The camp is marketed and administered by Nick Garsten and operated by Mohamed Boulfrifi (Bobo)
Bobo was born in the desert near the Drâa River about 50 km from M’Hamid. Bobo lived in the desert, farming and looking after the family’s livestock until he was 20. However, with the construction of a dam in Ouarzazate the flow of water in the Draa river was controlled and dried up in the desert. Farming and maintaining livestock became unsustainable. Bobo then decided to move into tourism, working at a variety of camps in a whole host of positions, including guiding, driving, cooking, hosting and construction. Bobo, being both resourceful and entrepreneurial, decided to setup his own tour company, providing transportation services and camel and walking treks in the desert. And this is how we met.
My wife met Bobo first. In a snowstorm in January stranded on the pass between Marrakech and Ouarzazate. They got talking and Diane ended up on one of his treks. Diane was so enamoured by his charm (and probably good looks) that she urged me to go on a trip with him.
The trip was great. However, having lived in Cape Town for many years and travelled to the desert in Namibia and stayed in some wonderful camps there, I thought there was an opportunity to develop a luxury camp. Whilst sleeping in the desert was a wonderful experience, I thought that it could have been slightly better if I had had a comfortable bed, a place to wash and a comfortable relaxing area. Bobo thought the idea was a good one, and that is when we decided to setup a new luxury camp.
For those that are interested, for most of my working life I have been in the hotel business working in various chains including Four Season and Mandarin Oriental. In 2002 I bailed out of the corporate existence and purchased my own place, the Cape Heritage Hotel in Cape Town, which I sold in 2007. And in 2008 I ended up in Morocco with the intention of purchasing a small riad in the medina of Marrakech. However, I then met Bobo and my plans just simply changed…
So now with the camp up and running I basically do the administration and Bobo does everything else!