In the heart of the Moroccan desert, just 45 minutes from downtown Marrakech, lies a spectacular nomadic retreat inspired by the brilliant minds of Habitas. The brand new Agafay Caravan will open in October as a stunning new escape to Morocco.
Inspired by the imagination and spiritually connected experience of Burning Man, Caravan Agafay will support nomadic Bedouin culture while embracing local traditions of community life. With a focus on an immersive glamping experience, the property will span 12 acres and feature 20 beautifully designed Moroccan canvas wall tents, all with views of the Atlas Mountains. Travelers will enjoy a gourmet restaurant using local ingredients, two swimming pools, a horse and camel stable, an outdoor cinema, and a yoga/wellness center.
I spoke with Oliver Ripley, the CEO of Habitas, about what inspired him to open a new property in Morocco. “Morocco has always been a destination we wanted to take Habitas to,” he said. “As a country rich in culture, nature, history and with very warm and welcoming people, we felt it was a perfect match for our vision: human connection, authentic experiences, learning and discovery.”
“As with all of our ‘homes’, the sense of discovery and exploration for our guests is crucial. Morocco embraces this with a keen sense of adventure, from the cities of Marrakech and Casablanca to the Atlas Mountains , from the Saharan desert to the rich coastline. While Marrakech is well known around the world, Agafay is an unknown secret just a short distance away.”
“Our new desert retreat is close to Marrakech and close to Europe and allows guests to fully immerse themselves in the desert and experience local tribes, culture and programming. The desert holds a very special energy and the respect we have for it.Our guests can enjoy a rich programming of adventures, magical sunrises and sunsets, communal dining experiences, traditional wellness, including massage therapy. the horse, and genuine connections with the local community.”
“Caravan Agafay is just the beginning for us in this enchanting country. We are already working on several other sites in Morocco that will create bonds between locals and visitors, sharing Moroccan hospitality (which is kind, welcoming with great smiles!).”
The Agafay Desert is an arid, rocky landscape and one of the last stretches of natural desert in the country. Visitors come to horseback ride, watch the dunes, canoe on the Takerkoust Dam, visit Berber villages built of mud, and marvel at the sight of nomads and herders in the distance. It’s the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, where you can truly experience the nomadic life.
A typical day of adventure in this remote region might include visiting the valleys of Imlil, Ait Mizan, Ait Souka and Asni and hiking to the Toubkal waterfall. Visit the market town of Tahnaout, where they make argan oil from the local nuts, and take a traditional camel ride through the Moulay Brahim Valley.
I’m a huge fan of Habitatas and its goal of creating a diverse community of people, all seeking human connection and authentic experiences while creating a better future together. With the concept of creating one-of-a-kind luxury resorts, they have minimal impact on the environment while focusing on people to build deeper human connections. They also have a direct impact on local communities through education, employment and the creation of sustainable micro-economies. Habitas currently has single properties in Mexico, Namibia and Saudi Arabia and is expanding with more destinations in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
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