Yes, Morocco is one of the safer countries in the world to visit. Like travelling anywhere, you need to stay aware of your surroundings. Larger cities in Morocco as in most places suffer from petty theft. There have been complaints of overly-insistent vendors in Marrakesh’s Medina. You may experience harassment as a woman. But for the most part, Moroccans are very friendly and hospitable.
As I like to say, “it’s hot as balls!” Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable and varied. Mornings are often cooler, but you’ll be shedding those layers soon enough. Temperatures can reach beyond 30 degrees Celcius in the heat of the sun, both in the desert and the mountains. Nights are cool, between -2 degrees and 5 degrees. It may not rain the entire time you’re in Morocco. Or, we could experience a storm that passes through and lasts less than an hour.
Morocco uses the Moroccan Dirham. You will most likely be unable to source this currency in advance of your trip. The country has ample bank machines available, or you can change your home currency into Dirham at the Marrakech airport. We will work with you to ensure you bring ample cash for incidentals and for the tipping ceremony on our last day.
In addition to the above requirements, you may need either an Antigen or PCR test in order to board your flight home. We will ensure arrangements are made in advance to accommodate this testing. Expect a cost of approximately 500 Moroccan dirham, with results ready in as little as three hours. As of winter 2021/2022, Morocco itself has a firm mask mandate in all the larger centres. Rurally, and in the wild, COVID-19 is not prevalent. All our guides, porters and muleteers are required to be vaccinated in order to partner with She Walks the Walk.
Currently, you must be considered “vaccinated” against COVID-19 to enter Morocco, in addition to providing a negative PCR test at least 48 hours before the date of entry to Moroccan territory. As entrance policies can change quickly, it is your responsibility to ensure an accurate understanding of entrance requirements. We can help if you’re stuck. It is recommended that travellers be up to date with their hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, and other routine vaccinations. We recommend you consult a travel clinic for your government’s latest recommendations.
Yes and no. But this is a good thing! As mentioned earlier, we will equip you with a prepaid SIM card to remove the headache of high cell phone bills and take one less thing off your To Do list. In the mountains, coverage is spotty at best. During our second week of the journey, you will likely have access to a signal every other day. We encourage you to download WhatsApp as your primary method of communication for the peeps back home.
Ah! The million dollar question! We suggest purchasing a reliable charging bank, and be sure to bring it in your carry-on luggage (airlines have restrictions with lithium batteries). Charging should not be a concern for the first half of our journey. During the second week, you will rely heavily on your battery pack for reserve “juice.” We will also have ample additional to share by way of our solar powered charging bank.
Jet lag is serious business. We recommend building in an extra day at the start of your G’WA to give your body and mind the chance to adjust to the new time zone. If it’s not possible to arrive early, rest assured! You would not be the first to bumble through a day or two of adjustments.
Your daypack should not weigh more than 10% of your body weight AT MOST. Bear in mind that every litre of water weighs 2.2lbs, and you will be carrying a minimum of 2Ls/water at a time. You are welcome to bring your favourite snacks with you, and don’t forget sunscreen, your rain gear and any photography equipment you wish to carry. Your expedition duffel bag should not weigh more than 45lbs. This is both for your own sake when checking in at the airport, and the sake of the mules!
During the first part of our adventure, you will enjoy a wide range of accommodation and have access to a shower each night. During the second week, however, you will experience the thrill of bathing in the wild! (Should you choose.) We will also provide you with a warm-water wash basin each morning and night for you to take care of any “spot cleaning”.
Your meals will be cooked fresh morning, noon, and night. The food in Morocco is exceptional – and healthy! You will enjoy an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables along with freshly baked Moroccan breads, tagines (think the most aromatic stew you’ve ever tasted!), couscous dishes, and soups. Breakfasts are typically cheese and/or jams with breads, coffee, tea, and juice. Snacks like dates and nuts are provided mid-morning. Lunch usually consists of a large salad followed by pasta and fruit for dessert. Dinners are more elaborate affairs with a soup to start, and a main course of a tagine (potatoes, beans, couscous, chicken). We will accommodate most dietary restrictions. Protein is widely available though not always as meat. During the urban portions of the trek, the cuisine opens up to include an array of Morocco’s other culinary delights.
It is recommended you do not drink the tap water in Morocco. During the “wild” portion of our G’WAs, you will rely on your water purification system to ensure the water provided is safe for drinking. You will not be responsible for finding your water. But you are responsible for ensuring you have adequate purification tablets and/or a filtration system you can count on. Purchasing bottled water is available in all the smaller villages, but it is not advisable due to the damage plastics cause the environment. Admittedly, I was a bit stressed about having to purify my water at the onset of my adventure. I quickly became a PRO and did not have any gastrointestinal problems throughout the entire 30 days.
English will be the primary language spoken during our G’WA. However, my partner Julie is fluent in Spanish, French, and Arabic, while I’m fluent in French and German. French is widely spoken throughout the country. But in the remote areas (where we will be!), the language of choice to communicate with the locals is Berber. We will equip you with the basics in advance by way of a “cheat sheet”. Some of your most magical moments will be spent in the Mess Tent, kibitzing with the young Muleteers and our cook. We encourage you to try out strange-sounding words and bring your sense of humour!
Our G’WAs are a “go” with a minimum participation of 2 clients and a maximum number of 10. The expedition itself is supported by myself and my partner Julie, along with an ensemble of 3-4 additional team members (our cook, our muleteers, and our guide).
My vision for these Global Walking Adventures (G’WAs) was not to attract elite athletes or hard-core adventure types. If you’re looking for something like that, we are not the company for you. The vision for She Walks the Walk is to design and lead a pilgrimage-type adventure that stirs the senses, awakens the dormant spirit and challenges your body in a reasonable way. Are you comfortable walking for 4-6 hours per day over varying terrain? Or is your lifestyle currently sedentary? There is no question that some level of cardiovascular fitness will enhance your comfort during the G’WA experience. Prior trekking/mountaineering experience is unnecessary. The ascent of M’Goun is not technical, though you should expect some steep sections along rocky terrain. Bottom line: we would not want you to deny yourself this incredible inner/outer journey just because you think you’re out of shape. We will provide you with a suggested Preparation Guide in advance, so that you can arrive with a sense of confidence. And, you can always Contact Me with any questions you have.
Our clients are women typically between the ages of 35-55. They are likely mid-career, and often, are facing a crossroads of wanting significant change in their lives. They may not have ever been to altitude before. But they love the outdoors and have a spirited outlook on life they’d like to invigorate.
They are possibly at the end of their ropes—exhausted from running that societal treadmill day-in and day-out. Above all, they are united in their humble desire to know themselves better. They are ready to put themselves on the bloody list!
Our G’WAs are for you if you are adventurous, open-minded, flexible, interested in connection and community, able to tolerate some degree of “roughing it” with ample opportunities to enjoy boutique cultural luxury along the way.
Ahh, this famous question. I understand, as I am the turtle! Do not be concerned with your pacing or speed. Everyone moves at their own rhythm. Sufficient rest stops and breaks are built into our program, not to mention the path will be easily identifiable. We will leave no soldier behind! And this is not a race. In fact, the entire point of the G’WA is to slow down, take note of the varying landscape, to breathe in the fresh air, and to turn inward. There is no hurrying required. Chances are, I will be the one bringing up the rear!
Evacuation from the Middle of Nowhere is a real possibility you should consider. We do not take this risk lightly, which is why all G’WA participants are required to carry Emergency Travel Insurance. Given the altitude and the physicality of the adventure, you will want to purchase coverage that does not exclude trekking over 3,000 metres (10,000 feet). We can assist you to ensure you purchase appropriate and reliable protection, just in case. This is Sam’s area of expertise, and while we don’t anticipate any issues, this insurance is a hard requirement.
Morocco’s culture embraces the idea of “no problem is too big”. Our adventure has been designed with varying exit points to allow for safe and convenient re-entry to Marrakech should you find you need to leave the G’WA for unexpected reasons.
Having a burning question to explore, or wanting to reflect on parts of yourself you may have ignored for decades is not a precursor to enjoying a Global Walking Adventure (G’WA) with She Walks the Walk. If you just want to get out of Dodge and experience the thrill of a new challenge, the warmth of a different culture, and the camaraderie of like-minded women, you’re also in the right place. (Though we find that personal growth is an inevitable part of the program whenever we place ourselves outside our comfort zones…) You are not required to participate in the meditation. You do not have to journal. You don’t even have to share with the group. In the end, though, you just might want to!
No. All G’WA participants will enjoy their own private tent during the bivouac portions of the expedition. Any accommodation in riads, gites or hotels will be shared with one other person, unless the Single Supplement option is elected.