Tatler Travels: Sahara Desert Tour In Morocco With Pearl Shek
Last Christmas I travelled to Morocco with my mum, which was an experience I will never forget. We spent the first few days in Marrakech, then visited the High Atlas Mountains for two days before moving on to Aït Benhaddou, which is a ksar, an ancient fortified village.
After that, we visited Ouarzazate for three days, which is right on the edge of the Sahara, and even went glamping in the desert, before returning to Marrakech for four nights, where we stayed in an Oriental Pool Villa at the Mandarin Oriental.
I would highly recommend that hotel—we loved it. Camping in the desert was definitely a highlight. It was magical there.
We started off with an exciting camel ride, then watched the sunset together, followed by a nomad dinner, then had fresh Moroccan mint tea and relaxed by the bonfire before we all headed to our tents. All was well until it was time for bed—when the generator broke down.
That meant we had no heating in our tent, and you can imagine how cold it gets in the desert in winter. It was freezing. My mother and I piled on everything we could find in the tent—duvets, down jackets—and wore all our cashmere sweaters, scarves and beanies. We fell asleep laughing at how silly we looked.
Getting there: We flew British Airways from Hong Kong to London, then on to Morocco, and took the same route back.
Days out of office: 12
Local experts: Normally I like to plan my own trips, but this time we used Lightfoot Travel. They were good and also used this handy app called Vamoos, which has all your travel documents, itinerary, maps and weather forecast for each region in one place. We also hired guides at all our destinations to get as much local knowledge as possible.
Top tip: Arrange for the VIP Fast Track Visa On Arrival service. The VIP assistants will take you through immigration and help collect your luggage before proceeding through customs. Christmas in Morocco is actually quite chilly. I’d recommend people visit in March to May or September or October, when the temperature is more pleasant.
See also: Epic Trips: Tracking Pumas In Patagonia