Responsible tourism: Morocco family vacation, Atlas Mule Train
This family trip is designed to put children in close contact with nature and animals. We take a horse drawn carriage tour of Marrakech. Each carriage is limited to carry a maximum of 5 people and is operated by a member of an association for the protection of working animals. While in the mountains, one mule per child is provided for the trek, this allows the children to develop a good relationship with the mules. Other mules are provided for luggage and equipment. The trek goes through some parts of the Toubkal National Park and the group is briefed on the local environmental regulations such as not picking the protected wild flowers. Swimming and washing in the rivers is not permitted. Our guides demonstrate the different irrigation systems used for the cultivated terraces and explain how locals carefully get the most out of the limited water and land available. Children learn about the Berber life and how they live with total respect for their environment.
Mules are accompanied by their owners throughout the trek to look after them. Muleteers are hired locally with signed agreements on mule welfare and our guides and cooks are responsible for ensuring that good practices are implemented during the trek.
Any rubbish from the group’s food such as tins and glass is brought back to Marrakech for recycling, failing on this policy results in the guide and the cook being fined €30 and €20 respectively.
We are committed to giving back to the local communities that we visit on our tours. As such, we employ people from the local communities, contributing to the local economy and giving you the best experience, as they know the areas visited better than anyone. A reasonable number of local people are involved in the operation of the trek. For a group of 3 families (12 people) at least 10 muleteers, 1 guide and 1 cook will escort the group for 4 days. We stay in family-owned, local guest houses in the mountains and food is sourced in the villages of Aremd and Tachedirte. The employment of local businesses and people benefits the local economy and provides a great insight for visitors who are welcomed in the Berber villages, and are offered mint tea and interaction with the local community. To further support the local community, customers are encouraged to buy their souvenirs from the multiple shops in Aremd or Imlil rather than in Marrakech which already benefits from large numbers of tourists.