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Sahara Desert Trek, Morocco 2024

Event details

March 9, 2024

A 7 day trip flying into Marrakesh, Morocco which will include 4 days trekking in the Sahara Desert and two days helping a community project in Marrakech.

Fundraising target of £1,990

395 registration fee (payable directly to Different Travel)

Challenge yourself by taking part in this amazing trek with mighty sun dunes and camp under the stars in the Sahara Desert. Travel to Morocco famous for its mighty Atlas Mountains and vast Sahara Desert which makes this country an adventure lover’s paradise. This will be followed by 2 days working on a local community project in Marrakesh.

Charity Trek Overview

Petra trekkers

This trek in the Moroccan Sahara gives you an insight into this vast and diverse landscape as well as the Berber way of life.

You will spend two full days and two half days trekking across ancient dried up river beds, sand dunes and vast sun-baked plains. Camping each night gives you a chance to experience the stunning stars in the night sky (weather permitting) and the traditional Berber cuisine cooked by the team is second to none.


The Community Project

You will spend two days helping a community project in Marrakech. We anticipate you will help an organisation which supports vulnerable young people with education and vocational training after they have been orphaned, abused or rejected by their family.

The organisation also supports elderly people whose families have abandoned them by creating a comfortable social environment for them to spend their golden years.

Your tasks will vary depending on the need at the time but you’re likely to get involved with refurbishment, redecorating and gardening which will make an instant impact at this incredible centre.

What is included?
  • Flights from the UK (including all airport taxes & airline fuel surcharges)
  • All transfers & transport in Morocco
  • Accommodation in hotels (4 nights), tents on trek (3 nights)
  • All meals as specified
  • Local trek guides, camels for porters, and full support crew on trek
  • 24-hour emergency support in Morocco and the UK
  • Trekking permits
  • Different Travel Tour Leader
  • Full admin and pre-departure support
  • Fundraising tips and support
  • Helen & Douglas House technical t-shirt
What is not included?
  • Personal expenses (such as drinks, souvenirs)
  • Any visas or vaccinations required
  • Optional tips (£30-£35pp)
  • Personal travel insurance
Craig skydive 2022

Julia, who did the Sahara Trek in March 2022

“While trekking through a sandstorm in the heat of the day was certainly a unique challenge, I loved every minute of the trip. The landscapes, the guides, my fellow trekkers, the food and of course our camels – all made it a really incredible experience. To be walking alongside two trekkers who were walking in memory of children they’d lost and who had been cared for at Helen & Douglas House was very emotional and kept us all motivated along the way.”


Depart London for Marrakech. Depending on flight arrival times we may start the journey to the desert today and stay in Ouarzazate tonight (journey time approx. 4-5 hours). Meal:Dinner.

Marrakesh – Sahara
If staying in Marrakech we set off early, crossing the Atlas Mountains and following
ancient caravan routes into the Sahara, stopping for lunch in Ouarzazate on the way
(journey time approx. 9 hours including stops.) If starting in Ouarzazate the journey to
the desert takes approximately 4-5 hours. This afternoon we will arrive in the desert and
be welcomed by the rest of the trek team and the camels before commencing our trek,
stopping overnight to camp under the stars of the Sahara. Approx. trek distance: 5km.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Camping
Approx Trek Distance: 5km

Our trek continues through the desert as we traverse sand dunes and rocky, lunar
landscapes for the next two days. We are aided by our local Berber team comprising of
the guides, cook and camel owners (the camels are our porters, carrying our luggage
and equipment). Each day you enjoy the varied Saharan landscape and learn about
how important it is to respect and comply with the forces of nature in the desert. On average we will cover 15-20km per day but this will vary. As the trek progresses we learn how the nomadic people of the Sahara live: from cooking to sleeping out under the stars and reading the magnificent Saharan night sky.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Camping
Approx Trek Distance: 15-20km per day

This morning it’s a final trek back to the village where you will bid farewell to your team of camels and the local Berbers, and head back overland to Marrakech (journey time approx. 9 hours).
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Hotel
Approx Trek Distance: 5km

After a good night’s rest we spend two days assisting at the community project. Typical
tasks include decorating, refurbishment, gardening or generally working to improve the
environment. No experience is necessary, just a willingness to get involved.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Overnight: Hotel

Some free time this morning to explore the exotic city of Marrakech before flying back to London (subject to flight times).

N.B. This itinerary may change due to unusual weather, the ability of the group and so on. We will do our best to keep to the itinerary but we cannot be held responsible for changes that occur outside of our control. In all circumstances your guide and tour leader will have the final say in the interest of the group’s health and safety.


You will be accompanied by professional English- speaking Berber guides who have an excellent knowledge of culture and hiking in the region. You will also be accompanied by a team of support staff including cooks and camel handlers and a Different Travel Company UK tour manager. If more than 10 people sign up to this trek, there may also be a Helen & Douglas House representative.

The trek is rated moderately challenging for someone of a good fitness level. The terrain is a mixture of hard, flat sundried plains, dried up ancient riverbeds, wide sandy dune fields and hard rocky outcrops. Temperatures pose a specific challenge with temperatures historically reaching 35°C. You must be of a good fitness level before departure, to ensure fast recovery each day.


Temperatures can range from 25°C to 35°C during the day and drop to around 0°C at night however you must be prepared for variations to this which are out of our control.  Weather during the trek will be dry but there may be some strong winds. Rain, although very rare, is not impossible. Please note: the temperatures and conditions above are historically accurate but climate change can impact the seasons so you may experience uncharacteristic conditions during the trip which are out of our control. The guides will assess the situation and make decisions to ensure the best enjoyment and safety of the group.

To get to and from the desert requires long drives (approx. 9 hours including breaks) along winding mountain roads which offer stunning views of the snow-capped peaks and lush valleys. If you suffer from motion sickness you are advised to bring your usual anti-nausea medication with you. Regular stops are taken.

During the trek you will sleep in tents (two to a tent), or if the weather is good you can sleep outside under the stars; highly recommended! Foam sleeping mats are provided but you will need to bring a sleeping bag. Toilet facilities consist of a small toilet ‘tent’ covering a hole in the ground. There are no showers or bathing facilities in the desert so you must bring a pack of baby wipes.

During the trek meals are cooked by a chef who will prepare Moroccan dishes. Breakfast and lunch will be eaten alfresco, and evening meals will be in a mess tent at camp. Plates, mugs, cutlery and other equipment are provided. While staying in Marrakech (and Ouarzazate if applicable) meals will be at the hotel, the project or at local restaurants.

You must be 18+ to participate on this trek unaccompanied. It may be possible to participate if you are 16 or 17 years old but you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. There is no upper age limit. The ideal candidate would be fit, healthy and determined, open to adventure and adaptable to unexpected changes.

Most people find that this is far easier than they imagined, and we will give you as much support as you need to reach, and even exceed your target!

Each participant will be allocated a Helen & Douglas House fundraising staff member who will meet with you and help you to create your fundraising plan. Materials such as collection buckets and tins, sponsorship forms, email banners, balloons and banners can also be provided to help you achieve your target.

Here are some suggestions for how you could meet (and actually exceed!) your fundraising target:

Register Your Interest

Register Your Interest - Sahara Desert Trek 2024

Please use this form to register your interest in the 2024 Sahara Open Trek and we'll be in touch with further information


Make memories while making a difference

Helen & Douglas House has been caring for local terminally ill children and their families since 1982. We help children and their families at our hospice, at home and in hospital with respite stays, pain relief, symptom management, end-of-life care and bereavement support.

Contact us

Find out more about the Sahara Trek by getting in touch with Julia Woodcock, our Community and Events Stewardship Office.

Feel free to reach out Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00 by calling 01865 799166 or sending an email to jwoodcock@helenanddouglas.org.uk.

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We need to raise over £3 million each year to care for local terminally ill children at the hospice and at home.