Book Register Log In
The Edward Carpenter Community
For men who love men

Moroccan Magic

An invitation to ECC men for 2024

In 2023, ECC member Ian Williams organised a three-week trip to Taroudant in Morocco, hiring a kasbah in the city for the exclusive use of a dozen men, mostly from the UK and mostly fellow ECC members. It wasn't an ECC event, but Ian invited any ECC man to join him for some or all of the stay. It was so successful that he is organising a longer four-week trip in 2024.

The kasbah

20th February to 22nd March 2024

Bookings have opened now. If you're interested, please contact Ian directly by email at wimbledonian [at] to be included in the mailing list. There are details of likely prices and practicalities below, but first hear what one of the group, a man from Germany, had to say about this year's trip:

“The ‘Morocco Marauders’ are back on European soil. For three weeks in February and March, 12 men connected with ECC or the Faeries travelled to Morocco. Most were from the UK, one from Belgium/Siberia, and one from Germany. Thanks to Ian Williams, who organised our journey in the best possible way with his longtime travelling experience, everyone felt safe from the beginning till the very end. Ian rented a whole kasbah in Taroudant (a traditional fortified house, now run as a hotel/holiday rental) exclusively for our group. We had nice single rooms, though two people shared a twin room for a short while.

“There were two lovely courtyards, a colourful garden and an outdoor pool - the latter was a bit chilly during the first week but soon warmed up. The friendly kasbah manager Abdul, his wife and a maid provided us a pleasant stay with a daily local breakfast and tasty tajine, couscous and other Moroccan meals.

“Before the trip, Ian contacted some local residents on Confident, openhearted young men who spoke fluent English and were eager to show us around in their homeland and who even invited us to their private traditional homes in the mountains - Moroccan hospitality as its best. We were deeply touched and won't forget our new friends Yazzine, Hameed, Khalid and Lahsen. On occasional evenings, local bands performed traditional music and danced with us in the kasbah.

“The ancient city of Taroudant has impressive ancient ramparts, a lively medina with souks (traditional markets, where many of us bought Moroccan djellabas to dress up) and a big square with lots of cafés and horse carriages available to discover every corner. With our two rental cars, we also explored other interesting places: Agadir with its long beaches, animal park, citadel (reachable by cable car) and Medina Polizzi. Palm grove oasis village Tiout. Irherm with its Igoudar (fortress) buildings and almond blossoms. Tafraout on the mountain range of Anti-Atlas with its blue coloured granite rocks. Taliouine with its famous spice saffron. Last but not least the extraordinary Claudio Bravo Museum about this artist from Chile (1936-2011), who spent most of his life in Taroudant - together with his ‘secretary’, a former soccer player. Unfortunately I had to leave early, so I missed some other excursions: Tifnit Beach with lots of camels, film studio city Quarzazate, Tizgui waterfall near Zagora, a camel tour in the Sahara desert, and Legzira Beach. Many reasons to come back next year! Luckily, Ian has booked the kasbah again for 2024. The ‘Morocco Marauders’ go again.”

What we learned and what we will do next year

The timing was just right, weather-wise. Although it became hot towards the end of the trip, the humidity was so low that it was pleasant. So I have booked for 20th February to 22nd March 2024.

Despite the longer rental period, the total cost works out lower than last year, at about £15 per person per night if full. All will have their own double room next year, unless they are bringing a partner or someone who they wish to share a double bed with.  Ramadan is earlier next year, starting on 11th March, so it will affect the final ten days, but we are assured it won’t make much difference to us.

We had some brave volunteer drivers. Moroccan car driving is not too crazy, as there are police everywhere, but the pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, goats, camels etc seemed to have no road-sense and preferred to wear black, especially at night. Abdul and Yassine were able to help a lot with the driving, as did some of the more intrepid members of the group. So if you are willing to drive you will be especially welcome. It is not as bad as it sounds, but is not for the faint-hearted.

How is the weather?

We will stay near Taroudant, which is to the south of the High Atlas mountains. This year we had a couple of cloudy days, and a few spots of rain.  The unusually cool weather at the start of the trip was replaced by unusually hot weather (36c) after the first week - but the low humidity meant that this felt entirely comfortable. Here is a climate chart.

How long should you stay?

Many of those who only joined us for a week regretted not staying longer.

We completely filled the kasbah during the middle week of our 2023 stay, but the room occupancy built up during the first week and went down in the second week.  We hope that by having the kasbah for four weeks next year, people could come for two weeks - either the first or last two weeks, which would give a more even spread.

In 2024 there will be seven proper bedrooms as the house in the garden is being refurbished.  Several people have indicated that they would like to come for the entire month, but this might restrict the number of places available for newcomers.  But some of those wanting to stay longer may spend some of that time touring around - Yassine and Khalid also joined me for a final week travelling around Southern Morocco, including by camel in the Sahara Desert.  Quite a few of the people who came this year have said that they would like to do a similar tour.  Distances are quite long in Morocco, and we were not able to reach as many of the places which we would have liked to have visited by doing day trips.  So we will try to arrange some trips away from the kasbah.

Getting there

The nearest airport is Agadir, 80km away on the coast - about an hour's travel. We will try to collect you and return you but you may need to take a taxi on days when others are not arriving/departing.

What is a kasbah?

The English translation of 'kasbah' means a fortress. As Morocco was tribal, every tribe had to build its own kasbah. Most are owned and built by the Glaoua family. In addition, a lot of tribes built kasbahs to protect their leaders and important occupants.

What is there to do?

We can explore the souks and the walled city of Taroudant, go to the sea at Agadir, enjoy the pool, go to and maybe walk in the High Atlas mountains, visit Tafraoute, the amazing Tizi n' Test Pass,  and Irherm. Longer trips might be to Ouarzazate, or Marrakesh or the sand dunes desert area of Zagora. See my YouTube channel for videos of our trip.

The cost will depend on numbers, but will be roughly:

Accommodation and car hire £250 per person per week

  • Plus kitty for food and other expenses perhaps £160 per week.
  • Plus the flights to and from Agadir airport - currently around £150 return from London, plus luggage cost.
  • Plus your travel insurance cost.

Bookings are open now
If you are interested in joining the trip in 2024 please email Ian Williams at wimbledonian [at] He will do the rest, and then keep you up to date.

Kasbah at night Moroccan hospitality Pool

More details of Kasbah Gousteau at

The Edward Carpenter Community website uses cookies. For more information see our Privacy policy