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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."

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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.