Health and Insurance
Typhoid or Hepatitis A vaccination is advisable when traveling to Morocco, however Morocco is one of the few countries where vaccinations are required but when traveling to any foreign country it is advisable to make sure you are up to date with your polio and tetanus vaccines. Please discuss with your Doctor before you travel to ensure that you are healthy and up-to-date with any immunisations.
If you are from a country where cholera is prevalent, an anti- cholera vaccination certificate may be required.
With the exception of a few rare cases near Mauritania Morocco is a malaria free country. Malaria is present in the northern coastal areas of the country but is not a major problem. If you take the usual precautions against being bitten wearing light coloured clothing using insect repellent and using a fan at night will reduce your chances of being bitten by a mosquito. If you are worried speak to your doctor about anti-malarial medication before you travel.
Food and Water
As with any foreign country it is always recommended that you only drink bottled water, you should also be careful with what you eat or drink and with hand hygiene many travellers in Morocco get diarrhoea at some point during their trip.
Be aware that there is risk in purchasing food from local street vendors as it may not always be cooked in the sanitary conditions your body is used to. There are Safe places that many tourists frequent and try exotic foods which are in Djemma El Fna Square in Marrakesh, the Skala du Port in Essaouira and Port in Agadir. Are typically a safe option as long as you check whatever you eat is thoroughly cooked.
Avoid uncooked fruits and vegetables that you cannot peel. Inform your guide especially if spending time in a village outside of major cities that any meat or fish you consume must be cooked thoroughly.
Avoid any food that is not prepared when you order it (i.e. buffets, etc.). Usually fried and boiled foods are safe. Some travellers have also had problems with unrefrigerated condiments (such as mayonnaise) used in fast food outlets.
It is also advised not to drink tap water and especially encouraged that you stay away from the south’s oueds (rivers) and do not buy from wandering water sellers as schistosomiasis (bilharzia) are a common problem in the south. Unless your guide informs you its safe, never drink from the mountain streams or swim in them.
If you do experience diarrhoea it is recommended that you only consume simple foods such as fresh baked bread, couscous and large amounts of bottled water. It is advisable to drink bottled water (check that the cap is sealed - some people might try to sell you tap water in recycled bottles). Avoid ice in your drinks from other places other than your hotel, Some hotels provide free bottled water to guests and it’s wise to keep a supply in your room so as not to be tempted with tap water. Wash your hands regularly with hot soapy water or carry around hand sanitiser to use after visiting the toilets or interacting with animals etc.
Oral re-hydration salts are good to take as well. Usually diarrhoea is nothing to worry about.
However, if symptoms persist for a week or get worse, you should seek professional help at a local clinic or hospital your guide can help you.
Morocco’s health care system
As a traveller in any foreign country you should understand that health conditions in Morocco are only somewhat better than that of a third world country. However the Moroccan health system is generally well developed in Morocco’s larger cities. Morocco’s urban areas and imperial cities have private hospitals that offer good doctors. However outside the large cities, it is more challenging to acquire medical attention as you must travel long distances to visit a doctor.
Although few travellers experience any severe medical problems full health insurance is recommended to avoid any difficulties or disappointments, check with your insurance company that it will cover you for all the activities and places you intend to visit.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
As with any sexual intercourse in any country the risk of a disease is possible Morocco is of no exception take all precautions and make sure to bring your own condoms.
Weather and Climate
The weather and climate can sometimes make travellers sick due to extreme heat in the summer months. It is possible that in the same day you will experience a bitter cold morning, followed by scorching hot afternoon and a chilly evening. To avoid getting ill always carry appropriate clothing with you. If you suffer from asthma, rheumatism, or liver problems you should consider avoiding the cities located on the Atlantic coast because the extreme range of climates there may aggravate your health problems discuss this with your normal health care practitioner if you are worried before you travel. Regardless of your current health condition or where you are traveling within Morocco, make sure to drink plenty of water.
In Morocco the following animals are present Snakes, scorpions and palm rats they can attack however this is unlikely you should ask your guide if there is any precautions or if you need to bring anything in advance of your travel to areas of higher risk, most animals are more scared of you and will try to hide or run away before you approach.
Precautions during Your trip
Drink plenty of water on your travel, remember to use trusted sources to obtain the water and check the bottle is sealed.
If you are prone to intestinal problems discuss your trip with your doctor beforehand and bring appropriate medication with you. Make enquiries before swimming in an oued (river) or a lake.
Take precautions against insect bites and sunburn. If necessary, tourist offices, major hotels and tour guides can put you in touch with doctors who speak English, French or other languages.
No vaccination certificate is required for visitors coming from Europe or America.
An anti- cholera vaccination certificate may be required of visitors coming from areas where this disease is prevalent.
Anti-malarial treatment is not necessary
As with any foreign travel it is always best to check current foreign affairs, travel advice with your own governments travel advice websites before you travel. Morocco is no different to any other foreign country if you are unsure about your health and wellbeing you should always consult with your doctor before making any foreign travel plans.
Things to consider when planning Your Trip to Morocco
As with any insurance policy you will need to examine the document carefully ensuring your policy covers the activities that you are planning to undertake in Morocco such as horse & camel riding, trekking, hot air ballooning etc. you should be aware that some of these activities may be over rough terrain and be at altitudes in excess of 2,000m in the Atlas mountains. It is best to explain your planned activities with your insurance company before you travel to ensure that you have the correct coverage to avoid any difficulties or disappointments later.
In Canada and the US provincial health plans usually provide partial medical coverage for mishaps overseas to avoid any difficulties or disappointments ensure that you are fully aware of the coverage and take out any additional policies before you travel should they be required.
If you are not satisfied with your insurance company’s coverage you may wish to contact a specialist travel insurance company to make sure you are covered. A typical travel insurance policy may exclude so-called dangerous sports unless an extra premium is paid.
If you need to make a claim, you should keep receipts for medicines and records of medical treatment from the hospital or doctor who treated you, in the event you have anything stolen, you must obtain an official statement from the police.
Tips for Traveling Abroad - To Morocco
Check with your country of citizenship governmental travel advice websites to ensure you have all the relevant travel advice, information and documents before you travel.
Make sure you have a signed, valid passport, and a visa, if required, and fill in the emergency information page of your passport.
Leave copies of your itinerary, passport data page and visas with family or friends, so you can be contacted in case of an emergency.
Ensure your insurance policy covers emergency expenses such as medical evacuation. If it does not, consider additional insurance.
Familiarise yourself with local conditions, customs and laws this information can be found on your own countries governmental travel advice website.
As with traveling abroad avoid being a target of crime by taking precautions do not wear conspicuous clothing or jewellery and do not carry excessive amounts of money do not leave unattended luggage in public areas and do not accept packages from strangers.