Course Duration: 12 days
Group size: 12 Maximum
Age Range: 18+
Join us on an experience into the dune systems of the Sahara Desert. Here you experience nature in all it's harshness and raw power yet, with the right skills, you'll also tap into the beauty and peace of such a vast landscape, where temperatures sore to 50 degrees or more during the day and can drop by 30 degrees or more overnight.
With an instructor team that has several decades of experience in desert environments across Morocco, Egypt and Saudi Arabia you'll learn to adapt in what can be the harshest, yet most peaceful environment, you're likely to encounter on the planet. The desert can throw everything at you from blistering heat, sandstorms that sting the flesh and take away all visibility, to flash floods that change the environment within minutes. The desert does not tolerate those that enter without careful preparation.
During the expedition you will learn how to identify all the common hazards and use this knowledge to travel safely across this seemingly barren landscape. And more importantly what to do when things go wrong, from methods for vehicle recovery, to catastrophic vehicle failure. You'll also get to trial all the theory on desert survival, such as a water acquisition, to see how the books stack up to real life.
You would be right to question whether the human body is capable to being comfortable in such extremes, and this is exactly the correct attitude. At these temperatures nature has no care for the fragility of the human spirit, or human body. However, with the correct training from people you can trust to keep you safe, this desert environment can soon become an incredible home. It is quite simply beautiful, and you will connect with her in a way that few get the opportunity to. This is why we want YOU to be guided with us.
And when the skies are clear you'll see a night sky that will quite simply take your breath away. Dark skies in the UK have nothing on what you will see here.
On arrival at the Airport you will be met by our Instructors and in country partners, before being transported to the heart of Marrakech for the first night. Here the sights, sounds and smells of the souks (market) will bombard your senses at all levels. Our instructors will fully brief you and begin preparations for the onward journey away from civilisation.
During your time with us in the desert landscape you will learn the basics of orienting yourself with the very different type of maps that cover this landscape. You'll also learn to hone your pacings to measure distance, how to create your own features in the landscape to use for bearings and the amazing accuracy of natural navigational skills.
The journey begins
With the facilities of modern life left far behind we leave our training area to head deeper into the Sahara. Here we may encounter the semi-nomadic Berbers who make the desert their home and you'll need to tap into this skill set to make camp each night as the sun sets and the stars come out to put on their breathtaking display.
Each morning a new skill awaits but the "scorpion drills" will be the first thing to perfect to make sure all kit is cleared away safely and efficiently.
As the days rhythms start to settle into a seemingly normal pattern we will explore the native flora and fauna. Safe driving techniques, vehicle recovery and signalling will all be practiced in managed scenarios to fully harness the vehicle and simple resources that are available to us. This isn't about being tooled up with the most rugged of overland expedition vehicles, this is about showing how easily you can jump on a plane, hire a 4x4 and within a few hours be in a habitat that feels a million miles from the green countryside the UK makes us take for granted.
Adapting to scenarios
As with all our expeditions there is no strict itinerary because that's not how a true adventure operates but there are always intentions that are then adapted to the situations and conditions that are presented.
You can expect to create sand graves, and if a sand storm hits put them to the test, and harvesting camel dung to start a fire has got to be one of the more obscure skills to regale your friends with on your return. As your time in the desert continues, journeying skills will become second nature and the team around you will become well oiled machines (albeit a gritty, sand covered one) to leap into action when things need swift action to get you moving again.
The course concludes back in the hustle and bustle of Marrakech and a celebratory meal in the very centre of all the action.
Safety Note: All of our expeditions, whether blazing through the African Bush or a simple multi day expedition in Scotland conform to The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 where applicable, your funds are also secure in the event of business collapse. We align our processes to the British Safety Standard BS8848 for our overseas expeditions. When choosing any expedition, whether in the UK or overseas ask the right questions to ensure the provider fulfills their responsibilities as laid out by law. You can be confident with us we can answer your questions. An expedition into such an environment is not one to be taken lightly. We are long established, well recognised, and professional. We and our partners hold a high level of experience, and ensure we have safety protocols in place.