Image by Chris Griffiths Lonely Planet
The bumpy pistes that lead to Cactus Thiemann – one of North Africa’s largest cacti farms – reveal the lunar landscape in which Marrakesh sits. Started by Hans Thiemann, an agricultural engineer and cacti lover who grew tired of growing in Germany’s greenhouse conditions, this 17-acre nursery and its 150 cacti varieties operate as a garden and research facility and have provided expertly grown cacti to the botanical beds of famous gardens throughout Marrakesh.
After Thiemann's death in 2001, the nursery has been managed by his widow Fatima and two daughters Magda and Roselinde. Guided tours of the grounds can be arranged by appointment, but the family is planning to open a public cafe soon. The farm is 10km along Route de Casablanca from Marrakesh.