Note: The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for this tour. Its purpose is solely to give readers a sense of what might be involved if they take this tour. Although we do our best to make sure that what follows here is completely accurate, it should not be used as a replacement for the formal document which will be sent to all tour registrants, and whose contents supersedes any information contained here.
ENTERING MOROCCO: Travelers to Morocco must have a passport valid at the time of entry and with at least one bank page for an entry stamp. Visas are not required for American tourists traveling in Morocco for less than 90 days.
For further information on entry requirements for Morocco, please contact the Embassy of Morocco at 1601 21st street, NW, Washington, DC 20009, telephone (202) 462-7979 to 82, fax 202-462-7643, or the Moroccan Consulate General in New York at 10 E. 40th Street, New York, NY10016, telephone (212) 758-2625, fax 212-779-7441. The website for Morocco: http://dcusa.themoroccanembassy.com/default.aspx.
COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/morocco.html, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Morocco at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mo.html.
PACE OF TOUR AND DAILY ROUTINE: Typically we drive to various locations and make fairly short and slow walks from the vehicle. There are several longer strolls (two hours or so). There are a few longer drives (on a couple of days much of the day is spent travelling) but the scenery is always changing and there will be birding stops as and when we see anything of interest. Breakfasts are usually between 6.00 am and 7.00 am and are often very simple with coffee, juice, bread and jam. There will be a couple of early starts where we return to our hotel for a late breakfast. On most days lunch will be a picnic at a birding site.
HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/morocco.
Elevation: We reach 8500 feet in the Atlas Mountains of northern Morocco.
Miscellaneous: Mild intestinal disorders are difficult to avoid completely and we suggest that you bring diarrhea medication such as Imodium. Water in Morocco is generally safe in the larger towns but we would recommend that you do not drink tap water, or eat salad anywhere on the tour. As an extra precaution, the leaders even use bottled mineral water for teeth-brushing etc. Bottled water, beer and soft drinks are widely available.
We are unlikely to encounter mosquitoes or biting insects except at the Souss estuary, and some of the desert oases and lakes are as much a magnet for insects as they are for birds.
Because the risk of malaria in North African countries is so limited, taking an antimalarial drug is not recommended. However, travelers should protect themselves from mosquito bites.
CLIMATE: It is generally warm to hot and dry throughout the year but in spring it can be cooler in the north and very cold in the mountains and desert areas. Temperatures range from 10-15°C (50-60°F) at night to daytime highs of 15-30°C (60-90°F) in lowland areas. In the mountains temperatures are usually 5-10°C (10-20°F) lower but even in March it can be below freezing for most of the day at the ski resort. Rainfall is low in the desert (a shower every four years or so) but moderate in the Atlas (whereas at this time of year it may still fall as snow) and along the coast. We may experience some windy days especially in the mountains and desert which can make an otherwise warm day seem very cold.
ACCOMMODATION: Our hotels will range from comfortable, modern hotels to local auberges and Kasbahs, all of which have en suite facilities. Our hotel in the High Atlas only has a limited number of rooms with en-suite facilities, depending on availability we will always try to book these rooms.
FOOD: Breakfast usually consists of a simple selection of bread, eggs, jam, orange juice, tea and coffee. Lunch will either be a picnic with fresh bread, cheese, tinned tuna and sardines, plus lots of local fruit, olives, cucumber, tomatoes and onions, or we will stop in cafes, offering tajines, brochettes or omelettes, and hopefully on the coast some very fresh seafood. Dinners are often excellent, ranging from tajines of chicken, lemon and olive; or lamb, prune and almond to couscous with lots of local vegetables. In the more touristy areas we will also be more ‘European’ style food, such as pasta, on offer.
Drinks: Bottled water and a soft drink/beer or two is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room is the responsibility of the individual. Bottled water is provided in the tour vehicles during the day.
Food Allergies / Requirements: We cannot guarantee that all food allergies can be accommodated at every destination. Participants with significant food allergies or special dietary requirements should bring appropriate foods with them for those times when their needs cannot be met. Announced meal times are always approximate depending on how the day unfolds. Participants who need to eat according to a fixed schedule should bring supplemental food. Please contact the WINGS office if you have any questions.
TRANSPORTATION: The transport for the tour will be by minibus or small coach. On one day in the desert we will transfer to 4x4’s. We will not cover large distances in these vehicles but they are essential to reach some of the key birding sites. Participants should be willing and able to ride in any seat in the tour vehicles.
Updated: 04 August 2015