We specialise in private multi-day trekking holidays in Africa and beyond. Our ethos is simple; (1) Superb local guides (2) Excellent food and (3) faultless service before and after your trek. We are now the leading provider of quality treks in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Simien Mountains of Ethiopia and are fast building our reputation elsewhere. With all our treks you have the option to book a trek only or we can arrange a full tailor-made holiday combining a multiday trek with carefully selected accommodation and travel arrangements.
People love what we do. Tourdust is rated NaN out of 5 stars
We loved the personal, friendly and expert service that we received.
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Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.
A tailor-made holiday taking in the highlights of Morocco; Marrakech, Essaouira & a 3 day trek in the Atlas Mountains.
Tailor-made Classic 10 days
Combines the popular Sankaber - Geech - Chenek section with a challenging ascent of Ras Dashen & descent to the rarely visited lowlands.
Private Trek Adventure 10 days
10 day Peru holiday including the Inca Trail, Cusco, The Sacred Valley and Lima.
Tailor-made Adventure 11 days
A holiday of two halves; summit the challenging but majestic Kilimanjaro before relaxing on the white Zanzibar beaches at a laid back beach lodge.
Tailor-made Adventure 2 weeks
The ultimate Peruvian family adventure. Explore the ruins of the Sacred Valley, experience vibrant Cusco and trek the Inca Trail.
Tailor-made 12 days
Get away from life as you know it. Trek the Inca Trail in Peru and then explore South America's highest lake.
Tailor-made Adventure 2 weeks
Perfect for those short on time, combines the classic 5 day Simiens trek with the cultural highlights of Gondar & Lalibella
Tailor-made Adventure 10 days
Explore Cusco & the Sacred Valley, Trek the Inca Trail and then relax and spot wildlife in a jungle lodge in the Amazon Rainforest.
Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks
Spend 4 days trekking & acclimatising in Ethiopia's rarely visited Simien National Park before flying to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tailor-made Adventure 16 days
Combines a 5 day Simien Mountain trek with a full tour of the Northern Circuit, including the remote Gheralta Cluster churches.
Tailor-made 15 days
Combine climbing Mount Kenya with a 6 day safari to Masai Mara including Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Masai Mara parks.
Tailor-made Adventure 11 days
Combine a Simien Mountain trek with the best of the North and the fascinating tribes of the South.
Tailor-made Adventure 13 - 15 days
The ultimate trek and wildlife adventure; climb Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, and then safari in the Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti.
Tailor-made Adventure 2 weeks
We know our onions. Our specialists have vast experience of their destinations.
Our prices are often better than booking direct. We'll match any quote from a UK or US Tour operator.
As a comprehensively bonded ATOL and ABTA tour operator with 24/7 emergency support we've got your back.
based on 455 reviews
Everything worked perfectly! We all found our trekking experience to be the best part of our adventures in Morocco. We were particularly pleased with our guide, Hussain; he did a brilliant job. He is thoughtful, knowledgable, and sweet. He represents you well.
Jacob Moffat reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Treks on 09 March 2017
Truly another world. The sky was enormous and the summits snow covered. Blue irises, wild herbs and fruit trees flowered on the slopes. Even as I toiled up the dry river bed I gazed in admiration.
Without exception, everyone was courteous and welcoming. Food was good ( and far too plentiful); accommodation clean. Above all-everything worked! A pick-up was promised for 9.00am. At 8.55 the doorbell rang. Impeccable.
No praise is too high for the organisation and staff. I am definitely going back.
Terence Humphreys reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 May 2016
Our trip was excellent. Thank you! We were particularly impressed with the way it all worked seamlessly: someone was at each arrival point to meet us (or Alex was on the end of the phone to tell us what to do) or there was a phone message at Reception for when to expect someone.
The Jerusalem Hotel in Lalibela is not the same standard as Tukul Villages but it was OK for one night & we had plenty of warning. Lalibela at Christmas is pretty manic: full to bursting!
I must say that Alex looked after us well. He came to see us in Gondar to make sure everything was in place for the Simiens Trek & that we knew what to expect. When we got back after it, there he was again! Small but highly-valued pieces of customer care, evident again when he spoke to drivers while we were travelling.
All the staff who worked with us were of high quality, especially drivers and guides. Two who stood out were Younus, our driver both times we were in Addis Ababa, who we felt went beyond the call of duty & made our time there enjoyable - our last evening when waiting for a 2 a.m. flight could have been a drag, was in fact absolutely fine because of his suggestions (the Via Via cafe for dinner & then Mama's Kitchen for some music) and company.
The Simiens Trek was outstanding. Spectacular scenery, challenging at times, full of interest. Key to making it so was Dereje Gedamu who is a wonderful guide: we felt privileged to have him. he was ably assisted by the other staff & when our first, excellent chef had to leave at short notice to visit his mother in hospital, a replacement was found immediately (at Chenek!) who fed us to the same high standard. It was all a great experience that we will be talking about for a long time.
We were all pleased to have selected the 8 day option (& were not at all jealous of the peak-baggers heading for Ras Dashen). The second half of the trek was a good contrast to the high altitude section in the National Park's heartland as we descended through more intensively cultivated and populated areas, down steeply to the river and then back up past wonderful rock formations towards Mulit and out to the road at Adi Arkaye. It was full of interest and we were pleased to be pretty much on our own, rather than with the crowds at Geech & Chenek.
By comparison, the TESFA trek was rather tame, although an interesting comparison to see a more pastoral landscape and less remote villages. We had another good guide & enjoyed the lunch & evening stops, and the "loos with a view".
Pleased as we were that we had opted to drive from Bahir Dar to Lalibela, we had mixed feelings about driving the rough Gashena-Lalibela road three times - the starting and finishing points for the TESFA trek were just beyond Gashena. In 3 years when the road is complete this point may become academic, but meanwhile - if anyone else wants to do the same thing - it would be better for them to drive from Bahir Dar to Gashena, meet the TESFA crew there, do the trek & then continue to Lalibela. I am sure that TESFA could look after any extra baggage that people did not want on the trek.
One other point about the TESFA trek: we were not aware that there are several grades offered. I think we did the easiest and might well have preferred something more challenging so perhaps you could clarify the options available.
Only one other critical comment: we were underwhelmed by the Mayleko Lodge near Gondar airport. It was indeed welcome to have somewhere peaceful to return to after the trek, the rooms are nice & a couple of us enjoyed a "refreshing" swim, but on the other hand the restaurant was pretty mediocre and slow: we might have preferred to be out in the town.
Apart from that it was all good! A glimpse of Addis and another of Gondar; trekking with some R&R in Bahir Dar with its different scenery and history, ending with the religious fervour at Lalibela. A great holiday.
Gordon Parker reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 09 February 2016
We had the most fabulous trip, thank you. Everything you arranged went to plan perfectly and all your Moroccan contacts were efficient and pleasant to deal with. Our guide, Rashid, was super - we got along well with him and found it so interesting talking to him about his family, life at home and his hopes and expectations - and he had a great sense of humour which is always a bonus. How Hamed, our cook/muleteer managed to produce the meals he did, I have no idea - tasty, healthy, beautifully presented and more than plentiful. The last couple of days in Marrakech were, of course, a complete contrast to the trek but great fun too. So all in all, a great break and we've had no hesitation in recommending Tourdust already to our friends.
STEPHEN PEARCE reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent on 29 October 2015
Our trip was pretty much perfect. I really can't think of anything that could have been improved. The trip did require a slight change in schedule but it was great that our guide was flexible enough to arrange this. Thank you so much.
Steven Murphy reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent on 29 October 2015
We would both like to say how incredibly impressed we were by all of the transport arrangements, the accommodation and all of the people who we came into contact with.
The transfers were faultless and what a delightful person Ibrahim is. All of the accommodation was absolutely superb and we were blown away by Dar Hanane, what a stunning and beautiful place.
Hammed was so attentive to every detail and took such good care of us. What a fantastic guy.
We would both really like to congratulate and thank Ibrahim our guide and the lovely chatty chap who was our cook (sadly we never got his name as we were too busy eating his delicious food!)
Please pass on our heart felt thanks to everyone and also our thanks to you and Lisa for making the whole booking process painless & easy.
Martin Blake reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 21 May 2015
The Salkantay trek was the highlight of our 2-week holiday. Incredible sceneray without the thronging crowds of the standard Inca Trail. Good physical challenge too. We were so well looked after by the guide and his team of cook, assistant and horsemen. Loved it!
Haibei Chen reviewing The Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu on 12 May 2015
We had a great time in Morocco, the trip was so well organised - everything was in place and perfect. The transfers were all easy and timely, the Dar Adrar hotel in Imlil lovely (so friendly and helpful), the trekking was amazing and the Gites v comfortable (even had showers!). Our guide, Rashid was lovely as was Hussain, the cook and muleteer. He cooked us great tagines for lunch and dinner and looked after our mule very well. In Marrakech our Riad (Tzarra) was a beautiful haven in the middle of a very bustling , hot city and the staff extremely helpful with tips to stop us getting lost! All in all, a wonderful holiday experience.
Helen King reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 12 May 2015
We had an excellent, stretching , fascinating mix of history (sites) , tough trekking , and wonderful views .. From the many treks that I have done to places including Nepal , Italy , Croatia , Crete , Myanmar , Japan I would judge that it would be very difficult to beat the 7 days that we had in the Simien Mountains .. Tigrai was spectacular for those willing to climb to all the churches. ( there’s a challenge for you to suggest the next adventure !).
Our guide Abebe was really excellent ( fit, engaging, knowledgeable and with a good sense of fun/humour ) and I would not hesitate in recommending him, the quality of the tents was excellent except that there were only 3 two man tents which were much roomier than the singles. We saw very few other people which was perhaps just as well in view of the loo situation at the camp sites. The food was reasonable .. in fact too much pasta and not enough rice. We certainly needed the heavier sleeping bags as it was very cold the first two nights out.
On the negative side .. the long drop loos at Geech were frankly a disgrace .. you could not stand in there for all the crap around and the smell ( even in the freezing evening ) .. surely they should be cleaned every morning / evening. The result is people are crapping in other places round the site .. not nice ! There was no water for washing at Geech ! At the Chennek camp the long drops were only marginally better but there were two dribbly very cold showers at least ! If the tourist board want to encourage tourism clean loos is the absolute must.
The trekking times were generally accurate which was a change as in most other treks that I have been on they are 25% overestimated. Our final 11 hour day was tough but perfectly achievable for fit walkers. I am glad we did not break it into two tranches … we had time to stop for a swim/wash in the river/pools and it was fantastic to spend two days at Geralti Lodge before our return. Addis is a bit of a disappointment but it was certainly worth spending a couple of hours walking the Mercato ( although you have to be very careful not to lose the guide !). I thought Axum was disappointing by comparison with Gonder and Lalibela and not really worth going to.
That’s about it .. I would certainly recommend Tourdust !! Thank you , James
James Lawson reviewing Classic Northern Circuit & Simien Mountains Trek on 10 February 2015
We had an amazing time thank you very much! The riads and hotels were outstanding and everything went as clockwork. We had really bad rainfall on the day we transferred to Marrakech but our driver didnt give up and we eventually found a passable road ( which I think was the last possible one to get us there!)
Thank you so much!
Matthew Andrews reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 05 December 2014
We had a wonderful 2 week trip to Ethiopia - we found the country very different from other places that we've been, and also found Ethiopia very different from what we'd imagined it would be. The wildlife and birds we saw were incredible, the mountains and views nothing short of spectacular. We found different parts of the country varied hugely - both in landscape, climate and wildlife - which made the trip hugely varied. The travel arrangements (internal flights included) all worked perfectly - and our guides, drivers and cooks were all professional, friendly and keen to help make our trip as enjoyable as possible. As a vegetarian, I really enjoyed the variety of food (the local beers and wines were great too!), and we found all the hotels we stayed in very comfortable. In particular, the Kuriftu spa was a lovely treat after having spent 5 days in the Simiens trekking. We probably tried to fit too much into our 2 week trip, and were feeling a bit tired by the time we came home, but we would certainly have no hesitations in recommending both Ethiopia and Tourdust to anyone!
Natalie Nickelson reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 27 November 2014
Myself and a group of friends have now traveled to Morocco to do treks in the Atlas mountains two years in a row and I cannot recommend Tourdust enough. I was a complete trekking novice last year and was organising a group climb of Mount Toubkal which we did for charity. We wanted to organise our trip independently rather than with an organised charity and couldn't have been happier with the help Tourdust gave us. Their team are so knowledgable and had been on so many of the Treks themselves that they were able to recommend specific treks which would match what we wanted to achieve with the varying levels of fitness within our group. We were given so much information before we left that we felt completely prepared. The treks on both years have been meticulously organised, from the transfers to the guides, cooks and muleteers on the trek itself, everyone cannot do enough for you. Tourdust then arranged our stay in Marrakech at the end of our trek which was a wonderful experience. Our transfer from the mountains was in beautiful air conditioned people carriers and we were met in the city by such a friendly gentleman with a cart to carry our bags. A short walk through this amazing vibrant city and we arrived at our Riad. It was like a calm, beautiful oasis in amongst the sights and exotic smells of Marrakech. Tourdust had already given us recommendations on where would be great to visit and eat whilst we were there and the gentleman who ran the Riad made sure we had maps and we were happy. The food on both treks and back at the Riad was amazing, I am a vegetarian and was always catered for. I cannot recommend Tourdust enough. It is so refreshing to be able to have a company who are not only passionate but knowledgeable and personally experienced in what they do. I am now planning a trip with them to take my husband and three children out to Morocco next year.
Both our treks in the Atlas Mountains with Tourdust have been simply amazing. I was a trekking novice last year and with Tourdust's help arranged a 6 day trek doing the Mount Toubkal Circuit with a groups of friends which we did for charity. The trek was amazing and took in such stunning scenery. We camped for the entire trek and were so looked after my the guides, cooks and muleteers. The team spirit between them all was humbling to witness and they couldn't do enough for us. On summit night they treated us to an evening of music and singing using camping and cooking equipment as instruments! A wonderful experience which I will always cherish. The pace on the treks is always great and lead by the guides who have an amazing ability to judge how we were all feeling. Such was the enjoyment and the exhilaration we all felt after reaching the summit of Toubkal last year that as soon as we returned home we booked to come back again his year. We did a shorter 3 day trek this time and again experienced beautiful scenery and amazing hospitality that Morocco has to offer. The food on both treks was amazing and unbelievable considering the remoteness of our location! Trekking though the rural villages in the Atlas Mountains and spending so much time talking to the experienced guides gives you a real feeling and understanding of this amazing county. I would highly recommend Tourdust to organise your trip, whatever your experience in trekking (our group had very experienced Trekkers and complete novices) and whatever your want to do or experience they will be able to arrange this for you. Two wonderful trips to the Atlas and I cannot wait to take my husband and children next year.
Sarah Summerson reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 24 November 2014
After booking, we were always kept fully informed of the itinerary and details, so we left the UK very excited about a few days in the mountains.
We weren’t disappointed. Ever. From landing late at Marrakech on the Monday night, finding our Taxi driver easily, we headed out to Imlil for 90 minutes in a taxi. The trip was hilarious in so far as Moroccan men truly believe that the roads, well, exclusively belong to them. After many exclamations and gesticulations, we arrived safely at Imlil where we were met immediately in the pitch black by another guy and a mule to carry our bags to the guest house.
It was past 10pm now, and I pre-warned my brother that the chance of a good meal was probably long gone.
How wrong I was. We were greeted by a delicious chicken tagine, bread, water, fruit.... and we were immediately impressed. Now, the guest house was no five star hotel – but more of that later.
We met our guide that evening, a young, polite 24 year old, who told us that there had been early snow (big grins) – so he asked us if we had brought crampons (nope). No matter, he explained, we could hire them (phew).
We set off the next morning after a lovely breakfast. I won’t bore you with the details of the next three days walks because it will spoil it for you. But it was simply magnificent. If you like walking, and you’re happy with some effort to climb this peak, please take my word for it – you will not be disappointed. I walk regularly all over the UK, have done plenty of the highest hills, peaks and mountains – but there’s nothing quite like this in blighty. You’ll love it!
You do not need to be super-fit. At all. A good level of general fitness will be adequate, I promise. We (being twins) are both 42, have left our peak fitness a few years behind us, but our guide was perfectly good at judging our level of fitness and we never, ever, felt pressured into going faster than we had to. Now this young guy has done Toubkal up and down in one day. We took 3 – could have possibly managed it in 2, but would have been a much more demanding trek. I think 3 days was perfect for us.
There was time to spare at the end of day 1 at the refuge – perfect for a spot of relaxing on the balcony, reading, and being surprised with popcorn, biscuits and mint tea.
There was also time to spare at the end of day 2 at the next refuge – where we opted for staying in a tent. So there’s plenty of time for recharging your batteries.
Day 3 of walking is pretty much full on. Crampons make life so much easier on the route to the summit, though plenty of people didn’t use them. Oh, and don’t forget your gloves (I did!). After reaching for the summit, it’s a long walk back to Imlil, but there’s plenty of opportunities to stop. Again, it’s always at your pace.
Biggest surprise was the return to Imlil, where we were actually taken to Dar Adrar – turned out that on our arrival, it was full and we were taken to an alternative for our first night. Dar Adrar was a lovely guest house indeed, and was the perfect place to chill out that night, have a wonderful meal, and spend the last morning walking through the village, before a final taxi ride back to the airport.
I can’t rate this experience highly enough. The ascent was well paced and great fun. Tourdust have obviously got some great connections with people in Morocco and it shows. We were treated with politeness and courtesy constantly, we never felt hungry or thirsty (and we are both big guys), and we both absolutely loved the experience. As long as you go with your eyes wide open, you cannot fail to love this trek. Dar Adrar is a lovely guest house. The refuges are what they are – but as long as you don’t expect luxury ensuite rooms, you’ll be fine! And if sleeping with a dorm full of strangers isn’t your style, then camp out in the grounds in a tent. We did, and I think I’ve just caught the camping bug....
Well done Tourdust – an amazing experience we will never forget.
There is no ‘catch’!
Ian Colledge reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal on 20 November 2014
- Oulaid, our guide, was an enthusiastic, helpful and pleasant young man. Big tick! He understood our (perverse) sense of humour and we had lots of laughs around chairs (lack of!), alcohol (lack of!) fitness (lack of!). All good
- the walk through Happy Valley. With Mohamed's agreement in Marrakech we went beyond Agouti to spend Night 1 at another village, and had a 2 hour walk through the irrigated valley before starting our ascent
- lunches on Day 1 and Day 4 of the walk under shady walnut trees
- the quality of the salads and the care of preparation. Big tick to Hamed for this
- the flowers on the ascent to the ridge on Day 2
- the whole of Day 4 - by far the most scenic
- Oulaid organising mule rides up to Magdaz and tea in the Kasbah there. We could easily have walked but the mules were fun
- Ait Ben Haddo which was interesting followed by the wonderful Kasbah for our last night - first beers (!), great pool, exotic setting
- the interesting drive back with many Kasbah's, spectacular roads and scenery - is stark contrast to the fairly dull drive ahead of the first day walking
- visiting the falls was something I didn't feel the need to do - a tourist spot that didn't enrich my trip!
- my sore hip! Pre-existing condition but the drugs didn't quite work as well this time!
- lack of chairs in the mess tent - we weren't great at sitting on the floor - basic folding chairs etc would be good - useful for card games too
- the afternoon on Day 2 hanging around in the tent in the hail - not a great location for two nights (although understand the proximity to the M'goun ascent and water). Similarly on Day 3
- the death squeals of the goat kid which we then ate for 3 days! Tasted good though
- the ascent (which I didn't complete - hip problems!) but which Guy said was no more spectacular than the previous days pass. Day 4 was far more spectacular
Jeremy Sutcliffe reviewing Ait Bougmez Traverse Trek on 20 November 2014
We had a wonderful holiday - in spite of us being ill!
Everywhere we stayed and all of your employees were great!
A beautiful place, full of beautiful people!
Sandra Taylor reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 12 November 2014
All in all our trip to Ethiopia was truly amazing. A dizzyingly precipitous bombardment of beauty in the form of flora, fauna, people & scenery!
I have collated the feedback from the 7 in our group:
- Despite the information we were given about the sleeping mats provided before we left I would recommend that everyone brings their own sleeping mat. The mats provided are tired - thin, cotton covered, very squashed foam - in conjunction with rocky camps does not make for a comfortable night along the way. I know it depends on the season but most of the camps hit well below zero at night, a survival blanket on the ground sheet of the tent was invaluable (very cheap, light easy addition to a kit list bringing increased comfort).
- Toilets were a bit of an issue - no one had an issue with smelly long drops but a lot of the time they were soiled so we couldn't use them without stepping in someone else's mess. At the camps (which are only used for tourists on the hiking trail) it may be helpful for a member of the group to check the toilets & splash a bucket of water around to make them useable. Unfortunately it seems common place for people to avoid the long-drop & conduct their business in the vicinity of, leaving mess & toilet paper everywhere which is detrimental to the ecology & beauty of the sites (maybe people should be asked to keep their loo roll in disposable sacks to be added to daily waste - in our camp rubbish was taken away in the mornings or just burnt/buried as has been the case on other walks I have been on)
- Food overall was excellent. We had an excellent cook with a very good reputation, he was used to catering for Western palette's & offered daily variety. The local wine was a really nice touch after a tough day.
- Transport links worked fine (though the road from Adi Aderkay to Debark was absolutely terrifying as described in the Bradt guide book!!)
- Our guide, Hope, was very knowledgeable & we felt safe on the routes he took us, on occasion some of the group felt that he rushed ahead (there was quite a gap of fitness levels so we were quite spread out when we were walking) It would have been nice for him to offer a bit more support to the ones who were struggling & aimed to keep the group a bit more together but on the whole he was great.
- The main point to raise is that we all felt that this trek is not one for novice's or 'anyone with a reasonable fitness level' - on occasions it was gruelling. All of us, fit to less fit, had to dig deep into reserves to keep going. The Ras day was hard but again we felt unprepared for the final part to the summit - it is more than a scramble, it is a climb - the scouts went above & beyond the call of duty at this point & helped those who were struggling.
I would rate the trip 4/5 which I think would be the average of the group.
I would like to recommend a newly built lodge on the outskirts of Gondar near the airport named Mayleko lodge. It was a wonderful place for R&R after our trip & the owner, Ethiopia, really pulled out all the stops to make our stay as comfortable & relaxing as possible.
I think that is about everything, like i said we had a fantastic time overall & we all have lots of happy memories.
Claire Cooper reviewing Simien Mountain & Ras Dashen Trek on 10 November 2014
Cool trip, really enjoyed it. Lovely helpful people, especially at Riad Tzarra, and lots of great walking for the Atlas bit of the trip. Appreciated being met and escorted to the Riad by Aziz. Full marks to Tourdust for organisation and reliability!
Margot Taylor reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 07 November 2014
We’re back a week from our epic trek around Toubkal.
Everything went like clockwork!!!!
Hassan, our guide, was brilliant. We felt like we were on a true adventure. The trek was challenging but different everyday. We summited Toubkal at sunrise last Tuesday. The view over the Sahara was astonishing. The food was amazing and really filling. Hussain, our cook, prepared all wonders of dishes for us. Assad, the muleteer, made all the small things matter. A great team.
We are already planning our next trip and ,after all our experiences, will definitely go with Tourdust again.
Michael Byrne reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 31 October 2014
We have had an amazing time in Ethiopia, time went too fast even though we were 7 years behind and 6 hours adrift some where.
I believe in true feed back to assist in further development .
Airport pick up didn't matter as was soon resolved, however obtaining a visa was painful. We waited in the queue for one hour forty five minutes, it seemed disorganised and open to those knowing how to to queue jump. Perhaps on a day flight this may not have been too bad, but we just needed to get our heads down.
Hotel in Addis Ababa was well located and more than comfortable , nice to have a kettle in our room (the only hotel to have one ) with a early morning transfer to Gondar they obliged with boiled eggs for breakfast to take away.
Our guide for Addis was great Yonas, so much so we invited him out for tea with us, bonus, Alex the man also came, we had a great night in Habesha 2000 , their shoulder dancing knocks spots off my aerobic
Classes. Food a little expensive compared to elsewhere.
Flight and transfer to Gondar good, accommodation well situated, afternoon round castle etc was interesting but guide needed to understand ' less is often more ' scripting is never interesting. 70 % is what we see , let us look rather than force their history upon us.
The trekking - WOW David was fantastic, he knew when to offer information and when to just let us look, so knowledgeable, the views were breath taking the cliffs were pulse raising, the baboons were mind blowing, even the three hours of constant hail and rain couldn't dampen our love for our experience. Our scout was a diamond in his jelly shoes, at a grand age of 70 he guarded our possessions as if they were his own. Alam our cook prepared some amazing food throughout, and although he looked worried at me not being able to digest bread , I was fed more than adequately and never went hungry.
Flying up to lalibela was smooth, my mind constantly drifting back to the mountains wishing I could still be there , I loved the isolation of our trip , so pleased we didn't have to share it with others. The churches were extraordinary, at times I felt rushed by our guide, I love to photograph, but he seemed bent on filling me full of history.
Philip Ingleby reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 30 October 2014
We had an absolutely fantastic time - everything was great to be honest. Dar Adrar was lovely - really comfortable accommodation, great staff (very friendly, welcoming and helpful) and food was fantastic. Both the guesthouse and our cook for the 3 days were great at ensuring all the food was gluten and dairy free - we were really pleasantly surprised at the high-quality, tasty food that they produced day after day at the top of a mountain.
The trekking was great - Rashid, our guide, was great company and couldn't have been more helpful. We told both Rashid and our cook at the end of the trek how much we'd enjoyed the experience, but please do pass on our thanks and good feedback to Mohammed as well.
Riad dar Hanane was also wonderful - very welcoming staff, very helpful, great food.
I'd certainly recommend Tourdust and the places we stayed to friends.
James Watts reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 28 October 2014
The trip was very good. The trekking was superb and our guide Yusuf, and cook/muleteer Ibrahim, were excellent. We couldn't believe the delicious food that Ibrahim served each day. We didn't need any of the extra snacks we had brought along! Unfortunately we had to alter our itinerary due to my travelling companion's knee problems which flared up on the long steep descents each day, so we didnt make Mt Toubkal. However Yusuf was very helpful and he rearranged our route accordingly, though this meant that we had to spend a couple of nights in alternative accommodation and we opted to go to Marrakesh a day early (luckily our room at the Riad was available). On the last trekking day Ibrahim was commandeered by another group and a new cook was sent to us for the day. He was also very good and he prepared a special dish for me as i was suffering with a stomach upset!
In Marrakesh Riad Tzarra was excellent and Mohammad and his staff were all very helpful and friendly. The transport arrangements were efficient and on time in all cases.
Rosemary Campbell-Blair reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent on 28 October 2014
I had a wonderful trip to Morocco. As a first time trekker I was nervous and apprehensive about what to expect (as well as what to pack!) but I was given plenty of pre-trip advice. The trip itself was exceptionally well planned and organised. The guides, muleteers and drivers were extremely professional and knowledgeable, yet also friendly and approachable, so I didn't feel silly asking questions. And how they managed to conjure up such amazing food in the middle of the mountains is a mystery!
I stayed in various types of accommodation which ranged from basic (yet still clean and comfortable) to boutique chic where I felt well and truly pampered. The rooftop terrace at Riad Tzarra is a wonderful sanctuary from the hectic streets of Marrakech and the perfect place to chill out.
I would definitely book again through Tourdust - Inch'Allah!
Sarah Owen reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 08 October 2014
It was a wonderful trip, thanks. The organisation was all but flawless throughout, including our late request to change our booking to get a very well worth while extra day in Marrakech. The only thing that went at all wrong all week was that Ibrahim, our driver from Imlil to Marrakech, couldn’t get hold of Dar Hanane to tell them we were arriving in Marrakech: so he got us as close as possible and then organised a hand cart himself. We never felt unloved! We also appreciated that Rebecca came to see us in Tizi Oussem, despite everything (see below) and were sorry to miss Anna at Dar Hanane too. We know that our guide Mustapha was pleased that you take such trouble to know your tours, too.
Just one observation: a loo roll is a necessity on this tour!
Other necessities: a very hearty appetite and plenty of Compeed. And do all you can to get hold of change for tipping if you’re going straight up to Imlil.
So in chronological order: we were greeted with a bottle of water each and a box of biscuits for the trip to Imlil. Dar Adrar was very nice and we were royally looked after by Hamid and the staff, even while the boss was away on Haj.
Mustapha was superb: an excellent pace setter and very very knowledgeable about his mountains and so willing to impart his knowledge and skills (my map reading has improved significantly). He also introduced us to hamamms, arranging one at Tizi Oussem when it was very welcome indeed after the extension to the Cascades. We really enjoyed going through the valleys and villages, especially since Mustapha is clearly well known in the Imlil and Azzadene valleys. Hussein too was friendly, although of course we saw a lot less of him, and a great cook too.
Rebecca came to see how we were at Tizi Oussem. We then saw her the next morning, getting ready for the climb to Tizi n’Mzik. It’s nice to see your people giving such a good example of being suitably shod for serious mountain walking! We were glad to hear she got back to Imlil OK.
We really enjoyed staying in the village gites, watching the animals come home and so on: it gave us a flavour of village life. It’s sobering that there are whole villages with running water, electricity, and sewage systems but no road access!
We met a couple of other Tourdust groups who also spoke highly of their guides.
Then a total change to Dar Hanane in the heart of the Medina. The Medina was something of a sensory overload but again we were very well looked after by everybody at Dar Hanane, a beautiful cool and tranquil refuge, though we don’t want Muhamed to know how much we paid for a taxi to Jardin Majorelle: he’d be very sad.
We ate in the square the first night, Dar Hanane the second on Hanane’s lovely cooking and at the Fondouk the third: Muhamed may like to know that he did get us on to the roof terrace and it was lovely.
As you can see, we can’t find anything to complain about: it was a really good trip that packed a huge amount in. Definitely a five!
Christine Beausire reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 08 October 2014
I had an absolutely fabulous time on the tour. My guide, Rashid and chef , Samir (apologies if my spelling is wrong) was just brilliant, very attentive to my needs, never rushing me and just brilliant food, which seemed never ending. I thnk the trek may have just balanced off the amount of food I ate, but I may also be kidding myself.
The drivers between destinations were great, my only regret was I didn't have any small change to tip, which I was embarrassed about, this however was solely my fault. I'd definitely use your company again.
Louisa Attridge reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 06 October 2014
We had a fantastic trip thanks. It was incredibly memorable weekend. Very challenging but we all succeeded in climbing Toubkal. The arrangements and transfers all worked and it was seamless. It felt very organised out there and there was handover at each point allowing me to just enjoy it.
The riad Tzarra was beautiful and exceeded my expectations. The host there went out of their way to look after us, made us feel very welcome and nothing was too much trouble. Perfect place for first night. It was empty when we were there which I couldn't understand given how lovely it was.
Mountain Guide and team were all good, mountain food was basic but they made a real effort. It was tasty and exactly what we needed. We camped which personally I found much more pleasant than the refuge.
The temperature range when we were there was from 35 deg down to 5 deg but with wind chill it was freezing. Your kit list should recognise that if you climb Toubkal you will need a warm hat, wind proof outer fleece or more layers, and potentially gloves. Clearly depends on individual and weather but worth flagging this.
Douar Samra was great for final night. Didn't arrive till late afternoon but again they made a real effort to make us feel at home immediately. More basic than the riad but lots of charm. Food provided was really fantastic and just what needed after 13 hours walking. Really tasty good quality food. Only comment is that it is not in Imlil - a km or so outside up a hill!
Overall I was really impressed with Tourdust and Rebecca was very helpful throughout. It was exactly what I had hoped it would be and in each aspect it met or exceeded my expectations. Definitely would recommend you for this trip to anyone and score 5.
Alexander Cox reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal on 16 September 2014
First and foremost, the trip was fantastic. Well planned, well led and no problems whatsoever.
We arrived quite late in to Marrakech due to Ryanair flight delays but were met by our escorts to Dar Adrar in Imlil. The driver was nice and had a small box of biscuits for us which I thought was a very nice touch and very welcome since Ryanair don't provide food. We drove to Imlil in the dark which was good because we didn't have any idea of the sheer scale of our surroundings until morning!
The guesthouse was brilliant as were the staff who'd laid out a spread for us late at night on our arrival.
We were straight into the 6 day trek the next morning and our guide Yousef was perfect. He is a mountain marathon runner and says we were the fittest group he'd ever taken. To that end, he modified a lot of the trip based on our ability which was tough but very welcome by us.
And having such a good rapport with the guide meant that we learned more about local custom and culture.
The muleteer and cook were both nice and professional. Though we didn't actually interact with them all that much.
The only other thing I could mention is that there seemed to be a lot of other things offered in Marrakech; like dirt bike/atv/horse riding and excursions to oases etc. We learned a lot of what was on offer in Marrakech whilst we were there and didn't pre-budget a lot of stuff offered.
Elliot Thornton reviewing 6 Day Toubkal Circuit on 10 September 2014
We had a wonderful holiday, thank you. Something for everyone! It will be hard to find something else so unique and interesting again.
Michelle Cowie reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 05 September 2014
My trip was fantastic thank you, and everything worked perfectly. At first I was apprehensive that everything would run without any problems occurring somewhere along the line but to my relief everything was great and everyone I encountered along the way was friendly and helpful.
The accommodation was good, I liked how along my trip I encountered so many types of accommodation, from the basic beds in the gites in beautiful locations in the mountains to the busy and exciting Toubkal base camp, full with a wide variety of interesting characters and like-minded travellers, to the riad which was perfect for relaxing after my trek. The staff in the riad were particularly helpful and welcoming and made my stay in Marrakech more comfortable - at times (and for people travelling alone I think this is more of an issue) Marrakech could get quite tiresome, with the relentless attempts to take my money and the fact that I got lost for hours at a time, and quite often I would return completely worn out - so it was nice to return to such a calming place with friendly people about.
My guide and cook were also brilliant, I got on very well with the guide, who spoke English, and enjoyed the food the cook gave me, who didn't! One thing I would say, which I think I saw mentioned in another review is that there was often too much food for me to eat and it would be quite embarrassing leaving so much when the cook had put in so much effort. I realise this problem lies in cultural differences, but it's still probably worth mentioning.
As I said, the transport was thankfully very efficient; I was met at the airport by a welcoming driver and all subsequent transfers were conducted by similarly friendly drivers.
Overall I would definitely give a score of 5, and want to stress my appreciation of Tourdust for their efforts in organising my trip, with special thanks to Rebecca who was very helpful in organising the trip pretty much last minute, and managed to alter the itinerary to fit around Eid.
Jackson Kerr reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent on 01 September 2014
Our trip was truly excellent in every way. Our guide, Ibrahim, was exceptional & he gave us several options everyday. He took us up more demanding & more peaceful (i.e. less busy) routes. We achieved the two highest peaks & several smaller ones & a few ridges too. The food was spectacular, more than we could ever have eaten & the accommodation was good for the mountains (we expected much less comfortable!). Nothing was left wanting at all. We were delighted by our trip & will definitely recommend Tourdust to friends & family & use you again.
Ibrahim & Samir (the cook & muleteer) went out of their way to please us. Everything was well organised - the transfers were on time & quicker than expected too.
I was also impressed by the service I received from Rebecca during the booking process. She was incredibly helpful & responded very quickly to every email. Excellent service.
Robert Porter reviewing Classic Berber Villages & Toubkal Ascent on 27 August 2014
We were sooooo appreciative of the staff and everyone you had working with the group. Our staff and the girls couldn’t say enough great things about Abraham (the guide). They just thought he was the greatest!
And despite all the altitude sickness, those girls loved it and had an amazing time! I can’t tell you enough how nice it was to know you and your staff were handling everything and were great about keeping us informed back in the states as well. We will definitely like to use your company again next year.
Sarah Santillan reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal on 22 August 2014
Our trip was amazing and exhausting!!
We all had a great time and felt that Morocco, Marrakesh and the Mountains were a great adventure. The Trek was amazing and we loved the fact that we camped out on the second night. The guide was really ( I had a bad knee and had to go on a go slow!)and a great help as were the other three cooks/helpers who made some incredible food and the presentation of the food was superb too.
We all felt that the last day was too long and it may have been better to have come back to base camp after the summit and camped again and had a bit of a celebration and then walked out fresh the next morning.
We will always remember this trip and will have good memories of it.
RUTH GOLDMAN reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal on 22 August 2014
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 on 23 July 2014
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 on 11 July 2014
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 on 01 July 2014
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 on 29 June 2014
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 on 18 June 2014
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 on 17 June 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 17 June 2014
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 on 13 June 2014
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 on 04 June 2014
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 Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek on 06 May 2014
We had a fantastic time in Morocco and everything worked to plan.
We were collected on time by Ibrahim and he took us to Imlil in his Toyota Land-cruiser. Good journey to the Imlil Lodge which is very well placed with wonderful views down the valley. It is a little way out if Imlil but that suited us fine. the lodge is very comfortable and the food was very good and certainly set us up for the trekking.
They struggled a little with the hot water but in this location this is not a surprise.
The guide on the treks was Yousef who is a lovely lad and happy to engage in conversation as ‘required’. He has a detailed knowledge of the area and is happy to share this.
The treks were about the right length being long enough to make us feel as though the trek was worthwhile without being too onerous. They were reasonably challenging but Ok for people with a fair degree of fitness and some stamina and determination. The views are of course spectacular and we are so pleased that we went.
The Gites were fine. Yes basic but I would not have wanted to stay in a hotel as you would miss out.
We were well looked after by Mustafa as well and he and his mule carried and prepared the food as well as our kit.
The travel from Imlil back to Marrakech was again well organised and fine and we were met at the ‘taxi rank’ by Asif. He is a credit to the Riad and did a great job in looking after us.
The Dar Hanane riad is wonderful and we had a very good suite there. Food was excellent. We ate there one evening and it was lovely to sit on the roof terrace as the sun went down.
The half day cooking course was also worthwhile.
The final stop was Ryad Watier is Essaouira. Jean-Gabriel is a character and is rightly proud of what he has built there. Excellent place to relax with good food and a brilliant welcome. We ate in the riad one evening and that was lovely too.
Ibrahim took us back to the airport and dropped us off just a short walk from the terminal.
It was a truly wonderful holiday with the right mix of activity, culture and relaxation (we took 4 nights in Essaouira) and we came back feeling refreshed and invigorated. The organisation was spot on and the places we stayed were carefully and skilfully chosen. We would not have changed a thing.
I also don’t think we would have saved much by organising the trips ourselves and I doubt we would have found anything quite as good.
Michael Champion reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 30 April 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 30 April 2014
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 on 30 April 2014
You arranged the most magnificent holiday for us – thank you so much.
All the 3 hotels were brilliant – very different from each other. Mohammed was very helpful when we needed him.
Pleased we weren’t actually in Marrakech last week when it was so hot – the Beldi was perfect as I spent the time in their blissful pool!!!
Melanie Minnitt reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 17 April 2014
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 Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek on 19 March 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 17 March 2014
We had a great time and can't really fault anything. We will certainly be using Tourdust again.
Natasha Andrews reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 12 March 2014
We very much enjoyed the bespoke holiday to Morocco everything ran very smoothly and very much to time. The trek was just what we wanted and Youssef, the guide, Hammid the cook and Mohamed were all excellent and made the trip very enjoyable. We loved Dar Adrar guest house and Riad Watier in Essaouira, good service and excellent local knowledge and lovely meal at the Riad. The drivers were all good and we felt safe.
Karen Ballantine reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 12 March 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 21 February 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 18 February 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 05 February 2014
Thank you for arranging such a memorable trip for us. We were taken care of from the first greeting at the airport, thanks to Mohamed and his efficient team, but still felt like the independent travellers we wanted to be.
The accommodation you chose for us was always a delight to discover, and the cookery course at Maison Arabe one of our highlights.
Gill Butterworth reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 05 February 2014
I had an exceptional trip to Ethiopia with Tourdust at the end of last year which has inspired me to explore Africa further..
frances p reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 23 January 2014
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) on 20 January 2014
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 11 January 2014
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 on 17 December 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 17 December 2013
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 on 25 November 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 18 November 2013
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 on 18 November 2013
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 on 18 November 2013
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 on 30 October 2013
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 on 25 October 2013
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 Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek on 25 October 2013
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 on 24 October 2013
We have just arrived home from Morocco following 10 wonderful days, Our trip from beginning to end was excellent with absolutely no hiccups! We loved every moment of our 3 part holiday.
The mountain trekking came first and we were absolutely bowled over by the whole thing, we loved Dar Adrar and they couldn't have made us more welcome, Our guide Mohammed was great and it was fab to see Rashid our Muleteer every time we caught up with him, we think the best food we had was in the mountains! It was really good to get to the grass roots of trekking and even though the gites were basic it all added to it for us. We really felt we had achieved when we got back and would recommend it to others.
The transfers were also perfect with not one problem, and the timings were spot on.
Dar Vedra in Marrakesh was a perfect haven just like the reviews said, it was a beautiful place to stay and we were very well looked after, It was very quiet when we were there and I can't understand why it is not full to overflowing.
Villa D'Lo was also fantastic and we loved it there, the only thing was we had a nice room but it didn't have a window to the outside and was one of the cheapest rooms, it would have been nice to have one of the better rooms with a window but were unaware of this when we booked, saying that it didn't detract ,from our holiday at all.
Overall I would mark Tourdust 10/10 an excellent holiday which ran perfectly. We would use Tourdust again and recommend to others.
Andrew Temple-Edwards reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 16 October 2013
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 on 16 October 2013
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 on 16 October 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 October 2013
We had such a fabulous time - everything exceeded our expectations - will definitely recommend you to our friends.
Margaret Rishworth reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 October 2013
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 on 14 October 2013
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 on 14 October 2013
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 on 02 October 2013
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 on 01 October 2013
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 on 30 September 2013
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 on 26 September 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 26 September 2013
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 on 18 September 2013
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 on 12 September 2013
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 on 12 September 2013
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 on 31 July 2013
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 on 31 July 2013
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 on 31 July 2013
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 on 31 July 2013
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 on 29 July 2013
First, overall impression: terrific holiday, excellently organised at UK and Morocco ends.
Now some detail:
· Pre holiday contact with Tourdust: Rebecca, as the only person I ever spoke to, you represent Tourdust for me: you were consistently extremely responsive to all my questions by phone and email with both speed and helpful replies - customer service at its best. Your offers of extra service were also much appreciated e.g. purchase of bus tickets from Marrakech to Essaouira for us in advance.
· Punctuality of pick ups and driving in Morocco: pick ups always on time, and drivers were courteous and interesting to talk to. Comfortable cars/mini buses.
· Imlil: Dar Adrar is a wonderful place, with extremely kind and helpful staff. We were the only guests on that first night, and sitting on the terrace in the fading light as we ate our dinner was a magical way to start our holiday.
· Trek: Lahsen was great: we particularly liked the fact that he quite often left us to walk on our own when the trail was very obvious. Ibrahim, our muleteer and cook was also great, though his English was more limited than Lahsen's. However, as Alison and I speak reasonable French we were able to talk to him too. We learnt a lot from Lahsen about the villages and vegetation that we were walking through. He seemed to know the whole world, and often stopped to talk to shepherds, shop keepers, and village elders as we walked. Those exchanges were always in his native Berber language, and we therefore felt just a bit left out of these sometimes long conversations. We didn't feel able to interrupt him, or to ask questions, but would have liked to. Perhaps he could be encouraged to somehow involve his client walkers in some of these conversations, or at least tell them afterwards about some of the content of the conversation? On one occasion, when we accompanied a couple of village women with their five cows for about 40 mins along a path, we did ask what they were talking about, and learnt that they were exchanging family histories. One of the women had worked in Marrakech as a maid, and had known members of Ibrahim's family. This interested us, as it led to a discussion about how women from villages sometimes have to work in the cities as servants to earn money - rather like in pre WW1 England.
· Food on trek: superb: we were astonished at the quality and quantity of food every lunch time on the trek, and the evening meals were great too. There was always good veggie food for Alison, with often a fishy or meat option for me. At lunch times there was always a super view and shady spot and a two hour siesta on a foam mattress before setting off again - brilliant!
· Accommodation: you had told me that we would be sleeping in tents when not in Imlil. However, Lahsen told us that only happened in the high season when gites sometimes fill up. So we were pleasantly surprised to be on foam mats in gites every night, with showers of varying sophistication - but showers nevertheless! - wonderful after 5-6 hours walking in temps of over 30 !
· Trek day three description: your text is a bit confusing here we think. We walked 4-5 hours to lower village, and then another 1.5-2 hours to Tamsoult, with additional altitude gain. We chose to stay at the refuge of Tamsoult (not a village), rather than in the village of Tizi Oussem, Lahsen gave us a choice, being careful to warn us, (on Mohammed's instructions!) that we might have to share a dormitory in the refuge). It was a long day but worth it . We were extremely glad that we chose this option, as the new (just two years old) refuge is fantastic, with stunning views from the terrace, wonderful showers, European style toilets, and comfortable bunk beds - the best night of the trek. There were only four other walkers staying in the refuge, so we had an eight bed dorm to ourselves. We gently teased Lahsen for not telling us in advance just what a great place this refuge is! The next morning - Trek day 4 - starting in Tamsoult meant that the waterfall was only 25 mins away, going up, away from the refuge. We then returned to the refuge, picked up our packs, and set off for Imlil which we reached at lunch time (so your description of trek day 4 needs amending a little).
· Ascent and descent numbers: Our impression was that these were not terribly accurate, as they missed all the ups and downs within the walk every day. We were fit enough every day, but we reckon that on some days we walked a total of quite a lot more than the amounts of ascent and descent given on the descriptions for each day of the trek.
· Marrakech accom: Riad Tzarra was wonderful - just four rooms - we were the only guests. Staff couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Air conditioning was great (it was over 40 outside!). At this time of year the roof terrace of Riad Hanan is too hot to be really useable, and we reckon that the courtyard and rooms of Tzarra are nicer!
· Sites in Marrakech: we would recommend that you add the Museum of Photography to your list - just round the corner from Riad Tzarra and Place Moukef. Wonderful photos of Morocco in bygone times, and films of people in the Atlas mountains taken by a Frenchman in 1957 - fascinating - in many ways not much has changed. One ticket allows for unlimited entries over many days.
· Bus to Essaouira: very comfortable. We did not know where Villa de l'O was, but found it after asking – worth mentioning, perhaps, on your notes, that it is only five mins walk from Supra Tours depot - a wonderful little oldy worldy place, with colonial era furnishings, and a roof terrace overlooking the beach. Great place, and great little town.
· Return bus to Marrakech: when we received the bus tickets on arrival on first day in Morocco we were told that there was no 5pm bus from Ess to Marra (as we had requested), so we were given tickets for a 6pm bus. (which did not worry us) . However, at SupraTours office in Essouira we discovered that the 5pm bus did in fact exist - a relatively newly introduced Super Confort bus with wider seats (three across the bus – rather than usual four) and more leg room than the normal bus, and costing just 20 DH (2 euros!) more - so we swapped our tickets for that bus and had a very comfortable ride back to Marra, arriving in plenty of time for dinner.
· Picking up a taxi in Place Moukef: not always easy: we had to wait 15 minutes a couple of times, so travellers need to be warned.
· Dress code: many western women (and some men) tourists in Marrakech were very scantily clad, and we did not notice them getting leared at, or insulted, so it seems that in the big cities it is accepted nowadays that western women like to bare a lot of flesh short shorts, bare shoulders etc) . Still something that we, like you, would not encourage, but it seems to be no longer frowned upon as much as it was only a few years ago (according to friends who were in Morocco a few years ago). However, in the mountains life is still more conservative, so we think that shorts, and bare shoulders, should still be avoided (for both sexes).
· Restaurant recommendations in your notes: we ate at your recommendations Cafe Epices, Fondouk, Earth Cafe and Djemaa foodstalls - all excellent. We would recommend Cafe du Livre in French quarter as excellent too (ten mins walk from Supra Tours depot.), and free wifi!
In summary: a fantastic holiday - many thanks. We might well be asking you about Ethiopia next year....
stephen Lustig reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 25 July 2013
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 on 16 July 2013
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 on 05 July 2013
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 on 03 July 2013
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 on 27 June 2013
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 on 27 June 2013
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 on 27 June 2013
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 on 24 June 2013
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 on 07 June 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 06 June 2013
We had a wonderful trip. The accommodation was all great. Dar Hanane was probably our least favorite but having said that I could not really find fault with it in any way. The taxis all arrived on time and the drivers were all extremely pleasant. The trek was great too. the food was excellent and our guide and cook were both extremely nice. We were lucky with the weather on the way up- cold but dry. we woke to snow on the following day which turned to torrential rain as we got further down the mountain! However we kept walking till lunch when the guides found us shelter and Mohammed sent transport to pick us up. I would certainly recommend your company to others, and indeed have already done so.
Elizabeth Stirling reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 09 May 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 29 April 2013
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 on 24 April 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 24 April 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 24 April 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 10 April 2013
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 on 04 April 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 22 February 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 22 February 2013
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 on 11 January 2013
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 on 08 January 2013
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 04 January 2013
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 on 18 December 2012
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 on 18 December 2012
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 Trek & Northern Highlights on 18 December 2012
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 on 17 December 2012
We had an amazing trek.
Eileen Tolan reviewing Classic Simien Mountain Trek on 14 December 2012
Thanks Tourdust, for showing us close up how people live in Ethiopia and its amazing wildlife.
Luke Pinney reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights on 11 December 2012
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 on 11 December 2012
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 on 11 December 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 11 December 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 11 December 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 11 December 2012
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 on 11 December 2012
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 on 11 December 2012
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 on 16 October 2012
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 on 05 October 2012
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 on 28 September 2012
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 on 27 September 2012
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 on 13 September 2012
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 on 15 August 2012
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 Trek on 10 August 2012
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 on 04 August 2012
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 on 30 July 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 26 July 2012
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 on 20 July 2012
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 Simien Mountain & Ras Dashen Trek on 17 July 2012
We had a great itme and Ibrahim (guide) and Shahera (cook) were both
Ellen Bartlett reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 10 July 2012
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 on 06 July 2012
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 on 04 July 2012
We really had a wonderful time (despite us being unwell for a few days of the trip) and we found Anna at Tourdust and Mohammed in Morocco both really supportive, flexible & accommodating when we had to change our itinerary at the last minute due to being unwell. All of the staff at our riads and hotel were equally as fantastic & I think overall we would give the customer service and the trip itself five out of five!
Miranda Williams reviewing Coast, Souks & Mountains on 27 June 2012
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 on 23 June 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 24 May 2012
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 on 18 May 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 29 April 2012
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 on 27 April 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 23 April 2012
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 on 09 March 2012
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 Trek & Northern Highlights on 29 February 2012
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 Trek & Northern Highlights on 27 February 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 02 February 2012
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 Trek & Northern Highlights on 02 January 2012
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 on 02 January 2012
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 Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 24 December 2011
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 on 17 December 2011
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 on 12 December 2011
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 on 09 December 2011
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 on 09 December 2011
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 on 09 December 2011
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 on 14 November 2011
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 Simien Mountain & Lowlands Trek on 14 November 2011
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 on 12 November 2011
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 Sacred Valley, Inca Trail & Amazon Rainforest on 03 November 2011
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 on 19 September 2011
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 on 12 September 2011
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 on 12 September 2011
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 on 05 September 2011
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 on 17 August 2011
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 on 21 July 2011
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 on 08 July 2011
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 & Machu Picchu on 07 July 2011
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 on 04 June 2011
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 on 15 May 2011
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 on 11 May 2011
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 on 03 May 2011
Clare and I had a fantastic break in morocco. The trek was a real highlight.
Andrew Larter reviewing Climb Mount Toubkal on 05 April 2011
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 on 28 March 2011
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 on 18 February 2011
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 on 30 January 2011
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 on 08 December 2010
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 on 18 October 2010
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 on 19 August 2010