HEALTH & SAFETY
It is important to remember that you will be over a day’s travel from the nearest medical facility. There are NO doctors in the region. Clients must be careful at all times and not take extreme risks to their physical health and safety. Compare the remoteness to being on a backpacking trip in the wilderness; help is hours away.
Suggested Vaccinations for
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Td/Tdap)
- Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A (may require more than one dose – allow time prior to travel)
- Hepatitis B (may require more than one dose – allow time prior to travel)
- You do not need Malaria, Yellow Fever or Cholera vaccinations.
FOOD AND WATER
Water purification of some kind is always necessary. Bottled water is available in Marrakech. The houses where you will be staying in the mountains serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. We suggest traveling with acidophilus, probiotics, and/or grapefruit seed extract, all commonly found at the health food store. These natural supplements are great ways to combat foreign intestinal bacteria on a natural level. Foreign bacteria is not bad, it is just different than what our bodies are used to and it is smart to take precautionary measures while traveling in any foreign country.
CONDUCT AND DRESS
Men should not show their shoulders or knees and women should not show their elbows or knees. This means no shorts for men or women. Capris, long pants or long skirts only. Women do not need to cover their heads but many of our past participants have chosen to wear a head scarf from time to time. Women do not need to cover their faces. You will see other foreigners wearing less culturally aware clothing both in Marrakech and the mountains. However, they are ‘tourists’ rather than guests of the locals. We prefer to maintain a high level of respect at all times.
ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
Drinking alcohol in front of or with locals and their families in the rural villages can be considered disgraceful. Out of respect for the locals that we will be traveling with, alcohol will only be available at some dinners or should be consumed in private areas. This will be at the Berber village, at the discretion of the trip guide and host. In addition, Morocco may be famous for its marijuana and hash but, despite what most people think, it is illegal. It can also be considered extremely disrespectful to do this in front of locals.
Arabic is the official language of Morocco. French is widespread in metropolitan areas and with men and teenagers in rural regions. Berber is the language of the mountains. English is very rare, with the exception of Marrakech where it is more and more apparent; but still not everywhere. A little Arabic or Berber goes a long way; an Arabic phrasebook is priceless.
Morocco’s official currency is the dirham. ATM machines and money exchange houses are plentiful in the cities. However, credit cards are rarely accepted, even at prominent tourist hotels and markets. Do not count on these services outside of the city. If you plan to shop, exchange money or withdraw it before heading into the mountains. VISA is the recommended credit card for an emergency. MasterCard and American Express are not widely accepted.