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Welcome! You will find here everything you need to register or support a participant of the 2024 edition of In the footsteps of desert nomads.

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In the footsteps of desert nomads

Date

March 17 - 28, 2024

Duration of the trip

12 days

Level of difficulty

Intermediate

Give in to this extraordinary and enchanting challenge. An exhilarating adventure through 100 km of the largest hot desert in the world begins upon your arrival at Ouarzazate. During the eight-day trek, you'll discover a mysterious and unusual region with scattered palm groves and golden dunes as far as the eye can see. Your voyage will take you to Marrakesh, also known as the "Pearl of the South" in French, a thousand-year-old city that majestically sits at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Visiting its colourful medina is simply unforgettable.

Itinerary

  • Day 1, March 17: MONTREAL - CASABLANCA : Meeting of participants at Montreal-Trudeau Airport. Flying to Casablanca, Morocco. Dinner provided on the overnight flight.
  • Day 2, March 18: OUARZAZATE : Arrival to the airport in Casablanca. Welcome and road towards Ouarzazate, with a stop along the way to have dinner. Night in Ouarzazate
  • Day 3, March 19: OUARZAZATE - M'HAMID : Departure to the beautiful Draa Valley, with its by palm groves. Past Zagora, participants will head to Tagounit via minibus and will break for a picnic lunch. Participants will then join their camel team in Ouled Driss (4.5h drive). Participants will camp overnight in the palm grove of M’Hamid. Distance walked on this day: 8 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 3h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a bivouac
  • Day 4, March 20: M'HAMID - AIT OUNIR : Participants depart the Draa palm grove to cross a desert with dunes and tamarisks. The second camp is located in Erg Ait Ounir. Distance walked on this day: 18 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 6h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a bivouac
  • Day 5, March 21: AIT OUNIR - SMAR : Keeping the same southwestern direction as the day before, participants reach the beautiful dunes of Erg Zehar (erg of luck). After lunch, they will cross the Draa and arrive at Erg Smar. Distance walked on this day: 19 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 6.5h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included; Night in a bivouac
  • Day 6, March 22: SMAR - AOUINAT NAJI : Participants cross the Oued Miit dry riverbed and reach the vast Chegaga dunes. After the first rains, this area becomes a stunning grazing ground for camels and nomads alike, some of whom come from as far as the High Atlas. The night is spent in a bivouac located south of Chegaga at the foot of the Erg in the direction of Aouinat Naji. Distance walked on this day: 16 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 5.5h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a bivouac
  • Day 7, March 23: AOUINAT NAJI- DUNE OF AABIDLYA : Participants will walk through the breathtaking sea of sand. Overnight camping at the foot of the big dune of Aabidlya. Distance walked on this day: 15 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 5h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a bivouac
  • Day 8, March 24: DJEBEL NOIR DU BANI : Participants head north towards the “Djebel Noir du Bani’’ where they will have the chance to admire the outstanding gorges of Oued M’hasser. Overnight camp will be set up in the heart of the mountain of Bani. Distance walked on this day: 20 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 6.5h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a bivouac
  • Day 9, March 25: OUED M’HASSER - HASSIS DIAB OASIS : Participants will travel throughout several gueltas in Oued M’hasser, Hassis Diab Oasis and while crossing the desert plateau. The last camp will be set up in the small Oasis of Aferdou. Distance walked on this day: 14 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 5h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a bivouac
  • Day 10, March 26: COL FOUM LAACHAR - OUARZAZATE : In the final hours of the trek, participants will reach the Foum Laachar Pass, which boasts a magnificent view over the plains of El Feijja. All-terrain vehicles will meet participants at the foot of the djebel to drive them back to Ouarzazate while passing through Zagora (4.5h drive). Dinner and overnight in a riad will be provided to participants. Distance walked on this day: 9 km. Approximate duration of the trek: 2.5h. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a riad
  • Day 11, March 27: OUARZAZATE - MARRAKECH : After lunch, participants will depart to Marrakech by passing through Imini Aguelmouss and Tichka (4.5h drive). A cultural city tour of Marrakech with a local guide will allow participants to discover the old town, its architecture and its history. Participants will have dinner in a restaurant in the medina. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Night in a riad
  • Day 12 , March 28: MARRAKECH - MONTREAL : After breakfast, participants will transfer to the local airport and fly back to Montreal.

The CRS Challenge program is a series of fundraising travel campaigns to benefit the cancer research. Program participants have the opportunity to take on physically challenging expeditions, and in the process dig a little deeper into their own souls. The challenge for participants is twofold: (1) to push their physical limits; and (2) to raise substantial funds for cancer research.

Learn more about the CRS Challenge