Safety

DESTINATIONS morocco safety-42

TRAVEL TIPS

Safety

Morocco is a relatively safe destination. Violent crime is rare. People who pester you to hire them as guides in places like Marrakesh and Fez are a nuisance but not a threat to your safety. Pickpocketing, however, can be a problem. In souks, open markets, and other crowded areas, carry your backpacks and purses in front of you. Cell phones, cameras, and other portable electronics are big sellers on the black market and should be kept out of sight whenever possible. Bags and valuables can be snatched by thieves on mopeds. Keep an eye on your belongings at crowded beaches, as it is not unheard of for roving gangs to make off with your stuff while you are swimming.

Female travelers—and especially single female travelers—sometimes worry about treatment on the streets of Morocco. There really isn't anything to worry about; you'll most likely be leered at, spoken to, and sometimes followed for a block. Women walking alone are targeted by vendors hoping to make a sale. This attention, however, while irritating, isn't threatening. Don't take it personally; Moroccan women endure it, as well. The best way to handle it is to walk purposefully, avoid eye contact, and completely ignore men pestering you. If they don't let up, a firm reprimand with the Arabic "hashuma" ("shame"), or the French "Laissez-moi tranquille" ("Leave me alone") should do the trick. If this still doesn't work, look for a local police officer or head into a restaurant or museum.

Contacts

U.S. Consulate. Check for travel alerts and other important current events direct from the US Department of State. 2, av de Mohamed El Fassi, Rabat, Rabat-Salé-Zemmour-Zaër. 0537/76–22–65; 0537/76–96–39; 0522/26– 45–50; morocco.usembassy.gov. Mon.–Fri., 8–5.

U.S. Department of State. 888/407–4747; 202/501–4444; www.travel.state.gov.

U.S. Transportation Security Administration. 866/289–9673; www.tsa.gov.

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