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Morocco Explored Tours and Treks

Feb 13

Written by:
2/13/2011 1:16 PM  RssIcon

Interview with Robbin Yager, Morocco Explored Tours and Treks.

What is Morocco Explored?

Morocco Explored (founded in 2004) is Robbin Yager from Canada, and Essalah Chabaoui from Morocco, based in Marrakech, Morocco. We don't have glossy catalogues or cater to luxurious indulgences, or run cheap marginal tours. Instead we chose to provide mid-priced quality tours, while allowing for comfort, good food and a good nights sleep at the end of a long, eventful day. We emphasis the fine balance between comfort and how experiences impress our clients most deeply. By encouraging cultural immersion, we let the tour evolve as our clients relax with the pace of Morocco. We offer optional short or long walks and treks as an alternative to the road, and go into areas less traveled by most visitors to Morocco. All meals reflect regional cuisine, and stays in hotels, auberge and riads are in small traditional / interpreted styles and architecture. With our Moroccan support team of guides, drivers and owners of transport, riads and hoteliers, restauranteurs, crafters and artists, and the many individuals who make up the "desert telephone", we're dedicated to bring the best of Morocco to our explorers.

How did you get involved with travel industry and Morocco?

By total accident. I wrote a novel, "The Power of Nothing" about a traveller lost in the Sahara, and wanted to visit the Sahara to finish the book authentically. Two weeks after 9/11, I landed on Moroccan soil and met the most amazing people. Two years later I designed my first yoga retreat and tour, and it was a success. Two years after that I decided to go full time with the tours, and live in Marrakech. In 2005 I began working with my current partner, Essalah Chabaoui who is the hardest working person I've ever met. We think Morocco Explored has evolved into one of the best small tour companies in Morocco, and we are still growing and changing as we need, to allow our tours to stay that way.

How long have you been operating Morocco Explored Tours?

As of November 2011 it will be 9 years.

What is your favorite Moroccan town, dish, music, spot, city? 

My favourite town is the next one I haven't visited yet. I love to explore the country and find new things, always a delight and always endless varieties of places, people, music and food to discover. After travelling around Morocco for 11 years I still haven't finished my "must visit" list yet! My favourite food is fresh grilled fish from the restaurants behind the Gueliz post office in Marrakech.

What is the most requested region of Morocco by your clients?

By far Marrakech! Its the most written about and publicised city in Morocco. Rightfully so, but it has really changed in 10 years since I first arrived there in 2001. The city streets, gardens, choices of hotels, and shops!! have more than tripled in number and size. Prices have risen hugely, and the people are far more sophisticated and worldly, better educated young people and better infrastructure and air pollution awareness. Thanks for that! After Marrakech I sell my clients tours into the desert, because its simply wonderful out there.

Which Moroccan city or town would you recommend for a short stay?

I really like Tafraoute, it's really unspoiled and wonderful to just hang out and enjoy. I wish I could sell more tours there but then I wouldn't have it all to myself anymore. ( see pictures below)

In your opinion, what is the best time of the year to visit Morocco?

I like the winter months of January and February. The light is clear and gorgeous for photographing, and its not so busy when everyone leaves after the New years Eve party is over. The days are sunny and warm, and the nights cold enough to snuggle under a blanket and keep warm.

What kind of tours Morocco Explored specializes in?

I would say we sell mostly custom made desert excursions, and daytrips from Marrakech - but our company can do almost anything. There are some things we don't bother to even try and sell because other companies do it better, like cheap Imperial city tours and surfing holidays.

What are your top markets (per country)?

The UK and USA are probably the two countries we have most visitors from, but Aussies are a close second or third. They are quite different clients however. UK'ers are mostly couples. USA'ers are mostly families and friends, Aussies a bit of everything. We have clients from all over the planet however, from Iceland to Zimbabwe, Argentina to Russia and everything in between. Ever heard of Sao Tome and Principe? Neither have I but we've had clients from thereā€¦

What is Plastic Bag Cleanup Morocco initiative?

The Plastic Cleanup I write about on the website is something I decided to start after observing all over Morocco, the dire state of her rivers and streams. In North America we stopped treating our rivers like sewers and more like givers of life - with respect - about 20 years ago. There are still some huge industrial problems but peoples awareness is high in Canada where I'm from. My cleanup effort in Tafraoute was to make people aware that its possible to change something thats very destructive, and it can be done one person at a time. I propose that travellers to Morocco give one hour of their time to clean plastic from somewhere, preferably a water way, even if its dry. If travellers and tour companies took one hour of time with their clients for some kind of direct action, the potential impact could be quite enormous.

Any comments or addition:

I would like to add that my next initiative for awareness in Morocco is concerning children and their relationship with tourism and tourists. Some Morocco websites and blogs etc. recommend taking a bag of bonbons or pens etc. for children. This has created a huge problem as it teaches children to beg from foreigners. Visitors wouldn't want their own children doing this - so why do they think it OK to do it in Morocco? Pedophilia is a problem, and many children go missing. Teaching them to run up to foreigners on the street and in vehicles asking for favours is dangerous!  Even Moroccan mothers encourage their children to ask for money! If visitors want to give something in Morocco, give to a registered charity like Education for All, NEVER to children directly.

Morocco Explored Contact Information

Contact Person: Robbin Yager

Web: Morocco Explored

Email: info@moroccoexplored.com

Phone: +1 604 393 3715 (Pacific time Canada) 

+212 667 705 212 (GM time Morocco)

Tafraoute Pictures

Tafraoute Town

Tafraoute City

1 comment(s) so far...


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Re: Morocco Explored Tours and Treks

Tafraoute seems so charming and very quaint!

By Eli on   3/5/2011 3:00 PM

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