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Morocco - safety questions

Anonymous
Wed, 08/25/2010 - 14:04

I am travelling to Morocco in October but will not be joining the Exodus group in Marrakesh immediately.  I had been really looking forward to it as I've wanted to go trekking in the Atlas mountains for many years.  However, a (male) colleague has just returned from Marrakesh and said that he would never return after the amount of hassle he got from the locals following him around and asking for money all the time (young children and adults).  While I am still confident about our time as a group in the mountains and am looking forward to that, I am concerned about being in Marrakesh itself.  I have now reached the stage that I am tempted to just hide out in the hotel until everyone arrives instead (which is ridiculous)!  :-S  Any advice?  Obviously I'm not going to be waltzing around in a cropped top and mini-skirt!

 Thanks!

Anonymous
Wed, 08/25/2010 - 19:28

Hi there, I travelled to Morocco in March on the Atlas Panorama trip and also didn't meet the group immediately. I have to admit as a solo female traveller (for the first time in a long time so I was a bit apprehensive) I didn't really get that much hassle - I don't know if it's different for men/women. I did get approached a couple of times by people (men) who were quite friendly and polite and I think I was asked for money once. I found that providing I was polite when I said no they were fine towards me, said have a nice day and moved on. I have heard that sometimes people prefer to wear sunglasses as its easier to avoid eye contact. I can honestly say though that I never felt unsafe at any time and I didn't get anywhere near as much hassle as I was expecting, and a lot less so than other places I've been to. I think providing you use common sense (like you say dressing sensibly), are firm but polite if you receive any unwanted attention, and walk confidently you'll be fine. There's lots to see in Marrakech so don't let it put you off and enjoy your time there!

Anonymous
Wed, 09/01/2010 - 19:39

Thanks - I'm basically the same so a little more apprehensive than normal about the whole experience, but I'm probably just being a bit of a scaredy-cat.  It will also be a bit better once I know where the group are staying so I can do some digging about the area. Perhaps choosing somewhere a bit more familiar would have been a good idea for my first solo outing, but in for a penny, in for a pound.  And who could say no to taking on the Atlas mountains! :-)

Anonymous
Sat, 09/11/2010 - 08:48

It is true that Western foreigners get more attention than they would like, but Morocco is an incredible place to experience. Vicky's advice is spot on. Another way to hide is to be behind a camera. Do watch your persona belongings in crowds though!

My advice on Marrakech is - enjoy Place Jma El Fnaa by day - roam in the medina but don't expect great bargains as the traders will not reduce the price for westerners as much as they would for Moroccans! And the highlight is the sameplace at sunset. It is an experience not to be missed. Just like the freshly squeezed orange juice you can buy by the bottle!

And after all this - if you really must hide, go to the Bains de Marrakech for a great hammam experience!

Btw, I am from Mauritius and spent 5 months in Morocco working and spent all my week-ends visiting the country.

Sarah

Anonymous
Tue, 11/23/2010 - 14:46

I get lost easily.  Please could anyone tell me if it would be easy/helpful to hire a guide.  He/she might also deter persisent people bothering myself and my daughter?  Thanks Suzie

Anonymous
Tue, 11/23/2010 - 14:47

Sorry this would be for Marrakech  19 Dec.  Suzie 

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