Explore an Amazing & Timeless Culture
The hustle and bustle of Morocco is, for most travelers, a world away from their own homes. Part of the excitement and wonder of travel comes from new experiences. Don’t be afraid to get outside your comfort zone and learn more about the fascinating Moroccan culture.
Souks, or traditional markets, are a way of life in every city and village in Morocco and you won’t have to go far to find one. You can often get good bargains at souks, and haggling is a part of the experience.
You may find that you will soon start to make friends with the locals. If you are invited to a meal, keep in mind some of the local customs. For example, you will usually take off your shoes when entering a house. You can follow your host’s example in this regard.
Also it is traditional to take a gift. A home invitation is perhaps the most authentic way to sample Moroccan food and lifestyle. Most Moroccan dishes are eaten with the hands. If you are invited to join someone for a meal and you would like to eat in the traditional manner, you should always ask to wash your hands first and eat with the only right hand. Most host will offer utensils for your use, but if not, feel free to ask.
Be cautious when taking photographs of local people. It is best to ask permission first. Taking a photograph of someone without their permission – especially in rural areas – can cause offense. This may result in them demanding money from you even if you only intended to take a scenic shot of something. In contrast, taking photographs of someone you have become friendly with is usually very welcome.
In general, Moroccan culture is an exciting and worldly experience. The people are friendly and the landscape is colorful. Hospitality is truly a part of the culture so you can strike up friendships virtually anywhere. Usually this results in further association with these dynamic and interesting people and a real taste of Moroccan life.
Morrocan and especially beach and desert vegetation and environments are extremely vulnerable. Vegetation can survive with water deficit, high temperatures, strong wind, salty and clay soil, but not the effect of tourism. Every trace left on plants will stop their growth for a long time and put the environment in the real danger. Please remember the number of animals diminishes with decrease in vegetation whereas the number of tourist is growing fast.
General Traveling Tips for Traveling to Morocco & the Sahara Desert
How to Support the Community:
- Never give money or gifts to children; it keeps them out of school and destroys social and family structure; begging children earn more than their parents and cease to respect them.
- The children who ask you for whatever kind of support near the tourist trails are the not the poorest ones. Supporting charity organizations is a best way to make sure that the ones in need receive the support.
- Tip and gift appropriately. Giving tips and gifts out of proportion to local prices shows that you are rich and such behavior can even destabilize the local economy.
- Please do not give away medicine or give advice regarding medical care. If you want to help please contact the local government or hospitals.
- Support the local economy by using local transport and guides. They know their houses and gardens they will show you the best of it.
General Travel Tips
- Respect culture and religion.
- Dress in conservative, lightweight, flowing clothes, even when it’s hot!
- When taking pictures ask people for permission first.
- Bargaining is a part of the culture; pay a fair value for the product.
- Traditional ksars and villages are tourist attractions. Do not try to prove that the modern lifestyle is the best. Moroccans generally don’t want to exchange their vivid ksars for modern museums.