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Best Locations for Horse Riding Safaris in Morocco

Did you know you can go on safari in Morocco? Morocco’s terrain is as diverse as it is beguiling. Ride through fertile lush valleys, stark desertscapes, and gallop along the wild Atlantic beaches located near the vibrant fishing port of Essaouira. Our horse riding holidays in Morocco are for adventurous riders looking for a challenging, but rewarding equestrian escape. Among the best locations for horse riding in Morocco are these stunning landscapes that offer a unique blend of adventure and cultural discovery – there’s even the chance to experience traditional Berber life in the High Atlas Mountains. Trek across the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert, where endless dunes and star-studded night skies offer a chance to completely reset in this remote wilderness.

1. Horse Riding in Essaouira

Riding along Morocco’s coastline will have you traversing across varied landscapes, such as the ancient Argan forests – a UNESCO Heritage Site and home to 80-million-year-old-trees indigenous to this area. The more mountainous areas offer some technical riding, climbing steep hills at some points before heading onto miles of empty beaches where you can really fly across the sands…

If you’re wondering where can you go on a horse riding holiday in Morocco, the coastal desert regions provide an excellent opportunity. Experience thrilling riding as you traverse over miles of sand dunes and enjoy long canters along wild beaches, and meander along ocean cliffs with panoramic views across the North Atlantic ocean. In between rides you’ll camp near the seaside where you can venture into the waters to cool down.

After this exhilarating adventure, the Morocco beach horse riding trail ends at the little fishing village Essaouira, famed for its white alleyways, historical sites and romantic riads.

2. Desert Horse Safaris in the Sahara

The world famous dunes of the Sahara Desert have long attracted adventure seekers eager to discover the desert’s hidden secrets. We can guarantee that the best desert safari in Morocco is on horseback! For confident equestrians the desert trail ride has plenty of opportunities for fast canters and gallops across wide open spaces as you discover some of the most beautiful vistas far off the beaten track. Expect to find sleeping camels between the dunes, and plenty of open spaces which are great for long canters.

Follow the historic paths once used by traders crossing the desert with their camel caravans. These routes offer a glimpse into the history and heritage of the Sahara. Discover hidden oases, lush spots in the midst of the desert provide a stark contrast to the surrounding desert. Interact with the nomadic tribes who have lived in the desert for centuries. Learn about their way of life, traditions, and survival techniques in this harsh environment. The desert safari horse trail in Morocco will reveal an array of cultural sights from the fortified medina of Oulad Driss, the desert village of Mhamid and the ancient kasbah of Benu to name a few…

3. Mountainous Trail Rides in the Atlas Mountains

A bucket-list horseback trail that takes you high into the atmospheric High Atlas Mountains. Spend your days horse riding through the dramatic peaks, weaving in and out of pine, oak and cedar woodlands, open pastureland, and past clean small lakes. The views are sometimes dizzying as you ride along the narrow paths, putting all your trust in your sure-footed steed – no vertigo here please!

The Atlas Mountains are Morocco’s hidden gem, making it one of the best places where can you go on safari in Morocco. This beautiful place offers mountain safari tours in Morocco that are much more relaxed, involving mostly walking, some trotting, and one or two canters per day if the terrain allows. We suggest this trail for a rider who enjoys taking in the scenery and culture at a more leisurely pace. Many of the trails are on very narrow paths, so if you’re not a fan of heights, then this is not the ride for you… Wherever the terrain allows, faster canters are a great reward.

How to Choose the Best Horse Riding Holiday in Morocco

Choosing the best horse safari in Morocco involves blending adventure with cultural immersion. With African Horse Safaris you can be assured we are working with a reputable tour operator, known for well-cared-for horses and experienced guides.

Best Time of Year to Go to Morocco?

Morocco becomes lush and green during the Spring months (mid-March to May), before summer sets in, making it the perfect time to head to the High Atlas Mountains. Explore this spectacular area on horseback, navigating high mountain passes interspersed with beautiful green valleys. As summer approaches temperatures can soar to well over 35°C. This is the perfect time to head to Morocco’s Atlantic coastline where the breeze keeps you cool as you gallop down the empty endless beaches.

In the cooler months, the horses are moved and spend their winter deep in the Moroccan desert. The desert trails run from October to April with highs of 20°C during the day, making great riding weather. This is the perfect time to explore everything the desert has to offer. Desert evenings will be chilly so layering is essential!

What wildlife can you see on a horse safari in Morocco?

Embarking on a trail ride through the captivating landscapes of Morocco offers a unique opportunity to encounter an array of fascinating wildlife. As you traverse the golden dunes of the Sahara Desert, keep an eye out for the agile Fennec foxes with their distinctive large ears, and the majestic dromedary camels, gracefully adapted to the harsh desert environment. Bird enthusiasts will delight in spotting the cream-coloured courser and desert sparrow, both expertly camouflaged against the sandy backdrop. Reptile sightings might include the elusive Saharan horned viper and the robust desert monitor lizard. Amidst the rocky outcrops and sparse vegetation, you may also catch a glimpse of the resilient Barbary sheep and the curious desert hedgehog.

What is the accommodation like in Morocco?

There is a variety of accommodation options whilst horse riding in Morocco and your preference might affect which ride you choose to embark on. The Essaouira and Atlas Mountain rides have a mix of hotel stays and a simple mobile camp which will be moved on each day. As you ride the distance between camps, a support vehicle will be there to meet you for a delicious lunch and then head out ahead to set up camp for your arrival. The camp consists of shared dome tents and a large mess tent for eating and relaxing. Guests will often be asked to help set out the tents and the horses will be tethered nearby. For our Desert trail, you will spend each night at a comfortable riad (local inn) or lodge in small communities in the desert. There is a smaller number of rooms at some of the riads, so there is a limit to the number of guaranteed single rooms. 

What is the food like on a safari in Morocco?

The riding will not be the only highlight of your holiday…The food is also excellent. Typically, meals begin with hot and cold salads and is followed by a tagine which may be served with couscous. Everything is cooked on simple stoves or on the fire. Tea is an important part of the trip, and you’ll soon embrace the special tea ceremonies that accompany most meals. Alcohol is not provided and not easily purchased during your trip. Therefore, it is best if you bring your own alcohol from home or from duty-free if you wish.

What Are the Horses Like in Morocco?

The horses ridden in Morocco are predominantly stallions, with the herd made up of Barbs and crossbred Barb/Arabians. They are ideally suited to this arid and wild terrain, and will be your loyal partner as you explore.They are responsive, forward going, fit and know their job – making for excellent trail horses. When riding in Morocco (as with anywhere, but particularly when in a group of stallions!) It is important that riders keep a good distance from one another at all times.

The riding here is for those who are confident in the saddle and able to control their mount in open landscapes and at a fast pace. It is advisable to be physically fit as sometimes you will need to lead your horse on foot up or down steeper terrain.

What is the Pace Like on a Trail Ride in Morocco?

Morocco offers a mix of paces; set to suit whichever terrain you are riding over. You can experience some periods of slower riding as you cover rocky and soft ground but expect fast canters and flat out gallops. Picture yourself whizzing through the desert, with the wind in your hair and sand spraying past your face (sometimes in your teeth ‘cause you’ll be smiling so much) – there is no better rush! This intoxicating country looks even more mesmerizing from astride your athletic Arab or Barb stallion – it’s as if you’ve stepped back in time to a land of Arabian nights and bygone days…

Deciding on Where Can You Go on Safari in Morocco?

So now that we’ve answered your burning question, “can you go on safari in morocco?”, it’s time to make a decision. Are you keen for an adventurous riding holiday that crosses mountains, craving the thrill of cantering accross the desert or riding along dream-like beaches in Africa?

This blog was written by Tara McGovern


Riding in Morocco is a journey we’d love to plan with you, check out our collection of horse riding holidays in Morocco here.

Chat to one of our horse safari experts, and we’ll help you find the best horse riding holiday.