A Field Trip to Morocco
10 -19 September 2021
This is a small group tour studying aspects of the geology and geography of Morocco, a country rich in geological and cultural interest, set in varied desert and mountainous scenery. We will fly to Rabat and, following a day of learning about the history and building stones of the city, we drive to Ouzoud to see the geology of the High Atlas. We then explore the oases and desert scenery to the south, visiting the famous fossil-rich localities around Tinerhir and Zagora. We conclude our tour in Marrakech, the medieval city with its walled medina and lively souks. We’ll visit the 12th century Koutoubia Mosque. The busy markets are well worth visiting — you’ll find yet more fossils there! After two nights in Marrakech we fly back to the UK. Dr Danny Clark-Lowes will lead this tour; he is a geologist, educated at Cambridge and London universities, who has published scientific papers and books on the geology of North Africa. He has been leading geological tours for Indus Experiences for some four years now. A trip extension is available for those wishing to climb Mount Toubkal (4167m) in the High Atlas.
Dr Danny Clark-Lowes
Dr Danny Clark-Lowes will lead this tour to Nepal. He is a geologist, educated at Cambridge and London universities, who has given industry training courses on geology at locations throughout the world. As well as publishing scientific papers and books on geology, he is a mountaineer who has climbed in the Swiss Alps and in the Himalaya. He has been leading Himalayan trips for some four years now.
Day 1: To Rabat
Departure from London on direct flight for Rabat. Transfer to Smarts Hotel Rabat. D
Day 2: Rabat
Visit the beautiful Hassan Mosque (dating back to 1184) and the Almohad ramparts and gates. Notice Moorish and Andalusian influences. Study the building stones, some derived from the Carboniferous hinterland. Night at Smarts Hotel Rabat. B, D
Day 3: To Ouzoud
Drive to Ouzoud (some 300 kms), crossing Ordovician through to Jurassic rocks, and check into the Kasbah of Ouzoud for a two night stay. Located in the High Atlas, this adobe guest house is built in traditional Moroccan style. B, D
Day 4: Ouzoud
Study of the regional geology of the Ouzoud area with visits to both the Cascades and Gorges of Ouzoud. The wonderful Cascades d'Ouzoud are among the many remarkable attractions of the Moroccan Atlas. They are located on a plateau that overlooks a valley of red and green earth, planted with olive groves, almond and fig trees. B, D
Day 5: To Tinerhir
We travel to Imilchil via Beni Mellal and Kasba-Tadia crossing the faulted margin of the High Atlas. At Imilchil we visit a possible meteor impact crater. Travelling on to Tinerhir via the Middle Atlas Mountains we go through the spectacular Gorges de Todra. On our 300 kms route we discuss the structure of the atlas and the evidence for thick and thin skinned shortening. Arriving at Tinerhir we find time to do some fossil hunting, the Tinerhir and Zagora oases on the south side of the Atlas having famous fossil-rich localities. Night at Hotel Tomboctou. B, D
Day 6: To Zagora
Transfer to Zagora via Alnif and the truly fantastic Draa Valley. Ordovician rocks encountered en-route provide evidence for Hirnantian glaciation. Two nights at Hotel La Fibule du Draa. B, D
Day 7: Zagora
A day to enjoy and study typical desert terrain. Visit to the Tamegrout pottery village. B, D
Day 8: To Marrakech
Transfer to Marrakech, 375 kms. Desert terrain initially passing through Ouarzazate and then giving way to a dramatic scenic road over the High Atlas. The picturesque Ouarzazate and nearby Ait Ben Haddou have been used as film locations on many occasions, particularly for Bethlehem. The High Atlas route takes us to the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass and the Kasbahs Anemiter and Telouet. Fossil sellers at the pass have impressive samples as well as amusing ‘lying stones’. Two nights at Hotel in Marrakech, yet to be decided. Possibly Mamounia. B, D
Day 9: Marrakech
Time to explore this medieval city with its walled medina. We’ll visit the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque. The busy and lively souks (markets) are well worth visiting — you’ll find yet more fossils there! B, D
Day 10: To London
Transfer to airport for departure for London
- International air fare in economy class. Business class supplements and options for flying from regional UK airports are available on request.
- Departure taxes from UK and Marrakech.
- Accommodation with private facilities.
- Half Board meals throughout the tour.
- All transfers, sightseeing and geological visits by coach & jeeps where needed.
- Entry fee to monuments and places of interest.
- Geological guide services of Dr Clark-Lowes.
- Services of an English speaking Moroccan guide.
- Full ATOL and ABTA bonding.
- Any expenses of a personal nature, including tips.
- Travel Insurance*
Sightseeing arrangements, visits to geological sites may vary according to local circumstances at each place on a day to day basis. Trip scholars may decide to alter the programme where they feel it is necessary.
We aim to be as flexible as possible for new bookings and have reduced holiday deposits to £250 per person until further notice, and made it possible to request a refund or postpone travel plans at no extra cost, in the event that a trip can’t go ahead due to Foreign Office advice or overseas government restrictions. All tour payments to Indus Experiences are 100% protected by our ATOL and ABTA Licences.
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure it covers you for all activities.
• Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
• Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/