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Larbi Anzal

I was born into a small traditional village on the Marrakech Plain. Agriculture was the main means of livelihood– livestock and crops – and I had to play my part in my family’s farming activities each day, throughout the year.

I attended primary school and this involved a mile walk each way, twice a day. Of my class, only two of us were able to progress to high school In Marrakech. My cousin and myself, at age 12, looked after ourselves in a small house in the city, getting ourselves to school each day as well as cooking our meals and doing our laundry. But endeavour paid off and I was able to progress to college and take courses in first Practical Science and then Business Management .

After this, I first worked for an English tourism company based in Morocco, gaining much further practical business management training. I was eventually given full responsibility for all of the company’s financial matters. I also took part in many of the trips that the company organised, gaining many certificates including Mountain Rescue and from the Moroccan Guide Federation. I am also qualified to lead rock climbing and kayaking.

Today I am the owner and manager of my own company, Anzal Tours (Anzal Tourisme Services, ATS), founded in 2007. My life’s journey has taken me far but it has not made me forget my home village on the Marrakech Plain, a place to which I return frequently. To journey is good, to return fulfilled is even better.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"With extensive experience gained over many years in Moroccan tourism and with a deep and strong network of Moroccan service providers, my company, Anzal Tours, specializes in both Hiking and Trekking Tours in the High Atlas as well as Traveling Tours the length and breadth of Morocco. Such tours can be of any duration and at all levels of demand, from the very gentle to the demanding.

In particular I am also very pleased to offer our special Highlight Tours. These are several day options out from Marrakech that uniquely take our travelers to mostly unknown places, well off the beaten track, and that give opportunities to meet and engage with people and to see daily life as it truly is (with opportunities to participate as well).

One of our most enjoyed and appreciated Highlight tours is spending a day in my own village on the Marrakech Plain, engaging and participating with the villagers in their daily activities."

How did you get involved in travel?

"After finishing my studies in High School I gained very good experience in the tourism industry spending many years training and working with an English company that specialized in the provision of outdoor activities. These activities included hiking and trekking, mountaineering, rock climbing, kayaking and camping.

In addition, the company was heavily involved in providing Team Building activities and I was responsible for the planning and management of such events.

Further (and this led to my present strong interest in Traveling Tours) Sahara expeditions) were undertaken, exploring the hot desert landscapes of Southern Morocco.

After 7 years in this company, I founded my own company, ANZAL TOURS (ANZAL TOURISME SERVICES, ATS), in 2007. I now work with UK Educational Tour Operators (for student groups) and with Healthy Holidays (providing their hiking programmes) as well as providing comprehensive tailor made tours for adult groups and private client groups. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"During an annual winter mountaineering training with some experienced mountaineering climbers from various countries, we planned to climb Angour mountain.

We left Marrakech at 03:30 toward Oukaimden (about 76 km South Marrakech), arriving at 05:00. After thoroughly checking the equipment and getting ready to start, we began the climb at 05:30.

It was dark and very cold; we were at around 3,000m. I was anxious about what lay ahead. We started using ropes to ascend further at 11:00; everyone had to use their climbing skills. The cliff was very high and the snow very slippery with some Ice in some places. After a big effort we eventually attained the summit.

I was so pleased to be the 3rd of 9 climbers to make the top at 18:00. The last of the 9 finished the climb at 21:00, three hours later. This further reinforced my satisfaction in achieving success in such a demanding challenge. It was very cold at the summit and to wait there was very hard, but it was all part of the experience and working as a team.

The return journey was treacherous – only once everyone is safely back home can you claim success. With falling temperatures the snow was very icy and it was all in the dark.

After another 4 hours of walking we reached our starting point where we had left the vehicles; they were a very welcome sight. Departing for Marrakech at 01:00, we arrived back in to the city at 03:30, 24 hours after the start.

I was extremely exhausted but also so very exhilarated. It had been a great climbing challenge, involving both strength (physical and mental) and mountain climbing techniques. But, working as a team, in the High Atlas environment, left a long and lasting memory. If you try, if you are encouraged and if you are supported by a strong team of like-minded people, so much can be achieved."

Featured trips & expertise

Outstanding mountain and valley views guaranteed
4 Great Hiking Regions Near Marrakech

The High Atlas mountains are more than just a backdrop for vibrant Marrakech. Only an hour from the city, spectacular scenery and culture await you, with plenty of trails to choose from. Check out one of these four easily-accessible regions and immerse yourself in varied terrain, stunning views, and local Berber culture.

Marrakech
Top 5 Day Trips from Marrakech

Vibrant Marrakech is perfectly situated between some of Morocco's most stunning sights, all well within reach for a memorable day trip. Whether you want to explore the Atlas Mountains, sunbathe on the Atlantic coast, or immerse yourself in traditional Berber culture, we've got plenty of ideas for one-day excursions from the city.

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Extending from the Mediterranean Shores and Rif mountains in the north to the Atlantic Shores to the west to the hot desert lands of the Sahara in the south, Morocco is a vast country with a huge range of landscape regions. Cutting across its midline are the Atlas mountains, with the Sahara on one side and the more lush, coastal regions on the other.

Camel trekking in Morocco
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Morocco has activities for travelers of all ages and interests. With such a diverse landscape — from plains to mountains to coast and desert — Morocco is a great place both for both adventure and relaxation. Check out our list of favorite things to do, below.

Sand dunes in Erg Chebbi in Sahara desert
Highlights of Morocco

The choices are endless. Morocco offers a lifetime of places to explore, but for most of us with a limited amount of time it's best to pick a few key places. We have put together a list of places and regions to consider as you go about the process of putting together the perfect itinerary.

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Best Time To Visit Morocco

Morocco is a vast country, stretching from its Mediterranean shores in the north, its Atlantic coastline to the west, to the Sahara in the south. As a result, Morocco’s climate and weather vary greatly and this influences the best times to visit particular areas of the country.

Recent trip reviews for Larbi

Morocco spring break, Morocco - Mar 23 - Apr 1, 2018

Traveler: Mathew V. - Local specialist: Larbi Anzal

Pluses:
+ we loved the people, country and culture of Morocco
+ our driver Moad was good - friendly and drove very safely over the 1,500 kms we
+ 2 places we stayed in Quarzazette and Marrakesh were good

Negatives:
- Larbi, does not review the trip advisor ratings of places he books people into. He claims 3 stars, but the ratings are much worse and the experience is just as spotty.
- the bathrooms in the desert saffari were terrible and the “standard luxury” tent was mattresses laid on... read more

Pluses:
+ we loved the people, country and culture of Morocco
+ our driver Moad was good - friendly and drove very safely over the 1,500 kms we
+ 2 places we stayed in Quarzazette and Marrakesh were good

Negatives:
- Larbi, does not review the trip advisor ratings of places he books people into. He claims 3 stars, but the ratings are much worse and the experience is just as spotty.
- the bathrooms in the desert saffari were terrible and the “standard luxury” tent was mattresses laid on carpets. There was no “luxury”. Clearly a bait and switch operation.
- when we pointed out the poor quality about some of the places we were staying in, his reaction was pretty much take it or leave it, you are on your own. This was true especially on our last day in Casablanca.

Conclusion:
- we would NOT recommed using Larbi.

Larbi Anzal, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Mathew, for taking time to write a review of your tour. Such reviews are read with care and all points raised by our travelers are considered and evaluated and acted upon where needs be. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the itinerary with a safe and helpful driver; this is very encouraging to hear. Anzal Tours has great itinerary planning specialists and it was good to develop your bespoke tour itinerary to be just as you wished. Regarding your accommodation comments, however,... read more

Thank you, Mathew, for taking time to write a review of your tour. Such reviews are read with care and all points raised by our travelers are considered and evaluated and acted upon where needs be. It is great to hear that you enjoyed the itinerary with a safe and helpful driver; this is very encouraging to hear. Anzal Tours has great itinerary planning specialists and it was good to develop your bespoke tour itinerary to be just as you wished. Regarding your accommodation comments, however, your tour was booked on a 3* accommodation basis. Your comment about your “standard luxury” tent is not what was costed; in fact there is no such classification as “standard luxury” tent. We offer only either standard tent or deluxe tent and you had standard desert tent. I note your comments about stating that the “bathrooms were terrible” and I will certainly raise this with the Bedouin tent company to enquire about their provision. We had other travelers staying in the same Bedouin camp when you were there and no such negative comments have been received but, of course, I will be checking. Your hotel in Casablanca, although your tour was costed on a 3* accommodation basis, Anzal Tours had actually booked for you a 4* hotel, an hotel that has given us no cause for concern from any of our previous travelers. It was around 17.30 when you ‘phoned me to ask to change the hotel but at such short notice this was not viable. I believe that you asked for one room in the hotel to be changed for you and this was done. But I am soon to be in Casablanca so I will make a point of calling in to the hotel and check it. As both the itinerary planner and tour component coordinator for your tour I, Larbi, always keep a close eye on our traveler provision so I thank you for your observations. Larbi Anzal