Considered one of North Africa’s most beautiful spectacles, the Ouzoud Falls, near the High Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt, consist of a series of sharp drops (the highest being 110m) down the rocky faults of the El Abid river in its dramatic, red rock gorge culminating in a final impressive cascade into a sparkling mountain pool.
The summit of the falls is dotted with olive groves and ancient water mills, some still used for extracting oil from olives and other crops. (Ouzoud is the Berber word for the process of grinding grain). Some of the climbs around the gorge are quite arduous but one can swim in the pool beneath the falls, explore cave networks and even take a scenic trip on a river boat.
Flora of Ouzoud Falls
The area’s flora is predominantly made up of mossy plants and varieties of trees including olive, lime, oak and pomegranate. The lushness and greenery stands out in full bloom during the Spring and Summer months when visitors can capture some great photographs.
Fauna of Ouzoud Falls
In terms of fauna, the Ouzoud Falls are well-known for their population of Barbary apes, observed most easily at daybreak or when they come to the river to drink around an hour or so before dusk. Other wildlife includes jackals, wild cats, various reptiles and macaque monkeys.
Best Time to visit Ouzoud Falls
March, April and May offer plenty of sunshine, the heat tempered by altitude, but late spring is when snow melt higher up the mountains increases the water flow of the cascades below. This, combined with mountain flora at its best, makes spring time the most rewarding time of year to visit this magnificent natural spectacle.