Salam Aleikum

Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.



My family and I moved to Marrakech 6 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakech, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal. On top of this it had to feel right at a soul level for my husband and I, both who are from very different backgrounds.



Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.

Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.



Land in Marrakech particularly, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this my husband said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'



I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end.......

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Philanthropic tours - Visiting the Desert Nomads with Camp Adounia


Visiting the Sahara Desert is an amazing experience of it's own.  Sitting under millions of stars at night and enjoying the stillness in view and energy is something else.  It's a wonderful remembering of time gone by when we were all living in harmony with the land and the same cycle. You cannot help but feel profoundly moved by the experience of earthing and getting away from all electrical and other polutions.

In conjunction with Magestic Disorder Magazine they have been awarded a space at 'Voice for Change Exhibition in London' for their piece on Desert Nomads with Camp Adounia please come to the 'Private View' on 14 January 2015 in London.


At our Ecological Camp in the Sahara, Camp Adounia we have set up a Fare Trade project with the Berber Nomads of the Desert.  Not only can you enjoy the wonderful dunes and energy of the Sahara but you can come on a Real Tour with us to visit the Berber Nomads.
 The Nomads in the Sahara lead an incredible life, one of hardship and meditation.  They live off the land with survival skills forgotten by modern man.
 We encourage our guests to bring books and pencils for the children.  Often when we meet as a team with the Nomads we take some of these gifts for the children, the rest we donate to the School in Mhamid.
 The Desert Nomads are so pleased to welcome our visit providing mint tea in their carefully crafted tents made out of pieces of old fabric and sticks.  Nothing goes to waste and they live within a life of no waste, everything is used and has a purpose.  Communication and visits are important to the Nomads a way of receiving information and finding out the news.
 With so little money, which is often the way, these Nomads are so generous on our visits and always insist on making bread and offering this to us for our journey.  They make wonderful crafts out of nothing as well, which has started our Nomad Project of Fairtrade with them.  It's such a joy and an education to share mint tea and talk about the challenges of daily life and the changes of the earth and its effect on their existence.
 Above photo you can see their humble bathroom or hammam.  I have never in my life seen such organisation, all their clothes neatly put into storage bags, one for each member of the family.



 Bread making with cloths.

 The Desert Nomads still weave their hand made Nomad tents or Bivouac from camel and goat hair on a traditional wooden loom.  It's a great education for a family to visit the Sahara and really get to exchange and learn from the Sahara culture.  A tour with Camp Adounia is not just camels, sand dunes and turbans, but we hope that you will leave the Sahara Desert of Morocco with a real understanding of its culture, history and challenges.


 The wonderfully crafted Nomad tents with hanging cuboard.
 Water storage wrapped in hessian cloth to keep it cool by evaporation from the dry heat.


For more information on a Real Sahara Tour and adventure email us at team@campadounia.com or telephone Emma 00212 661215062

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Moroccan Berber Carpets - Beni Ouarain Rugs and much more in Marrakesh

I'm very excited to launch my new online carpet store with other very sexy finds including some stunning handira, embroidered cusions and poufs and colourful leather poufs.

Zamzam Riad our hotel and Camp Adounia our comfortable beach and desert camp are on the website too because its a good way for you to see the carpets and interiors in a live situation.

Most of you following this blog know of my love affair with Beni Ouarain carpets and Azilal rugs from the Berber mountain regions of high and middle Atas in Morocco so I hope you will enjoy having a look around this site at my stock which will now be regularly updated.

On the site you can also see weight as well as size and it automatically gives you a shipping quote for your country with DHL.

Enjoy and email me if you need more information info@moroccanberbercarpets.com or call me to book a carpet trip.











Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Desert Camp Christmas and New Year in Morocco

Come and spend a wonderful Christmas and New Year at Camp Adounia in the Sahara of Morocco.  Perfect for groups we have 7 tents, fantastic chefs, wonderful musicians.  Groups can take the Spa ladies with them for treatments.

A superb new year under the stars which are amazing at this time of year.  The camp is only 40 minutes from Mhamid in the Moroccan Sahara Desert but still in the most amazing sand dunes and away from it all.  There are many cultural tours to do as well which include visiting nomad settlements, oasis and ancient kasbahs.

Come and party under the stars at one with the dunes on New Years Eve!

Email me for more information team@campadounia.com - 00212661215062













Sunday, September 21, 2014

Comfortable Eco Desert Camp - Sahara Morocco

Our comfortable Ecological Desert Camp in the Desert of Morocco is now open for the new season.  Situated in pretty dunes with stylish interiors from Emma's shop

Because the camp is only 40 minutes from Mhamid you can go on a number of our cultural tours.  These are brilliant with families.  There is a wonderful museum in Mhamid an ancient Kasbah made from mud and filled with hitorical items from the history of this region and its tribes.  Mhamid also has a lovely oasis and a number of ancient Kasbah's and shrines.  Its worth doing a camel treck for one or two hours around Mhamid.  When at the camp you already have your driver with you which is a great advantage.  Our desert guide Iklaf can accompany you on a half day historical tour to a number or interesting sites such as the Oasis of Nesrat or why not go and visit a nomadic home and chat about their way of life.  On a half day trip out of the desert camp we pack you up a nice picknic to take.










Kids love to run in the dunes and the sandboarding from the camp is great fun.  The winter months are a fabulous time to visit the south of Morocco and enjoy the experience of the Sahara as the stars are amazing at this time of year.

Combined with our English Riad hotel in Marrakech Medina - Zamzam we can put a wonderful package together for you.  For a Marrakech and Desert trip you need a minimum of 5 nights but 6 or 7 allow you more time to spend in Marrakech Medina as well.  The drive to the camp is with our experienced drivers in landcruisers over the Atlas Mountains, this in itself is a feast for the eyes passing through the wonderful Berber Towns and scenery.  Only 4 hours across to Ait Ben Haddou where you get a chance to explore these magical mud kasbahs.  You stay in Ait Ben Haddou for the night - we have excellent partner hotels en route who we have linked with to provide a special journey for you.  The following morning you follow the Draa Valley, a very pretty route indeed with millions of palms and purple mountains along the Draa River.  You pass through Ourzazate and Zagora before reaching the desert Camp Adounia - 5 hours later.

Once arriving at our super comfy desert camp you are welcomed by our Manager the lovely Samir who will show you around and provide mint tea and dates.  Dinner under the stars in the Sahara Desert is an experience never to be forgotten.

If desert trekking is your thing we can combine your camp visit with one to 3 nights nomadic camping with camels.

Email me - team@campadounia.com for more information and bespoke itineraries.  The Moroccan Coast can also be incorporated.

After March our camp moves to a private beach for the summer months - visit our website to see photos and activites for the beach camp.  Mountain biking and surf lessons are just some of the excitement.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Camp Adounia - Luxury Eco Camp website launch - Desert and Beach Camp 2014

Yahoo our website is now live for the new Camp Adounia - I wanted to share it all with you so you could have a look and send me your comments.  I also hope you will all come and visit us soon.  On 8 September 2014 we return to the Sahara and in November we have the Taragaulte Music Festival and a fantastic healing retreat with Master - Jai Hari Singh.

The Camp is available for retreat companies as we have full equipment including yoga mats and blankets, cushions and yoga tent.  We are trained in vegetarian and vegan cooking.  The beach and the desert offer two amazing experiences both very different with a chance to get away from it all with a touch of luxury.  The tents have en-suite eco bathrooms and a wonderful team to look after you and organise surf, camel treks or go sand boarding.

Email us for bookings or further information team@campadounia.com from one night to a weeks booking.  Perfect to combine with Zamzam Riad in Marrakech and if you would like help planning a bespoke itinerary let us know.