SAHARA 4X4 OVERLAND EXPEDITIONS
Sahara 4X4 Overland Expedition
20 October - 3 November 2022
If you have a yearning for genuine remote desert exploration, and you relish the prospect of being hundreds of kilometers from anyone for days at a time, then this adventurous penetration of the Sahara Desert will suit your nomadic spirit. Few other operators venture this far south, way beyond the Draa Valley, through an area littered with pre-historic arrow heads, fascinating ancient fossils and occasional remnants of the past military conflict. You will experience silence, solitude and serenity in the beautiful Sahara Occidental desert, as well as spectacular shooting stars, blazing right through the sparkling Milky Way, which appears close enough to reach out and touch. Our intrepid route takes us to the deep south through the desert interior, following the original Paris-Dakar Rally track, before swinging west through a vast no-mans-land, towards the wreck-scattered Atlantic coastline, which we follow back north, driving along the world famous Plage Blanche beach, tackling large dunes and deep sand en route. Fully catered as always, featuring our well renowned BBQ feasts.
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 early afternoon of Day 15, after which we then head our separate ways.
Included - full catering 3 meals per day for the duration of the tour, 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, security fiches, a complimentary bottle of wine.
Prices - are per person based on two adults @ £1,595 p.p., additional adults @ £795, single supplement @ £475, first child @ £645, second child @ £325, third child @ £165.
Highlights - This long range desert expedition is the real deal, where self-sufficiency and vehicle dependability are of utmost importance. Perfectly safe when undertaken with an experienced risk-assessed approach, you will enjoy the sort of adventure most people only talk about. From the sheer expanses of open desert, with terrain varying between salt pans, rocky hamada and stretches of deep sand, to the steep cliff edges overlooking the mighty Atlantic, and its endless white sandy beaches, this adventurous itinerary delivers no shortage of highlights. Getting to the deep south via an impressive route through the western edge of the Anti Atlas, we cross through the Draa Valley, exploring remote desert areas, camping out under the stars, before reaching the frontier town of Smara, location of a substantial UN base, and last bastion before thousands of kilometers of Sahara Occidental. From there we follow the tracks of the legendary Paris-Dakar Rally, travelling for days through the empty and unspoiled desert, sparsely interrupted by ancient hardy Acacia trees. The terrain is ever-changing and, from time to time, offers spectacular gorges, rifts and ravines. At a position about halfway to Mauritania, and some 300km south of the Canaries, we turn west towards the Atlantic coast at Boujdour, from where we begin heading back north. Driving at times along the empty beaches and at times high above the steep cliffs, we navigate our way through dunes, thick sand and salt-crusted pans. Tides permitting, we usually have the good fortune of driving along the famous Plage Blanche, itself a highlight of the trip for many. Thereafter we follow the south westerly coast of Morocco, stopping periodically to camp at the charming seaside towns, and unwind after an epic desert expedition.
Previous participants' reviews of this tour
"I had always dreamt of seeing the Sahara in all its beauty. Barrie did just that! I got the offer from my uncle to join him on this epic adventure, not knowing much about Barrie or 4X4 driving. All I knew was that we would be circumnavigating Morocco, and crossing the empty quarter into Western Sahara, which very few get to experience. Couldn't have got a nicer group of like minded people to share it with. Barrie's expertise, friendliness and home cooking made all the difference. After a challenging days driving, to make camp and have sirloin steaks cooked for you, miles away from any civilisation, couldn't have been better. A very diverse route with dune, rock, rivers and beach driving. Never a dull day. Thanks for an unforgettable trip. Memories to last a life time. 5 stars." Greg Whitaker
"Amazing voyage in the eye of the storm and a fitting end to a fantastic adventure. The journey on the track round the extinct volcano, was just scary. Thank you so much for guiding us through such amazing terrain safely, and without incident." Richard Silver
"Thank you very much once again for all your attention to detail, it was a great Western Sahara trip." David Hankin
"We had the best time, excellent food, company and scenery to blow your mind. Hail stones the size of golf balls interesting too!! I heartily recommend this trip to anyone looking for something different for a holiday. Thank you Barrie, we had a great trip." Chris Staniforth
"Barrie was very highly recommended by a friend of mine, but not having ever ventured off road I booked the Western Sahara tour with some trepidation. Any concerns were quickly dismissed however! Barrie's skill, experience and judgement as a tour guide was immediately obvious, and his ability to tailor routes on the fly ensured we received the most complete tour possible; invaluable in mitigating one particular freak change in the weather and acting on fresh local intelligence to keep us safe. The catered service was excellent and the quality of food exceeded my expectations. The benefit of having someone prepare meals at the end of a full days' driving was greatly appreciated and meant that we could travel further, and see more, within the time available. I'm pleased to be able to recommend Barrie whatever your own driving experience, and am already looking forward to my next trip!" Jon Sewell-Rutter
"This was our first 4X4 tour, therefore our first tour with Barrie. The experience started many months before the actual tour date, where Barrie was always available to answer questions on equipment and vehicle selection (we didn't have a suitable 4X4 when booking, but soon became the proud owners of a 300tdi Discovery). The Deep South and Western Sahara is a fantastic tour that concentrates on the remoteness of the Sahara Occidental, south of the Anti Atlas mountain range. Once we had motored down to Tiznit, the 4X4 adventure began, steaming along flat dusty plains, then trundling over more rocky outcrops and dried up wadi's, to eventually navigating through sandy hillocks and the dunes near Laayoune.We set up base every evening in either a purpose built campsite (often with showers and other creature comforts), or in the wilderness somewhere in the desert. We would never have thought that we would prefer the wild camping to the campsites, but there is something very satisfying about camping in the desert, sitting around a camp fire, gazing at the Milky Way and exchanging stories with like-minded people. The tour was complimented with a day in Marrakech, staying in a charming Riad close to the Medina and its Djemaa El Fna square. We spent hours exploring the many Souks for souvenirs and enjoyed a drink in a delightful coffee house. The square is a hype of activity in the evening, wafting tempting aromas from the many food stalls and eateries. Our evening peaked with a lamb and prune Tagine at a roof top restaurant overlooking the hustle and bustle below. The fully catered option took away all the pressure and time associated with shopping in an unfamiliar environment, cooking and of course washing up pots and pans. Being South African, Barrie is a Master of the Braai, producing delicious meals of generous proportions. It was clear from the tenderness and flavours that meat was sourced from quality suppliers. As a Guide, Barrie is in the first instance a professional. He has a very likeable leadership style that is relaxed and sociable, but knows when to be robust and is decisive when necessary. We thoroughly enjoyed this tour and look forward to our next adventure. We can highly recommend this tour to anyone that is considering visiting Morocco and the Western Sahara as part of a guided tour." Darren & Monique Thomas
"It was an absolute pleasure to travel with you again. Alyson and I enjoyed the Western Sahara very much. As our second expedition with Barrie, we expected nothing but the best and were not disappointed. We travelled long distances across desert pistes without seeing anyone else, spent nights under the stars, drove along endless beaches, wet marshland, and through remote places anyone else would have avoided. This is what it's all about, isn't it? To top it off was the contrast of a drive through the Atlas to Marrakech. Meeting new friends and having the most excellent food cooked for us every night was the real bonus." Trevor Green & Alyson Upton
"The trip of a life-time that I'd want to do again and again. Spectacular driving followed by delicious food. Already planning the next trip with Barrie." Neil Gregson
"A fantastic trip. We went to some very remote places, camped out, and yet we still ate like kings! The catering was superb, which made for a relaxed trip enabling us to really appreciate the beauty of Morocco and Western Sahara." Mark Evenden
"A fantastic trip with such varied landscape, scenery and driving conditions. We particularly enjoyed wild camping under the stars in the remoteness of Western Sahara. The catering was outstanding throughout, and contributed to a very relaxing holiday. We are looking forward to travelling with Barrie again in the future." Graham & Linda Cooper
"Another great trip! Having done a few now, it was up to Barrie's usual high standard. I was a bit worried about the long journey down through Morocco, but it was well worth the effort when we got there. The route and the driving and the food were well planned and I enjoyed the whole trip. Looking forward to doing one of Barrie's trips next year." Lawrie Bowden
"Thanks for another brilliant holiday in Morocco. Looking forward to booking another trip with you." Richard Hamilton
"Thanks, great trip, looking forward to Portugal." Melvyn Langford (following his fifth trip and having just booked two more)
"Morocco this February was again a great trip in every respect. We got down to the Western Sahara, did some lengthy and adventurous off roading, being away from the road for days at a time, followed by some spectacular routes in the Anti-Atlas. We had great food every night, and a good balance between wild camping and campsites. It was a great bunch of fellow travellers, and some good friendships made, or reinforced." Bob Churcher
"With so many new routes being taken, there was no shortage of excitement and adrenaline rushes. Long stretches of pistes in the Western Sahara, mountain pistes and rock climbs in Morocco, rounded off each day with the most excellent meals. It was possibly one of our best expeditions yet, particularly when you also take into account the friendships that have been forged with the most excellent fellow travellers. We have been on other expeditions before, but this was our 3rd with Barrie. Alyson and I were Barrie's first ever clients back in 2008, a fact that we can safely say we are very proud of. It is fantastic to see how experienced Barrie has become over the years. Would we recommend anyone to book with Barrie? Most definitely, Alyson and I are anxiously waiting for his full 2014 tour schedule to be published." Trevor Green & Alyson Upton
"The trip was fantastic and it was a real pleasure travelling with you. Already planning my next trip and hopefully won't be solo next time. I'm also selling the benefits of your trips hard to everyone I speak to." Mark White