The DINOSAUR Trail: M’Goun Geopark
Marrakech – Demnate – Ait Bougmez – Zaouit Ahansal
You will quite literally retrace the footsteps of the dinosaurs on this Morocco Tour!
Preserved in the rock are the footprints of Theropods and Sauropodes! See the 10,000 year old rock carvings depicting universal symbols and warriors on horseback – off the beaten track, the locations not widely publicised to protect these rare places from too much human traffic. If you are lucky you may spot some rare wildlife – a Mouflon or Royal Eagle.
The M’Goun Geopark in the Tadla Azilal region is recognised by UNESCO for it’s rich and varied natural, geological, cultural and architectural heritage. Located in the Central High Atlas the 12,000km2 area sits in the cradle of Morocco’s second highest mountain Ighil M’Goun (4070 m) and presents many wonderful archaeological sites as well as unique geological features such as the Ouzoud Cascades, the Jurassic limestone Imi’n’ifri Natural Bridge and Mastfran Rock.
The people of the region also maintain their original rural lifestyle and their traditional Amazigh (Berber) culture is still alive with the practice of a rich variety of artistic handcrafts and ancient stone and adobe building techniques. Monumental buildings, granaries and fortified Kasbahs grace the spectacular mountain landscape.
Suggested Itinerary – or as you wish…
Marrakech (or Casablanca) – Demnate (Ait Oumghar)
Just 2 hours drive from Marrakech you will start your Dinosaur Trail that makes a loop around the Central High Atlas Mountains in the M’Goun region. First visit the Jurassic limestone Imi’n’ifri Natural Bridge. Take the stairs down to the bottom and pass through ‘the mouth of the cave’ – learn about the traditional lore and the rituals undertaken by local youths.
Ait Bougmez Valley
Drive the spectacular mountain roads to the Bougmez Valley, often known as Happy Valley. On the way you can retrace the footsteps of the dinosaurs preserved in the rock and explore the 10,000 year old rock carvings depicting universal symbols and warriors on horseback. Continue to Tabant and see the dinosaur footprints that seem to run right up to the front door and through a village dwelling.
More spectacular mountain landscape will take you through a region where traditional Nomad people spend summer months. See their simple stone dwellings along the way to the remote village of Zaouit Ahansal, recognised by UNESCO as an important cultural site with traditional architecture, granaries and a subsistence farming life-style continues to be maintained.
Take a route via Azilal and have lunch with a local Amazigh family (Imelouane family!!!!?) before continuing to the spectacular Ouzoud waterfalls on the El Abid river. Set in beautiful mountain landscape, steps take you to the bottom of the falls past pomegranate and olive trees and lots of opportunities to drink mint tea and enjoy the views. Return to Demnate.
Return to Marrakech (or Casablanca)