For many, the romance of driving from their home in the United Kingdom down through Europe and into Africa holds and appeal of its own.
While we are happy to advise on our preferred options, most of our guests prefer to make their own way down to the southern tip of Spain, either blasting through France and Spain in a blur of strategically negotiated speed limits and plenty of black coffee or meandering gently down over the course of a week or more to make the most of their time abroad.
No matter how you arrive, we’ll be there to greet you in Tarifa, which is our jumping-off point for the ferry to Morocco. The hotel we’ve chosen has an amazing dining room in addition to clean, well-appointed bedrooms, a gymnasium, and a swimming pool with a view of the sea.
We’ll meet for pre-dinner drinks before dining in the hotel.
We’ll aim to get a late-morning ferry across into Tangiers, arriving just after lunch. The food on board the ferry is rudimentary but the alcohol is cheap, so it’s a good opportunity to stock up on wine, beer and spirits before we disembark and navigate the customs’ post.
After clearing customs, it’ll be time to get used to Moroccan roads and, even more importantly, Moroccan drivers. Morocco is a big country, so there will be quite a few road miles before we reach The Sahara Desert.
But don’t worry. It’s worth it.
Because The Sahara Desert is unimaginably vast, straddling ten countries and almost a third of the African continent. Its precise size is open to debate, but most agree it covers a size roughly equal to that of the United States of America.
And it’s going to be your playground for the next ten days or so.
Because although ergs, or the sort of high sand dunes that most people think of when they think of the Sahara Desert, are rare, the Sahara is far from being a featureless expanse of wind-sculpted sand. What there is - and a lot of it at that - is rocky hamada, the sand having been blown away long ago.
Hamada varies from smooth and fast, to rutted and slow. Interspersed throughout the hamada are dried up river beds, which usually take some navigating. Which is where our experienced guides come in, to lead you carefully through them without unduly risking your vehicle; we want you to have fun - and you should be able to have plenty of that without damaging anything vital.
Of course, no trip to the Sahara would be complete without driving across mile after mile of sand dune, and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to hone your skills on some of the most remote dunes in the country. (You’ll almost certainly become well-skilled at digging your vehicle out too, but that’s all part of the fun…)
Our itinerary might vary, but we will try and ensure that it reflects the example shown as carefully as we can; we know that this might be a holiday of a lifetime for you and we are keen to make sure that you go away delighted with what you’ve achieved. You’ll keep in touch with us, and your fellow travellers, using hand-held radios.
Our daily routine may vary, but you’ll experience a wide variety of accommodation from modern, Western-style hotels with fine dining in the evening, through to small, intimate hotels that are owned and run by Moroccan families and are charming in their simplicity and friendliness.
The highlight for many guests though, are the nights that we wild camp in the desert. We will be miles from civilisation and any light pollution, so you’ll be able to wander off into the desert to enjoy the most magnificent view of The Milky Way you’ve ever seen.
The food in the desert will be as simple as the toilet facilities, but that simplicity, isolated from the influence and effects of others, enables you to reset, to recharge, and to settle into the gentle rhythms of the desert.
You’ll arrive back in Tangiers in plenty of time for your ferry back to Algeciras. You can then choose whether you would like to book yourself into the hotel for another night there, or start your journey home at you own pace, with memories of your African overland expedition still fresh in your mind…