The Anti Atlas and the Moroccan Sahara
North Africa is one of the unique places in the world, with an abundance of scenic landscapes, amazing natural wonders and a lot more, this is one place that no traveler ought to miss out on.
Of all the places that you can check out these natural wonders, one of the best happens to be Morocco.
Situated in the northwestern part of North Africa, the country is an important tourist hub, known for its historical, cultural and natural heritage.
One such tourist attractions happen to be that of the Anti Atlas and the Moroccan Sahara.
The details of these two natural features are given in the points below:
1.) The Moroccan Sahara
The Sahara Desert is the largest desert on the planet.
Stretching across a vast area of Northern Africa, it extends from the Maghreb region in the north to the Sahel in Central Africa.
The desert itself is made up of various ecosystems, ranging from oases and dry brush to an ocean of dunes.
These features are fairly common throughout the Sahara and make for an amazing sight to anyone visiting it.
Of all the countries where the Sahara can be found, one of them happens to be Morocco.
Morocco is a unique country, in terms of how the geography is spread out; with coastal plains and mountains in the north, and a vast expanse of desert in the South.
The best time to visit the dunes would be during the winter season of November, December and January.
This is because the temperature tends to be the coolest at this time of the year.
Do note that the nights can be very cold in the desert, making it necessary to bring thermal wear.
Among the many activities that you can experience here, is quad biking, sandboarding, camping, etc.
The best base for visiting the locations is in Marrakech, which is situated fairly close to the desert areas.
For those visiting the Sahara in Morocco, the following would be the best places to get a glimpse of its stunning landscapes:
Erg Chebbi is a location in the Sahara famous for its vast dunes.
Stretching into the horizon is an enormous ocean of sand.
Colored a rich golden brown, the sand-dunes start near a village called, Merzouga, from where it stretches out into the distant horizon.
This is another great place to experience the dunes of Morocco.
The location is the most ideal if you are seeking to witness the largest expanse of sand in all of Morocco.
2.) The Anti Atlas
The north of Morocco is a vast expanse of mountain ranges called the Atlas Mountains.
They extend from the western coast of Morocco to the northern fringes of Tunisia.
Extending across this vast landscape are various hills, valleys, rivers, and mountains.
But there is more to the mountains of Morocco than just the Atlas Mountains.
Situated very close to the Atlas Mountains is another lesser-known mountain range called the ‘Anti Atlas Mountains’ range.
Also called the ‘Little Atlas’ or ‘Lesser Atlas’ Mountain range, they are separate from the Atlas mountains, although they are mistaken to be part of the larger Atlas mountains.
The mountains themselves are located very near to the Atlas Mountains, and just north of the vast Sahara desert, and stretch out about 190 km in the southwest of the country.
The best place to start exploring the mountains would be along with the three cities, Taroudant, Tafraoute, and Tiznit.
The tourists interested in exploring the Anti-Atlas, usually start along with these three cities, as they are the closest major settlements near these vast ranges.
In the mountains, they are a variety of sights and experiences to seek out.
Towards the southern region is a vast expanse of dry land that extends into the distant Sahara.
Elsewhere in the region, are patches of grasslands, woods, and small settlements.
Coming to the settlements in and around the Anti-Atlas, one can find numerous villages of the Berber people, one of the ethnic groups that call Morocco home.
There are several activities you can look forward to while in this part of Morocco, such as hiking, camping, Birdwatching and more.
Among them all, trekking is the most popular activity and is very common throughout the region.
The best time to visit the place is during the winter and just after the summer, when the temperatures are relatively cool.
The summers tend to be very hot, particularly in the southern areas, which are adjacent to the Sahara desert.
Roads along with the mountain ranges
The drive along the mountain ranges are a sight unto themselves. One can witness all along the roads, are kasbahs and Agadir in a broken and otherwise eroded condition, which make for an excellent sight.
This is a famous location in the Anti-Atlas, where tourists flock to take a look at the prehistoric paintings left behind by people from eons ago.
This is not natural scenery per se, but rather a modern art piece, which is comprised of giant rock formations covered in blue paint.
The Three Cities, Taroudant, Tafraoute and
The three cities are one of the most beautiful attractions in the anti atlas. Rich in culture and history, it is a great place to experience the traditional life of Morocco.
From handicrafts to traditional foods, these three cities have it all.
In addition to it, they also serve as a base to further explore the majesty of the vast Anti Atlas mountain ranges.
Last but not least to add, is that before you visit these places, to take necessary precautions.
Given that you can get lost with ease in these areas, as well as certain safety concerns, it is a good idea to travel in groups, take the service of a local company and make other such arrangements.
In addition to this, you could also take the help of a local guide or befriend someone from the country, who can help you in exploring this amazing country.
In all, it can be said that Morocco is one of the best places for one to experience the scenic beauty and splendor of the North.
From nature to culture and everything in between, this is one country that you shouldn’t miss out on if you ever plan on visiting this part of the world.
Video By: Bogumił Dec