MOROCCO 4X4 OVERLAND EXPEDITIONS
Morocco 4X4 Overland Expedition
1-15 April 2021
This highly acclaimed 4X4 tour of Morocco is the culmination of over 25 years exploring the most remote and unspoiled parts of Maghreb - the real Morocco, areas well off the beaten track, unknown to tourists. Our route takes in all the very best for the intrepid traveller; from the Rif Mountains in the north, southward through the Cedar Forests, before traversing the majestic High Atlas Mountains, followed by a lengthy crossing of the Sahara Desert, and concluding with an exhilarating ascent of the beautiful and isolated Anti Atlas Mountains. Fascination lurks around every corner, afforded as much by the local inhabitants as by the impressive geology, fauna and flora. This really is an outstanding itinerary, there is none better, leaving no stone unturned in the quest to experience genuinely exotic Morocco, and providing perhaps the most off-road driving of any tour operator. Fully catered as always, including outdoor adventure activities.
Dates align with Brittany Ferries Portsmouth-Bilbao sailings, which are 12 hours faster and much cheaper than Portsmouth-Santander.
Start - we meet at a campsite near Gibraltar in the late afternoon preceding Day 1, to enjoy a welcoming BBQ, followed by the tour briefing and the essential testing and calibration of the CB radios.
Finish - our return Morocco to Spain ferry crossing is in the late afternoon of Day 15, after which we then go our separate ways.
Included - full catering 3 meals per day for the duration of the tour, outdoor adventure activities as detailed in the itinerary, open return Spain-Morocco ferries, a day trip to Marrakech including a restaurant lunch, all campsite fees from start to finish excluding the campsite preceding Day 1, temporary vehicle import document in lieu of carnet de passage, all security fiches, a complimentary bottle of red wine.
Prices - are per person based on two adults @ £1,395 p.p., additional adults @ £695, single supplement @ £425, first child @ £565, second child @ £285, third child @ £135.
Highlights - Travelling through remote areas where no-one else seems to go, seeing the country and its people in their true sense, unaffected by the plague of mass tourism, which has spoiled so much of this beautiful country. Mountains so crumpled and convoluted they appear other worldly, deserts so vast and empty they seem to go on forever. Wild camping amidst the huge pink-hued dunes of Erg Chegaga, with the Milky Way clearly visible above. Crossing a remote stretch of the Sahara Desert, where our self-sufficiency and self-dependency are essential attributes. Semi-nomadic Berbers herding their Dromedaries in the quest for water and grazing. Three further nights of camping out wild in the most beautiful, secluded and unspoiled natural wilderness locations. An exciting morning of quad biking through the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Some of the best off-road driving to be found anywhere in Morocco, exploring interesting areas offering unbeatable views. Another exhilarating outdoor adventure activity is the late afternoon camel ride to watch the sunset from high up in the vast dunes, before descending back to camp, to enjoy another legendary BBQ feast from the braai. Time spent in the medina of Marrakech, browsing through the myriad of souks and perfecting your haggling skills! If you want the authentic Morocco experience, this is the way to go!
Previous participants' reviews of this tour
"This is the way to do an overland trip. What a fantastic trip with Barrie to Morocco in October 2019. Great guided tour seeing everything off the normal tourist routes and great off roading through the desert and mountains. Within our tour Barrie organised a camel ride to see the sunset, this was brilliant and the following day riding quad bikes through the desert was an excellent and exciting experience. This fully catered trip gave me and my friend a great different experience with excellent catering provided, every night tasting the different meals supplied by Barrie and our lunch stops in the day we both looked forward to very much. This experience I will never forget and all made possible through Barrie and his business Active 4x4 Adventures. I personally recommend if you want to do an overland trip this is the best way to start, or if you are an experienced overland traveller then try this as it takes all the stress and time of organizing all catering. I will be booking another trip with Barrie in 2020 and look forward to another guided tour." Gareth Richardson
"I've travelled the world in the company of many guides, of one form or another, and I have to say that Barrie is amongst the very best. Morocco is a tough and demanding country. We sought an experience that would be a true adventure, and that is exactly what we got. The small size of our group was perfect, no danger of a dozen-vehicle pony trek with these guys! Moreover, our route was very much off the established tracks, and took us to places that many other operators would fail to reach; from the Cedar Forests of the north, to the High Atlas and Anti Atlas mountains, and the Sahara Desert beyond. In some parts we were able to chart new routes, following dried-up river beds hidden in breathtakingly beautiful canyons and gorges. On any 15-day trek such as this, you have to be prepared for the unexpected, after all, that is what real adventure is about. Barrie handled our changing circumstances and individual needs, both human and mechanical, with an ease underpinned by his intimate understanding and respect for the host country. If you want to see Morocco in a way that will thrill you, inspire you, and leave you wanting more 4X4 adventures in the years to come; then these are the people to go with - I'd follow them anywhere!" Jules Hudson, TV Presenter
"It was a great pleasure riding with you and Louis through Morocco, this trip surpassed way beyond my expectations. You guys were great company, I felt very comfortable and learned lots of new things riding with you. I definitely loved the landscapes and terrain but even more, to be able to see and feel how these people live in the deepest parts of the country and the environments they are surrounded with, I loved the fact that this was not a touristic trip, and it was great to visit markets in towns where no tourist were present, of course I love the desert but driving the canyons and passing through places no people have driven for years was top notch. The last day in Marrakech, getting lost in the market and spending the night in these great riads was an amazing ending to our trip. It was very easy to go beyond our comfort zone with you, with your great experience, security and your personality, we did not worry about anything other than just enjoying the trip. As you can guess, I took tons of photos, there are great ones, I have spent this last week reviewing, selecting and pre-editing them. Like I said, I will post a link where you guys can grab them, but I’m sending you a few low res photos to check out so you can get an idea, they are still a work in progress. Thank you for the great experience." Jordi Mejius, 4WD Toyota Owner magazine
"I have nothing but praise for Barrie, from his non-pushy approach in discussing his fully catered 4X4 tours and the sensible, practical advice on vehicle preparation, to his efficient management of the tour itself, both prior to departure and en route. The small group size was perfect to ensure no lengthy convoys, our group decisions were reached quickly, friendships made easily, with minimal disruption to the people and places we passed. I had wanted an adventure without the hassle of taking and preparing lots of food; Barrie's unique catered tour was truly wonderful. Having pitched camp at the end of the day, what better way to relax than with friends over a cooked meal? Barrie prepared some very memorable dishes, from BBQ's to Tagines and was a very genial host to these meals under the stars. As far as the adventure; we had that in spades, exploring new tracks and pistes, with Barrie avoiding the well worn tourist routes, giving the trip a real expedition feel, through some spectacular scenery along some challenging routes." Charles Bagnall
"We cannot express our gratitude enough to Barrie, not only for delivering the most amazing Morocco adventure, but also for making our honeymoon a truly wonderful experience, never to be forgotten. From the outset, Barrie's advice on vehicle preparation was exacting. His reassurance that this would be an adventure, and not a vehicle demolition derby, and that we would see sights along trails not normally visited, were all taken into account before signing up. We wanted a personalised and relaxed service, so that we could unwind and enjoy each other's company, after the mayhem of organising our wedding. All of this Barrie delivered, and more! Being part of a small group ensured that the service provided was excellent and without fault, you could not have asked for more. From the exceptional meals prepared and cooked by Barrie, to his repair of our puncture in a river bed! Barrie's medical care was put to good use by Lucinda, in the form of acute sunburn, which he treated quickly and professionally. At no point did we feel that any of our requests were an effort. Barrie delivered and exceeded every promise made and, what is more, our expectations. We have no hesitation in recommending him."
Jamie Mash & Lucinda Cross
"Hazel and I had a fantastic trip with great food and super company. The Anti Atlas and Sahara Desert has been our best trip with you so far and definitely exceeded our expectations. The scenery was spectacular and the routes varied. Although challenging, at times, we all got through without too much drama. It just goes to show what team work, well prepared vehicles and a knowledgeable guide can achieve. The great thing about Barrie's tours is that we are regularly taken outside our comfort zone, but at no time did we feel exposed to excessive risk. The wild camps in the gorges and the desert were so peaceful, just watching the sun going down and the sky filling with stars. The memory of the sun rising over the desert will last for a long time. Our riad in Marrakech was the perfect finish to a memorable trip. We're still not sure if all our purchases in the souks were bargains but we had great fun haggling for every item. The Berber rug is now in place on the living room floor and looks splendid. Finally both Hazel and I would like to say what a pleasure it was to have Louis on the trip. He's smart and has a sharp wit but was always polite to all of us. He is a credit to both you and Jana. Regards," Fred & Hazel Carruthers
"Loved this trip. Awesome. Can't wait to go back to Morocco. And on other adventures...Cheers," Heather Bullen
"Just finished the Morocco trip. Atlas Mountains and Sahara Desert. This trip has diverse terrain, a great mixture between rocky climbs,sand dunes and forest trekking. Well balanced and very exciting. The mountain passes with just a few feet either side get the heart racing and the views leave you in awe. Getting back to basics and camping out for me was a wonderful change to my normal routine and lifestyle. Has shown me a different side to holidays. I was able to leave work and home life behind and just enjoy the freedom and simplicity of life in its rawest form. Well organised by Barrie, well catered and informative. Would do another one over a 5 star hotel retreat any day. We had an amazing time. Got a real feel for the county and culture. The off roading was challenging and fun. A definite 10/10."
Tom Welby & Louis Haseman
"Thanks very much for the best 4x4 off road adventure in Morocco. Very challenging at times, but the scenery was fantastic. The experience will stand out as the best I have had. Barrie always had a great meal ready, so this always gave us more time 4X4 driving, instead of us shopping and cooking. I am looking forward to the next trip." Mark Kenward
"Thanks again for putting on a great trip to Morocco for us. We really enjoyed the routes, scenery and challenges. For us the best bits were the gorge and riverbed rock crawling, as well as the desert driving. As before when we came to the Pyrenees with you, the food was great and your expertise taught us quite a bit about the importance of the right tyre pressures for our fully loaded LC 80 on muddy trails. Morocco is a fabulous place. We will be going again." Mark & Mel Newlands
"Following a simply epic first Moroccan tour with Barrie last November, the bug had bitten and several restless months followed. I hadn't planned to return so soon, but plans quickly changed...The High Atlas tour didn't disappoint; excellent tracks, breath-taking scenery and Barrie's own mix of great catering, technical insight and local knowledge, guaranteed a successful trip - one which could only have been improved with air-conditioning!" Jon Sewell-Rutter
"Overall an amazing trip! The route was fantastic and Barrie led us through some of the most adventurous terrain we have driven yet, from the Cedar Forests to the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert. You could always expect a challenge. Great food and excellent knowledge of the local/surrounding area makes this trip very professional, we would recommend it to anyone. Hoping to travel with Barrie again in the future." Richard & Lewis Hamilton
"I recently completed a fully catered 4X4 tour to Morocco. Barrie bills these trips as expeditions and that is a fair description. An expedition should not be regarded as a soft option and the Morocco trip is not for the fainthearted. You need a good car and a steady nerve as some of the driving is rather challenging and there is a lot of it! The ages of my fellow travellers ranged from early twenties to creeping into their 70's, so anyone with a 'can do' attitude can join in and have a great time. The reward is a fantastic journey through the wilds of Morocco along some truly outstanding routes. Oh and every night Barrie serves up a superb meal! Barrie promises to 'Lead and Feed' and he certainly does that. I have travelled to many remote parts of the world but this trip to Morocco will always stand out as very special." Byron Jackson
"Here are our comments on a fantastic trip: Two extremes; wild camping in the Cedar Forests and waking to a snow covered winter wonderland, and wild camping in the Sahara Desert with a canopy of millions of stars. And in between those were days of driving remote trails, or even no trails at all, with many wow factors along the way. We had a fantastic trip with a good group of people and Barrie certainly knows Morocco. Another big plus was having all our meals prepared by Barrie, and he did good! Would we go with Barrie again? - Yes." John & Pauline Smith
"This trip was beyond any expectations I had. Barrie's fully catered 4X4 tours are a great way to really explore parts of a country whilst enjoying great driving with a great bunch of people. It really was a great trip and I will strongly recommend it to any friends or family. Hoping to come on another!" Tom Thacker
"A 4X4 is the perfect way to explore a country with as much to offer as Morocco. We experienced a fantastic ratio of exciting off-roading and Moroccan culture, topped off by exquisite cooking in the evenings. I'm looking forward to following Barrie on my next tour." Nick Spencer
"Wow we had an amazing time and viewed parts of Morocco most normal visitors never see. The tracks we took were testing and adventurous. The food was good and we are looking forward to our next trip with you to Portugal." Lawrie Bowden & Bob Lavender
"Thank you from us both for such a wonderful experience, we have found it hard to put it all into words and have some very jealous family and friends! It was truly a marvellous and exciting expedition. The food was expertly prepared, cooked and presented, from cured meat salads at lunch time to tagines or salmon cooked on the BBQ in the evenings. Secondly, with regards to the Botswana & Namibia fly drive safari..." Dom Faiers & Mandy Brereton
"Thanks very much for the best off-roading experience we have ever had in Africa - this was our third trip to North Africa and it was superb that the only tarmac used was that essential in getting there. The trip was sufficiently challenging to be exciting, without any major incidents, and the countryside was just awe-inspiring, with totally unexpected variety and diversity in the landscape and scenery."
Honor Gilbert & John Goves
"Barrie managed to pack in as much remote adventuring as he could, while balancing the need to maintain the safety and comfort of the group. Barrie's laid back leadership and easy humour ensured that a group of diverse strangers quickly became firm friends. Thanks for a totally different and unique Morocco experience, we hope to join you again in the future." Geoff & Glenda Gregory
"Thanks for an awesome trip, it was everything I hoped it would be. Day 2 was amazing - I completed 'My Own Camel Trophy' through the Jaffar Gorge followed by the Cirque Jaffar, plenty of road-building, boulder-crawling and winching. I often had to remind myself to blink! The food was great; substantial sandwiches for lunch and excellent BBQ's or Casseroles for dinner. If it's a lot of challenging off-road driving you're after - then Barrie is your man." Matt Maisey
"My Morocco trip was absolutely fantastic. The food was great, there was plenty of it and I certainly never went hungry. Barrie is a great host and guide, he is easy to get along with, he makes everyone feel welcome and nothing is ever too much trouble for him. The route we took was fantastic, very adventurous and nothing like I have ever imagined or seen before. Once I have my own 4X4, I will definitely be joining Barrie again on another breathtaking adventure." Scott Farrar
"Barrie's a good man and certainly gets my double thumbs up. You're in for a treat when you sign up for one of his trips. It's no canned tour, it's an adventure!" Trevor Lander
"I went on a fully catered 4X4 tour, expecting adventure in the remote parts of Morocco, and I was not disappointed! The truly spectacular scenery could be appreciated, at times driving along some relatively demanding pistes. Our group was fantastic, really laid back, and we all found Barrie, and each other, easy to get along with. We had the usual vehicle hiccups, and when required to, Barrie utilised his network of trusted mechanics. My own vehicle, a Discovery 1, was not expensive to purchase or to prepare, and it performed very well. Whatever your vehicle, know it well, as it will be tested, and you will need to rely on it in remote areas." Peter Clark
"If you are looking for the road less travelled, then Barrie is your man. You get to see the real Morocco, whilst enjoying some decent, and at times, challenging off-road driving. Every day is topped off with fantastically catered meals, good company, and memories to last a lifetime. Ten out of ten." Nick Rosenberg
"Thanks for an amazing trip, Heather, Seb and myself had a wonderful time. From the moment we all met at Portsmouth, the trip felt like a proper expedition in the fantastic company of like minded people, all with well prepared vehicles. I have to admit that before the trip we were a little concerned about how Seb would cope, but safe to say he had an amazing time and an 8th birthday that I doubt he'll ever forget; his trip was made all the better thanks to sharing the adventure with Louis, who has an obvious love of Morocco and exploration generally. Heather wasn't sure how she would find the trip, suffice to say she had such a fantastic time, and is the first to start a discussion about when we are going to go back to Morocco! For my part, it was a little wierd returning to Morocco after 27 years and witnessing so much development in infrastructure and tourism; however, thanks to your guiding and desire to go where others don't, I soon started to recognise the country I first explored in my youth. We look forward to travelling with you again, and exploring the High Atlas and/or the Western Sahara. All the best," Matt, Heather & Seb Bullen
"This was our third trip with Barrie and was particularly memorable, we had a special group of people. Having proper meals prepared for us was a real bonus, as with a 90 we have limited space. We had snow, mud and the sands of the desert, what more could you ask for? We particularly enjoyed the wild camping, which was in spectacular locations. Thank you for a wonderful trip, some of the best scenery in Morocco ever." Mike & Kate Harley
"What a great Morocco trip, on reflection better than we ever thought, and huge thanks to Barrie and everyone who made it what it was."
Toby van Hay
"This was my first adventure with Barrie, and he took all the hard work out of it by organising all the border crossings and vehicle importation. There aren’t any other operators offering catering, which was a big draw for me - the food was incredible, and no-one went hungry! After a long day of driving, it was a real bonus to be able to set up camp and not worry about cooking. The scenery in Morocco is spectacular, and it was invaluable having an experienced guide on hand to enable us to see the best that Morocco has to offer. The wild camping days in the desert were outstanding!" Nat Keller
"As a first introduction to Morocco, it was a good trip with some great experiences. I found it a very interesting and fascinating country, with plenty of opportunities for off-roading and numerous tracks to explore. Your catering skills were excellent and offered a good variety of food, something difficult to achieve over a 2-week period. The camping experience was brilliant, particularly in the desert region. It is definitely a country I would like to visit again and explore further." Mike Parker
"Thank you for an excellent trip. We enjoyed ourselves and thank you for your kindness, patience and great cooking! We look forward to seeing you again soon." Kate & Mike Harley
"What an adventure! We had initially discussed this Morocco trip five years ago and you didn't disappoint when we finally made it on one of your tours! We thoroughly enjoyed the amazing scenery and tracks that you took us through and especially finding those wonderful valleys - memories we aren't likely to forget any time soon! It was great after a day of driving to put our feet up and have fantastic dinners prepared for us - a real treat! We look forward to joining you on another tour." Shelley & Brett Courtney
"A fabulous expedition with great offroading, great company, and great food. An added benefit was the great educational experience for my son, who really enjoyed the company and experience of seeing the reality of life in Morocco. Highly recommended." Mark Davies
"This was our first trip with Barrie and it won't be our last. Barrie's knowledge of Morocco was first class, his food was excellent and his easy going nature made this our trip of a lifetime! Anyone planning a trip should make Barrie their first choice. Thanks Barrie, we will be travelling with you again." Steve Carter
"We have just returned from our second trip with Barrie and yet again we had a great time. Barrie's knowledge of the roads, tracks, local customs and local towns is invaluable. On both trips, Morocco and Western Sahara, we experienced a wide variety of driving conditions including sand, mountains, river beds and hill tracks. After an exciting day of driving, we could relax while Barrie would cook one of his super meals!" Hugh Houlbrook
"This was my second overland trip to Morocco with Barrie. After my first trip I knew it was going to be a proper adventure and I was not disappointed. Barrie certainly ensures you reach the more remote, less travelled parts that other operators fail to find! The wet weather in Morocco before we travelled meant the conditions were suitably challenging and exciting, testing the vehicles and the recovery equipment. Barrie's relaxed leadership style brought the team together quickly. As I remembered, the catering was excellent, with the evening meals providing a welcome end to each day's adventuring. My second trip has left me already planning my third overland trip with Barrie, and I have only been back for a few days." Charles Bagnall
"If you are looking for an adventure and a temporary escape from the daily grind of work and everyday life, an expedition with Barrie will get the adrenaline flowing again, and make you realise what we have all been missing! Book a trip, get out there and go with the flow. The Morocco tour was brilliant. Barrie's leadership was subtle and relaxed, we all contributed to the team spirit and felt like we knew what we were doing, but really only Barrie knew! We pulled up in the middle of nowhere and set up camp, hit sandstorms in the desert, snow ploughs in the mountains, spend a few nights in rustic campsites. Lots of waving and smiley faces along the way from villagers, topped off by grinning, occasionally manic, 4X4 tourers! Excellent time and people, thank you. Portugal (2013) here we come!" Jean Carter
"Thanks for a great trip! We really did get off the beaten track - and it was proper exploration. I've been to Morocco several times, but I had no idea the places you took us would be so fantastic. It was great to have so much real off-road driving too; no-one else runs trips as good as this. What a brilliant tour, I'm already thinking about coming again. Let's hope it's not so windy next time." Terry Green
"Thank you for a great experience, which despite the weather, I thoroughly enjoyed. It was tough on occasions, but of course it was not meant to be a beach holiday! Once again, many thanks for your dedication and hard work, it was really appreciated. I will keep a watch on your website for possible future adventures. Kind regards," Ian Paul
"We both enjoyed your trip to Morocco. The scenery, the off-road driving and the company were fantastic. It was good to be needing low-range and to be using my winch. I had feared the weather conditions may be too hot, but in fact the temperatures were just right. It is my intention to join you again, should you be running another fully catered 4X4 trip at the same time next year." Richard Clarke
"Enjoying Barrie's fantastic cuisine in a backdrop of spectacular wild scenery, who could ask for more?" Adrian Winn
"I booked with Barrie early this year (especially as the tour was fully catered and I hate cooking) after hearing some good things about him. I can confirm that South African, Barrie Dunbar is a no-nonsense man who knows his stuff (and he's a great cook). I can thoroughly recommend Barrie, I would confidently follow him anywhere." Charles Spencer