Atlas Panorama Trip Notes

    • 8
    • XZXD
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $770
      CAD $770
      AUD $770
      EUR €550
      GBP £439
      NZD $970
      ZAR R5,005
      CHF FR570
      *
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    • Walking
    • Original
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Print Version
Last Modified: 25 Mar 2013
Atlas Panorama
Trip code: XZXD
Validity: 01 Jan 2012 to 31 Mar 2013
This part of romantic Morocco is the ideal place to get away from it all! Hidden deep in the High Atlas Mountains are the crumbling remains of the great fortress-palace of Telouet, which we visit before reaching the picturesque Tijhza Valley. After a truly stunning drive over the impressive Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2260m), we arrive at the lush and remote village of Tijhza. Staying in a simple but pleasant gite, we enjoy optional walks each day from the front door. The pace is relaxed, allowing us to enjoy the scenery of the mountains, and we learn a little about the way of life of these hardy and friendly Berber people. Finally, there's time in Marrakech to explore the busy souks or relax in the tranquil Majorelle Gardens - the perfect end to any North African experience.
The operator for this trip is our experienced sister company Exodus. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency funds
ThemesGroup sizeVisas
MapYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
ItinerarySingle travellersWhat to take
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationHealth
Culture shock rating Meals introductionSafety
Physical ratingMealsTravel insurance
Included activitiesTransportResponsible Travel
Optional activitiesGroup leaderA couple of rules
Money ExchangeJoining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
TippingFinish point Feedback
Departure taxEmergency contact
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Walking
Map
Atlas Panorama
Itinerary
Days 1-2 Marrakech
Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco.
Your trip starts at our hotel in Marrakech in the evening of day 1. Hotel check-in times are normally from around 12pm.
The next day is spent in the 'Pink City' of Marrakech where we can soak up its atmosphere and setting, with views of the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas in the background. The town is a maze of bustling bazaars, palaces and mosques. In the morning we have a guided tour to get the feel of the place. The afternoon is free for individual sightseeing. You can choose whether to brave the haggling of the souqs, visit the more peaceful Jardin Majorelle or relax in one of the hamam steam baths. In the evening we can visit the Djemma el Fna, the open-air central square around which Marrakech revolves. The name literally means 'place of death' as it was the place where the Sultans used to display the heads of their enemies. Now, with the snake charmers, water-sellers, travelling musicians, acrobats and food stalls it is an entertaining and colourful experience for both Moroccan and overseas visitors.
ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
Optional Activities
  • Marjorelle Gardens - MAD50
  • Hamam (public baths) - MAD250
Accommodation
Hotel (2 nts)
Day 3 Tijhza
Today we drive into the High Atlas Mountains. The road up to the mountains is a real switchback, but very scenic. Eventually we cross the Tizi'n'Tichka which at 2260m is the highest road pass in Morocco. This is a narrow range of mountains and we soon drop into the gorge on the other side. It is here that we turn off into a wide valley towards Telouet where we stop to take a look at the Kasbah. This amazing fortress/palace was the stronghold of the Glaoui clan until the late 'fifties. From their mountain eyrie the tentacles of their power spread out, not only across Morocco, but also to shake European politics. On their downfall, they were dispersed and the castle fell into disrepair, so we can now only look at this labyrinthine mass from the outside. From here we push on to Anmiter where we have lunch before walking gently uphill for an hour to our gite (bags are transported separately). Late in the afternoon there's the option to walk up to a rocky viewpoint overlooking the hills surrounding Tijhza gite.
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 nt)
Days 4-6 Walking in the High Atlas Mountains
Below are example walks and may be amended locally depending on the ability of the group and the weather.
One walk is a moderate 6-hour loop through the Tizi'n'Ourghsan and back down the Ouarikt River to our village. Starting in the terraced fields of Ouarikt we climb up through the high summer pastures to reach the Col with fantastic views of the Ouarikt Gorge. After a relaxing lunch close to a waterfall, we follow the river's route back to the village (6 hours walking, Alt. gain/loss 600m). Another walk begins by as we leave the gite and head around the back of Mt. n'Oughlagal (2600m), taking in the fantastic view of the valley and arriving back at the gite by lunchtime. In the afternoon there's time to take a stroll around the village (3-4 hours walking, Alt. gain/loss 700m).
We could attempt a longer harder day with a visit to the very beautiful Lake Tamda, an azure lake amidst stark white-rock scenery. This lake is almost a kilometre long between the impressive peaks of Jebel Anghomar and Jebel Tamda. In the afternoon we return by the same route. If the leader feels that this walk is beyond the capabilities of the majority of the group, a shorter day along the same route will be planned (9-10 hours walking (5 hours for shorter walk), Alt. gain/loss 750m).
Accommodation
Guesthouse (3 nts)
Days 7-8 Marrakech
We say goodbye to Tijhza gite, and return to Marrakech by lunchtime leaving the afternoon free for more sightseeing, such as Menara Gardens, and some last minute shopping. Alternatively, you may decide to simply relax in the hotel and enjoy the swimming pool.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
      Itinerary disclaimer
      Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans. For the latest updated Trip Notes please visit our website: www.intrepidtravel.com
      Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.
      Culture shock rating

      Expect some culture shock. You'll be exposed to signs of poverty and access to services may be sporadic. The food will be quite different to home and English speakers harder to find. Respecting the local culture will make it easier to fit in and really experience the location.
      Physical rating

      This trip will raise your heartbeat. Moderate physical activities are included and a good level of fitness is required.
      Included activities
      Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
      Optional activities
      A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Intrepid nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Intrepid. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.
      Money Exchange
      MOROCCO
      The official currency of Morocco is Dirham (MAD).
      Moroccan Dirhams cannot be purchased outside of Morocco, but it is easy to get cash on arrival.
      The most convenient and cheapest way to acquire money is by Automated Teller Machine (ATM). Check with your bank for information on international fees. There are now ATMs (which accept both Visa and MasterCard) throughout all Moroccan cities.
      There are few problems changing money. There are many banks, all operating with equal exchange rates, and without commission. Cash in EUR, GBP and USD dollars are favoured for exchange. Please note that Australian Dollars (AUD) are not accepted in Morocco.
      Travellers' cheques are not recommended in Morocco. While some banks and 5 star hotels will change travellers' cheques this is rare and the process is very time consuming, and commissions can be high (up to 10%).
      For money safety we recommend that you carry your cash and credit cards in a secure money belt or pouch concealed under your clothing.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      Tipping
      If you are happy with the services providing a tip is appropriate, although not compulsory. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. Please note we recommend that any tips are given directly to the intended recipient by a member of your group as our group leaders are prohibited from collecting cash for tips.
      The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:
      Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - leave the loose change. More up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill.
      Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest MAD20-30 per person per day for local guides.
      Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however MAD10 per person per day is generally appropriate.
      Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline MAD30 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
      Departure tax
      All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
      Important notes
      RAMADAN, EID UL-FITR and EID UL ADHA FESTIVAL 2013:
      In 2013 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress fromTuesday 9th July and will continue for 30 days until Wednesday 7th of August and the Eid ul-Fitr festival will be held directly at its conclusion for 3-4 days. Ramadan is a festival of sacrifice where the devout refrain from eating or drinking during daylight hours. During Ramadan business hours are shortened, including opening hours at some tourist attractions. Alcohol is not permitted during daylight hours and many restaurants will be closed. While you should expect some delays and inconveniences during this period, the month is a fantastic opportunity to travel in a Muslim country and witness this unique period, particularly the nightly celebrations when the sun sets and the fast is broken. Please note that although the Eid ul-Fitr festival can also be a fascinating time to travel it is a period of National holiday. Most government offices and businesses will be closed and some tourist site opening hours may be effected.
      Eid ul Adha occurs approximately 2 months after Edi ul- Fitr, in mid October 2013.
      WALKING PROFILE:
      There are 4 walks, at a maximum altitude of 2900m, and an average altitude of 1900m. Each day offers a very different view and all walks are optional, so you may choose not to walk on some days. Although most of the walks are on well-graded paths some are on rough and stony trails and the area is generally quite primitive. There are a few steep ascents and descents.
      HOT WEATHER:
      Morocco can get very hot during the summer months of July and August so you might consider avoiding a trip at this time of year if you do not cope well with the heat.
      LOCAL PARTNER:
      This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, Exodus.
      AGE RESTRICTIONS:
      The minimum age of clients on this trip is 16 years. Please note that teenagers aged 16 or 17 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.
      Group size
      Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
      Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
      www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Single travellers
      Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
      A single supplement is available on this trip subject to availability and only applies to hotel nights - this does not cover any nights spent in the gite. Please refer to your booking agent for further information.
      Accommodation
      Guesthouse (4 nts), Hotel (3 nts)
      Gite accommodation used is of a very simple standard and cleanliness and hot water cannot always be guaranteed. The term 'gite' in Morocco denotes simple rural accommodation, like a refuge or hostel, as opposed to the superior French definition. The rooms are dormitory style with mattresses placed directly on the floor and are often mixed sex so you will be sharing with between 3-8 other people from your group. Although blankets are provided, you should bring your own sleeping bag and a small pillow. Thanks to electricity being linked to Tijhza Valley in 2004, the Gite now has lighting and European two-pin plug sockets for recharging camera batteries etc. However, the Gite is not heated and can therefore feel cold in winter. There are four flush toilets and two Asian-style toilets, hot and cold showers plus a washroom with basic washing facilities. There is likely to be more than one group staying at the gite at any one time, but there is plenty of room.
      Although the facilities may be basic, the welcome is warm! Morocco is opening up more and more to mainstream tourism due to increasing coverage from airlines. However, accommodation standards are more often comparable with those found in Sub-Saharan Africa rather than Europe and you should come prepared for this (for instance, some hotels are not heated so can feel cold during the winter months).
      Meals introduction
      While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.
      Meals
      7 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners
      Please budget for additional meals and expenses while on your trip. Our suggestion is based on past traveller feedback but you may choose to spend more or less.
      EUR 150.00
      Moroccan food is, generally speaking, excellent though not particularly varied. Breakfasts usually consist of bread and jam with coffee or tea. Meals eaten out are reasonably priced - kebab and bread cost only about £4. In main towns it is possible to find very good French and Moroccan restaurants where a meal and French wine will cost anything from £20 upwards. Generally dinner is likely to cost between £5-10 depending on what you drink - so an estimate for food would be about £15 a day. Local beers, wines and soft drinks are available at very reasonable prices, but you can pay UK prices or more for imported alcohol. Your leader can help recommend restaurants each evening.
      Vegetarians can be catered for but there is a fairly limited choice of vegetarian cous cous and tajine or omelettes. This is particularly the case during the more rural or trekking sections of the trip.
      Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform the Exodus Office prior to the trip. If you have a specific medical/dietary need (i.e. coeliac or vegan) you may find it helpful to bring some items of food with you from home.
      Transport
      Minibus
      For this trip we use a private bus, the size of which will depend on the group size, with a local driver. Roads in Morocco are reasonably good, and driving conditions in towns and on the plains are good. On mountain roads, the pace will be slower. Although the buses normally have air-conditioning and heating, this is not up to European standards.
      Group leader
      There will be a local leader and drivers and local guides where needed.
      Joining point
      Marrakech
      Marrakech
      MOROCCO
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
      If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
      No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
      Finish point
      Marrakech
      Marrakech
      MOROCCO
      Emergency contact
      In the case of genuine crisis or emergency please call our partner EXODUS on their 24 HOUR EMERGENCY NUMBER Tel: +44 (0) 1582 644 100.
      For all other enquiries please contact our Reservations department which is open 24 hours, 6 days per week. For further contact details please use the following page:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      MOROCCO:
      Australia: No - Not required
      Belgium: No - Not required
      Canada: No - Not required
      Germany: No - Not required
      Ireland: No - Not required
      Netherlands: No - Not required
      New Zealand: No - Not required
      South Africa: Yes - in advance (in general, visa processing can take approximately 20 working days)
      Switzerland: No - Not required
      UK: No - Not required
      USA: No - Not required
      Those who do not require visas to visit Morocco as a tourist, are stamped in on arrival for 3 months.
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
      Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
      You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
      CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
      From April to June, and in September, Marrakech and the north are pleasantly hot, with temperatures averaging 26ºC in the day and falling to 16ºC at night. It is unusual for there to be much humidity so it is quite pleasant except at midday when the sun is very strong. Mountain temperatures are cooler than in Marrakech.
      In the winter months, the daytime temperatures in Marrakech are around 18 to 22ºC with night temperatures falling to 4 to 7ºC. The days should be clear and sunny, and a particularly attractive feature of the winter months is the clear views of the snow-covered Atlas. There is a small chance of rain and it has been even been known to snow very infrequently in January and sometimes February on the higher desert plateaux (in which case it is cold at night and early in the morning on the southern side of the Atlas).
      For all departures you will need:
      - Hiking boots with good ankle support and tread
      - Small pillow
      - Water bottle
      - Sunhat
      - Sunglasses
      - Sunscreen
      - Day sack
      - Waterproof jacket
      - Fleece jacket
      - Wet wipes
      - Toilet paper
      - Towel
      - Soap
      - Torch (flashlight)
      - Sandals or trainers and earplugs if you have trouble sleeping
      - Sleeping bag (2 seasons for July/August, 3 seasons for March to June and September to October departures and 3/4 seasons for November to February)
      For the cooler months you will also need:
      - Warm trousers
      - Long-sleeved thermal top
      - Long johns
      - A warm hat
      - Gloves
      As iodised water is no longer provided on trek you should bring your own purification tablets with you. With limited hot water in mountain areas for personal washing, you may wish to bring along a supply of wet wipes and water-free hand gel as well as soap. You may also find trekking poles useful.
      We recommend a quick weather check before departure, as temperatures have been higher than usual from September to November.
      WATER BOTTLE:
      Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
      You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
      ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
      Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
      Before your trip.
      Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor
      We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.
      During your trip.
      While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.
      Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
      http://d3oxn90f3yphmd.cloudfront.net/sites/default/files/file_attach/52735_product_altitude-sickness.pdf
      Safety
      Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.
      We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.
      Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.
      For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:
      FIRE PRECAUTIONS:
      Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.
      TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:
      Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!
      PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:
      While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.
      SCAMS:
      When walking through touristy areas of cities you may be approached by 'helpful' locals who want to show you where to go or take you to a local spice shop. They will either ask to be your local guide for the day or expect money when you arrive at your destination. Please note these people are not registered guides and will try and get as much money from you as they can. A friendly 'no thank you (or 'la Shukran') should suffice.
      MOROCCAN TAGINES:
      Moroccan ceramic tagines bought in the souks or other shops in Morocco may contain high levels of lead. We strongly recommend you have any tagine you buy in Morocco tested before cooking with it or buy for decorative purposes only.
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      Morocco can be considered a liberal Muslim country as many Moroccan women do not wear headscarves. However, Morocco is very conservative when compared with standards you may be accustomed to at home and you should dress accordingly. As a general guideline, shoulders, cleavage and knees should be covered at all times. Wearing shorts (men and women), low-cut tops, and showing midriff is not recommended as it will restrict your entry into buildings of a religious nature and family homes, and is considered disrespectful to the local culture. Long, light-coloured, lightweight sleeved shirts, trousers and skirts are respectful, cover your body, keep you cool in the heat and protect you from the harsh sun.
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
      Responsible Travel projects
      Organisations and projects currently supported by The Intrepid Foundation in Morocco include:
      * Project Handicapped Horizon has assisted with the rehabilitation, health and empowerment of more than 3,000 disabled people. With two major departments, one is dedicated to the design, building and fitting of prosthetic limbs and other orthotics, footwear and mobility aids. While the other focuses on training local artisans and selling their products.
      Intrepid Travel also supports the following non-profit organisations:
      * Kasbah Myriam is a carpet and embroidery workshop run by Franciscan nuns with the aim of providing sustainable employment and healthcare to local Berber women.
      * The SPANA animal hospital in Marrakech cares for the health and welfare of donkeys, dogs and cats.
      Feedback
      After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.