Is Morocco Safe To Trek?
It is a question we do get asked and one worthy of delving deeper.
My immediate answer is that Morocco is currently safer than the UK, according to the UK authorities.
MI5 is the UK’s Security Service and they report the current threat level to the UK as ‘SEVERE’ whereas Morocco’s is lower than that.
Many reading this will still not be convinced! It is subjective and perception being a wonderful thing, most will make their own minds up from what they read and see on the news outlets. And that generally paints a negative picture.
Let me give you the quickest of examples. Does the Manchester concert bomb incident make the entire UK unsafe? No. Then why does any single incident in Morocco or an incident involving a person born in Morocco make that country unsafe?
The UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s Travel Advice is the place to go to check on such things as it provides information on the terrorism threat, Entry Requirements, etc… for countries world wide. Given the nature of such information, it is going to appear negative; it will never say it’s safe!
Morocco is a Muslim country and it has been attacked by terrorism, the last incident being in Marrakech (Apr 2011)). That’s about where most people’s research ends. The current advice (dated 16 Oct 2017) on the FCO website is ‘Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Morocco. You should be vigilant at all times.’ The key words in there are ‘very likely‘ as opposed to ‘highly likely‘, (see below). FCO advice for Morocco>>
London has been targeted many more times since and so has Manchester.
What the threat levels mean:
Threat levels are designed to give a broad indication of the likelihood of a terrorist attack.
- LOW means an attack is unlikely.
- MODERATE means an attack is possible, but not likely
- SUBSTANTIAL means an attack is a strong possibility
- SEVERE means an attack is highly likely
- CRITICAL means an attack is expected imminently
Read more on MI5’s threat levels>>
Reading those levels above, Morocco’s ‘very likely‘ falls into the SUBSTANTIAL category and therefore lower than the UK’s SEVERE.
Still not convinced?
Like it or not, we do live in a world faced with global terrorism on a daily basis. It is your personal choice of where you choose to travel to and if you feel safe but I would put it to you that the chances of experiencing any incident in the Moroccan mountains or Sahara is extremely LOW.
We Do Not Rely Solely On The FCO – We Still Take Practical Measures
An attack on a specific point in any given city is not an attack on the whole city. We are practical people and take common sense measures should something happen in Morocco whilst our clients are there:
- If an incident occurred within Marrakech, clearly we avoid the area affected and if required, we move out of the hotel and drive out of the city to a safer place. That said, it is likely to be safe there given that lots of Police would be there post incident.
- If our local colleagues in Marrakech considered it unsafe to stay in the city on the return, we simply remain outside of the city and when the time came, drive straight to the airport for your departure.
Such is the remoteness of the Sahara (and indeed parts of the mountains), it is unlikely that you would even be aware of an incident let alone the details! The threat of an incident on trek is extremely low; what on earth would a terrorist be doing out there!
The chances of being involved in a terrorist incident
are 27 times lower than being involved
in a car accident!
We know our lives are short – it’s time to live