I have recently returned from leading trip trekking across the Sahara Desert. This was the first ever Sahara Desert trekking tip that we’ve run at The Bucket List Company, and it definitely delivered! The trip was incredible and the scenery was breathtaking – even for a seasoned trekker like myself. However, one of the biggest compliments we received from Bucketlisters about the trip was the food!
In fact, this is one question we get asked all the time about our trips. “What will the food be like?” “What can I expect to eat on the trip?”
For the Sahara Desert trip we use the same ground crew as our Mount Toubkal trips, so we know the guides and the cooks really well. The food we enjoyed on the Sahara was almost identical to what you would be served on the Toubkal trek – the only challenge we had for Sahara trek being that there were no shops for the guys to restock at. This meant that everything – and I mean EVERYTHING – had to be carried on the camels!
Nonetheless, the food was absolutely delicious throughout the trek. So, because I know just how important food is while experiencing a new country’s culture, here’s a little taster of what you’ll be tasting on your Bucket List trip.
Food in Marrakech
On our adventure trips in Morocco, we almost always arrive into Marrakech in the mornings. Once we have transferred from the airport to the riad and checked in, it’s time for lunch. We always suggest to our groups that we head out for a group lunch at Riad Omar across the road, as they have a great rooftop restaurant with impressive views of the city, and offer a delicious lunch for just 180 dirhams.
At Riad Omar, you can choose from Moroccan salad or soup as a starter, then opt for mains including a tagine, couscous or BBQ skewers. Fresh fruit is served to finish, followed by a classic Moroccan mint tea with biscuits. This menu is very typical of the restaurants around the central Jemaa El-Fnaa square in Marrakech.
On both our Sahara trekking trip and Mount Toubkal trip, breakfast is included throughout the trip and all meals are provided during the treks. The only meals that are not included are lunch and evening meals whilst in Marrakesh.
There is no shortage of places to eat in the centre of Marrakesh. You might decide to head to the square to eat at one of the street food stalls. Here, there are rows upon rows of numbered stalls, all competing for your attention and patronage.
“Number 117, it takes you to heaven”, and “Marks and Spencer quality, but cheaper than Asda” are just a couple of the comments that you can expect to hear as you walk through the stalls!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more formal, there are restaurants dotted all around the city centre, either tucked away down a backstreet or perched on a scenic verandah overlooking the square.
Food on the Sahara Desert trek
On the Sahara Desert trek, we were looked after by our cooks Lahssn and Mohamed. I have worked with these guys plenty of times before, so I knew I wasn’t going to go hungry! It is truly impressive how the guys prepare such delicious and elaborate meals with the bare minimum of cooking facilities – in the middle of the Sahara Desert. After all, they can’t exactly pop to the shop for ingredients! Every meal is an amazing achievement – and one which surprises all of our trekkers.
This is what you can expect to eat on the Sahara trek, meal by meal…
Breakfast usually consists of what we often consider a ‘continental’ spread. Porridge, bread, cheese, pancakes, honey, jam and syrup are laid out before us to tuck in as we choose. In the morning, there is always plenty of hot water, tea and coffee to drink, too.
Whilst trekking in the Sahara Desert, lunch is always a picnic, set out on traditional Moroccan cushions, allowing the group time to relax. The first port of call is always mint tea, served on arrival at the lunch stop. Sipping a steaming cup of sweet mint tea is the perfect way to recover before the main feast arrives.
Once you have finished your tea, the main event arrives! Our lunchtime picnics consist of fresh salad, lentils, pasta, rice, fish and bread. This is the staple diet of a Moroccan lunch. Lunch will always be rounded off with fresh fruit – usually oranges (the best oranges you have ever tasted), apples or pears.
It’s not just three meals a day! We know how hungry you’re likely to be after a busy day of trekking, so we make sure that you have a reinvigorating snack right after you’ve finished the day’s walking. When you finish a day’s trekking, you just want to sit down and relax with a cuppa, and this is exactly what happens on our Morocco trips.
Mint tea, popcorn and biscuits are always waiting when you arrive at your camp or accommodation for the night.
The evening meal is what we’ve all been waiting for. Usually, this is served at around 7-7.30 p.m. Evening meals always start off with soup and bread before moving onto the main. The main is normally high in carbs to fuel you for the next day’s activities and will consist of pasta, rice or potatoes, served with a large tagine for the group to share.
Fruit is again always available for dessert, along with chamomile tea to help you sleep (although that isn’t normally a problem after a day’s trekking!).
Of course, menus will change somewhat from trip to trip. The guys are also very good at catering to individual dietary requirements, so if you’re veggie, vegan or have a food allergy, just let us know in advance and we’ll make sure there’s plenty of tasty food for you to enjoy.
One thing is for your sure, you will never go hungry on one of our Morocco treks – and the food in Morocco is delicious! We get looked after very well, sampling the best of authentic Moroccan cuisine. Not only is this an important cultural experience, it also goes a long way towards helping you complete our treks!
To find out more about our Bucket List trips, or to get more information on food and dietary requirements, just contact us today on 0176 930 9007.