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explore Morocco
explore Morocco
explore morocco
explore morocco
explore morocco
explore morocco

Practical information

How do I get there?

On all of our Moroccan adventures you will need to arrive in Marrakesh on a Saturday and the tour will begin the following morning. For UK travelers there are direct flights with BA, Easy Jet and Ryan Air from Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and Manchester. With a short stop in Europe you can travel from virtually any major UK airport.  The flight time from the UK is roughly four hours.  

There are no direct flights to Marrakesh from the USA but it is only necessary to have a short stop of less than 3 and a half hours somewhere in Europe. Delta Airways operate convenient flights via Paris from New York, Boston and Los Angeles. TAP Air Portugal, American Airlines and United provide further options.

Menara Airport is located 9km outside the city of Marrakesh and the transfer to your hotel will take between 20 and 30 mins. As nearly all flights to Marrakesh arrive later in the day, Kandoo Adventures will provide two airport transfers on your arrival day at 5.30pm and 7.30pm. If you would like to make use of this service please let us know in advance so we know to expect you.  Once you have cleared immigration and collected your luggage please exit the arrivals area and look out for a Kandoo team member holding a big sign reading "KANDOO". On the final day of your trip we will provide return transfers at 7am and 12pm Remember for international flights you need to arrive at least 2 hours before departure. Delays can occur, and making your flight is your responsibility!

If your flight times do not tie in with our scheduled transfers you will need to arrange your own transfer to/from Marrakesh. This can be done in advance online from as little as £10 / $12 per person each way.  

  • www.ziptransfers.com
  • www.gettransfer.com
  • www.taxi2airport.com

Please bear in mind that dinner is not included on your arrival day, this means if you arrive on a very late flight you may struggle to find somewhere to eat by the time you have reached the hotel. We recommend booking a flight that arrives in Marrakesh no later than 1730, allowing you to use our 1930 transfer and reach the hotel with plenty of time to have a relaxed meal before bed.  

Accommodation in Marrakesh

In Marrakesh we use one of two 4 star hotels depending on availability, Hotel Meriem or Hotel Farah.   If you are booking your own transfers please give us a call to find out which hotel you will need to travel to.

Your hotel will feature a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, comfortable en-suite bedrooms and free wifi.  Rooms will be either double or twin share but triple rooms are available on request if required.  A single supplement is also available on request.  On arrival you can order your evening meal in the hotel restaurant or go out to explore the city a little.  Breakfast the following day is included in the tour.  

Pre-trek briefing

It is a requirement of joining any of our treks or climbs that you attend a pre-trek briefing before the tour begins. This gives our guide the opportunity to speak to you about your adventure, make sure you have all the right gear and sort out any last minute queries or concerns.  The briefing will be held at the hotel in Marrakesh on Sunday morning before you depart for the mountains. 

 

Insurance

Before you can join any of Kandoo’s treks, you’ll need to insure yourself against accident, injury, and illness.

Your insurance must cover the cost of helicopter evacuation and repatriation if necessary. Make sure your insurer knows of your travel plans, and verify that your policy fully covers your trek, climb, and any other activities you will participate in. Specifically for all our adventures in Morocco, you need to be covered for trekking above 4000 metres. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses.

We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf. You will also need to bring details of your insurance cover to the pre-trek briefing.

We recommend the global supplier of travel insurance, World Nomads. Make sure to choose the correct policy for the altitude you are trekking to.  Be sure to read the small print carefully for any policy you are considering - different policies provide different levels of cover, so make sure you understand what is and isn't included in your policy.

Eating and Drinking

During your trek you will be accompanied by a cook who will prepare all of your meals.  At breakfast there is tea and coffee, bread, jam, cheese, cornflakes and hot porridge.  A typical lunch will be a salad with fresh vegetables, corn, boiled eggs, tuna and rice or pasta.  

Evening meals will always be made up of delicious Moroccan cuisine prepared with locally sourced ingredients.  There will normally be a soup starter followed by a tagine or stew with salad and couscous.  We can provide vegetarian, vegan or gluten free meals on request.   If you have special dietary requirements please let us know when booking your trip. 

In Marrakesh, at the start and end of your trip, you can purchase meals at the hotel or head out in to the city to find a restaurant.  There is a wide range of international and local options and you will find most dietary requirements are catered for.  

Drinks are not included in the cost of your trip.  You will need to bring a water purification filter and at least two water bottles or flasks.  During your trek you can refill your water at natural springs, in villages or at hotels / refuges.  We do not recommend the use of plastic water bottles which must be carried out and recycled. 

Alcohol

Although Morocco is more liberal than many other Muslim nations you do need to be careful when purchasing or consuming alcohol.  Morocco does allow the consumption of alcohol and you can buy beer, wine and spirits in licensed hotels, bars and super markets.  In supermarkets there will often be a separate alcohol room which is out of sight.  If you attempt to purchase alcohol outside of one of these licensed areas then you may find yourself in trouble with the police. 

Bars with a licence to sell alcohol will not usually have windows.  This is because although it is legal to purchase and drink alcohol on the premises, you are not allowed to be seen by the general public outside.  Officially only tourists are allowed to drink outside but to avoid causing any offence this is best avoided.  You are allowed to bring alcohol in to the country with you but only a maximum of 1 liter.  

While in Marrakesh, if you want to have a drink with a meal, it is best to check with the restaurant if they serve alcohol before you sit down.  You should also ask if they are happy for you to sit anywhere whilst drinking or if they would prefer you to sit at a corner table out of sight.  While you are up in the mountains trekking, things tend to be a bit more relaxed than in the city.  However, it is best to show some consideration for your cook and porters by checking with your guide before you crack open the whisky. 

Luggage

During your trek your luggage will be transported by mules.  To be suitable for carrying by the mules, your duffel bag must be flexible and weigh a maximum of 15kg.  Your luggage will be off loaded at your campsite each afternoon and you will not be able to access it during the day.  You should also bring a small day pack to carry water, snacks and anything else you may need whilst walking.

Lost or delayed luggage

We recommend that you wear your walking boots to travel and pack as many essential items as possible in your carry-on luggage. If your luggage is delayed we can then do our best to kit you out to start the trek on time. In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost, our procedure is as follows: 

  • Establish what items are missing and a contingency plan for each critical item
  • If it reaches 6pm on the evening before starting the trek and your luggage has not arrived we recommend buying and/or hiring items immediately as a precaution
  • We will take you to a shop where you can buy toiletry items, e.g. toothbrush. You will be able to find everything you need in Marrakesh.

We will do everything we can to help if your luggage is lost or delayed 

Be sure to check your insurance policy coverage for lost luggage cover.

Animal Welfare

In the High Atlas Mountains the use of mules and muleteers (otherwise known as the Berber 4X4) is very common.  The strong and sure footed mules have spent their lives up here in the mountains and they can transport your gear from A to B with ease.  Mules are a big source of income for the local Berber people, as a result they are generally treated with great respect and consideration for their well being.  However, there are always exceptions and in some cases mules in the High Atlas have experienced terrible neglect and cruelty. 

The main problems that cause suffering for mules are:

  • Traditional bits
  • Overloading
  • Inadequate feeding
  • Wounds
  • Poor foot care
  • Working unfit mules (lame, sick or injured)

Kandoo Adventures are committed to ensuring that the mules we use on our treks receive only the very best treatment. 

To ensure the animals are never overloaded, we have placed restrictions on the weight of the luggage you can bring with you.  Your main bag must always be flexible and not weigh more than 15kg.  The maximum load a mule can carry is 80kg, this will ensure the health and comfort of the mule as well as a sustainable working life.  We will not start trekking with mules who are obviously lame, sick or wounded.  We will never condone the use of traditional bits which can cause terrible pain for the animals.  We only work with a select number of muleteers who we know and trust to provide the very best level of care to their animals. 

 

Dress code

Although Moroccan people are very tolerant of tourists it is always a good idea to be respectful of the local customs.  We would advise female travelers to keep their knees, shoulders and stomachs covered while out in public to avoid any unwanted attention.  You need to balance this conservative style of dress with the excessive heat that you may experience in Marrakesh.  A long sleeved maxi dress will keep you covered while providing some airflow to keep you cool.  Long sleeve breezy button up shirts, baggy cotton trousers or jeans are also good options.   

For men it is best not to walk around topless despite the heat.  Moroccan men do not tend to wear shorts, although there is certainly no problem with male tourists doing this, if you want to blend in with the locals then go for some loose fitting cotton trousers. 

When you are in the mountains things are much more relaxed than in the city.  You should wear clothing that is appropriate to the conditions and the activity you are engaged in. 

Equipment

For a full list of recommended equipment please see the equipment tab at the top of this page.  A full kit list can also be found in our trip dossiers and should be checked carefully before departure.  Please call or email us if you have any questions.  Below is a list of equipment that Kandoo Adventures will always provide as standard in Morocco and you therefor do not need to bring along.

  • 3 man tent per 2 people
  • 1 mattress per person
  • Communal dinning tent with table, chairs, crockery and cutlery
  • Toilet and washing tents
  • Crampons and ice axe per person (winter climbs only)

Medicine

Your guide will carry a first aid kit during the trip. However, we recommend bringing any medicine you feel you may need.  This could include:

-       Painkillers

-       Anti-diarrhea tablets

-      High factor Sunscreen for lips and skin

-       Moisturizing cream for sunburn

-       Elastic bandage and regular bandages

-       Sanitary products

-       Water purifying tablets or filter

-       Mosquito spray

-       Blister bandage

Passports and Visas

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after your return date. We recommended you keep a color photocopy of your passport with you at all times.  Those people holding a UK or USA passport do not require a visa to enter Morocco for up to 90 days, however, you should check the latest information with the Moroccan authorities before traveling.

Vaccinations

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for travel to Morocco:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Polio
  • Tetanus

It is your responsibility to check the latest health information before departure.

Weather

It is difficult to supply reliable weather statistics for the High Atlas as the range covers such a vast area and reaches altitudes of over 4000m. Cooler temperatures are likely to be experienced in the more northerly areas of the Mountains, mainly due to the western winds that blow from the Atlantic. Towards the south of the range, the weather is more influenced by the Sahara Desert offering drier, warmer climates no matter what time of year it is.  The highest peaks like Toubkal will remain covered in snow from the months of November through to the start of June, and sometimes remain snow-capped all year long.

In winter the High Atlas have a typical temperature range from 10 - 20°C, though night time temperatures can get considerably colder. At elevations above 3000m the temperature can drop well below freezing at night so a good sleeping bag is essential. There is always the possibility of heavy snowfall during the winter months.

In the summer months between May and October the day times in the mountains are sunny and warm but the temperature will still drop significantly at night.  You can expect temperatures up to 30˚C during the day and as low as 5˚C at night.  Although rain is not common during the summer, it can occur at any time and you should be prepared for this. 

Geography

Morocco is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the vast Sahara to the east and south making it relatively isolated from the rest of the continent.  In the far north of the country are the Rif Mountains with a high point of 3290m.  This system of peaks is connected with the Sierra Nevada in southern Spain.  The Atlas Mountains are divided into three separate ranges, the Middle Atlas in the north, High Atlas running through the center of the country and the Anti-Atlas in the south.   

Over 40 different ecosystems exist in Morocco harboring 4000 plant species and over 400 birds species.  The High Atlas has the most diverse ecosystem, the slopes are home to mountain gazelle, bearded vulture, golden eagle and the highly elusive Moroccan leopard. Macaque, lynx, nocturnal genet, red fox, and polecat are common in the Anti Atlas. In the Desert you can expect fennec, jerboa, snakes, scorpions and other insects.

Currency

The local currency is called the Moroccan Dirham (MAD).  Each Dirham is divided in to 100 Centimes.  The Moroccan Dirham is a closed currency which means it can only be purchased once you have arrived in the country.  For the most up to date exchange rate please visit www.xe.com

Tips

Tipping is common in Morocco but not mandatory and should be based on the level of service you feel you have received.  The below amounts will give you a rough idea of how much you should tip.  

-       Guide: 100 - 160 Dirham per person per week

-       Cook: 85 - 110 Dirham per person per week

-       Mule drivers: 160 - 210 Dirham per muleteer per week

Speak with an expert Start planning your next adventure by contacting one of our team.
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Rachael Bode

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Kat Allan

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