Safety and Security Tips and Requirements for US Citizens Traveling to Morocco

What is the current safety situation in Morocco, and are there any travel advisories or warnings?

The current safety situation in Morocco is generally good. Compared to other countries in the region, Morocco is considered to be a relatively safe destination for tourists. The country has a low crime rate and is generally considered safe for travelers.

However, there are certain areas in Morocco which are considered unsafe. In recent years, there have been several terrorist attacks targeting tourists and travelers in the country. Consequently, the U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Morocco, advising visitors to exercise caution when traveling throughout the country.

Are there specific areas in Morocco that I should avoid due to safety concerns?

Yes, there are certain areas in Morocco that travelers should be careful of. These areas include Western Sahara, Eastern Morocco, around the Algerian border, and parts of the Middle Atlas Mountains. Additionally, while traveling in certain cities, travelers should be aware of their surroundings and not venture into certain neighborhoods at night.

What are the emergency contact numbers for local authorities and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in Morocco?

Emergency Contact Numbers for Local Authorities:
Police: 190
Fire: 180
Ambulance/Rescue Services: 15

Nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Morocco:
U.S. Embassy Rabat
2 Avenue de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat, Morocco
Telephone: (212) 537-76-22-22
Fax: (212) 537-76-40-50

Are there any health risks or vaccinations I should be aware of before traveling to Morocco?

Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that travelers to Morocco be up-to-date with routine vaccinations such as measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot. The CDC also recommends that travelers to Morocco be vaccinated against hepatitis A and typhoid. Additionally, it is recommended that travelers to Morocco take malaria prevention medications and practice safe food and water precautions to reduce the risk of contracting illnesses such as hepatitis B, yellow fever, and rabies.

What measures can I take to ensure the safety of my belongings and valuables in Morocco?

1. Use a safe in your hotel room, if available.
2. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and expensive jewelry.
3. Don’t leave your items unattended in public places.
4. Lock your doors and windows when you leave your accommodation.
5. Keep important documents (passport, car ownership papers, etc.) in a safe place or with you at all times.
6. Take out travel insurance to cover any losses or theft of personal items.
7. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid walking down dark alleys or deserted streets at night.
8. Do not leave any valuables in plain sight in your car.
9. Stay away from unfamiliar people who may be looking to take advantage of you.
10. Carry a whistle or other personal alarm to draw attention to potential danger.

Are there any specific safety tips for using public transportation in Morocco?

1. Always keep your belongings close to you. Be aware of your surroundings and try not to stand out in any way that would make you an easy target for theft.

2. Avoid traveling alone at night. It is best to travel with a group or in the company of friends.

3. Be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuable items and keep your purse or wallet close to you at all times.

4. Avoid displaying expensive jewelry or openly discussing sensitive topics, like politics or religion, while on public transportation in Morocco.

5. If you are riding in a taxi, agree on a fare before beginning the journey and make sure the driver is licensed.

What is the local emergency medical care system like in Morocco, and how can I access it if needed?

The local emergency medical care system in Morocco is quite comprehensive. All of the major cities have modern hospital facilities and a wide network of medical services. The public health sector in Morocco also includes well-equipped emergency rooms, especially in the larger cities. In the event of an emergency, residents and visitors alike can access the Moroccan medical system by calling the national emergency number, which is 112. Ambulances are available and can be dispatched by calling 112 or they can be reached directly on the hospital’s number. Health insurance is not required to access care, although you may have to pay for certain services such as hospitalization.

What precautions should I take to prevent common travel-related illnesses in Morocco?

1. Make sure to get all recommended vaccines before travelling to Morocco, including hepatitis A, typhoid, and rabies.

2. Avoid drinking tap water and only drink bottled or boiled water.

3. Eat only cooked food or food that has been washed and peeled.

4. Wash your hands frequently with soap or hand sanitizer.

5. Avoid contact with animals, including pets, wild animals, and livestock.

6. Wear insect repellent to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos, which can carry illnesses like malaria and dengue fever.

7. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs to prevent getting bitten by insects.

Are there any cultural practices or customs that can enhance my safety and security in Morocco?

Yes. Here are a few tips to help enhance your safety and security in Morocco:

1. Dress modestly. Women should avoid wearing revealing clothing, such as shorts or skirts that are above the knee, or revealing tops. Men should avoid wearing shorts or sleeveless shirts.

2. Follow the local customs. Respect the local customs and traditions, as they are an important part of Moroccan culture.

3. Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, and if you feel unsafe, trust your gut and move away.

4. Avoid carrying large amounts of money or expensive or valuable items with you.

5. Avoid walking alone at night. Stay in well-lit and populated areas, and if possible, travel with a group or a companion.

6. Do not accept invitations from strangers. Make sure you know who you are with before accepting any invitation from strangers.

What is the best way to stay informed about local news and developments in Morocco?

The best way to stay informed about local news and developments in Morocco is to read the national newspaper, Le Matin. The newspaper is published in both French and Arabic and covers a wide range of topics related to Morocco. Additionally, there are many local news websites that cover regional news in Morocco such as Morocco World News, Maroc Soir, and Maghreb Confidential. Following social media accounts of prominent Moroccan news outlets can also be a good way to stay informed about what is happening in the country. Finally, tuning into radio and television programs that cover news from Morocco can also be a valuable source of information.

Are there any specific safety measures for outdoor activities or excursions in Morocco?

Yes, there are safety measures to consider when engaging in outdoor activities or excursions in Morocco. These include: avoiding travelling alone and instead travelling with reputable tour companies; dressing conservatively; avoiding political demonstrations; avoiding remote areas and mountainous regions, especially during peak season; staying aware of your surroundings and any security threats; taking out travel insurance; and carrying a photocopy of your passport, as well as any important documents.

How can I ensure the safety of my personal information and data while in Morocco?

First and foremost, it is important to be aware of your security settings on any devices you use (such as laptops, tablets, and mobile phones). Be sure to have a secure password, two-factor authentication enabled, and encrypt your data. Additionally, be sure to update your devices with the latest security patches.

You should also take extra precautions when using public Wi-Fi networks. Avoid connecting to unsecured networks, and if you must connect make sure you have a secure VPN connection enabled.

Finally, be aware of cybercrime activities in Morocco and be sure to take necessary steps to protect yourself from becoming a victim. Be sure to avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files.

What is the local law enforcement’s reputation, and how can I seek assistance if needed in Morocco?

The local law enforcement in Morocco has generally been seen as being professional and fairly reliable. Law enforcement in the country is largely under the control of the Royal Gendarmerie, which has a reputation for upholding law and order. If assistance is needed, visitors can contact the nearest police station or call the national security hotline (dial 19). Additionally, embassies and consulates are able to provide assistance in an emergency situation.

Are there any safety considerations for LGBTQ+ travelers in Morocco?

Yes, there are safety considerations for LGBTQ+ travelers in Morocco. Although homosexuality is not officially criminalized in Morocco, the country’s conservative culture can make it difficult to openly express one’s sexuality. Homosexuality remains a taboo subject and LGBTQ+ individuals may face discrimination, harassment, and even violence. Therefore, it is important for LGBTQ+ travelers to be aware of their rights and take extra precautions when traveling to Morocco. It is important to avoid public displays of affection and to be mindful of local customs and cultural norms. LGBTQ+ travelers should also be aware of their legal rights, including the right to seek protection from authorities if necessary.

What steps can I take to reduce the risk of encountering scams or fraudulent activities in Morocco?

1. Do your research: Research local customs and laws, scam patterns, and common tourist traps before traveling.

2. Use caution when dealing with strangers: Be especially wary of anyone who claims to be a government official or asks for money.

3. Stay informed: Avoid areas that are known for fraud or scams and keep up to date with news reports about local crime trends.

4. Be aware of pickpockets: Be vigilant when out in crowded areas, especially at markets and other tourist attractions.

5. Only use trusted services: Only use reputable taxi services and other transportation services that are recommended by your hotel or travel guide.

6. Make photocopies of your important documents: Make copies of your passport, identification, credit cards and other important documents in case they are lost or stolen.

7. Use secure payment methods: When paying for goods and services, use methods that can be tracked (e.g., credit cards) instead of cash.

8. Keep money safe: Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your valuables secure at all times.

What are the local customs regarding interactions with strangers or making new acquaintances in Morocco?

When meeting a stranger in Morocco, it is important to be polite and respectful. It is customary to exchange pleasantries and small talk before getting to know someone. It is also important to be aware of Morocco’s cultural values, such as respecting elders and avoiding physical contact between members of different sexes. If invited into someone’s home, it is customary to take off your shoes and to bring a gift for the host. When making new acquaintances, avoid discussing politics and religion. Lastly, remember to be patient and open-minded when interacting with Moroccans – this will help create a successful and positive experience.

What transportation options are considered safer for travel within Morocco?

Train travel is considered to be one of the safest forms of transportation within Morocco. The Moroccan train system is well-maintained, and the country has a number of high-speed rail lines that connect major cities. Other safe options for traveling within Morocco include intercity buses, carpooling, and taxis. Many tourists also opt to hire a driver to travel around the country, which can be a more expensive option but offers a greater degree of safety and convenience.

Are there any cultural or religious events that may impact safety conditions in Morocco?

Yes, there are several major cultural and religious events that may impact safety conditions in Morocco. Ramadan is the most prominent, and during this time period many businesses close early and restaurants do not serve food during the day. During Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, public gatherings and events may take place, which could potentially lead to increased security risks in certain areas. Additionally, there may be some protests or demonstrations related to religious or political issues that could result in safety concerns.

What are the local norms regarding the consumption of food and water to ensure a safe experience in Morocco?

1. When eating at a restaurant, it is important to wash your hands with soap and warm water before and after meals.

2. It is important to avoid drinking tap water or any beverages that may contain it, such as ice cubes. Bottled water is recommended for drinking.

3. Eating street food is not recommended, as hygiene practices may not be as stringent as those in restaurants.

4. Fruits and vegetables should be washed thoroughly before being eaten.

5. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat and seafood, and make sure that all meats are cooked thoroughly.

6. Avoid eating dairy products that have not been pasteurized, such as milk and cheese.

7. It is generally expected to leave a tip of 10-15% at restaurants in Morocco.

How can I register with the U.S. embassy or consulate in Morocco for updates and assistance during my stay?

In order to register with the U.S. embassy or consulate in Morocco, you must first create an account on the embassy’s website. Once you have done so, you will need to provide your contact information, including your address, email address, and phone number. You will also need to provide details about your visit, such as the dates of your stay and the places you plan to visit. After registering and completing the required information, you will be able to receive updates and assistance during your stay in Morocco.