Visiting Morocco as a Female Traveler
I doubt that there is a woman who doesn’t dream of visiting Morocco. After all, Morocco is one of these destinations that have very distinctive culture and offers warm hospitality. Sahara desert is one of the most attractive and enchanting places on the planet and covers the south part of the country. Morocco is exotic and beautiful but what are the specifics of visiting Morocco as a female traveller?
Visiting Morocco gives to a woman feeling of taking part in one of the tales of Scheherazade. The sense of serenity that Sahara desert gives you and the feel of anxious curiosity while exploring the small streets of Marrakech’s Medina are just a few of the emotions that Morocco will evoke in you. You will be enchanted by the green oases in the red earth; you will become a big fan of the Moroccan food and Moroccan mint tea; will be delighted by the Moroccan hospitality and will feel in Morocco as at home.
But don’t be fooled. As a female traveller, you should be cautious. Moroccan people in general are amiable but it is Muslim country. Women have low social status and definitely do not have the freedom of expression and choice as the western women do. The tourist industry is one of the most important industries in the country and the authorities try to be helpful to tourists, especially the police members. But because of the differences in the cultures, the foreign women are perceived as easily available. Do not be surprised if a local man approaches you. Women with fair skin and light eyes are considered beautiful and exotic and for Moroccan man are extremely attractive.
TIPS for staying safe:
1-If you are accompanied by a man during your trip to Morocco, let him to ask for directions, to order meal and drinks and haggle on prices. You do not want unwanted attention. It looks that Moroccan man do not have respect to foreign women and even the presence of your husband or boyfriend will not change their attitude.
2-In most cases, Moroccan men are not aggressive but in the narrow streets of the medina you can be caught in situations where you will feel in danger. Sexual harassment is not unusual in Morocco. For wandering in crowded places dress properly – cover your shoulders and legs, even use hat or scarf to cover your beautiful hair.
3-If you travel solo or with another female traveler, try to stay on the main streets and at public places. Decide in advance your program and keep map with you all the time. Best way is to take a local guide with you but someone trusted and recommended.
4-To explore big cities like Marrakech it is best to book a taxi for the day. The taxi drivers are usually city guides too. Your hotel or guest house most probably has a contact that they use regularly and it is reliable. It is of their interest to connect you with a person who will care well for you as they try to keep their reputation.
5-To escape bad experiences you can participate to organized tours. The group will keep you safe but you will not be able to experience the country as you want. When traveling in group it is always obligatory to follow the rest and to adjust your wishes with these of the group.
6-Safe places for female travelers in Morocco would be Sahara desert, Marrakech and Chefchaouen while in Casablanca you will not feel comfortable to walk on the streets. But wherever you decide to go in Morocco just take the necessary precautions and be kind.
7-Choose accommodations owned by foreigners. Most often these belong to French people and this ensures good quality of service but also higher standard of food and proper attitude. The staff in these places is carefully chosen and well trained to serve international visitors and you will never feel unsecure.
What are the precautions that you take when traveling to destinations that are not female-friendly? What are the places where you felt most in danger as a female traveler?