Over the summer, two groups of students went on an amazing 12 day expedition to Morocco, North Africa. Outlook Expeditions organised this once in a lifetime trip, featuring some stunning scenery and tough personal challenges. Morocco is home to Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences, with Marrakesh being one of the largest cities, incorporating world famous markets and medieval architecture.
Students visited Marrakesh at the start of the trip, experiencing the hustle and bustle of the shops and stalls. They even took part in the traditional art of haggling as they bartered for souvenirs, as well as experiencing the local cuisine and street entertainment.
The groups then travelled to the Atlas Mountains where they spent three days acclimatising to the attitude before reaching the summit of Mount Toubkal. This is the largest mountain in North Africa reaching 4,167 metres above sea level. Students showed great determination and endurance in achieving this goal, trekking through steep mountain passes on difficult terrain and in high temperatures.
One group then travelled to the coastal town of Essaouira, taking in the culture and meeting the local people. They went camel riding and saw some unusual sights along the way such as goats climbing and balancing on tree branches!
The second group went to see the famous waterfalls at Ouzoud. To reach the falls they had to first walk down 330 steps, travel through busy market stalls set in the steep cliff edge until they finally came out at the base of the staggering 330ft waterfall with three drops.
Before travelling back to Marrakesh, both groups visited the town of Asni and took part in a local community project helping local people improve the irrigation for their farmland. Students worked hard digging irrigation channels around cactus and olive trees and learnt a lot about the way of life there. They learnt how to make Moroccan tea, received traditional henna tattoos and taught the local people some things about British culture, including teaching the children dance moves!
Students had a truly memorable time, making long-term friendships and experiencing a very different way of life. They took full responsibility for the management of their budget, booking of the accommodation and transport. This was a great opportunity for students to become more independent and they came home talking about booking their next trip!