We had a fantastic trip that started in Marrakesh and ended at Merzouga in the Sahara. Darren and his wife, Naima, are wonderful and knowledgeable hosts. My wife and I traveled with them and 1 other photographer, who happened to speak both Arabic and English. Niama was always great at smoothing the way with families and shopkeepers as we photographed along our way. Darren is a generous and patient teacher with years of artistic and photographic experience.
He has done a lot of leg working in finding some of the best places to shoot and he always seemed to be in those spots at the right time of the day. The tour has the advantage of being guided locals who have made the trip before. They took us to great small family run riads—inns with interior courtyards. The accommodations were very comfortable with lots of hot water and well heated—we were there in February. We often felt like family guests with hosts that were concerned about feeding us well and making us feel at home.
We were cold one night—the night we slept in tents on the desert. The next morning felt rather silly that we did not get other blankets; there were about 20 extra blankets readily available!
The desert and the dunes were the photographic high spot for me. These are photos I’ve never taken before. Along the way we had many opportunities to photograph landscapes and people: a weaver in her home and have lunch her family; a cobbler and his family, including their young children and a Berber woman in her home.
It was a great time. We felt safe at all times and traveling in a small group with locals—there were 5 of us in our vehicle—we did not attract attention. And being local, Darren does not have to add on his own travel expenses. It is a very, very well priced, super trip.
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