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  #1  
Old 27 May 2008
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Pistes between Mhamid and Tata in Southern Morocco

Hi, I am trying to sort out a suitable route for 3 days with 2 nights wild camping travelling west between Mhamid and Tata. I can use the route from Mhamid to Foum-Zguid (M7 in Sahara Overland), but it is a bit short for two nights camping, unless someone knows of some good offpiste spots for some wild camping off that route.

Does anyone know of any longer routes that pass to the south of Foum-Zguid from the M7 route westwards and on to or near Tata?

Any info very welcome.

Regards,

Diff
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Old 27 May 2008
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We spent four nights on the Mhamid- Foum Zguid stretch. The first was about 50 km out of Mhamid on the east side (a little towards the Algerian border) (PLEASE CHECK POSTS BELOW - I WASNt'T GOOD ON DIRECTIONS HERE!) in some nice low dunes in the river bed near a well. We left the main M-FG piste quite early on and roamed through the hilly region east of the piste ending up in a wide river bed with lovely dunes. We spent another couple of nights near Erg Chegaga (a bit further on and about 30 km east of the main M-FG piste). Erg Chagaga is a nice alternative to the main erg that everyone goes to in Maroc. The final night was after the big dry lake bed and about 5km off piste up a river valley to the west of the piste. There were many such alternatives and there was nothing special about this one, just that it was 'off-piste' and pretty country. These four nights were the best country we covered in Maroc. We wanted to do the same on the FG-tata stretch, but ended up driving the tar road and not finding much opportunity to leave.

Last edited by Richard Washington; 28 May 2008 at 21:33. Reason: pointing out some errors that are fixed in later posts
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Old 28 May 2008
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There is a route that swings south of M7 and back up to the Tata road near an army base down the Oued Mellah as it is called (or Oued Tissimt/Zguid as maps call it) which is a few kms west of Mrhimina. I used a couple of the wpts below (found via Google) to get me on my way but it became very well marked with Dakar rally cairns right up to the pink fort 48kms out of FZ.
Next time in better conditions I would try the direct route 180km from Tata (or 93 from the turn off road) which looks like it goes east across the lake bed and through the Chegaga dunes to rejoins M7 at M7-KM100 or 104. It misses out a really horrible 30kms or rubble track east of Sidi Nebt Whatever. In a Series IIa with kids bouncing around the back for example, I think I would have to call Social Services.

I understand that you cant stay south of the highway (or Jebel Bani) from Oued Mellah or so, all the way to Tata and beyond - ie anywhere along the western Alg/Mori borders. There is a berm (not the Berm) at Sidi Rezzoug and several army obz posts along the way. It is the only area in MK where you cant get very close to the Alg border. Anywhere to the east seems OK until they spot you and take you back.

Ch



Mrimina – Mhamid

29.825400 -7.203950 Right entrada pista

29.734117 -7.204967 pista DAKAR cruce ir cross L

29.660167 -7.202000 oued cross

29.655433 -7.151667 lago seco seguir balizas
………
29.737133 -6.600750 follow balizas

29.793200 -6.614400 cruce ir derecha cruzar lago

29.803283 -6.598900 hacia centro lago Iriki

29.818850 -6.581167 hacia centro lago Iriki

29.835917 -6.580067 hacia centro lago Iriki

29.891350 -6.465683 hacia centro lago Iriki

29.934083 -6.420233 lago Iriki

29.944000 -6.385417 hacia las dunas

29.948217 -6.368067 entrada a dunas por oued de arena

29.948750 -6.351167 Dunas Erg Chegaga ………

29.849317 -6.206683 Dunas Erg Chegaga

29.881900 -6.119933 .Oasis sagrado ?

29.868367 -6.006400 cruce— R Tagounite MHamid

29.838083 -5.883050 Dunas MHamid
………..
29.835700 -5.785683 Dunas MHamid

29.834483 -5.755083 exit dunas

29.824867 -5.718783 MHamid asfalto
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Old 28 May 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Washington View Post
We spent four nights on the Mhamid- Foum Zguid stretch. The first was about 50 km out of Mhamid on the east side (a little towards the Algerian border) in some nice low dunes in the river bed near a well. We left the main M-FG piste quite early on and roamed through the hilly region east of the piste ending up in a wide river bed with lovely dunes. We spent another couple of nights near Erg Chegaga (a bit further on and about 30 km east of the main M-FG piste). Erg Chagaga is a nice alternative to the main erg that everyone goes to in Maroc. The final night was after the big dry lake bed and about 5km off piste up a river valley to the west of the piste. There were many such alternatives and there was nothing special about this one, just that it was 'off-piste' and pretty country. These four nights were the best country we covered in Maroc. We wanted to do the same on the FG-tata stretch, but ended up driving the tar road and not finding much opportunity to leave.
Many thanks Richard and Chris. Sounds Promising then.

Richard, can you clarify, did you head east from Mhamid for your first night, or did you follow the M7 route towards Foum-Zguid then turn left (Southwards) towards the border?
If you went east from the M7 route you would be going back towards Tagounite? Can you check the directions given? I don't suppose you have any way points for any of your offpiste stuff do you?

Thanks for those Waypoints Chris, I will see where they plot on the map and take it from there. Interesting point about not being able to camp south of the road west of Oued Tissint. May have to hit the road at Foum-Zguid afterall then?

Regards,

Diff
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Old 28 May 2008
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May have to hit the road at Foum-Zguid afterall then?


You can certainly draw it out as far as Oued Mellah/Tissimt and it's well worth it if it's not blowing a gale.

I found this image which goes with those Spanish wpts. I only followed the left 3rd of the lowest red track up to where it turned north (KM180/93). Their middle pink bit ('Dunas...') may get around the piste from hell out of Sidi.

Ch
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Pistes between Mhamid and Tata in Southern Morocco-iriki.jpg  

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Old 28 May 2008
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[QUOTE=Diff;191777]Many thanks Richard and Chris. Sounds Promising then.

Richard, can you clarify, did you head east from Mhamid for your first night, or did you follow the M7 route towards Foum-Zguid then turn left (Southwards) towards the border?
If you went east from the M7 route you would be going back towards Tagounite? Can you check the directions given? I don't suppose you have any way points for any of your offpiste stuff do you?

I've checked out the map now and have some more clarity. You're right - I was a bit muddled on the directions.

From Mhamid we took M7 west to Foum Zguid. We left the piste about 30 km from Mhamid and started heading south on tracks that came and went. It was over the stony hamada section I recall that we left the main piste. We followed tracks across country heading vaguely towards (but not reaching) the GPS point at Chigaga (N29 50.685 W06 12.184) which brought us after a few hours on day one to a lovely set of low dunes about the size of a two storey houses in a very large dry river bed. The point was still a good 20km or so as the crow flies from Chigaga (from memory). Tracks run along the edge of the oued where people looking for the best spot to cross. There are plenty of trees growing in the river bed and also a few wells here and there. From where we were the desert was lovely for about a good 15 km further towards the Algerian border. My best guess of the point would be N29 50 W06 03.5
The main piste avoids the oued by going to the north, but this is a pity because it is nice scenary.

The next day we headed on to chigaga (see earlier GPS). That GPS point is near some established camps but you can also find your own dune spot easily enough. We spent another night near N29 52.170 W06 37.979 between Iriki and Foum Zguid. It was very windy, else we would have preferred the smallish dunes you pass about 30 minutes earlier (after the fort) to the south of the last way point. The last waypoint is off the piste, up a valley - a stark but interesting place which was out of the gale that day.

Last edited by Richard Washington; 28 May 2008 at 21:35.
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Old 30 May 2008
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Richard and Chris,

Thank you very much for the clarifications and the detail, it will be very useful.

Regards,

Diff
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