Safest Countries to Travel for Citizens of Morocco

1. What is the current safety rating for Morocco according to international travel advisories?

As of September 2021, the current safety rating for Morocco according to international travel advisories is generally considered safe for tourists. The U.S. State Department rates Morocco as “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” due to potential risks such as petty crime and terrorism. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office also rates Morocco as “Level 3: Reconsider your need to travel” due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and the potential threat of terrorism. However, many other countries, including Canada and Australia, consider Morocco to be a generally safe destination for travel. It is always important to check with your own government’s travel advisory before planning a trip to Morocco.

2. Are there any specific safety concerns for citizens of Morocco when traveling abroad?

Like any other country, there are some safety concerns for citizens of Morocco when traveling abroad. Some of these concerns include:

1. Political or social instability: There may be political or social unrest in certain parts of the world, which can pose a risk to travelers from Morocco.

2. Crime: The risk of crime and scams can vary from country to country, and it is important to research the safety record of your destination before traveling.

3. Terrorism: Unfortunately, terrorism is a threat in many parts of the world, and travelers should be aware of any potential risks in their destination countries.

4. Health risks: Depending on where you are traveling, there may be specific health risks that you need to be aware of such as diseases or outbreaks.

5. Natural disasters: Certain areas may be prone to natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, so it is important to stay informed and prepared.

In general, it is always advisable to stay informed about the current political and security situation in your destination country before traveling. It is also a good idea to register with your embassy or consulate while abroad so they can provide assistance in case of an emergency. Additionally, buying travel insurance can provide some peace of mind and cover for unexpected situations while abroad.

3. How do crime rates in Morocco compare to other popular tourist destinations?

According to the latest available data, Morocco has a lower crime rate compared to other popular tourist destinations.

In 2018, the murder rate in Morocco was 1.4 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is significantly lower than popular tourist destinations like Mexico (25 per 100,000), Brazil (27.5 per 100,000), and South Africa (35.9 per 100,000). The country also has a relatively low overall crime rate, with only 2.66 crimes reported per 100 people in the same year.

However, it is important to note that crime rates can vary throughout different regions and cities in Morocco. Tourist areas and large cities tend to have higher rates of petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft.

Compared to other North African countries, Morocco also has a relatively low crime rate. For example, in neighboring Algeria the murder rate was 3.66 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2018.

Overall, while tourists should always take precautions when traveling anywhere, Morocco generally has a lower crime rate compared to many other popular tourist destinations around the world.

4. Are there any known natural disasters or extreme weather events that could affect travelers in Morocco?

Some known natural disasters or extreme weather events that could affect travelers in Morocco include:

– Earthquakes: Morocco is located in a seismically active region and experiences earthquakes occasionally. The last major earthquake occurred in 2004, measuring 6.5 on the Richter scale.
– Floods: During heavy rain seasons, flash floods can occur in certain areas of Morocco, particularly in the south.
– Sandstorms: In the desert regions of Morocco, occasional sandstorms may occur which can significantly reduce visibility and make travel difficult.
– Droughts: Certain regions of Morocco experience periods of drought, especially during the summer months.
– Heat waves: During the peak summer months (June-August), temperatures in Morocco can reach extremely high levels, especially in inland regions such as Marrakech and Ouarzazate.
– Winter storms: Northern parts of Morocco can experience heavy snowfall during winter, leading to road closures and disruptions to transportation.

It is recommended that travelers monitor local weather reports and take necessary precautions if any natural disasters or extreme weather events are forecasted during their trip.

5. Is terrorism a major concern for tourists visiting Morocco?

Terrorism does pose a certain level of risk to tourists visiting Morocco, as it has experienced some terrorist attacks in the past. However, the Moroccan government takes strong measures to ensure the safety and security of tourists, and these incidents are rare. In general, tourists should exercise caution and be vigilant while traveling in Morocco, as they would in any other country. It is always advisable to follow government travel advisories and stay informed about current events.

6. Are there any regions or neighborhoods within Morocco that should be avoided by tourists due to safety concerns?

While Morocco is generally a safe country for tourists, there are some regions and neighborhoods that may pose safety concerns. These include:

1. Western Sahara: The region of Western Sahara is currently disputed between Morocco and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, making it an area of potential political unrest and security risks.

2. Tindouf Province: This province, located near the Algerian border in the southwest of Morocco, has been known to have issues with banditry and kidnapping.

3. Atlas Mountains: While the Atlas Mountains offer beautiful landscapes and opportunities for hiking and trekking, travelers should be aware of potential safety hazards such as inclement weather, poor infrastructure, and lack of rescue services.

4. Urban areas at night: As with any major city, tourists should exercise caution when walking alone at night in urban areas such as Casablanca or Marrakech.

5. Military-occupied zones: Foreigners are not permitted to travel to military-occupied zones located near borders with Algeria or Mauritania.

It is always advisable for tourists to stay informed about current events and developments in areas they plan on visiting and to follow any government travel advisories.

7. How prevalent is street crime and pickpocketing in popular tourist areas of Morocco?

The level of street crime and pickpocketing in popular tourist areas of Morocco can vary. Some cities and neighborhoods may have higher rates of these types of crimes, while others may be relatively safe.

It is important for tourists to exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings when visiting popular tourist areas in Morocco. Crowded places like markets, bus and train stations, and popular tourist attractions are more likely to attract pickpockets.

Here are some precautions that tourists can take to avoid becoming victims of street crime and pickpocketing in Morocco:

1. Keep valuables out of sight: When exploring busy areas or using public transportation, it’s best to keep your money, ID, and other valuables out of sight. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash with you.

2. Use a money belt or hidden pocket: Consider using a money belt or a hidden pocket to store your money and important documents while traveling.

3. Be cautious in crowds: Pickpockets tend to target crowded places where people are distracted or unable to move easily. Stay alert and vigilant when navigating through crowds.

4. Avoid flashy displays of wealth: It’s best not to wear expensive jewelry or carry designer bags that could make you stand out as a target for thieves.

5. Watch out for common distractions: Pickpockets often work in pairs, with one person distracting the victim while the other steals their belongings. Be wary if someone tries to create a distraction by asking for directions, offering unwanted assistance, or trying to sell something.

6. Keep your bag secure: If you’re carrying a bag with you, make sure it is zipped securely or held tightly under your arm at all times.

7. Avoid walking alone at night: In general, it’s safest to stick to well-lit areas and travel with a group after dark.

Overall, although street crime and pickpocketing can occur in popular tourist areas of Morocco, taking necessary precautions and being aware of potential risks can help minimize the chances of becoming a victim.

8. Are tourists targeted for scams or frauds in certain parts of Morocco?

As with any popular tourist destination, there is always the possibility of scams or frauds targeting tourists in certain parts of Morocco. However, overall, Morocco is a relatively safe country and tourists are not specifically targeted for scams or frauds. It is always advisable to exercise common sense and caution when traveling in any unfamiliar place, such as avoiding giving money to beggars or purchasing heavily discounted goods from street vendors. It is also important to research and be aware of common scams in the area before traveling.

9. Is public transportation safe and reliable for travelers in Morocco?

Public transportation in Morocco is generally safe and reliable for travelers, especially in major cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, and Rabat. The most common forms of public transportation are buses, trains, and grand taxis (shared taxis). These options are relatively inexpensive and can be a convenient way to get around the country.

In terms of safety, it is important to take the same precautions you would in any unfamiliar place. Keep an eye on your belongings and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid travelling alone at night and consider using licensed taxis as they are generally safer than unlicensed ones.

Overall, while there have been occasional reports of petty crimes like pickpocketing on public transportation, it is generally considered safe for travelers. As with any form of travel, it is always advisable to do some research beforehand and follow basic safety precautions.

10. What emergency resources are available for tourists in case of an accident or health issue while traveling in Morocco?

In case of an emergency, tourists can seek assistance from the following resources:

1. Call the local emergency number: The emergency number in Morocco is 190 for ambulance, 150 for police, and 15 for fire department.

2. Contact your embassy or consulate: For citizens of other countries, it is recommended to have the contact information of their embassy or consulate in Morocco in case of emergencies.

3. Seek help from nearby hotels and guesthouses: These establishments can usually provide assistance in finding medical care or contacting emergency services.

4. Reach out to tour guides or travel agencies: If you are on a guided tour, your tour guide or travel agency can also help you in case of an emergency.

5. Use medical facilities: There are several hospitals and clinics equipped with modern facilities and staffed by trained professionals in major cities of Morocco.

6. Use local pharmacies: Pharmacies (called “pharmacie” in French) are widespread in Morocco and will typically have English-speaking staff who can assist with minor health issues or provide medication.

7. Use international insurance services: If you have international travel insurance, contact your provider for assistance in finding medical care or arranging transport home if needed.

8. Utilize online resources: There are several websites and apps that can connect travelers with local doctors or provide information about medical facilities in different areas of Morocco.

9. Contact the Moroccan National Tourism Office (ONMT): The ONMT has a dedicated hotline (+212 800 00 13 30) for tourist assistance, which is available 24/7.

10. Ask locals for help: Moroccans are known for their hospitality and willingness to help visitors, so do not hesitate to ask them for assistance if needed. They may be able to direct you to the nearest hospital or pharmacy or even offer to accompany you there.

11. Have there been any recent political tensions or civil unrest that could potentially impact the safety of travelers in Morocco?

There have been some protests and political tensions in Morocco on various issues, such as job opportunities, water management, and human rights. While these protests have mostly been peaceful, there have been occasional clashes between protesters and security forces. It is recommended that travelers avoid large demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities for any potential safety concerns. Overall, the level of political tension in Morocco is currently low compared to some other countries in the region.

12. Does the government of Morocco provide support and assistance for its citizens traveling abroad?

Yes, the Moroccan government has a number of services and programs in place to provide support and assistance for its citizens traveling abroad. These include:

1. Consular Services: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation has a network of embassies and consulates around the world that provide assistance to Moroccan citizens in case of emergency or need while abroad.

2. Consular Registration: The Moroccan government recommends that all citizens register with their nearest embassy or consulate before traveling. This allows them to be easily contacted in case of an emergency or crisis.

3. Travel Advice and Alerts: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website regularly updates travel advisories, alerts, and warnings for Moroccans traveling abroad, providing important information on destinations they may be visiting.

4. Emergency Assistance: In case of natural disasters, political unrest or other emergencies, Moroccan embassies and consulates provide evacuation services to help citizens return home safely.

5. Legal Assistance: If a Moroccan national encounters legal problems while abroad, the embassy or consulate can provide them with lists of lawyers who speak Arabic and/or French and can connect them with legal advice services.

6. Passport Services: Morocco provides passport renewal services for its citizens living abroad through its embassies or consulates.

7. Welfare Services: In some cases, the government provides financial assistance to Moroccans who are facing extreme hardship while abroad.

8. Advisory Services: Embassies also provide advisory services on matters such as visas, entry requirements, health requirements, currency regulations etc. for those planning to visit Morocco from a foreign country.

9.Cultural Centers & Institutes: The Ministry of Culture operates several centers that showcase Morocco’s culture around the world; these centers also serve as resources for people looking for information about Morocco before traveling there.

10.Travel Assistance Program (TAP): This program is designed to offer support services for Moroccans living abroad (especially students) whose finances do not permit frequent travel between Morocco and the country they are currently residing in.

11. Crisis Management: In case of natural disasters or political instability affecting Moroccans abroad, the government sets up emergency hotlines and communication channels to keep citizens updated.

12. Online Services: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs offers online services such as registration for Moroccan citizens living abroad, visa applications, and travel advice on its website.

13. Are LGBTQ+ travelers generally safe and accepted in Morocco, or are there potential risks to consider?

LGBTQ+ travelers in Morocco may face some risks and challenges due to societal attitudes and laws regarding homosexuality. While homosexuality is technically legal in Morocco, social acceptance and understanding of the LGBTQ+ community remains limited.

Public displays of affection between same-sex individuals could attract unwanted attention or even lead to legal repercussions. In addition, LGBTQ+ rights are not formally recognized by the government and there is no anti-discrimination legislation in place to protect this community.

It is important for LGBTQ+ travelers to exercise caution and discretion while in Morocco. It is also recommended to research local laws and customs before traveling, as perceptions of homosexuality can vary across different regions within the country.

Overall, while it is possible for LGBTQ+ travelers to have a safe and enjoyable experience in Morocco, it may be best to avoid highly public displays of affection or openly discussing sexual orientation with strangers. Traveling with a knowledgeable tour guide or an LGBTQ+-friendly accommodation can also help provide a more inclusive experience.

14. Are vaccinations recommended or required for visitors to enter Morocco?

Vaccinations are not required for visitors to enter Morocco, however it is recommended that visitors be up-to-date on routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps, rubella, and diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis. It is also recommended to get a hepatitis A and typhoid vaccine if traveling to rural areas or if one plans to eat street food. Additionally, the CDC recommends a hepatitis B vaccine for travelers who may come in contact with blood or body fluids, such as through medical treatment or sexual contact.

Consulting with a healthcare provider is recommended before travel to determine any specific vaccinations that may be necessary based on your individual health and itinerary.

15. How do laws and regulations regarding drugs and alcohol differ from those of the visitor’s home country while in Morocco?

The laws and regulations regarding drugs and alcohol in Morocco may differ from those of the visitor’s home country in several ways:

1. Legal Drinking Age: In Morocco, the legal drinking age is 18 years old, while it may vary in the visitor’s home country. It is important to note that although legal drinking age is 18, it is not strictly enforced and younger people can often be seen consuming alcohol.

2. Alcohol Consumption: In Morocco, alcohol consumption is allowed for non-Muslims in licensed bars, restaurants, and hotels. However, it is illegal to consume alcohol in public places or on the streets.

3. Drug Laws: The use and possession of drugs are strictly prohibited in Morocco. This includes both recreational drugs as well as prescription drugs that are controlled substances in other countries. The penalties for drug offenses are severe and can result in long prison sentences.

4. Religious Restrictions: As a predominantly Muslim country, Morocco has stricter laws relating to drug and alcohol consumption compared to Western countries where these substances are more readily available.

5. Ramadan Restrictions: During the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, all forms of food and drink consumption (including water) are restricted during daylight hours. This applies to both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

6. Smoking Regulations: In recent years, smoking has been banned in public places such as restaurants, cafes, and hotels in Morocco. Visitors should be aware of designated smoking areas or inquire about smoking policies before lighting up.

It’s important for visitors to familiarize themselves with local laws and customs regarding drugs and alcohol while in Morocco to avoid any legal issues or cultural misunderstandings.

16. Is it common for visitors to encounter discrimination based on race, religion, or nationality while in Morocco?

No, it is not common for visitors to encounter discrimination based on race, religion, or nationality in Morocco. The country has a diverse population with a long history of coexistence and tolerance among different religions and ethnicities. However, like any other destination, isolated incidents of discrimination may occur but it is not a widespread issue. Visitors are generally welcomed and respected regardless of their background.

17. Are there certain cultural norms or customs that visitors should be aware of to ensure their safety while traveling through Morocco?

Yes, there are certain cultural norms and customs that visitors should be aware of to ensure their safety while traveling through Morocco:

1. Dress modestly: Morocco is a Muslim country and it is best to dress modestly, especially in more conservative areas. Avoid wearing revealing clothing or shorts and tank tops.

2. Respect Ramadan: During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. It is important for visitors to respect this tradition by not eating, drinking or smoking in public during daylight hours.

3. Avoid public displays of affection: Like many other Muslim countries, public displays of affection may be frowned upon in Morocco. It is best to refrain from such behavior in order to avoid any unwanted attention.

4. Be cautious when taking photos: Always ask for permission before taking photos, especially of people or religious sites. Some people may not feel comfortable having their photo taken without their consent.

5. Learn basic Arabic phrases: Knowing a few basic Arabic phrases can go a long way in building rapport with locals and showing that you respect their culture.

6. Ask before entering a mosque or religious site: Non-Muslims are generally not allowed inside mosques in Morocco unless they are on an organized tour or have prior permission from the mosque’s authority.

7. Avoid political demonstrations: Protests and large gatherings can sometimes turn violent, so it is best to avoid them and be aware of any potential risks if you happen to come across one.

8. Be mindful when bargaining: Bargaining is a common practice in Moroccan markets, but it is important to do so respectfully and without causing offense.

9. Do not drink tap water: It is generally recommended for visitors to only drink bottled water while in Morocco as tap water may not be safe for consumption.

10. Keep valuables safe: As with most tourist destinations, it is important to keep your valuables safe at all times and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded places.

11. Be cautious of scams: Unfortunately, there are some scams targeting tourists in Morocco, such as fake tour guides or overcharging for services. Be aware and do your research before booking any tours or services.

12. Respect local customs: It is important to show respect for local customs and traditions, such as removing your shoes before entering a home, and avoiding eating with your left hand.

13. Know the local emergency numbers: Make sure you know the local emergency numbers for police, ambulance, and fire services in case of any emergencies.

14. Carry a copy of your passport: It is always a good idea to carry a copy of your passport with you while traveling in case it gets lost or stolen.

15. Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas: Crowded tourist areas can be a target for pickpockets, so be mindful of your belongings and keep them close to you at all times.

16. Avoid walking alone at night: Just like in any other country, it is safer to avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas.

17. Use licensed taxis or private transportation services: If taking a taxi, make sure it is licensed and has a working meter. Alternatively, consider using a reputable private transportation service for added safety and convenience.

18. What precautions should solo female travelers take when visiting Morocco, if any?

1. Research and plan your itinerary beforehand: Make sure to research the areas you plan on visiting and map out your route before venturing out on your own.

2. Dress modestly: Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, so it is important to dress modestly in public. This means covering your legs and shoulders, especially when visiting religious sites.

3. Avoid walking alone at night: As a general rule, it is best to avoid walking alone at night in any unfamiliar place, especially as a solo female traveler. If you must go out after dark, opt for a taxi or arrange for transportation through your hotel or tour company.

4. Be cautious with alcohol: Alcohol is not as readily available in Morocco compared to other countries, but if you do choose to drink, be aware of your surroundings and drink responsibly.

5. Use official transportation: When traveling between cities or towns, use official taxis or buses rather than hitchhiking or accepting rides from strangers.

6. Stay at reputable accommodations: Choose accommodations with good reviews and recommendations from other female travelers.

7. Keep a low profile: Avoid drawing attention to yourself by dressing conservatively and not flaunting expensive jewelry or belongings.

8. Know local customs and language: Familiarize yourself with local customs and learn basic phrases in Arabic or French to communicate with locals if needed.

9. Keep important documents safe: Keep important documents such as your passport, travel insurance information, and accommodation addresses in a secure place like a hotel safe or money belt.

10. Trust your instincts: If something feels off or uncomfortable, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation.

11. Have emergency contacts: Make sure to have emergency contact numbers programmed in your phone and keep them easily accessible during your travels.

12.Be aware of scams: Be cautious of scams targeting tourists such as fake tour guides or overcharging for goods/services.

13. Join group tours or hire a guide: Consider joining group tours or hiring a guide when visiting more remote areas to ensure your safety and have local knowledge.

14. Stay connected: Make sure to have a working phone with you at all times, and keep your family/friends updated on your whereabouts.

15. Do not give out personal information: Be cautious of giving out personal information to strangers, and avoid sharing your exact solo travel plans with someone you just met.

16. Don’t be afraid to say no: As a solo female traveler, it is okay to say no if you feel uncomfortable or pressured into doing something you don’t want to do.

17. Avoid political demonstrations: Steer clear of any political demonstrations or gatherings that could potentially turn violent or unsafe for tourists.

18. Trust your gut and stay alert: Ultimately, the most important precaution for solo female travelers is to trust your gut and stay alert at all times.

19. Do local authorities recommend any specific measures or precautions to take to ensure personal safety while visiting Morocco?

Yes, some common precautions recommended by local authorities in Morocco include:

1. Stay updated on current events: Keep track of any ongoing political or social unrest and avoid areas where potential protests or demonstrations may occur.

2. Dress appropriately: Morocco is a conservative country, particularly in rural areas and smaller towns. It is important to dress modestly, especially for women, to show respect for local customs and culture.

3. Avoid walking alone at night: Stick to well-lit and busy streets if you need to walk alone at night. It is also recommended to travel in a group or use public transportation rather than walking long distances.

4. Be vigilant in crowded places: Pickpocketing and petty theft are common in crowded places like marketplaces and public transport, so be careful with your belongings and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.

5. Follow road safety rules: If driving in Morocco, be aware that traffic laws may differ from those in your home country. Always wear seatbelts and drive defensively.

6. Be cautious when using ATMs: ATM fraud is not uncommon in Morocco, so be cautious when withdrawing money from these machines. Try to use ATMs located inside banks rather than standalone ones on the street.

7. Research scammers and tourist traps: As with any popular tourist destination, there may be scammers trying to take advantage of travelers. Research commonly reported scams before your trip and stay alert while traveling.

Overall, it is important to use common sense, trust your instincts, and be respectful of local customs while traveling in Morocco to ensure a safe trip.

20. Are there any ongoing conflicts or tensions between Morocco and its neighboring countries that potential visitors should be aware of before traveling?

Yes, there are some ongoing conflicts and tensions between Morocco and its neighboring countries that potential visitors should be aware of before traveling. These include the dispute over Western Sahara with Algeria, border disputes with Spain in Ceuta and Melilla, and historical tensions with Mauritania. It is important to research these issues and exercise caution when traveling near these border areas. Additionally, travelers should also be aware of heightened political tensions in the Maghreb region due to regional security concerns. It is advisable to stay informed about current events and follow any travel advisories issued by your home country’s government before planning a trip to Morocco or the surrounding regions.