FAQ

Please review our FAQ's

Support Team

Trek Support Team

Your trek will be led by a qualified mountain guide, normally English-speaking. You will also be accompanied by muleteers/camel drivers (mules/camels carry luggage and equipment during the trek) and a cook (for groups of 5 or more people). Your trek team will take care of necessary tasks, such as preparation of meals, loading of mules/camels and setup of communal camp facilities (you will need to set up your own sleeping tents). But a helping hand from you is always welcome!


Responsabilities

Trek Responsibility

The deserts and mountains of Morocco are a relatively sheltered domain. The environment is fragile and the socio-cultural traditions should be respected. We ask that you take note of the following guidelines:

  • Trekkers’ clothing should be modest (covered shoulders, upper arms and legs) especially in or around villages.
  • Always ask permission before photographing local people and respect their wishes if they refuse.
  • Please do not distribute sweets, pens, money and other items to children as it encourages begging.
  • Please do not give medicines to local people without consulting your trek guide.
  • Degradable refuse should be safely burnt and the remains buried. Other refuse (tins, bottles, etc) should be carried out of the area to an appropriate place for disposal.
  • Crops and plantations should be respected and only dead wood used for fires.
  • Water supplies are drawn from local streams, so please limit the use of soaps and detergents and make sure you use those that are biodegradable/eco-friendly. When toileting in the wild, please keep away from water sources.
  • Where there is a toilet, please use it. Where there is none, keep away from water sources and make sure you bury your waste. Toilet paper should be used sparingly and be burned and buried safely or taken out of the area for disposal.

Accommodation

Accommodation

Most trek itineraries include nights spent camping. We provide two-person tents with foam mattresses. If you would prefer a little more comfort, you may like to also bring your own sleeping mat. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag and sleeping sheet for the trek. There will usually be a communal tent set up for eating or just getting out of the elements.

Some itineraries include accommodation in a village house or gite. Sleeping arrangements are usually multishare. Washing and toilet facilities will be communal.

As you will be trekking through remote areas, washing and toilet facilities are basic and may be limited, if non-existent. Most often only cold water is available. As far as possible camp sites are chosen near to water sources, however this is not always feasible. A water supply is carried when sources are limited, but this is mostly required for cooking and drinking purposes, so bathing may not be possible. Toilet facilities will normally be squat toilets, however fixed structures are unlikely to exist in remote trekking areas, therefore toilets will be ‘au naturelle’. Please observe our tips on responsible trekking and ensure that you bury and burn any waste, or carry it away with you.

Note re upgrading accommodation – should you wish to upgrade your trip accommodation, this does not normally apply to trekking parts of an itinerary. In most itineraries there are no alternatives to camping or the village gite that we specify in the itinerary. Should there be the possibility of an alternative, we will advise this when providing details for an upgrade request.


About Morocco

Best Seasons

At the coast the weather is tourist-friendly almost all year round, although winter can bring cool and wet conditions in the north. In the lowlands, the cooler months, from October to April, are favoured by many visitors. This time of the year is pleasantly warm (around 28°C) during the day and cool (ca. 15°C) at night.

In the higher regions winter can be cold. The ski season (in the Atlas Mountains ) usually lasts from December to March. In the high season for mountain treks (June 15 to September 15) you should book well in advance for most hiking-trips. From mid-October to May is the best time for camel-safari’s and hiking in the Saghro Mountains .


Shopping & Haggling

Haggling is often expected for tourist souvenirs, especially in the souks (markets). The shop keeper will often start with a high price which you are then expected to bargain down until you reach a fair price (“fair” being what you are both happy to accept). If the seller accepts your price it is very bad form to not go through with the sale.

Haggling should always be relaxed and can be a lot of fun – you will find most shop owners are very friendly and will probably invite you in for a cup of tea to break the ice before the haggling starts! It is a bit of a game, but you should always try to remain pleasant. If you don’t want to buy something then don’t start the process, and if an agreement is reached then proceed with the purchase. You will find some “fixed price” souvenir shops, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if they give any “discounts”!


Language

Arabic is the official language but local Berber dialects are spoken in the mountain and desert regions. French is the most commonly used second language, followed by Spanish and English.


Time

Morocco operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). In Summer Morocco will operate on daylight saving time (GMT+1) from the last weekend in April until the last weekend in October, except during the month of Ramadan.
If Ramadan falls between May and October then at the start of Ramadan the clocks will change back to standard GMT and the end of Ramadan the Summer Daylight Saving time will be resumed.


Money

The Dirham is the national currency. Cash and travellers cheques can be changed in each of the many banks in Morocco . You will also find ATM’s in all major towns. Credit cards can be used in some larger shops and hotels, however most places prefer payment in local currency.

You can only obtain Dirhams in Morocco and they should not be taken out of the country. There are cash dispensers and exchange counters in the arrival hall at airports, however please note that the exchange counters here do not normally accept traveller’s cheques. You will need to change remaining Dirhams back to original currency at an exchange counter in the check-in area of the airport, before passing through passport control.


Safety

Safety during your stay

In principle Morocco is not an unsafe country, but we do advise you to always carry your money and valuables with you. Never leave anything valuable in the hotel room, unless there is a safe. Even if you go for breakfast, don’t leave your purse with money in the hotel room.

If a part of your trip is with a car and driver, then also take your purse with you when you get out of the car. The driver can not be held responsible for possible theft. At busy places, like the souk, you have to be aware of pickpockets and we advise to carry your bag in front of you, or to carry your money in a money belt under your clothes.

Don’t leave anything unattended at the beach when you go for a swim, or at a table in a cafe or restaurant. If you travel with a rental car, don’t take any hitch hikers, not even when they’re pretending that their car broke down. It could be a trick to take you to a shop with carpets etc.


Police

When there are Police control points you are obliged to stop. If you don’t stop, you can expect a heavy fine. The fines are often higher in Morocco than in Europe and the UK. For example, if you don’t completely stop at a stop sign or red light, you can expect a fine of around 80 Euro. Children under 10 years must not sit in the front of a car, even if they have a child seat.
It is mandatory to fasten seatbelts. There are also many radar controls which check for speeding. Don’t think: we are in Africa they don’t have radar systems here. When you are pulled over, this can take a lot of time. So watch your maximum speed.

  • City centre 40 km/h
  • Roads going through the built-up area 60 km/h
  • Roads outside the built-up area 80 – 100 km/h
  • Toll roads/auto route 120 km/h

Parking

Wherever you park your car, there is always somebody who will watch it for you. They often also ask you if you’d like to have your car washed. When you’ve parked your car for a short time you pay a few dirhams (usually 2 or 3dhs). When it’s for a whole day or for the night, you pay the guard between 10 and 20 dirham. Car washing is extra.

Note: In many cities they are now installing ticket machines for pay-parking. These areas are designated with blue dotted lines. There will be a ticket machine nearby. You need to purchase a ticket (costs about 2dh for one hour) and place it on the car dashboard where it can be easily seen through the windscreen. If you don’t have a valid ticket the car can be clamped and you would then pay a fine to have it released (plus it can take some time to find the person to get you out!). If you are parking overnight in the city areas, always check with your hotel about the best place to park the car.


Driving Style

Driving in Morocco is not comparable with Europe. Take your time and be alert when driving. Do not feel rushed by other drivers around you – at traffic lights, even before the light is on green the car behind you will beep the horn to make a sign you have to start moving. In general drivers are not aggressive. But you have to pay attention to trucks and taxis, who will act like they own the roads.

Be aware of bicycles and mopeds, particularly in cities where they are abundant, as they will zip around between cars and can be difficult to see sometimes. When you are driving behind a taxi be aware that it can stop any time for a customer, and sometimes they stop without giving a signal.

Do not rely on other drivers using their lights correctly, or even having lights that work – you will notice in the evenings; the brake lights are often broken and people do not use their turning signals. Try to avoid driving long distances at night, it’s very tiring.  It’s also hard to find your hotel at night, because not everything is well lit or it’s badly indicated.


Requirements

Trek equipment and Luggage requirements

All equipment and luggage is carried on mules/camels, however there is a limit to the amount of luggage that should be taken on a trek. Personal luggage to be carried on the trek should be limited to 12kg per person . You should bring a durable soft duffle bag or frameless backpack for your luggage – hard suitcases and framed bags are not suitable for loading on mules/camels. Any luggage not required during the trek can usually be left in storage at your hotel from where you started. You should come prepared with an extra bag for this.

We provide all camping and cooking equipment required during the trek, with the exception of sleeping bags. We recommend you bring a 3 to 4 season sleeping bag, depending on the time of year you are trekking. A sleeping sheet (lightweight insert for your sleeping bag) is always a useful addition as it can be used separately when hot, or can help add insulation when cold.

We provide simple foam mattresses for the tents. Should you prefer extra comfort, you should bring your own sleeping mat/trek mattress. Please ensure that it can be packed well and reasonably small for transporting on the mules/camels.

Our treks usually follow mule paths or tracks. However footing can often be treacherous, with loose shale rocks or sand. We recommend you bring good hiking boots with ankle support. You should ensure they are well broken in before coming on your trip to reduce the possibility of blisters or walking problems. If you prefer, you may also like to bring a walking pole to assist you on difficult paths.

Morocco is a muslim country, and as such dress should be fairly modest. We recommend you wear long or three-quarter length trousers (as opposed to shorts) during your trek and cover your shoulders, especially when visiting villages. Items such as a large scarf or sarong can be useful for covering up, or protection from the elements.

There are a number of other items that we recommend you bring for your trekking trip:

  • Daypack for carrying camera, water, sweater and other personal items you might need each day whilst trekking
  • Small travel towel
  • Water bottle and carrier
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Fleece/sweater
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Toilet paper and matches/lighter for burning it (can buy these locally on arrival)
  • Hat, sunglasses, lip balm and high factor sunscreen for protection
  • Sandals or lightweight shoes for use around camp
  • Personal medical kit
  • Spare film and batteries for cameras
  • Book or other items you might want for relaxing time

Visa & Passports

For all visitors a passport is required which should be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in Morocco . Citizens of the UK , EU , US , Canada , Australia and New Zealand obtain a 3-month visa for free upon arrival. These three-month visitor’s stamps can be extended by the Immigration Office or at the Bureau des Étrangers in most large towns. Other nationalities should check with their local Moroccan Embassy or Consulate for visa requirements, as you may need to obtain a visa in advance.


Electricity

220V, 50Hz is standard, but in some older buildings you may find 110-125V sockets. Power outlets are round two-pin European style.


Clothing in general

Morocco is a muslim country, and as such your dress should be modest. This is particularly so in rural village areas. The clothes you will need depend on the time of year and the area you visit. In summertime it is hot in all parts of Morocco , except at the Atlantic coast. We advise light cotton clothing. In winter, and at higher elevations in all seasons, you will need a sweater/fleece and a light waterproof jacket. Clothes can be bought in bigger cities, but hiking boots and fleece sweaters are not available. These should be part of your luggage.


What should I bring?

All equipment and luggage is carried on mules/camels, however there is a limit to the amount of luggage that should be taken on a trek. Personal luggage to be carried on the trek should be limited to 12kg per person . You should bring a durable soft duffle bag or frameless backpack for your luggage – hard suitcases and framed bags are not suitable for loading on mules/camels. Any luggage not required during the trek can usually be left in storage at your hotel from where you started. You should come prepared with an extra bag for this.

We provide all camping and cooking equipment required during the trek, with the exception of sleeping bags. We recommend you bring a 3 to 4 season sleeping bag, depending on the time of year you are trekking. A sleeping sheet (lightweight insert for your sleeping bag) is always a useful addition as it can be used separately when hot, or can help add insulation when cold.

We provide simple foam mattresses for the tents. Should you prefer extra comfort, you should bring your own sleeping mat/trek mattress. Please ensure that it can be packed well and reasonably small for transporting on the mules/camels.

Our treks usually follow mule paths or tracks. However footing can often be treacherous, with loose shale rocks or sand. We recommend you bring good hiking boots with ankle support. You should ensure they are well broken in before coming on your trip to reduce the possibility of blisters or walking problems. If you prefer, you may also like to bring a walking pole to assist you on difficult paths.

Morocco is a muslim country, and as such dress should be fairly modest. We recommend you wear long or three-quarter length trousers (as opposed to shorts) during your trek and cover your shoulders, especially when visiting villages. Items such as a large scarf or sarong can be useful for covering up, or protection from the elements.

There are a number of other items that we recommend you bring for your trekking trip:

  • Daypack for carrying camera, water, sweater and other personal items you might need each day whilst trekking
  • Small travel towel
  • Water bottle and carrier
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Fleece/sweater
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Toilet paper and matches/lighter for burning it (can buy these locally on arrival)
  • Hat, sunglasses, lip balm and high factor sunscreen for protection
  • Sandals or lightweight shoes for use around camp
  • Personal medical kit
  • Spare film and batteries for cameras
  • Book or other items you might want for relaxing time

Health

Trek Health

To help stay healthy during your trek you should ensure you drink plenty of water at all times, even when the temperatures are cooler. Use high factor sunscreen, lip balm and wear a hat to protect against the sun, even when overcast. When cold wear a head covering and gloves to reduce loss of body heat.

Always maintain personal hygiene and use disinfectant for your hands, especially after toilet and before eating. We recommend you bring some disinfectant/antibacterial hand gel which can be used even when there is no water supply.

Water for bathing during a trek may be limited, so we recommend you bring wet wipes/moist tissues (must be disposed of correctly).

There may be a limit to the amount of bottled drinking water that can be carried during the trek. In this case, water may have to be drawn from local wells. This water should not be considered drinkable unless boiled or treated. You should bring water purifying tablets or iodine with you, as these are not readily available in Morocco . We recommend you also bring your own sturdy water bottle (and insulated carrier bag) so you can treat your own water easily.

You should bring your own personal medical supplies, including rehydration salts, blister kit, supply of plasters, pain killers, anti-diarrhoea medication, sunscreen, insect repellent, necessary medicines, etc.

Should you encounter any problems, please make sure you let your trek guide know.


General

What is an adventure tour?

An adventure tour is a type of tour which involves exploration and some physical effort. Our adventure tours generally include activities such as Trekking, Hiking or Biking.


How long have you been in business?

Orion Trek Voyages was established back in 1998. Privately owned and headquartered in Agadir, we have over 17 years of professional experience in the tourism industry and have been experiencing continuous growth since day one.


Food & Beverages

Beverages

It is advisable to drink bottled water throughout your stay or to use water purification tablets while you are hiking or making a camel-safari. Altho Morocco is a Muslim country they are not to strict on alcohol consumption in the larger hotels, bars and clubs.


Food

Moroccan food is a mix from the French, African and Arab kitchens. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are used in Moroccan cooking. An important dish is the tagine, named after the clay pot in which a stew of potatoes, vegetables and meat or fish, seasoned with a mix of particular herbs and spices is cooked over a fire. Couscous is a world-famous Moroccan dish: a granola of wheat and barley served with a tasty sauce and topped with sliced vegetables. The meat is hidden under the granola as the best part to be kept for the end. Meat is often the main base of all cooking, therefore vegetarians or people with special dietary requirements may find their food choices limited.

All meals are provided during the trek, as stated in the itinerary. Water and soft drinks are at your own expense. Meals are prepared by our trek support team, but if you would like to lend a hand, you will be more than welcome! Food is bought locally and the choice of food and availability of fresh items depends on the season. Breakfast is usually a simple affair of bread, jam, tea/coffee. Lunches normally consist of salads, occasionally with eggs or tinned fish. Dinners are normally traditional Berber-style meals of soup and tagine. Biscuits and trail-mix are supplied while walking, and of course plenty of mint tea! You may also like to bring your own snacks especially energy bars, chocolate, sweets and dried fruits.

Please note that meat is often the main feature of a meal and can be found in many dishes, even if only as stock. Therefore, if you are a strict vegetarian you may experience a distinct lack of variety in the food available. Meat is usually substituted with eggs, cheese or lentils. Separate vegetarian meals can be prepared. Whilst we will do our best to accommodate special requests, all food is bought locally and variety may be limited, so your patience and understanding is requested. If you have special dietary needs, you should come prepared with your own food/ snacks as supplements. You may like to even bring your own vegetarian stock cubes for soup preparation. You must advise us at the time of booking if you have special dietary requirements.

 


Trek Grades

A-Easy

Previous trekking experience not necessary. Suitable for those in good health who lead an active life. Usually shorter duration treks at lower altitudes. Expect occasional ascents and descents with some exertion. Walking generally 4 to 5 hours per day.


B-Moderate

You need to be in good health, reasonably fit and normally be undertaking regular exercise. Previous hill walking experience recommended. May include some walking at higher altitudes. Harder short-duration trek or medium duration treks, which may include a longer or more difficult day for a pass crossing. Walking generally 5 to 7 hrs per day.


C-Strenuous

Previous trekking experience not necessary. Suitable for those in good health who lead an active life. Usually shorter duration treks at lower altitudes. Expect occasional ascents and descents with some exertion. Walking generally 4 to 5 hours per day.


D-Hard

You must be fit and have some previous trekking experience, preferably at high altitudes. You must be confident of your physical condition and be able to cope with long, continuous trekking days, often on difficult terrain. Extremes of high altitude and weather may be encountered. Walking from 6 to 9 hrs per day, occasionally more for difficult sections.


Terms and Booking conditions

Booking Procedure

• If you would like to proceed with this arrangement, we will send you a booking form for you to complete with details of your program and passengers to travel.

• Completion and return of this booking form is an indication of your acceptance of the chosen holiday and price, and an indication that you understand and accept the booking and cancellation conditions. Once you have returned this booking form, we will proceed with the reservations and issue you an invoice.


Payment

• We require payment of a deposit of 25% of the total invoice value, within two weeks of the date of issue of the invoice. The balance is then due 6 weeks before your arrival.

• If your booking has been made within 6 weeks of your arrival, full payment is required.

• If you do not pay any outstanding amount of your holiday cost at least 6 weeks prior to arrival, Orion Trek Voyages (“the Company”) shall be entitled to cancel your booking and forfeit your deposit.

• Payment can be made by international bank transfer to the account as indicted on the invoice. Each party must pay their own bank charges on the transfer.

• Once final payment is received we will issue you with vouchers for all services, and any further details and documentation required for your holiday.


Cancellation Conditions

• Any cancellation must be made in writing to the Company. Cancellation charges will be applied as shown below, calculated from the day written notification is received by the Company.

Period before arrival: Cancellation charge, as percentage of total invoice:
42 days or more 25% of total cost (i.e. loss of deposit)
41 days to 29 days 50% of total cost
28 days to 14 days 75% of total cost
13 days or less, or no show 100% of total cost

• If you notify cancellation of your booking more than 6 weeks before departure the Company will not refund your deposit. However, you may transfer your booking to an alternative arrival date, provided you confirm the new arrival date within 2 weeks of your notice of cancellation, and subject to the payment of a transfer fee of 25 Euro and any additional costs involved.

• In the event that through no fault of its own the Company is forced to cancel or make any major alteration to your holiday, we will notify you in writing of that fact as soon as we can and either give you a full refund if you wish, or subject to availability offer you the chance to transfer (without fee) to an alternative date or itinerary, but you must pay any extra cost involved in so doing.

If you have taken out travel insurance you may be able to recover the above charges if the reason, backed by official documentation, falls within the parameters of the insurance policy. It is your responsibility to check details and conditions of any travel insurance policy you purchase for your holiday.


Insurance

• We recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover you in the event of cancellation or curtailment, any medical expenses arising from illness or accident prior to or during the holiday including evacuation or repatriation in an emergency, and loss or damage to personal belongings.

• You should ensure that your travel insurance covers you for any activities specified in the itinerary, and if necessary you should take out extra cover for those activities considered by your insurance company to be of high risk and which may not be covered in a standard policy. You are wholly responsible for arranging your own travel insurance.

• The Company shall be entitled to request proof of travel insurance prior to or on your arrival in Morocco.

• The Company is not responsible for any liabilities that may arise due to your failure to take out an adequate insurance policy for your chosen itinerary.


Documentation

• It is your responsibility to ensure that your passport and any required visas are in order and valid for travel in Morocco for your booked holiday.

• The Company is not responsible for any delays, cancellations or liabilities that may arise due to your failure to ensure that your documentation is in order prior to your arrival in Morocco.


Do I sign a waiver?

For some activities like self drive quad biking you need to sign a separate waiver. This will always be indicated before the activity takes place.