Although Morocco doesn’t often come up on a list of top destinations for solo female tourists, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get its fair share of female travellers.
With its myriad attractions from the endless desert dunes of the Sahara to the beautiful views of the Mediterranean lapping against depleted 13th-century castles, it is of little wonder why so many people choose to vacation there.
However, just like many other destinations, it holds its fair share of challenges for solo female tourists. Here are 11 Essential Safety Tips for Solo Female Tourists to help you navigate the beauty of this North African country as safely and enjoyably as possible.
Yes, it is. There are a few challenges a solo female may encounter, but those can happen virtually anywhere in the world.
You are less likely to be a victim of violent crime in Morocco than you are in the United States. The road conditions are also awesome. However, if you do not speak any of the 3 local languages (Arabic, French, Tamazight), you are very likely to be overcharged on things you buy.
Sure, theft does occur too. But, a special taskforce, known as the “Tourist Police” has been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and they are who you should report to in case you fall victim to any crime.
As a woman, you will be prone to catcalling and harassment unless you are traveling with a male companion or child(ren). There is no way to prevent this, but dressing conservatively can help a bit.
Beyond this, Moroccans are known for their hospitality and their eagerness to share their culture with visitors. You will most likely be treated to invitations to their homes for tea or a meal. If you are not comfortable with this, you can always decline with a polite thank you or you can suggest a public place instead.
Being a woman, you are bound to attract a lot of attention from men with chances of being followed or groped, especially at night. Even in a group, girls get a lot of attention. Now imagine what it would be like if you were alone.
2. Dress Modestly:
Being a conservative Muslim country, it is inappropriate to wear anything revealing. Keep your arms, shoulders, legs, and most especially your cleavage covered if you want to avoid any unwanted attention.
You shouldn't show off your wealth as it will only attract more attention to you. So whenever you are going out, leave that flashy designer bag and those bright, shiny pieces of jewellery back in your hotel or riad. Also, do not forget to keep your passport in a safe place.
No matter where you are, you do not want to look like a lost tourist. Scammers and other predators will spot you from miles away. If you have to check maps on your phone, make sure they are preloaded and also memorize them so that you do not have to constantly keep glancing down at them.
The goal is to walk with purpose so as not to stick out and appear as a damsel in distress.
Before embarking on your journey, make sure you purchase appropriate travel insurance for solo tourists , depending on your needs and budget. This will protect you in the event of mishaps like theft, medical issues, loss of belongings and cancellations, amongst others.
The ability to say ‘no’ will come in very handy during your trip to this beautiful country. People will randomly walk up to you to ask you where you are from, where you are staying, and tell you they know the quickest route you can take. You should always say no the moment you start to feel uncomfortable.
Similarly, when at the markets, the various merchants will try to get you to buy from them until you firmly tell them no. The same goes for the kids that will try to get you to come into their restaurants at the tourist centres.
As romantic and enticing as this may sound, you should never do it. Not even if you have a partner or a friend with you. This is the period when crimes increase and unsuspecting tourists fall victim to them.
Although smiling might be a very natural thing to do back home, it means an entirely different thing in Morocco. It is best if you keep it to the barest minimum while you are there as the men might misunderstand it to mean interest and make other assumptions.
Although some of the comments might be innocent and mainly just aimed at complimenting you, you can never tell. And if you respond, it might be mistaken as an invitation so the safest thing to do is to ignore them. And if anyone gets aggressive, threaten to report them to the police.
This has two major advantages; it protects your eyes from the blinding sun of the desert and it also prevents people from knowing what you are looking at. They are cheap and easily replaceable in case of theft or loss.
This is quite important if you do not plan on overpaying for your fares. The cab drivers tend to inflate fares once you get to your destination.
Just like any other destination, Morocco has its dangers and you should be very aware of them to stay safe. However, these aside, Morocco is a very beautiful country and the locals are generous and accommodating of visitors. You will enjoy your stay there.
This is a guest post.
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