I believe that if one is looking for something, they will eventually find it. The same goes for problems. If you want trouble, you will surely find and encounter it.
There’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes down to the safety of solo female travellers in Muslim and Arab countries. I think the main source of these prejudices is a lack of proper knowledge and understanding for the local culture. I would like to dispatch the truth, unveil the mysteries for you and dispel your doubts concerning your safety in Morocco. If you are a group of girls or a solo female traveller planning your trip to this mesmerising country, read on ladies!
As a Polish woman blogging about life in Morocco and general travel, I get lots of questions from my readers regarding possible dangers they can encounter here. The most common fear running through peoples’ minds is ‘Is it OK for me to come with my girlfriends? It’s going to be our first time in Africa and we are a bit concerned. Is Morocco safe for female travellers?’
First of all, I believe that no matter where you go, you need to take precautions. Doesn’t really matter if it is a shopping mall in your city, a Cambodian village or a beach in The Caribbean. Everything depends on your travel savviness, coincidences, knowledge and wisdom. I’ll fill you in with everything you need to know about travelling safely in Morocco to have a happy and fulfilling trip.
Even though many Moroccan girls in big cities wear quite tight-fitting and sexy clothes, I don’t think it’s the best idea in smaller cities. I truly admire them for dressing that way but I personally can’t stand being catcalled on a daily basis by men. Moroccan girls are used to it and they ignore it. I’ve had some unpleasant situations however. A man followed me to my door once and I’ve had a man attempt to touch me on a coach on a trip from the south to the north of Morocco. Wearing shorts in cities like Marrakesh is totally fine, as they are used to tourists but if you are going to Berber villages or smaller cities, I’d recommend covering up your neckline and legs. Moroccans are traditional people and it’s a sign of respect to dress modestly. Find more tips on what to wear in Morocco here.
If you are a free spirit and are spontaneously planning not to plan – don’t worry. Moroccans are generally hospitable people, especially the ones living in smaller cities and villages. You’ll always meet someone who will invite you to their house and take good care of you. And it is safe! They love to host foreigners, hear your opinion about Morocco, show you hospitality and feed you. Oh yes, you need to know that Moroccans love to eat and if they see you starving, they won’t let you go unless you have one more meal with them! Bring your elastic waistband trousers.
Don’t get deceived by seemingly grumpy faces on the streets. Moroccans don’t tend to smile at each other on the streets but if you ask them which way you should go, they will willingly help you out with directions. Don’t worry about getting lost. In Morocco there is always a way out from any place, any issue and any case.
I bet this really may be on your mind at the moment and you’re looking for an answer to this. Terrorist attacks have been happening across the globe more and more lately and the media has been covering this fear, making people worry there may be trouble. Sure enough, I receive numerous emails about it every week. I am not an expert and I can’t tell you much. I can neither predict the future nor assure you of something. No one can.
What I can tell you is that you can feel safe in Morocco due to the presence of police officers and the army in the main, strategic spots of all the cities.
Something that you should be genuinely concerned about is the Moroccan way of driving! Beware of hotheaded drivers in big cities because they are on the top of the list of potential dangers. If you’ve been to Asia or Africa (or you are originally from these continents), you probably know what I mean. If it’s your first time in such a bewildering country, as a clumsy blond-haired creature you may be a potential candidate for a ride on the bonnet. Look around, follow other pedestrians, and don’t ever trust taxi drivers.
Pickpocketing happens. The most famous method is when one guy rides a bike and his companion jumps off and takes your bag or phone. Twisting your hand if you’re lucky, cutting with a knife if you’re not. I know that from my own experience. My friends too. Don’t expose your devices on the streets and be wise where you put your documents. You don’t want to be forced to spend your holidays in your embassy and police station.
It’s totally up to you. I would say that if fear is the only factor that’s stopping you, then you should let it go and just book your tickets. Morocco is a safe, tourist-friendly country and can get you out of your comfort zone to the next level of experiences! Don’t dress in a provocative way unless you are interested in different things than exploring the country. Don’t travel alone at night if you want to avoid unpleasant situations. Basically, be respectful and wise. As Alice Teacake would say, grab fear by the balls! Other women around the world are tackling countries others may think are ‘dangerous’, just like Sarah is in Jordan.
Wondering if backpacking is safe around the world? Let’s nip this in the bud right now – here’s why backpacking is safe.
Monika is a Polish chick who uprooted to Morocco and hasn’t looked back. You can find out more about her in Teacake’s Wander Woman Wednesdays series! Her blog Bewildered In Morocco is all about helping travellers discover the REAL Morocco and making your trip as smooth and awesome as possible. Go check Monika out!
Cover photo and Pinterest CC image edited and courtesy of Vesna Middelkoop on Flickr