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.

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 or telephone Emma 00212 661215062

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!