Safe to Travel to Morocco

Aug 17th, 2015, 08:27 AM
  #1  
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Safe to Travel to Morocco

Hi everyone. To those whom I've chatted with on these forums before, nice to chat with you again.

As many of you know, I'm a pretty experienced international traveler. I've travelled internationally 12 times for pleasure in my lifetime, all but one of those times solo. I've traveled extensively through Europe. In both 2011 and 2012, I visited Turkey (absolutely loved it) and in 2013, I spent 17 days in Japan (my favorite trip so far.) So I do have experience with traveling solo in countries with cultures quite different from mine and having a wonderful time.

I would really like visit Morocco in the spring of 2016 and have an itinerary mapped out. I have not yet booked my flights and would like to do so. However, there is a little something holding me back from doing so. I am very much excited about the cultural differences I would anticipate experiencing in Morocco and am aware of the intensity (touts, guides, etc.) that a Westerner will likely encounter there. I think I'm pretty well able to deal with those types of things in a reasonably good natured manner. However, cutting right to the chase, I'm just a bit concerned about the safety of a Westerner traveling to North Africa. Let's be honest, as a whole region, it's not the safest place these days (bombings, kidnappings, etc.) for both locals and Westerners. I know I am not talking about places like Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia where most of these events have occurred, but those countries are right next door to Morocco.

I have read many times over how safe Morocco is and what a strong government is in place. I would really appreciate hearing from those who have traveled to Morocco, particularly Westerners, as to your experiences and to the level of safety or concern you felt while there.

Thanks much.

MB
MinnBeef is offline  
Aug 17th, 2015, 09:05 AM
  #2  
 
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mb
it is as safe as anywhere else their government has a zero tolerance for the things of which you speak. with that said , it doesn't guarantee you anything. which is true anywhere else in the world, new York,london , Madrid Mumbai, etc. use common sense and have self awareness when traveling. and I'm sure you will find Moroccans to be as kind and gracious as many other places.we live in strange/awful times but that shouldn't stop you from living. follow the news about morocco have travel insurance and if something that disturbs you occurs between now and then do what makes you comfortable.

regards

wlke
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Aug 18th, 2015, 04:44 AM
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Terrorism can happen anywhere - see the bombing in Bangkok - but the liklihood that it would affect you is extremely small. I would not visit Tunisia at present, but would not hesitate to go back to Morocco.
thursdaysd is offline  
Aug 18th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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Thanks for your feedback. I concur with both of your assessments re. terrorism and that it can occur anywhere. My bigger concern lies with recent kidnappings of Westerners and others in the region, with always tragic results. The Croatian worker kidnapped in Cairo (IN CAIRO) or the Coptic Christians kidnapped in Libya. There were people targeted for their ethnicity or religion and this happened in countries very near to Morocco. It has to give one pause when thinking about traveling to this part of the world. I really want to go but this particular aspect is what worries me the most, particularly as an American.
MinnBeef is offline  
Aug 19th, 2015, 03:10 AM
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Morocco is about as safe as most places in Europe (so, probably as safe - or perhaps safer - than most US cities). Of course, use some common sense as you would traveling anywhere. Nothing special to worry about.
Mjess is offline  
Aug 19th, 2015, 05:04 AM
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I travelled to Turkey in late 2014 and Morocco this past July (with a female friend). I don't think I would feel as comfortable in Turkey today.

I (we) felt quite at ease in Marrakesh and Fez, on the train between them and on a drive thru the mountains to return to Marrakesh. While we largely spoke French, I am an American...and admitted it when asked... to no disdain whatsoever.

We are also travelers, and exercised the usual precautions.

And I would go back in a heartbeat !
MarnieWDC is offline  
Aug 19th, 2015, 11:56 PM
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Well said, everybody! All I'll add to this thread is that AON - U.K. insurer and risk/crisis manager etc etc - regards Morocco as a "Low risk"...lower than France and Greece.

http://www.riskmap.aon.co.uk/terrori...ssodyssey.net#
DarrenHumphrys is offline  
Aug 20th, 2015, 09:23 AM
  #8  
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Thanks all. I took the plunge and made my flight reservations last night. Very excited. I'll be checking back over the next few months with questions and feedback requests. I appreciate all of your responses.
MinnBeef is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 12:44 PM
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Neither Cairo nor Libya are "in countries very near to Morocco".

The closest of these (Sirte) is 2,500 km from Oujda which is the capital of Morocco's Oriental province. Cairo must be 3,500km.
TimCullis is offline  
Aug 26th, 2015, 05:09 PM
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@TimCullis: I'm well acquainted with world geography. I think my point still stands.
MinnBeef is offline  
Jan 7th, 2016, 08:25 PM
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Thank you for posting this! I will be following this thread, as I am also planning a trip to Morocco in April. I hope you enjoy your trip!
ctoyama1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2016, 06:02 PM
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Just got back from a 2 week Morocco trip. Never once did we feel unsafe.
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Jan 21st, 2016, 09:17 AM
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Awesome, Yankeedoodle63. Very glad to hear that! Where all in Morocco did you visit and what were your favorite/least favorite sites? Will you also be doing a trip report?
MinnBeef is offline  
Jan 26th, 2016, 10:26 AM
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I agree with everyone else encouraging your visit. I've been to Morocco seven times since 2013, often travelling alone or being alone, and never had a moment's concern. I'm also a woman. However, part of "risk management" might include considering how you like to travel. When I look at who gets targeted and where, I'd say you possibly make yourself more vulnerable if you stay at western hotels or travel in tour buses, or do other things where large groups of western tourists might congregate at one time. But if you travel like local people (petit and grand taxis, local buses, private cars...), stay in riads or smaller locally-owned and operated hotels, and eat with the local people (i.e., NOT in the dining room of a western hotel), you decrease the likelihood of getting in harm's way -- to my mind. I try to think like a terrorist: where can I do the most damage to get the biggest headlines and create the most fear? (And then I travel in the opposite way!) HAVE FUN!!
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Mar 4th, 2016, 09:43 AM
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My daughter is keenly interested in a HS Language program with the state department that has summer learning programs... including morocco... to learn Arabic. She was also interested in the programs in Turkey and Jordan....

My bit of research makes me feel a bit more at ease about Morocco... they'd be in classes during the day and I believe with host families... but they would be a group of westerners....

This is a bit of a debate with DH right now.

Appreciate any thoughts. I can post a new thread too... just thought to add this into this one that has been reactivated I see.
sfmasterG is offline  
Mar 4th, 2016, 10:35 AM
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I found Jordan to be more "westernized" than Morocco, at least around the American university - it was quite a contrast to Syria (this was 2009). But I don't know how much difference the influx of Syrian refugees has made. I'm sure she will be safe in Morocco, though.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 02:15 PM
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MB,
My boyfriend and I are looking to go to Morocco, the end of April/beginning of May. I was curious as to what your itinerary looked like, as it would be very helpful in planning our trip. Also, this post helped relief me of any nervousness I had about the safety in the area, so thanks again! If you wouldn't mind, you can email the info/ideas/itinerary you have for your trip to Morocco. It would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Abby

email: [email protected]
pumpkinaj is offline  
Mar 9th, 2016, 05:45 PM
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Hi Abby. Let me just note it here. Basically one overnight upon arrival and the next morning in Casablanca to see the Hassan 2 mosque. From there, Chefchaouen (2 nights), Fes (4 nights including day trip to Volubilis/Moulay Idriss/Meknes), Marrakech (5 nights including day hike to Ourika Valley), Essaouira (2 nights) before training back to Casa for a last overnight, and then flying to Paris and home to Minneapolis.

As your desired trip is just a couple of months away, I would get your itinerary set very soon and get your flights and hotels reserved.
MinnBeef is offline  
Mar 17th, 2016, 05:25 PM
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Hi
Im traveling to Morocco at the end of June during Ramadan. I was pretty nervous about the trip until I ran across this blog. MB seems as though I will be following your same travel itinerary on my way back from Morocco. What airline are you using and can you offer any advice as far as navigating airports... First time international traveler
Momoco23 is offline  
Mar 30th, 2016, 08:30 AM
  #20  
 
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Have you got anymore feedback from this?

I would be keen to know.

I booked a holiday to Marrakech at the end of June and now I am panicking with all the recent bombings - Pakistan, Brussels etc.

Can anyone offer some advice?

best,
Petra
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