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Hafida Hdoubane Tawada Trekking

Jan 10

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1/10/2011 10:29 PM  RssIcon

The interview below is with Hafida Hdoubane, the owner of Tawada Trekking based in Marrakesh Morocco. Hafida is the first Moroccan woman to become a trekking guide.

What is your background, and how did you become a travel guide in Morocco?

I am a native Berber, and when I was small I loved to climb and run especially when I visited my grandfather who lived near Toubkal Massif which is in south of Marrakesh.  As a young girl, I have fond memories of vacations spent in the mountains, and as I have gotten older I have kept this love for the mountains.

After I graduated from Marrakech and Tangier Tourism schools, I traveled to Barcelona where I met with high mountain guides and I trained in climbing, mountain biking and hiking.  Back in Morocco, I did several trekking guide internships where I cooked for groups of travelers, and sometimes assisted with their mules! Once I gained enough knowledge of the mountains and Moroccan desert trekking, I began working at the center of Tabant in the valley of M'goun,

As one of the first Moroccan women guides, did you encounter any difficulties starting up?

The initial difficulty was being accepted for a position at the training center.  However luckily it was staffed exclusively by Berber males from Morocco Central Atlas and as I am Berber myself, I was warmly welcomed in their town. It was also difficult being a female.  The examiners give me my notes, and after the exams I was the only girl that passed the examination.  I have also passed the requirement to become a mountain guide in France which allowed me to be the first Moroccan woman to achieve this honor. I am very proud of this achievement.

What is your favorite hiking place in Morocco?

I prefer the southern mountain region in Morocco, such as the Sarho and Siroua mountains.  I also really enjoy the desert which has some magical places, perhaps this is also because of my nomadic side! Moroccan Southerners are particularly open and welcoming.  I can not really cite one specific preference, as I also like the Atlas Mountains

How hard is to trek in Morocco?

Morocco is a great place to trek, with various levels of difficulty to suit all levels of experience.  As a general rule, a trekker should have a good basic level of fitness which will make hike much easier and more enjoyable.  In some regions of Morocco a little bit of courage is desirable as some of the routes are moderately challenging.  I enjoy helping my clients to reach top of biggest Moroccan mountains and discover Morocco’s natural beauty.

Which items should be packed by hikers visiting Morocco?

As with all hiking it is recommended to carry plenty of water and food due to the potential heat and altitudes.  Also is it advisable to wear comfortable foot wear and clothing and don’t forget your sun screen. Some extra items such as matches, maps, local expert guide, knife and flashlight can be very helpful. 

Why did you decide to start your own company Tawada Trekking? 

During four years prior to starting my own company, I worked for large operators; I do not deny that I gained good trekking and Moroccan tours experience, and developed great organization and customer service skills through these agencies.  My goal as a Moroccan travel guide is primarily to share and show our knowledge of Morocco.  It is my pleasure to get my clients to reach top of the mountains who never thought they could get there. It is often very challenging, and takes some determination to get through long hikes and treks.   In this business, I have been able to create long and lasting friendships and truly love what I do.  I try to share Moroccan naturally beauty via my company Tawada Trekking. 

What kind of trekking tours Tawada Trekking specializes on?

Our specialty is of course is Morocco travel: the hiking, mountain trekking, and wilderness, rafting, however we also offer walking, mountain biking and buggy kite tours.

Which areas of Morocco where Tawada Trekking does offer treks?

We sweep all the mountains of Morocco south, north, east, west, also the desert and the Atlantic coast.

What is the best time of the year to go hiking in Morocco?

Morocco is accessible for hiking throughout the year, however certain times of the year as particularly enjoyable.

For hiking: 

· April to October, we organize the north side of the Atlas, Toubkal, and M'goun trips. 

· October to April, we do the south side of the Atlas Mountains.

· Using 4x4 or minibus, Morocco is great all year long. 

Thank you Hafida for the interview.

Tawada Trekking Information

Web: Tawada trekking

Email: trekhafida@yahoo.fr


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