An ideal horror story would begin with a baby in a cradle, a monster sliding into the room, slowing to a crawl and stopping to face the baby. All of a sudden, an incredible lighting strikes and a loud scream echoes to wake up the whole neighbourhood. Alas, this is not a horror story you signed up for. Rather, this is your chance to embark on a new journey to a country you will know more about in this article. On that note, is Morocco safe for solo travellers?
Have you ever tried to teleport somewhere completely new, oddly fascinating, slightly exotic and breathtakingly beautiful without feeling terrified the slightest? I dare say you have never, but the idea should startle you if not terrify you.
One way or another, everyone is afraid of the unfamiliar, but it solely depends on where we go and the way we carry ourselves to determine whether a place is safe for us or not. On the northern part of the African continent, there lies a country with a population of 37 million people boarded by the Atlantic Ocean to the West, Mauritania to the Southeast, the Mediterranean Sea to the North, and Algeria to the East. That country is Morocco.
Thanks to its many geographical advantages, Morocco has gained in the last couple of years a huge popularity among foreign visitors all over the world. Just before the pandemic hit, more than 13 million
people visited the place, making it one of the most sought after countries in Africa.
However, despite Morocco’s popularity, it remains a foreign place even for a seasoned traveller. Therefore, many variables concerning safety and vigilance must be taken into consideration for a guaranteed safe travel. In this article, we will explore all the safety information for solo travelling you
need to know about Morocco before you book your next trip.
Statistically Speaking, Is Morocco Safe for Solo Travellers?
On the 2023 Global Peace Index, Morocco ranks 84th of 193 countries recording noticeable improvements in peacefulness. It takes the 7th place among Middle Eastern and North African countries with not a single recorded death from terrorism in 2022. That and the Global Organized Crime Index places Morocco on top of the United States in regards to the ongoing domestic and international conflict, militarisation and the societal safety and security.
In addition, Morocco is widely recognized by its stable governments, its international cooperation with both the United States and other European countries, and its national policies and strict law enforcement.
According to the statistics, Morocco is not in the least a violent or a dangerous country. Random violent crimes or attacks are very rare and the chances of you coming across someone with a gun or a machete pointed at you are non-existent. However, that does not mean that taking certain measures of safety should not be taken seriously. Much like any other place in the world, petty crimes, frauds and pickpocketing do make an appearance from time to time.
The Pros and Cons of Solo Travel in Morocco
Solo travelling has become one of those spiritual activities that one must experience even once in their lifetime to connect with one’s psyche and blend with the universe. However, one cannot but ask the question: is Morocco safe for solo travellers? Here we will go through a list of pros and cons of solo travelling in Morocco and explore the do’s and dont’s as a solo traveller in a foreign country.
From the moment you set foot in Morocco to the moment you leave, you will be met with smiling faces and people who are truly interested in you. Usually when you are entering a country, the immigration process can be quite intimidating even if you are a law-abiding citizen. Morocco, however, is widly recognised for its positive security guards and its welcoming atmosphere, which can uplift your spirit as a solo traveller.
Do not be shaken if someone taps on your shoulder and smilingly offers you a piece of Chebakkiya, a traditional Moroccan sweet, as you are wandering around the Medina. Moroccans are some of the most hospitable, open-minded and amiable people out there. Though the way they converse may come as aggressive, they are most likely cracking jokes and having fun.
You will be surprised by how good locals are at foreign languages. Located only 14.5km away from Europe, Moroccans have developed a faculty of speech that encompasses more than their mother tongue. Be it French, Spanish, English, German or Classic Arabic, you can always find someone to offer you help when lost alone and stuck with Google Translate.
Touristic cities around Morocco such as Fes, Casablanca, Tangier, Marrakech and Rabat have a strong presence of tourist police. As tourism is what many people profit from, it has become a national matter that not only concerns authorities but locals as well. Therefore, foreign visitors’ security and safety, especially in places such as souks and medinas, are taken very seriously, which will provide you with a safe and enjoyable solo travel experience.
Morocco is also a conservative Muslim country. Nonetheless, its society is considered one of the most tolerant Muslim societies in Africa. Being so close to Europe, it remains relatively different, maintaining its own properties, customs, traditions and culture, which must be respected so as not to put oneself in unfavourable situations. Still, Morocco is a great getaway and segue to your solo travel experience in North Africa.
Morocco, with all its wild nature, beautiful beaches and perfect climate is every backpacker’s dream. Ranging from camping in the Sahara Desert, mountain climbing in the High Atlas Mountains to sightseeing in Akchour Waterfalls, Morocco is undoubtedly the perfect spot to embark on new adventures and feed that wanderlust.
Now, while all this sleeping under the stars sounds tempting, you still want to be surrounded by people for extra safety. Even locals regard wild camping and hiking alone in remote areas as a dangerous activity. Ideally, such activities are often carried out by a group of people or friends to provide support to each other and look after one another.
Of course, hospitality of remote villages is every Moroccan’s pride and joy but it is safer to hire a local depending on where you go and what you want to see. Remember, you can never be so sure about the safety of a place especially when you are alone. In Morocco, there are lots of safer option to explore the wilderness and be satisfied with your travels. Be it joining guided hikes or camping at reliable campsites, it is much advisable to go accompanied with people than alone.
Safety Tips for Solo Travel in Morocco
You can never be too cautious in a foreign place. As much as Morocco is a welcoming country and a touristic place by excellence, you still need to follow these safety solo travel tips to ensure your well-being:
Don’t Be Ignorant
Immerse yourself in the culture and customs of the country you are visiting beforehand to ensure a comfortable travel experience free of all awkward situations. Moroccans take social etiquettes very seriously and they do not tolerate anyone disrespecting their places of worship. Try to learn more about Moroccan social etiquettes in this link.
Be Cautious of Scams and Petty Crimes
Moroccan society is very hospitable and you are most likely going to meet with individuals who will gladly offer you help without charging a dime. However, try your best not to take unsolicited advice or help from individuals forcing themselves on you. Keep your guard up and your belongings tightly close to you.
Being a conservative Muslim society, modesty is taken very seriously as a form of respect and humility. If you are a man, a good rule of thumb is to ensure your knees are covered and avoid skimpty tight clothes. Women are free to show their hair and advised to cover their knees and shoulders.
Is Morocco a safe place for solo travellers if you follow these tips? Absolutely. It is a friendly environment more than it will ever be hostile. Now, is there anything stopping you from choosing Morocco as your next destination?