The Massa Lagoon, Morocco

The Massa Lagoon, Morocco

Morocco may seem like it is a very small country, but once inside the borders you will discover it is one of the most expansive places to visit. Trekking in Morocco allows you to explore the hidden treasures of the country like Massa Lagoon.  Massa Lagoon is not situated in the famous High Atlas Mountains where many treks start and end; instead, this one-of-a-kind trek starts just outside the Morocco surfing Mecca of Agadir.

Agadir is one of the most important ports in Morocco.  Its character is lacking since the 1960 earthquake, but it is still a beautiful city to visit. You can reach many regions from this port city like Marrakesh and on to the High Atlas region.  There is also the Paradise Valley to be reached a few hours from Agadir.  The Immouzer des Ida Outanane waterfalls are particularly interesting to many for their beauty.  The region of Agadir is considered the Anti Atlas because the region is filled not with tall mountains, but rolling hills.

Massa Lagoon is considered the best bird reserve in the country, as hundreds of species reside there and travel to the location during the cooler parts of the year.  The lagoon is fed by a river, and yet sealed from the sea due to sand dunes.  Among the many birds you might see at the lagoon are flamingos, avocets, and ducks.  You may even see a sandgouse in the mornings.  Godwit, dunlin, snipe, shrike, turnstone, and crake also can be found in the lagoon.

Massa Lagoon allows you to trek around the watery edge on designated paths.  You may look for hidden species of birds, watch some take flight, and walk around the area in a day.  The best time to visit the reserve is in March, April, October, and November.  The rest of the year can be quite uncomfortable due unpredicted changes in weather.

Visiting this area of Morocco allows you to see a different countryside than you would find when hiking in the Atlas.  Trekking is usually more than a day trip up into the mountains if you truly want to see the wonders of Morocco.

If you have time you will actually want to do both trips.  Trekking around Massa Lagoon shows you the bird species of Morocco, but trekking the mountains will give way to Barbary monkeys and other wildlife.

Throughout the High Atlas Mountains you will find waterfalls, tall summits and villages.  The villages of the region are often set apart from the cities, like Agadir and Marrakesh.  The villages show you what life has been like in Morocco for centuries.  The people of these towns are welcoming, allowing you to take part in their culture.  They often show off their paintings inside their homes.  Some villagers offer their home to those trekking the mountains, so you have a comfortable place before you move on. Don’t be surprised to be offered tea, round bread (hobbs) and a comfty place to rest.

Morocco trips is an experience that you will not want to miss.  Consider creating a custom Morocco holiday in order to experience all regions of the area to get a real idea of the beauty to find within.

by Sam Mitchell, JBT Writer