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Morocco School Trip

Trip type: 
Enrichment & Geography & Religious Studies
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 
40
Avg user rating: 
Awaiting reviews
Africa, Morocco | 5 days
Trip code: 
SGM
What's included: 

Staff - Local group leader and one FREE teacher place per 10 paying students 

Transport - Chartered bus, camel

Accommodation - three nights’ hotel, one night Nomad-style tent

Meals - Full Board Basis

Flights - easyJet from London Gatwick (regional departures available)

 

Trip Highlights: 
Vibrant and exotic Marrakech
High Atlas Mountains, meet the local Berbers
Desert camel trek; spend a night under Saharan stars
Explore the fortified city of Ait Benhaddou, location for the film Gladiator
see full itinerary >>
Trip Highlights: 
Vibrant and exotic Marrakech
High Atlas Mountains, meet the local Berbers
Desert camel trek; spend a night under Saharan stars
Explore the fortified city of Ait Benhaddou, location for the film Gladiator
see full itinerary >>
What's included: 

Staff - Local group leader and one FREE teacher place per 10 paying students 

Transport - Chartered bus, camel

Accommodation - three nights’ hotel, one night Nomad-style tent

Meals - Full Board Basis

Flights - easyJet from London Gatwick (regional departures available)

 

Trip Overview: 

Morocco offers students a distinctive learning experience. Its fascinating culture, landscapes and religion offer budding travellers the ability to really expand their horizons. Plus, it's great value. On this trip, you’ll travel into the geologically-diverse Atlas Mountains, along the lush Draa Valley and explore the arid desert on camel-back, spending time with local Berber people along the way.

Morocco is our most popular destination for school groups wishing to step outside of Europe without the expense of a long haul flight and a drastically different time zone. It also provides great opportunities for students of geography and religious studies to explore the areas they've been studying at close quarters.

This varied itinerary will show students Morocco's best bits, in-line with the syllabus - we can add some trekking, a relaxing stay on the coast at Essaouira or longer in the desert; our educational experts are there to plan your perfect trip.

Itinerary: 
Day
1
Marrakech

Marrakech

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.

Upon arrival, you'll be met by your tour leader who'll be your trusted companion for the whole trip. You'll get your first glimpse of the colours and sounds of exotic Marrakech as you drive from the airport to the hotel, and your first taste of Morocco at a traditional Moroccan restaurant close to the main square, Djemaa el Fna. During dinner, your tour leader will brief you on the exciting things to come, and teach you a handful of French and Arabic words so you can communicate with the locals. (D)

Day
2
Meet local Berber people in the Atlas Mountains

Meet local Berber people in the Atlas Mountains

An early start from Marrakech takes you into the Atlas Mountains to the village of Aroumd, with dramatic views of Mt. Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak. Here you will meet the local Berber people and learn about their traditional way-of-life, including their food, how to cook a tagine, animal husbandry, agriculture and the roles of men and women in the community. This provides a unique and privileged insight into the lives of traditional Moroccans for the students to enjoy. 

After lunch with the villagers, you will head to the the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass (2,260m) into the barren slopes of shattered rock on the southern side of the pass. Witness how the forces of nature have helped shape these mountains, which offers an insight into plate tectonics and fold-mountain formation. As you head higher, the views of the Atlas are stunning - with sparsely-vegetated mountains as far as the eye can see. This afternoon continue on to Ouarzazate - it takes about four and a half hours. (BLD)

Day
3
Camel ride in the desert

Camel ride in the desert

From Ouarzazate, you'll continue in a southern direction and cross the Tizi n'Tinififft pass. It's from here that the dramatic mountains of the Eastern Anti Atlas are revealed and en-route some interesting stratification and formation by erosion. The students will then start to experience the transition into desert as you travel from the Draa Valley, following the Oued Draa, to the Dunes de Teraf - a magical area of golden rolling dunes. 

Your afternoon will be spent in a lush green oasis setting, exploring a stunning area of sand dunes with nomadic farmers. You will meet your camel trek team and travel in 'caravan'. Riding camels through the desert gives a unique vantage point from which to see the shifting sands, especially as the pace is rather leisurely... Your camp at Tinfou is in communal tents with basic toilet facilites. Our local hosts will cook up a hearty feast of a meat or vegetable tagine, with Moroccan soup to start and seasonal fruits for dessert, so all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the experience of a night under the desert skies and night stars. (BLD)

Day
4
Reenact Gladiator...

Reenact Gladiator...

In the morning, you head out from your camp back to Marrakech, stopping at Ait Benhaddou en route. This is probably the best-preserved fortified kasbah in the country with its dramatic walls of red earth, slit windows and crumbling towers; it is a magnificent example of a traditional stronghold. Chosen as a location for Hollywood films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jewel in the Nile and Gladiator, Ait Benhaddou sits upon a lofty pinnacle of rock overlooking a river. This is a long day of driving, but we make stops along the way to break up the journey. (BLD)

Day
5
Marrakech

Marrakech

This morning you'll be treated to a guided tour of Marrakech's main sights and sprawling souks. Compare the modern western city, with its wide boulevards and government buildings, to the traditional old city in the walled medina, enclosing narrow winding streets and souks. We will witness the growth of Marrakech in the context of urban change, and the issues of housing and programmes to manage the change.

The Djemaa-el-Fna Square and medina souk (old town) are an eclectic mix of smells, sounds and sights. From the acrobats and snake charmers in the square, to the traders in the souk selling everything from jewellery to old pots and pans. The swirls of colour and cacophony of noise are an enthralling assault on the senses that will provide a fantastic experience for the students.

Overlooking it all is the El Koutoubia Mosque; the five calls to prayer are a daily reminder of the diversity of international cultures. And the Menara Gardens are like an oasis in this busy city - the gardens feature orchards of palm trees, fruit trees and olive trees, as well as irrigation canals and an artificial lake.

After lunch we transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK. (BL)

Main subject focus = Geography - Key Stage 3/4 - GCSE

Related subject areas = Religion / Art / History

Subject focus overview:

  • KS 4: Study aspects of physical and human geography first-hand.
  • KS 4: Extend students' personal experiences of geography.
  • KS 4: Develop relevant fieldwork and related geographical enquiry skills.

Student outcomes:

  • Develop relevant fieldwork and geographical enquiry skills.
  • Study geographical phenomena first-hand, both human and physical.
  • Understand the effects of environments on lifestyles and vice versa.
  • Broaden students' out-of-classroom geographical experiences.

Morocco offers a truly unique geographical experience with spectacular landscapes - from lush valleys to arid desert. This combined with the intrigue of human activity in the rural and urban settings of a developing country provides almost limitless educational opportunities for students. Marrakech and the High Atlas Mountains are an ideal location for geography groups looking for a field trip in a more exotic setting.

Subject-related visits

Developing world city and urban change

Look at the growth of Marrakech in the context of urban change, and the issues of housing and programmes to manage the change. This can be observed in both the old and new towns - the Djemaa el-Fna Square and medina souk (old town) provide fascinating visits, whilst the El Koutoubia Mosque and the five calls to prayer are a daily reminder of the diversity of international cultures. To keep the orchards of palm, fruit and olive trees alive, the Menara Gardens have irrigation canals and an artificial lake, which again provides an interesting geographical insight.

Sustainable Tourism

Consider the pros and cons of this steadily increasing contributor to the Moroccan economy. Look at the distribution of tourist wealth and the effect is has on the Moroccan way-of-life and traditions.

Water Management

Water Resource Management looks at ways of providing water for cities like Marrakech located in an area of extremely limited supplies with unreliable rainfall.

Deserts

Experience the landscape transition as you travel from the Draa Valley into the desert, following the Oued Draa to the Dunes de Teraf - a magical area of rolling dunes in the middle of nowhere. Explore the desert in traditional style; in a camel caravan, before spending the night in a nomad-style tent with our local hosts.

Plate tectonics and natural hazards

A journey through the High Atlas offers view of Mt. Toubkal, North Africa's highest peak (4,167m). Travelling via the Tizi-n-Tichka Pass reveals stunning landscapes, both natural and human, and offers an insight into plate tectonics and fold mountain formation. Uplifted sedimentary strata, tilted and folded, are seen, with volcanic rocks also in evidence. River incision with classic incised meanders is also very clear for the students to see. Flash flooding is a natural hazard and the optional Study Unit allows good engagement with this topic.

Rural Communities

Heading up into the High Atlas Mountains to Ouarzazate, students have a chance to appreciate a range of landscapes, from flourishing vegetation to desert. This is an interesting opportunity to understand the effects of geographical contrasts and how they impact upon the lives of local people.

Students can also experience a traditional meal within a Bedouin tent complete with entertainment and charging horsemen in tribal costume.