Family Morocco - Atlas Trails Trip Notes

Family Morocco - Atlas Trails

Last Modified: 11 Oct 2013
Family Morocco - Atlas Trails
Trip code: FXMO
Validity: 01 Oct 2012 to 31 Dec 2014
Spend quality time with your teenage children on this active holiday. The four-day hike provides an incredible opportunity to create shared experiences and work together as a family whilst crossing the stunning peaks and valleys of the Atlas Mountains. With dramatic views across the mountain range a welcome reward, rise to the challenge of an action-packed holiday and enjoy meeting local people and finding out about the Moroccan culture along the way.
This trip is operated by our trusted local partners, The Adventure Company.
Table of Contents
StyleImportant notesEmergency funds
ThemesGroup sizeVisas
MapYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
ItinerarySingle travellersWhat to take
Also available to purchaseAccommodationHealth
Itinerary disclaimerMealsSafety
Culture shock rating TransportTravel insurance
Physical ratingGroup leaderResponsible Travel
Included activitiesJoining point descriptionA couple of rules
Optional activitiesJoining point instructionsThe Intrepid Foundation
Money ExchangeArrival complicationsResponsible Travel projects
Spending moneyFinish point descriptionFeedback
TippingFinish point instructions
Departure taxEmergency contact
  • 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.
Family, Walking
Family Morocco - Atlas Trails
Day 1 Marrakech
The tour starts at the Marrakech hotel. You will receive full details of exactly where to meet your Group Leader on the Joining Instructions which will be sent to you 2-3 weeks before your trip starts. Even today, the name Marrakech conjures up images of scenes from The Arabian Nights with its busy souks (markets) and twisting alleyways. This remarkable city, dating from the 11th century, never fails to satisfy the curiosity of adventurous travellers. It has everything from the graceful architecture of the Koutoubia Minaret, which dominates the skyline, to the throbbing atmosphere of a medieval fair in the great open square, the Djemaa el-Fna, in the heart of the medina.
Hotel Amine (1 nt)
Day 2 Marrakech
This morning you wake early to an unfamiliar sound - the muezzins calling the faithful to prayer in the various city mosques - your first contact with Islam. To help orientate you, after breakfast you start with a walking tour of the centre with a local guide. This takes in the main sights but the most exciting part is when you enter the sprawling souk. Here individual trades and crafts are concentrated together in a single street or area, making it easy to find what you are after.
Here, all the shoemakers are next to each other, as are the jewellers, the potters, the weavers, etc. This is the best place in Morocco to sharpen your bargaining skills and you're almost certain to be tempted by some of the extraordinary variety of merchandise on display - even if it's only a trinket or a packet of exotic spices. In the afternoon you have time to wander and make your own discoveries. You could visit the Palais de la Bahia, built at the end of the 19th century for Si' Ahmed ben Musa, the Grand Vizier of Soultan Moulay al assan. Only part of the palace is open, as the royal family still makes use of a fair proportion of the building. The beautiful courtyards and splendid living quarters provide a picture of a grand bygone lifestyle. Another possibility is Dar Si Said, housing the Museum of Moroccan Arts. This former royal townhouse now contains beautiful art and craftwork from all corners of the country. If you'd like to experience the relaxation of a traditional bath, your Group Leader can advise where to find the nearest hammam; for just a few dirhams, you'll be steamed and scrubbed until you shine!
Included Activities
  • Marrakech walking tour & souks
Hotel Amine (1 nt)
Day 3 Oukaimeden to Gliz
This morning you leave Marrakech and drive across the plains to the High Atlas via the Ourika Valley. The landscape changes as the plains gradually give way to mountains, with the impressive snow-covered peaks of the High Atlas looming in front of you. At Oukaimeden ski resort you meet your companions for the trek, the muleteers and mules, and set off to walking to the typical mountain village of Gliz. This is a good way to get started and acclimatised to the mountain walking.
Located at 2150m, Gliz will be your resting place for your first night in the High Atlas. Approx. 3 hours walking.
Included Activities
  • Trekking Atlas
Gite (1 nt)
Day 4 Aguersioual Pass
The High Atlas region is a mix of fertile valleys and soaring, barren snowcapped peaks. Flat-roofed Berber houses constructed with local materials huddle together to create fortress-like villages which blend almost seamlessly into the mountainside. The many trails and tracks which crisscross the area provide numerous opportunities for walkers and the ideal way to make the most of this stunning area is on foot.
Today enjoy trekking over mountain passes (2100m) to the village of Aguersioual (1700m). Approx. 5 hours walking.
Included Activities
  • Trekking Atlas
Gite (1 nt)
Days 5-6 Aremd
Continue trekking along the Imlil Valley to reach the village of Aremd (2000m). En route, enjoy the scenery and local life. You may meet goatherds seeking good grazing or villagers collecting firewood. The typical square towers of the mosques dot the landscape. Staying overnight at Aremd, you can explore settlement and learn about the berber way of life. A visit to the school may be possible in term time, an interesting contrast to your own school experiences at home.
The following day walk up to reach Sidi Chamarouch, a place of pilgrimage for Moroccans who come to the tomb of the local marabout (Muslim holy man). You can only see the shrine from across the gorge, as it's forbidden for non-Muslims to cross the bridge to the other side. Approx. 4 hours walk on Day 5, shorter walks on Day 6.
Included Activities
  • Trekking Atlas
Gite (2 nts)
Days 7-8 Marrakech
Today you leave your mountain home and head back down to the imperial city of Marrakech. The Djemaa el-Fna square draws you back and in the evening becomes alive with activity as story tellers, jugglers and musicians gather to entertain you. It is full of life and continues late into the evening.
Try some of the delicious freshly-prepared food at the stalls that line the square or do some last minute shopping.
Optional Activities
  • Tajine Cookery Course - MAD250
Hotel Amine (1 nt)
Also available to purchase
For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.
  • FXMO - Atlas Trails - Single supplement (FXMO)
    Itinerary disclaimer
    We've allowed plenty of room for freedom and flexibility in our trips. In fact, flexibility is one of the ingredients that makes each of our trips so exciting. This style of travel offers us some unexpected circumstances at times, for example, bad weather and road conditions, technical defects of transportation, inconveniences caused by local operators and authorities, and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the program may be required to make the best of the unique situations that we encounter.
    Overnight stops and driving distances each day may vary to best suit the needs of the group. Our described itineraries are to be used as a general guide only.
    Culture shock rating

    At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
    Physical rating

    Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy your holiday.
    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 and are subject to availabilities. For our families we have priced an all inclusive package including entrance fees, transport and local guide where relevant to assist you with budgeting the exact amount required on tour. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. The optional activities listed in your itinerary are activities that are available to you as a guideline and have been checked locally.
    The decision to partake in any activity not listed above is entirely at your own discretion and risk. If you do have any complaint about or problem with, any such optional activity your claim should be directed to the activity provider and not to us.
    Money Exchange
    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.
    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.
    Morocco is often misjudged as being an inexpensive destination. With tourism booming, the influx of cheap flights from Europe, prices for some items are becoming more equivalent to prices you would be used to at home. Eating in local restaurants, road side stalls and from markets can be inexpensive, but for nights out at tourist friendly restaurants you can expect to pay much more. With drinks, tipping and of course - shopping, it can all add up. Budgets are a personal choice but please bear in mind that you should not expect Morocco to be a budget destination.
    In Morocco some services and products are not a fixed price which means that your bartering skills will be tested from hiring taxis to buying a souvenir in the Medina. This can be challenging for travellers who have not experienced this before. Ask your leaders for advice when you arrive however the best approach is to smile and have fun as this is an entrenched part of Moroccan culture.
    Departure tax
    All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
    Important notes
    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.
    Age restrictions apply to this trip: minimum age 12. Anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or guardian.
    This trip is operated by our experienced local partner, The Adventure Company.
    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:
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. On our Family Adventures, single relatives or friends are welcome to travel along with a family. These single travellers share with people of the same gender for the duration of the trip and in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Please note that 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 Comfort and Original style 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.
    Gite (4 nts), Hotel Amine (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).
    7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
    Budget for meals not included:
    USD 100.00
    On the trek we will be mostly eating food purchased in Marrakech and cooked/prepared where we stop. There are plenty of streams, springs and wells where drinking water is available. Sterilising tablets (iodine based) or Lugol's iodine solution should be used. Bottled mineral water is readily available for purchase at virtually all of the overnight halts. Soft fizzy drinks seem to appear (at a price) in the most unlikely of places. Although alcohol is now available in Marrakech the culture of the mountain areas discourage it's use.
    Minibus, Mule
    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
    All Intrepid Family trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to assist your family take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for fun things to do and see- for both kids and parents, recommend great local eating venues that will even get the kids trying new things, and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.
    Our leaders are not babysitters on this trip - we leave that to you (the experts), but they will make sure that group members of all ages are able to explore their destination safely and with as much fun as possible. Our group leaders are not responsible for looking after children at any time and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times throughout this itinerary.
    Joining point description
    Hotel Amine is located on the edge of the Gueliz (Nouvelle ville) towards the University of Science kadi Ayad. It's about 15 mn walk to the new town's center and 30 mn walk to the Medina (Old town). There is a bank and ATM next to the hotel, couple small restaurants at the back and a pharmacy. A regular public bus N°1 stops opposite the hotel goes to Gueliz and the Medina. petit taxis (MAD 20 to 30) are available all time.
    The hotel has a large swimming pool surrounded by a garden, a restaurant and laundry service. Rooms are equiped with A/C and TV. There is a room and a 24 h front desk service as well as a currency exchange service.
    Check in time 12:00
    Check out time 12:00
    Luggage storage at the hotel avaialbel for late departure
    Avenue Abdelkarim El Khatabi, Gueliz
    00212 524 436 376
    Joining point instructions
    For those who have pre-booked your airport arrival transfer, please look out for your representative who will be waiting in the arrival hall holding a placard bearing The Adventure Company logo. You will then be guided to the waiting vehicle. If you cannot locate your representative or if your flight is delayed please call the following number:00212 524 439 025 (during office hours)
    00212 661 430 015 (24h)
    Marrakech Menara International airport is located west of the city center about 6 km from both Gueliz (Nouvelle ville) and Medina (Old town). The airport has been extented and now it has multiple facilities such as currency exchange offices, ATMs, cafés, restaurants, souvenir shops...
    There is only one Terminal operating (Terminal 2 is in construction) and one gate out after passport controls and luggage collection. If you are on a group transfer or have a private transfer please look out for the appropriate branding as many people will be waiting in the front of the main gate. When different flights arrive at the same time, expect long queues and don't forget to fill in a police form.
    There are taxis outside the gate for transfers and they charge different amounts depending on the time of arrival and the availability. Please agree about the price approx. MAD 60 during the day, double at night before you get in(prices depend on availability and time of arrival). It takes about 15 to 20 mn to both hotels Moroccan House & Hotel Amine.
    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 description
    Hotel Amine is located on the edge of the Gueliz (Nouvelle ville) towards the University of Science kadi Ayad. It's about 15 mn walk to the new town's center and 30 mn walk to the Medina (Old town). There is a bank and ATM next to the hotel, couple small restaurants at the back and a pharmacy. A regular public bus N°1 stops opposite the hotel goes to Gueliz and the Medina. petit taxis (MAD 20 to 30) are available all time.
    The hotel has a large swimming pool surrounded by a garden, a restaurant and laundry service. Rooms are equiped with A/C and TV. There is a room and a 24 h front desk service as well as a currency exchange service.
    Check in time 12:00
    Check out time 12:00
    Luggage storage at the hotel avaialbel for late departure
    Avenue Abdelkarim El Khatabi, Gueliz
    00212 524 436 376
    Finish point instructions
    Marrakech Menara International airport is located west of the city center about 6 km from both Gueliz (New Town) and Medina (Old town). It's about 15 to 20 min from the city center.
    The best way to get to the airport is by taxi. There are taxis with a meter (maximum of 3 passengers) and grand taxi (maximum 5 passengers) ideal for heavy luggage. Most of hotels can arrange this service but please always agree for the price of the transfer before you get in the taxi. The shuttle airport bus goes from the city center to the airport every hour during the day.
    A private transfer can be arranged even at the end of your trip. Please check with your tour guide.
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, The Adventure Company can be reached on Tel: +44 1420 593000. 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 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.
    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
    Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather. Summer (approx June to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel & winter (approx November to February) can be very cold. It's recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter.
    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.
    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 end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Please avoid the purchase of bottled water by using the chemically sterilized water stored in the purpose-built storage tank or in water jerry cans in your overland vehicle. You're free to refill your bottle as many times a day as you like.
    For some travellers, the Sahara sands can bring on bouts of asthma. If you suffer from asthma even occasionally, we recommend you bring your medication as it can not be administered by your group leader and may not be readily available while you are travelling.
    Henna tattoos are commonplace in Morocco. You should be aware that some henna tattoos contain the chemical para-phenylenediamine (PPD), which can cause a painful allergic reaction, including swelling and an itchy rash in some people.
    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.
    As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it contains much higher levels of different minerals than the water you may have at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Bottled water is widely available and your leader can recommend safe alternatives when available. Water consumption should be about 3 litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.
    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 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.
    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:
    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:
    When packing be aware that dress standards can be conservative in some parts of Africa. To respect this and for your own comfort, we strongly recommend modest clothing. This means covering shoulders and no short shorts in culturally sensitive areas: Mosques, small villages, etc. We recommend a mixture of loose, lightweight clothing and warm clothing for the evenings. Topless sun bathing is unacceptable through out the whole of Africa.
    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.
    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.