Our amazing Ambassador Magdalena sums up 8 reasons why you should be climbing Mt Toubkal in 2018.
You are probably familiar with Morocco’s famous surf spots, mysterious deserts and magical carpets. But listen up, because this fabulous country has even more to offer. With its peak standing at 4167m, Mt Toubkal is the highest mountain in North Africa. It is a less known treasure located in the tranquil Atlas Mountains, a unique hideaway that is eagerly anticipating your arrival.
1. The diversity
The climb up Mt Toubkal is not only about that cherry on top, the summit, but the scenery along the hike. It is truly jaw dropping. With its rocky slopes, the view of the Mizane Valley and the mountain located right in the Toubkal National Park, you are up for a treat every step of the way. You will be fascinated by the atmosphere and culture crosscutting throughout the area starting right at the edge of the valley with a small village called Imlil.
2. Panoramic views from the summit
Mt Toubkal is a truly rewarding climb. With the mountain overlooking the valley, the view is spectacular. Not only does it giveyou the chance to see the Atlas Mountains from its highest point, but the peak looks over the Jebel Sahro range and the largest hot desert in the world, the Sahara!
3. Lake Ifni
Lake Ifni needs to be mentioned individually. Its turquoise waters against the rocky mountains are so inviting, you can’t help but take a dip. And if you have some extra time, it is worth staying over for a night of camping to enjoy the sky of countless stars. This place is a masterpiece by day and by night.
4. Steeped in culture
There is no question that Morocco is incredibly rich in culture. The climb up Mt Toubkal will take you to beautifully remote areas. There you will experience the truly authentic and exotic feel of the Moroccan identity. The trek is a great way to explore the remote Berber villages and meet their inhabitants, giving you much deeper cultural experience. Berbers are strongly connected to the Moroccan history. They call themselves ‘free people’ and are one of the most iconic ethnic groups of the North Africa. Immerse yourself in the culture by visiting Imlil or other surrounding villages.
5. The thrill of the unknown
The Atlas Mountains are home to some of the world’s lesser known treks. This makes them perfect for those who like exploring and discovering land off the beaten track. The Atlas Mountains are also a home to a number of animals unique to Africa. With many species being close to extinction, such as Cuvier’s gazelle or the Barbary leopard, you should definitely go and explore the area. You might just be rewarded with an encounter with some of the most beautiful and rare animals.
6. Great for all abilities
Mt Toubkal is a non technical ascent. This makes it accessible to first time climbers and anyone at an average fitness level. Climbing Mt Toubkal is a great way to experience the thrill of climbing a mountain and enjoying a beautiful view from the summit, all in an approachable way. Having said that, some steep and rocky parts of the trail will give you an exciting taste of a more technical climb.
7. Mt Toubkal is suitable for a short trip (2 days +)
Good news for anyone with a busy schedule – the mountain climb can be done even in just two days! It is only 65 miles away from the city, Marrakech, making it easily accessible. Furthermore, the trek is of low to medium difficulty, with no need for heavy gear. If you have few more days to spare, you can use the extra time to explore the area. Get to know the culture, architecture and nature, making it a great authentically raw Moroccan experience.
8. Marrakech just round the corner
With UNESCO listed Jemaa el-Fnaa, extremely vibrant and immersed in culture and colour (literally and metaphorically), Marrakech is a must when you plan a trip to Mt Toubkal. This city is legendary for a reason. It is an explosion of flavours and sounds, exciting and magical performances, with historical imprints every step of the way. It is a place that never sleeps and never stops to entertain and amaze. It’s full of contradictions; on one hand it takes you back to a different era, and on the other, it is home to the most modern and luxurious architectural structures. A trip to Marrakech with a hike to Mt Toubkal will definitely satisfy all of your senses.