Safety Tips in Morocco

  • model-meditation-morocco
    model-meditation-morocco
    by RoyJava
  • snake on the road in Tafraoute
    snake on the road in Tafraoute
    by angiebabe
  • snake up close :(
    snake up close :(
    by angiebabe

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Morocco

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    relationships with Men in Morocco

    by angiebabe Updated Jun 25, 2014

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well Rini and Pep, if your experience of Morocco has not included or uncovered the situations that I have been writing and warning about it does not necessarily mean that what Im writing and warning about is not valid - for those that are naiive and 'stupid' in your box that these people then go into if they do get involved I think that its not a bad idea to somehow give some sort of info that this sort of thing is happening - as there are many naiive women getting involved and Ive had an unusual number of experiences and years in Morocco to see a lot that a lot of normal travellers would not get to see or realise.
    I know a number of women too who have been affected by the rort and its a rather professional wide scale rort - that can be beyond many normal tourists or travellers understanding of it happening - and Im not talking about not understanding that bad happens anywhere in the world - there are warnings in the Lonely Planet and other travel guides that give a fair coverage of this situation and I had read it myself prior to going and being in Morocco and in hindsight could not grasp on how fully fledged and deep rooted those issues do actually go and thats where Im talking about - that for example of one town in particular almost every acquaintance had ended up marrying a foreigner and had left the country - and I had seen many of them playing around, juggling, and been advised by other women that I had come into contact with of their chat-ups when the guy in question was waiting for his visa to come through to go off to be with his bride.
    and these women will be women who 3 or 4 years later will find out that their husband/partner has got his passport and enough financial foundation to leave her and go back to Morocco to his Moroccan family and future bride.
    and this is only part of it.
    and if your opinion is that it is not really worth paying much attention to this subject well of course I agree but it is to the relevant parties - I have Moroccan friends and European men who live in Morocco who say the same - that women/foreign women should be aware that there are many out there not to trust as far as a relationship go and there are still many women who unfortunately do get charmed and think that its an okay thing to fall into and not realise just how different it and moroccan male mindset is in comparison to what we understand in some other/western cultures.
    Its a poor country, with many men who have difficulty getting employment and a decent income combined with being a beautiful and enticing and rather exotic country that has been opening to tourism and independent travel - add sweet charming men who have learnt how to be sweet and charming and multilingual from a very young age - their body language and words and psyche gets very geared up to make them difficult to read past the sweetness and charm to see that they are manipulating and opportunist. and by pointing that out does not at all negate the beauty of the country or the people in general. Its still a country I spend a lot of time promoting.

    so Rini Im not going to apologise for having been found to have written this sort of stuff in my pages and at the same time at other points through the Morocco forums and dont see that it negates what I have written in my pages as Ive had a lot of experience in Morocco and people take it quite freely . It is as valid even if not of the same value as the majority of getting around Morocco information that is also needed.

    All the best.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Snakes!

    by angiebabe Updated Apr 28, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I have lived in Australia for 15 years and seen plenty of occasions to be wary of snakes - Australia has some of the worlds most poisonous creatures so we are supposed to learn to be careful and be observant especially when outdoors....living in the UK is rather cushy with bare minimum of creepy crawlies to be worried about being bitten or poisoned by.

    Here in Morocco where Ive been visiting frequently since 2003, Ive heard there can be snakes such as vipers or adders up in the mountains to be careful of but as yet had never seen a snake despite spending a lot of my visits out in the outdoors and out in remote areas.

    Other than the entertainment with snakes in the main squares of Marrakech and Taroudant Ive seen my first snake today here in Tafraoute - apparently its poisonous and according to a local whos been living and working around this area for nearly 20 years he has sometimes seen quite a number of them in spring and early summer coming up onto the roads to sun themselves...warm themselves up after cold winters?!

    This one was already dead on the road...outside Tafraoute in the Anti-Atlas on the way to the village of Aguerd Oudad

    From what I was reading again today the most recommended thing to do if you see a snake is to leave it alone...move away from it

    snake on the road in Tafraoute snake up close :(
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  • crazyman2's Profile Photo

    Nut allergy

    by crazyman2 Written Jun 19, 2012

    Okay,

    I have just returned from a visit to Marrrakech, Essaouria and the High Atlas.
    It was an interesting country ---I especially liked the scenery, the people and finding out about the cultures.

    As a person with an epi-pen due to my nut allergy, I can tell you that Morocco was an awful experience food-wise! A lot of the food contained nuts and I was on bread and water for two meals (not joking) because the cafes could not provide me with anything that didn't contain nuts.

    I have no gripe about the lack of choice for someone with a nut-allergy. I knew that it would be like that and I made that choice.

    However, I would urge your son to show his French/Arabic cards in every situation involving food. Do not rely on the local guides.

    Also, never eat the cakes/sweets/candies.

    If your son likes chocolate, it would be worth buying a quantity of before he enters Morocco. It kept me sane.

    Anything else?

    bread and water one of the places with no choice for me

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Holes in the footpaths and other hazards....

    by angiebabe Written Jan 31, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Heres a photo of a good leg breaking sized hole I found the other day when walking along the promenade in Essaouira - youd wonder how in such a popular and touristed place as Essaouira a hole like this would manage to be in existence in such a public place but we would just say......Morocco!

    same goes with holes in the road when out driving or other hazards when a pedestrian or vehicle driver (one day a few minutes after having left Taroudant in the dark headed for the new freeway to Marrakech to get to the airport the spare tyre and piece of metal holding it on the back of a track bounced off in a front and it was only with an amazing fast reaction out of the way that we missed it, and that the driver behind didnt crash into the back of us plus missed the tyre also!!)

    One time when walking with friends in the old medina of Taroudant I was focused on talking a photo down a side street of an interesting door when I felt that my foot was right on the edge of a deep hole in the middle of the road!!...luckily I didnt lose my balance and fall or that my leg didnt go in and end up with a broken one!

    So always think about expecting the unexpected and watch where you are going!

    ...things like driving at night or twilight are a whole story in itself - ie seeing people out on the roads walking without any thing to make them more visible, people on cycles 3 abreast and so on!

    if you were preoccupied by the beaut beach view..!
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  • Afriquia, Fuel Pump Scam

    by Stripy Written Oct 4, 2011

    While driving from Agadir to Marrakech I stopped for fuel at Afriquia gas station. I think it was the Imintanoute rest stop, it's the one on the top of the hill at about 1200m/4000ft elevation. I asked the guy at the pump to put in 100MAD worth of fuel. He seemingly typed something in the pump and put the nozzle in. After a while he put it out and said he'd finished. I payed him but when I started the car, I saw that the fuel gauge hadn't moved at all and I was still almost on reserve. When I mentioned this to him he insisted that he fueled the car and that the gauge must be broken. After a couple of minutes of arguing in my bad French, I gave up because I had a plane to catch that day.

    I went on to the next rest stop, afraid that I would run out of fuel, but I made it. There I fueled the car and the gauge worked normally. I don't know whether it was a scam or the guy was just incompetent. But when you fuel the car, before you pay check that there is the amount of money and fuel written on the pump.

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  • DSwede's Profile Photo

    Road Flooding

    by DSwede Written Jul 23, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Morocco for some reason does not have nearly enough bridges. To that end, be safe and pay attention to the weather forecasts and be warned that roads frequently flood over and make sections impossible.

    Delays can last up to several hours after the storms stop, so you should have some basics in the car (water, etc.) to make any delay a bit more comfortable. If you don't know how your vehicle handles in high and/or fast moving water, don't even try it.

    I don't how many times we had to stop and wait at various points along the way. To be conservative, I'd say at least 4 times, up to several hours each time. There were multiple examples of both cars, trucks and buses who either attempted to cross or were caught unaware, but either way, they did not make it.

    Heavy Trucks Still Get Washed Away Buses Can't Cross the Floods
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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    The Donkey Bomb, Tight Streets and You

    by JamalMorelli Updated Apr 4, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Donkeys will not move out of the way for you on a crowded street.
    Donkeys will not make much noise to alert you on a crowded street.
    Donkeys will knock you over with themselves or their cargo on a crowded street.

    You need to keep your eyes open when in tight spots in the medina.
    You need to keep your ears open for a warning call "BALAK" or "ANDAK" - which could a cyclist, cart pusher, or donkey.

    Photos by Jamal Morelli, uploaded at Studio Shamharush

    Watch out for donkeys - photo Jamal Morelli
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  • johnbramly's Profile Photo

    Sly Crotch Grab!

    by johnbramly Written Oct 28, 2010

    My wife thinks it might be the way that I walk, but I was grabbed by the crotch by a passing fellow. This was as I was checking my mail on my phone as I was heading down some stairs in a guilez cyber cafe. I had a word with him about his misjudgement of the situation and he appeared to heed my wise advice.

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  • stay at a reputable hotel

    by allisonmacdonald2010 Written Aug 1, 2010

    Hi! Me and my husband and two kids (ages 8 and 12) are in Morocco for 2 weeks. Our travel agent in Canada booked reputable hotels (3 star and very nice!). The hotel has very well organized trips for tourists and the staff are very knowledgeable. This has made our trip very very nice and exciting. We did a camel safari into the desert in the late evening. We attended a moroccan feast. All this was listed with the hotel.

    I got the impression they care about tourism.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Your travel agent's told you Morocco is dangerous?

    by angiebabe Written Jul 23, 2010

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Well if he is totally basing his advice giving on opinions rather than bothering to uptodate himself I can understand him saying this sort of thing - Ive been coming to Morocco for the past 7 years and its almost home to me - travelled around a lot of it, been in many different situations and with different levels of society - but growing up in NZ and Australia as world educated and aware as we really are there, and I do often laugh with amazement at the turnout of events - that I am so much at home in Morocco - that I came with the same understanding that its a dangerous country - we grew up in NZ and Australia with that understanding - our families used to really worry when one of our cousins went on a group tour/mission trip there - and then also when another couple of cousins went shock, horror independently!
    When Ive read back through Moroccos history, particularly when the French had taken over and were oppressive it was a dangerous country - and during the 60s and 70s it was not strange to read of awful things happening to foreigners here and there - but gradually things have become safer and as far as I can see I totally agree its one of the safest countries, and particularly one of the safest islamic countries in the world.

    The instigation of Tourist police in the big city centres has played a big part in this of course.

    So as far as a travel agent still coming out with that sort of guff its just plain not bothering to get aware of his destinations or yes just plain lies. Get him onto a tour so he can see for himself! and ive got some very good connections who could get him around seeing it from a more grass roots place and for you too.
    But travelling independently is a great way and very enjoyable way to see Morocco. Particularly with a car. There are a lot of locals who have now set up as tour companies and they tend to make nice little groups going around in a 4x4, makes things more personalised, often getting off onto interesting 4x4 required routes and really seeing off the beaten track and what Morocco is all about. But you dont have to do it that way.

    If you want to get a guide that can be a good idea too - this can help maximise the time you have there and your experiences as you will generally end up at his families or connections places along the way which can really make your trip.

    Have a read around our VTer written travelpages and get some ideas of what youd like to see - and you will get a pretty good idea that its not regarded as a dangerous destination!

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  • berenices's Profile Photo

    Unreliable foreign mail service

    by berenices Written May 18, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I was in Morocco 6 months ago, I wanted to send postcards to neighboring Canary Islands, to South Africa, and to Asia. As we didn't have time to find the post office to get stamps, I took the offer of the kiosk owner (where I bought the postcards) who told me that they also sold stamps, which he emphasized, could be used for sending postcards abroad. He took out an entire sheet of yellow stamps and told me I only needed one stamp for each destination -(I told him one was for Asia), and that those stamps are valid for ALL destinations. I took one for each of my 3 postcards, and as instructed (by the same man) dropped them into the next mailbox I saw.

    Unfortunately, none of those postcards ever got to where they were supposed to go. The kiosk owner spoke quite good English, so I'm sure we understood each other. Until now I don't know what I did wrong, although of course, it's very probable that he only wanted to sell the postcards and the stamps, and he himself was in no position to know how many to give me. In any case, none arrived, and will never be expected to arrive -- 6 months is an unthinkable length of time even for snail mail.

    So for those wanting send postcards to anywhere, go to the post office yourself and ASK how long it would take to reach the addressee or better, buy some nice postcards and mail them from home! I'ts not the same, of course, but it would save you the disappointment.

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  • berenices's Profile Photo

    No photos of people without their permission!

    by berenices Written May 13, 2010

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    Morocco, despite the trappings of modernity, is still deeply traditional. And as images of persons are prohobited in Islam, taking photos of people is considered offensive, unless one has asked permission of the person to be photographed and has been granted it.

    Despite the strong temptation to photograph this immensely photogenic land and people, one has to exercise care and restraint. Women wearing the veil and traditional clothes are especially wary of tourists with their cameras.

    Respect for the local customs and the people is still the most important thing a traveller must bring with him/her wherever he/she goes.

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  • JamalMorelli's Profile Photo

    Deportation Threat

    by JamalMorelli Written Mar 10, 2010

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    I don't think your reply is inappropriate: My family (from the States) has cancelled their trip to Morocco next week... and they aren't even Christian! The concern is the "V for Vendetta" style midnight visits from the police, hour to pack, dumped in a police truck, and thrown out of the country.
    Why should any outsider believe they are safe?

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  • cabeyp's Profile Photo

    Common rip off practices

    by cabeyp Written Sep 6, 2009

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    P.S. Just to list a few of the other known rip offs:
    - I have an ill relative and we can't afford the mnedication
    - My mother/sister needs an operation we can't afford
    - I need to pay a fine or I'll end up in jail
    - Lend me some money for petrol and I'll come back to do the trip (never does)
    - Can you buy me dinner I don't have time to go home
    - Being asked to pay after having been invited for dinner at someone's house
    - Any kind of "give me money upfront"

    Always pay once the service has been delivered. Or only pay a small holding deposit.

    It makes me quite angry when I see poeple falling for Moroccan non-logic or feeling helpless to retaliate. "His mother needs to build a house" Tsss... Now is that your problem? No! It might be an explanaition for being a thief but it is not an explanation that makes it right.

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  • Potato-Brigade's Profile Photo

    Finding Accomodations in Morocco: "On your own"

    by Potato-Brigade Written Jul 16, 2009

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    Choosing a place to stay in MOST Moroccan cities often depends upon the tout who sees you first, immediately upon your arrival. VERY often you will not have the chance of finding accomodations "on your own" because some street leach will hang onto you like a nugget of gold. I normally avise to stay clear of them but in some places it is virtually impossible without a verbal or even physical confrontation, so choose (if you have the opportunity) the one who looks the most trustworthy and let him lead the way. If he brings you to a real pisz hole, act slightly cross with him and tell him he must do better. He will expect some "bakshish" so it´s in his interest to please you. Mentioning the name of some other hotel won´t make any difference to him, he´ll simply carry on to where HE thinks you should go.

    Ps. This normally doesn´t apply to smaller towns where you can roam freely without anyone molesting you in the slightest.

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Morocco Warnings and Dangers

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