Morocco's general informations by ‘ SupraTeam Travel ’

General information

Morocco

The Kingdom of Morocco lies on the borders of Europe just 8 miles from the Spanish southern coast, and offers Westerners a fascinating insight into an Arabic culture. Morocco offers any visitor - from individuals or couples, to families or groups - a huge range of attractions, making it a wonderful country for a unique and unforgettable holiday. Amongst Morocco’s many attractions are a year round temperate climate, friendly peoples, welcoming Islamic culture, marvellous food, bustling souks, beautiful medinas, stunning mountain ranges, tranquil deserts, extensive and beautiful coastlines and a huge range of things to do and places to see. The mixture of these in Morocco is as unique as the riads, the authentic Moroccan guest houses which most of our clients stay in, and the mix of Berber and Arab life. Whether a visitor is seeking cultural insight, a place to relax or activities to stretch themselves, Morocco has it all. Thanks to good road, rail and air links. Morocco is easy to explore, and this made it all the easier by the welcoming and multilingual people including our guides, who are available to enhance your visit thanks to their genuine hospitality and desire to share their culture with you. With a little forethought and, we suggest, some help from us, you can have a truly memorable Moroccan holiday…

The Berbers

They are the indigenous inhabitants of Morocco, and are divided into three main tribes:

  • The Masmouda : The West Rif, Middle and High Atlas.
  • The Sanhaja : The High Atlas and Tafilalet, the Mediterranean coast.
  • The Zenata : In the East of Morocco, Region of Taza and Meknes.

Language:

Arabic is the national language. But three Berber dialects are widely used in the mountains on the plateau and in the region of Souss. The French is widely spoken and understood in most major cities, while Spanish is still spoken in the north.

The souks:

The souk is very attracting. It is a place of negotiations bargaining and exchange. Because the population is predominantly rural, each tribe has a number of souks in its region.

Customs and habits:

  • If you see shoes lodged near the door, take off your shoes before entering a room.
  • Answer all questions and, sometimes, appear indiscreet.
  • Extend the tea break, accepting several glasses, even if you no longer thirsty.
  • If you have been invited to a family, leave a small gift rather than money.
  • If you have photographed Moroccan friends, do not forget to send their shots back.

Festivals and ceremonies:

You may be lucky to see a circumcision, which gives rise to great rejoicing, proportional to the wealth of the family. But mostly you will find the opportunity to attend a wedding, where they dance for three days. The the most frequent ceremony drink remains mint tea.

Hammam:

Initially, the hammam is a Roman invention. They allow the ablution full accordance with the Koran. The hammams also serves as public bathrooms. They are also an important meeting place for women. Generally, men bathe in the morning and women in the afternoon: a towel hanging on the door of the facility indicates the presence of women. The hours are normally from 7 am to 11 pm and 11 am to 18 pm for men.

Climate:

Morocco has a subtropical climate, tempered by oceanic influences that give the coastal regions moderate temperatures. Toward the interior, winters are colder and summers warmer, a more continental climate. At high altitudes temperatures of less than -17.8° C (0° F) are not uncommon, and mountain peaks are covered with snow during most of the year. Rain falls is mainly between November and April. Precipitation is heaviest in the northwest and lightest in the east and south. The last few years there almost has been no rain in the south and east of Morocco. The warmest month in Marrakech is August, with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius. We visited in September and at day it was between 32 and 40 degrees, at night between 24 and 29 degrees.

Fauna and Flora:

On the coast, soil type is spodosolic with humus. Within the land, the desert covers the southern tip. The mountainous regions oriented Atlantic are covered with forests, including large tracts of cork oaks, oaks, juniper, cedar, fir and pine benefiting from the rains of autumn and winter, but droughts, increasingly long in the South, this fragile vegetation subject to fires, cutting and soil erosion. The farmland occupies almost all the plains; otherwise it is the jungle that dominates with Bush. In the plain of Souss, near the southern border, there is a vast Argan forest. The vegetation in the presaharian valleys is identical to that of the arid region, in the oasis, vegetable crops and fruit trees are sheltered by date palms. Morocco, at the crossroads of Europe and Africa, has a diverse wildlife. The Roman mosaics of Volubilis show elephants, now missing, and lions whose last specimens were still living in the Atlas XIX century.

Currency and Banking:

The currency of Morocco is the Dirham (DH, or MAD in on-line currency converters), and is subdivided into 100 centimes. The currency is issued in banknotes of 20, 50, 100 and 200 Dirham, and coins of 1, 5, and 10 Dirham and coins of 5, 10, 20 and 50 centimes. We suggest you keep aside low value Dirham notes and coins, since they are useful for tipping.

Health and safety:

Morocco is an easy destination. In terms of health and safety, a trip here only requires the same rules to be observed as back home. When travelling the body can be more sensitive before it soon adapts. Remember to wash your hands frequently, do not consume water which has not been opened in front of you and avoid ice cubes. As everywhere else in the world, stomach upsets come from water or food which is not cooked enough or badly washed.

Responsible tourism:

Whereas Morocco is resolutely committed to the path of progress, the modern customs of young people should not make them more familiar and less respectful. Contact should occur within a spirit of openness and respect for traditional customs.

Simple rules:

As for any journey, prepare photocopies of your identity papers and keep them separately. Also keep a list of useful telephone numbers, in case you loose your credit card for example. It is always useful to know the details of diplomatic contacts for your country. They can point you towards health professionals. Respect customs, and, of course, applicable laws and regulations.

Relax and be careful

Safety rules to be observed are common sense. Your valuables and money must be discreet – always try to keep them in pockets close to your body. The safety of tourists is a priority here. The vigilance of the police and the severity of prosecutions represent an effective and highly dissuasive system. Morocco knows how to take care of its guests

Modern and spoken Arabic:

Spoken Moroccan Arabic is the product of the country's historic and cultural influences. It includes expressions and words of Berber origin in everyday language. Modern Arabic is used by government, the media, the justice system, culture, religion as well as politics.

Foreign languages:

Geographical proximity and history make Spanish and French languages known by many Moroccans. In the Northern Morocco the language of Cervantes is widely spoken. Meanwhile French is the country's first foreign language and is spoken throughout the country. But nowadays, people, especially guides and staffs of hotels, bazaars, Drivers…, tend to be more opened to other languages as English and Germany, as well as Italian…etc.

National hoidays :

  • January 1 : New Year (Gregorian calendar)
  • January 11 : Independence Manifesto
  • March 3 : Throne Day
  • May 1 : Labor Day
  • May 23 : National Day (Amendment of the Constitution)
  • July 9 : Youth Day (King's Birthday)
  • August 14 : Commemoration of Oued Eddahab
  • August 20 : Revolution of the King and the People
  • November 6 : Commemoration of the Green March
  • November 18 : Independence Day

Religious Holidays :

They are observed for 2 working days. Since they are based on the Lunar calendar, their dates vary each year and are fixed after the sight of the moon.

  • 1st of Moharram : New Year (Muslim calendar)
  • 12th of Rabi Al Awal : Aid El Mawlid (Birth of the Prophet Mohamed)
  • 1st of Shawwal : Aid El Fitr (end of Ramadan)
  • 10th of Dhu Al Hijja : Aid El Adha (Commemoration of Abraham's sacrifice)

A few common words in Moroccan Arabic

Yes = na’am/lyyeh
No = la
Thank you = choukran, barak el-lah fik
Okay = ouakha
Please = min fadlak / afak
Goodbye = be-slama
Good morning = sebah-el-kheir
Excuse me = smeh-li
How much is that? = chhal / chhal el-tamane
I do not understand = ma fhemt-ch

www.tourisme-marocain.com

For more information, please feel free to contact us at:

Tel: +212 5 24 83 29 89 ; Mobile: +212 6 61 24 36 02 ; Fax: +212 5 24 83 35 05 ;

our mail: info@supratravel.com ; or on our contact form ici

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