A delightfully refreshing breeze welcomes you upon arrival at these gardens.
An oasis in the middle of the desert
A visit to the Exotic Gardens, also known as the Gardens of Bouknadel, around 12 miles from Rabat, will take you to the city of Kentira. They were created relatively recently by French horticultural engineer, Marcel François, who in 1952 decided to gain some land from the sand and transform the desert into marshes and exact reproductions of exotic microclimates. The seeds had been collected during his travels around the world, from the Antilles to China, locations where the local flora had made such an impression on François that he tried to recreate it in this small corner of Morocco. What began as the personal oasis of this passionate gardener was eventually opened to the public in 2002, following a restoration project on behalf of the authorities, although some exotic species were unfortunately unrecoverable. A stroll through this maze of plants and suspension bridges, topped off with a cup of tea at one of the fountain-side rest areas, makes for an unparalleled experience so close to the desert.
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