Visitors who don’t speak Darija (the Arabic dialect spoken in Moroccan) should not worry – as people who work in tourism are usually well versed in several languages, the most common being French, English and Spanish.
Morocco is an Islamic country – almost 95% of the population practice Islam. Their holy day is Friday. This is celebrated with long prayers at midday followed by a large meal of couscous. It is not an uncommon occurrence to see shops closed on Friday afternoons.
Although the Euro, USD and, to a lesser extent, Sterling are accepted in certain tourist areas, Moroccan currency (the Moroccan Dirham) is required for everyday use especially for purchases in smaller towns outside of large cities like Marrakesh, Casablanca, etc.
The Dirham is officially designated as a closed currency meaning it can only be traded within Morocco, however, Dirhams can be bought and sold in travel agencies and in major airports at the larger Moroccan cities. We recommend travelers simply withdraw cash at ATMs upon arrival (ATMs are prevalent throughout the larger cities and even small towns). ATMs usually provide the best exchange rates, however, please ensure that you have notified you bank of your upcoming travel as some banks do not allow cash withdrawals in foreign countries without prior notification.
Canadian travelers seeking a visa to enter Morocco must have a passport valid for a period of 6 months before its expiry. Canadian passport holders are granted a visa free access to Morocco. They are allowed entry for a maximum of 90 days. For citizens of other countries, please refer to their respective country guidelines for international visa requirements.
Comfortable clothes and bring clothing that can be dressed in layers -as temperatures can fluctuate wildly from day to night (especially in the winter months of December – February);
Good walking shoes (preferably already worn-in as to not cause unwanted blisters);
Sunscreen (for both the face and body), scarf (for protection against possible sandstorms), hat and sunglasses;
Travel medical kit that may include – Imodium, Advil/Aleve, DayQuil/NyQuil, Dramamine (in the event of motion sickness during the drive through the Atlas mountains), allergy medications (Claritin, Benadryl, Zyrtec, etc.), Cipro, etc.
Insect repellant in the event you are in areas where there might be mosquitoes (especially during the warmer months of April – October);
Flashlight (although most smartphones are equipped with the flashlight function these days);
Plastic bag to keep valuable electronics clean and safe in the event of a possible sandstorm.
Vaccinations are not compulsory, but we do advise you to have the following: tetanus, diphtheria, polio, hepatitis (A) and rabies (or alternatively make sure your shots are up to date).
It is advisable for travelers who easily get stomach problems to drink only bottled water (and avoid ice cubes as most are not made from bottled water) and to avoid eating raw meat and vegetables.
Travelers who get sunburnt easily should bring with them high factor sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses.
It is highly recommended that travelers always have a bottle of water with them as one can get easily dehydrated in the desert.
Even though Morocco is a relatively safe country for travelers, we advise travelers to review their respective country’s travel advisory to Morocco before travel. When traveling through larger cities, travelers should always stay alert and watch out for pickpockets (this advice does not only apply to Morocco but to any destination in the world).
It can be purchased in the Marrakesh airport and shops throughout Marrakesh. In fact, the recently opened Carrefour (large European chain supermarket) in Ouarzazate offers alcohol for sale. Alcohol is usually offered in hotels and riads in bigger cities and in some guesthouses in smaller towns. Our camps are always equipped with a steady supply of alcohol for your enjoyment!
Tipping is discretionary and not obligatory in Morocco but always appreciated. The suggested amounts are: 100 – 150 dirham per day for the driver, 50-100 dirham per day per trekking guide, 50 dirham per night per person at the Berber Desert Camp and 150-200 dirhams per day per group at the Luxury Desert Camp.