Waterfalls in Marrakesh
The Ouzoud Falls also known as the Cascades d’Ouzoud, are located in the Atlas Mountains about 100 miles northeast of Marrakech. They are a popular tourist destination known for their beautiful scenery and Berber cultural heritage. This vast site is an important Moroccan tourist spot, 30 km from Azilal, 120 km from Beni Mellal, and 150 km northeast of Marrakech.
A Description of the Ouzoud Falls
Everyone agrees that this is the biggest and most impressive waterfall in Morocco. It’s 110 m(350 feet) tall in three sections and has a massive flow of water practically year round from the river it gets its name from, making for a stunning show of sights and sounds. They are often overlooked by a rainbow, and located in an oasis like rural verdant wadi or valley of red sandstone, planted with olive groves, almond trees, fig trees, and other carob trees, or a dozen small traditional oil mills are still in operation.
Visiting the Fall at Ouzoud
The Ouzoud Falls are located in the town of Tanaghmeilt, near Azilal and about 90 miles (150 km) from Marrakech. They are a popular day trip destination for those staying in Marrakech, along with the city of Essaouira. If you have limited time and must choose between the two, I recommend the waterfalls as they offer a more unique experience compared to exploring the medina in Marrakech. However, it is often crowded with tourists, especially on weekends, so it is best to plan your visit for a weekday.
To reach the falls, walk past the signs for Riad Cascades d’Ouzoud towards the precipice, where converging paths wind down towards the falls.
There are two options for getting to the falls, both of which take about 6 hours round trip. You can either book a day tour or hire a taxi. I only recommend the latter if you have a group of 3-4 people and want to set your own departure and return times, as the round trip taxi ride can cost between 1500-1700 dirhams.
You should also keep in mind the cost of hiring a mountain guide, which is usually between 30-50 dirhams per person and offered at the entrance to the falls. While it is not strictly necessary, it is recommended due to the low cost and the fact that the route can be easy to get lost on even though it is generally well-marked.
There are also rafts available for those who want to experience the falls in a more adventurous way. It is important to note that the falls are free to visit, but there is a charge for parking and using the boat at the bottom.
The tourist site, calm and natural, entirely pedestrian, offers many campsites based on rudimentary bamboo and reed huts / huts , bathing places, small restaurants on the terrace of Berber cuisine , shops of Moroccan crafts from the High Atlas , the along a footpath that descends to the foot of the waterfall.
The Macaque monkeys of the Ouzoud Falls
Visitors can walk around the falls and observe the permanent resident troop of macaque monkeys. It is also important to avoid wearing sunglasses around the monkeys and to avoid directly touching them.
Although classified as a Site of Biological and Ecological Interest (SIBE), this are is increasingly distorted by tourist activities. These affect in particular the behaviour of wild Berber macaques, accustomed to receiving food from tourists. Each year, new businesses appear gradually reducing the vegetation that once offered shelter to local wildlife. Waste and wastewater are often discharged directly on site, particularly in the wadi.
What does Ouzoud mean?
The name “Ouzoud” means “the act of grinding grain” in Berber culture.
Visiting Cascades D’ouzoud
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