When Derek’s parents told us they wanted to join us during our long-term trip, we knew exactly where to take them for their holidays. We wanted to find a place that was out of their comfort zone, but still safe for tourists. We wanted something off the beaten path, but easy to explore. And we wanted somewhere that was budget-friendly and awesome. So we decided to tour Morocco for 2.5 weeks.
When we started looking into it, we had a ton of questions. Where were the best places to go? Should we go with a tour group or explore on our own? Should we go with a private tour, and if so, could we afford it? So we started researching it all, until we came upon Eco Desert Morocco. And then, the questions stopped. We found the best way to tour the country. We spoke to Atman, one of the owners, and after a few exchanges, we knew we wanted to see their country with them.
We partnered with Eco Desert Morocco while we were touring Morocco, creating content daily for them, through posts and stories. This post, however, is in no way sponsored or partnered. We loved touring with them so much, that we figured that everyone should go with them too. Simply put, there is no better way to experience this amazing country. We started our 17-day tour with our guide Mustapha and our driver Ismail as “clients”, but end it as friends.
So here are the reasons you should do a private tour with our friends at Eco Desert Morocco.
No one likes to be crammed in a tour bus
This is probably the most obvious of the reasons and that’s why it’s on here. NO ONE likes to be stuck on a tour bus. They treat you like cattle, take you from one crowded tourist spot to the next and feed you the same boring information everyone else does.
There is nothing personal or different about that approach. Worse of all, you can’t stop when you need to, like when you see a beautiful field of sunflowers or the hanger strikes.
The beauty of touring with Eco Desert Morocco is that you have a comfy vehicle all to yourself, with your group, and you can stop anywhere you want. Derek’s parents have a strict eating schedule, and we were able to stop whenever we wanted. Also, the guys were so nice, that they would stop every time we would see a herd of goats, so Carine can go play with them. She was slightly obsessed! They had no trouble just pulling over whenever we found a nice spot to take a picture or admire the view. Thanks guys for helping us with the ‘Gram!
Make your own itinerary and schedule
From the get-go, this is something that we loved about working with Atman. We were able to work out our own itinerary and schedule, with his guidance. We wanted to see a lot of the country, from the usual tourist spots to some lesser known places. He was quickly able to put together an itinerary that answered all our requests. He also threw in some great spots we never would have found if we had done this on our own.
Flexibility along the way
Not only do you have the freedom to create your own itinerary and schedule, but you get the flexibility to decide what you want to do along the way. If you don’t want to visit a certain landmark, they’ll skip it. If you rather have a free day instead of exploring the city, it’s no problem. If you want to go see the Hassan II Mosque but your parents prefer to get a coffee at Rick’s Cafe, they can arrange that too.
We had complete flexibility in what we did each day, the freedom to choose how we spent our time, and that is priceless.
See a side of the country you would never see otherwise
When touring a country, people often end up going to the same spots. We all check the same blogs and Instagram posts and end up in the same places. With Eco Desert Morocco, they were able to take us way off the beaten path, just as we wanted.
We saw some things that not many get to see. The Painted Rocks in Tafraout during an epic sunset, sharing meals with their families, listening to Gnaoua music in a Gnaoua village, all things we never would have done without them. These were truly moments that made our trip unforgettable.
Again, these are moments that no other tour company could have offered.
Do we really need to say more? We got to visit not one, but two nomadic families in Morocco. The first family lived in the desert. We were able to hang out with the children and have tea with one of the wives as Ismail and Mustapha translated and explained what their daily lives were like as nomads.
Later during our trip, we were able to visit another family who lived in caves in the mountains. Once again, we were able to sit with the mother and sip some fresh mint tea while she made a traditional rug made of sheep’s wool. We asked her daughter about her plans for the future, as the youngest, a 5-year old boy, was filming Boomerangs on my phone.
These were epic moments that can’t be bought. Both these tribes are close to the families of the Eco Desert Morocco guys, as they come from nomadic pasts. This is why we were able to visit them, with no one else around.
Support a young local company
You could opt for a larger, more known company who is run by private investors. A nameless group, with people who you can’t connect with, or you can go for a local company who wants to show you how locals live here. Eco Desert Morocco may be a young company run by young guys, but that’s what makes it even more amazing! To be able to support a family business run by brothers who are following in their father’s footsteps is so rewarding.
The guys are awesome and inspiring
Entrepreneurship is admirable, no matter where it’s done. When it’s a few young brothers and their cousins, inspired by their father, it’s even more inspiring. That is what Eco Desert Morocco is. Four brothers, who took after their father’s love of tourism, to show others a beautiful side of their country.
They’re young, hard-working, motivated and always in a great mood. They work tirelessly, as most budding entrepreneurs do, and they love what they do. You can feel it in their smiles, and in the passion that drives them every day.
See more than you ever thought possible
You know how we mention these guys are hard-working, well we’re not kidding. The groups that they’re used to taking usually only spend 4-5 days with them and rush through the country doing 6-7 cities in that short time. Yeah, we’re not exaggerating. In 17 days, we stopped in 20 different cities. Some we slept in, some we passed through and quickly explored.
We could have done a lot less, but we wanted to go off the beaten path, and on the winding roads of Morocco, that means a lot of driving. It also means seeing more than you thought possible, because these guys work tirelessly at making your trip as amazing as possible.
Peace of mind
With Eco Desert Morocco, we never had to worry. About anything. Ever. Seriously, we read long and hard about scams to watch out for, sketchy places and people, but with Ismail and Mustapha, we never saw a bit of that. We didn’t have to worry about pricing, or getting lost, or making it on time. It was a stress-free vacation.
Sure, part of the fun of an adventure is getting lost, and having to deal with certain frustrations, but when you take your elderly parents with you, you have an added stress level and inherent worry that is omnipresent. Not having to worry about everything else was a welcome feeling!
They also knew where to bring us for the best food in the city! Something often difficult to figure out when you are not from a certain place, we never left a restaurant wishing we found a better place.
This is our favourite thing about Eco Desert Morocco… ok, maybe not favourite, but certainly what sets them apart. It’s the fact that they promote a eco-friendly and sustainable mode of tourism. They took us to various cooperatives, helped us meet nomads, took us to a Gnaoua village, and so much more.
Being from the sand dunes of Erg Chebi, it’s of utmost importance to Eco Desert Morocco to keep the fragile balance that exists between their beautiful country and those who wish to visit it. It is for this reason that they strive to minimize the impact that tourism has on their socio-environmental landscape.
Tour package promotion
If you are looking to tour Morocco in the same amazing way that we did, with Eco Desert Morocco, you can use send us an email at email@example.com with your inquiry and we will put you in contact with Atman to ensure that you get 15% off your trip!
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