This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2016 to 31 December 2016. Other seasons in this trip:

Overview & Itinerary


Start
Ouarzazate, Morocco
Finish
Marrakech, Morocco
Country
Morocco
Style
Original
Theme
Family
Code
XMFM
Travellers rating
4.25
Ages
Min 5
Group size
Min 2, Max 16
Validity
01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2016

Is this trip right for you?

  • A camel trek through the Sahara Desert (Day 5) is a highlight of the trip for many travellers. If you'd rather not ride a camel, you can always walk alongside the camels instead. It's a gentle, relaxing walk of about an hour each way.

  • Summer temperatures in Morocco can get very hot. If you're travelling in the warmer months, be sure to wear layers, use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Nights can get quite cold, so warm clothes are essential too.

Physical rating

These trips are setup to involve and include all the family so no real physical preparation is necessary. The trips all have some degree of physical activity but nothing that is too strenuous. Please check the physical rating on the trip notes and if you need further explanation please contact one of our sales consultants who will provide you with more detailed information.

Joining point

Hotel Ouarzazate Le Tichka Salam
Avenue MED V, B.P 251
Ouarzazate
MOROCCO
Phone: +212 5248833

Joining point instructions

If you have booked an arrival transfer - Your transfer driver will be holding a board with The Family Adventure Company logo and your name at the arrivals hall.
Maximum waiting time: 1 hour from the actual arrival time of the flight.
In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the emergency phone numbers: +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66 Or PEAK Number : +212 (0) 66192 2693

Problems and emergency contact information

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Intrepid's Europe Office can be reached on the number listed below:

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.

PEAK Marrakech (Morocco): 212 661922693

Itinerary

Salaam Aleikum! Welcome to Morocco. Your trip begins in Ouarzazate, which is situated at the confluence of three valleys and on the threshold of the Sahara Desert. Settle into your hotel and perhaps take a stroll to acquaint yourself with the town. This place was originally a staging point for trans-Saharan caravans and later became garrison for the French Foreign Legion. If you arrive early and have time, perhaps pay a visit to Atlas Studios, a major Hollywood outpost in Morocco, located just a few kilometres from town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Ouarzazate Le Tichka Salam or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Meet your trip leader in the hotel reception at 9 am. This morning you will explore the town of Ouarzazate and visit the hundred-year-old Taourirt Kasbah. A potent symbol of the Glaoui clan's power, the kasbah gives a glimpse of how these feudal lords lived. You will then have the chance to buy an essential piece of desert kit – a shesh. This is a long piece of cloth, a bit like a scarf, that's wrapped around the head to keep the sun off. The loose end can be pulled across the face to keep the sand out. Continue your drive across the Tizi-n-Tiniffift pass and through the Draa Valley, following the southern slopes of the Djebel Sahro to Nkob and on to the Oasis of Tazzarine (approximately 3 hours).
Accommodation
  • Nomad tents (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Taourirt Kasbah visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
In the morning, take a taxi to Iferd (approximately 30 minutes). Here you will meet your camel caravan and the camelteers who will journey with you into the desert. Then ride your camel all the way to camp (approximately 2 hours). Each person will be on their own camel, forming a typical desert caravan. There will be additional animals to carry your baggage, camping equipment and most importantly your water. The gait of the camels soon lulls you into a strange rhythm – one that's been the same for centuries. Time seems to dissolve as you are surrounded by the soft haze of the desert. Arrive at your Bedouin camp, set up, and no doubt enjoy a glass of sweet mint tea. Watch as the scenery around you changes colour with the setting sun. After dinner, if you are lucky, your camel drivers may decide to play drums and invite you to join them for an evening of traditional songs.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with basic facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Early risers will be treated to another amazing display of changing colour and light. Cross your fingers for clear weather! After breakfast you will have a short walk through the dunes to make the most of the views on offer. How far you walk will depend on the ability of the group as well as the conditions. Walking through sand can be tough, and makes you realise how hard life here would be without the camels! Remounting your camel, make your way slowly out of the desert, back towards the hills and valleys of the Atlas (approximately 2 hours). Bid farewell to your travel companions and camels and rejoin the vehicle for the return trip to Tazzarine (approximately 1.5 hours).
Accommodation
  • Nomad tents (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Head towards Agdz, through the Draa Valley, and eventually to Ait Benhaddou (approximately 4 hours). The Draa Valley area is very fertile and its terraced farmlands are fed by an intricate system of irrigation channels. Continuing via Ouarzazate, you will reach Ait Benhaddou, one of the best-preserved fortified kasbahs in the country. With its dramatic red-earth walls and slit windows, this is a magnificent example of a stronghold. The surrounding villages are well worth exploring too. Not far away there are the film studios of Ouarzazate which have been used for many epic films, from classics such as 'Lawrence of Arabia' and 'Jewel of the Nile' to the more recent 'Hidalgo' and 'Alexander'. Consider an optional visit to these studios. 
Accommodation
  • La Rose Du Sable or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kasbah Ait Benhaddou
Optional Activities
  • Atlas Movie Studios - MAD50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, cross the riverbed to visit Ait Benhaddou. Take the opportunity to explore some of the ruined buildings. Climb to the top of the hill where the agadir (grain store) offers spectacular views down over the village and the surrounding countryside. You can also enter one of the houses and share a glass of mint tea with some of the residents to gain a better understanding of how they live their lives. In the afternoon, drive north across the High Atlas mountains en route to Marrakech (approximately 4 hours). The road, completed by the Foreign Legion in 1936, winds up over the Tizi-n-Tichka pass (2,260 m) and offers stunning views of the mountains before descending past Berber villages to the plain surrounding Marrakech. Arrive in Marrakech and settle in.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Gomassine or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a walking tour of the city centre, taking in the main sights on your way to the sprawling souq and main square. The souq is a great place to sharpen your bargaining skills, and you are almost certain to be tempted by some of the extraordinary variety of merchandise on display – perhaps a pair of traditional Moroccan slippers or some exotic spices. The adjacent main square has the atmosphere of a medieval fair. Snake charmers and jugglers are among those who vie to entertain you. In the evening, wonderful smells waft by as food stalls cook up their local delicacies. In the afternoon you will have time to wander and make your own discoveries. If you'd like to take a traditional bath, ask you leader where the nearest hamman is. Alternatively, the tanneries around Bab Debbagh are great to visit.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Gomassine or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided walking tour of Marrakech
  • Palais Bahia
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning.
Optional Activities
  • Hammam & Massage in a luxury spa - MAD750
  • Tajine cooking class - MAD546
  • A Taste Of Marrakech - MAD509
  • Oukaimeden day tour - MAD1882
  • Ourika Valley day tour - MAD1817
  • Asni & Ourigane with lunch - MAD1806
  • Cascades d'Ouzoud day tour - MAD2207
  • Imlil & Aroumd day tour - MAD1817
  • Essaouira Food & Culture day trip - MAD840
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Finishing point

Hotel Gomassine
71 Av. Mohamed Zerktouni Gueliz
Marrakech
MOROCCO
Phone: +212 524433086

Finishing 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 petit 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. Negotiate the fare before getting in and aim to pay no more than 100MAD (150MAD at night). The shuttle airport bus goes from the city center to the airport every hour during the day.

Pre booked departure transfer to the airport:
If you have pre booked a departure transfer, you will be collected from your hotel 3 hours prior to your flight.
Please reconfirm your departure transfers with your tour leader.
In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you not find the driver please contact to the emergency phone numbers: +212 6 61 24 31 06 and +212 6 66 19 27 66

Departure from Casablanca:
For those of you that are flying out of Casablanca: Trains from Marrakech to Casablanca, depart on the hour every 2 hours between 5:00am and 9:00pm and cost EUR8 for 2nd class and EUR12 for 1st class. The trip is scheduled to take 3 hours & 10 minutes and is subject to frequent delays.
From Casablanca Voyageurs Station, trains run to the Casablanca airport every hour at 5 min past the hour. First departure is at 5:00am and the last departure at 10:00pm. The trip takes 35 minutes. Check the useful website (in French) for more information - www.oncf.ma

Alternatively, from Casablanca city the 25km taxi ride to the Casablanca airport costs MAD250 (EUR25)

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.

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.

Feedback

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Essential Trip Information

Important notes

A DISCOUNT OF 10% APPLIES ON THIS TRIP TO CHILDREN UNDER 15 YEARS OF AGE AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL.

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 5 years old.

Alcohol
Morocco is a Muslim country therefore alcohol is not readily available, particularly during Ramadan.

Passport and visas

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time.

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.

Medical and health information

ASTHMA:
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:
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 Travel 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.

DRINKING WATER:
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 three litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies.

Food and dietary requirements

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.

Moroccan meals can consist of up to five courses! If you eat a little of each, you may just have enough appetite left to find some room for dessert which is well worth saving some space for!

Please note that there will often be a certain amount of repetition in the types of food available. Tagine and cous-cous are both examples of very common dishes that you will encounter, and you should be prepared that meal times may become a bit monotonous.

Mineral water in Morocco is usually referred to by brand name, Sidi Harazem, Sidi Ali or the naturally sparkling Oulmes. They're really cheap and you can get them anywhere.

Accommodation

Camping (with basic facilities) (3 nights), Hotel (4 nights)

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).
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

If you've purchased pre- or post-trip accommodation you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multishare basis. Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on different Intrepid trips than your own.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
GENERAL ROOMING CONFIGURATIONS:
Family of two - All family groupings of two will be put into a twin room.

Family of three - Wherever possible we will put you in a triple room. Please be aware that in some places triple rooms are in short supply. This means that, in practice, a triple room will often simply be a twin room with a mattress on the floor or a further bed squashed in. Where it is impossible to provide a triple room, you will have to decide which of your party takes the single room.

Family of four or more - You will most likely stay in two twin rooms. If and wherever possible we will aim put you in a quadruple room. Whilst we will do our very best to ensure that families are roomed close together (in some cases, we can arrange adjoining rooms), we can’t guarantee this. Most family holidays occur during peak season and we sometimes have little to no control over where you will be put. You need to come prepared for this.

Transport

Camel, Minibus, Taxi

There are some long travel days and some rough travelling in areas away from main tourist routes. High passes, windy roads and rough surfaces make for some challenging travel experiences. On some long travel days we depart early in the morning to ensure we optimise our time at our next destination. If you experience travel sickness we recommend you consider medication to help ease the discomfort. The best part about all of these long drives are the spectacular views and fun stops en route such as mountain passes, kasbahs, palmeries, sand dunes, goats up trees etc.

Money matters

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:
When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. This should make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document).

If you're happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it's 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.

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.

Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

Please don't tip with very small denomination coins, or dirty and ripped notes. This is regarded culturally as an insult

PRICES IN MOROCCO:
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.

BARGAINING:
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.

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

Please note that you are responsible for your own visas and taxes. Please have these amounts available prior to departing the various countries.

Budget for meals not included: 180.00

EMERGENCY FUNDS:
We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

Packing

CLIMATE & CLOTHING:
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.

SLEEPING BAGS:
Sleeping bags consume valuable space in your luggage and can be a pain. However in the winter months (from November to March) there may not be enough heating (sometimes none) or sufficient blankets to keep everyone warm, we recommend bringing your own sleeping bag. Unfortunately sleeping bags can not be hired/rented while on the trip and are not easy to find for purchase. Buy a small sleeping bag before you leave, it will definitely come in handy, particularly if you feel the cold.

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, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes).

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.

Below we have listed the essentials for this trip:

Climate and seasonal information

CLIMATE:
Please note that as a desert country, Morocco can have extreme weather.
Winter (approx November to March) can be very cold. Particularly in the mountains or near the desert, night temperatures can drop to 5 degrees Celsius or less. Even in the hot months out in the desert it can get cold at night. It is recommended to bring a good sleeping bag, thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket for travel in winter. Some of our guesthouses / hotels are unable to supply heating as this would be a major financial and environmental strain. It is also a case of energy supply and timing provisions, which is limited in some places. Please be prepared for cold showers.

Summer (approx May to September) can be very hot everywhere we travel, which means that it can be quite uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Not all our hotels have air-conditioning, and in those that do, it's not always functioning. A hat is essential.

RAMADAN, EID UL-FITR and EID UL ADHA FESTIVAL 2015:
In 2015 the important month of Ramadan will be in progress from the 18 June through till the 17 July, 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, at the end of September 2015.

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.

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 and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. 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 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 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:

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/contact-us/safety

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.

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 or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

SWIMMING POOLS:
You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

BALCONIES:
Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

SEAT BELTS:
Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

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.

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don’t tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Intrepid, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.

Travelling on a group trip

GROUP TRAVEL
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.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
A single supplement is available on this trip, please refer to your booking agent for further information.

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 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.

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.

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$1,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year, excluding emergency appeals). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:

http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/