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Summary

  • Exercise a high degree of caution in Morocco because of the threat of terrorist attacks. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. Monitor the media and other sources about possible new security risks.
  • Do not to travel to the Western Sahara because of the risk posed by landmines.
  • Recent protests have been reported in several Moroccan cities. While these have mostly been non-violent, avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, as they may turn violent. Exercise particular caution on weekends, including in the period around Friday prayers.
  • There's an increased possibility of large-scale protests in Morocco in response to the 6 December 2017 US announcement on Jerusalem, particularly after Friday noon prayers. Monitor the media and other sources of information about planned and possible unrest. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times. See Safety and security.
  • The Moroccan authorities have warned of an increased threat linked to the number of Moroccans sympathetic or belonging to international terrorist organisations operating in Syria and Iraq. Terrorist attacks have occurred in Morocco in places frequented by tourists. See Safety and security.
  • There is a general threat of kidnapping against Westerners in North Africa. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times and especially when travelling in southern and border areas of Morocco.
  • The Canadian Embassy located in Rabat provides consular assistance to Australians in Morocco. This service includes the issuance of Provisional Travel Documents. The Australian Embassy in Paris can also assist Australians in Morocco. The Australian Government is in the process of establishing an Embassy in Rabat.
  • See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.

Entry and exit

Australians do not need a visa to enter Morocco for stays of less than three months. Additional visa information is available on the Moroccan Embassy website.

When entering Morocco, make sure your passport is stamped. Some tourists have experienced difficulty leaving the country because their passport bears no entry stamp.

As visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Morocco for up-to-date information.

Make sure your passport has at least six months’ validity from your planned date of return to Australia.

Safety and security

Terrorism

There is a possibility of terrorist attacks in Morocco. You could be caught up in attacks directed at others. Terrorist attacks have occurred in places frequented by tourists in the past.

Moroccan authorities have warned of an increased threat linked to the number of Moroccans sympathetic or belonging to international terrorist organisations operating in Syria and Iraq. Recent arrests of suspected terrorists by Moroccan authorities indicate the heightened risk of terrorism in the region.

The Maghreb region, including Morocco, has been mentioned as a target in public statements by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This has led to security being reinforced in Morocco.

In planning your activities, consider the kind of places known to be terrorist targets and the level of security provided. These include places frequented by foreigners such as hotels, clubs, restaurants, bars, schools, embassies, places of worship, outdoor recreation events, markets, transport, cinemas and tourist areas. Targets may also include casinos, venues where alcohol is served or consumed and places and institutions associated with Western interests.

In the event of an attack, leave the affected area immediately if it is safe to do so, and follow the instructions of local authorities.

Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Overseas bulletin.

Kidnapping

There is a general threat of kidnapping against Westerners in North Africa. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times when travelling in southern and border areas of Morocco. Avoid hiking alone in remote mountain areas. For more information about kidnapping, see our Kidnapping threat bulletin.

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it does not make payments or concessions to kidnappers. The Australian Government considers that paying a ransom increases the risk of further kidnappings, including of other Australians. If you do decide to travel to an area where there is a particular threat of kidnapping, seek professional security advice and have effective personal security measures in place. See our Kidnapping threat bulletin.

Crime

Petty crime, including pickpocketing and bag snatching, is common. There have also been isolated incidents of violent crime, including theft at knifepoint. Valuables, including your passport, should be kept out of sight. Exercise vigilance in public places.

Travellers have been mugged when walking on deserted beaches and poorly lit streets at night.

Be aware of your surroundings when withdrawing money from an ATM. Aggressive begging near ATMs is frequent and robberies have occurred.

Credit card fraud such as double billing and scams such as substituting inferior goods for those that were actually purchased are common. Keep your credit card in sight when conducting transactions.

Intimidation is sometimes used to force customers to purchase goods. In popular tourist areas, including Tangier, Fez, Marrakech, Agadir and Essaouira, aggressive begging and harassment of tourists by men posing as official tourist guides is common.

Commercial and internet fraud is prevalent and often originates in West African countries. Victims have been defrauded and those who travel to the originating country have had their lives endangered. Some victims have been killed. Criminals have been known to seek details of 'safe' bank accounts overseas in which to transfer large sums of money (as a donation or for a percentage of the amount involved). They may also provide fake cashier cheques for 'urgent' shipments of large quantities of goods, request sizeable fees for a fake government contract and extort money from individuals they have convinced to travel to Africa for a business opportunity. If you are a victim of a financial scam, obtain legal advice. Do not travel to Africa to seek restitution as there is a risk of physical assault from the perpetrators. Our international scams page provides more detail on these types of scams.

Bogus internet friendship, dating and marriage schemes are operating from some African countries. These scams typically result from connections made through internet dating schemes or chat rooms. Once a virtual friendship develops, the Australian citizen may be asked by their friend or prospective marriage partner to send money to enable travel to Australia. In some cases the relationship is terminated with very little chance that any funds can be recovered. In other cases, foreigners may be lured to Africa to meet their friend or prospective marriage partner and can become victims of crime including kidnapping, assault and robbery.

Civil unrest/Political tension

Protests over domestic and regional issues could occur at any time.  Large-scale demonstrations and protests can occur at short notice across the country. In general, demonstrations are peaceful but there have been isolated incidents of vandalism and looting. 

There's an increased possibility of large-scale protests in Morocco in response to the 6 December 2017 US announcement on Jerusalem, particularly after Friday noon prayers. Pay close attention to your personal security at all times.

A series of demonstrations have taken place since October 2016 in northern Morocco, mainly around the town of Al Hoceima. There have been some reports of limited violence during these protests. There have also been a number of smaller scale protests in other cities. These have remained peaceful to date. Demonstrations around Al Hoceima occur regularly. A heavy security presence remains in place.

  • Avoid large gatherings and demonstrations, as they may turn violent.
  • Monitor the media for reports of protest activity and avoid all large gatherings and demonstrations. Always observe instructions given by the local security authorities.
  • Plan your activities to avoid potential unrest on days of national or commemorative significance. Exercise particular caution on weekends, including in the period around Friday prayers. Security incidents can also occur around sporting events that attract large crowds.
  • Be prepared to change your travel plans in case of disruptions.
  • If you're affected by transport disruptions, contact your airline, travel agent or insurer for assistance.

Money and valuables

Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate as soon as possible.

Local travel

The land border between Morocco and Algeria is currently closed. Do not attempt to cross into Algeria by land.

Driving practices are poor in Morocco. Travellers should exercise caution when driving, particularly on mountain roads and major highways. Avoid road travel at night outside urban areas due to the risk of a motor accident with other vehicles, pedestrians and animals. There have been several fatal bus crashes on intercity routes and the number of annual fatalities from road accidents in Morocco remains high.

Travellers should carry ID and vehicle documents at all times as checkpoints are frequent. Drivers should have an accident report form (constat à l'amiable) in their vehicle at all times. These forms can be purchased at local newsstands. If an accident occurs and only involves material damage, the police will not usually intervene and the parties involved should complete an accident report. If the accident involves casualties, avoid moving the vehicles before the police arrive.

For further advice, see our road travel page.

Morocco's rail network is developed and relatively safe and reliable. Be aware of your surroundings, as there have been incidents of pickpocketing and petty theft on trains.

Female travellers, particularly if unaccompanied, may find themselves the object of unwanted attention particularly in markets, beaches and sites associated with tourism. Avoid walking alone in deserted areas and at night. See our female travellers page.

Avoid hiking alone in remote mountain areas. See Safety and security.

The safety standards you might expect of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities such as diving or desert excursions, may not be of the same level as in Australia. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided, and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions not observed. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others don't. If appropriate safety equipment is not available, use another provider.

Western Sahara: Do not travel to Western Sahara because of the risk posed by landmines. There are unexploded landmines throughout this region, especially adjacent to the border with Mauritania. There have been reports of exploding landmines and landmines shifting away from the border area due to the movement of sand dunes.

Airline safety

The Australian Government does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Morocco.

Please also refer to our general Air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.

Laws

You are subject to the local laws of Morocco, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.

Penalties for drug offences are severe and can include long prison sentences. See our Drugs page.

The death penalty can apply for serious offences, such as high treason, terrorism, multiple murder and rape.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Morocco and penalties can include imprisonment. See our LGBTI travellers page. Heterosexual relations outside marriage are also illegal and can lead to imprisonment.

Non-Muslims who attempt to enter mosques in Morocco may be detained for questioning unless the mosque is open to the general public.

Taking photographs of official buildings, government and military installations and other sensitive facilities, or in the vicinity of these places, may result in problems with authorities or even detention.

The use of drones is controlled in Morocco and you should seek prior approval from the Moroccan government before entering the country with a drone​.

It is illegal to preach religions other than Islam and to import religious materials other than those relating to Islam. A number of individuals have been deported from Morocco for carrying such items and preaching other religions.

Possessing pornographic material is illegal.

Acts or statements criticising or denigrating the monarchy are illegal and can result in prosecution and detention.

Do not consume alcohol in public places, particularly in traditional and rural areas.

Be aware that by purchasing pirated or counterfeit items, you may be breaking both Moroccan and Australian laws.

Any Australian citizen wanting to marry in Morocco must apply for a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage and an Attestation of Citizenship. These are available from the Consular Section of the Australian Embassy in Paris.

Presenting a cheque without sufficient funds is an offence in Morocco and can involve serious penalties, including imprisonment.

It is illegal in Morocco to send passports through the mail. Any passports sent to Morocco will be confiscated by local authorities.

Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex tourism, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.

Local customs

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is expected to occur between mid-May and mid-June 2018. During Ramadan, take care to respect religious and cultural sensitivities, rules and customs. In particular, avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public and in the presence of people who are fasting. For more information see our Ramadan bulletin.

There are conservative standards of dress and behaviour in Morocco. Take care not to offend. It is recommended women wear loose-fitting clothing covering the arms and legs and wear a head scarf. If in doubt, seek local advice.

Physical contact between men and women in public should be avoided. Public displays of affection can cause offence, particularly in rural and traditional areas and near mosques, religious shrines and religious educational institutes.

Couples who cannot provide proof of marriage may be refused accommodation in some rural and traditional areas.

Information for dual nationals

Although Morocco recognises dual nationality, Moroccan citizenship takes primacy over the second nationality, especially concerning military service and parental custody. This may limit our ability to provide consular assistance to Australian/Moroccan dual nationals who are arrested or detained. Travel on your Australian passport at all times.

Children of Moroccan fathers automatically acquire Moroccan citizenship at birth. Moroccan women who are married to foreigners can also pass on their Moroccan citizenship to their children. Child custody decisions are based on local law. Consult a lawyer for advice on custody disputes to check if you wil be prevented from leaving Morocco with your children.

See our Dual nationals page.

Health

Take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.

Consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. Consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.

While the standard of medical facilities in the major cities is generally good, medical services in smaller cities and rural and remote areas can be extremely limited. Private hospitals can insist on up-front payment prior to admission. Inability to pay may delay treatment.

Insect-borne diseases (including leishmaniasis and typhus) are common in Morocco. Malaria is less common. Take precautions against being bitten by insects, including using insect repellent, wearing long, loose-fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.

Some water-borne, food-borne and other infectious diseases are prevalent. Boil all drinking water or drink bottled water and avoid raw and undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis ('bilharzia'). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea.

Where to get help

Depending on the nature of your enquiry, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.

The local emergency number in Morocco is 190. Please note that emergency operators rarely speak English.

The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and can’t do to assist Australians overseas.

By agreement between the Canadian and Australian governments, the Canadian Embassy located in Rabat, provides consular assistance to Australians in Morocco. This service includes the issuance of Provisional Travel Documents.

Canadian Embassy, Rabat-Agdal

66 Mehdi Ben Barka Avenue
Rabat-Souissi
Morocco
Postal address: PO 2040 Rabat-Ryad
Morocco, 10 000
Telephone: 212 (0) 537 54 49 49
Facsimile: 212 (0) 537 54 48 53
Email: rabat@international.gc.ca
Website: canadainternational.gc.ca/morocco-maroc/
Check the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.

You can also obtain consular assistance from the Australian Embassy in Paris.

Australian Embassy, Paris

4 Rue Jean Rey
75724 Cedex 15
Paris, France
Telephone: (33 1) 4059 3300
Facsimile: (33 1) 4059 3315
Website: france.embassy.gov.au

The Australian Government is in the process of establishing an Embassy in Rabat.

In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or 1300 555 135 within Australia.

Additional Information

Natural disasters, severe weather and climate

Parts of Morocco are subject to earthquakes. Flash flooding can occur especially during the November to March rainy season. Information on natural disasters, including earthquakes, can be obtained from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System.

If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.

Additional resources