Morocco has one of the most significant fossil deposits in the world. Wayne and myself (Estela) decided to put our adventure shoes on and experience the Moroccan fossil safari tour. In our remarkable journey we discovered many incredible minerals, dinosaur bones and fossils. We travelled through the picturesque desert landscape of the Sahara in Eastern Morocco, explored Marrakesh, rode on desert camels and visited the local Berber families.
We decided to create a journal to help curious adventurers who are interested to go on a fossil hunting tour in Morocco.
We experienced a very cultural and thorough dinosaur and fossil hunting tour thanks to the company Epic Zagora Tour. They provided us with the best fossil adventure, great accommodation, delicious local food and an unforgettable adventure.
So Yidir encouraged Wayne to slowly dig some more because if you find one tooth, there will be more around where Wayne’s digging. Wayne found several dinosaur teeth that morning.
It is best to note that the cave has a sandstone roof, the soil is not stable and is very unsafe. The cave was so small that you had to be crawling on all fours legs and dig gently to find some fossils. There was a thin band inside the cave which was about a few inches deep that contains dinosaur fossils. Wayne was very excited and in high spirits.
After Ebagaa, we were invited to Yidir’s home for tea. Yidir’s village is Lbigaa, south of Merzouga, the last village of Morocco which is in borderline of Morocco and Algiers. We were served hot mint tea, cakes, olives, bread, date syrup and freshly picked figs which was so sweet.
Yidir showed us his collection of dinosaur bones, teeth and other fossils he dug from the mountains . There were dinosaur fossils everywhere. Waynes eyes were so big and dilated when he saw the unbelievable collection. He offered these to Wayne and Wayne was happy to buy some of his collection. There was a firmly intact dinosaur raptor claw, which was this Nomads pride and joy. He found this raptor claw many years ago, but of course he will only part with it if you offered him a very good price. We left Yidir and headed towards Marrakech.
Whilst driving through the desert we came across a place where people have a sand spa. This spa is different from the pampering kind that we know of. They dig holes in the sand for people to put their bodies into, they then completely cover you with sand. This process is said to help detoxify your body. Wayne and I could not believe how intense this looked. With the combination of the soaring temperatures and the hot sand, we may not be able to survive this sand spa experience.
There was a little boy holding the smallest animal in the Sahara desert called the Fennec Fox. I was lucky to be able to pose for a photo with an elderly Nomad woman in her tent.
Heading towards Marrakech we stopped at Tinghir Restaurant, Ourzazate for my birthday lunch. It was 48 degrees (118 Fahrenheit) and we decided to have a quick nap in a travellers room.
We contiued on the road again. We went passed Imidir, largest mine in all of Africa which produces silver. We stopped at the Todgha Georges and found a magical oasis where the crystal clear water flowed through the rocks forming a river. It is a very popular place for the locals to cool off. The local also placed watermelons in the river to act as a natural refrigrerator. Amazingly this place is a real surprise, coming from the Sahara desert. We stopped at Hotel Ecobio Hotel in Boumalendadas. This the place where Wayne ordered a cake for my birthday, which was a wonderful suprise. The word cake in Berber is Maskouta.
On the final day of our fossil hunting tour, we woke up very early in the morning (5 am) to see a few more places before we headed back home. Our tour guides wanted to show us more gorges and also a mountain called Toes of the Monkeys/ Monkey Feet/ Monkey Toes.
We came back to our hotel at 7:30 for breakfast and afterwards we headed off to Marrakech. We stopped by the Valley of the roses at Kelaat M’ Gouna. The roses bloom in April and they would produce an amazing rose fragrance.
We stopped at a town along the way and we tasted the fruit of Sweet Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia ficus-indica). We were suprised to find it very sweet, fragrant and really refreshing.
We arrived back at Ksar Anika in Marrakech around 3 pm. We and packed and safely wrapped all the fossils, dinosaur teeth and dinosaur bones to be shipped back home. It was amazing to see all the things we collected from our fossil hunting tour. We woke up early to head back home to Australia. Our fossil safari in Morocco is a fun and unforgettable experience worth doing again.
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