JOIN OUR 2021 LAND ROVER CONVOY THROUGH NORTH AFRICA'S FABLED ATLAS MOUNTAINS & THE MAJESTIC SAHARA
Staying true to our namesake, we're migrating back to the beautiful and lonely desert. Here we recently found a peace and serentity that we long to savour once more. Join the Sandgrouse Explorers Club as we venture back to North Africa following our tried and tested overland routing in Morocco. We'll thread our way through the mighty Atlas Mountains and then on to the north western fringes of the vast Sahara desert where we will drive in the tracks of the old Paris-Daker rally along the Algerian frontier.
As a tourist destination Morocco is certainly well-known and well-loved. 'Sun, Sea and Souks' might be what the masses are searching for, not us! We all have friends who have 'ticked-off' the Morocco box with their short and sharp city-breaks, exploring crowded hot-spots and guide book favourites but we'll show you another side to this intoxicating part of Africa. Our idea of discovery takes us deep into the rural heart of the country - where there is no gloss on the realities of life. We'll be travelling through the high Atlas passes and on to the pistes of the alluring Sahara.
(A quick pit-stop down on the Algerian Frontier where we found this rust-free 109. The old girl had so much character. On one hand we would have driven her home to Scotland, but on the other, she seemed so effortlessly at home in the African dust!).
After our highly successful 2019 "desert raid" we've decided to commit to a re-run, this time however we are opening up the rally to those who wish to join us! We think it is fair to say that an overlanders dream trip awaits and this time made even better in the company of kindred-spirits.
(Sand as far as the eye can see! It's a breathtaking part of the world that is hard to fathom until one experiences the sheer scale and majesty).
With mountain trails and desert tracks that are simply unobtainable in mainland Western Europe, our North African rally ticks all the boxes for those in need of a far-out adventure. We'll lead the way on routes that we know offer great overall experiences. For all of us, a trip filled with both adventure and discovery awaits. We know this is a trip that's sure to scroll its way onto the pages of your most prized travel journal, to be one day regaled by the fireplace in years to come.
Register now for early bird information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org - you will be kept up-to-date with all expedition developments and as we go about confirming a departure date for our glorious return to the North African dunes - Sandgrouse style!
(Heading into the rugged Atlas Mountains on tracks and trails that afforded day-long drives with no other vehicles encounterd).
(Land Rover Discovery. The LR4 in North Africa - our Discovery 4 never missed a beat on this trip, making the perfect, most comfortable overlander we have every used. For our next trip however, we will strip things back to basics with one of our Land Rover Defender 110s - but all Land Rovers are welcome here!).
In it together! A challenging group trip brings a special comradery.
Our previous trip was such a success that it left a lasting impression on the Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions team. One thing that was at the forefront of our mind on the last trip though, was how much fun it would be to share these special experiences with like-minded adventurers.
Our tag-along rally is open to all Land Rover lovers, so tuck in behind the Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions lead Land Rover and follow our tracks as we wind our way through some of the most incredible, and accessible overland tracks to be found anywhere in the world. Here it's possible to find yourself truly 'all the way out there' - where a peace and serenity can be found that has been lost in most of Western Europe.
(Looking at camel spoor in the sand with the Discovery parked in the only available shade for a for what seemed like thousands of kilometres).
UK-based lovers of adventure and overlanding will have no doubt previously enjoyed various forays into the expedition world with their own vehicles in Europe and as best possible, around the British Isles. These destinations certainly offer up some glorious gifts, especially for the intrepid - but what they do not offer is the vast, unpopulated, seemingly endless expanses of land where driving on a compass baring is a reality. To us at Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions, that is where adventure takes on its true sense of the word, its true meaning.
(Heading towards the saharan sand dunes on what was once an old Paris-Dakar rally route)
(Bivoacing in the Sahara desert with our Snugpak Ionosphere tent and BASHA, the two are perfect for expeditions where a quick low-key pitch and fast strike of camp is required).
(Using dried camel dung and foraged hardwood, we build an evening campfire to cook on, and enjoy gathering around each evening).
Our carefully planned routing allows for a great mix of both mountain trails and desert dunes. The mountain tracks which wind their way through the Atlas, provide both challenging terrain as well as high altitude living - with some camps at over 9,000ft above sea-level. Heading out of the mountains to the south of Morocco, we follow famous old Paris-Dakar routes through exciting dunes, salt flats and vast oueds (dry river valleys or wadis).
(Evenings on our overland trips are spent around the campfire sharing stories over a brew or something a little stronger. In North Africa, our overland evening meals usually involve a traditional tagine prepared in the Berber way).
When to Go? How long do I need?
Morocco is a year round destination, but we prefer to travel through such a hot and arid country as early into the 'season' as possible. Our preferred time of year to travel is February or March. We'll have the interest of some possible snow in the mountains, chilly nights and pleasant warm days. Of course the further into the desert we travel, the hotter the temperatures we might incur, with some high 20's to early 30's as pretty standard.
(Passers by at our camp on the Algieran border - this remote camp was seemingly far away from the rest of the world).
Travelling in the early part of the year also has other added benefits, firstly it's a dark and depressing time to be in the UK so a great option for anyone who is getting a little tired of winter. Secondly, as it's early in the season it means we avoid other overlanders. We'll be the first to hit the trails and tracks, certainly in the high Atlas. This adds wonderfully to the sense of adventure, and perhaps too, even to the hospitality recieved in-situ. The first guests on the trail each season certainly seem to be warmly recieved by the locals who run out of their houses to wave as you trundle by!
How much does it cost? What's Included?
Our extremely modest convoy joining fee allows you to join the Sandgrouse Explorers Club group and tag along with us for the duration of our time traversing Morocco.
You'll be effectly buying a pre-planned route that's tried and tested by our team with known stops and lay-overs that work for wild-camps as well as preferred Auberges (accommodation for a good shower and rest). The route will be issued to you on arrival into Tangiers and will be a comprehensive waypoint to waypoint routing that is also downloadable onto any handheld GPS units, iPad, Satnavs etc.
Of course, by joining our group you also gain the opportunity to travel in a fun convoy of like-minded people whom you may never ordinarily have had the chance to meet. We'll all be making new friends and sharing new experiences that are unlikely to be ever forgotten.
Guiding & On-The-Ground Support
Our guides will be leading the way, trail blazing ahead to ensure that your trip runs as smoothly as possible. On call 24 hours a day, our modern, support vehicle is ready to deal with incidents that may occur on or off-road. We are equipped with sat- phones, CB radios, multiple GPS navigation systems, recovery hardware and first-aid kits. In the event of breakdown of your vehicle, we have crew joining us with industry-leading knowledge on in-field repairs. The crew will endeavour to get you to a recoverable position.
The cost of your camping for the duration of the trip is included in the convoy joining fee.
All associated personal costs are to be paid and sorted by individuals themselves such as return ferries, fuel, food, etc.
What dates are you going?
Depending on how things work out with global travel restrictions due to the current Covid19 pandemic, we'll be aiming for February 2021 as our departure.
Those joining us will want to allocate two to three weeks to this adventure as in order to get there from the UK, there's a good 4-days worth of travel including a 24-hour ferry crossing from Plymouth to Santander.
(Look out for unusual road signs from donkies to camels. Travelling through North Africa offers a real immersion into an alternative culture, close to Europe yet exotic and unknown. An Arabic country that we found friendly and open. We can't wait to return!)
(We made it! Sat atop some of the mighty Saharan dunes to catch a sunset before returning to our Land Rover camp).
(Hours of endless fun as we navigate the challenging dunes in the Sahara desert).
Call now on 01764 664 236 or alternatively email email@example.com.
Sandgrouse Travel & Expeditions is a luxury travel company based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specalise in tailormade holidays to Scotland, Scandinavia and Africa and bring a wealth of first-hand experience to each of the bespoke trips we carefully create for our clients.