Morocco Travel Notes

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Consular Assistance

Australian Embassy In Paris
The Australian Embassy in France represents Australia in Morocco.

4 Rue Jean Rey
Paris 75724 Cedex 15
France
Tel: + 33 1 4059 3300/2
www.france.embassy.gov.au/pari/home.html

Canadian Embassy In Morocco
Australians requiring consular assistance in Morocco are serviced by the Canadian Embassy.  Please note that this does not include providing replacement passports.

13Bis,RueJaafarAssadik
Rabat-Agdal
Morocco
Tel: (212) 3768 7400
[email protected]
www.canadainternational.gc.ca/morocco-maroc

Smartraveller

The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers.
www.smartraveller.gov.au

Time Zones

Morocco is on Greenwich Mean Time (ie the same as London) and is therefore 11 hours behind Australia.
To obtain the current local time and date in cities and countries in all time zones:
www.worldtimeserver.com

Voltages and Plugs

Morocco uses 220 volts. Plugs are of the two-round-pronged European type.
www.korjo.com/Adaptor-Guide

Currency

The unit of currency in Morocco is the Dirham (DH). 1 Dirham is made up of 100 Centimes (c). Notes are in denominations of DH 200, 100, 50 and 10. Coins are in denominations of DH 5 and 1, and 50, 20, 10 and 5 centimes.

To obtain the most up-to-date exchange rate you may wish to visit
www.xe.com/currencyconverter

Credit Cards and ATM machines

ATMs (guichets automatiques) are the easiest way to access your money in Morocco. They are also common in the smallest towns, virtually all accept Visa, MasterCard, Electron, Cirrus, Maestro and InterBank cards. ATMs sometimes run dry on weekends.

Major credit cards are widely accepted in the main tourist centres. They often attract a surcharge of around 5% from Moroccan businesses. The main credit cards are MasterCard and Visa; if you plan to rely on plastic cards, the best bet is to take one of each.

Please note that using a credit card in a growing number of foreign countries usually requires a new “chip-and-pin” credit card with an embedded microchip and an associated PIN number (the PIN is specific to each credit card). If you have questions about using your credit card in a foreign country, please contact your bank prior to departure from Australia.

Currency exchange and Cash

Dirhams can only be obtained in Morocco. National currencies should be exchanged at official bureaux de change only (identified by a golden sign); changing money in the streets is illegal. There is no commission charge and visitors will be issued with a receipt, which they must keep in order to exchange Moroccan currency back into the original national currency at departure.

Euros, US dollars and British pounds are the most easily exchanged currencies if travelling with cash. Do not take large notes as they will be difficult to change, instead obtain notes in small denominations (eg. US $20, US $10, US $5 and even US $1 notes). Avoid purchasing old notes (request crisp, new notes!)

Travelers Cheques are NO longer accepted.

Telephone & Communication

Mobile telephones
Most mobile telephones work in Morocco, but check with your local provider that your phone can switch on ‘Global Roaming’ and that your provider has coverage in Morocco. Mobile phones can be very useful for SMSing (especially if you get lost!). International calls are often expensive, as is checking your messagebank as calls have to be routed through Australia. Should you choose to purchase a local sim card please check wth your local provide prior to departure to make sure your phone is unlocked and will accept another sim card.

Internet
Morocco has truly joined the Internet era. Internet cafes — called “cyber” — can be found in virtually every city, town, and even village that has electricity and telephones.

If you have Web access while traveling, you might consider a broadband-based telephone service (in technical terms, Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP) such as Skype or Vonage, which allows you to make free international calls between online computers and phones, and cheap international calls if you’re calling a normal phone number. Most cybercafes throughout the country will be using these programs already, complete with headset, microphone, and webcam.
www.skype.com    www.vonage.com

Business Hours in Morocco

Banks are open 9:00 – 12:30 and then 2:30 – 4:30 Monday to Thursday.
The lunch hour is longer on Fridays due to prayer times.
Shops are generally open 8:30 – 8:00 with a lunch break in the middle of the day for 2 hours

Personal Safety
  • We strongly recommend the use of a money belt to keep your cash, cards and travel documents in. This should be kept under your clothes at all times. This is a precaution that should be taken anywhere due to the difficulties that can be experienced in trying to replace stolen items.
  • Take photocopies of all important documents (passport, credit cards, airline tickets, insurance) and keep one copy securely in your luggage and leave another copy at home.
  • It is generally helpful to take a business card from the hotel you are staying at. This can assist hugely if you get lost. If you also have a key card for your hotel, make sure you keep these two cards separate or you run the risk of allowing a thief access to your room
  • Take extra care in crowded places and try not to ‘advertise’ the fact that you may be carrying valuables by having something like an expensive camera over you shoulder. Put it in your bag or under your coat. And men, try to avoid keeping your wallet in your hip pocket.
What to Pack

Clothing (general)
For daytime activities, we suggest a wardrobe that is versatile, casual and comfortable. While you are travelling in spring you can expect the weather to be mainly warm to hot during the day, but it can be cold at night, particularly in the desert areas. The mountain areas can also be cold. Rainfalls can be expected in coastal areas.

It is recommended that “layered” clothing might offer the best comfort. There are both indoor and outdoor activities, so packing versatile and adaptable clothing will help assure your comfort in a variety of conditions.

Beyond the normal wardrobe we suggest:
• comfortable walking shoes (very important)
• sunglasses, sunscreen and a hat
• folding umbrella and/or light raincoat
• ladies should have a scarf with them at all times in case it is required to cover shoulders or head when entering religious sites
• prescription medicines for the full duration of your time away and a written copy of your prescriptions including what they are for, provided by your doctor
• extra prescription eyeglasses (if required)

Clothing (Churches, Mosques and Monasteries)

Although ‘foreigners’ do not have to adhere to strict Muslim dress rules, the following is recommended.

Women: Remember that you will be travelling in a Muslim country. You should not display too much of your body. You should have your arms and shoulders covered at all times. Skirts should be at least knee-length. Pants are suitable. Do not wear shorts or mini-skirts at all as it is culturally insensitive to do so. Do not wear clothes that are figure hugging or clothes with a low-cut neckline. It is recommended that you bring a scarf to cover your hair when visiting Islamic site visits.

Men: As for women, it is culturally insensitive to wear shorts and we request that you do not do so..

Sensible Shoes: Make sure that your shoes are stout, easy on your feet and have rubber soles. It is important that your feet are fully covered and protected. You will need to protect your feet from insects, uneven and sharp objects, animal refuse etc. Donkeys are prolific in Morocco! Sandals are not suitable.

A note on Mosques

Tourists may not enter mosques in Morocco unless they are Muslim.

Etiquette

No attempt should be made to photograph anything remotely connected with the armed forces or in the vicinity of defence installations, which even includes radio transmission aerials. Many people do not like being photographed. Always ask before photographing someone. Berbers, like Australians, don’t like being objectified. If they protest, leave it.

Hygiene

We recommend bringing travelers’ gel for cleaning hands before eating. Moroccan toilets do not always contain toilet paper. it may be necessary to carry toilet paper and/or hygiene wipes if you will be away from the hotel or bus for an extended period of time.

Eating And Drinking Precautions

• Under no circumstances eat raw vegetables or salads. This applies also to the parsley and mint garnishes often served with grilled meat.
• If you do want salad, buy the ingredients yourself and make sure they are well washed in bottled water.
• Only eat fruit you peel yourself. (do not eat unpeeled fruit or pre- peeled fruit).
• Don’t eat from roadside stalls however tasty their food may seem. • Only eat well-cooked meat and fish, preferably served with hot and cooked vegetables.
• Drink only bottled water and other bottled drinks. Make sure the bottle’s seal is not broken before drinking.
• Milk is unpasteurised in some parts of Morocco and should be avoided. Avoid dairy products that are likely to be made from unpasturised milk.
• Avoid ice cream and don’t drink anything containing ice.
• Clean your teeth with bottled water.

Useful websites

Moroccan National Tourist Office
www.visitmorocco.com/index.php/eng/

Climate

We suggest that prior to departure you check the weather forecast for the most up-to-date information.
www.worldweatheronline.com

Average minimum/maximum Temperatures (˚C)

City Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Casablanca 9/17 10/18 12/20 13/20 16/22 19/24 20/26 21/26 19/26 17/24 13/21 11/19
Fes 3/16 4/17 7/20 8/21 11/25 14/31 18/35 18/34 15/30 12/25 8/20 5/17
Marrakesh 6/19 8/21 11/24 12/25 15/29 18/33 21/37 21/37 18/32 15/28 10/23 8/20
Rabat 7/17 8/18 10/21 11/21 13/23 16/25 18/27 18/28 17/27 15/24 11/21 9/19
Ouarzazete 3/17 5/19 9/22 12/26 16/30 20/35 23/38 22/37 18/33 14/27 8/21 4/17