RUN MOROCCO: GORGES & SAHARA FAQS
Morocco is a running paradise. Quiet, wide open roads, snow-capped mountains, dramatic rock formations, stunningly green palm oases and the vast, beautiful Sahara. The culture is exotic and the hospitality overwhelming, the food is fresh, local, organic and delicious. Life moves slowly in Morocco: you will see, learn and experience more than you ever imagined, and come away with memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.
What’s included in the trip cost?
The trip price includes pre-trip communication & guidance, airport transfers, all accommodation, all meals/snacks, coffee/tea/juice with breakfasts, water, transportation, drivers, experienced guides, organized, supported runs and a Rogue Expeditions shirt. In short, just about everything is covered from the moment you land until the moment you leave!
What isn’t included in the trip cost?
The cost does not include flight, alcohol, tips or personal purchases (and trust us, you will find things to buy in Morocco!)
Why isn’t the flight included?
International airfare is not included in the price. Let’s be honest, we are all unique and your schedules (and originating airport!) are no exception. Come early, stay late. Fly, sail, or overland by camel. Participants will be responsible for booking their travel arrangements and ensuring that they arrive in Marrakech Morocco (either at the airport or hotel) by the trip start date. Suggestions and guidance will be provided once you are signed up.
How far do I have to be able to run?
There is no set requirement, but for the best experience we recommend that you be comfortable with daily running, or at least walking. Most runs will take place en route to the next destination, and vehicle support will available at all times should you be ready for a break. We’ve had everyone from a power walker to an ultra runner covering a marathon every day on the same trip!
What sort of terrain will we be running on?
The terrain will vary, but the footing will largely be dirt road (some asphalt too, and sand in the Sahara). There will be some runs done in the mountains (expect hills!), and others in the desert (as flat as it gets). Every day presents brand new landscapes, so boredom is never a factor!
What time of day will be be running?
The time of day will vary depending on where we are and where we’re headed. Each day will involve some amount of drive time, and the majority of our runs will begin mid-morning or early afternoon, en route towards our destination. Morning runs will be scheduled when possible. Snacks or light lunch and a changing tent will be provided well before taking off, and bathroom stops will be made in the nearest town.
What will we do when we aren’t running?
When we aren’t running, we’ll have plenty to see and do! There are many sights along the way (think ruined kasbahs, palm oases, lively markets, handicraft cooperatives) and we’ll be in areas with phenomenal hiking and exploration potential. There will be a significant amount of drive time, with well-timed breaks and photo stops. Meals are an experience in and of themselves, and we’ll have plenty of quality relaxation time on the terrace or around the pool at our hotels.
Can my non-runner spouse/friend come too?
Absolutely! Though it will mean more time spent in a vehicle (moving quite slowly at times), the panoramas along the way can entertain for days, and only a relatively small portion of each day will be spent on the run. They will still get to enjoy plenty of sightseeing, cultural immersion and relaxation (as long as they don’t mind hanging out with a group of runners!). Walking is also welcomed!
What will the hotels be like?
Rogue Expeditions supports locally owned and operated guesthouses when possible. All but one night will be spent in 3-and 4-star guesthouses. You can expect clean rooms, comfortable beds, private bathrooms with hot showers*, gorgeous Moroccan decor, phenomenal hospitality and often a swimming pool. One night will be spent at a private camp in the Sahara. We will sleep in traditional nomad tents, each of which has comfortable beds, piles of blankets and candles. There is a bathhouse with toilets and even showers, as well as a huge dining tent for meals and socializing.
*Guesthouses in rural villages may not always have the infrastructure to support 15 people taking hot showers at once. Note that you'll likely have a tepid shower or two throughout the week, and keep in mind that this is the desert - quick showers are encouraged!
What is the weather like?
Generally you can expect clear nights with temperatures around 50F/10C, bright, sunny days with high temperatures around 70-75F/20-24C (likely a bit warmer in the Sahara) and little to no humidity. Rain is rare, but does happen on occasion.
Can I have my own room at hotels?
Sure! There is an option for “Private Room Upgrade” during the signup process. This may exclude the night at the private camp in the Sahara due to limited resources. Depending on the final head count you will be provided your own tent if possible.
What sort of food will we be eating?
We will eat healthy, fresh, traditional Moroccan meals throughout the trip. A typical breakfast will include a spread of just-baked, clay-oven bread, pastries, local fruit jam, butter, cheese, eggs, fruit, coffee, mint tea and (literally) fresh-squeezed OJ. Lunches will typically be pre- and post-run spreads of fresh fruit, nuts, dates, olives bread, veggies and rotisserie meat. Dinners feature tajine – chicken, beef or lamb simmered in a clay vessel with an assortment of vegetables and spices – and couscous dishes along with fresh bread, olives, light soup and fresh fruit. You won’t go hungry! Most special diets can be accommodated.
What sort of vehicles will we be traveling in?
We will be traveling in well-maintained 4×4 vehicles with professional drivers.
Is it safe?
Very. Morocco is an extremely welcoming and friendly place, and one of the most relaxed and accepting Islamic countries in the world. As long as you exercise the same common sense you’d use anywhere (ie don’t flash lots of cash or expensive items in tourist areas), you’ll be fine. Hospitality is king in Morocco; our local team has worked with us for many years and they take the utmost care of our runners belongings and well-being.
What should I pack?
Packing light will make everything easier for you, but there are some key things to bring along, A few sets of running clothes (it’s so dry that you will sweat very little), running shoes, a few sets of non-running clothes, flipflops, one warm jacket, a pair of gloves, sunglasses, sunblock, reading material and a CAMERA are all recommended. A handheld water bottle or hydration pack is required. A detailed packing list will be provided.
Ladies, please keep in mind that Moroccan women never wear shorts, and rarely even wear short sleeves. You can get away with shorts while running and short sleeves are fine any time, though you may be more comfortable in capris. Please respect the culture and dress conservatively the rest of the time. A lightweight pair of pants or a long skirt and button up tops are perfect for warm afternoons, and will help protect from the sun. Guys and girls, please do not run shirtless at any point. Though it's unlikely that anyone would ever say anything to men or women about their clothes, we strongly encourage cultural respect.
Is alcohol allowed?
Yes, alcohol is allowed. Though most Moroccans do not drink alcohol and it can be difficult to find outside of the cities, it is by no means a banned substance and it is plenty acceptable for foreigners to enjoy adult beverages (just not in view of a mosque). You will have the opportunity to ‘stock up’ before we depart Marrakech – the supermarkets have a great selection of liquor, beer and wine.
What are the tipping customs?
We will provide country-specific guidance and take a group collection when it comes to the local team (ie drivers, cooks, etc) involved with your trip, while tips for Rogue Expeditions trip leaders are at your discretion – never expected, but always appreciated.
If I change my mind or something comes up, can I cancel?
We know that life happens, and on occasion a participant will have to back out of a trip. As most of our costs are paid well in advance, we have set a cancellation policy that applies to all trips. Travel insurance is highly recommended to cover potential cancellations on your part.
If you cancel (2018 trips):
- Within 30 days of signup: Full Refund (if you pay by credit card we retain a 2.9% processing fee each way)
- 121+ days from the trip start date (but after the 30 day grace period): Deposits are non-refundable
- 61-120 days from the trip start date: 50% of total payment refunded**
- 60 days or less from the trip start date: No refunds
If you cancel (2019 trips):
- Within 30 days of signup: Full refund (if you pay by credit card we retain a 2.9% processing fee each way)
- 90+ days from the trip start date (but after the 30 day grace period): Deposits are non-refundable
- 61-90 days from the trip start date: 50% of total payment refunded**
- 60 days or less from the trip start date: No refunds
**This only applies to participants who have paid their balances on time. If you do not pay the balance by the due date and cancel after the fact, your deposit is non-refundable.
How do I sign up?
A $500 deposit will reserve your spot, and balances are due 4 months prior to the trip start date. Spots are first come-first serve, so don’t wait!
All questions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org