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Mountain meadows, tribal villages, cloudforests, grassy highlands, rolling meadows and dramatic coastlines - our extensive collection of walking holidays has something for everyone. Our walking holiday collection covers some of the best trekking on Earth, from gently paced walking holidays with plenty of good food and culture to backcountry trekking holidays in the wildest places imaginable. Walking holidays cut two ways, self guided walking holidays & guided group trekking holidays. Self guided walking holidays usually
… follow long distance trails and explore gentler country - self guided walking holidays tend to include accommodation, route maps and luggage transfer and are perfect if you want to walk independently at your own pace. Guided group trekking holidays often explore wilder routes and include accommodation, guides and food. They offer a guaranteed social experience (with fellow group members) and often allow you to hike places you would never reach on your own.
It is difficult pulling out highlights from our collection of walking holidays as often the finest walking is had in unexpected places where few others explore. Famous routes can often be a letdown, as you share the views and peace with hundreds of others. However some destinations stand out on any top 10 list. The UNESCO biosphere reserve, Torres Del Paine in Patagonia harbours dramatic mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers and is possibly the ultimate destination for a trekking holiday. Walking holidays in New Zealand explore similarly incredible scenery from the peaceful coastline of Northland to the dramatic peaks of Milford Sound. Closer to home walking holidays in Scotland are seriously hard to beat, with craggy rocky outcrops, heather-covered hills, , and staggering peaks . Finally, with names like Alaska, Yosemite and Colorado, trekking in America is simply incomparable.
Our walking holidays and trekking holidays cover many of the finest hiking destinations in the world, if you would like help choosing or have any questions about any of our walking holidays, please get in touch.
The trip was amazing, thank you so much for organising it all!
The tour guide and cook on the trek were both very friendly and made us feel very comfortable from the start. The food was delicious and there was plenty of it, we were rarely able to finish it at all.
The trek was hard work but that's what we signed up for so it was a nice challenge.
The accommodation in both Imlil and Marrakech were lovely. The warm welcome in Marrakech and the helpful hints and tips really helped us out while we were there.
Overall, the holiday was fantastic and we have no complaints whatsoever. It was a great experience!
Phoebe Nicol reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We are relaxing in Marrakesh and wanted to give you feedback regarding our 5 day Berber village/ Toubkal trek.
Our transportation to and from the trek was very adequate. The driver spoke Spanish so we were able to communicate some. The pick up time was met on both ends and the vehicle very nice.
The group was well surprised by the Gites. We had our own room which suited us quite well. We had no idea showers and electricity were going to be available so we were quite pleased. The 3rd night refuge was above and beyond..what a beautiful place and on the side of a mountain with views beyond imagination. The 4th night at base camp we were very grateful that we were tenting outside and not with the crowd inside!
The food..oh my....as one of the four who was a vegan and well prepared with meals ready to eat, this was the area where I found the greatest of pleasure. Our chef Hassiem was beyond a good cook, he was truly a chef. His presentation and choices of food were outstanding. We took pictures of each meal before we allowed ourselves to eat! He was truly gifted. Breakfast was adequate each day but lunch and dinner were outstanding! The choices of lunch spots only added to the beauty of the presentation.
Omar was our muleteer and an integral part of our adventure. He attempted to interact with us and all of our broken languages and checked on us regularly. The mules were always treated well in our presence and were given food and water adequately. One of the mules had a few spots from rubbing of the carrier and a tad on the thin side but they seemed in overall good health.
Now to Mohammad our guide. He was the perfect guide for us and would be for any adventure trekkers. He has an amazing grasp of the English language as well as French and Spanish even though his own is Berber. What a gift! He was respectful and kind and cared for our safety all 68 miles. He made sure he set a pace that fit our needs but still managed to get us to the summit on time and all of this through Ramadan which did not allow the three of them to intake water or food during the long hot days! He shared his knowledge of the villages and the people with a passion and was always willing to answer questions four American women had about anything.
We would rate this trek a 5/5 but was want to make sure that everyone is aware of the challenge of it. There are many long hard days that require stamina and good fitness. There is not a lot of wandering and meandering but rather serious challenging rocky steep climbs that are best met with hiking poles and a great guide. The hikes get progressively harder each day and the final day hike is about 20 miles including the summit to Toubkal. Not for the average day hiker!
Frannetta (Skye) McCloud reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We just wanted to drop you a note to say how much we enjoyed our trip to Morocco (3 Day Toubkal Trek via Azzaden Valley PLUS BOUTIQUE MARRAKECH PACKAGE) last week.
In particular, our guide and cook on the trek (Rashid and Hassan) were fantastic and went out of their way to make our trip so enjoyable. We’ve done lots of great trekking in South America and elsewhere, but really felt that the experience they gave us was outstanding.
Jessica Kane reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
The trip has been wonderful. Muhammad has been a wonderful guide and Hassan is a wonderful cook. Frankly, everything has surpassed our expectations. They have made us as comfortable as possible and even the basic gites has been great (hot showers! who would have expect them?). Thank you very much!
Wen Jye Ng reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We enjoyed our trip enormously . The transport arrangements were very efficient , accommodation in the refuge and tents was comfy , our guide was helpful and the catering was excellent ... and of course the scenery was superlative! Thank you for such a well run trip.
PETER CLARK reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Absolutely amazing. Incredibly well organised from pick up to drop off.
Guide and cook fantastic on trek and riad stunning.
I am going to come with my children in April.
Cristina De Giorgi reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We had a really lovely holiday! It felt as if we were away for at least two weeks in that we completely left behind work and "real" life. Wonderful.
The mountains were stunning. The collection at the airport (with the pastries!) and the journey to Imlil was easy. To be really picky, I would have liked a little information about the places we were driving through but to be fair I did not actually ask for any. Dar Adrar was perfectly nice with reasonable food (I was not expecting a 5* banquet. We were perhaps a little preoccupied not knowing what the next day was going to be like.
Our guide and muleteer were great: courteous, interesting, interested and aware of us. The only thing that was at all negative was quite how easy they made it all look while we at times felt like we toiled up some of the steeper bits! The food was great. Mountains of food in the mountains! The accommodation in the gites was fine if basic as expected.
James Hamilton reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had an absolutely amazing time - thank you! We did the four day Atlas villages and Toubkal trek. I'm so glad we took the four days - the villages are beautiful and it helped us acclimatise and get into the trek. The final day's climb up Toubkal was very tough as I struggled with my breathing and we were very very cold as we approached the summit. We looked up the temperature afterwards - it was minus 5 and minus 11 with the wind chill! We were unprepared for it to be so cold in May and our gloves in particular were woefully inadequate. We had worked from your summer kit list when actually we needed some winter kit as well - might be worth pointing that out to others going in May. You also must have a headtorch for the climb as you start so early in the morning - something else it would be worth adding to the kit list as a must. I also regret not bringing energy bars with me for the climb. The guides had bottled water for us throughout so we didn't need the water bottle and purification tablets we had brought.
The final day was very long -especially as I found the climb so tough. Having to walk the whole way back to Dar Ardrar was exhausting and I think on reflection I would have liked to have broken the journey and spent another night at Toubkal base.
Although the climb was tough, the whole experience was fabulous and it was our guide Ibrahim and cook Mohammed who really made it - as well as the other guides and cooks we met along the way. They were such great company and so kind to us. We can't rate them highly enough. And Mohammed's cooking was something else. The food he produced in such basic conditions was amazing. He even cooked us a big plate of chips the night before the Toubkal climb!
The accommodation on the trek was all fine and better than we expected. Dar Ardrar was particularly lovely. However, I didn't sleep well which I was told was probably due to the altitude. I hadn't realised that was one of the possible effects of altitude and it was quite tough walking on so little sleep!
We added the extra two nights in Marrakesh to our trip but were a little disappointed and would have preferred to stay in the mountains! Although we booked, and you confirmed, a twin room, they only had a double bed and no one was able to do anything about it the first night. They then offered to put another bed in the room for the second night but that would have been a tight squeeze and would have meant packing all our stuff up again so we didn't bother. The Riad was beautiful and the staff were pleasant but its location wasn't great for two women travelling on their own. Just too far down a dark alley and we kept getting followed. Some nice sights in the city but overall not a relaxing place to be.
All the taxis you arranged were there on time (although the guy who met us at the airport had been there several hours as he was given the wrong time). And we were delighted to have been met by our driver with water and homemade biscuits - such a lovely welcome!
Thank you again for organising such a great trip. I have already recommended Tourdust to lots of people! And I hope to travel with you again sometime - although maybe not at altitude!
Carole Claridge reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We had a great time walking throughout the Berber villages. Our guide, and cook were both fantastic. I couldn't recommend our guide highly enough, Very caring, informative, and a good companion to have.
His knowledge of the mountains, villages and its people was great. He made us feel very safe and relaxed.
All in all the trip was very well organised and successful.
Jan Drysdale reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Our trip to Ethiopia was incredible. I’m so glad I made the last minute decision to go with John, it was unforgettable. Alex in Addis looked after us brilliantly as did Getinet and his crew in the Simien mountains. They were both so passionate about their country and eager to share it’s treasures with us. And what a country! The bustle of the city and then the serene atmosphere of the mountains, great contrast. The landscape in the Simien Mountains was awe inspiring, colossal mountains and drops and great wildlife. Beautiful people.
john thompson reviewing 8 Day Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek
We had a great time, we cannot fault the arrangements made by Tourdust. Our transfer from the airport to Imlil was smooth, the friendly driver providing bottles of water and cookies for us all. The accommodation in Imlil at Dar Adrar was good. The trek was tougher than we expected, there was a lot more climbing and descending than we had realised, although really we had no idea what to expect as this was our first trek! The guide, Olaiat, was excellent, he never hurried us and was very patient when we found the terrain a challenge, especially on the first day when my husband did not feel very well.
The food on the trek was excellent, much better than we ate during our stay in Marrakech afterwards. The accommodation in the Berber villages was basic but clean, the children however found the squat style toilets a challenge! We walked through some stunning scenery, ate some wonderful food and the sun shone every day. Having the mule for our children to take turns to ride was also invaluable.
The only problem was we got sunburnt on the first day, we were wearing sun cream but were ill prepared for the strength of the sun in the mountains.
Louise Ayling reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
I had a terrific trip .... The riad was brilliant and the staff were very welcoming and friendly. The guides drivers and cooks were all excellent. I had a great experience and I will be back again.
david naylor reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
This itinerary gave a fantastic overview of the Simien Mountains – both the scenery and the people. The initial 4 days allowed a real exploration of the high plateau and the latter 4 days gave a great, close up experience of village life as the trek wound its way back to the lowlands.
The whole experience was excellent.
Our guide, Melaku Berihun, was well organised and very informative. His English was excellent and he was an interesting companion for our 8 days. His understanding and compassion for many of the people we encountered, and his gentle advice on how to deal with situations where people ask for things, was much appreciated.
Our cook produced the best food we had eaten in the month we had been in Ethiopia. His evening meals were to be looked forward to and were varied and nutritious as well as tasting great. He had a good-humoured team of young cook assistants whose humour we enjoyed. Our scout was also a delight.
The standard of the tents and sleeping mats was perfectly adequate although the tents are beginning to get rather ‘tired’. As experienced campers, with our own sleeping bags and additional mats we were perfectly happy.
The pick up from the airport and transportation to the start of the trek was faultless, as was the return trip.
All in all, the service we received was first class.
Your Tourdust Initial Trip Dossier was very comprehensive and we feel it covered all the pre-trip issues well.
Graham Clarke reviewing 8 Day Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek
We've just returned from an incredible trip to Ethiopia, covering the classic northern circuit, the Simien mountains and the rock churches of Gheralta. Friends are asking which part of the trip was the most memorable but everywhere had its own special feel and we were constantly surprised and amazed by this extraordinary country. Our main reason for the trip was to visit the churches at Lalibela, but I think the churches of Gheralta made almost more of an impression as they were so unexpected - and the views from some of them are incredible!
We had an excellent guide in Ermias and also an excellent driver, Mikael. We loved the coffee and the Ethiopian food - just ask for rice if you can't face injera - and had an especially good fasting/vegan buffet one lunchtime at the Fasil Lodge in Gonder. On the whole the hotels are all clean and comfortable and we had hot showers everywhere. Go to the local markets - they are fascinating.
We talked with Ben a lot before booking the trip, planning all the different stops and changing our itinerary from some of the set trips. We had two full-day drives, rather than internal flights, which was our choice as we wanted to see the country, but they are long, dusty days and the roads are still under construction in some places! However, the countryside is fascinating and you get a real feel for the place and the people. Everything went smoothly, which isn't always the case in Africa, so I can only commend Ben and the team in Ethiopia for making sure this was the case.
Ethiopia is a wonderful, surprising country.
John Loveys Jervoise reviewing Classic Northern Circuit & Simien Mountains
We had a wonderful holiday. There is nothing to fault in the organisation or the content of the holiday – many thanks to you & Rebecca.
The trekking was great: Hassan the guide, Mohammed the cook/muleteer and Annabel were all fantastic. (Annabel was the mule – we thought it wasn’t fair that such a hard worker should be nameless!) Everything including the gites was a great experience and we met some nice people to chat to along the way. The walking and the views that came with it were first rate – and we were only slightly demoralised by the achievements of other (younger!) parties who had tackled Toubkal, or were about to.
Marrakech was a great contrast and we really liked the riad (Dar Vedra), its owners and staff. The mosque next door was attached to a very large PA system so we had some early wake up calls, but these were all part of the experience as far as we’re concerned. The Marrakchi restaurant, which to be fair, you didn’t over-praise, is well worth a miss, but the Grand Café de la Poste - in the new city and recommended by the riad’s owners - is certainly worthy of a visit for a top class dinner at the end of a stay.
Roger Gane reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had a great time and can't really fault anything. We will certainly be using Tourdust again.
Natasha Andrews reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had a wonderful time thank you. My first thank you must go to Rebecca as she was just fantastic when I fell and twisted my knee 10 days before we were due to trek. I was so grateful that she offered to make alternative arrangements for us if my knee didn't improve in time. As it happens we went ahead with our original booking and I had no problems with it.
Our transfers were by a very comfortable 4 x 4 and there was only myself and my husband so that was just great. Adil was our guide and he really looked after us as did the muleteer Mohammed. The food he made for us was excellent and plentiful! The gites were basic but then we expected that. Adil was happy to go at a suitable pace for us and never made us feel pressurised. Mohammed from Dar Adrar was just lovely too, arranging to pick up our luggage from Douar Samra and then us separately down in Imlil. To be honest we felt very looked after throughout the whole experience I have no complaints at all.
I would also like to add that from being picked up in Marrakech it was so refreshing to not be taken to any shops, restaurants etc where the guide clearly receives a commission for taking us. This is very important to me . I have travelled twice before in Morocco with 2 other companies and on both occasions have been encouraged to part with my hard earned cash. The people who constantly pester you in Morocco spoil the whole experience. Please continue to employ guides and drivers etc who don't try these tactics.
Linda Macdonald reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Everything was extremely well-organised - we were collected in good time from our Riad, the driver drove safely, the hotel was gorgeous, our guide was perfect, and most importantly - the scenery was beautiful. We only really had to worry about the most important things (walking and eating!) - all for a very reasonable price.
Christian Purefoy reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Transport was perfect- a really nice people carried that was on time and driver was friendly, the guide on the actual trek was great, language barrier was not a problem at all and managed to have lots of laughs.
Hannah Yeomans reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
I had an exceptional trip to Ethiopia with Tourdust at the end of last year which has inspired me to explore Africa further..
frances pollitzer reviewing Small Group Simien Mountains Trek
I want to let you know that we had an absolutely fantastic trip. In our two weeks traveling, we were fortunate enough to see and do many things, but the Winter Toubkal trek was by far the highlight. Not only we were surrounded by the beauty of the high atlas, but everyone we met was particularly kind and helpful. Mohammed was an outstanding guide. He educated us about the villages and berber life in the valley, while remaining aware of our needs. We always felt safe but were still able to challenge ourselves. Rashi, our cook, made fantastic meals and was incredibly accommodating. This was the trip of a lifetime for us. I am so pleased with Tourdust. If we are lucky enough to find ourselves traveling abroad again, I look forward to booking another trip.
Many thanks to you and your team for helping coordinate, and for making this an experience we will never forget.
Sarah Delaney reviewing Winter Toubkal and Ouanakrim Climb (Experienced)
ll the arrangements worked flawlessly. Transfers all drama free and Hassan (driver) made every effort to make us comfortable.
Dar Adrar was exactly as described. Simple but extremely comfortable and both the breakfasts and evening meals on all three nights were great. The view from the terrace is special. Hammid did a first class job for which we thank him.
The walking was a high point of the holiday. Ibrahim as guide and Samir (not forgetting Samir's mule) were great company and frankly, with the quality of local maps I don't think you could do this without them. The lunches were amongst the best food we had on the entire stay and Sarah's vegetarian requirement was met in full with no problems. The standard of the gites was better than expected. They are cold (as you advised) and your recommendation on kit was spot on. I will remember the village of Tizi Oussem for a long time. I think we both felt privileged to see something that is not going to stay the same forever.
Something of a shock to find ourselves in rammed noisy streets as we arrived at M'kesh. Dar Hanane was as sophisticated as Dar Adrar is simple. How nice to find that our room had been upgraded! The manager (Mohammed) gave us a brief orientation before we headed into the chaos which was great fun. Marjorelle gardens were well worth the time and we loved the Ben Youssef museum and Madrasa.
Sarah Caine reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
I would also like to say thank you again for a fantastic experience and well organised professional service you guys provided leading up to and during our trip. Also please pass on my many thanks to Mohammed and especially Adil who not only gave us the trip and experience of a lifetime but to who also I consider a friend for life and a pleasure to have met and spent such a wonderful time with. The man was an inspiration and a real ambassador of what you guys do. Once again many thanks and we will certainly be making contact with yourselves to plan our next adventure in the new year.
Matthew Sleeman reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
My friend and I had such a great time, and have been talking about it to anyone who will listen since! Our guide Adil was wonderful and kept us entertained, safe and informed throughout the trek. Mohammed's meals were always tasty - and enormous! - and the accommodation and transport were just what was needed. We thought the itinerary was just right, with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the views, but also working us hard (ish). 5/5!
Rebecca Plunkett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had an absolutely wonderful holiday (5 out of 5). As clients of Tourdust, we were given extra special treatment everywhere we went. I would very much like to thank the staff at Dar Adrar and Dar Hanane for their hospitality as well as our guide and cook (the two Ibrahims) for looking after us so well on our Toubkal trek. The rustic Dar Adrar was a very comfortable place to begin and end the trek, whilst the luxurious Dar Hanane was the perfect place to relax and recover before returning home.
Darren Morrow reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We've just had a brilliant time. Organisation by tourdust was excellent. My leg was fine on the walk. All the accommodation was good, even the "5 star" village gites. Everyone we met was really friendly- couldn't have been better. Tourdust by far the best holiday company have ever used.
Nicholas Yates reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Our guide (Ouleid) was outstanding - he was patient, informative, friendly and enthusiastic, and made the trip a special experience. Our cook (Omar) was fantastic as well, we really loved the cuisine he prepared for us.
The accommodation was fine - we stayed in the refuges, so we weren't expecting 5 stars, and it was suitable and comfortable.
We would give the trip 5 out of 5.
Andrew McLean reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
The trek was impressive and enjoyable, our guide Youssef was excellent and made for good company throughout the trip. The muleteers and Cook were also very good and the food was excellent. Transport and pick up from\to my Riad at the start and finish were spot on, all in all I would not change anything and would recommend\use Tourdust for this kind of adventure in the future.
Kevin Rowe reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Just a quick note to say what a fantastic holiday Mark and I had in Morocco. It started perfectly, being picked up by Mohammed at the airport with water and Moroccan pastries.
Our trekking guide, Ouleid, was great. He set a good pace and got us to the top of Toubkal successfully.
After our trekking, the peace and tranquillity of the raid was wonderful. It was luxurious, perfectly located and just what we need to rest.
We had a fantastic time and I think it is really great value for money. We were looked after so well, and all the transfers went smoothly. The only thing was that the portion sizes when trekking were huge, no way we could ever have eaten it all! But better too much than too little!
Bonnie Posselt reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Just wanted to let you know that we had a great time in Ethiopia. Everything went to plan (except the weather in the mountains) and all the guides were excellent.
Alan Kidd reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
Everything went very smoothly and the scenery at this time of year was stunning; very green with lots of flowers in bloom.
The team who were with us on the trek made it a very memorable trip; the guide Mulat was extremely knowledgeable and always eager to help. Warki the Scout, Alum and Fetalo the cooks and the muleteers were always great company and full of Ethiopian hospitality and all added to the experience and helped us to master some basic Amharic phrases.
The food throughout the trek was very good and Alum prepared a really varied menu that probably would have been hard to achieve in a modern kitchen never mind in the mountains.
The trek was definitely the highlight with stunning scenery and amazing wildlife, we were lucky enough to have 2 Ethiopian wolves come into the camp at Chennek and got some really good photos.
I think the thing that struck us about this trek was that it really felt like an adventure and away from the main tourist routes.
All 3 hotels we stayed in (Regency, Addis; Fasil Lodge, Gondar; and Mountain View, Lalibela) were very good and all the staff were incredibly helpful. The rooms were spacious, clean and there was plenty of hot water.
We would definitely score the whole trip as 5 out of 5 and have already been promoting Ethiopia to our friends. We can honestly say that there is nothing that we would have changed.
If you get the opportunity please pass on our many thanks to the team in Ethiopia.
Robert Bould reviewing 8 Day Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek
Many thanks we had a fantastic trip!
The whole experience was one never to forget. We have to say the organisation was excellent, everything happened like clockwork. We were met at the airport with a selection of local cakes by the taxi driver. The accommodation in Imlil and Marrakech were excellent particularly Marrakech that was fantastic at Dar Vedra (lovely) and the staff superb.
As for the guide Ibrahim he was such a nice guy and experienced for somebody so young and his team of muleteers and the cook very good. The food they prepared was good and presentation an artwork. They looked after us extremely well. Please pass on our thanks to all of them.
We did find that some of our older members found the summit day and the long walk back to Imlil extremely challenging. Our day lasted some 15 hours... therefore we felt you should maybe upgrade the final day duration to at least 12 hours and maybe re-iterate that it is not just challenging. We think the trek up was a technical challenge in some parts and the walk back a feat of endurance after a long day.
We were rewarded with spectacular views at the summit that made all the sweat and effort worthwhile.
We would all like to thank you for a magnificent trip that will never be forgotten. Wherever possible we shall recommend Tourdust to all our contacts and hopefully use you for our next challenge.
Andrew Leeder reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
All was so well and thoughtfully organised. Our guides were wonderful, friendly, adaptable, generous, everything you would want in such a foreign country. The muleteers were the same and a lot of fun! And Mohammed who stayed in Imlil is wonderful too.
CECILE BARRAL reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We had a wonderful week staying in Dar Adrar. We were looked after exceptionally well by Mohamad and his staff, Homad and Omar. The accommodation was very comfortable and we felt we were given first class service. The meals were always presented beautifully, were nutritious and very tasty. The staff were always friendly, helpful and caring. We were able to go for a short walk each morning and returned to a cooked lunch each day. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Imlil at Dar Adrar and were quite sorry when our week ended.
William (Ian) Starkey reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We had a well organised trip and enjoyed it very much. Thank you for your help.
Two people helped to make the experience particularly good and that was our guide ,Gawad, who was university educated and spoke excellent English and informed us of so much about the area and the Morroccan culture- very good indeed- we were lucky. Also, Aman, the young lady at the Dar Vedra, who made us so welcome and was a really happy and helpful host- it makes such a difference.
bryan rogers reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had such a fabulous time - everything exceeded our expectations - will definitely recommend you to our friends.
Margaret Rishworth reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
I would thoroughly recommend this trip from start to finish with Tourdust. Rebecca was excellent in answering my pre-booking queries, including which trek to go for and for how long. She was a really valuable source of information. I found booking very easy and the pre-departure information excellent.
The trip itself was fantastic. The local contact, Alex, was a massive help, especially when my bags with all of my trekking gear got mislaid on the flight between Addis and Gonder! Luckily, all of the luggage arrived in time. Our local guide was friendly, informative, support and overall just excellent. He was able to provide a very rich experience in terms of explaining the local culture as he had grown up in one of the villages in the mountains. His wider knowledge on everything from geology to fauna, flora and politics was also very helpful. The trek itself in beautiful and the landscape plus the wildlife make this a really unique experience. The camps were also comfortable and our food (plentiful) excellent.
I was sadly unwell during the middle of the trip and so returned to Gonder for a day. Both the local team and Ben were brilliant in arranging this and were quick to take action. I can't thank them enough. Alex also arranged for my friend and I to return to the mountains for a day to see the things we had missed on my sick day.
Overall, an amazing trek, experience and a thoroughly supportive tour company. I'll certainly be booking with Tourdust again ....
Helen Chorlton reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
Me and my friend Rebecca had an absolutely wonderful time climbing Toubkal! We still reminisce on our adventure and laugh about our memories of our guide, Abraham. He was not only very skilled and knowledgable, he was very personable and made the trip memorable. Whether it was telling silly jokes and stories that made us laugh, having deep thought-provoking conversations, or encouraging us to plunge on when we were exhausted with his frequent "YA-LA!" we enjoyed every minute.
Sarah Prikryl reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
The two Mohameds were excellent, the food Mohamed II cooked was exquisite and Mohamed I proved to be a helpful and charming guide. Please thank them both.
The only point I'd like to raise is that I think the 8-9 hours your brochure predicts for the final day of the trek is somewhat optimistic. No complaints from us, but you might get some from others.
All in all, however, a fabulous hike and no bones broken.
Imre Karacs reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Thanks for organising a fantastic trip at such short notice. We definitely plan to return some time and have not stopped talking about the experience.
On the positive side our guide Ibrahim and muleteer Rashid worked extremely hard to facilitate everything.
Ibrahim assessed our trekking ability early on and challenged us safely out of our comfort zone. We felt safe and supported at all times.
Rashid was a gentleman and a fantastic cook. He offered to carry my bag if he thought I was tired and brought us for tea and baignets into his own home - an honour that I won't forget.
With regard to the accommodation the Tamsoult refuge was comfortable and unbelievably scenic. We were unable to stop watching the goats being sheperded down from the mountains and the women working late in the fields and then returning their livestock home over the mountain paths. I will never feel justified to complain about work again!
The sanitary conditions at the gites d'etape at Tiziane were not great but on balance the experience was worth the difficulty and conditions understandable. Otherwise accommodation more than comfortable.
Transport to and from airport went without a hitch.
John Rohan reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We had a great deal of fun with our guides and muleteers, who not only made sure we were well looked after but also had a terrific sense of humour and fun which made some challenging trekking much easier. The accommodation in Imlil was very comfortable and enjoyable, great food and pleasant staff. The tents on the trek were roomy and good quality which made our time in the mountains very comfortable. Food on the trek was plentiful, tasty and nutritious which also helped us manage some challenging walking. We had a terrific time - the landscape was amazing, the walking challenging and satisfying but most of all the cultural experience was unforgettable and priceless. A great insight into the Berber culture and life style, from the guides and muleteers and the local people we met along the way, plus the villages we passed through.
I am very pleased that we did the 6 day circuit as it provided a much richer experience than just doing an ascent and decent of Mt Toubkal.
Julie Jones reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Thank you for arranging an amazing trip for my sister and I. All transfers went smoothly and the organisation of the trek and desert trip was very good. Overall 5/5 for Tourdust.
Mohamed and the staff at Dar Adrar were very helpful, friendly and accommodating and could not have done more when our plans went awry.
Ibrahim our guide on the trek was very good, very open and wanted to ensure that the customer got what they wanted out of their holiday. He helped arrange transport when one of the party was ill and asked to return to Imlil.
Hamid our mulesteer and cook served up very good food on the trek with a lot of variety (a range of tagines) and no tummy upsets.
The Gite at Tiziane is very basic (mattresses on the floor and "rustic" shower but we did get hot water). By contrast the refuge at Tamsoult exceeded expectations, comfortable bunks, hot shower and did not have to share a room. Glad to be given the option of a tent at Toubkal Refuge which was very busy - the toilet facilities were in the process of being decorated so some toilets and showers had no doors!
One tip - warn people about the walk up to Dar Adrar and advise suitable footwear (trainers).
Mohamed arranged for us to stay at a different riad because building work at Riad Dar Thania had over run. Riad Boussa owned and run by Brigitte was stylish, comfortable and friendly. Brigitte was very helpful, she armed us with a map and advised where to go for food and the location of the main tourist attractions. She also arranged for us to go for a Hammam and massage on our last day in Marrakech - recommended.
Gorges and Desert Trip (with transfer to Fes)
This three day road trip took us through some fabulous scenery through the High Atlas, the Dades Valley and Gorge, and Todra Gorge to the Desert; then on over the High and Moyen Atlas to Fes.
Racheed our guide was good and was quick to pick up on what interested us and what did not. Mohamed our driver was very careful and was happy to stop when requested for us to take photographs.
Tip - When selecting camels for the desert trek - chose a big one it is a much more comfortable ride. We had one big camel with baskets which was comfortable to ride and the baskets helped you to anchor your legs. We also had a young camel which was not at all comfortable to ride and the blankets did not stay in place exposing the wooden frame resulting in some nasty bruises. That said the camel driver did stop when requested and adjusted the blankets.
Riad Mabrouka was lovely, French colonial splendour. We had a guide (arranged by Brigitte) for the two days we were in Fes which was certainly a bonus because he took us to places we would not have seen. The down side was the inevitable visit to shops.
Before he left, Racheed had arranged a taxi to take us to the airport which arrived on time despite the early hour and the taxi driver helped us with our luggage and pointed us in the right direction at the airport - very helpful.
Money exchange at Marrakech airport - it would be better to bring sterling cash and use the Bureau de Change near the baggage pickup. We followed the Tourdust advice and used the ATM in the arrivals hall (which charge) and only issue 200 DH notes and we then had difficulty getting smaller money from the Bureau de Change desk.
Anna Firmin reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We really enjoyed the trip and it all went according to plan.
Our thanks to Ibrahim, Hasan, and Hamid who looked after us on the trekking trip.
Thanks for the upgrade to Riad Adore. It a extremely nice, well run place.
Colin Bremner reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
My partner and I had an amazing trip up Mount Toubkal and it was all down to the excellent tourguides, food and amazing views . We had Abdul as our tour guide who honestly couldn't do enough for us - I suffered with altitude sickness mainly affected by my breathing and loss of appetite and it was obvious he has been well trained in the ways to deal with it. He was very patient and always went at a pace that was right for both of us. I would rate this trip 5/5 as I feel not much could have been improved apart from the fact the tagines were cooked at virtually every meal and by the end I got a bit sick of tagines, even though they were delicious! The refuge we stayed at on the second night wasn't brilliant, but that was to be expected and Tourdust even set us up our own tent to avoid us spending a probably sleepless night in the refuge. It was cold in the tent when sleeping at 3200m so I recommend at least a 3 season sleeping bag. The organisation of the trip was excellent, both from the help team before the trip who were quick in replying to queries and the tour guides. I had a bit of trouble coming down the mountain due to not having experience on scree before and I was quite worried I would slip over; Abdul held me all the way down to make sure I didn't fall, which was very much appreciated as I would have taken ages to do it without him! Be wary there is a lot of scree underfoot so good walking boots and walking poles are advised. There is a lot of walking to be done and it does feel like you will never get to the top but oh my the views are worth every bit of the climb. After looking at my photos they really don't do it justice - you really do have to see it to believe it.
Overall, this was a holiday of a lifetime for us which was made even better by Tourdust. So thanks again!
Sarah Trenfield reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
The trek was absolutely fantastic .....can't fault anything at all .the whole team were fun and entertaining. Guides were absolutely the best !! Food was superb .... Beautifully presented in our fabulous eating tent with the beautiful carpets and comfy mats to sit on .the cooks were absolutely amazing at what they produced with the so many surprising extras they kept turning out. Nothing was too hard.
My special food needs were well and truly catered for... They always went out of their way to ensure our comfort throughout the whole trip. Our accommodation in the Gites and hotel in Imlil were both excellent.
A truly wonderful experience and one I shall not forget!!! The stay in Marakech at Dar Hanane, at the end of the trip, was certainly a wonderful end and lovely experience!
Berenice Torstensson reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Just came back from Morocco
We loved our track and I really have to make your company (and Mohammed) a compliment: organization was PERFECT, the driver picked us up 5 minutes before 9 and everything went just right. Food was surprisingly good (taking into account that those guys cooked on a little gas-stove for us and had to carry everything up the mountain), trek was very hard, but beautiful, overnight-spots were adorable (my favourite: on a small plateau on 3.500m altitude with approx. 100km view...), our guide Ibrahim (goooood guy!) was very considerate and (as we had a group of 2, which was wonderful) let us define the pace.
Really, there is no nameable criticism that I could think of. Maybe the last day’s schedule of 10 hours walking-time: due to the strenuous descend that is very long and hard – fortunately our guide Ibrahim gave us an option the day before and we split the last 2 days of the trek a bit differently.
Thanks for a memorable and very well organised trek (including all the info in advance)!
joe drexler reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Everything about the 6 day trek was - well, perfect is not the word as some of the ascents into the thin atmosphere, zig-zagging up (& then down!) steep scree were painful - but it was a tremendous adventure. All the staff who looked after us not only did a superb job but were very enjoyable to spend time with.
The trek was challenging but full of interest, with marvellous landscapes & plenty regarding the physical & human environment: fascinating contrasts between the bare scree slopes & the green of barley & walnut trees in the valleys.
Terraced fields & irrigation systems; toiling up & down steep stony paths under the hot sun with endless views fading into technicolour horizons.
The camp sites - all of them but especially the meadow by the river at the end of Day 2, Day 3 when we stayed in a village gite at Amsouzerte & the windy corner of the steep ravine above Ifni Lake on Day 4.
But what made all of that physically (& psychologically) manageable was the care & attention of Rashid, Mohammed, Mustafa & Ibrahim. They did their job - giving us a good time! - with endless good humour, charm & a quiet, unobtrusive skill. Rashid our guide was attentive to our pace, encouraging & helpful, patient. He checked regularly that we had water, timed breaks well & carried snacks to keep us going. His English is not as good as his French I think, but he shared his knowledge of the environment with us & was always ready to listen to our thoughts & ideas.
Mohammed produced satisfying & interesting meals - what more to ask for from your cook?! especially as we were fish-eating veggies... although I can't say I am in a hurry to eat another veg tagine (or boiled carrots, potatoes etc in any form!). I guess we had less to do directly with the muleteers but enjoyed their efficiency & good humour as a bonus - & they seemed as delighted as we were in our accomplishment. It is of course easy to be cynical with the prospect of a tip in view, but to us it all seemed genuine.
Impressive customer care from 2 guys aged 25 & 2 younger.
Excellent place for a break in contrasting countryside (Tuscan we thought) so we enjoyed not only the pool & (2 of us) the spa, but also a wander down the road in the evening.
We wished they had served some vegetables or salads. it wasn't brilliant for vegetarians although the cuisine for meat eaters looked high class.
We arrived quite late - about 7.30 - & were told dinner was at 8.30. Outside, cool, good atmosphere, we sat & watched for 30 mins or so while the tables were laid - by one very hard-working man, which I think is the problem: they were understaffed.
When the food did begin to arrive it was a series of small dishes: a tiny pizza tart, pumpkin soup, a compact tablet of compressed salad with small pieces of chicken dominating the other tastes, a plain quiche or chicken, "brown sugar tart" for dessert. All quite interesting - perhaps a bit heavy on pastries - but we never knew what to expect & it was after 1030 by the time we finished!
This long drawn out process was repeated the next evening. At the end of the meal 3 of us went to bed & one waited for tea - but gave up after 20 mins!
On the 3rd evening we ate in the dining room - cool & windy outside - & it was all much quicker.
At breakfast we would be offered eggs after we had consumed two kinds of pikelets, pain au chocolat etc.
So the problem was not the food but as I said above, that the one guy serving (& cleaning the toilets, carrying bags to the rooms, etc. etc. with unfailing good humour) was just one man.
The guides didn't get food until the other guests had all finished so they ate even later.
Kasbah Dar Illam
Yes we certainly did use & enjoy the pool - & it was marvellous that we did not have to check out of our room until our car to the airport (the same driver as Marrakech-Imlil & out to Dades - great continuity) was at the door.
It seemed a rather sleepy hotel although the service was attentive & pleasant enough; the food (dinner & breakfast) was OK. We wouldn't have wanted to stay longer as it is pretty much remote from everywhere else but for a final day of relaxation it was good.
Thanks for sorting it for us & please pass our feedback to Mohammed, Rashid, Mohammed, Mustafa, Ibrahim, Larsin & the hotels.
Gordon Parker reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We had a wonderful time, the hiking was so wonderful and the riad in Marrakech was just amazing and they had great service!
I really don’t have much to say, it all worked out very well and Tourdust has given us great service!
Anna Korsvik reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Terri and I just got back from Mt. Kenya, the tour you arranged for us was fantastic.
Shawn Madore reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek
Daisy and I really enjoyed the trek, it was the highlight of our holiday. I'm full of admiration for the our Guide Francis, cook Wilson and his team of porters. Not only did they feed us like kings but Francis never put a foot wrong on the whole mountain and, as you know, they don't have all the high tech equipment we have such as good boots and 4 season sleeping bags. That really brought home the income gap and I was glad we had brought a decent tip with us. We both enjoyed chatting to Francis as we walked and at meal times and he gave us a very interesting perspective on Kenya life.
At the Rock House Patrick and his wife were very helpful especially sorting out our forward coach trip. It would be great if you could feed back our thanks to the guys.
Transport to and from the mountain was fine, better than I was expecting. The huts were a bit of a shock to the system but you quickly get used to them and its definitely better than tents! The acclimatization day was interesting, I think it may well have helped us summit fairly easily but we were the only group who did it. Overall I would recommend it if you have time.
I will recommend Tourdust to others and I'd give you 5/5.
chris kirtley reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek
The trek was great.
The organisation was superb. We were picked and returned to Marrakech with ease. The guide Lacsen and muleteers, Hamid and Mustaffa, were fantastic. They were super friendly and good fun and gave us great insights into the mountains, their language and culture. They really made the trek special for us actually; hanging out with them gave an extra dimension. They cooked excellent food and worked hard to keep us on schedule. Hats of especially to Lacsen who did all the waking without a single drop of water due to Ramadan.
The trek itself was well put together. Good itinerary to ease us in to the longer days at the end of the trek and acclimatize us to the altitude. The views from Toubkal were spectacular. The evening stays in Berber villages and by the lake were also really cool.
Christian Bugge reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Our trekking trip was very good! Everything was well arranged and organised. Our guide was Abdul and our cook was Rachid. Both were the nicest and friendliest people. They were extremely helpful, supportive and caring all the time. We felt very safe and in good hands. The first two nights we stayed in gites in villages. We were the only tourists there and had the whole room to ourselves which was great. Abdul showed us around the villages in the evening. Third night's accommodation was a very clean and friendly Refuge run by Hussain. And finally the last night, we chose to sleep in a tent just outside the Toubkal Refuge which was very nice too.
Food was very tasty and fresh (and plenty!). Rachid took a lot of care and attention to make our meals diversified and nicely presented. Every day we were served a nice warm lunch with lovely mint tea. Then in the afternoons, after the walk, warm tea and biscuits and dinner in the evening (usually a soup and a tagine followed by some fruit dessert).
The route was very well planned and thought through. We walked for 5 days, several hours a day, gradually climbing up through diverse and scenic landscapes to eventually reach Toubkal on the last day. It felt like a great accomplishment and was very emotional...
All in all, the definite highlight from your side were Abdul&Rachid and we would greatly recommend these guys to everyone wanting to trek with you. Many thanks for a great trip!!
Agnieszka Loska reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
The trip was fabulous, definitely Larchen was the best guide by miles. Met up with some other trekkers and their guides stormed off ahead of them. He was really good and setting the right pace and also when we were ascending on the last day, he was really listening to my breathing closely to make sure I was fine ( I was and did make it to the top!) which felt really good , professional, safe and aware.
The first refuge though unfinished was a very pleasant surprise, the second was as expected though the loos more grim than necessary!!
Despite camping next to the mules… managed to sleep remarkably well and not being in the dorms absolutely the right decision.
Our cook – Braham was very good and our mule in tip top condition!
Douar Samur cannot get high enough ratings
ANNETTE MCDONALD reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We have just returned from an excellently organised, well provisioned and beautiful 5 day trek from Agouti to the summit of Mt M'Goun via Tarkadett Plateau and on to Ait Ali N'Ito. Rashid, our guide, was delightful, well informed and enthusiastic. Hamid, our energetic cook, prepared most delicious meals. We highly and unreservedly recommend Tourdust.
Magdaz was the most beautiful Berber village of all.
We also enjoyed spending a night at the exquisite and relaxing Kazbah Ellouse (near Ait Benhaddou) on our drive, with sight seeing stops, back to Marrakech.
Thanks to all of you and to the proficient drivers, friendly muleteers, Rashid and Hamid for a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Ralph Pliner reviewing Mgoun Summit Trek
I wanted to write to say how unbelievably impressed I was on our 5 day break away in Morocco with Tourdust. I'm well travelled and have been to Morocco five times over the last decade but had never done an 'activity' trip or mountain climb before.
This past week had changed all this - I'm now hooked and can see clearly how a well run and tailor made trip like this can make the difference between just a 'holiday' and a cherished life experience.
I found the Tourdust itinerary, connections, staff and attention to detail first class - 5/5 if I'm honest. Our guide, cook and muleteer were genuine and humble caring with real interest about our pace and well being on the trek.
The food was absolutely spot on delicious and fresh the hygiene of the cooking equipment and tents impeccable. I certainly felt we had VIP treatment from beginning to end.
I personally found the actual climb up Toubkal itself both emotionally and physically challenging yet hugely rewarding and was pleased we began it at 4am in the dark. Reaching summit just after sunrise a huge bonus - I'd recommend this to others. I confess I found the walk back to imlil post climb a tad too much but on reflection can't see how this would be avoided without incurring another night therefore impinging on our Marrakech time. Something I'm glad we didn't do.
Dar Hamman was a gem of a find and I'd highly recommend it to others looking for a boutique experience in the crazy town of Marrakech.
I found your pre trip advice pack spot on in terms of packing tips. My only emphasis would be on walking poles, head torches (for summit climbing in the dark) and thick gloves - again for summit which was freezing at dawn.
Liz, Lisa and I spent many a moment admiring the set up and 'support team' you provided and hope very much to use you again for future trips.
Grace Saunders reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
The hike was superb and unforgettable with spectacular views on the impressive and colourful mountains, treks through fertile valleys, visits to Berber villages with people still living in the Middle-ages (no water or electricity), but many using a cell phone! The visit to Magdaz was one of the highlights of the trek, also because our guide managed to get permission for a visit of one of the oldest Kasbah’s in the village.
Name withheld reviewing Ait Bougmez Traverse Trek
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and I score it 5 out of 5. Adil our guide
and Ali the muleteer were excellent. Adil would tell us about the wild
life, people of the region and knew every bit of the trek. He helped me up
and down Toubcal. The accommodation was basic but comfortable and the food was very good. We were amazed at what he served up.
Robin Meller reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Me and my four friends did a holiday in Morocco organised by Tourdust with five days on the mountains and two days in Marrakech. We were picked up from the airport and from then on to the end of the trip very well taken care of. We were very impressed by both Rebecca's patient and knowledgeable responses from the Tourdust office and our guide's, Abdul's, experience and friendliness hauling us up and down the mountains.
Our group was a mix of people with varying hiking and high altitude background, but Abdul managed to adjust the trek to all of our needs. The Toubkal circuit is at times physically demanding, so the more you train in advance, the better off you are. But the hike is mostly relatively easy and none of us suffered too much from the altitude. Two things to bear in mind are that, though a relatively easy hike, you do it at every high temperatures even in the spring (we had about +30-35 on most days, even at altitude) and the summit day is a very long one and does not end at the sense of achievement of having happily returned to the base camp but continues for several hours back to Imlil.
In addition to the wonderful time at the mountains, we had a lovely two days at Marrakech. We stayed at Dar Vedra, a much recommendable guest house that was just what we needed after the trekking, with its beautiful rooftop terrace and extremely friendly and helpful staff. Marrakech is a lot of fun and should be part of any Atlas Mountains trip.
All in all, I thoroughly recommend Tourdust and hope to use their services in the future as well
Maiju Kettunen reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
In short, the trip was great. Alex was a delight to meet and work with. He is very customer oriented and follows through on everything. Everything that was promised in the trip itinerary was delivered. Alex's staff was also exemplary. The trek guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and very accommodating. The cook (or more correctly the chef) was the best I've had on any trek (and I've been on many treks). The driver that took me from Gondar to the mountains was very competent and safe. His actions actually kept us from having an accident when a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction almost hit us.
The accommodations throughout where great. The Addis Regency had a great staff (very friendly) and the rooms were clean and the restaurant very good. The accommodations in Lalibela were also good. Alex changed me from the Jerusalem Hotel to the Lalibela Lodge. It's a newer lodge with large, clean rooms. The restaurant and service was good. As I told Alex, the rooms don't have televisions, but that was fine for me. Others may prefer a television. The rooms are wired for television and my guess is that they will be added at some point. I viewed the change as positive. The Fasil Lodge in Gondar was also very good.
Overall it was a great trip. There were no glitches (other than an Ethiopian Airlines problem with a broken engine part that caused a 5 hour delay when leaving Gondar) I would definitely recommend Tourdust to others. You were easy to work with and delivered a great trip.
Kenneth Pollock reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
Overall, Christine and I rate our experience with TourDust a 5/5... SUPERB!!
Booking - Our experience with booking was excellent,.. Rebecca, you did an awesome job making suggestions and answering all of our questions in detail and also very quickly. We felt like you captured what experience we were looking for in our trip and did a great job recommending Douar Samra as our home base.
Accommodations - Douar Samra was AMAZING!!Our room was spectacular, clean and offered stunning views of the mountains. Our hosts were wonderful and offered amazing, nutritious meals, as well as friendly service. Meeting other travelers while enjoying our meals was a plus.
Transportation from and back to Marrakech - Remembering and pronouncing Moroccan names was a bit difficult for us, so we agreed to call our driver "The Mountain Man"... sorry, I have no idea of this man's real name, but he was fantastic. He was timely with our pick up time at our hotel in Marrakech and answered many of our questions during the drive to Imlil. He stopped along the road any time we liked, so that we could snap some incredible photos of the scenery.He was polite, courteous and was a great driver in the windy roads in the mountains!
Guide - Abraham (we asked Abraham how we would let you know who our guide was, as there are many Abraham's in the mountains... he told us to mention.. Abraham.. from the army... so I hope this description finds him back!)We LOVED Abraham !!! He knew just how to push us to our limits, but not over exert us while hiking the challenging terrain. We loved learning about the mountain way of day to day living, and were totally taken back and humbled when he shared some of his own personal family stories with us. Our heart melted for him and we thank him for so many great conversations during our 3 day hiking adventure. Out of our 12 days in Morocco, we think back to our time spent with Abraham the most, and will always consider these 3 days in the High Atlas the top highlight of our trip.
Cook -Hassan was our cook, and his mule, (whom we called Sam) were also superb.We were amazed at Hassan's cooking technique while in the vast mountain ranges. The meals he prepared for us, we consider to have been the best meals during our entire trip. The presentation of the food he prepared was top notch.. it was so creative and colorful!I would also like to add that Sam, the mule, came to my rescue on Day 2 of hiking.. I just couldn't get to the summit of our hike that day.. I was so tired! So Hassan sent Sam down a little ways down the mountain to retrieve me and take me the rest of the way up the mountain!!How special is that!!! Another 5/5 experience!!
Value -I consider the cost associated with this adventure was ideal. I felt like the price paid, was in line with the experience received.
Overall Impression - I would definitely book with Tourdust again in the future.There was absolutely nothing to complain about from booking to the end of our trip.
Diane Looman reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had an absolutely fabulous time and were delighted with your arrangements. Les Jardins de Maroc was outstanding as was our stay at Kasbah Touboukal. Our guide on the hike was very professional - all in all we could not fault anything and had a truly memorable holiday.
Many thanks to you and the team at Tourdust.
Christopher Wilmot reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
The trip to Morocco was great. Your information prior to travel was very helpful and being able to carry the "dossier" on a Kindle was so much better than printing the document. Dar Adrar was a great place to stay - they were so helpful, particularly when we arrived so late on our first day. The distances we trekked each day worked well given the conditions we were walking in - we had rain and snow on the second day so we needed time to dry out on the third so some time sat in the sun was more than welcome.The snow also meant walking was more difficult so the distance covered each day was about right. However, had the conditions been good, we did feel that some of the distances were a bit short. The guide and cook/muteteer were a great team. Abdul had lots of local knowledge but didn't force it on us. He was also very good at setting an appropriate pace. The food Mohammed cooked was brilliant for walking. He even managed to cook porridge for breakfast when he found out one of us couldn't eat bread. Ginger the mule was also an excellent companion - a bit on the quiet side but she definitely had an understated sense of humour!
The gites varied considerably. They were very cold at night but most had extra blankets. The only really difficult night was after the rain. Despite our waterproofs we were soaked to the skin and had no way to dry coats and trousers. Had the bad weather continued we would have had a miserable time being so wet and cold. Fortunately day 3 was bright and sunny so we steamed as we walked!
Eileen Tolan reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
From the very beginning, Tourdust was a delight. Our itinerary was ideal - and perfectly ordered given the the range of things we had wanted to squeeze into our 10-day break to Morocco. We could not fault the accommodation choices - they were idyllic and we were very well looked after in all four of our locations. Our guide, Ibrahim, in the Atlas Mountains was wonderful - especially when we struggled (mentally!) through some unseasonal rain, hail, wind, snow and blizzards on our first day. The photos the following morning made it so worthwhile. I am sure we will find something decent to enter the photography competition with! Thank you
Katherine Walton reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Jodie and I were very impressed with EVERYTHING about our holiday experience with you.
The pre-trip information and transportation to greet us at the airport and transport us to the Atlas Mountains worked like a dream (always very nervous of this when you arrive in a new country) so top marks to our driver there! Accommodation on the trek was far better than we had prepared ourselves for, visiting some lovely houses with clean sanitary conveniences (again we had packed the 'wet wipes' but were so pleased for hot showers!) Both our guide Lasan and Rashid were very accommodating and enjoyed having a laugh with us which made us feel very relaxed. I think only the 'mule' played up as she escaped one evening which caused a slight panic amongst them all!!!
Making our reservation at the Riad in Marrakesh (Dar Hanane) was a wonderful way to relax in Marrakesh.
All in all we will be contacting you again for our next trip (!) but also recommending your Services to our other friends as it was a completely stressed free, enjoyable trip.
Sarah and Jodie reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We wanted to say what a fantastic time we had with the Tourdust trek. We couldn't fault it from start to finish. At the outset from my first call you were really helpful and engaging. I had been looking at a number of different operators but decided to go with you based on the consideration you showed on what I was looking for, the detailed information you sent through in a timely manner, the value for money of the trip and quality of your service. Tourdust immediately came across as flexible in terms of trek start dates, duration and pick-up/drop off transport.
In terms of the actual trek, our guide Adil and cook Mohamad should be singled out. They always ran to schedule (from pick up and drop off to the actual schedule on each day); they were considerate and attentive; professional; kind; they were always ready to answer our questions and interested in us and what we had to say and good conversationalists. We felt very well looked after the whole time. We were met at the trek starting point by the local rep which was a nice touch and he showed us a map of our trek and had a mint tea with us making sure we got away on the trek okay.
We particularly wanted to praise the cook/Muleteer Mohamad. He catered to our dietary needs as vegetarians making fantastic food every day. He was always happy and positive and made us feel very special, making sure we were happy with our food. The catering was excellent.
We noticed other muleteers not treating their mule so well whereas Mohamad had a great relationship with our mule and it responded to his verbal prompts which was impressive.
The actual trek was breathtaking. It was a good combination of physically challenging with stunning scenery; we loved the fact that is was an alternative trek so we hardly saw any tourists and really felt we had the mountains to ourselves. The lunch picnic spots were beautiful and again we felt like a king and queen being given cushions and blankets to sit on, hot mint tea to start things off and then lots of fresh, hearty and healthy food. The length of walking each day was just right.
The accommodation (and loos), as you advised, was basic but a great experience. It did get cold at night but we were given extra blankets and the dinners and breakfasts kept us going. I liked the fact we were staying with a local family/their place in a small village rather than a touristy place. After the trek on the first day when we had quite a few hours free, Adil our guide offered us an additional walk around the village which was really nice.
The whole standard of service from start to finish was 10 out of 10. We would definitely recommend Tourdust to friends and colleagues and are already talking about coming back again.
Thank you again for all your help in making this a fantastic experience and please pass on our thanks and feedback to the local team.
Rashmi Becker reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
A big thank you to the team at Tourdust for our fantastic trek to Mount Kenya.
We made it. It was a tough climb and not for those who are afraid of heights. I learnt loads about the flora and fauna of Africa from our expert guide Francis and we enjoyed great food prepared by Ngari.
Full write-up and pictures of my trip are here
Kathryn Bullock reviewing Mount Kenya: Sirimon - Chogoria Trek
We are very pleased with the trip we booked!
People were in time, polite, correct and keen on giving us a perfect holiday!
Jonathan Van Dyck reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
On the 20th Jan 2013 we started our 3 day valley trek from imlil in the atlas mountains.
Ibrahim was our guide and Samir was our cook/mule handler. It was a great trek up to 2300m in the snow. Over the whole of our trek Ibrahim and samir were brilliant and really looked after both of us, helping us along the way as we were not quite as fit as we should have been. They made sure we went at the right pace, stopping when required. With this help we enjoyed the trek and all the food was really great. I would really recomend this trek and would give 10/10 for ibrahim and samir. The gites are a little cold so bring plenty of warm clothing for the overnight stays.
We also stayed in dar hanane in marrakech and in casa lila in essaouira, both were brill and we were transported by mustafa from the airport to all of our locations over the 10 days. Mustafa was always there on time and did a really good job. We really had a good time with plenty of laughs with ibrahim and samir and would like to thank them again.
richard gallacher reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had an excellent trip, thanks!
The guide was very knowledgeable and flexible with breaks, timings, etc. He kept phone contact with the main office to ensure all connections/vehicles were in the proper place at the right time. The lodging was acceptable for a trek. Nothing great, mostly hard huts or tented camps, but nice to have a warm shower on days between our tenting nights. The one night we were supposed to be in The Pelican Lodge, we were changed to Lake Nakuru Lodge, which was fantastic!
During the trek, the cook made wonderful breakfasts and dinners. There was a decent variety of soups, vegtable and meat dishes. Lunch was a basic 'box lunch' with a sandwich, chicken, boiled egg and fruit. Lunch was acceptable and fueled us for the journey, it just got a little redundant by the end of the trek.
All pre-trip literature was informative and sufficient.
I have already and will continue to recommend this trip to others. For the trek: the days are long and tiring, but it was very worth the effort, and the sense of accomplishment is immeasurable. The safari itself was also great. The amount of time spent driving between the trek end to Nakuru and Nakuru to Masai Mari got old... however, this is unavoidable when trying to do it all.
Thanks again for aranging a very enjoyable trip!
Alan Bardsley reviewing Mount Kenya: Burguret Chogoria Traverse
Heather & I had a great time - with the guide and hotel in Addis and Lodge in Gondar all rated at highly.
Richard Scott reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
This was a great trip! Great value for money and a great way to learn about the Atlas and see Morocco! I felt a million miles away from home, with the breath taking views and of course both the cook and tour guide helped to make it a great experience. We never went hungry and the food was great!
Helen Dennis reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Our Morocco trip was a great success.We made it to the top of Toubkal,and then enjoyed kicking back at Dar Hanane.
Our guide on the trek, tall Mohammed, was excellent. Conditions on the final climb were tough. It rained, hailed and snowed the afternoon before, and we were slipping around a fair bit on the last day. The hut we stayed in at Lipeney was great. The Toubkal refuge was a shocker! Really crowded.
Stuart Walker reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We had a great trip with Tourdust. The guides (especially the cook) were fantastic and very supportive. All accommodation on the mountain was great. The first refuge we stayed at was fab and we welcomed the teams advice to camp at the second refuge. We would (and have already) recommended Tourdust to friends.
Richard Taylor reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
First of all I wanted to thank you for this wonderful trip that you organised for us. we had a great time! The choice of the hotels was great, all of them were clean and had a nice atmosphere. The food was great in general and so were all cooks.
CHRISTOS GKOGKAS reviewing Simien Mountains & Northern Highlights
Our guide really was wonderful, calm helpful and very good company - he also took care of us incredibly well along with our two other companions and their mules.
Everything was as we had expected - and the mountains were wonderful.
Elena Isayev reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
We had an amazing trek.
Eileen Tolan reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
We were extremely impressed with the organisation, logistics and execution of the trip by the local team on the ground - we didn't expect a trip to Africa to run so smoothly! Plus a lovely touch by a few hotels who acknowledged it was our honeymoon....petals on beds in Addis Regency and Gondar, with a free evening meal at the latter too!
Richard Waters reviewing Classic Northern Circuit & Simien Mountains
Thanks Tourdust, for showing us close up how people live in Ethiopia and its amazing wildlife.
Luke Pinney reviewing Simien Mountains & Northern Highlights
Both our guides were fine, did a good job, walked at a good pace for our group. Kept a close eye on us on the last night and helped me keep going even when not feeling well. Only thing i would say is that they weren't overly friendly. Felt a bit like they spoke to us enough to sort of do their job and make conversation but sort of expected that they might be a bit more friendly and enthusiastic. Might have been due to the fact we were two girls though? Didn't really stop us enjoying it, just would have been nice! 4/5
Considering your on a mountain the food was good and there was a lot of it. Though this became a bit of a problem as we felt so much pressure to eat it, not once did we finish all the food that was provided, and felt bad about the waste. Perhaps the cook needs to be more open to changing the portions of food he cooks depending on how much people eat! 4/5
All the information from tourdust through booking was excellent. We had plenty of information to help decide the route and to prepare for the climb. Though we were advised to take water purifying tablets, but actually they already purified the water. And walking poles were an optional extra however we were advised they were essential on arrival and had to rent some. 5/5
Emily Davies reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
This was an excellent trip which exposed us to the life of Amazier (Berber) villagers in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco enhanced by the detail provided by the guides and complimented by the local food and service provided by the head muleteer, who was highly respected by the guides and others alike. The first three days provided an opportunity to acclimatise to the temperature more than the altitude but better that way than both at the same time. The next three days provided exactly what we wanted in terms of a challenging trek with the flexibility to change the itinerary to cater for our individual and group needs and the day at the end provided experience of the markets and conflicting lifestyle in Marrakech to that in the mountains.
The guides, cook and muleteers we had were excellent and couldn’t do enough to keep us happy even to the point of arranging surprise cakes and fritters on the third day of the trek when I mentioned it was one of the group members birthday. The food was excellent throughout, with fresh vegetables, fruit and some fish and meat was provided with the majority of meals, the only improvement would have been the provision of fresher bread as it became a little monotonous eating stale bread because you had it with everything; perhaps we were just spoilt on the days 1 and 2 at Dar Ardar. Our guides Mohammed and Ilyas were tentative and informative throughout and although Mohammed was clearly the more experienced of the two, Ilyas provided the group with a daily insight into the life of Berber and the history of the Amazier people which enhanced the experience had by all.
mkin reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Firstly Hassan our guide. What a lovely man, relaxed but attentive and primarily concerned with our wellbeing. On our final day we had to cope with some rather challenging conditions. Very high winds gusting on exposed paths with loose scree on either side of narrow tracks. For some of the way he hand held my partner as our ears filled up with small stones and dust,a professional job very well done top marks from us 5 out of 5.
Accommodation was good although fairly basic. A small issue would be the problem of lack of running water at our 1st accommodation especially as it was the “traditional” drop toilet. 3 out of 5.
Mustapha our muleteer and cook was also fabulous cheerful respectful and what a spread he would put on. Who else can put weight on while trekking in the Atlas? Top marks 5 out of 5.
Booking and service was good 4/5 out of 5.
Our overall impression was great. The trek itself was stunning and we enjoyed it no end and thank goodness within our capabilities another top score 5 out of 5. Thanks!
Sue Neate reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We really enjoyed the tour. We found it to be well organised (both in booking /prior to departure and during), good value for money and very accommodating - for example the fact that we were asked if we would like to postpone our taxi ride back to Marrakech (we were staying at Kasbah du Toubkal for 2 nights after the tour ended, before travelling on to Marrakech), being given the option to store our excess baggage in the Tour Dust office in Imlil and then having this delivered direct to the Kasbah on our arrival, and our guide escorting us straight to the Kasbah at the end of the tour.
I think it would be important to state that the mules aren't with you at all times, so store everything you might need for that morning/afternoon in your daypack (we were caught in a heavy rain storm without our macs because of this).
Daphne Fordham reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We had the most amazing time, I really can't say how wonderful the whole holiday was as from the start to the finish we were looked after by whoever was the person at the time so beautifully! Lasen the guide is truly such a lovely man who was a shadow when he was needed by my father but was sensitive when not! So 5 out of 5 for the guide, it was the most memorable brilliant holiday!! The only slight change that did occur was that we didn't go the Riad Dar Hanane, we turned up there and they said that we were staying at the sister riad, which was called Riad Tzarra which was seriously amazing.
Camilla Drinkall reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We returned yesterday from our Morocco trip and I just wanted to write to say thank you to Tourdust as we had a fantastic time and everything went very smoothly, which is extremely impressive given the last minute nature of our trip. Thank you, and I will not hesitate to recommend Tourdust to friends.
Also I just wanted to add how fantastic we found our guide Abdul and our cook Mohammed to be. For three days they were great company and great guides/cooks and I have no doubt we would not have made it up Toubkal without them.
Nicholas Sim reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We would not hesitate to give our guide and chef 5 stars as there was nothing really we could fault them on. The guide was very friendly and chatty, speaking great English and was very attentive throughout.
Although the chef didn't speak English to the same standard, he was always extremely polite and cooked the authentic Moroccan dishes to a high standard in rather difficult circumstances (in a large tent).
The accommodation was a tent, which we of course expected, but the guide did put the tent up and even provided sleeping mats, which were much needed.
The contact we received from both yourself and the guide prior to departure was great, especially the Itinerary, and the guide was very flexible in allowing us to return from the trip a little early for our onward journey.
Overall the trip was excellent and certainly a highlight of our 3 week stay in Morocco and we would recommend to anyone thinking of booking a similar excursion.
5 stars all round!
Adam White reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
I really enjoyed the trip despite the rotten weather. The guide, Mohammed, could not have been better - he was competent, friendly, informative and had a great sense of humour. He rose to every challenge that the weather posed and looked after us extremely well; definitely a 5. The accommodation at Imlil was exactly as I expected, the staff and the food were great. The Bel Haj in Marrakech was better than expected, the room was luxurious and the staff were all friendly and efficient, the manageress coming in to see me, suggesting places to visit etc. Once again a 5 for accommodation. All services prior to departure were also worth a 5 as was my overall impression. Thank you for an extremely well arranged and managed holiday
Warwick Hardy reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
Ibrahim was my guide. I found him to be attentive, good humoured and relaxed. I did not appreciate until I got to the refuge that the final 1000 metres of Toubkal would be attempted in the dark commencing 5 am on the second day. That was a 3 hour hike, mostly in the dark, up the scree and it was tough going. Ibrahim was careful as we got closer to the top to make sure I paced myself and he slowed his own pace down quite markedly even though he felt the cold.
On refection it would have been preferable to have spent a second night at the refuge and walked back to Imlil the following day. The final hike up and down Toubkal was enough of a hike in itself and knowledge that one had to hike down from the refuge to Imlil added a time pressure to the day. This was of course subjective but I would recommend to anyone that they enjoy the moment of having climbed Toubkal and then spend the rest of that day at the refuge. I should add that the company and character of hikers at the refuge was outstanding. It was a pleasure to have met such a great group of open and sociable people at one time in such a place. I probably should add that that may have been a one off as the following day a small group arrived marked by a determination to keep to themselves and remain closed to others.
The walk back to Imlil was pleasant. It was a fair walk on top of an already full day. Ibrahim set a cracking pace.
The cook was also terrific. The food was superb. It really was excellent. I do not want to sound ungracious but the lunch cooked on the first day was a feast with the result that the rest of the hike was made more difficult as my blood supply moved to my stomach to digest food when it was needed elsewhere.
It was a great 2 day trip and I remain grateful for your expertise and your assistance.
Kevin Holmes reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
I had a fantastic experience and we were well looked after by our guide Abdul and cook Hamid. The staff at Tourdust provided an excellent organising and facitilating service. Abdul was 5/5 he was able, thorough and very thoughtful and had a good sense of humour. Hamid the cook was excellent too. The mountain huts were fine. Some other travellers had concerns over the squat toilet facilities but we were happy with everything. The beds were comfortable and the food was excellent. The question of tipping or not tipping hut custodians is a bit of a quandary and there seems to have been an increase in the size of tips expected in general. It would be useful to have advice from the company on this. Food was Really healthy and delicious food served with great enthusiasm. I particularly benefited from the porrage at breakfast times. The colourful salad supplied at the col at 3000 metres was particularly note worthy. The panacakes made for us at the Netlner refuge were of exceptionally good quality.
Sid Gallagher reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Definitely 5/5 across the board. An amazing and memorable trip enjoyed by everyone in the party – even those who had reservations about attempting the challenge. Elias was a great guide. His pace was just right for a mixed ability group of our size, he was helpful and very good at preparing us mentally for what lay ahead when answering the ‘how much further?’ ‘how much higher?’ questions. He was very knowledgeable about the local landscape scenery and was obviously very keen to educate us on Berber culture, which was fascinating.
The accommodation in Imlil and Marrakesh was absolutely stunning. A fantastic way to start and end the trip. Fantastic introduction to Morocco in Imlil in traditional riad. The place in Marrakesh was fabulous too – the setting, facilities, food, staff, and the amazing Mandy were faultless. Camping was less luxurious! Quality of the tents and the facilities in the refuge were better than expected although quite basic. The decision to sleep in tents rather than in the crowded noisy dorms was the right one. However the final night under canvas wasn’t much fun given the (unexpected and unseasonal) incessant rain and wind.
Food on trek was amazing. Fresh, tasty, filling and plentiful. Far superior to anything any of the group expected. Unbelievable that the cooks could whip up such amazing food in the middle of nowhere.
I’d have no hesitation at all in recommending Tourdust to anyone who wants first class service, accurate information, eager, informed guides and amazing chefs.
Marie Ghiloni reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Got back from Morocco last night and the 3 day trek we organised with you was awesome! Such an amazing experience and well worth it to get to the top!
The tour guide Mohammed was excellent. He spoke perfect English and was very informative 5/5
Staying in tents in the refuges was really enjoyable for me but was basic. I was not expecting luxury and thought it was everything that we needed 4/5
Meals were amazing, true moroccan cuisine and plenty of it! 5/5
We were given all the advice and information needed for the trip 5/5
Overall experience was great! Thanks very much 5/5
Alice Stephens reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Our main guide, Ibrahim, was amazing. Our porters/cooks Mohamed and Samir were brilliant too. Ibrahim knew everything and, despite it being during Ramadan and trying to conserve energy, he would talk with us frequently and give us loads of information wherever we wanted it. As he knew so many people he was able to arrange everything quickly, and all three of them were a masterful team at preparing where we were sleeping and what we were eating and so on. I presume it was the Morrocan way, but there wasn't too much communication of what was happening next and so on. Things just happened - as we'd anticipate them to - but without too much fuss and chat about it. We'd always have a meeting at the end of the day to discuss the next day.
Accommodation was fine and certainly on level with expectations. We had 'guesthouses' in the Berber villages for the first three nights, and on the fourth night we were in the Toubkal Refuge. The accommodation was very basic - a mat on a floor in someone's house - but we weren't expecting anything else so it was good.
Drew Thomson reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Everything, from start to finish, was perfect. Minalu, our guide, and Yohannes (Johnny) our driver, were absolutely wonderful. I had never taken a private custom tour before and was not sure what to expect. Minalu and Johnny were fabulous. I think what I appreciated the most was their flexibility and absolute sincere interest in showing us their country. I loved that over dinner Minalu would give us briefings on the history of the country. He was extremely knowledgeable and I truly appreciated learning so much from him. We would often stop in villages that neither of them knew so we could visit typical homes, or visit the markets. We also crashed a wedding near Hawzien as they thought it was something we should see. We were of course received with open arms by the people at the wedding and offered copious amounts of local honey beer. We made several spontaneous stops in villages when we saw a market or special event. There is no way we could have experienced this in a large organized group tour.
When we were planning this trip you asked us right at the start what our interests were. So, we said we were looking for a trip that included lots of culture and history and a lot of photography. And this trip delivered on all counts. Minalu knew that I was very interested in photography and ensured that this was a big part of the trip. Johnny was great, stopping whenever we wanted to let us take photos. Minalu often intervened for us with the local people to ask them to have their photo taken. I could not have asked for more in terms of photographic opportunities. Well, maybe less haze and bluer skies, which Minalu tried to get for us.
Our trip started with 2 days in Awash. The area does not have the abundant wildlife you would see in Kenya or South Africa but the huge plains of thorn trees and large herds of Oryx were quite impressive. We did see a few zebras, some austrich, antelope, warthogs, baboons, dikdik and the black backed jackal. My absolute favorite part of this area was our visit with the Afar people. We visited a local village with a local guide and got a quick glimpse into the lives of these nomadic people. My only regret is that this visit was very short. Accommodations in Awash were very good. The Anamalia lodge was a bit expensive for food, but we did get to eat antelope.
After Awash we went North towards to more historic highlands area of Ethiopia. We stopped at Bati market which we toured with a local guide. We did miss the camel market as we got there too late. Our local guide should have taken us there immediately on arrival in Bati however we only went to that area of the market after lunch and it was over by then. The market itself is spectacular as there are people from all over the area. This was an incredible glimpse into the lives of the Ethiopian people. They come from all over to sell their wares, just amazing, like stepping back in time.
Our next big stop was Lalibela. Of course the rock-hewn churches are amazing. We had a wonderful day visiting all the churches with our local guide. But for me the next stop, Ghelralta was an absolutely spectacular highlight. I never expected this at all. We climbed to the top of mountains to see incredible rock hewn churches and monasteries from the 6th century. To me, these were the absolute highlights of the trip. Going up Abuna Yamata Goh is something I will never forget, and I really appreciated Minalu taking us up there. When we saw where we were going we thought he was crazy, but he and the guides encouraged us and helped us all the way up. It does sort of require nerves of steel to go up the sheer rock face and then the small ledge along the cliff to the actually church. The Gheralta lodge is probably the best place we stayed. It is quite isolated but so calm and relaxing and the food was delicious. I could have stayed there for a week just to relax and visit the sites.
A short drive from Hawzien brought us to Axum, the ancient home of the legendary Queen Sheba. We toured all the ancient sites with an excellent local guide, and saw the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. It was a very full day of touring which was great.
The Simien Mountains was the next stop, three nights of camping. We were not sure what to expect but this whole trek was amazing. We joked about how many people it takes to take two Canadians camping. We had Minalu with us, and a local guide, a scout, a cook, the cook’s assistant, 4 mules and 4 muleteers. The service on the trek was top notch. Our cook was excellent. It is incredible to arrive at the camp after a full day of trekking in the mountains and have hot water waiting for us to clean up, a nice cup of coffee and popcorn. We had a bit of time to relax before dinner, then time for a short trek to see the sunset and wildlife after dinner. Our local guide set the perfect pace for us during the trek. The trek up to Inatye was difficult, but our local guide took his time getting us there. We got lucky and did not get any rain during the entire three days despite some menacing looking clouds.
The wildlife in the Simiens is fascinating, especially the Gelada baboons. I loved these animals. They allowed us to get quite close to photograph them. They are fascinating animals, plucking the dried grass to eat the fresher roots. While trekking we came to valley in the midst of a Gelada baboon fight. The sound of the screaming baboons echoing through the valley was unbelievable. And of course in the Simiens we encountered the Walia Ibex. There were a few near out camp at Chennek, and then we saw a whole herd of them on a short trek we took on out last morning in the mountains. We must have spent more than an hour watching the whole herd descend from the top of a cliff to the valley. It was nearing rutting season so there was a lot of sniffing and posturing by the males. It was just a wonderful experience to see this. We also saw the Bush Buck, the Klipspringer and many birds like the Lammergeier vulture.
One thing that surprised us was how populated the trekking area is. There were quite a few villages and lots of kids shepherding their flocks. It was kind of nice to see all the local people throughout the park. We stopped at a local house for a coffee ceremony during the second day of the trek.
(Just a side note about the trekking - I think it would be important to warn trekkers of the potential dangers in the campgrounds. There are lots of people milling around the campsites with all the muleteers and villagers around. We met a woman who was trekking at the same time as us but spend an extra night in Geech so was in Chennek the day after us. We met up with her again in Gondar and she told us she was robbed in the middle of the night in her tent at Chennek. Someone slashed her tent and made off with her bag. Armed guards and guides cannot prevent this kind of thing at night. So trekkers should be warned to keep all valuables on their person even at night. This woman lost almost everything and as you can imagine she was quite traumatized by the whole thing. We had discussions with our leader about this and from his point of view it would be too scary to the travelers to be told there were certain dangers. Our leader did however leave most of his money and his valuable with the driver, seemingly aware of the potential for thieves. It was never suggested to us that we do the same.)
After our wonderful trek we headed to Gondar, with a quick stop at a Falasha village. This stop was not very interesting, more of a tourist trap than anything else. Our stay in Gondar was very nice. The hotel Fasil Lodge was very nice, and the restaurant was very good. The history around Gondar is fascinating, a visit to the old castles and churches was our morning activity, and in the afternoon we went to visit a monastery on Lake Tana. The whole area of Lake Tana is so different. It has a more tropical feel to it. The monasteries on Lake Tana near Bahir Dar were interesting. Perhaps after having visited so many churches and monasteries we were starting to feel a bit churched out, but the paintings and history of the area are very fascinating. Some of the monasteries around the lake are very touristy, perhaps this led to our feeling of this being less authentic. Lots and lots of stalls selling jewellery and other local crafts.
We also saw the Blue Nile falls, the source of the Blue Nile and the Blue Nile Gorge. The falls are not what they were before the installation of a dam but just seeing the falls and the actual source of the Nile was amazing.
And so to end my little trip resumé, I have reiterate that the whole trip was outstanding. The hotels we stayed at were all excellent, and the restaurants suggested to us by Minalu were as well. While it is difficult to choose my favorite parts of this trip, I would have to say the highlights for me were the visit to the Afar village, the monasteries and churches of the Gheralta plateau and the Simien Mountains Trek. And seeing the churches at Lalibela was a dream come through after having read about them so long ago.
Anne-Marie Bernier reviewing Classic Northern Circuit & Simien Mountains
Our guide, Frederick was excellent and very knowledgeable, definitely a 5. The meals were great and the quantity of food slightly overwhelming on occasion! The service and effort put into presentation far exceeded out expectations
James Innes reviewing Kilimanjaro Lemosho Route
Thank you for sorting out a wonderful comprehensive schedule with spot-on organization. I had a great time. Mohamed and his staff were excellent and helpful. My guide Hassan was excellent and knowledgeable. Accommodation at Dar Adrar was good (4/5) and excellent at Dar Vedra (5/5). I was impressed with La Maison Arabe where I had an exquisite lunch. Meals provided at the guesthouses were also good.
The advice I received prior to departure was excellent. I achieved what I set out to do and it is all thanks to the smooth organization laid out by you. I am truly impressed. Once again, thank you.
ALBERT LEON reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Overall, we had a wonderful time.
The only downside was the toilets in the Gites(but we kind of expected that).
Special mention to Ibrahim, our guide, who was very good. Rashid and Hassan cooked excellent meals.
All three now know how to do the "hokey kokey"...... we weren't so good at the Berber signing and dancing!
Piers Tremlett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
On the first day of the trek our guide was there to collect us, early, even though our Riad was possibly one of the hardest to find. He had a smile on his face and was willing to help in any way. From there on, things only got better. We had an extremely comfortable ride up to the start, with our guide explaining exactly what was going on and giving us well received Moroccan history lessons to boot!
Throughout the four days, our guide and cook would do anything for us! They were extremely professional! The guide was very knowledgable, spoke English as if it was his mother tongue and led us with confidence. The cook was able to knock up a pot of mint tea on demand and kept it coming, he was very well mannered and built an excellent rapport. We joked with him from day 1, truly lovely man!
The various places that we stayed were well thought out, giving us good variation. Allowing us to see how the local population lived as well as experiencing the mountain huts. The routes were excellent and we had a choice of making them more challenging if we so liked; but the treks are literally for anyone, hitch a ride on a mule if you struggle.
I have already recommended this service to a close friend and i urge anyone to give it a go! Top draw!
Dafydd Dennis reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
As a group of 8, fifty something women, our trek crew: a guide; 2 armed scouts; a cook with 2 assistants; 8 mule men with 10 mules; treated us with great care and kindness from the outset. Our goal was a moderate 10 day, 9 night, camping circuit including all the main camps in the National Park, the peak of Ras Dashen and then a walk out though the northern lowlands along the river Incya to the town of Adi Arkaye
The scenery was stunning from the outset. Our tents were generous to huge and offered a great vantage point to rest and watch the world go by at the end of a long day. April is late in the dry season with very hot, parched and windy conditions which we found challenging. Daily we coped with deep dust underfoot, dehydrating and abrasive sun and wind, temperatures soaring from the upper 80s down to sub-zero at night on the higher stretches. Our party were experienced trekkers and/ or runners so not fazed by the effort required.
Shetu, Our guide, had a proud demeanour, a wonderfully understated sense of humour, coupled with a deep knowledge of the place, people and wildlife. All this belied his youth. Nagar, our cook, took pleasure in serving up nourishing, simple meals and readily adapted to our broad range of tastes and needs. Ginger and Thyme teas soon became a regular feature alongside the end of day snacks coffee and black tea.
The first stretch through the park was busy with other trek parties and it offered us excellent acclimatisation with stunning escarpment views. Chennek camp gave close up encounters with Gelada baboons and Ibex. Walking out of the park, going East, we dropped down to Ambiko for the overnight camp en-route to Ras Dashen. From that point we left all visitors behind seeing only our support crew and local people for the rest of the trip. The climb to the summit was a long day, starting before dawn, walking ever upwards with local farmers, hawkers and construction workers for company. The summit was a scramble and rewarded us with magnificent views. Returning to camp exhausted our muleteers feted us with posies.
As we journeyed out north we stayed at a variety of village and wild camps, sometimes finishing our evenings with a group sing song. On one occasion our cook and scout joined in. The wild camp at Sonar was in a dramatic, cliff top location with huge views and a special atmosphere. The following day we dropped down a spiralling path to the valley over 1,000m below. As we followed the river we saw a huge array of birds and other wildlife.
Ben at Tourdust was quick to respond to all our queries. He helped to sort out a couple of pre-trip setbacks and we would recommend this service for those working on tight timescales. This was a really memorable trip and a great introduction to Africa for those new to trekking on this amazing continent
HelenRutter reviewing 10 Day Simien Mountain and Ras Dashen Trek
We had a great itme and Ibrahim (guide) and Shahera (cook) were both
Ellen Bartlett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Altogether a great trip. We were extremely well looked after by Tourdust, and Francis and his team from the moment we were picked up at our hotel in Nairobi to the moment we were dropped off at Lewa safari Park. Francis was an excellent ‘Leader’, bright and knowledgeable, and with very good judgement. We would very happily recommend both Francis and his team, and Tourdust. The final ascent to the non-technical peak of Mt Kenya, Lenana, was perfectly judged despite the foot of snow that had fallen overnight. A great trip.
Julian Winser reviewing Mount Kenya Sirimon Naro Moru Trek
I would rate the trip a 5. Mohammed the guide was great as well…was patient and telling us to go slow as to not over exert ourselves.
Food was to die for…and so much of it; couldn't even finish it all. Not to mention actually climbing toubkal itself, what an unbelievable feeling. Some parts of the climb were hard like the switchbacks and the final 200m to the top but it wouldn't be a climb without some hard parts, which were few and far between. The view from the top was amazing…the feeling of accomplishment.
I would totally recommend this trip to other travelers. Any traveller would not regret it, the mountain, the people; just unbelievable!!
Michael Manalo reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
The best part of the trek was certainly my guide, Mohammed, and cook, Ali. They were both just so incredibly professional, friendly, and helpful - and are just genuinely good people. Mohammed also definitely knew the trail like the back of his hand, and I was also really happy to have someone as fit as Mohammed. I wanted to push myself on this trek and get some good exercise, but also see and experience the beautiful scenery of the Atlas Mountains. Mohammed somehow read my mind and was always a step ahead of me. I also learned that there is a Toubkal marathon each year - 42km plus a 3,000m climb in elevation and that Mohammed did it in less than 6-hours. Incredible. It's also very impressive the English he has been able to pick up just from guiding tourists - in addition to French, Spanish, Arabic, and Berber. I also really appreciated him sharing some of the history of Morocco with me, from the Berbers to the Romans and Hannibal of Carthage, to the introduction of Islam and them French colonialism, and eventually independence. Fascinating.
Just a quick story: I didn't eat enough at breakfast one morning and was just starving by around 10am. Mohammed very thoughtfully offered me almost his entire bag of nuts from Imlil. I thought that was incredibly generous.
The trip was equally impressive. I had no idea the food that Ali prepared would be so good and plentiful. I meant to use this trip to get into peak physical shape, instead I may have actually put on weight from eating so well! Totally unexpected, but welcome. I also really appreciated the quality of the gear that I rented - a sleeping bag, raincoat, and tent. Finally, the Atlas Mountains are just beautiful, one of a kind, and perfect weather throughout the entire trip. Imlil was very nice too and an oasis away from the madness of Marrakech. I really did NOT like Marrakech.
The only bad experience was I got bed bugs from the mattress at the last refuge we stayed at. I'm pretty upset about this and don't know how to get rid of these things. Also, I didn't get any sleep that night from these loud Spaniards who snored all night. It was awful. Mohammed warned me not to sleep in the refuge because of the snoring, but I didn't listen. I really wish I had listened to him in retrospect. The shower and the toilets at the refuge were a pleasant surprise though.
I might also recommend that Imlil sell: (1) Toilet paper, (2) Sunscreen, and (3) Baby wipes or that TourDust strongly encourage customers to bring these items with them from their country and make it very clear that they will likely not be able to buy them in Imlil - and that they'll have to bargain for them in Marrakech - totally not worth the energy and time in my opinion.
Altogether, thank you for one of the best trips I have ever made.
Frederik Easterly reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Tourdust did an excellent job of organizing our trip. It was completely seamless. We had an amazing experience at both the trekking excursion in the Atlas Mountains and staying in Marrakesh. An adventure that we will never forget.
Janele Taveggia reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
It was bloody brilliant. We missed our out bound plane but both Tourdust in the UK and Mohammed in Morocco made sure we were still met and transported without problem or complaint. Every connection was on time, every driver was helpful- so customer service gets a 5.
The experience overall was fantastic. Our guide (Ibrahim) and cook (Mohammed) were friendly, funny and very much in control at all times. I hope you get them lots of work, even in their fourth language (English) they were brilliant.
The food was better than I eat at home (certainly healthier) and we learnt about the big stories (Berber history, Moroccan politics, Islam) and the small (wildlife, irrigation, local trade). Other travellers may wish to know that we learnt when we asked, they were not forcing information on us. Again a 5 from 5.
I can't think of any major improvements, but as a suggestion, perhaps a warning as to how tough the last day is. Climbing the peak and trekking back to Imlil was as physically demanding as I found the three peaks and 24 peaks challenges in the UK. But not a complaint, just an observation.
I would also like to mention the staff at the Assia Riad. Despite us being very tired and disorientated, they were very helpful changing money for us, helping us with information and luggage storage. Polite, friendly and helpful.
We would recommend it to other travellers. We met a lot of independent and pick ups at the Toubkal bunkhouse and those without guides were notably disorientated with a degree of stress to add to the physical challenge. Sadly we are not young anymore but our guides read our capabilities perfectly and knew when to rest and when to push.
peter wilkinson reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Ben and Anna really know their stuff when it comes to Morocco and they answered all of our queries to do with our forthcoming trip out there - nothing was too much trouble. We loved the personal, friendly and expert service that we received, especially in a world of call centres and 'computer says no' type people and businesses! They are really good value too, especially considering the level of service received.
Our 3 day Atlas valleys trek was an amazing experience and one that we will remember forever - the scenery is just breathtaking with red, green and grey rock hills and mountains, cherry blossom and iris flora in the valleys, snow capped mountains against azure blue cloudless skies, stunning waterfalls and wonderful little villages dotted along the way with the most friendly and accommodating of locals to greet you. Our guide, Ilyas, was a brilliant guide too and really added to the fun and enjoyment of the trek.
The whole trip was organised brilliantly with plenty of useful and timely advice and communication from Tourdust prior to the trip and then a seamless transition from the airport to the mountains and then on to Essaouira for the next part of our holiday.
Overall, if you are looking for someone to organise all - or part - of your trip to Morocco, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Tourdust!
Kay Limb reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
The Simien mountain trek was a great experience. The views were truly awesome, I never tired of looking at the mountains as we trekked through them. Our guide and scout were fantastic and took great care of us, especially when altitude made walking more difficult. Our cook & his assistant also did a great job- food was plentiful and varied.
All the arrangements made at local level were efficient and friendly. The support and advice provided by Tourdust pre departure was very good.
Ethiopia is an incredibly interesting country and the people are very welcoming.
Hannah Sultan reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
We have to tell you that this was one of the best holidays we've ever had! It exceeded all our expectations, and we are still reliving the many rich experiences of the week: so well planned, such spectacular scenery, wonderful people looking after us, a great introduction to a really beautiful country.
Brenda Stones reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
Professional, dependable, and efficient! We had a great time on the trek and would recommend the company to others trying to plan a trek in the Simien Mountains
Meryl Goodwin reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
Just to let you know we had a most successful trip. All went like clockwork. Your itinerary was excellent. All the personnel– guides, cooks, drivers etc could not have been more helpful.
Many thanks for all your help and for opening up such a fascinating and complex country to us.
Mark Shepherd reviewing Simien Mountains & Northern Highlights
Just to let you know we had a most successful trip. All went like clockwork. Your itinerary was excellent. All the personnel– guides, cooks, drivers etc could not have been more helpful.
Many thanks for all your help and for opening up such a fascinating and complex country to us.
GEOFFREY WILKINSON reviewing Simien Mountains & Northern Highlights
Trip was excellent - 5/5 on all accounts. Mohammed arranged an excellent guide. We will definitely use Tourdust again and recommend you.
Luke Mallett reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
It was a great trip - 5/5 overall and one that I would recommend to everyone. One improvement you could make, would be not to use the Ankober hotel in Addis - it was very average! (Gondor hotel was very good and Mountain View was excellent - 20 mins walk from the churches which we didn't mind but truly the best view I have ever seen in a hotel)
We had a great time and would strongly recommend the trip.
sarah green reviewing Simien Mountains & Northern Highlights
My sister, her boyfriend and I had a fantastic time.
Both guides were excellent, spoke good English and were very knowledgable.
The food was also excellent - some of the best I had during my 4 months in South America!
The taxi arrangements were good and on time to get us started on the first day and overall we had a really great time and would definitely recommend the trip to anyone!
flange reviewing Trek the Inca Trail in Peru
The Atlas Valley Trek was an amazing experience. The scenery in the valleys is absolutely beautiful, and staying in the villages is a great cultural experience that gives you a feeling of the authentic and local way of living. The guide was very competent, and spoke very good english. And the cook prepared the best food. I have no hasitation to strongly recommend this trip to other travellers who like trekking and also want a local cultural experience.
Christine Toessebro reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek
We did this trek during September 2011 and had a fantastic time. The transport to Imlil from Marrakesh was excellent and as described in the pre-trek info. We met with our guide Mohammed who was really helpful and knowledgeable. The camping out at night was a treat and the food was great... our muleteers really took care of us and nothing was too much trouble. The food was like eating in a good restaurant which is amazing considering that it is all cooked over one gas burner. We could really recommend this to anyone ~ the walking was hard at times but the scenery was fanstastic ~ well worth the stiff legs! Everything went to plan and the coordination of the trip was perfect. The whole tour was beyond our expectations. Will definitely be booking with Tourdust again.
Robert Bould reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
A fantastic experience in a beautiful landscape; I loved staying in the
villages and mountain retreats. It was my first multi day trek.
However I'll defiantly be back for more. My only wish was that my trek
Mustapha was my guide. I was delighted
with the service provided throughout the trek by Mustapha and the two
muleteers. Mustapha was great company, friendly and professional and
really enhanced my experience. The food was excellent and all transfers went like clockwork.
Andrew Hale reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Guide (Mohammad) was great, set a good pace, knew how much time to spend engaging with us and how much to leave us alone, friendly. Great guy - a mountain marathon runner with a slightly surprising array of card tricks.
Food was amazing and the chef really friendly. The trek overall was brilliant - I've recommended it to friends and family. Thanks for an amazing trip, and pass on our thanks to Mohamed and crew. He was there to welcome us at the end and was very friendly.
Jake Lomax reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
My partner Luke and I enjoyed the trek immensely. Both Mohammed the guide and Mohammed the muleteer/cook were warm, hospitable, knowledgable and helpful.
Both were very well equipped to guide us through the 3 days. The food was nourishing and delicious! I looked forward ti every meal!
During the summit climb, there was still ice on the mountain and unfortunately I had forgotten my gloves….Mohammed was so kind as to lend me his gloves for as long as I required them.
The taxi transfers were fluid and we experienced no problems at all with the timings.
I would highly recommend this trek to anyone looking for a bit of challenge at a good pace.
Angela Santos reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Guide: Mustafa was an excellent guide
He was attentive and perceptive of the groups needs and abilities. He was interesting and knowledgeable in relation to the information he gave on the local area. His company was enjoyable without being intrusive.
Food: This was one of the highlights of the trip.
I was constantly amazed and delighted by what was served up in the most difficult locations. The cook was imaginative and his food was varied and plentiful.
Grand taxi: Efficient and punctual
Overall impression: Very satisfied with the trip and the way it was organised.
My weather could have been better as a 4 hour trek in relentless rain was not fun.
anne sherriff reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
A trip that really challenged preconceptions. There was dust and rural poverty, of course, but breathtaking scenery, and people with a strong sense of a long, proud history. The altitude affects you, but you quickly learn to take things gently. I was amazed what fantastic food was produced in quite challenging conditions - although our guide clearly preferred his injera. I was prepared to endure the coffee ceremony with locals, but it was a real highlight. Local organisation was informal, but effective and friendly. Gondar has interesting history and is worth a day of anyone's time. (Disclaimer: Peter is an investor in Tourdust, travelled with Tourdust to the Simien Mountains in spring 2011)
peters reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek
We booked a hike in the simian mountains with tourdust because Danielle and I were on a very tight schedule with work and had no time for anything to fall through when we got there and also the big companies were very inflexible with their leaving dates.
Danielle actually didn’t read any of the emails I was forwarding her that Ben had sent us until a few weeks before we left to go to Kenya and then had a last minute freak out that I may have booked something dodgy over the internet. But she was very impressed by how thorough the tourdust emails were, especially their detailed advice on what to expect and what to bring, It was obvious that the people who run tourdust have done the walk themselves before and they give very sound advice.
The guide in Ethiopia was also very approachable by email and gave us advice, as we wondered whether the famine had affected the area and he was able to reassure us.
When we got to Ethiopia we met the man who runs the walks from Gondar and he gave us some last minute advice for the next morning and also we got to talk about diet as I am mostly vegetarian, which they could accommodate.
The next day we were picked up from the hotel and drove to the mountains. We met our guide there, and also the cook, cooks assistance, scout, and muleteers. You walk in the daytime with just a guide and a scout and the others beat you to the camp and set up! We did see some people walking with the minimum “support crew” which is just a scout (which you need to legally camp in the mountains- they have a machine gun to protect you, although it is not at all that dangerous, it’s mainly to give the local people some work.) those people did look a bit uncomfortable at night time because it does get cold and it is hard to organise your own camp food and fire! You would have to be more organised than us to do it independently. The staff were very friendly. The cook and the guide spoke excellent English and were very entertaining. They really looked after us and made sure that we were comfortable. The guide was careful with the pace to challenge but not exhaust us. I had never hiked at altitude before and was surprised at how puffy I was. The guide knew a lot about the birds and animals and geology of the mountains which was interesting. He also taught us some Amharic which was entertaining (especially our pronunciation!).
The food was good (it was faranji food)- cooked hot every night. It does have a lot of MSG in it- but maybe if you asked for that to be kept out earlier they wouldn’t put it in, I’m not sure. They certainly feed you enough (or too much!!). They set up a fire for you at night time, which is very welcome as it is cold!
All in all, the walk went very well. It is a beautiful area, especially at that time of year. You walk over fields of wild thyme and wildflowers, it smells and looks heavenly. And you have the sweeping panoramic vistas of the mountains of course. Photos don’t do it justice. You can see massive birds of prey circling the thermals underneath you. You are so high up that it feels a lot like what being a bird must feel like at times, except that you still have your feet on the ground! You walk through some of the smaller villages as you get to the end of the trek which is also very pleasant. You see some wildlife and a lot of domestic animals!
You camp at the same camp sites as the other faranji doing the hike. It’s very cold at night so bring warm sleeping things and coats!
I did get sick on this trek, though through no fault of the guides or staff! All the staff were absolutely lovely and very caring, making me special foods and drinks and setting up a place for me to lie in the shade. We had to stay a day extra at a camp site and they reorganised the whole trek around it- they provided us with some alternatives and we got to choose what we wanted to do.
All in all, I would recommend this trek booked with tourdust highly. Their local operator was a good one and we had a great trek! Tourdust was very supportive by email and I have trust in their advice. It’s very hard to book something over the internet as there is a big fear that you are throwing your money into the wind and will be left at the airport so to speak, or that you are booking something that will be frustrating and dodgy. In this trek they have chosen their local operator well. I would book another trek with them if I was similarly strapped for time. I would also recommend them to friends who were looking to trek.
The simian mountains are an absolutely beautiful relaxing experience and a great walk!
eb2906 reviewing 8 Day Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek
We completed the 4 day version of the Classic Berber Villages and Toubkal Ascent at the end of October/start of November 2011. We booked as a couple and were joined by another solo male traveller who luckily we got on really well with, we all appreciated having someone else on the trip but also that it was a very small group.
Our driver picked us up at 9am from the door of our riad as promised, and we drove to meet our guide, muleteers and mules at the start of the route. They had already sorted some equipment we needed to borrow like sleeping bags (to avoid extra luggage on the plane) and drove the other guy to their shop in Imlil so he could borrow some other things.
It's an easyish hike on the first day, we had an amazing lunch on a grassy plateau with the first of many stunning views. The muleteers do an amazing job preparing a range of fresh foods for lunch and dinner and manage to present it beautifully. And let's not forget the constant supply of lovely tea!
We then hiked to the first village where we stayed in a local run gite which was comfortable enough.
We found the 2nd day's hiking hard. The first few hours hiking through villages was really interesting and colourful, followed by a harder uphill hike with the sun beating down on us to where we stopped for lunch. The hiking after lunch was thankfully much shorter to our refuge for the night. The refuge was a great little building with a waterfall right behind. The size and personalities of our group made for a really good atmosphere in places like this, it didn't matter that we were freezing cold and didn't speak the same language, some tea, food, music and card games made for fun evenings together! You tend to reach the place you're sleeping quite early in the day. I'd suggest cleaning up, sorting yourself out for the evening and wrapping up warm as soon as you arrive, and pack some stuff to do! Books, music and card games supplemented chatting to keep us entertained.
Day 3 has a fairly difficult uphill nicknamed '90 zigzags' but when you pause for breath and water the views behind are increasingly amazing. The walk to the 'base camp' refuge after is an easier gradient and we got there by lunch (like I said, lots of down time). This is a large refuge with many groups going to or returning from the summit and their guides. It may be different if there are groups you can get to know but with a language barrier we didn't really chat to the others and preferred the smaller refuge from the day before. Still, comfortable sleeping arrangements, and a nice lounge area.
On our summit day we set off after an early breakfast before 6 (in the dark) and got to see the sun rise over the mountains ahead as we climbed. People talked about 'the first bit being the hardest' before we left but there's not much change in gradient until the last 10 minutes! It took us 3 hours to reach the summit and we had to use crampons for about half because of quite deep snow that was frozen quite solid. The views from the top are stunning and totally worth it. We were up there for about half an hour and were lucky enough to meet only one other climber at the top. As soon as we started descending it seemed less real that we'd been there. Glad we've got pictures and videos to remind me!
After lunch at the refuge we walked all the way down to Imlil (on a different route to the way up) which was straightforward but looong, and we were weary by the time we reached the Imlil shop to settle up for the things we'd borrowed.
A car met us outside the shop and drove us to Marrakech without a problem, however when we got there it was clear that the driver did not know how to get us back to our riads, and actually became quite confrontational about it when we said we didn't want to be dropped on the wrong side of the medina. He was not a taxi like the car on our way out, we got the impression that he had been asked to take us because he was heading that way. Luckily we could use internet mobile to look up the number of our riad and one of the boys from there came out to meet us and direct him. It was a shame to sour the end of our experience with a bit of a shortcut gone wrong.
Overall, a brilliant experience. Our guide, Mohammed spoke excellent English, was very informative and was a great pacemaker. The muleteers Ibrahim and Mohammed did a great job, spoke little English but their personalities shone through. We took everything on Tourdust's suggested list but did not need water tablets as bottled water was readily available to but at least once per day. We would recommend plenty of light and warm layers and both had sports 'skin' long sleeved tops which proved invaluable. We struck very lucky with the weather (no rain) but had both hot and cold climates to dress for.
Overall, a 5 star unforgettable experience and good value for money.
Alex Nicholson reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Trekking to Machu Pichu has long been a dream of mine and this was a wonderful way to do it. The guides and porters on our trek took great care of us… reassuring us about the effects of altitude and encouraging us all to walk at our own pace. We were in a group of 12, a good size…large enough to have some interesting chat at dinner but it we never felt crowded when we were walking. The food was fantastic and could easily stand alone as a selling point for the trek. The weather in June was clear although chilly at night…gloves should be high on the kit list.
The trip up the Tambopata river into the jungle is in complete contrast to the heights of the Andes and quite magical. Before we had even got to the lodge the guides had pointed out caiman, capybaras and vultures along the riverbank. The accommodation itself was very comfortable, with a large bar, dining area and very clean comfortable bedrooms. I had been a little nervous about the prospect of sleeping in a room open to the jungle but am now a complete convert, the noises and views into the vegetation were fascinating and best enjoyed from the comfort of a hammock!
jenny reviewing Cusco, the Sacred Valley, the Inca Trail & Amazon Jungle
The 5day Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent was the highlight of our 2wk trip in Morocco. The guide and cook were both very friendly, respectful, and informative. The food was amazing - we wanted to take Rashid home with us! It was very pleasant walking through the villages, with the days getting progressively harder - a perfect build-up to the final 2days of great ascents. Climbing Toubkal was extremely rewarding, meeting various lovely people on that final day. We highly recommend this trek to others, and for those who have already booked it, additional advice would be to take a pack of cards and interesting books because there's so much relaxing time at the end of each day of trekking! Thank-you Tourdust & Thank-You Abdulla & Rashid!!!
Alanna reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
The trip was better than we could have hoped for. Dan & I are UK Mountain Leaders, so we weren't sure how necessary a guide was. The answer was very. Abdul was knowledgable about geology, plants and animals, but the discussions we had about middle eastern politics and religion were the most revealing. We could have done this trip on our own and spent a little less money, but the company and the food (amazing - not a ration pack or supernoodle in sight) made us glad that we had chosen to book through Tourdust.
Chris Billington reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We had a wonderful trip - highlight of 2011! Everything ran like clockwork, the care and attention from the team was first class. The trekking was fantastic - challenging but just enough so. I don't think we would have changed a thing. Thank you
RachaelErskine reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
a great trip. Organisation was very simple and smooth, and the walk itself - through villages, along valleys and up to the summit of Toubkal was wonderful - altogether a great experience.
tom howes reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We had a great time! We really appreciated that the trip was booked with a local tour operator, which we learned was one of the biggest and best in Kenya. Patrick was exceptionally helpful, and came to meet us 3 times to check in and make sure things were going well.
There was an unfortunate change to our flight to Lamu which happened 2 weeks before leaving, but were only told the morning of, and it meant waking early, somewhat unnecessarily, except that our flight was changed to the intl. airport instead, and it also meant stopping in another city on the way, which added time to our flight, and detracted from our time in Lamu.
Nevertheless, we had an amazing time, and are very pleased with the trip!
I would rate both customer service and our experience a 5. I would definitely recommend you to others, and am looking forward to saving up again so I can book my next trip.
Jaclyn Rubin reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined
A tough but rewarding challenge with spectacular views of the Atlas Mountains with its many waterfalls and lush green valleys. Make sure you wear good walking boots for this hike, and carry poles for the descent from the peak.
Laura Page reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Overall, I was really impressed with the trek and it was definitely the highlight of our trip to Morocco. We stayed in relatively isolated villages, saw few other travelers, interacted with Berbers, saw amazing challenging hiking around the valleys and up Mount Toubkhal. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who wanted to do something that was definitely off the beaten track in Morocco.
Jenna Jadin reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
We really thought our trip was great. I would rate your service and the whole experience as a 5. The only piece that would make your service more convenient would be if the prices were conveyed in dollars instead of pounds. We would definitely recommend the trip and company to other travelers. We had our own trip for 3 people and were given lots of special attention. The transportation was very easy and all of our needs were met. Thanks so much for arranging everything for us!
Rochelle Loughry reviewing Lares Valley Trek to Machu Picchu
Last week we returned from our trip to Morocco. Here's my story....
Originally we had booked the 6 day circuit of Mt Toubkal. On arrival, we met our guide and were informed that we were unable to do the circuit as the snow was too deep in places over the high passes and posed a problem for the mules. Luckily this didn’t come as a surprise as Tourdust had already informed us, during the booking process, that this could be a possibility (good services guys). So with an alternative route selected we set off..... Now I have to mention that my wife and I have done many trekking holidays, including Nepal a few times, Peru and Argentina. We have never booked through a tour agent, nor had a guide...However when we decided to go to the Atlas Mountains it was apparent that trying to trek alone would be "challenging" to say the least. Searching the internet for a possible tour company to book through we both agreed that large trekking groups were out of the question. Naturally, all the big names came up...prices were ridiculous and numbers were 12-16 per group...until we came across Tourdust. It seemed too good to be true..our own private guide and muleteer for a fraction of the cost ?
...back to the trip......
Our guide mentioned that another group of 4 would also be doing the same route as us, all with their own guide and muleteer. - we would meet them later on that day.
After a few hours walking we stopped for lunch and we had our first taste of the infamous Berber tea AKA Berber whiskey!..Tetleys eat your heart out!! The tea was amazing...but what was equally amazing was the food that was prepared by our muleteer, Mohammed. The guy is incredible. After a short nap under a walnut grove we set off for the afternoon leg of our first day. Our lodging in a Gite that night was basic but more than adequate, hot showers and comfortable mattresses made for a good night’s rest. I have to mention at this point, we met the group of 4 later that afternoon. *Sigh* Now I’m not sure if they had read anything regarding Morocco and suitable dress code, but the 2 woman had mini trekking skirts and crop tops on…along with a good portion of oversized muffin tops to go!...even I felt awkward and found myself staring at my feet alot!
As the trip progressed the group of 4 were a constant source of entertainment for the two of us and 3 basic rules should be adhered to at all times:
1) Always listen to the guide
2) Always keep up with the mule carrying the food
3) Never try outsmart your guide
Every village we stayed in, Lashon took us on a tour and it became clear that he was well known throughout the valleys. As a result we were lucky enough to be invited in to a locals house for tea with freshly made bread and local olive oil…mmmm….(not something you are likely to experience in a group of 16) Unfortunately my wife and I were unable to converse with the home owner other than some rudimentary hand gestures, so instead he turned on the TV and switched to an English Muslim channel and beamed from ear to ear. Very bizarre
On day 3 our lodging was at the base of a pass which crossed over to the Mt Toubkal refuge. We got word earlier that day that the lodge was experiencing a few roofing problems i.e. If it rained during the night we were in trouble. Luckily it did’nt rain and we had a wonderful evening with an open fire, scarlet sunset and a golden glow from the surrounding peaks..best of all we were the only ones there. (our group of 4 complained to the lodge owner about the plumbing at this point!!!) It has to said that the accommodation is basic throughout the trip, some better than others, but unlike other trekking holidays we’ve been on, you do get a hot shower at the end of each day.
Day 4 we said good-bye to Mohammed and his mule as the pass was too dangerous for the mule. We would meet up with them later that day as they took much longer alternative route around. The pass proved to be an interesting day…icy bare foot river crossings, hail, snow, rain and sunshine all in 6 hours. (our guide found it highly amusing that we paid money to do this)
The climb of Mt Toubkal on day 5 was perfect. Lashon insisted that we wear crampons for the ascent as practically the entire mountain was still covered in snow and ice. We saw many people trying to do the ascent without suitable footwear and all I can say is THANK YOU Lashon! We summited without incident and were greeted with the most incredible panoramic views of the High Atlas…a superb ending to an awesome trekking holiday.
If you are reading this review and are doing the same Google searches we did trying to find a Tour company. Look no further!..Even though Tourdust’s prices are well below the likes of Exodus for example…the personal experience we got from the local company (Mohammed Aztat Trekking Company) they use is first class. Our guide was safety conscious, never made a rash decision…our muleteer made sure that we were always fed and did an outstanding job catering in some fairly challenging places and best of all they were both very friendly and informative.
Right from the outset Tourdust has been fantastic, recommendations by Anna and Ben were spot-on and any complications that arose were swiftly dealt with and sorted out. It was a memorable holiday…So a big thank you Tourdust.
One recommendation that we have, is that a bag weight limit should be recommended/ imposed. (15kg max)
Andrew Matthews reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit
i had a great experience and would rate it 5/5. The whole trip went very smoothly and i really enjoyed the trek and my guide and muleteer Hassan and Rasheed. The conditions were still quite bad on the mountain because of the late winter but i always felt safe. It was also great to meet lots of people from different backgrounds and nationalities at the refuge.
DanDelaney reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
We really can't speak highly enough of our holiday. You and Ben were a pleasure to deal with, knowledgeable, helpful with no pressure or hassle.
Our guide Mohamed and our muleateer Mohamed were a delight - solicitious but never intrusive. You seriously under sell the gourmet element of the trek - every meal was a feast, fabulously presented in wonderful settings. Mohamed Aktaz's house was great and chips a novel but welcome sight!
Some specific suggestions:
- add a water bottle to the kit list. We had tablets as a precaution but anticipated water being provided en-route.
- weather link from your site was helpful, we probably should have taken less "winter" kit on the back of this.
- the 1:50,000 map (Toubkal) from Stamford's was well worth having
Adrian really enjoyed the Toubkal summit - up and down in three hours despite a broken crampon!
AdrianBelton reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
Overall we had a fantastic time doing the Mt Toubkal trek. The climb is casual (no climbing gear/ropes required) however it is not for the light hearted. It was fairly heavy going, very long uphill walks for 4-5 hours on loose rocks and snow. If you aren't used to trekking then you may find this difficult. Altitude sickness is a definite possibility and sore legs are almost guaranteed. The accommodation is very basic and not very pleasant (cold water, dirty, too many people in each room so no sleep at all). The ascent to the summit is tough, very steep, and difficult in the snow. The reward is amazing views, the summit of Jebel Toubkal was excellent and we had an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Our guide was very experienced, helpful and we would recommend him to anyone.
Darren Isbell reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
Clare and I had a fantastic break in morocco. The trek was a real highlight.
Andrew Larter reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
I would definitely recommend this trip to other travellers.
Everything ran like clockwork. Mohammed met us at the airport and took us to our riad in Marrakech which was a lovely place right in the centre but quiet as a retreat. We loved sitting on the upstairs terrace chilling out and having cups of mint tea prepared by their lovely staff.
On the trek Mohammed picked us up at 9am and we were taken to the start were we met our guide Mohammed ,our cook Hammed and our Mule who we named Janet.
We spent a lovely 5 days trekking and were really looked after by Mohammed and Hammed. The food was amazing and nothing was too much trouble for them.
The climb up Toubkal was amazing. Lots of snow and beautiful views.
We met some lovely people in the villagers.
We will definitely like to return to climb some more peaks.
Kevin Dawes reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
The experience was very enjoyable. The climb was tough, but worth it.
The guide was very competent, albeit a little quiet. Fantastic experience, great views, well worth the trek to the top.
matrekker reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal
From beginning to end the service from both Tourdust and the local operator was fantastic. Despite being the rainy season we had a fair bit of good weather, and even when we didn't it couldn't take away from the great experience and amazing sites. Our guide Odon really made it for us. There was a smallish group of 8 of us. He understood everyones needs and tailored our days to make sure everyone got the most out of it. Whenever he could he made sure that we were ahead of other groups and got time at the most interesting sites on our own. He also hads fantastic knowledge and always had really interesting things to tell us which made the trip even better. Our team of porters were also fantastic. The food was amazing and you wouldn't believe they were cooking it in a camp tent. Thank you to the whole team for making this such a great trip. I would highly recommend Pachamama if you are thinking of doing the trail. Becks and Will - Jan 2011
beak101 reviewing Trek the Inca Trail in Peru
We would highly recommend booking a trek with Tourdust. We had a tailor made 4 day trek with friendly, professional guides. It was fun and well organised with good accommodation and great food. Lots of great memories and stunning photos.
We had an amazing time, mohammed and loshum were both really helpful. took us into the village in the evenings to see the village celebrating eid, played football with the kids in the village. We felt safe. Food was excellent, had our own impromptu cookery course with mohammed. On the last day lucy went with loshum for a harder walk and I stayed with mohammed so catered to both levels of fitness
RuthCrook reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent
I cannot imagine a better guide than Odon. From the very first time we met, he has been funny, kind, supportive, very knowledgeable and a real pleasure to be with. The fact is I was not fit enough to do this like some of the other young fit people, but he made me feel welcome and cared for - a wonderful man and a wonderful experience. Apart from my shame at taking the horse, I have loved almost every minute of this trek and Odon has been the second best part of it - countryside came first :)
Charles reviewing The Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu
Yes I would highly recommend for those with a hardy sense of adventure - Toubkal climb itself is a little more challenging than maybe is made clear, and I am an experienced walker. Hostel was very basic, which is fine as long as travellers are aware from the outset. Need to remind travellers to take passport numbers for hostel registration - add to kit list. Also, tips are appreciated by guides/taxi drivers at end - it is part of African culture.
I have to say that our mountain guide was fantastic. He was friendly and very knowledgeable. The food prepared for us was excellent and substantial. We were really well looked after all of the time. The taxi service to/from Marrakech was very efficient. The arrangements went exactly as planned from start to finish, so we had nothing to worry about, other than ensuring we kept going on the climb. Watching the sun rise across the Atlas mountains was breathtaking, an experience that will last with us for some time.
Pierre reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal