Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure

Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure

Take one:

“Action,” says Alicia, and I am off, out of the traps, babbling.  I am definitely trying too hard. The expressions on the row of faces in front of me range from uncomprehending but pleasantly amused (the crew), to decidedly anxious (Alicia).

Take two:

“You look like you are thinking too hard. “

Take three:

“Keep the energy up.”

Take four:

“Less enthusiasm.”

Take five:

“Can you be more enthusiastic but not so smiley.”

Take six:

“Can you be a bit more spontaneous.”

I think it is fair to say that my first piece of camera was painful for all concerned.

The Team for Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure

The actual team for making the whole programme involved lots of different people from the Boss, Harry Bell, to “Lucky” Bill Gill, the amazing editor to Andrew Blackwell who developed the ideas and put flesh on the bones of the story to all the people working away behind the scenes.

But for the adventure itself, it was a core bunch of Alicia Arce as Director, Séamas McCracken as Director of Photography (camera and sound) Laura Buchan as Assistant Producer, me, Charlie Shepherd as Chief Fixer in Morocco with  and Ismaiel Dicko as Chief Fixer in Mali.

The filming of Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure

We filmed during November and December and what an adventure it was! When I replay it in my mind, I have so many favourite moments: being hauled out of a vat of pigeon shit as it starts to fill up my waders in the tanneries in Marrakech; scratching the soft head of my camel, Hamoun; having a tea party with the women and girls in the caravanserai I stayed in; touching the Sankore mosque for the first time; going in a UN convoy out towards the Niger and leaving the desert for  a sea of green-flooded eucalyptus groves; riding a three-donkey cart….. watch the films and you will get the idea!

But, it was sharing the experience that made it really special. Sharing the stories of all the people we met along the way; sharing the actual journey with the team and last but, most importantly, sharing it with everyone who watches it on TV or reads my book.

I hope you enjoy it and feel the love that was put into it by all of us.

If you liked this story, I have actually written a book about the adventure itself and what it was like behind the camera as well as in front. There are the scenes we cut and lots of extra information  check out Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure 

You can also keep up to date with my latest adventures through my blog or my podcast, Alice in Wanderland. 

31 comments on “Morocco to Timbuktu: An Arabian Adventure

  1. Geoff on

    Really enjoyed your programme Alice. Looking forward to the next and getting the book. Thank your for sharing your love, joy and knowledge of Morocco.

  2. Jeanette on

    Alice, what a joy a magnificent journey thank you so much for making this trip and sharing it with us. I too fell in love with Morocco but do not get to visit often enough so what a delight this evening’s film was for me. Can’t wait for next week, I hope to see more of you and your adventures in the future Insh ‘ Allah

  3. Tony Spencer on

    A truly inspirational piece of television, and fascinating to read about the background and organisation behind it, as well as about your personal challenges and triumphs.

  4. Ali raouf on

    This is the journey I always dreamed of unfortunately got old and there was no means when I was young! Look forward to your book.


    A fascinating programme. Thank you. I especially loved the culinary exploits in the markets. I am inspired to go there.

  6. Vic Cook on

    Hi Alice, I loved both episodes of the show, they’re so well done. Congratulations! I’ve just started to fall in love with exploring and travel. I’ve done Asia and Europe so far but you’ve inspired me to explore Morocco…and also learn another language! I’ll let you know how I go 🙂 xx

  7. Richard Walton on

    I really enjoyed both episodes of Morocco to Timbuktu.
    Thank you to you and your team for producing such an interesting and educational series. I was hooked by your knowledge, passion and love for the people and the beautiful scenery along with the history.
    Really looking forward to the next series.

  8. Neil Davenport on

    An inspiring series. Which are the tracks of music that you use during the episodes as they provide a lovely backdrop to the sights. Thank you

    • Alice on

      Hi Neil,
      Thank you so much. The music was actually all originally composed for the series.
      I will pass on your comment to the composer.

      • Neil Davenport on

        Thank you for contacting me back about this Alice. It would be nice if the music was made available on CD – here’s hoping. Regards

  9. Tony on

    I recorded these programmes a couple of weeks ago and only just got to watch them. I loved them both and enjoyed your enthusiastic presentation style. You seem to have a natural and winning way with the people.

  10. Gillean Somerville-Arjat on

    My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the programmes. He is Moroccan from Fes and I have known him and his family for more than 30 years. We live in Edinburgh but visit Morocco regularly. I do not have either your energy or your bravery, however. Le Marathon des Sables – mon Dieu! We have met someone else who has met you in Morocco, a young man from Zagora called Abdelhadi, who also runs and works as a guide. He, too, comes to Edinburgh occasionally.

    • Alice on

      Hello Gillean,
      Thank you so much! I know Abdelhadi very well. He is an absolutely lovely person. He is doing very well with his running at the moment!

  11. Rachel Reading on

    I have just seen and thoroughly enjoyed from Morocco to Timbuktu. Are there any other programs in line to be made? I do hope so. Best x

  12. David Norris on

    Fantastic programme, I lived in Morocco for three years, I think I have traveled every main road in Morocco and many back roads, I have traveled and photographed extensively, but my favourite images, are from North Africa and the Sahara, this journey brought back so many unforgetable memories for me.


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