Philosophy | The Team | Tours | Itineraries | Oriental

Philosophy

An infinite appreciation of the simple things, the true things in life

We could have called this page "our state of mind" but to be honest, we think the term "philosophy" is much better. What follows are many important things we want to share with you…

Everlasting memories !

Whilst we all have a genuine passion for adventure, motorcycling, travel, discovery, sharing, spending time with friends, it would be even less charming if we hadn’t all an infinite appreciation of the simple things and true things in life. We are here to share with you, not just what we have found and fallen in love with, such as breathtaking scenery, amazing colours, wonderful trips, constant marvels, which are a pleasant change from the hectic rush of modern life, but also to give you the opportunity to experience these unforgettable moments for yourselves. We love an adventure and we also enjoy having a laugh, which we hope to do with you !

happy-Go-Lucky and serene

It’s important that we enjoy these carefree moments of calm when surrounded by such beauty and when having fun. Having experienced these tours many times, we look forward to seeing your faces light up with joy when you come on one of these trips with us. Each tour is different but one thing they all have in common is the unforgettable memories you’ll leave with.

A respect for nature

Riding fast through the Moroccan desert on our motorbikes is absolutely thrilling, but respect for the surrounding environment is equally important to us. Riding fast shouldn’t imply being dangerous and causing damage to the environment. We are all conscious of the dangers to our environment and we firmly believe in maintaining the balance between mankind and the earth. Respecting nature, not because its ‘politically correct’ and ‘trendy’ but quite simply because it makes perfect sense. We always remind people taking part in our tours to show respect to the surrounding environment during our initial briefing before departure. Environmental damage affects all of us. The words of Léopold Sédar Senghar illustrate this :

« We don’t inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children. »

We will be travelling across Morocco and other countries too, perhaps, depending on your plans, which requires us to be respectful of the country and its people, who will temporarily be our neighbours. Whether we’re travelling by motorcycle, quad, car, on foot or alone or in a group, let’s show respect to the Moroccan culture, as we have always been welcomed with open arms. We are sure you will agree with us.

Constant marvels

Whether we’re travelling on two wheels or four, danger is still present throughout our journey. Straightforward rules exist which we will remind you of, in order to prevent any premature end to your trip. We naturally don’t want that to happen. Rules don’t however mean that there is no enjoyment. We will cater for everyone, even for those who want to go a little bit faster, but always in secure conditions. Rules are made for everyone and we want them to be followed. Your safety is our priority.

Responsible = Safe

Taking risks and putting your own life in danger can obviously put the entire group’s life in danger also. Let’s bear that in mind and ride safely together as a team.

Effort and Reward

We have so much fun ahead of us. An excellent mix of outdoor fun, discovery, amazement at the things you will see and meeting new people. We are really looking forward to welcoming you and sharing the experience with you of fun-filled days, relaxing evenings around a camp fire and spectacular sunrises in the morning. Another outlook on life, more simple and far removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life, that’s how we see it.


The Team

At the start of this wonderful adventure, here are a few friends and some essential requirements :

We asked a close friend, who is not part of the team, for an unbiased opinion of the people you are going to meet…what follows are a few lines written under duress !

"Each person is responsible for everyone. Each person is responsible for him/herself. Each person is both responsible for him/herself and for everyone"

Our team is made up of many different individuals, which is one of its major qualities. We are at your service to make your stay exceptional and different from all the rest. So join us and share these magical moments in surroundings which are every bit as enchanting ! Our aim is your pleasure and your enjoyment is our reward.

Cedric

Cédric, the youngest in the team, is also the most enthusiastic. Despite his young age, his numerous trips throughout the world have given him a solid grounding in many aspects. His happy-go-lucky attitude is infectious and it’s a pleasure to have him in your company. Constantly on the look-out for new adventures and experiences, he is an extremely open-minded and astute individual. He has a charming personality and although he may be serious when giving advice before each departure, he ensures that your pleasure and enjoyment is paramount. He’s an accomplished athlete as well as being an experienced and avid motorcyclist. Together with his friend and colleague, Claudet, they form a formidable partnership. With them at the helm of this Moroccan adventure, you are guaranteed a memorable trip !

Claudet

With a constant smile and good sense of humour, this pragmatic and ingenious character is the exclusive Yamaha dealer for South West France. A keen traveller and fine connoisseur of Africa and Morocco in particular, where he has organised many tours and rally events. He never leaves anything to chance and the tours he arranges are always organised right down to the smallest detail. If you want to really accelerate and go off the beaten track, Claudet knows all the little paths to take. His sound knowledge of all things mechanical and his well-grounded expertise avoid any long-term problems with the bikes. He really is an interesting individual who will entertain with tales of his many travels. What more can we say ? He’s almost an icon here in our beautiful corner of France.

Jean-Michel

Jean-Michel is a modest,cheerful character who enjoys nothing more than travelling around the world. In charge of logistics, he ensures that no stone is left unturned in making your stay with us both first-class and memorable. If something is not 100% perfect, Jean-Michel has an impressive knack of always finding the right solution. For us he’s absolutely essential to the team. Capable of almost anything, he continually impresses with his impeccable organisational skills, commitment, wisdom, not to mention his cooking ! He’s quite simply a man who lives life to the full.

Thierry

Thierry is one of our assistants. His good sense of humour and jovial nature are second to none. With Thierry around, you’ll lack nothing as he is attentive to your every need ! Even in the most unexpected situations and in the most remote places, Thierry will be there to get you a cold drink or whatever you need. You just have to ask him ! This fearless globe-trotter isn’t short of a story or two and he’ll regale you with tales of his travels. As well as being an excellent host and a generally endearing individual, he’s also a real joker and a pretty unique dancer, who livens up our evening activities. The journey itself is worth it, just to meet Thierry !

Claude

You will perhaps be fortunate enough to meet Claude during your journey with us. Claude works behind the scenes and is therefore the hidden but vital member of Raid Oriental. Extremely precise, Claude doesn’t do things in half-measures. He manages our finances, stocks, staff members, to name but a few of his duties. If you happen to come across Claude, you will appreciate his company as his easy-going personality is both comforting and reassuring. Chatty and with a geuine interest in people around him, this observant young man enjoys nothing more than sitting around a camp fire talking and sometimes even telling the fascinating story of how Raid Oriental began !

Soufiane

Soufiane is the life and soul of Raid Oriental. We would even go so far as calling him our team mascot. He has been involved with Raid Oriental since its inception. He’s somewhat of a legend in his native town of Berkane and walking through it with him can nearly take an entire day as everybody knows him and stops to chat. Being the kind soul that he is, he always stops for a chat, stops to tell someone a joke or has a drink at a pavement café with a family friend. His family, like him, are all legends in these parts. With a keen interest in politics, especially of his native country, he has a rebellious nature and the Che Guevara baseball cap, planted firmly on his head is testament to that. He’s also a fanatic and walking encyclopedia when it comes to football. Whilst being very patriotic, he also has a very open outlook on world affairs. A passionate sportsman, he is part of all our excursions, either as an assistant or guide. His endless line of jokes will brighten up your day. His adventurous and fun-loving nature personifies the spirit of Raid Oriental.

Dominique

And finally a feminine touch to our male-dominated team. And what a lady she is ! Enthusiastic, bright, with an extraordinary eye for detail and a wonderful smile which lights up her face,she’s full of energy and never seems to stop. Highly intelligent wife of the famous Claudet, she has made a name for herself in the team on her own merit. You will have the chance to meet her on your Raid Oriental trip in the Beni-Snassen mountains !

Alain

Alain is the managing director of Raid Oriental. In short, he can do everything. He is organised, conscientious and extremely hard-working and he will be accompanying us on certain trips. Whether working as an assistant or a guide, Alain who is as discreet as he is endearing, will impress you with his constant attention to detail and concern for your comfort and pleasure. Behind his sometimes distant look, he is continually wondering if everything is in order and to the satisfaction of everyone. His consistent aim is for everyone to enjoy themselves. Extremely efficient with his hands, he can skilfully remove, repair and put back an engine in perfect working order. Alain has an engaging personality and a highly infectious laugh.


Tours

Tours

Tour « Tailor-made » for you

The tours we offer are drawn up with you, taking into account your specific wishes. We can naturally suggest particular circuits that we have tried and tested and which we think would be most suitable for you. We know these trails inside out, so well in fact, that we can, and enjoy adapting our efforts to your individual needs. Depending on what you want to do, we can easily adjust an itinerary, improve it or even recommend other activities. Whether it’s on motorbike, quad, bike or on horseback, our excursions are packed full of fun and adventure and we hope to share that fun and adventure with you.

Ladnscape

We witness so many different types of landscape on our travels each day that no one day is the same. Desert conditions, forests, rocky terrain, rolling green hills, so much beauty to feast your eyes upon. So beautiful in fact that you just wish you could freeze time.

Who can participate in one of our tours ?

Anyone can take part. You just simply need to have a sense of adventure and enjoy meeting new people. When we go off on these trips, we often stay overnight with the locals. These are quite simply moments of pure pleasure as these people tend to have a very straightforward way of life, far removed from the hustle and bustle of our modern society. From Tafoghalt to Debdou, from Taourirt to Guefaït and from Jerada to Figuig via numerous little villages, there is always some little delight to take your breath away.

Our commitment to you

If an excursion with the Raid Oriental team interests you, then we would be delighted to meet you to discuss the most suitable circuit. Jump on and ride the Raid Oriental Express for an experience you’ll never forget.

See you soon !

Quad / Motos

Quads

Yamaha Bruin 350

Raid Oriental has selected the Yamaha Bruin 350 model as its choice of quad bike. Quite simply because of its ease of use, its high performance brakes, its excellent manoeuvrability and its comfort. These are obvious qualities that we look for in our choice of motorbike. Those experienced riders among you will recognise these standards, while those of you who are less experienced in the art of motorcycling will soon appreciate the luxury and comfort of these bikes.

For experts and amateurs alike, this quad is easily handled. Beginners, don’t panic ! A quick run-through of the gears with our expert guides before setting off will soon reassure you. Remember, each to their own speed but safety first for all of us. We have 10 high-quality quads available for you to enhance this unforgettable experience.

You can also bring your own quad and this will be deducted from the overall price.

Motos

Yamaha TTR 250 and 600

Yet again we have picked Yamaha as our motorcycle of choice as it’s the best and most reliable in our opinion. Raid Oriental has an excellent range of TTR 250 and 600 bikes for you to choose from.

Robust, easy to ride regardless of your level, this is an exceptional motorcycle for this kind of trip. Our tours aren’t about competing against each other but about having fun with your fellow riders. Our experienced Enduro (long distance off-road endurance race) motorcyclists can easily adapt to any level and enjoy all kinds of tour. We have five TTR 250 and four TTR 600 motorcycles for you to choose from.

You can also bring your own motorcycle and this will be deducted from the overall price.

Equestrian

The photos speak for themselves. Whether it’s a trek on horseback, mule or donkey, everything is possible and quite simply magical ! These treks can last anything from a few hours to a few days in the breathtaking Beni-Snassen mountains. You will stay at Raid Oriental HQ, in little traditional North African style chalets or in the spectacular Ksar (typical North African village consisting of attached houses), which we have created, in accordance with the local architecture, to further enhance the Moroccan experience.

Hiking

Hikes are also highlights of our organised tours. A picnic in the mountains or an overnight stay with the locals, these are just some of the things you can enjoy when you set off on one of our hiking tours. These vary in length according to your wishes. This is a real opportunity to marvel at nature for all those who enjoy the great outdoors. While these excursions differ from our motorcycle outings, they are every bit as rewarding and enjoyable.

Moutain Biking

Another great way to discover this beautiful region is by mountain bike. These particular tours are an excellent combination of fun and sightseeing with the opportunity to spend quality time with others. Several circuits are on offer, catering for everyone’s needs and levels. Half-day and 5-day trips are available for groups of 5 or more.

These excursions will be up and running from April 2009.


Itineraries

What we present here are examples of tried and tested routes, which, over time, we have improved. It is these same charming routes which encouraged us to set up in this region. We have really fallen in love with this place and we hope to share our passion with you. Included here are examples of two particular routes, lasting 5 and 7 days respectively. We naturally adapt our efforts to your available time frame, taking into account that an organised tour lasts a minimum of 5 days for a team of at least 7 people. If you are simply passing through the region and you have no trip planned, or if you are travelling alone or with a group, we also organise tailor-made excursions which vary from a 1 hour initiation to a half-day or 3 day expedition. Meeting point - our site in Tafoghalt !

5 jours

Jour 1

Arrival at Oujda airport, Nador or Mellila ferry port. Minibus transfer to Tafoghalt, out in the open, among the tracks in the heart of the Beni-Snassen mountains. Evening entertainment and typical Moroccan meal at Raid Oriental headquarters as well as an equipment overview and a tour guide briefing.

Jour 2

Tafoghalt / Taourirt

Terrain conditions : rocky, crossing of El Oued and fast over the Beni-Snassen mountains.
Midday stop at the wonderful Mohammed V Dam. Journey to Taourirt with breathtaking scenery in the friendly and welcoming douar villages.

Jour 3

Taourirt / Aouam

Terrain conditions : rocky, thorny, sandy, crossing through the Oued provinces and forests abounding in game.
Heading south with a delightful stop in Debdou where we will dine in a typical 11th century Merinid kasbah before setting off to the remote village of Aouam, where we will eat a traditional méchoui (barbecue of a whole roast sheep) and spend the night.

Jour 4

Terrain conditions : rocky, damp, slippery, sandy in the Oued provinces, crossing of long, magnificent rivers.
Final day of amazing fast-riding conditions. A charming stop-off at the HASSAN II Dam followed by our return to Tafoghalt, via the Beni-Snassen mountains. Evening entertainment in Saïdia.

Jour 5

Excursion to markets in Berkane and Saïdia with the opportunity to buy some gifts and souvenirs before heading back to the airport or ferry ports with countless memories of a fantastic trip.

7 jours

Jour 1

Arrival at Oujda airport, Nador or Mellila ferry port. Minibus transfer to Tafoghalt, out in the open, among the tracks in the heart of the Beni-Snassen mountains. Evening entertainment and typical Moroccan meal at Raid Oriental headquarters as well as an equipment overview and a tour guide briefing.

Jour 2

Tafoghalt / Taourirt

Terrain conditions : rocky, crossing of El Oued and fast over the Beni-Snassen mountains.
Midday stop at the wonderful Mohammed V Dam. Journey to Taourirt with breathtaking scenery in the friendly and welcoming douar villages.

Jour 3

Taourirt / Aouam

Terrain conditions : rocky, thorny, sandy, crossing through the Oued provinces and forests abounding in game.
Heading south with a delightful stop in Debdou where we will dine in a typical 11th century Merinid kasbah before setting off to the remote village of Aouam, where we will eat a traditional méchoui (barbecue of a whole roast sheep) and spend the night.

Jour 4

Aouam / Gefaït

Terrain conditions : rocky, damp, slippery, sandy in the Oued provinces, crossing of long, magnificent rivers.
A magnificent day’s riding with a delightful stop-off at the HASSAN II Dam. Our journey then towards Gefaït, where we will spend the night near the beautiful waterfalls in this oasis of calm and tranquility in the middle of the desert. Its beauty is simply outstanding ! You will be amazed at the many natural springs you come across throughout the course of your journey. Why not get off your motorbike and take a closer look at the surrounding splendour ? A wealth of natural beauty awaits you, such as turtles and all sorts of brightly-coloured tropical fish. Why not have a swim ? Take the plunge and get closer to nature. We like to think of this place as a little piece of paradise !

Jour 5

Gefaït / Cascade de Oued el Hay

Terrain conditions : thorny, changeable, rocky, sandy and obviously wet when crossing rivers.
Whilst this is the most challenging stage, it is also the one where the scenery is at its most breathtaking.

Jour 6

Jerada / Tafoghalt

Terrain conditions : fast and rocky at the start and finishing in the forests of the Beni-Snassen mountains. Quite sandy.
Tafoghalt is the last leg of our trip which is just as impressive as the previous junctures. Once we return the motorbikes and accompanying equipment, we will go back to Saïdia to finish the day in celebratory style or for those who are simply too tired to party, a relaxing evening back in the tranquil surroundings of Raid Oriental headquarters is alternatively on offer.

Jour 7

Excursion to markets in Berkane and Saïdia with the opportunity to buy some gifts and souvenirs before heading back to the airport or ferry ports with countless memories of a fantastic trip.


Oriental

What follows is a brief description of the Oriental Region, one of the Moroccan regions which is less well known but which has totally captivated us. It is one of Morocco’s 16 regions, situated in the North-East. To the north lies the Mediterranean, to the west the province of Nador, to the east Algeria and to the south-west, the Meknès-Tafilalet region.

There are three types of natural landscape

Exceptional diversity

Despite the obvious attraction of its 4000 kilometres of trails which we have singled out, from the Mediterranean to the jewel in the Arab crown, Figuig with its beautiful palm groves, it’s the extraordinary richness of its landscape which fascinates us most of all. The Beni-Snassen Massif, the Moulouya Valley, the Rekkam Plateau, the Haut-Guir and the High Plateaux are all examples of a Morocco, rich in history and rarely visited by tourists. A paradise we want to share with you.

Tafoghalt, Our favourite maroccan destination

Tucked away in the Beni-Snassen mountains is Tafoghalt. Its lush green valleys and easily- accessible peaks dotted with forests where you can find a wealth of game, provide the perfect backdrop. It’s no surprise then that Raid Oriental decided to set up its business here, with a privately-run charming hotel which fits in harmoniously with its surroundings. It’s also the starting point of the many excursions we organise. With its superb views and tranquil location, you can sit back, relax and take in its natural beauty every evening. This region has so many hidden charms for tourists to discover, like the Beni-Snassen mountains and the well-known "Grotte des Pigeons Cave", where archeologists discovered prehistoric human remains.
There is also the "Grotte du Chameau" (Camel Cave), which is so called because the mountains where it is situated resemble the humpback shape of a camel. This is an ideal picnic spot, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the wooded landscape where game animals roam freely. Admire the amazing scenery and breathe in the wonderful aromas of the Zegzel Valley with its winding tracks through orange and pomegranate trees. The quaint little douar villages perched on the valley slopes are truly charming. Add to that the warm and welcoming atmosphere provided by the Raid Oriental team, and you have an experience you’ll never forget.

Proximity

Tafoghalt is ideally situated, close to Berkane and only ¾ hour from the Eastern Moroccan capital, Oujda, which has an international airport.

Saïdia

You will be amazed by Saïdia, situated in the north on the Mediterranean coast. Saïdia or the "Blue Pearl" as it is known, with its endless stretch of sandy beaches and excellent climate make it one of the most popular coastal resorts in northern Morocco. It has become a genuine tourist magnet, offering numerous artistic and cultural events. It is also home to a 19th century kasbah. It is situated near the River Kiss which represents a natural border with Algeria. The farewell party will be held here on our last evening.

Tant à dire, Tant à voir...

There are so many more things to say about the capital Oujda, which is modern and lively with its markets, mosques and Moorish houses. Then there’s Figuig " the magnificent" and all the other villages we have passed through, the people we’ve met, their way of life and the beautiful dawns and sunsets. A Morocco which is full of surprises and which we hope to share with you.

Join us and see for yourself these hidden charms.

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