Deep in the Moroccan desert, only 45 minutes from downtown Marrakech lies a dramatic nomadic retreat inspired by the brilliant minds at Habitas. The all-new Caravan Agafay will open in October as a stunning new escape in Morocco.
Inspired by Burning Man’s imagination and spiritually connected experience, Caravan Agafay will support nomad Bedouin culture while embracing the local traditions of communal living. 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 locally sourced ingredients, two swimming pools, a horse & camel stable, 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 bring Habitas to,” he said. “As a country rich in diverse culture, nature, history and with very warm and welcoming people, we felt it aligned perfectly with our vision: human connection, authentic experiences, learning, and discovery.”
“As with all our ‘homes,’ the sense of discovery and exploration for our guests is crucial. Morocco embraces this with a high sense of adventure, from the cities of Marrakech and Casablanca to the Atlas Mountains, the Saharan desert to the rich coastline. While Marrakech is well known globally, Agafay is an unknown secret a short distance away.”
“Our new desert retreat is close to Marrakech and within close proximity to Europe and allows guests to immerse fully with the desert and experience local tribes, culture, and programming. The desert holds very special energy and the respect we have for her. Our guests can enjoy rich adventure programming, magical sunrises and sunsets, communal dining experiences, traditional wellness including horse therapy, and authentic connections with the local community.”
“Caravan Agafay is just the beginning for us in this enchanting country. We are already working on several more locations in Morocco that will create connections between locals and visitors, sharing Moroccan hospitality (who are kind, welcoming people with big smiles!).”
The Agafay Desert is a barren, rocky landscape and one of the country’s last remaining expanses of natural desert. Visitors come for horse-riding, dune-gazing, canoeing on Takerkoust Dam, visiting local mud-built Berber villages, and marvel at the sight of nomads and sheepherders in the distance. This is the perfect escape from the bustle of Marrakech, where you can truly experience life as a nomad.
A typical day of adventure in this remote area could include visiting the valleys of Imlil, Ait Mizan, Ait Souka, and Asni and trekking to the Toubkal waterfall. Visit Tahnaout town market, where they make Argan Oil from the local nuts, and take a traditional camel voyage to Moulay Brahim Valley.
I am a huge fan of Habitas and its focus on creating a diverse community of people, all seeking human connection and authentic experiences while creating a better future together. With the concept of creating unique luxury resorts, they have minimal impact on the surroundings while focusing on the people to make deeper human connections. They also directly impact local communities through education, employment, and the creation of sustainable micro-economies. Habitas currently has unique properties in Mexico, Namibia, and Saudi Arabia and is expanding with more destinations across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.