FAQ
What kind of accommodation will I be staying in?

It depends on your travel budget and the places you plan to visit. We will match your requirements and budget to the appropriate accommodation. We typically use 3, 4 or 5 star hotels, riads and auberges (small inns). In the desert your accommodation will be a Berber tent (or bivouac) which provide comfortable bedding on the floor of the tent.

Is Morocco safe to travel?

Morocco is one of the safest countries to visit in Africa. Its location at the northeast tip of Africa and close to southwest Europe makes it a really relaxed place to visit. It is a Muslim country where everyone is given respect. Balthazar Tours provides you a selection of safe, spectacular and interesting places to visit in Morocco. We have selected our itineraries based on experience and are confident that these are the places you are going to like the most. We open the door for you to Morocco by taking you on well known routes that are also less accessible for most tourists to explore on their own.

What can I expect while touring Morocco?

Moroccans are incredibly friendly and will work very hard to make visitors feel welcome and provide what you need. There is no request too great or too small for a Moroccan. However, life moves a lot slower then what Westerners expect so a relaxed outlook is a must; if you don’t have one when you arrive you will certainly have one when you leave!
Morocco is a developing country and modern amenities exist in all major cities. They may be non existent in many places outside the cities so it is advised to prepare in advance if heading of the beaten track.

What shape do I have to be in?

Morocco can be appreciated by all age groups; you are never too young or too old to experience the joys of Morocco. Our selections of treks are aimed at all fitness levels. Balthazar Tours will ensure your holiday suits your capabilities.

Are American Express travelers’ cheques accepted in many places? What credit cards are good to bring?

American Express and Thomas Cook travellers cheques are welcome in Morocco. Cash in Euros, US, Australian and Canadian dollars, Japanese yen, and GBP Sterling are accepted at every money exchange. Euros are accepted in Morocco just about anywhere; you can negotiate prices and pay a lot of vendors using this currency. You are also able to use your debit or a credit card at the ATM’s located throughout Morocco. There will be a charge for overseas transactions from your bank and we advise travellers to check with their own bank before they travel. The Moroccan currency, Dirham’s, is a closed currency which means you must exchange foreign currency into dirhams inside Morocco. You are advised to sell your dirhams before you leave Morocco because you cannot sell them outside the country.

It seems there are days where it might be necessary or is it easy to get around without a guide?

Most people love to find their own way around the cities and Marrakech is a fantastic place to explore by foot. We suggest you bring a good guide book with you if this is what you want to do. Most good guides give practical advice, great maps and cultural details. Otherwise we can recommend guides who speak English or another language for a small fee.

What type of clothing is appropriate especially outside of Marrakech?

You are able to wear whatever is familiar and comfortable. Morocco is very tolerant and welcoming to visitors and you are not expected to dress like a Moroccan. For women it is a good idea to bring a scarf to cover bare shoulders in the rural villages. Shorts are not really acceptable for men or women unless they are below knee length.

Is it too hot to travel to Morocco in the Summer?

The South Sahara region is usually very hot in the Summer but Morocco has a lot to offer for this season also. The mountain region of the Atlas, the Atlantic Coast and the northern part of Morocco are great Summer alternatives.

Do I need travel insurance?

We require travel insurance to be obtained before leaving your country of origin. This is to protect you from any unforeseen circumstances. Local hospitals have limited diagnostic capability and foreign clinics can be expensive and evacuation can cost thousands.

Are the vehicles and Moroccan drivers safe?

Morocco strictly controls vehicles and drivers and both cars and drivers have to be registered to drive tourists. Cars have an annual registration and vehicles over 10 years old are not permitted to carry tourists. In addition, car and driver insurance is regularly checked at roadblocks and there is a fine for anyone whose papers are not in order. Our vehicles are less then 5 years old and our drivers have been working in the tourism industry for many years.

What should I bring for a camel trek or mule trek?

We have comprised a list of items to assist with your packing. (*denotes essential or highly recommended).

Day-pack:
sunglasses *
water bottles *
ziplock baggies *
toilet paper * (buy it in Morocco)
needle and thread / safety pins
camera, batteries, memory cards, film — bring lots!
sealable bag for your digital camera* (essential!! for sand/dust)

Clothing:

sarong for women (can double as a towel, lightweight sheet or scarf)
cotton long sleeved shirt (for intense sun) *
light wind-proof jacket
hat (sun) *
warm socks * (mule trek)
lightweight long pants *
2-3 T-shirts
woollen sweater / fleece *
cotton scarf (doubles as a wash cloth)
hiking boots or hiking shoes*

First Aid:

Disinfectant cream
Band-Aids
Ibuprofen (for pain, swelling) *
Tweezers
Diarrhoea medication (Imodium) *

Personal:

sun block *
sanitary supplies with ziplock baggies to carry out
moisturizer / lip balm with sun block *
books / magazines
music
small flashlight (small bicycle lights make good travelling lights)
nail clippers
wet-wipes
soap / shampoo / toothpaste / toothbrush etc. *
prescriptions in original containers
ear plugs *

What do we do for bathroom facilities in the desert? Are there bathrooms available?

Bathrooms as such are not available in the desert. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to carry a “chemical toilet” on a camel. It might be easier to do so in a 4×4, but most tour operators don’t simply for the fact that they would have to carry the “chemicals” and waste until the end of the tour because it is against the law to dump the “chemicals” in the desert for environmental reasons. Since the waste by ITSELF is organic and will breakdown very quickly because of the desert climate, people who travel in the desert just dig a hole in the ground for a “latrine” and cover it over with sand when they move on.

Do you employ local people wherever possible?

We employ local people whenever possible and this includes muleteers, camel handlers, drivers, guides and guest house owners. Unfortunately higher end guest houses and riads are most often run by Europeans which means it is often not possible to use local people in these instances.

What types of terrain will be covered on treks?

Two types!
Type 1: consists of reasonably flat terrain, easily crossed by anyone who likes a good walk.
Type 2: is a little more challenging, some experience with hill walking may be useful. On average heights up to 11,500 ft. will be reached.

What types of terrain will be covered on the road?

Two types!
Type 1: consists of bitumen roads easily crossed by all vehicle types.
Type 2: Off-road. This is where we go off the beaten track in some of the remote village mountain areas. The road may be a little bumpy but you are perfectly safe in the hands of our expert drivers.