Palm grove of Tinghir

Tinghir Palm grove, lush and beautiful

This generous and luxurious palm grove stretches for about 30 km from the Todra Gorges to Ferkla, halfway between Tinghir and Tinejdad. It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful palm groves in the kingdom.

Abundantly irrigated by a network of pipes called seguias, it is fed by the wadi Todra which runs through it as well as by the water table present at a few meters deep.

A true oasis of freshness during the hot summer days, you will find countless palms, fruit trees such as apples, pears, pomegranates, figs, almonds and peaches.

Each plot is carefully maintained and cultivated with corn, mint, squash and alfalfa. It’s a real pleasure to be able to walk there, it’s possible to reach the Gorges on foot or by bicycle through this garden of Eden.

From its source, which springs from the rock in the Todra gorges, the water of the river is distributed along the palm grove by means of irrigation channels on which the inhabitants of the Todra valley pay close attention, especially during the heat waves.

Palm grove life

Water distribution in the Todra Valley

But its flow is capricious and sometimes insufficient to feed all crops during periods of drought. The need for a just community system of water distribution has been gradually instituted over time and tribal wars so that the river can bring the whole palm grove to life.

Each tribe forms a territorial unit controlling the plots of crops it can cultivate and defend. These plots are spread out along the Todra Valley.

Likewise, each tribe has its own water authority, “an Amghar”, who, endowed with the trust and respect of all the families forming the tribe, watches carefully, assisted by an auxiliary chosen by himself, to ensure the proper functioning and proper flow of water from the gullies. It has the power to administer fines for non-compliance.

The setting up and maintenance of seguias are the responsibility of each tribe. The water is then channelled through a main séguia along the palm grove and then channelled through secondary canals to the plots to be irrigated. Once built out of palm tree trunks, seguias are now made of concrete. These plots are fed almost all year round and support many families.

At one time, there were several methods to calculate irrigation time. This could be the time elapsed between 2 prayers; or the running of the shade made by a palm tree.

But the safest and most commonly adopted means was the “tanast”, Berber word or Greek clepsydra, a hydraulic clock made up of a wooden bowl pierced with a small hole. The bowl is placed in a container containing water. It fills slowly, then flows.

This time interval is a unit of measurement that reproduces a certain number of times defined at the outset, gives the precise time given to irrigation. This system also makes it possible to feed the fields both during the day and at night in order to compensate for strong daytime evaporation.

When we walk in the palm grove, especially in summer, we notice that this method of distributing water from the Todra is shared in 3 different ways. There are the villages closest to the gorges and therefore to the spring, which are practically out of custom. They have water nearby and few cultivable plots.

However, villages further downstream in the middle of the valley are subject to the rule. For example, the douar (village) of Imzin has 6 days of irrigation per month, then Ighourtane 4 days, Afanour 2 days, Haloul/Ilgane 1 day, Taghmaste 6 days.

If we count it, it’s 21 days in total. The remaining days go to the villages at the bottom of the valley. Mainly, Aït M’hamed, Amzaourou and El Hart.

They receive the precious source of life for long periods of time in winter, especially during the famous Moussem of El Hart and its camel souk which takes place every year just before Eid el Kebir.

This community-based water management system is now well established. This was not always the case. Recently, in the 70’s, there were a half-dozen victims of conflicts between the villages in the middle and lower parts of the valley!

For the palm grove as well as for humans, controlled water is the indispensable link to a harmonious and fertile ecosystem. This water that escapes from the rock and flows proudly through the valley is life that flows. It is also the image of men’s work in order to domesticate the elements.

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Cities
Tinghir  
Todra valley  
Route of 1000 Kasbahs  
Hotels
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Retour Au Calme

Tinghir – From 8 €

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Auberge Cavaliers

Tinghir – From 10 €

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Auberge Chez Aissa

Tinghir – From 11 €

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Hôtel Azul

Tinghir – From 9 €

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Hotel Camping Le Lac

Tinghir – From 10 €

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Guest house Le Ciel Bleu

Tinghir – From 15 €

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