If you think a cacti garden isn't worth travelling across the bumpy lunar pistes of outer Marrakesh for, think again. Cactus Thiemann is one of North Africa’s largest cacti farms, with fields of giant aloe, agave and prickly pear. The largest cactus, at 8m high, is 80 years old and was brought to Morocco overland from Europe in a souped-up military vehicle by founder Hans Thiemann. Tours of the 17-acre nursery and its 150 cacti varieties are fascinating. There are also camels for kids.
Thiemann was an agricultural engineer and cacti lover who grew tired of growing in Germany’s greenhouse conditions. His farm now operates as a garden and research facility, and has provided expertly grown cacti to the botanical beds of famous gardens throughout Marrakesh, including Jardin Majorelle.
Since Thiemann's death in 2001, the nursery has been managed by his widow Fatima and two daughters Magda and Roselinde. At the time of writing, visits were by guided tour only, but the family is in the process of building an information centre, a self-guided trail and cafe.