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Toubkal, Morocco
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On Top of the (North African) World! Toubkal National Park  Morocco

On Top of the (North African) World!

Climbing Jbel Toubkal, the highest mountain in Africa not named Kilimanjaro, is a surprisingly convenient and doable adventure if you're based in Marrakech and looking to see the High Atlas (and burn some calories along the way!). You'll probably start in Imlil (about an hour and 20 minutes outside of Marrakech by grand taxi) and begin trekking towards and beyond the town of Armed. About 18 km later you'll reach the base refuge, a no-frills but somewhat cozy place to camp for the night and have some mint tea ("Berber whiskey") and dinner (throw a book or magazine in your bag if you think you'll have some down time later).
You'll start the climb early the next morning--we started at 5:00 and and summitted about 3 hours later. After summitting, you'll want to take a few commemorative pictures (it's where I shot the one above) and maybe have a bite of chocolate--our guide told us it would help with potential altitude sickness, something I would never argue against! You'll spend the rest of the day descending and heading back to Imlil and while your legs might feel somewhat sore at the end, the hike and climb are certainly doable for anyone in decent shape!