Goulimine Camel Market
Goulimine is a little town south of the Souss Massa Dra region on the edge of the Western Sahara. Once known as the ‘Gateway to the desert’, it is now less of a border town – due mainly to the decline of the camel as a mode of transport.
It is still home to the small weekly camel souk on a Saturday morning, and although now mainly held for the benefit of the tourists, when in its prime the Tuareg – nomadic “blue men”- would come in from all over the desert to trade at the traditional camel market. The women would also meet and beat drums and perform the Guedra, the traditional Saharan dance.
The Moussem of Tan Tan
The region’s annual Moussem (Camel Festival), held in July on the road to Tan Tan, is the place to be for a truly authentic experience. It is here that the real Tuareg Nomads still come to buy, sell and exchange food and other products, hold camel and horse contests, and celebrate various cultural expressions; songs, music, dance, poetry and games.
The Moussem provides an exceptional opportunity for the Saharan tribes to meet and remember the past. It also gives tribal heads and dignitaries a chance to discuss subjects relating to the nomadic way of life, demonstrate to the world their unique lifestyle is a valid way of living, and improve its chance of survival.
In 2005 UNESCO proclaimed the Moussem ‘A masterpiece of the Oral and intangible cultural heritage of humanity’ – a human creative genius! This title praises the Moussem’s organisers and participants for making the festival a meeting point for the tribesmen and women of a secular civilization in danger of disappearing, as well as an exciting experience for tourists coming from all over the world.
If you are staying in Agadir, Massa, Mirleft or even Taroudant in July, check with your hotel for the dates of the festival and take a day trip to experience this wonderful event yourself.