The short answer is: yes!
The long answer is that life in Morocco is very different from that in the West and that may raise some safety concerns for travelers. Read on below to find out more about some of the main issues and find out what you can do to make your trip as safe and fun as possible!
First off, we want to stress that there is no reason to worry about traveling to Morocco.
Moroccans are hospitable and open-minded people, curious about visitors and other cultures. That said, the conservative nature of the local culture does mean that traditional customs should be respected in public.
Civil Unrest: There is currently no travel warning for Morocco listed by the US State Department. Morocco's government is consistently stable and there has not been a terror attack in the nation since 2011. Ongoing social, political, and economic reforms combined with a focus on infrastructure make Morocco one of the most moderate and peaceful countries in the region. One reason we love Morocco is that as a country that is 99% Muslim it allows travelers a safe space to experience the religion, customs, and lifestyle of a Muslim nation.
Crime: Almost all Moroccans are friendly and honest, and violent crime is very rare. However, it is wise to be careful about pickpockets and petty thievery in the major cities.Hustlers and con artists also target tourists. The most sensible way to avoid them is to politely refuse their services and to be sensibly guarded against strangers. If you do spot a faux guide, hustler, or con artist trying to trick you, here are some of the best ways to avoid them without causing any trouble: Avoid eye contact and ignore them. Walk away. If they continue to approach you, walk away swiftly but politely. If they are persistent, don't be afraid to say no. La (the Arabic word for no) stated sharply can be more effective than saying no in English. In all cases, ignoring them is the best option. If you engage them, it becomes increasingly difficult to get rid of them. Remember, this is how they make a living so any opening is an opportunity in their eyes.
Don't walk alone at night, especially in the medinas. Stay in populated, well-lit areas
Food & Water: As with any other foreign country, the local food (and especially street food) is not always cooked in the same conditions your stomach is used to. For that reason, be aware of where you choose to try street food. Don't eat uncooked vegetables or fruit that you have not washed or peeled first. We do not recommend drinking tap water but do strongly support the use of reusable water bottles. To find out more check out our TAP campaign
Traveling with kids: Moroccan society is very family-oriented. If you are traveling with kids, the locals will frequently come up to you and want to say hi to you and your children. They'll invite you in to their shops, offer free tea, and just generally want to ruffle your children's hair or shower them with compliments. This is all friendly behavior - there are few places in the world that are as warm and welcoming to children as the people of Morocco! Bringing your little ones along on your journey may even allow you to interact with the locals in a deeper way and explore the Moroccan way of life first hand while also giving a unique cultural experience to your kids.
Review from the Seltzer-Blaue Family: With the anti Muslim sentiment that exists in the US, it would be great if more Americans could experience the culture and kindness we experienced. I am grateful my kids had this experience to open their minds.
Important Culture and Etiquette Rules
As a conservative and religious country, clothing is something you have to be mindful of when visiting Morocco. Especially in rural areas, you should always attempt to cover body parts considered "private." For women, this means your arms and above the knee. For men, shoulders and above the knee should be covered. In cosmopolitan cities -such as Marrakesh, Rabat and Fez - the dress code is more relaxed and it's common to see women wear short-sleeve tops and knee-length skirts. If you are ever unsure about what to wear, note how the locals dress and follow their lead. For women, bringing a shawl with you can be a great way to stay cool and be covered when need be.
Any gesture you make in Morocco should be done with your right hand. The left hand is considered impure. Always use your right hand when greeting people or eating.
Don't show the bottom of your foot or shoe towards another person. Always take off your shoes before entering a home
If you decided to stay for the long story hopefully we have convinced you of the short answer: Morocco is a safe place to travel. Being aware, culturally sensitive, and having a good rapport with your Wildland guide will only serve to help make your experience that much more memorable.
Want to see what Morocco is all about? Check out our blog about the amazing landscapes of Morocco and see why it's so much more than the desert!
Ready to look into what trip is best for you? Our Morocco trips range from 9 to 12 days and give you the chance to follow ancient caravan routes, spend the night in the Sahara desert, explore the winding alleys of the souks of Fez & Marrakech, and delve into the culinary world of Morocco's flavorful dishes
Questions? Ask us! 800-345-4453