Sahara Desert Trek & Project 30th March – 6th April 2014 ITINERARY Day 1 (Sun): LONDON / MARRAKECH Depart London for Marrakech (4 hour flight). On arrival we meet our local Berber guide and transfer to the hotel for a welcome dinner and briefing. Day 2 (Mon): MARRAKECH / SAHARA DESERT We set off early this morning for the journey over the High and Low Atlas Mountain Ranges and into the arid scenery of the Sahara desert (journey time approx. 7 hours). Late this afternoon we meet up with our trekking team, consisting of local Berber guides, cooks and their camels, and start the trek. Overnight under the stars in bivouacs (or tents weather permitting). Approx distance covered 5 miles. Days 3 (Tue) & 4 (Wed): SAHARA DESERT Spend two full days out in the Sahara. Each day you will traverse sand dunes and a rocky, lunar landscape, passing the occasional oasis and mile after mile of natural beauty, a million miles away from daily life in the UK! Each night fall asleep to the sound of the crackling fire and the soft grunts of the camels! (approx distance covered 20miles per day) Day 5 (Thu): SAHARA DESERT / OULED DRISS / MARRAKECH This morning it’s a final trek to the village of Ouled Driss, where you will bid farewell to our team of camels and the local Berbers, and head back overland to Marrakech (journey time approx. 7 hours). (approx distance covered 5miles) Days 6 (Fri) & 7 (Sat): MARRAKECH Spend two days assisting on a local community project. This is likely to include tasks such as painting, decorating, gardening and other tasks dependent on the need at the time. Day 8 (Sun): MARRAKECH / LONDON Some free time for final sightseeing and shopping before transferring to the airport to fly back to London (depending on flight time). WHAT TO EXPECT EACH DAY Distance Trekked First day (only a short day) about 5miles Second Day – 20miles Third day – 22miles Last day – 5miles Terrain Varied: sandy, rocky, scrubland – possible river crossings! DAILY ROUTINE • • • • Each day is different and ruled by a number of factors, such as condition of the trail, weather conditions, and the pace of the group as a whole. This is just a guideline and will vary: You are usually on the trail by around 7.30am, having had breakfast and packed your trek bag ready to load onto the camels. You’ll then have a few hours’ walking before lunch around 11.30am/12pm. Lunch break will last around 2-3 hours. The afternoon walk usually finishes no later than 6pm, leaving you plenty of time to relax and think about the day, or gaze at the stars. Dinner is normally taken early evening - around 7.00pm. ACCOMMODATION You will spend a total of 4 nights in hotels and 3 nights camping in a tent or under the stars! You will need to bring a sleeping bag (and sleeping bag liner) and a compressed foam sleeping mat will be provided for camping. TOILETS/BATHING At every campsite, a dug-in toilet will be improvised in a separate tent; this will be located at some distance from the campsite. Please bring ‘no-water’ antibacterial hand gel to clean your hands. There will not be any shower facilities so it is recommended that you bring a good supply of baby wipes. Please note that due to the wilderness environment, the facilities will be basic. You should bring your own supply of toilet paper as this is not provided in public restrooms, and will not be provided during the trek. Toilet paper should be disposed of in bins provided where available and not put down the toilet. During the day, ensure that all waste is buried at least 15cm. Toilet paper should only be disposed of into a bin – please bring a supply of small plastic bags and carry this until it can be disposed of properly. CLIMATE AND CONDITIONS In the Moroccan Sahara, the average daytime temperature is 25˚C to 40˚C during the day. Sunscreen & sunhats are vital. Nights As will be approx 5˚C to 12˚C. a general rule, a sunhat (essential), t-shirt or lightweight shirt and lightweight trekking trousers are suitable for during the day (with a long sleeved light shirt to protect yourself from the sun). For night times, you should add light long sleeved layers, and a fleece or sweater to keep you warm. FOOD/MEALS Your meals are prepared by a local cook using fresh local produce. You will be served with a variety of Moroccan cuisine as per availability. During the trek there will be a dining tent All meals are healthy, nourishing, filling and incredibly tasty. There is always plenty to satisfy a hungry trekker! All water used for cooking and consumption will be boiled. 3l bottled water per day will be provided for you on the trek. ‘SPECIALIST’ EQUIPMENT • Walking boots. You should take walking boots with good ankle support. Ensure that your walking boots are well broken in and comfortable. You must ensure you give your boots at least 6 weeks of constant wear (such as during your training) to ensure they are broken in properly. Trainers/flip flops may be useful for around the camp. • Insect repellent. Containing 50% DEET. BugProof repellent from Nomad Travel is recommended. • Water container. 2 litre Camelbak or Platypus Hoser is recommended for easy ‘drinking-on-the-go’ plus a 1-2 litre bottle as backup. You cannot drink too much water in the desert. LUGGAGE During trek your main luggage will be carried on camels. Your luggage should be packed in a soft bag or holdall such as the above. A suitcase is NOT suitable. • You simply carry a day pack (25-35 litres) with water bottle, camera, sun-screen, etc. It should have a hip belt and chest strap. ‘Airflow’ or ‘Freeflow’ style packs are best for allowing your back to keep cool VISAS • British Citizens do not currently require a visa to enter Morocco but your passport must be valid for 6 months. VACCINATIONS Please see your GP for information about which vaccines and /or boosters you need. The general guidance given by the NHS supported Fit For Travel website suggests the following: Confirm primary courses and boosters are up to date as recommended for life in Britain. Courses or boosters usually advised: tetanus; hepatitis A. Vaccines sometimes advised (based on medical risk assessment): typhoid; diphtheria; hepatitis B; rabies; tuberculosis. BUT PLEASE SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE FROM YOUR GP AS THIS MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU! If your GP does not deal with travel health, pop into a branch of Nomad Travel and speak to one of the travel nurses there. You will receive a 10% discount against any vaccines from Nomad with your discount code DIFTRAV. ANY QUESTIONS?