Driving through the desert waste west of the Sahara in Southern Morocco gives one a unique appreciation for water. Where there is water there is life. Where there is no water there is nothing but rock and sand. The photo below, taken of a small village oasis south of the High Atlas Mountains illustrates this. Water from mountain snowmelt feeds a river, often underground, and the village springs up next to groves of date palms.
Kongo will write about the desert and the rare oases he travelled through later but this illustrates the point. A day’s drive from our desert camp in the El Chebbi dunes brings you to the small Moroccan oasis of Skoura. This was a stopover for parched caravans coming across the Sahara where traders would transfer their loads from camels to pack animals to carry them across the mountains to Fez and beyond. Today Skoura is just a small village of crumbling adobe but it has one great bright spot, and that’s the L’Ma Lodge, a garden paradise in the middle of the oasis. Kongo arrived in time to watch the sunset from the rooftop of the Riad.
The L’Ma Lodge is a truly unique experience. There are only seven rooms. These are built as a guesthouse or riad (a Moroccan home with an interior garden) and are about 100 yards from the main house where meals are served. Our accommodations included breakfast and dinner and the food was fantastic. The other really cool thing about this place is that they have their own water source. L’Ma actually means “water” and here it is only four meters below the surface. This meant that we could ignore the usual prohibition given to westerners about drinking water from the tap or using ice. Kongo relished his two vodka martinis in the garden!
The rooms are unique and spacious. These were all individually designed by Vanessa (from Belgium) and her husband Xavier and built entirely by them using local labor and resources. There are hundreds of olive trees and date trees and citrus on the grounds. The lodge presses their own grapes and grows or produces most of their own food,
Besides the pool, the gardens, and the hammocks strung nestled in little niches around the grounds, there is a spa.
The riad is apart from the main house. It is quiet and at night all you can here is the wind rustling the palm leaves through the open window.
Internet is available at the pool and the main house.
When you arrive you are greeted by Vanessa who takes you on a tour of the grounds. Your can even feed the goats if you’re so inclined. She is a wonderful host and you feel as if you’re a guest in her home rather than just staying at a B&B.
If you visit Morocco and plan to travel in the southern desert, you have to put L’Ma Lodge on your itinerary. But with only seven rooms be sure to book your stay well in advance. This place is so cool, so sheik, so perfect that soon it will be impossible to book. Do it now.
Travel safe. Have fun!