morocco



Location: North Africa
Capital: Rabat

Time zone: GMT/UTC
Daylight savings time: no
Current time: 14:44
Population: 33,337,529
Currency: Moroccan dirham
Dialling code: +212
Internet suffix: .ma

Morocco is a North African country known for its culture, cuisine and architecture.

Additional territory information
For further analysis and information on Western Sahara please click here.


Overall security situation: challenges exist
Crime rate: low
Murder rate: very low
Gun ownership levels: average
Kidnapping hotspot: no
Maritime piracy hotspot: no
Do landmines/unexploded munitions pose a significant risk in parts of the country: yes (in Western Sahara)

Overall Morocco is considered a safe country, but it suffers from one or two security issues nonetheless.

The crime rate is low, with some petty crime and limited violent crime, although murders are uncommon.

Elements of society have grievances, with fairly frequent demonstrations in larger towns and cities. These can be disruptive but they are usually non-violent.

There is a moderate risk of terrorism, with ongoing sporadic incidents of violence in different parts of the country.

There is also an ongoing risk of unrest and conflict relating to the disputed status of Western Sahara. Most travellers will not normally visit the area but if they do, expect heightened levels of security, as well as a risk of unexploded ordnance and landmines.


Aviation safety levels: standard
Annual road fatality rates: high
Vehicles drive on the: right
Infrastructure quality: poor
Urban ATM availability: limited
Electricity supply: 220V 50Hz
Electricity supply reliability: relatively consistent
Plug types: C and E

Plug type C (2 round pins, not grounded/earthed)

Plug type E (2 round pins with 1 round hole to accommodate a round pin from the socket, socket compatible with plug types C and F)

 


Is tap water drinkable: no
Healthcare quality: extremely good healthcare provision
Infectious disease prevalence: relatively low

Vaccinations

Travellers should consult a medical practitioner prior to their trip but the following vaccines may be considered before travelling to the country, depending on factors such as specific destination, planned activities, intended time and length of stay as well as personal medical conditions (in some cases no additional vaccines may be required at all):

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B (not always needed)
  • Rabies (usually only for long-term stays, or for those spending time in isolated areas or coming into contact with animals)
  • Typhoid
  • Standard vaccinations (ie those commonly used in the developed world, such as diphtheria, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tuberculosis and tetanus)

Disease presence

Malaria risk: low (but rare cases reported in Western Sahara)
Yellow fever presence: no
Dengue fever prevalence: rare/non-existent
Rabies prevalence: high risk
HIV prevalence in society: low
Hepatitis A prevalence: high
Hepatitis B prevalence: intermediate
Hepatitis E prevalence: highly endemic
Cholera status: low risk
Chikungunya virus presence: not present

Zika virus presence: not recently reported
Japanese encephalitis presence: no
Cutaneous leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Visceral leishmaniasis presence: endemic
Onchocerciasis presence: non-endemic
Schistosomiasis presence: low
Tick-borne encephalitis status: low/non-existent risk
Chagas disease presence: none

Typhoid fever presence: endemic
African trypanosomiasis presence: none
Plague status: not thought to be present
Rift Valley fever status: not present
Lassa fever status: not present
Polio status: not endemic
Ebola outbreaks: no
Meningococcal meningitis hotspot: no


Climate: Mediterranean, becoming more extreme in the interior
Terrain: mountainous northern coast and interior bordered by large plateaus with intermontane valleys, and fertile coastal plains
Natural disaster risk: high
Natural hazards: storms; flooding; northern mountains geologically unstable and subject to earthquakes; periodic droughts; extreme temperatures
Tropical storms: few/none
Volcanic activity: low/none
Previous earthquake(s) with over 1,000 fatalities: yes


Government type: constitutional monarchy
Socio-economic development score: 4/10 (low levels of socio-economic development)
Adult literacy rate: 68.5%
Unemployment rate: low
Civil liberties: restricted
Investment rating: rated investment grade by at least two major ratings agencies
Corruption levels: fairly high
Same-sex sexual activity: illegal
Death penalty: official punishment but not used in practice
Languages: Arabic (official), Berber languages (Tamazight (official), Tachelhit, Tarifit), French (often the language of business, government, and diplomacy)
Ethnic groups: Arab-Berber 99%, other 1%
Beliefs: Muslim 99% (official; virtually all Sunni, <0.1% Shia), other 1% (includes Christian, Jewish, and Baha’i), Jewish about 6,000

General guidelines

  • The following advice has been compiled by travel safety specialists and ex-special forces personnel.
  • However, please note that it is of a general nature only and may not reflect the reality of your circumstances.
  • Ensure you have proper insurance cover in place.
  • Select good quality accommodation and properly prepare for any tasks, excursions or other activities you have to undertake.
  • Be mindful of local laws and cultural norms, bearing in mind that they might be different to what you are accustomed to.
  • Consider conducting or obtaining a risk assessment specific to you, your profile and your trip, task or operation.
  • This should take into account the likelihood of potential risks affecting you, as well as the likely impact they will have, and will help you decide, depending on your risk appetite and implementable risk mitigation measures, whether or not you should proceed.

Infrastructure

  • Be prepared for potentially poor-quality roads and other forms of transportation.
  • This can make it difficult to get around.
  • Consider obtaining a high-quality vehicle that can handle difficult terrain if you intend to travel anywhere with particularly bad-quality roads.
  • Bear in mind that traffic safety conditions may be poor.
  • Try to ensure that any accommodation or workplace is located in a good quality building.
  • Bear in mind that in the event of an accident or emergency, the emergency response services may have very limited resources available.

Road traffic accident

  • Be aware of local driving conditions and hazards.
  • Drive defensively and adhere to speed limits to minimise the risk of being caught up in an accident, or request that your driver(s) do the same.
  • If using a taxi or local driver, ensure that they are qualified and competent and that their vehicle appears well maintained.
  • Ensure that vehicles are in good working order before travel.
  • Perform regular checks on your vehicles for oil, fuel, tyres and seatbelts.
  • Consider taking additional equipment such as a jack, spare tyres, water, blankets, torches and a first aid kit, especially if travelling to more rural or isolated areas.
  • Consider using four-wheel drive vehicles for particularly poor road conditions.
  • Car users should know how to perform emergency repairs.

Foreign government warnings

  • Pay attention to the advice issued by your government and/or other countries (such as the US or UK).
  • For most travellers, it will be very much advisable to avoid any areas deemed to be high-risk by official government bodies.
  • For those who need to travel to these locations for work, personal or other essential reasons should consider the risks likely to be present and take appropriate measures.
  • Insurance may not be valid for travel undertaken to these areas, so it is advisable to check with your provider before travel.
  • Note that areas of official high-risk might change at short notice.

Civil unrest

  • Civil unrest can lead to road closures and even curfews, which can affect your travel plans.
  • Be prepared for delays and route alterations.
  • Avoid demonstrations as they can turn violent.
  • Large gatherings of people can be difficult to predict or control and can lead to issues such as mob violence, arson, assault and looting.
  • The security forces may use excessive force to control events in some circumstances, posing an indiscriminate risk to anyone in the area.
  • Even without any particular violence, large demonstrations can be at risk of poor crowd control, which can lead to crushes and stampedes.
  • If demonstrations take place on a frequent basis, research the trends which tend to accompany them.
  • Where do they tend to take place? Do they tend to turn violent? Do attendees target specific types of building or representative interests associated with a specific nationality, industry, political group (such as party-political offices, state buildings or foreign-owned businesses)?
  • Once you have identified the sorts of risks, trends and areas of higher risk to be avoided you can start planning to minimise your exposure.
  • If civil unrest appears to be particularly volatile, or set to last for an extended period, try to stock up with essential items (including food, water and medicine) in case you are stuck in your accommodation or work place or other location for an extended period of time.
  • Be prepared to alter your plans at short notice and even to leave the area or even the whole country if conditions escalate. deteriorate.
  • Identify evacuation routes and safe havens in case you need to get out of harms way at short notice.
  • It is also advisable to identify the evacuation routes and fire safety procedures at your accommodation and/or work place in case you need to leave in a hurry.
  • Beware of photography at sensitive sites or during civil disturbance.

Terrain

  • If travelling to areas with more challenging terrain types, bear in mind that you might need to take specific and specialised equipment and clothing.
  • Some terrain types might be more hazardous at different times of year so research any seasonal variations and work out the best time for you to visit.
  • You may have to alter your behaviour and consider certain types of medication, such as if you have to travel to high altitudes.
  • Areas with challenging terrain are often sparsely populated and/or with underdeveloped infrastructure.
  • Not only can this make it difficult for you to travel there, it may also make it difficult to get out if you need to, or for any assistance to arrive in the event that you encounter difficulties and need help or evacuation.
  • As such, have backup plans in place, methods of calling for help even if local communication networks are poor and aim to be as medically self-sufficient as possible.

Unexploded ordnance

  • Find out where the at-risk areas are in a country and consider avoiding them, particularly if any minefields are poorly demarcated.
  • If you have to go to an at-risk area, consider undergoing minefield awareness training first.
  • Seek local knowledge on the whereabouts of potential unexploded ordnance as residents will often have the most up-to-date information.
  • Stick to well used roads, routes and paths.
  • Don’t touch or approach suspicious items.
  • If in doubt when travelling, especially on foot, turn back and retrace your steps.
  • If driving in an at-risk area, avoid leaving the vehicle as far as possible.
  • Take particular care after heavy rainfall as flooding can wash away warning signs or even displace unexploded ordnance and move it into new areas.

Healthcare

  • Bear in mind that healthcare facilities and services may be less extensive than what you are used to at home.
  • Facilities and services may be particularly limited in rural areas.
  • Pharmacies may not offer the same medications you might be accustomed to being able to purchase at home.
  • If you use any medications on a regular basis, consider taking extra supplies.
  • It may also be advisable to have them accompanied by a note from your doctor.
  • In the event of serious or complicated illness or injury it may be necessary for a patient to be evacuated out of the country.
  • Ensure that there is sufficient medical insurance in place to cover such an event.

Weather

  • If rainfall, flooding, extreme temperatures or other types of severe weather are a concern, check the local weather patterns to find out if there are times of the year where the risk is much higher.
  • Consider avoiding travel to at-risk destinations during these times.
  • Try to stay in good quality accommodation.
  • Take appropriate clothing and footwear.
  • Take appropriate protection for any sensitive equipment you wish to bring.
  • Note that storms, flooding and other types of harsh weather can overload infrastructure, lead to traffic jams and power cuts.
  • Flooding and heavy rainfall can also raise the risk of landslides, as well as insect- and water-borne diseases in some parts of the world.
  • As such, be prepared to delay, alter or even cancel travel plans to affected or high-risk areas.

Seismic activity

  • Be prepared to respond at short notice to any seismic activity.
  • Create an emergency plan to follow in the event of an incident that involves a communications breakdown, so you can meet colleagues at a designated meeting point if you are separated and cannot get in contact with one another.
  • Practise drills such as “drop, seek cover and hold on” procedure so that you can take shelter as soon as an incident occurs.
  • Know the location of your nearest medical kit and medically trained personnel.
  • Knowledge of basic first aid will also be very useful.
  • Get away from glass or anything that could fall if shaking starts.
  • Consider carrying a whistle that can be used to alert first responders in the event that you are trapped after an earthquake – although bear in mind that in some circumstances and/or locations there may not be much in the way of first response capabilities, particularly following a damaging earthquake.
  • In the event of an incident, avoid damaged buildings that might still be at risk of collapse.
  • Be prepared for aftershocks.
  • Note that earthquakes can trigger tsunamis and landslides so be prepared to move out of harm’s way once the shaking has stopped.
  • You may need to move very quickly and with limited time.

Crime

  • Research and familiarise yourself with your destination in advance of travel.
  • Find out what the local criminal trends are and identify any potential hotspots, such as certain neighbourhoods.
  • You may wish to avoid the higher risk areas, but this is not always practical.
  • As such, in higher risk areas exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Note that jewellery, watches, mobile phones, laptops or other items may mark you out as a potential target for petty thieves.
  • Be careful with your wallet and cash.
  • Note that crime trends can change, and the level of risk can become higher, after dark.
  • In general, use your gut instincts and be prepared avoid situations, places or people that seem suspicious, odd or wrong in some way.

Cash

  • Consider obtaining specific insurance that covers the loss or theft of the amount of cash you are likely going to have to carry around with you.
  • Consider the logistics of storing and carrying large amounts of cash with you.
  • Try to use a reliable safe or other secure storage place for the cash, such as in your accommodation (although note that safes in accommodation might not be secure either).
  • When carrying large amounts of cash be as discreet as possible.
  • Avoid making it clear to other people how much cash you have on you.

Religious or conservative attitudes

  • Exercise sensitivity in societies which place a high value on perceived morality, even if it goes against personal beliefs and values.
  • Research what local cultural practises, attitudes, values and laws you will need to be mindful of before travelling.
  • Note that some behaviours, interactions and attire may also attract unwanted attention, cause offence or trigger a hostile response.
  • Note that some subjects may be taboo so avoid discussing them with people if you think it might cause offence.