After the global shutdown we got two Sideburn Sahara trips done and dusted in March '22 and it was so good to be back on that tour. I was on one, Leah Tokelove on the other.
We are launching one Sahara trip in March 2023, open to all. We have no plans for any women-only Sahara KTM trips, but women are welcome on this tour, of course.
There are just ten places available, and three have already been reserved. Here are the details:
Open to all tour: 12-18 March 2023
With five riding days the tour enables the groups to get to the amazing dunes at Erg Chebbi, the highest in Morocco. One of the tour's many 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, a healthy 100 metres, to watch the sunset while having a well-earned drink.
The next day we have a half-day of riding that ends at a friendly 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 ten 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 a Sideburn rep will be liaising with you to co-ordinate things and answer questions, and will then be on the tour with you all.
HOW IT WORKS
You fly into Marrakech no later than 1pm on Sunday 12th March 2023, though most people fly in on Saturday and enjoy a night in Marrakech, and this is our recommendation. 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. A great riad was just €60 for a room, two-people sharing, with breakfast, so €30 each person if you have a friend to share with.
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 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, and it's a long one.
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 late-afternoon/evening of Saturday 18th March or continue your holiday in Morocco if you wish.
Return flights should be after 15:30 to allow for the transfer time from Ouarzazate to Marrakech on the 18th of March.
This tour is aimed only at those with off-road riding experience. Specific desert experience is not necessary, but good trail riding experience. We cover 1000km in five days, that's 620 miles. You ride nearly half of that in the first two days. The vast majority is off-road, and on varied and often very challenging trails. There is not much the locals can't cover on a 125cc road bike, but they're not doing 160 miles of it in one day, like you will be expected to. You have to be confident and committed, and be able to keep up a good pace on a KTM 450. This trip can hurt people if they're not up to it, or get it wrong.
THE PRICE €2295 based on two sharing a room. Single supplement is €200. 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
INCLUDED: Six nights accommodation; KTM rental; fuel; back-up truck with mechanic; transfer to and from Marrakesh hotel/airport; three meals a day on riding days; evening meal on arrival day at Ouarzazate; Garmin satnav, Sideburn rep riding with you.
NOT INCLUDED: Flights; visas (if required); bike damage (€700 cash deposit required on arrival); alcohol; travel insurance (must cover off-road motorcycling and include repatriation cover); any nights accommodation in Marrakech; snacks & drinks at fuel stops; food & drink on the transfers; anything not listed above. You must bring your own riding kit.
Your spot on the trip is not fully reserved until Moto Aventures receive your 30% non-refundable deposit payment. The balance of the payment is required a minimum of two months before the trip starts. The final day for payment is 13 January 2023. You will receive a reminder. If your payment is not paid in full within the timescale we will offer your place for sale and not offer a refund.
Read what Ryan Roadkill thought about the 2022 Sideburn Sahara Trip
Photos: Moto Aventures/ Butch Beckett