10 Reasons to Visit Morocco

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Morocco Travel Budget

By: Andre Vankets

Below is a list of Morocco's top destinations, click on the link to view all details and tours.

Casablanca, High Atlas, Marrakech, Todra Gorge, Valley of the Kasbahs
Fast Facts

Currency
Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
Dialing Code
212

Airports
Morocco airports include the following:
Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport
Tangier Boukhalef Souahel International Airport
Fes International Airport
Rabat-Sal, International Airport

Birdlife
Morocco birdlife is fairly diverse, with an estimated 46 Important Bird Areas IBA's) across the country's various habitats. Bird habitats include key fresh water wetlands as well as coastal wetlands, with a number of covered ecosystems ranging from shrub to woodlands, marshes, deserts and forest areas. With a range of beautiful birding areas and a fascinating culture, Morocco remains one of the most popular bird watching areas in Africa.

Conservation
With a number of wildlife and bird species facing extinction, and a high deforestation and desertification rate, with additional problems such as land abuse and over-grazing, Morocco conservation is key to preserving the precious ecosystems within the country. A number of efforts are in place to try and address the country's conservation problems however.


Culture
Morocco culture influences include:
Literature plays a key role in history and tradition
Food is an important social pastime
Fabric and clothing are part of the country's cultural identity
Art plays a vital role in past and current cultures
Film is a fairly new but thriving culture form

Health
Morocco health care is typically third world, despite the larger cities having fairly adequate facilities many towns do not have high hygiene levels and disease is fairly common in some of the smaller towns. To ensure that you stay healthy and safe, ensure that you follow basic precautions, and keep vitamins plus a first aid box on hand on your travels.

AIDS
Morocco has a fairly low AIDS rate, with approximately 21,000 adults living with HIV/AIDS by the end of 2007 at a rate of 1.0%. As a very conservative Muslim country, sex outside marriage is seen as a criminal offense, which could play a significant part in the low AIDS rate.

Vaccinations
The following Morocco inoculations are required:
Diphtheria
Hepatitis A
Rabies
Tetanus
Typhoid

Languages
Moroccan languages include:
Moroccan Arabic (official language)
Hassaniyya Arabic
Standard Arabic
Spanish
Tachelhit

Money
Morocco money and banking info includes the following:
Moroccan Dirhams can only be obtained in Morocco, usually through ATMs
Banking hours are Monday-Thursday from 08h30-12h30 and 15h00-18h30 and Friday from 08h30-1200 and 15h00-18h30
Dollars, Pounds and Euros are cheapest and easiest to exchange
Credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels, restaurants and shops
ATMs are widely available and often accept foreign cards such as Visa

Phrase
Useful Moroccan Arabic phrases include:
Thank you - Choukran
Good bye - B slema
Good morning - Sabba elkir
How are you? - La bas?
How much - Shahal taman?

Plants
Morocco plant life varies, with trees such as juniper, pine, cedar and oak, to dry shrub and grasslands with sparse desert areas in between. Wetland areas contain marsh vegetation, and there are also a number of palms to be found throughout the country. With a varied climate, Morocco's plant life is mostly fast growing and strong, although the country also faces problems from deforestation and desertification.

People
Morocco people includes the following groups:
Arab-Berber 99.1%
Other 0.7%
Jewish 0.2%

Safety Tips
Morocco safety tips include the following:
Avoid large crowds or protests that could turn violent
There is a fairly large terrorist threat in Morocco so be on guard at all times
Road safety is a big concern and accidents are common
The crime rate is fairly low but is growing ' especially in busy cities
Do not walk around alone after dark and keep all valuables safe and out of sight when walking in the daytime

Religion
Morocco religion includes the following groups:
Islam 99.7%
Christianity 0.3%
Baha'i 0.1%
Judaism <0.1%

Transport
Morocco local transport options include:
Bus
Car
Train
Taxi

Travel Books
Morocco travel books include:
Morocco Lonely Planet Country Guide by Paul Clammer
Morocco Eyewitness Travel Guide by DK Publishing
The Rough Guide to Morocco by Mark Ellingham, Daniel Jacobs, Hamish Brown, and Shaun McVeigh
Culture Shock! Morocco: A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette by Orin Hargraves
Frommer's Morocco by Darren Humphrys

Visa Requirements
Visa information for Morocco includes the following:
Passports must be valid for 6 months
Many countries to not need a visa to enter, speak to your travel agent or local embassy to find out which countries require visas
Tourists can stay in the country for up to 3 months
Visa requirements can change at any time
Proof of funds as well as return tickets are often needed for visa acceptance

Wildlife
Morocco wildlife is varied, however many species face extinction, with a number of species already extinct. There are about 18 highly endangered mammal species as well as a small number of endangered reptiles. Despite this, Morocco has a range of beautiful national parks where a wide range of species can be seen, including rare monkeys, oryx, jackals and many other species.

What To Pack
What to pack for Morocco safaris:
Lightweight, loose, long-sleeved clothing
Long skirts and t-shirts covering shoulders for women
Sunhat, sunglasses and sunscreen
Swimming costume and snorkel gear for beach visits
Camera, spare film or memory and extra batteries

What To Buy
What to buy for Morocco safaris:
Morocco travel guide and language book
Good sized backpack plus a decent moneybag
First aid box with basic supplies and equipment
Sleeping bag if you are on an overland trip
Plug adapter for US and UK visitors

When To Go
When to go to Morocco:
The peak tourist season in Morocco is July and August
Winter months run from November to March
The best times are the months before or after peak season
July and August are the hottest months
Many businesses and restaurants close during Ramadan

2010 World Cup
Morocco 2010 statistics include:
Morocco were the first African team to win a group in the World Cup
Morocco's national team are known as the Lions of the Atlas
Morocco won the African Nations Cup in 1976
The team have not qualified for World Cup games in recent years
The head coach is Roger Lemerre from France

About the Author

Overlanding Africa is THE place to find out about what's involved in Overlanding, get an idea of what type of African overlanding is possible and book the best possible trip to suit your family tours in south africa. Go straight to the tours or use our guide to get started, offering Budget African Safaris, Africa Overland Tours, Camping Safaris and advice for backpacking Africa.

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