Morocco waterfalls of Ouzoud, which received the certificate of excellent by the international travel website, TripAdvisor, are one of the most popular sights in Morocco, providing uplifting sightseeing.
The falls of Ouzoud, which is a Berber name meaning “the process of grinding grains,” lie in a beautiful and friendly small village. The falls provide visitors with stunning views and strenuous, rewarding experiences for hikers.
A lot of people imagine Morocco to be a vast barren desert; however, there are countless lush forests and waterfalls in this country. It’s true that the southern part of the country is quite arid, but the northern part of the country is much lusher. The Ouzoud Falls is one of the most magnificent and impressive waterfalls in Morocco and North Africa. Nestled in the High Atlas Mountains, it is definitely worth the 150 km drive from Marrakech.
North Africa’s largest waterfall, the Ouzoud falls are something out of a postcard – definitely not to be missed! The day includes a visit to the breathtaking waterfalls, with an almost permanent rainbow crowning their impressive heights. The waterfalls are nearly 330ft (110m) high, and will provide a spectacular backdrop for your day trip from Marrakech.
Before arriving at the waterfalls, you will cross through the spectacular High Atlas, stopping along the way to visit a natural bridge carved out of the mountain by nothing more than time. Once at the waterfalls, you may hire a guide taking you on a beautiful hike to the bottom of the waterfalls (approximately two hours). Here you will have the chance to swim and enjoy the pleasant landscape. You will have a lunch on a traditional Tajine while marveling at the nature in front of you. We stop whenever there are photo opportunities.
We’ll pick you up at your hotel (or very close to it, in case of traffic restrictions) at 8:30 am and bring you back at around 6:00 pm.
Other Morocco Wonders to Discover from Marrakesh:
- Essaouira Day Trip from Marrakech
- Ait ben haddou Day Trip
The Ouzoud Falls – Cascades d’Ouzoud – are 110 m high which makes it the second tallest waterfall in Africa. It’s a huge touristic destination and one of the most visited and photographed natural sites in all of Morocco. It stands atop of the Azilal region of Morocco, overlooking the Tanaghmeilt village. The waterfalls empty into the El-Abid River (Slaves’ River). The word ‘Ouzoud’ was said to be Berber for ‘the act of grinding grain.’ Apparently, a lot of the buildings there happened to be grinding mills which probably utilizing the force of the water.
Explore the Ouzoud Falls Natural Wonders, Plan Morocco Vacation Packages Now!
The walk up to the bottom of the falls is very pleasant, surrounded by thousands of olive trees that shade the path. At the top, there is a dozen of old small mills that are still in use. The surprise treat at the Ouzoud Falls are the friendly monkeys swinging around you on the trees. The monkeys of Ouzoud are wild; however, they love to play with visitors, especially if they bring treats. These wild animals are very comic around humans, so it is more than likely that they will immediately jump on and cling to the visitors’ arms or legs. Surrounding the area, there are several restaurants with a beautiful view of the Ouzoud falls.
The Ouzoud Falls can be visited the whole year around. It’s much busier during summer; however, that’s the best time of the year to go if you want to swim in the pools at the bottom of the falls. There is much more water during the winter and usually a lot fewer visitors there.
There are a few different ways to reach the Ouzoud waterfalls by public transportation; you can either take a shared taxi from Marrakesh to Azilal and then another one to Ouzoud or you can take a shared taxi or a bus very early to the city of Beni-Mellal and then take a shared taxi to the waterfalls from there.
The Ouzoud Falls are located near the village of Tanaghmeilt in the province of Azilal. They are approximately three hours away from Marrakech, and many travelers that are staying in the city like to visit Ouzoud Falls for the day.
One option is to rent a grand taxi from Marrakech. Make sure you negotiate the price before you leave with the driver, and be firm about the price and your destination.
Another option is to take a bus from Marrakech into Azilal or Beni Mellal and hop into a taxi from there on. This route can be the cheaper option with a shared bus ride and shorter taxi fares.
The drive into Ouzoud Falls along the open country is quite beautiful, with mountain passes and open countryside to keep you entertained on the long journey. As you get closer and closer, the falls finally come into view at the last moment and you get your first glimpse of their power and beauty.
What to Bring
Plan on being at the falls for a whole day and prepare accordingly. A day bag or backpack is a good option for ease of carrying everything, and great for fitting everything for an entire day’s activity.
A light jacket is recommended as the mist from the falls coupled with wind can be quite chilling at times. If you plan to picnic by the falls, pack a lunch in your day bag.
Make sure you bring good walking shoes as well, as there are many great walking paths that you don’t want to miss out on. If you want to take a dip in the waterfall’s pools, bring a swimsuit and towel as well.
Exploring Ouzoud Falls
Once you arrive at the falls, there are walking paths all over that you can walk along and enjoy the picturesque views of the imposing waterfalls above. Paths go all the way along the river, down to the pools, and up to the precipice of the waterfall’s edge. A daunting but beautiful sight, the top of the waterfall rewards hikers with an astonishing view.
Many locals like to swim in the pristine waters of the falls, and some travelers like to enjoy the fresh waters as well. The main waterfalls splits into many separate, smaller waterfalls that form little pools into the gorge that leads to the river.
These pools are the best spots for enjoying a natural, refreshing swim. Dive right into the waterfall’s pools and—if you’re brave enough—join the local kids and jump off the cliffs into the water below.
See wildlife, include monkeys that roam the trees and water. They are not completely wild creatures and are used to humans being around, which means they may not respect your personal boundaries, so it’s best to enjoy them from a distance.
Enjoy an afternoon in the cafes or restaurants that line the paths near the base of the falls, or bring your own lunch and have a serene picnic by the water. A picnic near the ponds or along the edge of the falls is a great way to relax and soak in all the natural beauty around you—this is a favorite way for many Morocco travelers to refuel when visiting here as it keeps you closer to nature.
If you want to extend your visit to these gorgeous waterfalls beyond just a day trip there are riads or tents for rental here that are comfortable and friendly for overnight accommodations.
When to Visit
The best time to visit the falls each day is mid to late afternoon. The sun catches the falling water and creates dancing rainbows. It is a beautiful location to visit year round and is the perfect retreat from the heat in the hot summer months in Morocco.
If you are visiting Morocco, don’t miss out on this star attraction—the natural beauty that can be found in these picturesque falls is said to be the most memorable highlight of any Moroccan vacation and the best natural wonder in the region.