Visiting Ouzoud Waterfalls with rainbows and monkeys in Morocco.
Spending November in Morocco was the best time for it considering the weather. It was hot by the coast and cooled down in the evenings with lots of easy breezes passing through. As soon as I got to Marrakech, I set my sights on finding a way to do some hiking and see nature outside the city. I love exploring cities but I get a bit harried by the business and craziness of them sometimes. Hearing about the Ouzoud Waterfalls and Imili in the Atlas mountains became a must-do for me as a day trip.
The Ouzoud waterfalls
The Ouzoud waterfalls is surrounded by thousands of olive trees and these stunning falls plunge 360 feet (110 meters) to the ground below. There’s two ways to get to the falls. There’s the long way where you do some walking (easy hiking) and get all around to see the mini waterfalls that lead to the biggest and highest falls. The other way is to park at the top and just walk to the falls.
Obviously, I am going to recommend to see the Ouzoud waterfalls from the long & scenic route. It’s much more enjoyable, rewarding, and offers different viewpoints to see the falls. Photo opportunities are endless but if you go in the afternoon, it gets super bright. While you DO get to see a rainbow, the lighting is harsh.
I suggest getting a morning pickup (taxi or bus ride) from your hotel or riad in Marrakech, travel by 4×4 vehicle or minibus 93 miles (150 km) northeast to the village of Tanaghmeilt in the Atlas Mountains.
At 360 feet (110 meters) high, Ouzoud Waterfalls are the highest waterfalls in North Africa. Ouzoud means ‘olive’ in the Berber language of Morocco, so you’ll see olive trees surrounding the area and the falls. Follow the short path to see the six different waterfalls. They start out small and get bigger as you continue down the trail.
The area also has macaque monkeys around. Be sure to keep snacks away and in your bag or they WILL get stolen like this guy’s package of oreos. They are not scared by humans at all so watch out!
Continue carefully to get to the bottom of Ouzoud Wafalls for some more great places to take photos. At the bottom, you can take a short boat ride to get closer to the falls for a small price. There’s also a touristy (aka overpriced) restaurant with tagine but the seating provides epic views of the falls. It is a great way to enjoy some time and hear the roaring of the water. I recommend the chicken with potatoes or french fries.
On the way back, you’ll past a ton of souvenir shops with owners trying to sell you trinkets for 1000x the price. Remember that you MUST bargain. Even if you bargain, you’ll still get a bit ripped off since that’s the nature of the beast. Try to avoid eye contact if possible. This is much more easier if you’re female and with a guy since they will hassle the guy more.
One more thing that rubbed me the wrong way in Morocco – especially the big cities but even during this day trip is that EVERYBODY is trying to make a buck as easily & quickly as they can. If you pause and take a tree of someone’s little donkey, they demand money for the photo. Don’t even think about LOOKING at a person with a monkey or a snake in the city because you’ll get hounded for cash. Tour guides are shady about how much things cost and will inflate the price if they can get away with it. As a result, it’s sad to say most tourists end up leaving with a bad taste in their mouth.
Overall, I would visit Morocco again because it truly is a different place. The country is raw and beautiful.
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