Is Morocco a safe travel destination?

Is Morocco a safe travel destination?

Morocco has developed into a real hotspot in recent years, especially Marrakesh. The royal cities of Fes, Meknes and Rabat are popular destinations, and the coastal regions and endless deserts captivate visitors. More and more holidaymakers are being enchanted by the atmosphere from 1001 Nights and enjoying the colorful hustle and bustle in the souks paired with oriental hospitality. Despite the terrorist attack on two tourists in the Atlas Mountains in 2018, you can enjoy your vacation in the North African country to the fullest, as long as you heed any travel warning for Morocco that may be issued at short notice by the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Office also strongly advises against traveling to the Western Sahara region. The same applies to excursions or trips to the direct border region with Algeria. The only exception in this region is the tourist route to Zagora in the Draa Valley and Erfoud/Merzouga.

Morocco is a safe travel destination as long as you follow the current Morocco travel and safety advice and adhere to applicable regulations and practices. Then nothing stands in the way of an unforgettable holiday in this diverse country.

Domestic political situation in Morocco

With the exception of the popular tourist route to Zagora in the Draa Valley and Erfoud/Merzouga, stays and trips to the immediate border region with Algeria are not recommended. The border between Algeria and Morocco has been closed since 1994. Demonstrations can occur again and again. Recently there have been unauthorized protests in individual cities in Morocco, in which there have been isolated violent clashes between the police and the demonstrators. The causes of the demonstrations are mostly economic and social grievances in the country. If you notice a demonstration or a large gathering of people, avoid it. As a rule, such protests are harmless.

Dangerous regions

The Foreign Office advises against stays and trips to the immediate border region with Algeria, with the exception of the popular tourist route to Zagora in the Draa Valley and Erfoud/Merzouga.
Also avoid traveling to the Western Sahara region and the Rif Mountains. There is a restricted military area between the Moroccan border wall and Western Sahara in which no consular assistance is possible. The area is considered extremely dangerous: the risk of becoming a victim of a kidnapping is high. Another danger in the Mauritanian border region is unexploded ordnance and mines. The main route between Laayoune and Dakhla and the Mauritanian border should not be left under any circumstances.

Cannabis is grown illegally in the Rif Mountains. Do not travel the area alone and be vigilant for drug dealers located there. In some cases it can lead to harassment. Under no circumstances should you buy drugs or narcotics. Possession is a criminal offense and can result in long prison sentences.

How to behave safely in popular tourist locations

Armed police officers are part of everyday life in popular tourist destinations. Armed security personnel are also increasingly patrolling train stations and bus stops. Even if the sight takes some getting used to, they are there for security and are intended to deter criminals. As in many countries, in Morocco there is a risk of pickpockets causing mischief in busy places and sights. In individual cases, stabbing weapons are used in robberies. In such a case, remain calm and do not resist. Prevent theft by only taking as much cash with you as you need for the day. Important documents such as flight tickets or ID cards are safest in a hotel safe. When traveling, it is advisable to carry a color copy of your identification documents with you instead of the originals. It’s safest to bring a small backpack or bag that you can carry on your stomach. Some locals like to pose as “false guides”. They offer dubious excursions or services that you should stay away from. Aggressive begging is also not uncommon. Reject the demands confidently and confidently. Do not get involved in any discussions, even if the other person reacts angrily.