We have partnered with Moto Aventures again to run TWO Sideburn Morocco Tours in December 2021. One is Women-only, the other is open to all.
There are just ten places available on each trip.
Women-only Tour: 5-11 December 2021
Open to all Tour: 13-19 December 2021
The tour has five riding days to enable the group to get to the amazing dunes at Erg Chebbi, the highest in Morocco. (205m)
One of the tour highlights is the night in our desert bivouac, far from tarmac and light pollution. This is where you will get your first experience of riding sand and dunes, and in the late afternoon we will ride to the top of the highest dune (80m) to watch the sunset while drinking a beer.
The next day we have a half-day of riding that ends at a gorgeous auberge with a pool set in the shadow of the famous cathedral dunes. Have lunch, relax by the pool in the afternoon, then, if you want, back on the bikes to ride the many dunes that are Erg Chebbi including attempting to conquer the 'big one', before basking in another African sunset.
Sideburn partners with Moto Aventures, a specialist company who has been running Morocco trips for over 25 years. By joining the Sideburn trip you benefit from being in a group of likeminded individuals all on the same wavelength, so even if you sign up on your own, you’re going to be in a group of new friends from day one. How do we know? It’s just how it happens on the Sideburn collab trips. We’ve done six in Morocco, three in the Himalayas and another in Nepal, and strong, global friendships have formed on every one of them.
The trip is operated and run by Moto Aventures, but we will send a Sideburn rep to ensure everything is just right.
HOW IT WORKS
You fly into Marrakech no later than 1pm on Sunday 5th December (Women's trip) or Monday 13th December (Open trip). You can extend your trip at either end at your own expense and we can recommend gorgeous riads to stay in if you want more time away. Just let us know.
We organise a transfer from Marrakech to Ouarzazate by minibus. We’ll either pick you up at your hotel in Marrakech or at the airport. Once at the Karam Palace Hotel in Ouarzazate you’ll meet the Moto Aventures crew and guide team, get introduced to your KTM, have a group meal and get to know your fellow riders better. The next day you ride.
The accommodation is a mixture, ranging from a 200-year-old converted Kasbah, top tourist hotels built in a Kasbah style and the exclusive night in our traditional Berber camp in the shadow of another area of dunes (with proper showers and toilet blocks).
After five days of riding, you will have one more night in Ouarzazate before transferring back to Marrakech to fly home in the evening of 11th December (19th for the open trip) or continue your holiday in Morocco if you wish.
GOOD BUT IMPORTANT
Moto Aventures differs from the vast majority of tour companies because every bike is fitted with its own Garmin satnav that has every metre of every day’s route inputted. That means you can ride at a pace that is comfortable to you, no need to get stressed trying to stay on someone’s back wheel or be isolated and have to guess at desert crossroads. The groups normally split into smaller groups, a minimum of two riders together to assist each other, and ride at their pace.
If you want to stop for a photo or a rest, do it, knowing that you’ll meet up with the group at the next stop. Alternatively, if you ride at a quick pace you can. You don’t have to wait for anyone, just stay safe. Remember the fully equipped support vehicle, transporting your bags and complete with mechanic, follows a short way behind on the same route as the bikers, to sort any bike issues out.
All you need to carry is your hydration pack and camera.
We cater for all diets to the best of our abilities – vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free etc., just let us know when booking. A large box of dried fruits and nuts is carried in the cab of the support truck available to anyone needing a natural boost.
This trip is for confident off-road riders only. The trip is 90% off-road and worthwhile off-road riding experience is essential. The terrain can catch people out if they ride beyond their limits or become over-confident. Morocco can bite if you get it wrong.
IMPORTANT - Even though riders can ride at their own pace, the group must wait at designated points or they risk being hours ahead of the back-up vehicle and its medical support and we cannot have that happening.
Any person going on this trip must have a good level of trail riding experience and/or have attended specialist training. Depending on where you live, we can help suggest training schools. We will be asking riders to give honest appraisals of their riding ability and off-road experience, before we take bookings.
Nothing will prepare you for riding in the dunes, except riding in the dunes. It’s wonderful and surreal and tiring and unforgettable, and Moto Aventures’ John will guide you in this alien landscape, giving tips and guidance if needed and not push you further than you, or he, thinks is safe and appropriate.
During the riding days there are regular meal and drink stops in memorable locations, some with pools to cool off in. All the hotels have swimming pools too.
· Nearly 90% off road
· Spectacular trails combined with dramatic mountain landscapes and awesome views
· Beautiful winding trails, gorges, rocky climbs, and some big wash-outs. Beware!
· 2500m mountain passes with spectacular scenery
· River crossings - with and without water
· Sandy riverbeds and vast dry lake beds
· Isolated mountain villages
· A night out under the stars at our desert bivouac with campfire and local musicians – 90km from nearest road.
· Excellent accommodation
· Good food, with plenty of veggie options.
· Alcohol available every night, even in our desert bivouac.
5-11 December 2021 - Women Only
13-19 December 2021 - Open to all
You must arrive at Marrakech airport no later than 13.00 on 5th or 13th December (depending on the trip). In the past, really early arrivers have taken a cab into Marrakech for breakfast and a quick explore and transferred from there.
Return flights should be after 17:00 to allow for the transfer time from Ouarzazate to Marrakech on the 11th/19th of December.
€2090 based on two sharing a room. Single supplement is €150.
We have ten spots only.
We are able to offer three lowered KTM 450s, but they must be reserved in advance.
This trip is marketed by Sideburn, but operated solely by Moto Aventures Europe SL.
To book/reserve a place email us, giving us details of your off-road riding experience.
Email: sideburnmag at gmail dot com
MOTO AVENTURES COVID PRECAUTIONS
Hand gel will always be available in the door pockets of our 4x4s and we encourage you all to use it regularly
All Moto Aventures staff will all have been tested, (and will be regularly checked) and are fully aware of hygiene and safety protocols.
As a norm, Moto Aventures always choose the best accommodation available for overnight stops on tour, and all (with one exception) are smaller style hotels, kasbahs and inns maintaining a very good hygiene standard.
Every rider receives a buff against dust and sand. These also double up as a soft mask and we would recommend everyone to use them whenever in public places.
In all our accommodations and on lunch stops it is normal for us to get a separate table for our group.
We always carry bottled drinking water for use while riding on the trails and everyone gets their own to fill and refill their drinking systems.
All photos from previous Sideburn Morocco trips by Adam Swift, Randy Faker, Caylee Hankins