Morocco (Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah)

h2moskLocated in the North Eastern corner of Africa, Morocco borders the North Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria and Western Sahara and is easily accessible from Europe. The people are warm and hospitable making Morocco an ideal country from which to start exploring Africa.

Parts of Morocco were ruled by the Spanish and later by the French. For visitors who do not speak Arabic, French and Spanish are the next best languages to know although the use of English is growing.

Morocco is divided by the Atlas Mountains with most the population living between the mountains and the sea. Visitors and tourists will find the coastal cities have all modern conveniences while to the west and south the mountains give way to desert and life is closer to the earth. Along the coast there are some excellent beaches while the mountains provide opportunities for trekking, mountain climbing and skiing and in the desert regions, horse, camel and 4wd safaris are popular.

Throughout Morocco the markets are piled high with locally made crafts and Morocco is famed for it's fine hand knotted rugs, woodwork, jewellery and leather goods and there are many bargains to be found, but be prepared to haggle over the price.

If you like beaches, check out Mohammedia, Agadir, El Jadida, Oualidia, Safi and Essaouira on the Atlantic coast. New resorts like Cabonegro near Tetouan are being developed on the Mediterranean coast.

Best time to visital_madina

Morocco is generally warm and very dry with a Mediterranean climate. Rainfall is most likely November to March and Spring and autumn are mild, but if you like the heat, summer is good and winter is best for skiing and exploring the desert. During Ramadan many businesses are closed.

Getting there

Frequent fast ferries operate from Gibraltar to Tangier & Tarifa and three are up to 20 sailings weekly in each direction, between Almeria in southern Spain and Nador. Regular flights operate to all major cities from many world destinations.

Getting around

Morocco has a good public transport system with reliable trains, buses and taxis. Self driving is a good option as the roads are generally good throughout the north and there are three routes over the Atlas Mountains. Road signs are in French.


The Moroccan Dirham abbreviated as Dh and at the time of writing was US$1.00=Dh9.02.  Travellers cheques or foreign currency may be exchanged at the Bureau de Change at airports, banks or at most hotels. Keep your currency exchange receipts as they are required when converting Dirhams back into your currency when leaving Morocco. Major credit card's can be used in ATM's (found in the larger cities) and in some, hotels, restaurants and shops.

In Brief

Morocco is an Islamic country and you can see the largest mosque in the world in Casablanca. It is respectful to dress appropriately in public, women especially should wear a shirt and either long skirt or pants. The food is excellent with couscous and lamb featuring on many menus.

In the main centers you will find all modern conveniences. In the desert areas cell phone coverage is very good. Traveling about the country it is always a pleasure to enter the oasis towns and villages with their green fields and groves of olive trees and date palms. Hashish is one of Morocco's exports.

Hiring a good guide will help reduce the numbers of beggars and hustlers. When shopping be prepared to bargain and European women will be treated better if traveling with a husband/ male companion especially in the regions.
Never ask a taxi driver for a hotel unless you are genuinely stuck for somewhere, you may end up being taken advantage of.
Escorts and sex for money are highly illegal and you could spend a long time in jail if caught, but Moroccans sometimes like to have foreign lovers.

The Paris-Dakar motor rally passes through Morocco every year.

Useful phrases:
Iya. Yes.
La. No.
Biletti. Wait.
Aufek. Please.
Chokran. Thank you.
Ma'es salema. Go in peace.
Salam waleykum. May peace be with you.


1 comment to Morocco

  • Bo

    Local men beat their women here

    Moroccan state broadcasting channel 2M recently aired a program that gave women tips on how to use makeup to conceal bruises, swelling and black eyes caused by domestic abuse. To add insult to injury the clip aired only two days before the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

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