Safety and security
Demonstrations and protests can occur at short notice across the country. In general, demonstrations are peaceful but there have been isolated incidents of violence.
A series of demonstrations have taken place since October 2016 in northern Morocco, mainly around the town of Al Hoceima. There have also been a number of smaller scale protests in other cities. More demonstrations are planned, and will generally be heavily policed.
You should follow local and international developments in the media and take sensible security precautions. Avoid political gatherings and demonstrations. Always observe instructions given by the local security authorities.
Incidents of violent crime occasionally occur. Two foreign nationals were murdered while hiking near Mount Toubkal in December 2018. Moroccan authorities arrested 4 individuals in connection with the murders, including 1 they say had links to “an extremist group”, following the release on social media “including Daesh affiliated media” of a video apparently showing 1 of the murders. See Terrorism
There have been recent incidents involving the use of knives against tourists in street attacks, thefts and burglaries in the major cities and along beaches, where you should avoid quiet areas and be vigilant at all times, particularly after dark. Don’t carry large amounts of money or valuables around with you.
Petty crime is common, especially in tourist areas like the medina quarter of towns/cities and on beaches. Crimes include pick-pocketing, bag snatching and drive-by motorcycle theft of visible jewellery and handbags. Be vigilant when asking for directions and using ATMs as crime and aggressive begging can occur. Credit card fraud and scams like substituting inferior goods for those that were actually bought are common. You should remain vigilant and alert to potential confidence tricks.
When visiting the medina quarter of a town or city, make sure any guide you use is operating with the agreement of the local tourist authorities, and displays an official badge. Harassment of tourists by people posing as official tourist guides is common.
Women should exercise caution particularly when travelling alone as they could be vulnerable to unwanted attention or harassment.
Exercise caution when travelling to Morocco for a relationship initiated via the internet. There have been incidents of marriage fraud and attempted extortion affecting foreign nationals. When travelling for a first visit, make sure you keep your return ticket, passport and personal belongings safe in case problems arise.
Morocco has a poor road safety record. In 2016, 3,593 people were killed and approximately 100,000 injured in traffic accidents. The road fatality rate is approximately 9 times higher than in the UK.
Drive carefully, especially in poor weather conditions, on secondary routes and on mountain roads. Driving at night can be particularly hazardous due to poor lighting. Lorries and trucks may be overloaded and you should take extra care around them. It’s common to encounter pedestrians crossing motorways. You should take extra care when overtaking, particularly where there is no hard shoulder. Leave plenty of time to reach your destination and respect speed limits.
If you’re involved in a road accident, you should complete a ‘Constat Amiable’ form, to be signed by both parties. Blank forms are available on arrival at Tangier port from the insurance company booths and from tobacconists in all cities.
If you’re involved in a road accident resulting in a fatality and the Moroccan authorities consider you responsible, you may be detained pending a trial hearing.
If you enter Morocco with a vehicle, the registration number will be recorded. If you’re not in possession of the same vehicle when leaving Morocco, you’ll be refused exit and detained. You’ll need to provide evidence of adequate motor insurance. You should always carry your insurance, licence and registration documents with you.
If you’re planning to hike on Mount Toubkal or on other mountains in Morocco, seek local advice and take necessary precautions, including safe camp arrangements. Trekking or camping alone can be dangerous, consider joining a group or hiring a registered guide. Crime is also a risk: 2 foreign nationals were murdered while hiking near Mount Toubkal in December 2018.