December News

New Program…

Bionics Excursion, Cafe Tissardmine 19 – 27 March 2013

Cafe Tissardmine is proud to be hosting a 7 day bionics program led by Professor Ingo Rechenberg of the Technical University of Berlin. This program is open to not only scientists but also people with an interest in desert research and bionics.

The price is 1199Euro per person excluding flights into and out of Morocco.

Accommodation is half board (breakfast and dinner) twin share, but if you wish to book a single room for the week, this is possible. A single supplement will be charged.

Commencing March 19, you will meet at Casablanca Airport where a bus will take you the 600Kms to your accommodation at Cafe Tissardmine and the nearby bionic research station. The station laboratory is well equipped with microscope, night vision instruments and a Newton telescope with automatic focus.

The program includes night time dune hikes to see the Tabacha, the rolling or somersaulting spider that is unique to this region; collecting fossil and finding meteorites  and ancient artifacts and of course star gazing.

Some background to the region

Some 350million years ago, this entire region was under the sea, the remains of which can be seen in the petrified coral reefs along the dry river bed at Tissardmine where ammonites, trilobites and belennites abound.

On 18th July 2011 a meteorite from Mars landed 350kms from Tissardmine, it is still possible to find small fragments from this meteorite.

Ancient local rock cravings depict Rhino, Giraffe and Elephants.

Erg Chebbi, the giant dune that dominates the landscape was formed over thousands of years and today stands at 150meters at it’s highest point and is 20kms long and 5kms wide. This natural phnomenon is steeped in legend; the story goes that more than 5,000 years ago there was a large lake where families lived, but these families were bad people who angered the gods. As a result the gods sent a strong wind that brought so much sand, the lake disappeared and as each year passed more and more sand built up to create a giant network of dunes burying the people beneath. Locals say that on a quiet night inside the dunes, if you listen carefully, you can still hear their voices…

In the daytime, you are most likely to see Camels, donkeys, goats, sheep and other domestic animals roaming the landscape but at night the desert comes alive as the smaller creatures come out from their subterranean sand bunkers to hunt in the cooler temperatures; the sand fish, sidewinder snake, desert fox, jumping mouse, rolling spider, long finger gecko and gerbil.

For more information and registration go to