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

  • paulfineart's Profile Photo

    driving in the Atlas mountains

    by paulfineart Written Jan 25, 2009

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    Driving in the mountains can be fun,exciting,spectacular, breathtaking, but also dangerous.
    Be aware of sudden changes in the weather especially in the winter.
    Carry spare warm dry clothes. Ten minutes outside in the rain/snow checking why the road is blocked can soak you to the skin.
    Carry some food /water incase you get stuck for a few hours while the road ahead of you is opened again.
    Beware of large pot holes that appear after a storm or snow fall. Some of these would break your axile if you hit them at any speed.
    Also watch out for boulders the size of footballs that can await the unsuspected driver around the next hairpin bend. These are generally cleared away quickly by the highway authority but a flash flood or snow storm can bring a rock off the mountain in minutes.
    Recently (Jan2009) we saw a boulder bigger than a car across the N9 in the Atlas Mountains between Marrakech and Ouarzazate.
    Give yourself ample time for the journey, at least an extra few hours if you have a hotel booking or plane to catch.We found a journey that normally takes five hours took eight.
    Be prepared for a major mountain road to be closed for hours or even a day or two in the winter. There are snow ploughs working all night to keep this east west route open for the many wagons that use it but minor roads are not as important and could remain closed for much longer.

    The road ahead is closed. When the traffic in front of you is stuck ........ There isn't a snow barrier for nothing. This road is flooded!
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  • sjokatt's Profile Photo

    Marrakech, Medina at night

    by sjokatt Updated Nov 24, 2008

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    Medina is a very fascinating, alive and nice place during the day, but at night transforms to a very unfriendly and dirty spot! If you are female - you should keep safe company with some male friend or few friends while walking at Medina at night. Don't walk alone, not even with female friend. You will be treated as somebody who is looking for "adventure" - maybe not of the type you really look after...

    One of Medinas alleys at night Medinas alleys at day Medinas alleys at day Medina at day One of Medinas alleys at night
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  • Veroali's Profile Photo

    If sick ...

    by Veroali Written Oct 28, 2008

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    This is not as much warning as an advice. Many people visiting Morocco get sick because of local food. Also i had problems, which annoys pretty much. I had pills, but it didnt help. Then a man recommended me to eat BANANAS. The other day i was totally ok.

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  • rdney99's Profile Photo

    Don't respond to beggars

    by rdney99 Updated Jul 14, 2008

    Really enjoyed my visit to Morocco, and I respect the culture very much, and understand that it's a different way of life and its' still a third world country, although it's known to be one of the more progressive countries in Africa. A tourist could encounter a lot of beggars walking the streets of Casablanca, and in the souks and medinas, and vendors selling junk jewelry and other chintsy knick-knacks, they will be persistent. I was advised by my tour guide not to respond at all or even give any eye-contact to these people and they will eventually let up and go away. He was right. I made the mistake of giving one woman a few dirham coins and she followed me halfway back to the hotel wanting more. I've also been offered drugs and prostitutes. I try to keep a low profile over there, but I stand out as being taller and more fair-skinned than the locals. It doesn't matter if they think you're American or German, Dutch, whatever.

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  • petite taxi scams Casablanca

    by withoutatrace Written Jun 18, 2008

    You will never get a petite taxi to turn on the meter in Casablanca - never.
    They prefer to make up the price when you arrive at your destination.
    One time a taxi driver pretended to turn on the meter and when I came to pay, the meter had not worked - as he knew it would not.
    Then I had to argue, as always.

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  • Raw Veggies

    by blint Updated Mar 28, 2008

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    Ok, so you may think that not drinking the tap water is obvious, but did you think about the dangers of eating raw vegetables?

    Washed in the tap water they can be just as bad as drinking it. Avoid Salads if you are worried about tummy troubles.

    My friend got hep A in Tunisia and he believes it may have been because of eating unwashed, or tap washed veggies. Well, that was the reason given to him by the doctors too.

    I'm not saying you will fall ill for sure if you eat a salad but for those of you paranoid about falling ill, like I was after my first trip to Morocco, I preferred to play it as safe as possible.

    How is it that Moroccans can drink the water and eat the veggies without getting ill? Simply because they are used to it and we are wusses, softened by our comfortable lives. I'm sure they think we are snobs or weird for not accepting a glass of tap water or a salad. I also knew French and Spanish people who drank and ate freely, but they were just hardcore in my opinion ;)

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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Watch out for Faux Touts

    by xuessium Updated Feb 9, 2008

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    I think this concern has been mentioned to death in guidebooks.

    I was informed that close to 75% of the Moroccan population is actually under the age of 25 years old. Unemployment is thus a national issue. Not sure how true this is but it really does explain common sights of youths loitering around in the streets, generally doing nothing.

    With no employment, becoming a faux guide (that is, guides without a licence issued by the tourism authorities) became an easy choice as long as one has some knowledge of the cities, especially the winding streets and alleys of the Medinas. Tourists, totally comfounded by the maze, become easy preys.

    I must say I wasn't much harassed by any faux guides throughout my travels in Morocco, except for 1 thick-skinned lad who followed me in Marrakesh while I was searching for my guesthouse inside the maze of the Medina. Being an Asian, I could always throw some gibberish or employ the "guess where-no-no-no-no" trick and soon I will be rewarded by a look of total confusion and before long, I will be left on my own.

    However, this sod in Marrakesh was determined to claim his prize. He followed me through the maze.....and mind you, I know he was uttering things, but I wasn't paying attention. Eventually, I found my guesthouse and guess what? He claimed that he found it for me and wanted "a little something" (in his own words) from me. I refused to pay. It was impasse at the doorsteps until the owner came to the door and he scooted off. Do I feel threatened? A little. I was in the streets - his element but I took comfort that I was already at the gates of my destination and with 15kg of backpack on my back, I figure I could always threw it at him and lunged at him after if necessary. It was 1 on 1 and I fancy my chances.

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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Photographic challenges

    by xuessium Written Feb 8, 2008

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    Taking photos of people in Morocco is a HUGE challenge. Folks simply do not like having their photos taken....not unless you are buying something from their stall or their shop. To correctly compose a shot thus became an uphill challenge.

    I generally will ask for permission but Morocco is one tough nut to crack as people quickly scowled and then started to shoo you off with their hands, muttering some inaudibles. It became imperative to use telephoto lens to shoot from afar, or be sly and quick with your shots. In Marrakesh, it became the first place in my years of photography to have 2 guys blocking me from taking photos of a street because it was "THEIR" street. They started to jump up and down in front of me and then took to physically block me from taking any photo. Truthfully, I was shocked by such unruly rudeness.

    The locals too exhibit much disregard for photography as folks will just walk across your lens as though as you are invisible. Many a times, I had to retake a shot because someone's head was flashing across my viewfinder.

    So photographers, take heed.

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  • xuessium's Profile Photo

    Konichiwa and Kamsa Hamida!

    by xuessium Updated Feb 8, 2008

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    Not once during the 2.5 weeks in Morocco could anyone guess right where I am from. Not that I am complaining - sometimes, it is actually good to be anonymous! BUT for 2.5 weeks, I was subjected to a barrage of unwanted "Konichiwa(s)" and "Kamsa Hamida(s)" that my initial amusement soon gave way to resigned frustrations.

    Generally, if you are Asian, there could be only 4 Asian countries floating east of Morocco: Japan, South Korea, China and Thailand. For 2.5 weeks, I was honorary Japanese/Korean/Chinese/Thai, which on some occasions, became bordering on the insane. My grouse - you Japanese and Korean travellers really spoiled it for us other Asian travellers. No offence meant...but the locals really think Japaneses and Koreans have money to burn and thus breed this attitude that we Asians can be fleeced.

    I actually started to play "guess where-no-no-no-no" games with the locals, and seeing them looking totally flummoxed at the end of the game as I walked further away soon became a personal hobby. Don't get me wrong. I am actually quite truthful with folks I like but I soon started playing this game to toy with the riffraffs and the faux touts to disentangle myself from their unwanted attention...and it worked like a charm. Usually the first shock was that I spoke better English than most of them combined!

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  • sheilamansour's Profile Photo

    mountains and climbing!

    by sheilamansour Written Jan 31, 2008

    I hired a guide - he was great but could only say 'flakken' I think he meant 'flat' and thought I was German...basically had me sacling deep ravines and scary mountains with no safety gear! he did give me a tip though! He told me to pray.......thanks Hassan!
    the warning is 'be prepared to scale dangerous slopes with no safety gear,er hum...I know!!!!

    ''Dont worry it is falkken!!'' Take some sensible clothes! it poured down!

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  • Train Warning !

    by valve Written Jan 10, 2008

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    Train travel is cheap and I have covered great distances in comfort -the trick is to travel First Class !!! This may need advanced booking . I heard a real horror story from a fellow traveller. He and his wife had pitched up at Marrakesh station at the last minute wanting to travel to Tangier on the night service .It was full so they went second class .Its a long way and the carriage was crowded.Carriages are divided into separate compartments .At one point the guy found a local man fast asleep at his feet on the floor .He too nodded off . When he awoke the sleeper was gone .As he moved his rucksack several items fell out of the huge slit that had been cut in the side . Items missing included cards ,cash and -the real bummer -both passports ! Enjoy!

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  • All Aboard! Room for a little one?

    by blint Updated Dec 19, 2007

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    In Tangier's where many international buses pass through you will see many people try to sneak under the buses and hold on tight for dear life or even try and open the hold doors to hide in among the suitcases. Some buses even just keep the hatches open, maybe to avoid damage to the bus when the people try and open them. So be careful, and make sure you luggage is tightly secured if you are planning to enter or leave Morocco by bus.

    you will also see people tying to sneak onto the ferries to Spain and such like. They even try swimming on or jumping on from above!!! Most passengers waiting for the ferry turn a blind eye to this, but if the security guys catch them they they are kicked off with an angry warning.

    chaouen
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  • Prices and Haggling.

    by blint Updated Dec 19, 2007

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    Beware of over inflated prices, but before you haggle them too much think about how cheap it is for you and much in need of the money they are!

    But do keep in mind that all prices will be inflated for you, and this may even depend on what county you come from, ranging from Spain to America. If you are Spanish they will put the prices up a little bit, but if you are American they are likely to higher the prices even more!

    Some expert hagglers
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  • Staying outside the the city walls

    by blint Updated Dec 19, 2007

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    Try not to stay outside the Medina (the part locked away behind the city walls). I never once felt threatened as a female in Morocco apart from the one night we didn't stay in the city centre where we got some unwanted male attention (they didn't realise a friend of mine understood French and understood the disgusting things they were saying)! That happened in Meknes.b%

    Modern/old contrast.  Fez city walls
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  • Smelly ass donkey in smelly market

    by blint Updated Dec 19, 2007

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    Not all Morocco belongs to the modern world. This market place smelt so bad it was unbelievable. So be careful if you are sensitive to bad odours, markets may not be the best place for you, especially not meat markets. Poor donkey.

    This photo was taken in Chaouen in about 2004, though this year (2007) when I went back I noticed they are finally doing up the market place so soon there will be a cleaner, fresher atmosphere at least here!

    Smelly ass donkey man
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