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WINGS Birding Tours – Information

Morocco in Fall

Tour Information

Note:The information presented here is an abbreviated version of our formal General Information for Tours to Morocco in Fall. 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: Travellers to Morocco must have a passport valid at the time of entry and one blank page for an entry stamp. Visas are not required for American tourists traveling in Morocco for less than 90 days. 

Note: If you have Israeli stamps on your passport you may be refused entry.  As the political situation in the Middle East changes it would be wise to contact your nearest Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to check if any Israeli stamp in your passport would prevent you from entering Morocco. 

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:  Breakfasts are usually at 06.00 and we always return to the hotel in time for ‘an hour to shower’ before dinner at 19.30 or 20.00. Usually we drive to various locations and make fairly short and slow walks from the vehicle.  There is only one longer stroll (two hours or so).  Since we are based at one hotel (except for one night) it is possible to take a day out if relaxing on the beach or browsing in the local shops becomes a priority.

Pelagic Trip:  We intend to run a pelagic out from Agadir in search of seabirds.  We do not have a precise date for this as it depends on the weather.  The trip will probably last most of the day, as we will try to travel some distance out to sea (about 24 nautical miles) to the edge of the continental shelf where seabirds congregate.  Although we will only do this if the weather is good, some swell can be expected and lightweight waterproofs will be useful because of the spray.  Some form of seasickness treatment is advisable if you think this may be a problem.  

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. 

Please contact your doctor well in advance of your tour’s departure as some medications must be initiated weeks before the period of possible exposure. 

The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations for Morocco can be found on the CDC’s  Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/morocco

It may be difficult to obtain special medication during the tour so bring all you are likely to need with you. 

Water: Water is generally safe in the larger towns but we recommend that you do not drink tap water anywhere on the tour.  Bottled water is widely available and will be provided at meals and in the tour vehicle. Beer and soft drinks are also widely available.  

Insects:  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. If you are particularly prone to being bitten, we recommend using insect repellents with a high concentration of DEET. 

Smoking:  Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a non-smoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail. 

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. 

CLIMATE: 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 5-10°C (10-20°F) lower.  Rainfall is low in the desert (a shower every four years or so) but moderate in the Atlas and along the coast.  On only a few occasions have we experienced rain.  We have occasionally experienced the odd windy day. 

ACCOMMODATION: In Agadir we shall be staying at a well-appointed tourist hotel with full en-suite facilities, good food, and friendly staff. Each room has a safety deposit box if required.  We shall retain our rooms even when we are staying at Goulimime. The Goulimime hotel is also a (new) well-appointed tourist hotel with full en-suite facilities and good food. 

FOOD: Our hotel in Agadir provides an excellent varied buffet every evening (usually ‘themed’). Where possible, lunches range from tasty tagines (time permitting) to omelets (a more instant but equally safe alternative). Fish is often the preferred option during our pelagic. On our two desert days our picnics consist of fresh bread, cheese, sardines, tuna, and fruit. 

Drinks: Bottled water and/or a soft drink or a beer is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. Bottled water is available during the day in the tour vehicle. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room and during the day is the responsibility of the individual.   

TRANSPORT: The transport for the tour will be by minibus or small coach. We will rotate the seating each day. 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.

Updated: 14 September 2014