Kik Plateau ride, near Marrakech
3 days; 2 nights
Following mountain trails across broad undulating slopes, this ride allows you to experience all paces of these wonderful Arab, Arab cross and Barb horses. The horses are well-schooled and suitable for a range of experience levels. Care is taken to match horse and rider and the first thing we ask you to do is to go around the ménage so that we can see horse and rider are in harmony. The ride takes place between 900m and 1,800m above sea level.
Meet at 9 a.m. ready to take a trial ride around the ménage. As soon as everyone is settled and introduced to their new horse and tack, we set off for the mountains.
Descend into the Wadi Ghighai: a ‘wadi’ is a dry valley. If you’re familiar with riding in southern Africa where they refer to a dry valley or riverbed as a ‘drift’, this is the Berber equivalent. It’s a piece of land that is dry for 11 ½ months of the year and may carry water in the winter. The watercourse is subterranean. We ride through the hamlet of Azrou and ascend onto the Kik Plateau. The view suddenly opens out and the Haouz Plain is visible stretching away to the north. This is the plain that Marrakech is built upon. In the opposite direst, directly south, are the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas. This plateau is sound underfoot and allows the horses to kick on and go through the gears!
Picnic lunch in a gorgeous spot near the col. Ride on in the afternoon to pass through several Berber hamlets to reach the night’s bivouac overlooking Lake Takerkoust near the hamlet of Aziz Tatult.
Overnight bivouac; 5 to 6 hours riding.
Aziz Tatult to Saline Tassa Ouirgane
The morning ride takes us further across the fertile N’Kik Plateau; gorgeous views looking back over the D’Amezmiz Valley and Lake Takarkouste. Picnic lunch just after crossing the Tizi Do Ousaud pass; in the afternoon descend into the forests of the lower slopes. The trees here are mainly Thuya and the evergreen green oak (or holm oak) to bivouac below the village of Saline Tassa Ouirgane.
Overnight bivouac; 6 hours riding.
Saline Tassa Ouirgane and return to the stable at Amanar
Today is the longest day; the pace is quicker and the trails are perfect for horses!
After breakfast and striking camp for the last time we set off along a beautiful long trail. During the day we cross several passes (low by Atlas standards!) and ride through fragrant Juniper forests that thrive on these slopes. A final descent to the village of Asni which is the last decent-sized village before the Mount Toubkal massif. This is where all the mountaineering groups do their last minute shopping before heading to the hills. Atmospheric little coffee shops, loads of general stores selling everything from sardines to machetes! It’s a real “frontier town”. Riding in to town always turns heads, but feels absolutely normal!
The final run back to the stable is flat and sandy; idea to loosen the rein and let the horses go a bit. Arrive home by 17:00.
End of ride.
6 hrs riding.
Included in the price
All camping equipment including, 2-man tents; foam matrass, mess tent and cook’s tent.
Guide (English speaking)
Full board from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3
All bags are carried in the support vehicle