Tazekka National Park is a relatively unknown destination in Morocco—which is part of its appeal. The landscape is pristine, the air crisp and the wilderness undisturbed. The focal point is Mount Jbel Tazekka which dominates over a rich landscape comprising 120 square kilometres of forests, crater lakes, caves, canyons with freshwater swimming pools and small waterfalls.
The high mountain peaks of Mount Jbel Tazekka are often blanketed in snow. It’s not uncommon to spot a cloth of cloud hovering over the mountain cap. The ecosystem is mainly dominated by groves of cedars on the slopes and mountain peak. The Lake Daia Chiker is yet another drawcard of the area – and is a perfect spot for enjoying a picnic.
During the winter, the trees drip with snow and give rise to remarkable scenes. Barbary deer and wild sheep roam the slopes, while the rare Bonelli’s eagles soar through the skies. Visitors either drive through the park and absorb the serene scenes, or opt for more active hiking activities.
Tazekka National Park is located in the Middle Atlas, 20 kilometres from the city of Taza in northern Morocco. There is a domestic airport in Taza called Fès–Saïs Airport, which is served by many of the bigger international airports.
The snow-covered scenery between October and April is a sight to behold while the various pools are inviting features in summer from June till August.
Tazekka National Park is a birder’s paradise and binoculars are, therefore, a must-pack item for all safarigoers. The rivers and lakes are excellent locations to spot a great variety of local and migratory species.
Mammals are well represented in the park, and visitors are attracted to the area because of the prevalence of the Barbary deer. There is quite a dense population of small spotted genets, porcupines, hedgehogs, Barbary boars, hares and red foxes in the forested regions. The abundant caves and canyons provide protected areas for a host of mammals. There are also Algerian wolves and golden jackals in the park.
Birdlife is prolific. There are plenty of local and migratory species found in the national park. Birders can spot the Barbary partridge, spotless starling, black-eared wheatear and Sardinian warbler. The rivers and lakes in the area are the best places to spot birds, particularly during the summer season.
The winters suffer from extreme and severe temperatures. However, this does make for beautiful landscapes. Crisp, white snow covers the national park for 30 days between October to April. It’s not a great time for activities, but it is pretty.
Spring and summer are the best times of year to visit—when visitors can swim in the various pools located along the marked trails. Summer is from June to August.
Tazekka National Park is one of the most scenic destinations for hiking, caving and exploring Morocco’s forgotten mountain wilderness. These untouched landscapes are just waiting to be discovered. One of the most popular hikes is a nine-kilometre trail that passes through exquisite olive groves, over rocky terrain and ends at a breathtaking waterfall. This is one of many hiking trails in the park where visitors can easily spot Barbary boar, golden eagles and other wildlife.
For eager explorers, there are guided caving expeditions for small groups. Groups are taught how to use ropes and are encouraged to explore well-hidden corners of the mysterious mountain range. Swimming is a desired activity in the heat of summer. Crisp mountain pools hugged by vertical cliff faces provide the perfect place to cool off during summer. These pools are quite easily accessed by walking through lush forests along the river.
Most visitors choose to drive through the park, where it’s possible to see the spectacular cedar forests, waterfalls, villages and blossoms during season.
There are several accommodation options available. Deep in the heart of the park, there are two campsites available which are only bookable in July and August. There are other accommodation options inside the park, which are quite basic. The authentic guesthouses and bed and breakfasts are located on the fringes of the lake. Hotel options are available within the town of Taza and include everything from stone houses to cottages and simple hotels. All accommodation option serve scrumptious local cuisine with traditional Moroccan flair.
Fes is approximately an hour and 30 minutes from the national park, making it an easy getaway destination. There are plenty of accommodation options in the city—catering for any tastes and budgets.