For 550 Dhs (roughly £40) per person the 2 nights 2 day trek (including breakfast, dinner and guide fees) to summit mount Toubkal sounded too good to be true. Asking around from other agents who could organise the same trek, the lowest quote in the market I found was 800 Dhs per person for a minimum of two ppl. Nevertheless, getting multiple assurance from Ibrahim (agent 1) I felt I had struck the perfect deal. Having booked an excursion to Ozoud waterfalls with him already, on which I was to depart a day before my trek to Mount Toubkal, I felt no reason to suspect him – not realizing that he could be quoting a ridiculously low quote just so that I paid the full price for the ride to the waterfalls. Feeling content with my bargaining skills I left his office to give the good news to three others who were interested to summit the highest mountain in North Africa..
All packed and ready for the road journey to Imlil from where we were to start our trek the next morning I decided to pay one final visit to Ibrahim (agent1) to confirm the time we should be meeting the guide who was coming over from Imlil to Marrakech to pick us up that night.
On seeing me the agent non challantly remarked that the guide was watching a football match and that we wont be departing tonight!! For a second I thought he was joking, searching his face carefully for a subtle grin, I saw none. I was furious, two other people who were to join us had moved there bookings around completely on my suggestion so we could all go together and bring the cost of hiring the guide and the trip down. On top of that Ibrahim said we could still go tomorrow, however the price for the trip had gone up as well. Angry, frustrated and feeling swindled by this con artist of an agent I decided not to fall for his nonsense anymore and pay a visit to Abdessamad (agent 2), who had offered us 800 Dhs for the same trip two days earlier. Fortunately he still stuck to his quote and called the guide right away to confirm that we could still depart for Imlil the next morning. Having been conned once by an agent, I made sure he wrote everything down on a paper and signed his name on it and gave us a receipt.
The next morning the guide was there to pick us up; however he took us to the agent 1’s office who had swindled us the night before…
Turns out there were two Canadians who had booked the same trek with agent1 a day after we had confirmed our trip, but had settled on a higher price 1100 Dhs per person (with an additional night stay) instead of 550 Dhs p/p that we had agreed with the same agent! That explained it all. Agent1, thinking that the two Canadians would never pay the same money if they found out that four other ppl going on the same trek through the same agent had paid half the price they were paying, cancelled our trip (coming up with a cock and bull excuse that the guide was busy watching a football game!!!).
Idmansour, the guide, however was working for both agent1 and agent2 and took us to agent 1’s office to collect the two Canadians who were to join us for the trek.
A brief summary of the trek to the summit of Mount Toubkal, which thankfully was uneventful and without any hiccups.
Day 1: Drive from Marrakech to Imlil 1.5 hrs. Trek from Imlil to Toubkal Nature Refuge 5-6 hrs. Ascent 1467m.
Day 2: Early morning start at 6am to summit mount Toubkal. 3 hrs to the summit. 2 hrs to trek down from the summit back to the Toubkal nature refuge. Ascent and Descent 960m. After lunch we set out again to trek back to Imlil (3-4hrs). From Imlil we took a public bus back to Marrakech that took us 2.5 hrs.
Cost: 800 Dhs per person. One night two days trek. Includes lunch dinner breakfast, night stay and guide fees. Does not include drinks.
Guide: Muhammad Idmansour. Can be contacted directly to organize the trek. +212 671735905