Morocco travel advice

Morocco travel advice


Tips from our friends in Morocco

Activity tips


Andrew Straw, founder of our cycling vacation supplier, Saddle Skedaddle, shares his Morocco travel advice:
"If youíve not got a tardis and arenít called the Doctor then head to Morocco for a little time travel. In around four hours from the UK youíre able to deposit yourself back several hundred years and find yourself in a place thatís a far cry from a Europe. Its smooth tarmac ribbons of roads slice through the Atlas - perfect for your skinny tyres. And, if you fancy a bit of rough, its off road trails offer something for everyoneÖfrom exciting technical descents to cross country routes that immerse a biker into the very heart of a country that is as addictive as it is endearing".

Packing tips


Rachel Blech is co-founder of our supplier, SheherazadVentures:
"Pack lots of light and loose layers. Temperatures can vary a lot between night and day. Weather is usually warm, but can be very unpredictable between November Ė April."

Shopping tips


Simon Clifford, the Morocco expert at our leading supplier, Exodus Travel is the go to guy for Morocco travel advice:
"Avoid getting taken into a shop, carpet or otherwise. Itís much harder to leave without buying from inside! Be firm with shop keepers and stall holders. You donít have to buy anything! And donít be put off by street food, as itís fine. Really tasty, with huge portions for what you pay. Try and get small denominations of Dirhams, locals struggle to change large notes. Leather goods in Morocco are good, but never buy them on the outer stalls of the souk. Go as deep as you can as theyíll be at least half the price".

On the road tips


Rachel Blech is co-founder of our supplier, SheherazadVentures:
"If you are touring, make sure to pack bottled water, snacks and loo paper. You can go a long way without passing a shop or clean loo. Ensure that your tour operator allows for daily car/bus times that are not too excessive, and with plenty of stops. Morocco is a vast country Ė many companies offer tours that promise to take you from e.g. Marrakech to the Sahara and back in 3 days, but be warned that these are massive daily drives of around 9-10hrs. Check travel times carefully and do not believe what Google Maps tells you!"

Food tips


Anthony Horrobin from our supplier, Encounters Travel:
"In Marrakech go out to eat early, around 5pm, so that you can secure a balcony seat in one of the restaurants. From there you can watch the sunset and the square fill up. I highly recommend the restaurant Dar es Salam. It isnít really touristy, it has traditional musicians and the food is amazing."

Health & safety in Morocco


Travel safely in Morocco

Health


  • There are no required vaccinations for travel to Morocco, but always check NHS site Fit for Travel for more details. Always travel with a basic medical kit, including Imodium for stomach upsets. Ensure to bring your own prescription medicines along with a copy of your prescription.
  • The biggest health warning is to drink a lot of water. That and protect yourself from the sun with all possible methods. If you do get dehydrated through illness or heat, the 1 tsp salt/8 tsp sugar/1 litre of water ratio combo works a treat.
  • If you are driving in the sand dunes, be warned that motion sickness can be an issue. It doesnít occur to many people but bring sea sickness tablets to the desert in case.
  • If you are hiking in the High Atlas, altitude sickness can be an issue, particularly as you hit the nausea territory of around 2,800m. Altitude sickness can hit anyone, so beware of the symptoms and follow your tour operatorís advice on acclimatising slowly.
  • The water sellers in the souks did serve a real purpose in the past, but now they are mainly there to be photographed. The water they dispense does not have a good record in terms of cleanliness, and so stick to bottled or purified water when possible.
  • Be careful when it comes to stroking dogs and cats, because rabies does exist in Morocco. Do warn your children too, whose natural inclination is to stroke the animals.
  • Be wary of swimming in fresh water lakes or streams, as there is a parasitic infection known as Schistosomiasis, that is caused by a parasite entering the skin. For further information see NHS Fit for Travel website.

Safety


In the event of an emergency, call 15 for an ambulance, and 19 for police.
As tempting as the oceans might appear, sea currents can be very strong on some parts of the Moroccan coast. Always seek advice about safe swimming and surfing areas.
The outdoor activity market is growing rapidly in Morocco, with climbing, rafting, kayaking some of the ones to watch. However, as it is still relatively new to these activities, ensure that you travel with a responsible tour operator who can guarantee that all equipment and guiding meets high international safety standards. Wear a helmet when necessary, ensure there are buoyancy aids for water activities, and donít be afraid to ask what their safety procedures and knowledge of first aid are.
Morocco has a poor road safety record, so drive carefully and donít take any unnecessary risks.
The Western Sahara region is a disputed territory with a history of conflict. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to most of this region, not only because of potential conflict, but also because there are territories known for land mines. Read more on the FCO website.

Con artists and tricksters, or downright thieves, are a feature of Morocco, so be very careful whose story you are listening to.

Morocco tips from our travelers


Recommendations from those who have been there

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful Morocco travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation - and the space inside your suitcase.

Itís freezing in the Sahara at night, so take the blankets they offer and any clothes that you have. You'll need the vocab sheet they send you beforehand as you'll need to communicate! They are really very friendly, join in with things they do to get the most from it. However, they don't do much in the day, itís just their way of life - chill out and enjoy the scenery
- Emma Langridge on our ĎStaying with a Berber familyí vacation.



Make sure (if you go in the winter) that you take something to cover your eyes from the dust (Ski goggles might be useful and also a nice warm sleeping bag)
- Christopher Duxbury on a vacation in The Sahara


The rooms in the Kasbah and the Lodge have a fridge - so if you like to have a cool beer - bring some with you
- Joan Regan on our Luxury trekking vacation in the Atlas Mountains


Do not underestimate how cold it will be if you go during November/December! Forget any "glam" clothes and concentrate on the thermals! Take lots of antiseptic hand gel and use it all the time
. Ė Stephanie Edwards


Do as much research as possible on the places visited because it is very intense and too much to absorb during the trip.
Ė Angela Petardi
Photo credits: [Activity tips: Maureen] [Shopping tips: Photo Monkey] [Food tips: Grand Parc - Bordeaux, France] [Bela Hermanek: ] [Charles Redfern: Jonny Hanratty]
Written by Catherine Mack
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