The Atlas, Berbers Land
History, Language and Berber Culture
Berbers, Amazighen, First Inhabitants of the Maghreb, are North Africa ethnic groups stretching from Egypt to Morocco.
Also originally called Libyans or Numidians, they experienced Roman, Christian as well as Arabic invasions. Today, the Berber (from the Latin and Greek “barbaric”: meaning strangers), or Amazigh people (meaning free man), is a mosaic of people sharing cultural relations, ethnicity but especially language throughout the Maghreb.
The Afro Berber Asian language (Tamazight) brings together around thirty languages, with a particular witting system (alphabet), which crossed the history for millennia (5000 years)
Berbers in Morocco
Morocco is the main Berber -speaking country of the Maghreb with 40-45% of its population speaking 3 languages Berber (Tamazight): the Chleuh in south (Marrakech, Ouarzazate…), the Tamazight in central Morocco and the Rifain in the north.
After Arab ideologies crisis in spring 2011, article 5 of the new Constitution of the Kingdom of Morocco has introduced the Berber language as an official language, imposing a common heritage and multiculturalism in the Kingdom of Morocco.
Berber culture is a key to understanding the Morocco. Its craft of great quality, colorful and refined, is well-known. Berber Jewelery and Carpets, only manufacturing by hand, are sought after.
Ouarzazate & High Atlas Mountains
Ouarzazate, located after the mountains of the Moroccan High Atlas towards the Sahara, 1125m above sea level, in Berber – Amazigh country. The traditional Berber culture, with its alphabet and specific language, as well as its well- known handcraft such as carpets , rug and Berber jewelry, is omnipresent.
Collective Day Trip Tour – Ait Benhaddou & Ouarzazate
Departure 7h15 – Return 19h30 – Distance Marrakech-Ouarzazate 200km / 3h30 journey one way / Mountain Road. Available Every Day, bookable until 8pm day prior departure, from the Riad. Transport in minibus up to 14 seats, with Air Cond, breakfast, with or without lunch – excluding drinks
Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, on the old caravan road from south Sahara to Marrakech
The Tour will take you through several Mountain Landscapes, before visiting the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, precious mud Village classified by Unesco heritage, is located 10km from the town of Ouarzazate.
Ait Benhaddou is the most famous Kasbah of Morocco, with its traditional architecture of raw clay and its Towers decorated of mud bricks. The site has served in the filming of many films (Gladiator, Laurence of Arabia, Prince of Persia, and Game of Throne). The tour continues with the Lunch break in Ouarzazate, visit of the Medina and the Cinema Museum (entrance not included). Return to Marrakech at the end of the afternoon.
This Excursion is possible in Private, with own private driver, for more autonomy, and at its own pace.
Trekking Atlas: Imlil and Mount Toubkal
Sport Trekking in the Atlas Mountains, at 80 km from Marrakech (Imlil village), Day Trip or longer stay, with Official Mountain Guide – 3 up to 6h walk per day. Travel, Meals (excluding drinks), accommodation and possible Luggage Transfer included. This is a private day trip, bookable until 2pm day prior departure, available Every Day, depart from the Riad Al Ksar. Private Transportation.
Discover the mountain trails in the heart of the Berber country, with its Hilltop Villages and a breathtaking nature, at the foot of Mt Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa culminating at 4167m. The lunch cooked by Berber women is served at the inhabitant house in order to discover the lifestyle of Berbers people and their customs (language, alphabet, Crafts, Carpets for morrocan wedding, Jewelry…).
The top famous” Mount Toubkal” is also accessible in 2 days/1 night (‘Toubkal Express”), for experienced and equipped hikers (negative temperatures). Pick-up at the Riad. Please contact the reception for more details. The Touring Ski is also available in Morocco during spring season.