates walking on rocks, will go around anything that might tickle his feet. Very nice, excellent for beginners.
ULYSSE, lots of blood , punchy, lots of pleasure for good riders.
Same as BALTHAZAR, lots of personality but a real jewel for confirmed riders.
CSIDKIA, very comfortable, perfect for intermediate levels.
And then ...
ALESI, my guide horse. Young and playful but knows he is the leader. Loves rolling in the sand, especially when I'm still riding him !
The tack is essential. What will we be using ?
You have a choice of trail or english saddles, all being very comfortable. They come with saddle bags. We use bridles with spanish bits. All the tack is in excellent condition, perfectly maintained. None of the horses are hurt, there are no girth, withers or mouth wounds…
What are the sleeping arrangements ?
For all the trips, the first and last nights are spent in a hotel.
I have selected the hotels myself with the usual criteria in mind : cleanliness, hospitality, comfort, but I also try to share some treasure troves : outstanding architecture, incredible welcome or exceptional restaurant. Not all these places sport a star, but everyone is impressed and wonders how we found these places. ……It's a secret …
Hôtel in Erfoud
During the trip, there is the bivouac, where everything is ...
« like in a hotel ».
As a matter of fact, the rooms/tents are typical berber tents, roomy, high, with real beds (with a base, a mattress, sheets, pillows, blankets). There are rugs on the floor and night tables with lamps. If needed, there is heating in winter (in the desert the temperature can drop to 5°C / 40°F, down from 25°C / 80°F during the day).
Bivouac in Merzouga
Every evening you'll find your towel, soap and shampoo on your bed, because we have hot water showers. They are just like at home. There are restrooms too, fully equipped. Every day we have two water tanks brought to the bivouac !
The restaurant tent and the kitchen tent behind
Thanks to the generator, you can charge your cell phone, your camera or camcorder batteries or your laptop ! You may even use a blow dryer... Just remember, the power here is 220V / 50 Hz and you may want to bring an outlet adapter.
You can even call in the middle of the desert !
What about catering ?
It's a very essential point for me, therefore it has to be just perfect! The chefs have been carefully selected and the evening meals at the bivouac are literally gastronomic. For lunches we have huge barbecues and for breakfast, a superb buffet !
Here are some menus, just to give you an idea :
- Continental salads
- marinated meat kebab, vegetables
- Pastries, fruit, tea, coffee
- Moroccan salads : Zaalouk, Carrots à l’orange, yams,…
- Tajines de Kefta, vegetables
- Pastries, Beghrir, fruit, tea, coffee
- Lamb Tajine with prunes Harira
- Oranges with cinnamon, fruit, tea, coffee
- Cheese Briouats
- M’Qalli chicken with lemon and olives, sautéed potatoes
- Semolina desert, fruit, tea, coffee
- Potato and carrot salad
- Chicken Pastilla
- Almond Briouats, fruit, tea, coffee
Breakfasts are super buffets with everything you want : French style and Moroccan pastries, eggs, cheese, fresh fruit juices, coffee, tea,…
How does all this work ?
We are a team of 15 people:
- Your guide, Corinne, rides along with you
- The GP doctor
- One Moroccan guide, Salah or Ahmed
- The logistics chief, Hamid or Saidi
- The vehicles chief, Mabrouk
- The chef and his assistants (2 or 3)
- The service personnel (2 to 3)
- The chief groom Hassan, and the stablemen (2 to 3)
- The personnel for the setup of the bivouacs
- The drivers
The vehicles :
- The doctor's 4WD
- The truck for 14 horses, is waiting at every campsite and keeps the spare horses
- The water tank trucks
- A passenger van is available at every campsite, just in case it is needed
- The trucks for the camping gear and the luggage
All the personnel has walkie-talkies.
How safe is it ?
First of all I'm a French certified Horse trail tour guide, with a good guide experience, a first aid training, horseshoer training, veterinary care training,…
And we are the only ones to provide the constant presence of a GP doctor.
But safety is also a proactive matter: horse selection, choice of tack and personnel. Our horses have been carefully selected, they are perfectly calm and schooled for trail tours. Our partners are trail professionals with extensive local experience.
Last but not least, the passenger van follows us all the time, although out of sight, it's always, just like the doctor's 4WD and the horse truck, less than 15 min away. Should anything happen, a person or even the whole group can be safely taken care of.
What should I pack ?
Basically, your luggage travels by truck. It's better to take a soft bag rather than a suitcase and try to avoid separate bags at all costs. The best is one large bag with everything in it.
- 2 denims or riding pants
- 1 warm wool sweater, 1 polar fleece et 1 thin sweater
- 1 warm coat/jacket for the evenings
- Casual wear for the non riding days (light wear) and a casual wear for the bivouacs (warm wear)
- T-shirts and shirts, of which at least one long-sleeved, in order to avoid sunburns
- A hat, for the same reasons,
- For optimal protection, a riding helmet is strongly recommended
- High protection sunglasses
- Riding boots or walking boots that allow both riding and walking, with chaps or mini-chaps
- Insulated water bottle (one liter / 1 quart)
- Toiletries, towel, sun cream
- Personal medicine
What else do we do ?
In all our programs there's one day reserved for shopping and sightseeing.
Also, during the bivouacs there are always some surprises (two or three) : musicians, dancers, snake charmers, and even an incredible bard... but we shouldn't disclose too much if we want them to be surprises !
What formalities are needed to travel to Morocco ?
There is no compulsory vaccination, but we strongly recommend to be protected against tetanus.
Valid passport and depending on your country of origin, a visa may be required, please check with us.