EASY TRAVELS IN MOROCCO

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TREKKING ,HIKING AND TOURISM

General trip info
Useful information that helps you to prepare for your trip. It’s worth reading before you book your trip…



• My proposed trips are only suggestions for possible itineraries, but routes can be altered to better fit your travel needs (only in case of groups booking together).
• I am also happy to help you to propose brand new itineraries based on your expectations and wishes.

Water consumption
• Due to the risk of possible stomach upsets, we do not advice foreigners to drink Moroccan tap water as it is. You should rather:
o boil water before drinking it (if you have possibilities) or
o use tablets or other means to purify water or
o buy bottles of mineral water (cost around 5-10 DH/1.5 litres).
• For the trips in the Sahara please note that there is not much water available in the desert, thus we will have only a certain amount of water for cooking purposes and for personal use. Please do not expect shower facilities in these places.
• Wherever we are in Morocco please consider the environment and avoid excessive usage of water.


Accommodation
• During our trips we will have several types of accommodation which may differ by comfort level. Some of them – like a gîte (mountain hut) or a (nomad) camp – can be very simple with shared rooms and shared facilities.
• My trip prices (if given on this website) include standard accommodation (if not stated otherwise in tour description). If you wish cheaper or more comfortable accommodation, please cotact me . However please note that in some places it is not possible to change the type of the accommodation.
• Accommodation is usually for two persons – except Bedouin (or nomad) camp and some gîtes where more people are accommodated together – but in many cases single rooms/tents are also available for some extra charge. If you are interested in changing the type of the accommodation, please ask for the possibilities at the time of booking.
• Check-out time from the hotel on the last day is normally 12 a.m. but it is usually possible to leave your luggage at the reception for a while.
• I am able to organise extra pre- or post-trip accommodation for you if you wish to stay for a couple of days longer. Please ask for it at the time of booking.
• Types of accommodation during our trips (if not stated otherwise in tour description):
o riad – traditional Moroccan style hotel, double room with own bathroom (please note that no lift/elevator is available in riads);
o hotel – simple (2 or 3 stars) hotel, double room with own bathroom;
o auberge – small, simple hotel (guest house), double room with own bathroom or shared room with shared facilities;
o gîte – simple mountain hut with shared accommodation and shared facilities;
o camping – two-person igloo tents with shared facilities (kitchen and toilet tents);
o Bedouin/nomad camp – shared tented accommodation with no facilities.

What to Bring
• Large bag or backpack to contain all your belongings and items (suitcase is not recommended in most places)
• Daypack for daytime necessities (to carry camera, bottle of water etc.)
• Sleeping bag (four-season) – in the hotels/riads bedding is provided however in the camps (during walking and hiking trips) sleeping bag is necessary
• Waterproofs (raincoat)
• Long trousers both for men and women (to dress appropriately)
• T-shirts and shirts with long sleeves
• Pair of walking shoes/boots
• Pairs of wool or cotton socks for walking (and/or against cold)
• Ear plugs if you have trouble with sleeping
• Toiletries and personal pharmacy, incl. lip balm, sun cream and antibacterial gel
• Sunglasses
• Torch or headlamp
And depending on the season:
• Jacket, fleece jacket, warm trousers, gloves (against cold), warm hat OR
• Sunhat, sandals


During the tour
• Make sure you save your tour leader’s mobile number in the beginning of the tour so that you have it in case it is needed.
• Please respect your travel mates and do not be late from any appointments (e.g. in the morning, for dinner or after visiting a site) set by your guide. (Moroccans – as you will see – usually do not take time very seriously and 20-30 minutes late is just part of normal life. However in many cases our schedule is very tight and delays would cause difficulties, thus starting in time is very important. Your guide is aware of the importance of being punctual and will do his best to start in time. Please do not make it more difficult for him.)
• To make sure you enjoy your holiday in Morocco please:
o be prepared for varying circumstances and modified itineraries or changes in other conditions;
o accept different cultures and different habits, including that of local people and your travel mates (who can also come from very different countries and cultural background);
o respect the local traditions, habits and way of living (see ‘Important things to know’ section);
o be polite and liberal with your travel mates, guide, driver(s), tour staff and anyone we will have contact during the trip and avoid offending people around you.


Important things to know
• Respect the local traditions and religious places, i.e. the cemeteries, marabouts and mosques. (Please note: the mosques in Morocco – except Mosque Hassan II in Casablanca – cannot be visited by non-Muslims.)
• Dress in a proper way (shoulders covered, trousers/skirts under knee), particularly in villages and rural places.
• Do not photograph inhabitants and local people whom you meet without asking their consent.
• Morocco is a tipping country; if you are satisfied with the service in any place, it is recommended to give a tip. (More info about tipping in 'Travel tips' section.)
• After shaking hands with someone, touch your right hand to your heart as a sign of respect.
• Use your right hand for shaking hands, eating out of a common dish and handling merchandise or money.
• Do not give money or small gifts to children on the streets as it encourages them to beg instead of going to the school. (If you wish to help local families or communities, please ask our office or your tour leader about the possibilities.)
• And most importantly, smile and be friendly. Your kindness will be appreciated and will make your holiday more enjoyable.

Weather
You have no idea when to visit Morocco? Learn more about Moroccos climate and the best timing for a visit here...
The climate in Morocco varies significantly according to the location (area and altitude) and the season. The coast (in the west and north) has a Mediterranean climate and extreme temperature ranges are moderated by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. However in the interior of Morocco the climate is rather continental, and characterized by more extremities: freezing and snow or very hot and dry.
The summer – from April to October – is hot and dry throughout Morocco: extremely hot (35-45 C°) in the South and in the Sahara (however temperature can drop dramatically during night), while nicely hot (25-30 C°) in the mountains and by the coast.

In winter – from November to March – coastal areas still have a nice climate: sunny and moderate temperature, but rain can be usual and nights can be chilly. In the Sahara it is usually sunny and cold, especially during the nights, when it can be freezing. The mountains are very cold (freezing) and snow is very probable over 2400m.

The best time to visit Morocco is March-April and September-October. However if you wish to avoid the high season and lots of fellow tourists, we recommend to take a trip in other periods, and rather be prepared for colder or hotter weather (depending on the season).
(Please note, that due to climate extremities in the inland, we do not propose to take Sahara tours in the summer and High Atlas tours in the winter.)

For actual weather forecasts or for more information, please check also the websites listed below:
• Holiday Weather.com (live, forecast and averages)
• WeatherOnline
• Weather Finder
• weather.com
• AccuWeather.com



Travel tips
Our travel tips help you to prepare for your trip by giving practical information about Morocco…
Time
• In general, Morocco is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) (also called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)) year-round.
• However in certain periods there is a time shift as follows:
o Daylight saving time (DST) – i.e. adjusting the clocks forward by one hour in spring till the end of summer – is in use and is in line with European DST. As a result during summer months Morocco’s local time is UTC/GMT+1.
o However during Ramadan DST is interrupted (clocks are set back to standard time) to shorten evenings and make it easier for Muslims to observe the Ramadan fast. As a result during Ramadan local time in Morocco is UTC/GMT.
• Currently the time in Morocco is UTC/GMT+1.


Entering Morocco and visa requirements
• For citizens from (most of) the European Union, United States and Canada no visa is required for a stay of up to 90 days. (Note: holding a resident card or green card to any country does not mean that you can enter Morocco without visa.)
• Depending on your nationality, to enter Morocco, your passport has to be valid for at least three or six months after date of entry to Morocco and you should also have a return ticket.
• For further information visit here.
• Before coming to Morocco (or even before booking with us) please check visa requirements for citizens of your country or ask the nearest Moroccan consulate or embassy.
• Every time before entering – and leaving – Morocco you have to fill in a form (in English or French) with your basic personal data (name, date and place of birth, nationality, passport number etc.) and information on your stay (purpose, duration etc.). The form can be collected around the counter at the border (or sometimes it is distributed in the craft before arrival). As in this form you have to indicate your Moroccan address (the name of your hotel), please do not forget to have it with you when arriving to the (border)counter.
Money
• Morocco’s official currency is Moroccan dirham (MAD or DH).
• It is not allowed to bring or take out Moroccan dirhams in/of the country, however holding Moroccan currency is tolerated within the limit of MAD 1,000.
• Many currencies (EUR, USD, GBP etc.) are changed in the banks and exchange offices or in some hotels, though exchange rates can vary.
• EURO and USD travel cheques can be changed in the banks as well.
• ATM machines (Visa/Mastercard/Switchcard/Cirrus) to withdraw cash are available only in large cities.
• Check for approximate current exchange rates here.
Health and hygiene
• Due to the risk of possible stomach upsets, we advise you to avoid drinking tap water, diluted fruit juices and adding ice (made of tap water) to any drinks. Please check with the vendor before drinking. (For more info about water consumption see 'General trip info' section.)
• No obligatory vaccinations are required for visitors from most countries (except those where yellow fever exists) to enter the country. However vaccination against hepatitis A and B and typhoid is recommended. Before arriving, please check with your local vaccination centre for the latest information.
• Please take your personal pharmacy to cure your existing illnesses or smaller health problems or injuries occurring during the trip. In case of any more serious medical problems, your guide will help you to find a doctor.
• In most places (cafés, restaurants, public washrooms) taps and soap to wash your hand are available. However in some places it can be useful to have a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you, in case there is no possibility to wash your hand. (Hand sanitizers are available in Moroccan supermarkets, however if you wish to avoid triclosan, it is better to bring one with you.)
• Be prepared for Moroccan style toilets:
o note that in some places where we stop for a break, you will find only traditional Moroccan toilets (squat toilets) and no Western style toilets are available;
o make sure you always have toilet paper with you as in most cases no paper is provided, however please do not flush the paper down as it can clog the plumbing (it might be useful to have a paper bag with you in case there is no trash bin around);
o to learn more about Moroccan toilets.


How to use a Moroccan toilet?
Do not be afraid of Moroccan style toilets, they are not difficult to use...
In Morocco it is very common to find squat toilets in bus or trains stations, local restaurants and rural areas. Squat toilets are the upscale versions of ‘long-drops’, i.e. they are not simply a hole in the ground, but they can also be flushed down from a tank or with a bucket of water.
Many people are afraid of using squat toilets because they think squat toilets are uncomfortable but they have some important advantages as well. In fact squat toilets are much more hygienic and healthier than western toilets and with some practice they become easy to use.
1. Once you enter the squat toilet, you will find a small tap with a bucket or bowl underneath. This bucket can be used for washing yourself and for flushing down the toilet once you finished.
2. To use the toilet put your feet on the foot rest (the two parts on either side of the hole) and get into squat position. Make sure your feet are flat on the ground to get a better balance and it is more comfortable. (When you pull your pants, it is better to roll them up to make sure they do not get wet as these toilets are usually wet on the ground. Before you take squatting position, make sure you don’t have any valuable in your pockets as it would not be fun to retrieve them if fallen down. )
3. Go ahead and finish your business by aiming for the hole. Move a bit forward or backwards if you are not aiming very well (without losing your balance). Don't worry, it gets better with practice (and even locals miss it sometimes…).
4. Once you finished, you can use water (bucket) to rinse yourself or you can use (your own) toilet paper or wet tissues. (However do not flush the paper – and definitely not the wet tissues – down as it can clog the plumbing. (It might be useful to have a paper bag with you in case there is no trash bin around.)
5. Fill the bowl or the bucket from the tap (or tank if there is any) and use it to flush. Pour the water along the side of the squat toilet so it swirls around and cleans the whole bowl before going down. (If the bucket or bowl was filled when you came in, be courteous to the next person and refill it before you leave.)

Source and more info:
• Hot to use a squat toilet
• How To Use a Squat Toilet (Africa)

Security
• Morocco is a safe country and police has strong presence all around the country.
• Violent crime is very rare and most visitors will experience no serious problems during their stay.
• However it is wise to be careful anywhere and you should pay attention for pickpockets, especially in large cities and tourist places.


Electricity
• Moroccan electricity network is of 220V and the socket-outlets are of European type. (For more info visit here.)
• International adaptors are very hard to find within the country, so we advise you to bring your own if you need one.


Phone and internet

• Private teleboutiques can be found in every village, town and city. You can make local and international calls from there, though you will need a stack of coins. Card-operated public phones are also scattered everywhere.
• Mobile networks (4 operators) are available all over the country, however reception can be very weak or even non-existing in some – mostly rural or mountain – areas.
• To economise your phone expenditure, it is also possible to buy your own Moroccan (pre-paid) SIM card. It is easy to arrange for (you can buy it in many small shops), and can be much cheaper than roaming prices.
• Useful numbers in Morocco:
o Country code: 212
o Directory enquiries: 160 (only in French and Arabic)
o Police emergency: 190
o Fire brigade, Ambulance: 150
o Road accidents: 177
• Internet cafes and wifi zones are available in many places and some of our hotels offer free wifi as well. Mobile internet in the cities is also available for reasonable rates (10 MAD/day).

Tipping
• Morocco is a tipping country, i.e. tips are regarded as essential means of supplementing income and are of great significance for those working in many sectors (incl. tourism).
• So if you are satisfied with the services during your tip – even if tipping is not a common practice in your home country –, feel free to give a tip (in cafés and restaurants, for porters, drivers, muleteers etc.), it will be surely appreciated.
• At the end of your trip, if you feel your tour leader did an outstanding job, tipping is also expected and appreciated.
• However the precise amount of tipping is entirely at your personal preference, the following can be used as general guidelines for tipping (or you can ask your tour leader as well for guidance):
o in cafes and restaurants: 10-12% of the bill;
o for hotel staff (porters, housekeepers etc.): 5-10 dirhams at a time;
o for small service providers (like camel drivers, muleteers, cooks, local guides): 15-25 dirhams per person per day or per occasion;
o for driver: €10-12 per person per week;
o for tour leader: €15-25 per person per week.
• Note: in the unexpected case of getting very disappointed by a particular service, please inform your tour leader or let us know right away, so that we can make the necessary steps.

Travel with us
Why to travel with Brahim ELBAHRAOUI ? There are great many reasons...
Travelling around the world is great! It makes you relaxed and helps you to escape from the busy every-days. When you travel, you discover beautiful places, but you can also learn about culture, history, traditions and people.
If you are ready for a great holiday and to visit lovely cities, unforgettable sights or amazing nature or mix with local people, join us for a tour to Morocco!
We offer you a wide range of tours all around Morocco:
• discover the beautiful nature and all the regions – the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Coast;
• visit famous and fascinating cities like Marrakech, Casablanca, Tangier, Chefchaouen, Fes or Meknes;
• escape from busy settlements to quiet and remote areas;
• experience a bulk of activities and adventures like walking, trekking, mountain climbing, beaching, surfing or sightseeing.
Travelling with us is easy and flexible and the way you travel is up to you!
• You can choose from our ‘Proposed trips’ and ‘Excursions’ OR you can make your own trip.
• You can travel with your friends or family .
• You can even choose the date of your departure as most of our tours have no predefined dates.
Do you feel responsible for the environment or those who are in need? We do too. Responsible travel is not only a buzzword for us, we take it seriously.
If you
• wish to discover Morocco in an authentic but safely way…
• feel responsible and think the help of and contact with local people can make your holiday more memorable…
• do not want to waste your time with organising your holiday…
• hate travelling around alone but fed up with big travel groups…

… travel with us and let’s discover the beauty of Morocco together!