SAHARAN CHALLENGE

11-16 October 2023

.. Extra Day & NEW 50KM Ultra Option

Push yourself further – take on The Saharan Challenge! It’s 2 marathon distances over 2 days, with a 50km Ultra option on day 2 if you’re up for it! A fantastic route through the Draa Valley down to sun baked dunes on the desert edge, with rugged mountain scenery, and a Bedouin style basecamp. This 6 day trip has it all – a tough challenge, stunning scenery, luxury camping, camaraderie, full support, and 2 nights in magical Marrakech either side of the challenge. An unforgettable Moroccan adventure – and some welcome autumn sunshine!

The Adventure

The UNESCO World Heritage Draa Valley provides a dramatic backdrop for our double marathon distance challenge, across baked rocky trails, through red clay Berber villages, and palmeries, down to the sandy dunes of the mighty Sahara – with a 50km Ultra option on day 2. After a tough day under the Moroccan sun, relax in our private Bedouin style campsite with hot showers, dining tents, a bar with cold drinks, entertainment, and luscious local food.

2023 is a great for an adventure – join us and do something special!

We fly from London to Marrakech on Wednesday  (‘land only’ optional also available) – and have a night in a good Marrakech hotel. Early Thursday we transfer across the Atlas Mountains to our Basecamp near Zagora.  3  unforgettable nights at our Bedouin style camp – with 2 tough marathons in between – and a 50km option on the final leg for those who are ‘up’ for it! Then back to Marrakech for a welcome  hotel room and a bit of a celebration!

Home for 3 memorable nights – and the ‘home-comforts’ may surprise you! There’s proper plumed in toilets, hot showers, single occupancy tents, a massive dining area, entertainment, a well stocked bar, medical tent, and fantastic freshly prepared food by our local chefs.

A 42 km marathon distance challenge at your pace on each of the 2 days – with a 50 km option instead on the final day for those who want it! Early starts on the both days – with Friday a good warm up through varied scenery and villages. On Saturday we set off from Basecamp and head down to the dunes on the edge of the Sahara, where a big cheer, a medal, and a cold drink await – whether you’ve done a marathon or the 50 km ultra. If we have the energy – there’s plenty of time for a celebration meal & beer back at camp!

It’s your challenge, and our support is geared up to handle leisurely walkers, seasoned Ultra runners, and all in between! The route is fully signed, our fully stocked rest stops will keep you going, and we have pace walkers & runners out on the course to team up with.

Just like our UK Ultra Challenges – you’ll find our support is second to none:

  • Rest stops (am & pm)  with snacks, drinks, toilets, medics
  • Lunch stop at half way – cold buffet
  • UK trip leader and core staff & medics
  • Signed route & local guides
  • Showers & evening medical surgery + podiatrists
  • Vehicle support all the way
  • Medal & T-shirt 
  • Challenge App & training material

The Wednesday stay in a  Marrakech hotel will give  a relaxed start to the Challenge – time for a briefing – and plenty of time to travel to basecamp. On the Sunday morning it’s an early transfer back to Marrakesh where a comfortable hotel bed awaits! There’s time to explore some of the highlights of this magical medieval city, or to just relax & recover in the sun by the hotel’s swimming pool.

The challenge is fine for all levels of athletic ability – and you can join as an individual and meet up with others, or as a team of friends or work colleagues and make it a group adventure to remember. You can self fund – just like a holiday – or support a charity of your choice. There’s a ‘land only’ option if you want to organise your flight or maybe to stay in Morocco for extra days.

We will be offering a range of optional trip extension packages which you can book on to.

  • Extra Day in Marrakech  – including  City Tour and visit to a Hammam Spa
  • Head to the Coast– new for 2023, spend a few days in Agadir!
  • Return flights (full package)
  • Transfers (on flights inc package)
  • 3 nights camping 
  • Camping – single tent & mattress
  • 2 nights in Marrakech hotel
  • 2 days tough trekking / running
  • Most meals, snacks & drinks (lunch on arrival day at own expense)
  • Celebratory dinner at Camp
  • Cold beer / drink & medal at the finish
  • Regular rest stops
  • Guided & mapped route
  • Medics
  • Challenge App
  • Kit List & Training Plans
  • FREE place on a 2023 50 km Ultra Challenge
  • Saharan Challenge T Shirt
  • Transfers to camp for ‘Land Only’ participants (£40 extra if you are able to join our group bus transfer from the Marrakech hotel – or £275 for private 4×4 transfer)
  • Personal kit & equipment
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunch on arrival day
  • Alcoholic & fizzy drinks from camp bar / hotel 
  • Tips for local camp crew (we recommend Euro 25 / participant) 

Day 1: Wed 11 Oct  – Arrive Morocco 

  • Depart London for Marrakech
  • Night & dinner in nice hotel

 

Day 2: Thur 12 Oct  Basecamp

  • Transfer to camp via minibus  ~7 hours 

 

Day 3: Fri  13 Oct – 42 km & overnight camp

  • 45 min transfer to start from basecamp
  • Rest stops & lunch en-route
  • Finish back at basecamp

 

Day 4: Sat 14 Oct – 42 or 50 km Ultra & overnight camp

  • Early start from our basecamp
  • Rest stops & lunch en-route
  • Finish line medals & cold beer!
  • Celebratory dinner & party @ basecamp!

 

Day 5: Sun 15 Oct – Marrakech & hotel

  • Transfer to Marrakech ~7 hrs
  • Lunch en-route
  • Group meal @ hotel –  or free evening in Marrakech
  • Hotel overnight

 

Day 6: Mon 16 Oct – Return to UK

  • Depart Marrakech for London

 

NOTE : We will be offering an optional extra day extension package (eg City Tour / Hammam Spa)

The Details

If you’ve done one of our UK Ultra Challenges – you’ll love this unique adventure! There’s the same first class support & hospitality, combined with a great feeling of camaraderie from a group of 130 or so like-minded adventures who are all up for a challenge. Whether you’re a keen walker, or even a would-be ‘Marathon des Sables’ runner, you can join as an individual, with a friend, or as a group, and take the marathons on at your pace. It’s a great value ‘all inclusive’ package – for an unforgettable 2023 Moroccan adventure!

Sign Up Online

Do it for yourself – or support a charity of your choice – sign up online and pay an initial deposit to secure your place. Flights inclusive package – or Land Only option. All participants get a free place on a 50 km Ultra Challenge of their choice to use as a ‘warm up’.

Self Funding - for You

Pay for your event place in full, with no fundraising required.

Sponsorship for Charity

Pay a small registration fee & commit to fundraise for a charity of your choice.

Mixed Funding for Charity

Pay half your place, & fundraise a smaller target for your chosen charity.

Your financial protection: The packages & flights shown are ATOL protected by the CAA in the UK – ATOL number 6296. See booking conditions for more information.

Corporate Team Packages

Are you looking for a new Challenge and a fantastic way to reward & bond a group? Perhaps you have a charity of the year you’d also love to support?

If so, a Saharan Challenge could be perfect for your Team – to re-energise, get fit, and to enjoy an unforgettable adventure together! We provide flexible payment & fundraising options. Push yourselves further in 2023.

Ready to sign up now?

Check Itinerary & Route

SELF FUNDING

Pay for your place, no fundraising target

Flights Included

£1,395 total – £250 deposit & £1,145 balance

Land Only

£995 total – £250 deposit & £745 balance

SPONSORSHIP FOR CHARITY

Pay a small registration fee & fundraise for charity

Flights Included

£250 deposit & £2,300 fundraising target

Land Only

£250 deposit & £1500 fundraising target

MIXED FUNDING

Pay half of your place & fundraise a smaller target

Flights Included

£250 deposit & £1345 fundraising target & £475 balance

Land Only

£250 deposit & £995 fundraising target & £250 balance