Ecolodge Bab El Oued: Sleeping in an Oasis in the south of Morocco!

It is three o’clock in the afternoon and we have been on the road for over seven hours. While we drive through the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, it feels like we have landed in a moon landscape. Surrounded only by sand, rocks and an occasional goat. The thermometer in the car indicates it is 37 degrees celsius outside and the sun is burning hard.

Off to the south of Morocco!

Early this morning we left Taghazout, a beach town close to Agadir. Unfortunately, our last night was not so comfortable; food poisoning and a wedding party which produced hard music until 5 a.m. in the morning do not go well together. As tired as hell and still a bit nauseated I lie flat in the car while Ries steps on the gas to get to our next destination.

We leave the motorway, and suddenly we see between all the sand, a valley with palm trees, a river and a kasbah. It is so beautiful that it almost looks like a fata morgana. But no, we have arrived at our next destination: Ecolodge Bab El Oued.

Marokko - Ecolodge

Ecolodge Bab el Oued

We are warmly welcomed by Mathilde, the dear owner of Bab el Oued. After she fell in love with her husband Zine and moved to Morocco from France, she started building this ecolodge in 2010. Previously only a palm garden, now a true paradise. In the middle of the garden, there is a beautiful swimming pool, surrounded by seats and lounge chairs where you can relax in de shade. The garden has many roses and other gorgeous flowers. Butterflies and birds, but the most surprising creatures in the garden: peacocks. The lodges are nicely furnished, with a large kingsized bed, a cosy sitting area and a beautiful bathroom. It is Mathilde’s goal to create a place where her guests can ultimately relax. There is no wifi and with only seven lodges, it is never too crowded. From the moment we arrived, we love it here.

Marokko - Ecolodge

After a few hours of rest, my food poisoning is almost gone. While we are sitting under a large date tree by the pool, we chat with the three French couples who are here for a week on vacation. In the evening we join them for dinner. Soon there are bottles of champagne on the table that they have taken with them from France. In Islamic Morocco, we have not encountered any alcohol so far. The next morning we decide to stay another day, it is so wonderful and peaceful, one day is just too short!

Ecotourism in Morocco

Besides creating this beautiful oasis, Mathilde’s has the goal to become completely self-sustaining. The cute lodges in which we sleep are made of clay in order to keep it cool inside. Solar panels are located on top of the roof, making the houses energy-neutral. The ingredients for the delicious breakfast and dinner come mostly from their organic vegetable garden. In addition, to the vegetable garden is a stable with a few cows, a llama, a horse and a whole heap of chickens and geese. All of this is quite unique in Marocco, there are hardly any hotels or bed and breakfasts in Morocco that focus on Ecotourism (i.e. are self-sustaining and taking care for the environment by producing minimal waste). Mathilde and her team have won several awards for this in recent years.

One of the highlights of our stay is definitely the enormous hospitality we experienced. We didn’t have the idea of being in a hotel but rather felt like we were visiting a good friend. When we see Mathilde in her vegetable garden, she is surrounded by her twins of 1.5 and her three-year-old daughter. She is very approachable and easy to connect with. Next, to that, she had many great tips for things to do in the neighbourhood. When we indicate that we wanted to stay one day longer, she totally agreed with us. You definitely have to experience this place for longer than just one night.

Marokko - Ecolodge

Breakfast & Dinner

Another highlight of our stay is the food. It’s so good! In the morning we are spoiled with five fresh homemade jams, delicious orange cake, warm bread and fresh orange juice. When we are at the pool someone always brings a tray with nuts, dried fruits and fresh mint tea. The dinner is delicious both nights. Couscous, fine vegetarian dishes, salads and (according to Ries) very tender chicken. The second evening, Mathilde and Zine joined us and the French guests with some fine Moroccan rose wine.

Practical information about Ecolodge Bab El Oued

Ecolodge Bab El Oued is the perfect stopover when you are travelling from Marrakech to the “Erg Chebbi (Merzouga)” or “Erg Chegaga” desert. It is located near the village of Agdz on the N9 motorway, about 5 hours drive from Marrakech.

A few minutes away from the lodge, there is a beautiful deserted Kasbah on the hill. Definitely worth a visit. There are also various activities offered by Mathilde and Zine: a picnic at the waterfalls, a desert trip on camels and a mountain trek.

You can stay in Ecolodge Bab El Oued from 75 euros for two persons, including breakfast. In the evening an optional three-course dinner is served for 20 euros per person, highly recommended!

For more information and reservations, click here.

Address: Palmeraie Mezguita 45050 Tamnougalt
Phone-number: + 212 6 60 18 84 84 / + 212 6 19 402 832

Marokko - Ecolodge Kasbah

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We were guests of Ecolodge Bab el Oued. However, everything above is truthful to me, as always I reflect my own opinion and experience.

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