Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get to Tissardmine?
From Fez or Marrakech you can
- hire a self-drive car as far as the pick-up point just outside Rissani where we will meet you (we will give full directions once we know you are coming.)
- hire a 4×4 car with a driver who will bring you to our door
- catch a bus to Erfoud where we will meet you to drive you the rest of the way to Tissardmine…if you let us know which bus you are on.
See the Travel page for more detail
What is the climate like?
In the desert the temperature range throughout the year is vast.
Winter (between December and February) the days are generally warm and sunny 18 – 22 Celsius but temperatures drop at night to nearly freezing.
Summer (between mid June to mid September) is hot with temperatures rising to 55 Celsius and nights are warm enough for sleeping outside. Cafe Tissardmine is closed between mid July and end August.
Other times of year it is around 30 Celsius with cool to warm nights.
The sandstorms that are whipped up by strong winds are worst during the change of seasons late March/April and late October/November.
Shooting stars are most frequent on August and December, but are seen throughout the year.
What do I need to bring in particular?
A silk inner liner sleeping bag
Good walking shoes
Can I ride a camel?
Yes. For however short or long a time as you wish, prices vary…
Do I have to ride a camel?
What facilities do you have?
Power: We are solely solar powered so whilst there is electricity we try to limit the amount of light at Tissardmine; better for star gazing, better for the nocturnal animals. We also recommend you charge your cameras/computers/phones during daylight hours – having said that – everything is negotiable! Just be careful on cloudy days (few and far between…) You may also need power adaptors for your chargers – Moroccan plugs fit the same as French/European sockets.
Water: We have hot water in the house and the guest rooms provided by solar power. The camp has en- suite bathrooms with hot water via a boiler that heats water by fire. Wood is scarce, so we light the fire once a day so the sooner you shower once it is hot the hotter it will be! Water is also scarce so we ask that you keep the showers short.
Phone and internet: We have mobile phone connection at Tissardmine but no internet connection. Your stay with us can be a rare opportunity to escape the constant connectivity of the modern world! However, for emergencies and/or longer stays, it is possible to access the internet in the nearby towns of Erfoud or Rissani, about 30kms from Café Tissardmine.
Laundry: Small loads of laundry can be washed by hand – we can provide you with tubs, soap and a kettle of hot water mushi mushkil! (No problem!) For longer stays, large items can be sent in to the laundry in Rissani (25kms from Tissardmine).
Can I use my (credit or debit) card in the desert?
As with most places in Morocco, most shops prefer cash (most do not have eftpos facilities, and when they do it is mostly for significant purchases). However, every reasonable-sized town has several banks with automatic teller machines (ATMs) which accept major credit/debit cards.
However, please note that (especially down our way, out of the major cities) cash passports do not seem to work. If you intend to use a cash passport while in Morocco, we recommend you also have a credit card you can use to withdraw money.
Can you cater for different diets?
At Café Tissardmine we do our best to accommodate everyone, and, as long as you let us know in advance, we will do what we can to make sure any particular needs you have are met. We cook in the traditional local way using fresh food from the local markets. Whilst the diet is quite meat based, we can cater for vegetarians and also gluten free but we ask you to bring anything particular that you need with you. The major cities may be able to offer more for you but the local towns probably don’t, so shop ahead and be prepared. Those with nut allergies…sorry, we cannot guarantee a nut free cooking environment.
Are there dangerous animals?
In general no. There is a species of scorpion that can give a very nasty sting but they are shy creatures and do not attack unless surprised. Scorpions are rarely seen and mainly in the hotter months. We do advise that you keep your suitcase zipped up as they do like to crawl into bags to keep warm.
What language do Moroccans speak?
The official language of Morocco is Moroccan Arabic known as Darija. The population in the region where Tissardmine lies is primarily Amazigh (or Berber) who speak Tashlehiyt. You can get by on French in the major cities and some local towns. The arabic word for thank you is Shukran. The tashlehiyt word for thank you is Saha.