Based close to Marrakech, and in the rolling foothills of the High Atlas, Jarjeer Mules is a haven for donkeys and mules, some neglected, or sick, or homeless, and of all ages (even new-borns, as the pictures show). Jarjeer is the brainchild of British couple Susan & Charles, who live on-site and manage the day-to-day operations themselves, along with a small support team of Berbers, from the neighbouring village of Oumnass. The couple allow visitors to come to meet their animals, take a ride or cycle, stroll through the grounds of the retreat, and even enjoy lunch or a cookery class on-site (bookable in advance).
The donkeys are very sociable and always happy to meet new people – you can read about all of their characters on the Jarjeer Mules website.
Jarjeer is committed to animal welfare and collaborates with the worldwide charity SPANA. SPANA’s clinic in Marrakech is one of their busiest and Jarjeer has in fact taken on two orphaned foals via the clinic. Jarjeer also promotes donkey riding for disabled children and takes one of their animals to meet children at a local orphanage.
Jarjeer is not only committed to the well-being of these animals, but also to employment opportunities and supporting their community which has clearly welcomed them. Susan & Charles have some touching stories to tell about the local shepherd boy (Abdrahim) who brings his flock to drink from their well and who himself has since come to form exceptional bonds with the animals (in particular with ‘Tommy’ – Tommy is a viral celebrity with his own blog page!). Local farmers too come to Jarjeer to ask for advice about their own animals.
The location may be close to Marrakech but the way of life here is distinctly pastoral. And if you need another reason to visit Jarjeer Mules – the backdrop of the High Atlas mountains is unparallaled (image at top of page).
Note: all images are c/o the Jarjeer Mules website