Situated in North Africa, Morocco is an intense mix of Saharan desert, beaches and noisy, colourful cities.
Morocco’s heritage is in every corner and brick of the country. The buildings, festivals, customs and people themselves exude ancient culture and tradition.
The Sahara Desert is the hottest in the world. Venturing out into the endless sand can seem daunting. However, the harsh environment supports a surprising range of nature and people. Traditional camel treks are the most environmentally friendly way to visit the area.
The tallest dunes in the world, Erg Chebbi are forty kilometres from Merzouga. The orange sand blows in on strong winds and has formed a bean-shaped sea of high dunes. Climbing to the top is rewarded by a beautiful view across the desert.
The kingdom has a rich history. UNESCO lists nine sites as World Heritage Sites. The spectacular Medina of Fez, Ksar of Aït Benhaddou and the archaeological site of Volubilis are just three of them.
Several national parks and two biosphere reserves protect the wilderness zones. There is a surprising amount of wildlife; 460 bird species and 90 reptiles.
The Argan Forest Biosphere Reserve and the Souss Massa National Park are notable wildlife hotspots. In particular, estuarine birdlife and the last remaining wild breeding colonies of bald ibis, in the latter. The Atlantic coastal lagoons support a massive bird population.
In the cedar forests of the Middle Atlas Mountains is the Barbary Macaque. This old world monkey is unique to Morocco, Algeria and Gibraltar.
Unusual alpine species live on the High Atlas plateaus and the Mouflon in the High Atlas Mountains. Other flora of interest includes the Atlantic coastal Euphorbia heaths and slow-growing argan tree in the south-west. Sustainably produced argan oil is slowing the deforestation of the Argan Forest. The last line of defence against the encroaching desert. Its farmed by the Berber or Amazigh women whose history goes back for 9000 years in North Africa.
In the south is an isolated beach, the Plage Blanche. Situated in the middle of an ecological park, this is an excellent spot for nature lovers and far from the crowds. Reptiles include the incredible Uramastix and a variety of chameleons. Tortoises are often found basking in the warm sun of the southern parts.