There is possibly no wilder land in North Africa than in the province of Souss in Morocco. At 3305 metres, the volcanic peak of Jbel Sirwa dominates the skyline of the Anti Atlas Mountain region west of the Draa Valley. This is one of least frequented trekking regions in the entire Atlas range, however with the right guide and mule team, the difficulties of navigation are eased and the business of enjoying the landscapes and surrounding vistas are amplified. Taliouine is in the heart of this region and is the main saffron growing area in Morocco. Harvest takes four to six weeks with the peak at the end of October, therefore trekking around this time would add the benefit of being able to experience this annual event and also perhaps visit one of the cooperatives.
Jbel Sirwa is also known as Jebel Siroua and is an extinct stratovolcano set in a unique landscape famous for its Berber rugs. Depending on the time of year you choose to visit, the surrounding fields can be full of wild flowers, the transhumance shepherds in their stone built azibs with their summer flocks or the families picking the precious saffron stamens at dawn. Its remoteness and lesser popularity make this a perfect wilderness trek.
A six day trek and ascent is the most popular route with an alternative section if there is snow. There is also another route that can extend your trek to 8 or 9 days. Ask us about Sirwa options.
6 Day Trek in the wilderness landscapes of the Sirwa Mountains.
Day 1: Taliouine - Akhfamane
A gentle walk through Berber villages with fruit trees, nut trees and wild flower filled valleys; a superb start to this trek and an invitation to explore the diversity of this region. The contrasts will be appreciated as the ruggedness comes into view as well as an ancient ruined kasbah. You will pass through several Berber villages as you follow the Zagmouzen river valley. Night in a camp or homestay. 4 to 5 hours walking.
Day 2: Akhfamane - Mazwad - Ti n´Iddr
After breakfast you continue up the valley and through cultivated fields to Arg and trek through the dry river bed shaded by giant boulders and volcanic rocks on either side to emerge at the village of Mazwad with its impressive white minaret; a good place to stop for lunch. Several hours further along the piste brings you to the beautiful village of Ti n´Iddr, perched on a hillside. Camp or homestay. 5 to 6 hours walking.
Day 3: Ti n´Iddr - Atougha -Tegragra
The day starts with a steep strenuous ascent through breath-taking scenery. Adobe houses perched one above the other on the mountainsides and carefully crafted terraced fields full of cereal crops and vegetables come into view as you climb up from the river below. An impressive granary; called an agadir in the local language, is still visible in Atougha at the top of the village, though like so many are no longer in use and in a state of unstable ruin. The trek continues to Tindrass springs for a picnic lunch stop. A few hours of trekking up the valley brings you to the picturesque spot of Tegragra at 2670 m; a fantastic campsite with far reaching views, although cold at night.
Day 4: Tegragra - Jbel Sirwa Summit - Campsite
Today includes a very steep ascent to the summit followed by a steep descent to the Assif n´Ait ou Byal valley. It will be an early start to avoid afternoon cloud and possible weather change on the summit. Ropes are required if you wish to reach the true summit where the volcanic plug sits which is not always possible and depends on weather conditions. The summit at 3305 m offers exceptional panoramic vistas all the way to Igil Mgoun in the Central High Atlas at 4068 m, Toubkal at 4167m as well as many other High Atlas Peaks. Descending with great care you will rejoin the muleteam on the trail below and trek to the campsite for the welcome tea.
Day 5: Campsite - Tizgui - Tislit Gorge
After yesterday’s tough day, today will be a gentle day of trekking down the valleys to the open plains and eventually the green oasis of Tislit Gorge which provides another great camping location.
Day 6: Tislit Gorge - Ihoukarn or Souk Larba (Wednesdays)
After breakfast, you have a short 2 hour walk through the gorge to meet your transport at Ihoukarn, or it is happens to be a Wednesday, you can visit the weekly souk; the market where all the local come from the outlying villages to meet and buy and sell their produce.
In the event of snow, the Guide will take a deviation on days 3 and 4.