BEST WAYS TO VISIT OUZOUD WATERFALLS IN MOROCCO: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
This page describes going to the Ouzoud waterfalls from Marrakesh on your own (by public transportation or vehicle) or on an organized tour. It also discusses how to trek the path around the Ouzoud waterfalls and what to pack.
Many people perceive Morocco as a vast, desolate desert. However, before I got here, I believed it would be challenging to locate beautiful woods and waterfalls in this nation.
The country’s southern region is indeed desert. However, Merzouga has some lovely sand dunes, and the canyons surrounding the Todra gorges are a lot of fun to explore.
On the other hand, the northern half of the nation is far greener than I had anticipated. The whole region around Chefchaouen is covered with verdant trees and is also home to the beautiful Akchour waterfalls.
When Paul and I were in Marrakesh, we learned about the Ouzoud waterfalls and knew we had to see them.
The city was getting too crowded, so we decided to tour the countryside to escape it. We thought the waterfalls would be a peaceful area to relax and enjoy the scenery.
The Ouzoud Waterfalls are Africa’s second-highest waterfall. It is a famous tourist attraction and one of Morocco’s most visited and photographed natural features!
We began our search for information on how to go to the Ouzoud waterfalls via public transportation on the Internet. We discovered that we would need to take a shared cab from Marrakech to a little village called Azilal and then another taxi to Ouzoud. Then, we’d have to take the same route back to Marrakesh, waiting for the shared taxis to fill up before returning.
Taking public transportation from Marrakesh and returning would cost roughly 300 MAD per person. It would also take up a significant portion of our day.
We chose this option instead after learning that we could travel there on a tour for 44 Euros (for two). In addition, we wouldn’t spend time jumping from one mode of transportation to another since we’d be heading straight there.
I also spoke with the tour organizer about walking around the Ouzoud waterfalls on our own and if there would be any hidden expenses.
Our tour guide assured us that we would be free to view the waterfalls. Still, when we arrived, we immediately discovered this was different. A guide stationed far from the site’s official entrance met our party. As a result, Paul and I were able to get away from the group and visit the area surrounding the falls on our own.
In this post, I’ll show you how to visit the Ouzoud waterfalls on your own, as part of a group tour, or with your vehicle. I’ll also tell you precisely what to anticipate from a visit to the Ouzoud waterfalls and what to bring with you.
BEFORE YOU VISIT THE OUZOUD FALLS, HERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO KNOW.
CAN YOU VISIT THE OUZOUD FALLS ON YOUR OWN, OR DO YOU REQUIRE A GUIDE?
A guide is optional to explore the Ouzoud waterfalls. One way leads from the top to the bottom of the cascades and vice versa. However, a local guide may be included in the final fee if you visit the cascades with a Marrakesh-based tour company. The waterfalls are simple to see on your own, and I recommend them if you want to avoid spending hours following a group.
The routes are simple to follow and do not need the help of a guide.
Take the left route downwards from the site’s entrance. It will lead you along a cobblestone street with tiny shops and Cafés. If you’re fortunate, you may go down to the bottom of the waterfall, where there are a few cafés and some Barbary monkeys.
ARE THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS SAFE TO VISIT?
It is quite safe to visit the waterfalls. It’s hard to get lost on the trail since it’s well-marked. However, areas with views of the waterfalls, particularly towards the top of the large cascade not far from the site’s entrance, might be hazardous.
Because the falls are so high (about 110 meters), I suggest walking carefully along the roads and cliffs surrounding them. However, I’m afraid of heights, so I would stay within the cliff’s edge. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help but see adolescents taking unsafe selfies while leaning over the 110-meter falls when I was there!
Avoid straying too near the edge of the cliffs overlooking the highest cascade while visiting the Ouzoud waterfalls.
WATT TIME OF THE YEAR IS BEST FOR VISITING THE OUZOUD FALLS?
The Ouzoud cascades are open to the public all year. Summer is busier, but it’s also the most incredible time to visit if you want to swim in the pools at the foot of the falls. Winter has more water and typically fewer visitors, so if you don’t mind not being able to swim, it’s the perfect season to see the Ouzoud waterfalls.
HOW MUCH DOES A VISIT TO THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS COST?
There is no admission charge to the Ouzoud waterfalls. However, you may hire a local guide to tour you if you desire (but it is not required). If you are traveling with a group of friends, a guide will charge roughly 30 MAD per person or 100 to 150 MAD if you visit alone.
A quick tip: The eateries around the waterfalls are reasonably priced, but if you’re traveling across Morocco on a budget, I recommend carrying food with you.
DO THE MOROCCANS AT THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS SPEAK ENGLISH?
At the Ouzoud waterfall, almost all of the guides and store proprietors speak a little English. Therefore, there’s no need to be concerned if they don’t understand you or vice versa. However, a significant portion of the population continues to speak exclusively Arabic or Berber.
HOW TO VISIT OUZOUD WATERFALLS INDEPENDENTLY
DRIVING YOUR CAR TO OUZOUD WATERFALLS
The Ouzoud waterfalls are 157 kilometers from Marrakech and take around two and a half hours to reach by car.
You will enjoy the journey there if you have your vehicle. The views vary as you leave Marrakech and reach the region near Ouzoud. You will go from a flat environment to a hilly area.
As you get closer to the falls, the temperature will drop significantly, and the hills will seem to be covered by more trees. To go from Marrakech to Ouzoud, use the N8 road to the northeast until you reach the R208. Once you’ve got the R208, carry on to Tanant and Ouzoud.
As you approach Ouzoud, I recommend driving cautiously. In the communities surrounding the cascades, many children play on the roadways. We also spotted several youngsters and teens selling fruits and nuts on the side of the road on our route there. They may dart out onto the road without warning, so drive cautiously.
Parking is available at the Ouzoud Waterfalls. If you have a vehicle, it will be significantly more convenient to park it right at the site’s entrance rather than far away. There are many spots near the cascades where you may park your vehicle for the day. However, it will cost you between 10 and 20 MAD. You may pay the parking attendant immediately for the nominal cost.
GETTING TO THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS VIA PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION (SHARED TAXI OR BUS)
Public transit offers several options for getting to the Ouzoud waterfalls. From Marrakesh, take a shared cab to Azilal and then another to Ouzoud.
You may take a shared taxi or a bus to Beni-Mellal early in the morning and then a shared cab to the waterfalls.
HOW TO make it to TO THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS BY SHARED TAXI FROM MARRAKECH (MARRAKECH-AZILAL-OUZOUD)
A shared cab from Marrakesh to the Ouzoud waterfalls is a fantastic alternative. A shared taxi from Bab Doukala will take you to the town of Azilal, which is not far from the falls. If the cab is complete (6 people) when you depart, a shared taxi from there to Azilal should cost roughly 50 MAD per person. Some taxi drivers like to leave before the cab fills up, so you may have to pay a little extra. You may pay for the remaining seats to depart even sooner if you don’t want to wait for the cab to fill up. You’ll need to take a second shared cab after you reach Azilal. Taxis from Azilal to Ouzoud are a little less expensive (about 25 MAD per person), and you may pay for the whole cab to get to the cascades quicker. It would cost around 150 MAD to take a taxi from Azilal to Ouzoud.
HOW TO GET FROM MARRAKESH TO OUZOUD BY BUS AND SHARED TAXI (MARRAKECH-BENI-MELLAL-OUZOUD)
Taking a bus from Marrakesh to Beni-Mellal and then a shared cab from there to the Ouzoud cascades is another alternative for getting to the waterfalls. This alternative, on the other hand, is the one that takes the most time and costs the most money. Therefore, I recommend this choice if you want to make a two-day journey out of it by combining your visit to Ouzoud with a visit to Beni-Mellal. You may take a bus from Marrakesh to Beni-Mellal with one of Morocco’s two major bus companies, CTM and Supratours, or a local bus from Marrakesh’s central bus station.
HITCHHIKING FROM MARRAKESH TO THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS
Hitchhiking in Morocco is simple and enjoyable. Most folks who stop are kind and may offer you dinner at their house or a restaurant. Hitchhiking to the Ouzoud waterfalls is an excellent idea. Still, it would help if you started as soon as you got to Marrakech. You’ll also need to locate the road N28 exit that leads to Beni-Mellal.
Because there is little traffic on the roadways connecting the two cities, hitchhiking from Marrakech to the Ouzoud waterfalls might take more than a day.
TAKING AN ORGANIZED TOUR OF THE OUZOUD FALLS
The most common method to go to the Ouzoud waterfalls from Marrakesh is to join a tour group. Tours to the cascades are offered by various tour companies in Marrakech, and rates vary significantly.
HOW MUCH DOES A TOUR OF THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS COST?
The cost of a group day trip to Ouzoud Waterfalls from Marrakech begins at roughly 22 Euros per person. This covers a comfortable minivan transport to the waterfalls and back, but not the cost of the local guide or meals along the cascades. Marrakech Desert Trips offers such a trip, which you can purchase online.
WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT FROM AN ORGANIZED WATERFALLS TOUR IN OUZOUD?
You’ll save a lot of time if you schedule a day trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls instead of wasting time trying to locate public transportation. Expect an excellent trip in an air-conditioned minibus with a few stops for refreshments.
They will take you from your Marrakech Riad or hotel in the morning or the Jemaa el Fna Square. Most trips will offer you a driver that speaks English or French. Some excursions include a local guide as part of the package, while others do not. This is something you should address with your travel operator ahead of time. The cost of the local guide is already included in the trips provided online.
Because not all trips include lunch, you should carry snacks or have money to spend at the nearby cafes.
Although the trails in Ouzoud are relatively simple, we recommend bringing a decent pair of walking shoes or sandals. Also, remember to bring sunscreen and your camera.
IS AN ORGANIZED Day Trip TO THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS WORTH IT?
It’s worth taking an organized day trip to the Ouzoud waterfalls since you’ll save a lot of time waiting for shared taxis and navigating public transportation. You’ll also have additional time to tour the real site and relax by the Al Abid River.
If you already have a vehicle, I suggest driving there rather than taking a tour. The location is quite simple to find and navigate, and you can see the falls at your own pace and stay as long as you want.
WHAT IS THERE TO DO IN THE AREA OF THE OUZOUD FALLS?
You can participate in extra activities depending on the time of year you visit the waterfalls.
The water of the Al Abid River will be warm enough to swim in if you visit Ouzoud in the summer. At the bottom of the Ouzoud waterfalls, there are many pools where one may swim. If the current isn’t too strong, you may swim farther away from the falls in a quieter section of the river away from the crowd.
RIDING IN A SMALL BOAT
There are little boats on the first pool of water at the foot of the falls. They may transport you near the cascades for a nominal cost (around 20 MAD). So prepare to get a little wet if you go on that boat trip.
BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE BARBARY MONKEYS
Apart from the gorgeous waterfalls, the presence of Barbary wild monkeys is one of the primary reasons why so many people visit this spot. They hang around the river and the waterfalls, playing in the woods.
HOW TO AVOID THE OUZOUD WATERFALLS CROWDS
Visiting the region in the winter is the best way to escape the crowds. At that time of year, there are much fewer local visitors. It’s also best to get to the falls as early as possible since the location becomes quite crowded around midday.
WHAT IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR PHOTOS OF THE OUZOUD FALLS?
At the Ouzoud waterfalls, there are several fantastic perspectives from which to get some breathtaking images. I suggest a specific photo position if you want to snap a picture of the waterfalls that captures the immensity of the scene. It’s adjacent to a massive hotel overlooking the waterfalls, which is now under construction as I write this piece. Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of the hotel.
Whether you visit the Ouzoud waterfalls on your own or with a Marrakech tour company, I hope you have a fantastic time and appreciate the surroundings.