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 11 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 Marrakesh, 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.

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.

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 - 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.

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 at that time, 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 we 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....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!