The Tizi n’ Tichka is a road through the Atlas mountains, connecting Marrakech to Ouazazarte and the rest of the south east. It’s spectacular drive with plenty of climbs and switch backs and the views are superb. The road was build during the French occupation and made the journey south from Marrakech much easier. The old road went from Telouet to Anemiter, near Ait Ben Haddou.
The Col du Tichka is at an altitude of 2260 metres. As so many cars pass along this road, a small tourist industry has grown up on the roads near the pass and we saw many shops selling the usual Moroccan souvenirs. At the Col, you’ll see a Kasbah style structure with the elevation marked. All around this are shops and small cafes and as soon as you stop the car you’ll be approached by kids looking for pens and sweets and adults asking you to visit their shop.
Most people planning the trip to Toubkal from Imlil hire guides, mules and porters. However, none of these is really necessary, provided you don't mind carrying your backpack to the Toubkal refuge and that you have a good idea of the route. On a busy day the latter is not an issue as you can just follow the crowds.
If you do take your own stuff, be sure to carry only what is strictly necessary. I would also advise doing a trial run the night before the hike (if you have time) with what you plan to carry. Walking from Imlil to Aroumd, for example, a 30 minute hike, will give you a good indication of how much you can carry.
We carried one large backpack and one smaller one with us. The journey from Imlil to the Toubkal refuge took over 5.75 hours and it did get very tiring towards the end. Our shoulders and legs were aching, the packs were really starting to hurt and, of course, we were also gaining altitude. Many times mules and porters passed by and offered to carry our bags but we stuck at it and made it there eventually.
On the final ascent to Toubkal there is no need at all for porters or mules. Mules, in fact, won’t be able to cross the snow line while the fact that you can leave stuff in the refuge means you only need a minimum amount to reach the summit.
Bus station and taxis: square Al Jamia Al Arabia, Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 946 682
Railway station: square de la Marche verte, Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 934 570
Royal Air Maroc: square 'de France', Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 935 501
Boukhalef Souahel Airport, Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 935 720. Fax : 039 932 676
Comanav, Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 942 350 / 039 932 649,
Limadet Ferry, Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 933 626 / 039 932 836
Comarit, Tangier Morocco tel.: 039 931 220