Monkey Run Morocco

The Details: Monkey Run Morocco

Take a tiny 50cc Monkey Bike and wobble forth into the Sahara Desert. Then force it up and over the Atlas Mountains and finish in a dusty cloud of glory just outside Marrakech.

Welcome to the original Monkey Run, launched back in 2015.

This is a perfectly balanced adventuring recipe: equal measures of pain and glory set to the soundtrack of other people’s laughter. They’re laughing at you because you’re pushing a Monkey Bike up a mountain. You’ll be grinning because you’re driving the world’s most perfectly unsuitable adventure machine across Morocco.

You can also do the Monkey Run in Peru and Mongolia.

1. The un-route


    Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes, near Merzouga


    Desert Camp, near Marrakech

We provide the start line and the finish line. The bit in between, or the unroute as we call it, is entirely up to you. If we told you where to go it wouldn't be a proper adventure. So ditch the smart phone and get totally lost. Morocco will deliver. Expect sweaty desert, endless plains, snow capped mountains, river crossings, back roads twisting through epic gorges, bike-mangling off road tracks and lots of camels.
Monkey Run Morocco Route Map

Erg Chebbi Sand Dunes

You start from the edge of the Sahara in southeast Morocco. The iconic sea of 150 metre sand dunes tower over your test driving arena at the Monkey Run camp.

The first bit looks like Mars

Heading north you wobble out of the desert on a few kilometres of rough track towards Erfoud. This area is famous for being used as a giant film set. And looking a bit like Mars. If Mars had camels.

From here your un-route journey begins with the first of many navigational decisions.

We strongly advise heading vaguely in the general direction of the Atlas Mountains via as much off roading as you can muster. Avoid the main highways at all costs and find the dirt tracks leading to nowhere.

Head in the wrong direction. On purpose.

On your second day you have a choice to make that will set the tone for the rest of your adventure. So be like Mike. But not superstar athlete Michael Jordan. No, we're talking about the walking distaster of a human that is Mike 'the Catastrophe' Evans:
“We spent two days spent driving in the completely wrong direction. Two more spent on hiking trails and unmapped “roads” in the mountains, ignoring the protesting locals we kept to the mantra: “always forwards, even if it’s backwards.” On day five we met most of the other teams crossing the Atlas towards Marrakech as we happily headed in the opposite direction.

“Somehow we managed to get to the finish line for the party with the other teams but I reckon we drove in the wrong direction for 3 of the 7 days.”
This is Mike. If you hadn't guessed.
This is Mike's bike. Not on a highway.
A true example of the benefits of adventuring ignorance. Mike demonstrates that knowing where you are is highly over-rated. So make sure you avoid the main highways between the desert and the foothills of the Atlas and get totally and completely lost.

Hit the back roads

Now that you've made the wise decision to get as lost as possible, here is some of the awesomeness that will slap you about the face with adventure.

The Atlas Mountains

The un-route has been carefully crafted to force you and your 50cc Monkey Bike to tackle the massive Atlas Mountain range. There's no way round it. You can go any way you want but you'll definitely be pushing your monkey up the side of a mountain.

Not only will you lose weight but you'll be driving on some of the most spectacular roads in Africa.

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2. The dates

October 2023 - SOLD OUT

12th October 2023: Beers in Marrakech
13th October 2023: Bus to the start line in Merzouga
14th October 2023: Test driving & launch party
15th October 2023: Launch day
21st October 2023: Finish line & party

January 2024

29th December 2023: Beers in Marrakech
30th December 2023: Bus to the start line in Merzouga
31st December 2023: Test driving & launch party
1st January 2024: Launch day
7th January 2024: Finish line & party

May 2024

25th April: Beers in Marrakech
26th April: Bus to the start line in Merzouga
27th April: Test driving & launch party
28th April: Launch day
4th May: Finish line & party

October 2024

10th October: Beers in Marrakech
11th October: Bus to the start line in Merzouga
12th October: Test driving & launch party
13th October: Launch day
19th October: Finish line & party

January 2025 - COMING SOON

29th December 2024: Beers in Marrakech
30th December 2024: Bus to the start line in Merzouga
31st December 2024: Test driving & launch party
1st January 2025: Launch day
7th January 2025: Finish line & party

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3. The monkey bike

"These bikes are completely impractical. That’s why you don’t see thousands of them driving up and down the country. It’s because they’re useless."
What this diminutive bundle of joy lacks in size, it more than makes up for in unadulterated pleasure.

• It's close to the ground, so you don't have far to fall.
• It's about the size of a rollerskate, so will fit through tiny gaps in traffic.
• It's incredibly light, so when it inevitably breaks down it's easy to carry.
• It's mechanically basic so a chimp could fix it.

They also have a super handy luggage rack over the rear wheel which can easily hold your wallet and maybe your keys (probably best to stick to three of four keys).

Engine: 48cc of 4 stroke genius
Power: 2.1 BHP
Weight: 69kg
Brakes: Disc front, drum rear

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4. How much does it cost?

Entry fee

£1,395 per rider. An absolute steal for all the stuff that's included, like this stuff:

• A mighty if diminutive bike to fall in love with
• The bike transported to the start line
• Bike paperwork and 3rd party vehicle insurance ready to go
• A launch party to kill half your brain and a finish party to kill the other
• The most ridiculous week of adventuring chaos imaginable

Payment plan - spread the cost

Choose 'pay monthly by card' when you sign up and spread the entry fee out over a few months. No waiting around to save up the sheckles. This means you can press the go button on old school adventure today.

Go on. Off you pop. Press the buttons of destiny.

Not included in the entry fee

• International flight • Accommodation (apart from at the start camp where two nights are included) • Helmet and riding gear • Food and drinks on the road (start and finish it's included) • Visa to enter Morocco, if you need one

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5. Going solo?

The Monkey Run is perfect for those going solo because, well, you can only fit one person on a monkey bike. Some do sign up with friends but there are runners that tackle the Monkey Run solo every time. It's easy to meet others during the test driving to convoy for at least part of the trip if you don't fancy going alone.

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6. No motorcycle license required

You can ride a monkey bike in Morocco on a standard car license. Technically speaking you don't need any license to drive a 50cc bike over there.

But you must have a standard driving license to take part in the Monkey Run. If you only have a bike license that's fine too. But if you don't have any driving license at all you need to go and get one.

For riders who only have a car license we also still strongly recommend you get a small bike permit or license in your country, even if you don't technically need it by law.

Do I need motorcycling experience?

Riders have taken part before with minimal experience but we don't recommend it. Your chances of losing limbs or getting squashed by a truck are increased if you don't know how to properly pilot a tiny motorbike.

Get some time in the tiny-bike saddle and build up some two-wheeled experience before you take on the Sahara desert and Atlas mountains. Even if it's not a monkey bike, pick the smallest bike you can get your hands on.

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7. Saving the world

Not only is the Monkey Run an industrial dose of adventure, it’s also about Saving the World. We ask every rider to make their best efforts to raise a minimum of £500 for the official charity Cool Earth.

Anything above this can be raised for any other registered charity of your choice.

Cool Earth works alongside indigenous villages to halt rainforest destruction. All their partnerships are community-owned and led. Local people stand to lose the most from deforestation but the most to gain from its protection, that’s why they are the forest’s best possible custodians.


We need to save every rainforest in the world so future generations have somewhere to get stuck. Not because we’re tree hugging sandal weavers, but because the world would be shit without them. It’s not about the carbon off twatting, the point is rainforests are indescribably excellent.

How do we raise the cash?

The best way to raise these funds is through your friends and families, people you work with or anyone who's got a dirty little secret only you know about. We've found that the best way to collect these funds is to set up a fundraising page on the Cool Earth website. Your donors can chuck cash their way via your page and it saves on fees. You can also use other fundraising platforms such as Justgiving.

You've got until 2 weeks after the end of your adventure to raise the minimum amount of £500. Teams often raise the most cash while they're on the road and just after they get back, but it's wise to start your campaign early.

If you don't raise £500 by the deadline, unfortunately you will go to hell. Together with Cool Earth we give you tips and resources to help you fundraise. Then 2 weeks after the finish line party we will pester you for your final total. But don't panic, we won’t set any dogs on you, or force you to sell your children. We will be very, very disappointed though and do a sad face at you.

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8. The warning

These are genuinely dangerous things to do. The website is written in a light-hearted fashion but you cannot overestimate the risks involved in taking part in this adventure.

Your chances of being seriously injured or dying as a result of taking part are high. Individuals who have taken part in past Adventurists' adventures have been permanently disfigured, seriously disabled and even lost their life.

This is not a glorified holiday, it's an unsupported adventure and so by its very nature extremely risky. You really are on your own and you really are putting both your health and life at risk. This is what makes them adventures.

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9. I'm ready - sign me up

Registration is open now. Press the button of adventuring destiny and set forth into the unknown on the mighty monkey bike.

Join Adventure   

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10. Subscribe and follow


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11. Contact us

+44(0)117 422 3400

[email protected]

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