Starting points for this Morocco Fossils Tour are Marrakech or Casablanca.
Morocco is a fossil-rich nation with a plethora of fossils dating back up to and including 600 million years. The southern regions of the country contain the most varied and intriguing landscapes, including areas that were formerly oceans, tropical forests, and now deserts. More fossils are preserved in the numerous folds and layers of the Atlas Mountains, which run the length of the country from the Atlantic to the Algerian border. The variety of minerals is also unfathomable, and they are currently being mined under rigorous regulations. Trilobites may be one of the world’s most abundant fossils, and they are continuously being discovered in Morocco.
During this tour, you’ll have the opportunity to explore Morocco’s most fascinating fossil workshops. You will have the opportunity to visit fossil museums and discover mineral fields in the southeastern region of the country. Throughout the journey, a knowledgeable guide will accompany you, ensuring you don’t miss any of the incredible fossil and mineral spots that Morocco has to offer.
Welcome to Morocco! Your guided Morocco Tours starts by a Pick-up from airport In Casablanca/Marrakech and transfer by our experienced driver to your hotel or Riad. Depending on your flight arrival, we can have a short sightseeing tour before heading to your accommodation
We leave the Red City and drive towards the High Atlas Mountains, which we cross at the Tizi n’Tichka pass (2260 meters). On the way of your guided tour , we stop at Sidi Rahal to see the Triassic lava agate mine. On the far side, we take the Ounila Valley off road route to discover Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene layers as we follow the salt route, where salt is still mined, to reach the 17th century UNESCO site of Ksar Ait Benhaddou. This adobe fortress is best known as the setting for the film The Gladiator.
It still houses a few families and is an interesting example of kasbah architecture. We continue your excursions in Morocco to Ouarzazate, Africa’s Hollywood, where we will spend the night.
From Ouarzazate, we travel along the Draa Valley to an Ordovician layer containing giant cold water trilobites found in the lower layer of the Fezouta Shale; they can be 20 to 30 cms in length and are still being discovered in this mine. We take the road to Tazzarine, past the Ksar of Tamnougalt, to visit the Saredrar Orthoceras quarry. This quarry contains cephalopods with straight shells, which may be the ancestors of ammonites. Much of what you find on this site is taken to Erfoud and transformed into beautiful and functional items. Later in the Morocco Fossils tour, we will stop in Erfoud. Alnif is one of Morocco’s most important trilobite fossil sites, and we’ll spend the night in a typical hotel among the many fossil shops.
For this day of this guided tours of morocco we will have time to browse the fossil shops for complete examples before visiting several sites to look for Cambrian Paradoxides and Cambropellas trilobites, as well as the Tiskaouine mountain, which is mined for Ordovician Neseuretus, Colpocorypte, and Flexicalymens trilobites. In Alnif, we return to the same hotel.
We cross this ancient landscape by following some of the old Paris Dakar Rally routes, and our first stop is Boudid, a Devonian limestone area with an extensive formation called the Tazoulait Formation and nearby another area with many fossils scattered on the surface. Atchana is another Devonian formation where Dicranurus monstrosus and Paralejurus spatuliformis trilobites are mined at the Ihandar Formation. It is likely that we will encounter fossil miners in these locations, and you will be able to interact with them and ask them questions. Our Fossils Tour continues as we travel deep into the Sahara to the Mharech oasis, where we stay in a traditional adobe kasbah hotel.
Foum-Mharech (Imi n Mharech in Berber), an isolated 45-metre remnant of a volcano formed by hydrothermal vents, is visible in the distance; this is our focus this morning, where corals, trilobites, and crinoids abound. Rare placoderm fish discoveries have been made here. Jbel el Mrakib is one of several sites in the Maider basin where brachiopods from Devonian layers can be found. We follow the Dakar tracks to the main road at Taouz, where there are some petroglyphs, and spend the night in a Kasbah hotel near the Erg Chebbi dunes.
Today, we return to Taouz and then to the famous Kem Kem beds, which contain Cretaceous-era rocks. Teeth and bones of Spinosaurus and Carcharodonosaurus have been discovered here, as well as crocodiles, dinosaurs, and fish. Another site near Taouz with closely folded Silurian, Devonian, and Ordovician layers and criniods with their labolith. The Filon or Vein 12 mine was once a lead mine; it is now mined for Vanadinite, Hematite, and Byrite, among other minerals, and is one of Morocco’s most mineral-rich sites. We return to Merzouga and stay at the same hotel. We have the option of spending the night in a desert camp and taking a sunset camel ride.
Leaving the golden dunes of Erg Chebbi, we travel north to Rissani, where we stop at an upper Devonian site with orthoceras and ammonoids visible in massive slabs of red limestone. We also go to Kem Kem and Hamar Laghdad, which are Devonian cold seep mud volcano mounds that once supported rich coral reefs. After that, we go to Erfoud, the fossil capital of the world, to see some bell pits where crinoids are mined. The Erfoud quarry contains Orthoceras slabs with goniatites and Devonian rocks. We will visit a factory in the city where the slabs are processed into a variety of functional and visually appealing items. There’s also a museum of minerals and fossils, including dinosaur bones, where you can see many of the fossils we saw on our tour of Alnif. We’ll be spending the night in Erfoud.
Leaving Erfoud, we travel through palm groves and villages to Tinghir, where we take the road up to the Todra Gorge, which features 300-metre-high Jurassic-era walls carved by the river’s waters, making it a popular destination for international rock climbers. On our way back to the city, we detour through the Dades Valley and visit another gorge. This gorge has unusual geological features that have formed interesting shapes as a result of erosion. We return to the valley, following the Dades River as it flows through ancient kasbahs and rose and crop fields. After lunch, we continue to Skoura Palm Grove and Ouarzazate’s cinema city. We can stop to visit one of the Kasbahs before continuing on to Oasis Fint for the night.
After a leisurely breakfast, we set out for the High Atlas Mountains, where we will cross the high pass at 2260 meters, passing through many small villages, fields, and pasturelands. We return to Marrakech, where you have the rest of the day free to have an own customizable tour. Spend the night in the medina.
Today, depending on departure times, a walking guided tour of this ancient medina is available. Transfers to Casablanca/Marrakech airports.
Let’s us meet for another Morocco Tour customized just match your new excitements with your Morocco Luxury tours company.
Here’s the night-by-night plan for your 11-day fossil and geological tour of Morocco:
All the prices on the website are in USD (American dollars) per person. The price is based on a private luxury vacation for two people.
Discounts are available for group bookings:
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