Located by the village of Tanaghmeilt in the High Atlas Mountains, the Ouzoud Waterfalls (Cascades d’Ouzoud) are Morocco’s highest falls. They are a magnificent sight, tumbling 361 feet (110 meters) through a dramatic red-rock gorge of El Abid River.
A popular day trip from nearby Marrakech, the three-tiered Ouzoud Falls provide a magnificent backdrop for hiking or picnicking, as they are surrounded by lush greenery and trees teeming with macaque monkeys. Clamber down the stone steps into the gorge and you can swim beneath the falls, take a raft ride across the river, and explore the natural caves carved into the cliffside. Most full-day tours from Marrakech include stops along the way to admire the mountain scenery and many include lunch at a traditional Berber restaurant.
Depending on the time of the year that you visit the waterfalls, you’ll be able to do some additional activities.
1 – SWIMMING
If you visit Ouzoud during the summer, the water of the Al abid river will be warm enough to swim in it. There are different pools where one can swim right at the bottom of the Ouzoud waterfalls.
If the current is not too strong, it’s possible to go a bit farther from the falls and swim in a calmer part of the river away from the crowds.
2 – TAKING A SMALL BOAT RIDE
There are small boats on the first pool of water at the bottom of the falls.
If you go on that boat ride, be prepared to get wet. I would suggest bringing a rain jacket and a water-resistant camera to enjoy the experience to the fullest.
3 – SEE THE BARBARY MONKEYS
One of the main reasons so many people visit this site apart from the beautiful waterfalls is the presence of wild Barbary monkeys. They play in the trees and hang out all around the river and the cascades.
But please, keep these monkeys wild and don’t feed them!
The waterfalls are relatively safe to visit. The path is well marked and it’s almost impossible to get lost. A few parts that overlook the waterfalls, however, could be dangerous, especially near the top of the great cascade not too far from the entrance of the site.
The falls are very high (about 110-meter) so I would advise treading on the paths and the cliffs that surround them with caution. I’m sometimes a bit scared of heights myself and wouldn’t lean too close to the edge of the falls.
The Ouzoud cascades can be visited the whole year-round. It’s much busier during summer but that’s the best time of the year to go if you want to swim in the pools at the bottom of the falls.
There is more water during winter and usually a lot fewer tourists, so if you don’t mind that it’s too cold to swim, winter is probably the best time to visit the Ouzoud waterfalls.
If you book a tour to the Ouzoud waterfalls, you’ll save a lot of time that you would have otherwise spent in finding public transport to get there.
You can expect a smooth ride in a very comfortable air-conditioned minibus and a few stops for refreshments along the way.
The pick-up will be directly at your hostel or hotel in Marrakesh or at the Jemaa el Fna square in the morning. Most tours will provide you with an English or French-speaking driver. Some tours will include a local guide at the falls in their price while others won’t.
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