You’ve seen photos of Morocco, all those intriguing destinations like the Blue City of Chefchaouen and the nightlife of Marrakech, all that delicious-looking food and all those unique handicrafts making their rounds in Instagram interior design posts, like leather poufs and handmade handira wedding blankets.
You’ve caught the Moroccan travel bug, and then, maybe spurred by questions and concerns of friends or family, you start to ask yourself: but is Morocco a safe country for travel?
It’s a valid question, a question any of us should consider before hopping onto a plane for parts unknown. Though travel in Morocco does suffer from certain stereotypes, assumptions or mis-information, we are here to reassure: yes, it is Morocco a safe country for travel!
Is Morocco a safe country?? Should I be concerned about Terrorism in Morocco?
The idea of ISIS and other extremist terrorist groups has impacted travel to Morocco.
It is an unfortunate truth in today’s times that domestic and international terrorism are possible threats world-wide. Many governments may run travel advice pages, such as the U.S. Department of State’s “Travel Advisories” page or “SmartTraveller”, geared for Australians.
While you may read these pages and question your choice to travel to Morocco, keep in mind that popular European countries, ones which you WOULDN’T question where safe to travel, such as the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and Germany have all suffered from such attacks. The U.S. and Australia have also not been spared. Attacks in Morocco have happened, but they are rare, and they definitely have not been in any way supported by the general Moroccan population.
Unfortunately, Morocco is often lumped under the stereotype of a closed and strict Muslim culture, but in reality, while Morocco is overwhelmingly predominantly Muslim, it should be considered a traditional yet tolerant country which welcomes visitors and allows people of other faiths to practice their religions. That said, it is illegal to proselytize in Morocco.
Did you know that part of the king of Morocco’s title is “Commander of the Faithful”? During the Pope’s visit to Morocco in 2019, King Mohammed VI was eager to reiterate how much Morocco strives for peaceful co-existence with other religions, and includes Jews and Christians under the umbrella of his title. Morocco also regularly welcomes throughout the year Jewish pilgrims on hiloula.
You may know that it’s customary for Muslim women to wear a headscarf, and we often get questions from women travelers if it’s obligatory or recommended for tourists to wear a head scarf while in Morocco. Our answer – a resounding “NO”! In fact, you will see that there are many Moroccan women who choose to not wear a headscarf.
While tourists may not be bound by any religious-based laws, we do recommend that you travel respectfully according to Moroccan culture. This may mean covering up more than you would at home, avoiding deep cleavage, spaghetti-strap tops or very short skirts. But, this doesn’t mean covering up to an extreme! You may still choose to wear capris and short-sleeved tops, and more “allowance” is afforded to youth and younger travelers.
This may also mean generously allowing your driver or guide a short time to complete an obligatory prayer, or avoiding eating and drinking in full public view during Ramadan. In any case, doing so will earn you some compassion and respect from your host country’s citizens!
Is Morocco a safe country?? What about Physical Health Concerns in Morocco?
When the 2014 Ebola outbreak took place in West Africa, tourism was definitely affected in Morocco, though Morocco is located in North Africa. No cases were reported in any neighboring countries of Morocco, and thankfully no cases were reported in Morocco, even though Casablanca is a major air traffic hub.
Unfortunately, cases WERE reported in several “western” countries, including the U.S., but for enough people, it was assumed by would-be travelers that it COULD be a concern in Morocco, although Africa is a huge continent.
Morocco does not require any vaccinations for travelers in order to enter the Kingdom. However, some health organizations may recommend vaccinations for Hepatitis A, and depending on a traveler’s profile, and Hepatitis B, Typhoid and rabies.
So, how to keep physically healthy while traveling in Morocco? The most obvious is being aware of what you’re eating and drinking. Just as in many other destinations, water and food preparation may not be what your body is used to. Bottled water is inexpensive and readily available, either at your hotel or riad or at small neighborhood stores, very common throughout Morocco.
Depending on your sensitivity, you may also wish to brush your teeth with bottled water. Ice is rarely used in Morocco, so that is one easy thing to avoid. In hot months, know that the sun can be strong! Plan ahead to stay hydrated, and then even consider to rest or stay indoors at times when the sun is at its peak. Food-wise, common travel advice is to eat items which are freshly prepared, avoid fruits which you do not peel yourself, and when in doubt, eat in places which are busy with patrons! That’s normally a good sign that the quality is good.
Morocco is a country full of fresh fruits and vegetables, so you also don’t want to deprive yourself of seasonal treats. Also, Moroccans generally cook or grill meat thoroughly, so that alleviates some concern.
As you travel throughout Morocco, you may notice a fair amount of feral dogs and cats. Unless a dog is a pet of your hotel or riad, you may want to avoid contact. Even then, pets in Morocco may not always follow the same vaccination or deworming guidelines as in your home country.
Street cats are more common and may be friendlier and pose less of a risk, but if you do decide to pet an unknown cat, be careful not to get scratched during playtime and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. In fact, as general advice, wash your hands often and perhaps even travel with a personal-sized bottle of hand sanitizer for when sinks and soap are not available.
Should I be worried about my Personal Safety While Traveling in Morocco?
Morocco can be considered a safe country, and you should use the same general safety precautions as nearly anywhere in the world. Keep your personal belongings close to you, and avoid flashing around money or valuable items, such as expensive jewelry, phones or camera.
Use a hotel safe when available – just don’t forget to retrieve your items when checking out! Don’t leave your bags or other items which may appear valuable in plain view in your vehicle when you’re not in it. Keep aware of your surroundings and avoid unpopulated areas during the day and at night. It’s best to steer clear of any demonstration or protest, and Morocco is not immune to issues caused by “soccer or football hooligans”.
Petty crime, such as pickpocketing, may happen; mugging is as not common against tourists. Regulations around firearms are quite strict, and so crime or aggression by gun is virtually unheard of.
You may encounter some additional attention as a tourist, which can be unnerving if you are not used to dealing with it. This could be from persistent shopkeepers calling out as you walk through medinas, from beggars, from “fake guides” or hasslers and hustlers who may appear to want to help, etc.
The best solution at any time is to keep calm and polite, and even ignore the uninvited attention, especially if you feel threatened. You may feel it seems rude, but it’s best not to engage. After all, they are trying to get your attention, so if you respond, they’ve already won! This said, it’s important to also keep an open spirit. You will encounter people who are genuinely interested in meeting you, or helping you, or may need some help. Use your common sense and discretion, and of course, trust your own gut during such encounters.
Tourism is an important pillar of the Moroccan economy, and the Moroccan government works hard to keep tourists safe. Part of this effort includes obligatory police reports when checking into hotels or riads, which helps to track activity with safety in mind. Know as well that there exists a special undercover tourist brigade throughout the kingdom and especially in areas frequented by travelers, such as the medinas.
How to Travel Safe and Hassle-free throughout Morocco!
Other more basic concerns for travelers coming to Morocco are how will they get along language-wise? Is it easy to travel in Morocco? Mint Tea Tours offers one very simple solution – private escorted tours with English-speaking drivers and guides throughout Morocco! If you are still anxious, wondering if Morocco is a safe country to visit, then a booking a private tour of Morocco is a sure way to calm your nerves!
You may not be aware, but official tourism activity is strictly regulated in Morocco. This includes transport and travel agencies, drivers and guides, and accommodations providers. There are quite a few check and balances behind the scenes to help ensure hassle-free travel throughout Morocco! Without a doubt, we recommend to travelers to work only with professional service providers which follow such regulations.
Mint Tea Tours is proud to be a legally registered company. Rest assured that all of our drivers and vehicles are professional insured, and all of our guides are officially-licensed guides.
Because all of our team members speak great English, you will not have any trouble communicating with them or through them. All of our team members have years of experience working with foreign travelers, which means that they understand your needs and can help explain and bridge any cultural differences.
Our drivers have excellent safety driving records and since the majority of our vehicles are mini-van or SUVs to fit small-sized groups of no more than 7 passengers, they keep a low-profile, much lower than a large bus full of tourists! After safe driving, our drivers’ number one concern is your safety! They can offer advice on how to keep safe, what to look for and what to avoid. Need more explanation why hiring a private driver for your travel in Morocco is a good idea? Check out our blog post, where we give you a convincing list of 8 reasons why hiring a private driver is essential for your travel to Morocco!
Our team knows which cities may be easier to navigate on your own and in which cases a private guide is more beneficial and more enjoyable than venturing out solo. In instances when we have proposed a private guide, know that they will accompany you throughout the medina, city or site, which helps ward off possible unwanted attention. They will lead the way, especially in crowded, maze-like medinas, so you don’t need to worry about getting lost or venturing into less safe areas. And last but not least, our guides will discuss with you the cultural, historical and religious sights along the way!
Read also: What is the best way to travel to Morocco?
Mint Tea Tours – Moroccan Hospitality at its Best! We specialize in private tours, excursions and shuttle services throughout Morocco – of course, all accompanied by a professional, English-speaking private driver! Contact us today to plan your own trip!
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