New sports activity in Marrakesh – cable park

Cable park? What is it? In Marrakech? Where is there a lake?

Wake boarding in Marrakech

 

All questions that arose in my mind when I learned about the new Cable Park in Marrakech.

A cable park is a place that provides facilities for all kinds of water sports, including wake boarding, knee boarding, wake stating, bi-skiing, tricks and slalom. So not just your plain old water skiing.

Waky Marrakech is south of Marrakech on “Les Jardins de l’Atlas” resort site and they created an artificial lake to make it possible. Amazing in such an arid area of the world.

A project of Palmeraie Development, the lake was specially designed for water skiing and wake boarding by Francis Koot.

They plan to offer night wake boarding sessions – just the thing for the magical nights of Marrakech.

Wake boarding is a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing.

Kneeboarding is great for those learning the sport as you are kneeling on the board – not so far to fall into the water!

Wake skating  is similar to wakeboarding without the bindings- a bit like skateboarding.

Bi Skiing refers to traditional skiing. Considered the best way to develop good balance, it is good for beginners to build up good technical foundations for water skiing and from there to master other disciplines such as wakeboarding.

Tricks Trick skiing is one of the 3 disciplines in classic skiing, along with Slalom and Jumping.

Slalom is one of the 3 disciplines in classic skiing, along with Tricks and Jumping.

Prices range from 300 dirhams to 800 dirhams. There is a special offer until May 30th, 2016,

One hour 200dh (including equipment) (down from 300 dh)

Two hours 300 dh (from 400 dh)

Valid every day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

Waky Marrakech

Les Jardins de l’Atlas – Route de l’Ourika, km 13

Marrakech, Maroc

+212 (0) 525 07 51 20 info@wakymarrakech.com

 

http://wakymarrakech.com

 

Polo in Morocco

polo_playing_in_Morocco

Polo is a sport famously played by kings and noblemen. Dating back to a time when royal guards and elite troops practised it as a form of cavalry training, it is still popular with wealthy Moroccans today.

Marrakech is home to North Africa’s first polo resort, Jnan Amar Marrakech (www.jnanamar.com). There, in the southern corner of this large retreat, is a smartly designed equestrian complex. The stable can hold up to 104 horses, and there is a Riding Academy where you can learn to play polo with professional trainers in the outdoor practice field.

On the 19th of April this year there will be a high-profile event at Jnan Amar Marrakech in aid of the Eve Branson Foundation – a Moroccan charity serving disadvantaged communities in the High Atlas. Several VIPs will be in attendance.

You can apply for an invitation here: http://evebransonfoundation.org.uk/assets/2014_Morocco_Save_The_Date_V8-1.jpg

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Berber Rafting, activity near Marrakesh

berber rafting, activities, near Marrakech
A great way to get active and see Morocco’s countryside is to get out and about on the country’s rivers. One of the best ways to do this is by booking a trip with Dutch-owned company Berber Rafting. A white water rafting and adventure company, most tours involve taking guests to the mountains, trekking on Mt “Jebel Toubkal” (4167 m), Africa’s second highest peak after Mt Kilimanjaro and rafting on the thundering Ahansal River. This is also an unusual way to get up close to traditional Berber villages which might otherwise be hard to access.
Their website is a wealth of information on rafting in Morocco and as well as listing plenty of inspirational itineraries also has some tips on what to do is someone in your party goes ‘man overboard’ and what to pack. The rafting season tends to start just as soon as the snow melts.
www.berberraftingadventures.com

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Queen of the Desert

queen of the desert, film in Marrakech

Nicole Kidman at Cannes Film Festival 2001
Nicole Kidman at Cannes Film Festival 2001 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We don’t like to name-drop, but if you’ve been in Marrakech over the past few weeks you may just have been wandering the same souks as some Hollywood A-listers.

Not so rare in Marrakech – long known as a ‘jet-setting destination – but there is something exciting about the city being used (again) as a film location.

Since the end of last year various Hollywood stars have been popping up over Morocco for the filming of Queen of the Desert – a movie made at the cost of a cool $36 million.

Directed by Werner Herzog, the film is a biographical drama film written and based on the life of English traveller, writer and political officer Gertrude Bell. The film stars Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Robert Pattinson.

Most recently, heart-throb Pattinson has been spotted at the Brazilian theme restaurant Churrascaria Marius Marrakech. Cameras at the ready….

Find out more here: Follow @QueenDesertFilm on Twitter.

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Marrakech Atlas Etape – cycling in Morocco

Etape cycling tour in Morocco Marrakesh

Never mind the classic European cycling climbs of the Alps and the Pyrenees, there are plenty of other mountainous areas to get stuck in to before the summer months.

After the triumph of the first Marrakech Atlas Etape in 2013, registration is now open for cyclists who wish to join in 2014.

Cycling seems to be all the rage in Morocco and the Marrakech Atlas Etape is one of the toughest challenges. The full route is an eye-watering 140km but there are other options too. There’s also a 60km option, with just 360m of climbing.

It’s inevitable that 2014 will prove just as popular as last year given that the route not only provides participants with a truly memorable experience, but also raises vital funds for the worthy charity Education For All (EFA).

This Moroccan-based charity, which was founded in 2007, helps to educate under-privileged young girls in the Atlas Mountains.

Their motto is “We may not individually be able to change the world but we can help to make a difference to a person’s life and indirectly many more.”

The event will take place on Sunday 27 April 2014. You can find out more or register here: www.marrakech-atlas-etape.com

Go ‘off-road’

activities in Marrakech, cycling in Atlas mountains

Cyclists who like to go ‘off-road’ should look no further than AXS (www.argansports.com), a Marrakech-based bicycle company which offers touring, distribution, retail, and soon, a café. Ideal for ex-pats who are looking for an alternative way to explore Morocco, or for visitors who are keen for an adrenaline-filled trip.

Tours include the easy, beginner-level ‘Magical Marrakech’ tour, which is an hour and a half cycling past the King’s palace, the Medina and the Djeema-El-Fna where tour members stop to drink some of the best freshly-squeezed orange juice in the world.

Or, for something more adventurous, there’s the ‘intermediate to advanced’ graded full day tour of the Ouirgane Valley in the High Atlas Mountains. Two-wheels are a great way to get up close to Berber Villages and the tour focuses on “off-road” trails around Asni. Leg-wobbling maybe, but certainly spectacular!

Keep up with their blog here: http://blog.argansports.com/

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Ski Morocco

Oukaimeden ski resort, near Marrakech, skiingSkiers looking for a good-value adrenaline filled adventure could do worse than head to Africa’s highest ski resort (complete with the highest ski lift in North Africa at 3273m), Oukaimeden, 45 miles south of Marrakech.

The longest run is 3km and while the piste is not as polished as European resorts, but it’s a fantastic getaway and is very economical. There is good piste and off-piste skiing, and for cross-country skiers, crests are accessible. All the necessary equipment can be hired, but the rates and quality differs, so it pays to ask around. Ski passes are cheap as are guides and instructors, but go with a recommendation if possible as standards vary.

In terms of the season, snow cover can be unreliable but the best time to come is between February and April. It’s not that common to ski in Africa so go with an open mind and enjoy the fact that you’ll be able to tell friends back home that you’ve skied in Morocco!

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