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Damian Corrigan

Is Morocco Safe in 2012?

By May 5, 2012

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Update for 2013: If you are planning to visit Morocco in 2013 and want to know if it is still safe, you can rest assured that the information on this page is still correct. The war in Mali and spillover into Algeria in January 2013 has not affected Morocco. A visit to Morocco in 2013 should be safe. Check out the US and UK government links further down the page for up-to-date information.

Morocco, the gateway to Africa for visitors to Spain, lies just 14km away from Tarifa in Andalusia and there are regular ferries from Spain to Morocco from several ports in Spain. A lot of visitors to Spain travel to Morocco, either as a day trip or a longer mini-break, but these numbers have dropped in the past year due to the Arab Spring.

But is Morocco really dangerous? Isn't it safe to travel to Morocco in 2012?

The Arab Spring hit several countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The troubles started in Tunisia, resulting in a relatively quick people-led revolution. Egypt was next, toppling its leader, Hosni Mubarak, surprisingly quickly. Libya then descended into a bloody civil war. After the death of Colonel Gaddafi, the situation improved, but Libya has a long road to recovery. Syria is the focal point of the troubles today and despite recent peace efforts, the situation there is still very serious. Other countries to have suffered during the troubles are Bahrain, Yemen, Kuwait and a number of other countries in Africa and the Middle East. Including Morocco.

But what is the situation in Morocco in 2012? According to the Wikipedia article on the Arab Spring, troubles ended there in November 2011. By contrast, it lists Jordan, Mauritania, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria as 'ongoing'. Even at the height of troubles, Morocco had 'protests' that never reached 'civil unrest'.

Though, of course, it wouldn't have been nice to have gotten caught up in the protests at their height, Morocco was safe throughout 2011 and continues to be a safe place to visit. As further evidence that it is OK to go to Morocco in 2012, the British and U.S. authorities say the following:

Hopefully, this information dispels any fears you had about visiting Morocco on your next trip to Spain. Read more about traveling from Spain to Morocco.

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May 8, 2012 at 4:41 pm
(1) Alan says:

Damian, thanks for this article. I can add some fairly up to date personal info, as I just spent the entire month of March in Tangier, Morocco. I’ll say right up front that I never felt the least bit threatened, but I also didn’t wander any dark secluded places at night. I stayed in the Casbah, the old section that almost always sees much activity. Of course there are the con artists and the beggars, who will almost always address foreigners in English, but I found that if I pretended not to understand and just kept walking, I never had any trouble. The prices on most things are amazing. I got loads of souvenirs for people. Beautiful cloth is made on looms right before your eyes and saffron is available at a fraction of the cost elsewhere, if you don’t let them swindle you. Even if you don’t go for the shopping, it’s an amazing cultural experience. The colored tiles and arches are everywhere and never cease to fascinate. The markets are a feast for the senses. The produce is always arranged very artistically and with great pride. Make sure and find a spice vendor. Each spice is in a large open container and the mixture of aromas is something I would have paid top dollar for if I could have. And learn a few key phrases in Arabic — they’ll really appreciate the effort.

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