Some experiences are thought to create psychological and physiological arousal by an exciting, unusual, bold, risky and uncertain undertaking termed adventure. It is a major pursuit of it in itself. An adventurer or adventuress is the one who believes in the existence of fun from risks in life; be it physical, financial or psychological for the recreation with excitement endured in the process. Travelling can be the most satisfying adventure involving exploration and tourism to remote, exotic as well as hostile areas by stepping out of one’s own comfort zone.
Struck by Lonely Planet or Travelogues, Africa is place of deprivations but not when it comes to adventurous explorations. With every turn of the head, there is something new and exciting to venture out into being one of the many authentic destinations. It’s second to Egypt as a North African holiday destination.
It is a constitutional monarchy located in the North Africa. The political capital of the country is “Rabat” with “Casablanca” being the largest city. It has always been known for its Islamic liberalism and openness towards the Western world. Morocco is a diverse place with culture and geography. Languages spoken here are Darija (Moroccan Arabic), French and Berber. Same way Moroccan literature is written in Arabic, Berber and French. Rock-influenced chaabi bands are widespread with trance music with historical origins in Muslim Sufi music.
The landscapes are a wild mix up of mountainous regions, calm coastal enclaves and barren deserts. Morocco borders Algeria to the east, Spain (through the Straits of Gibraltar) to the north and Mauritania with the Western Sahara to south. There is miserable climatic variation in the country. In the north, around Tangiers and the Rif Mountains; sunny and dry summers run from May to September. South experiences desert climate with very little rain, soaring temperatures during the day and sharp drops to cooler temperatures at night. During rainy season, The Atlantic coast receives rain and during winters, the High Atlas Mountains are blessed with snow.
There are frequent flights from most major European cities to Morocco and an option of overland travel through Europe via the Straits of Gibraltar. The infrastructure in Morocco is good with well serviced roads and public transport in the North as well as Central regions but further south the roads get narrower plus bumpier. The major cities of Morocco are Marrakech, Fès, Tangier, Casablanca and Rabat. Notable fact is that Morocco is the starting point for travelling all across Africa.
The country is divided into three natural regions. The fertile northern coastal plain along the Mediterranean contains Er Rif; the rich plateaus and lowlands lying between the Atlas Mountains. It extends in three parallel ranges from the Atlantic coast in the southwest to Algeria and the Mediterranean in the northeast. The semiarid area in southern and eastern Morocco merges into the Sahara Desert. Morocco has the most extensive river system in North Africa with most of the rivers flowing towards the Atlantic or Sahara. The Moulouya is an exception and flows to the Mediterranean. Principal rivers of the country are Oumer River, Sebou, Bou Regreg, Tensift, Draa, Sous, Ziz and Gheris. Its 1800 kilometers of coastline offers exhilarating waterborne and wind loving activities in this region. Seaside entertainments include surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing, Trekking, rafting, mountain biking, off-road driving are inland sources to boost up the adrenaline.
The best time to visit the place is the autumn as it marks the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan. Though the accommodation prices hike, it is the time to dive into the winding streets of the Fès medina or even snag you a wife at Imilchil’s Berber Marriage festival. The warm days and cool nights of autumn offer a great deal with nature in Morocco. The High Atlas Mountains, the Anti-Atlas Mountains with volcanic Mt. Siroua, Mountain Jebel Toubkal (North Africa’s highest peak), Rif Mountains in the north and the gorgeous Ameln Valley hold the major attraction for trekking destinations. Set beneath the peaks of the Rif Mountains with red-tiled roofs, bright blue buildings, and narrow lanes converging on a delightful square; “Chefchaouen” is one of the prettiest towns in Morocco. Avoid visiting the place in August due to the immense heat it tolerates at that time and the holy month of Ramadan when most of the restaurants will be shut during the day.
The currency utilized here is Dirham (Dh) with 8.15 Dirham equal to 1 US Dollar. The common phrases of communication with the Moroccans whose most cherished possession is their dignity are Ssalamu’lekum (hello, literally peace be upon you); Shukran Bezzef (thank you very much) and Insh’allah (God willing). Handshakes are the customary greeting between individuals but are somewhat weak according to western standards.
The people of Morocco are well-known for their warmth, hospitality and inhibition. It is very common to be showered with invitations for coffee or tea throughout one’s stay. The cuisine of Morocco is rated among the best in the world and falls into two specific categories. The first category requires intensive supervision and the host do not participate in the preparations. No women are present and the male host merely oversees the banquet with his sons and servants. Men squat on mattresses or pillows around low and beautifully laid tables. A silver ewer of perfumed water is taken around and poured over three fingers of the right hand of each guest. The host claps his hands to begin the meal. One course after another and each delicacy is served until Chban (complete satiation) is achieved. To finish the Savor, silver ewer filled with warm water is presented to clean the mouth, lips and hands.
The meal is considered as a feast for the Gods which begins and ends with Bismillah (God’s blessing). In the second category of cookery, the dishes are prepared with love and care by the mistresses of the homes (Dadas). She spends hours with her glazed earthenware with copper cooking dishes, her kanoun (the movable clay brazier) and the charcoal to perfume the kebabs which allows the sauces to simmer under its heat. A folded carpet serves as a seat. The Dada is dressed in a long colorful robe with the scents of coriander, cumin, saffron, marjoram and onion mingling with the pungency of olive oil as well as the sweetness of sandalwood, mint plus roses to delight the senses. The dinner starts with Bstilla, followed by the typical brochette or kebab flavored with bits of beef or lamb fat. Next comes the Tajine (chicken or meat in a spicy stew which has been simmered for many hours) served with a flat homemade bread called Khubz. In Morocco, as in most Arab lands; every household makes its own bread. After the Tajine, a Batinjaan Zalud (eggplant salad or chopped tomato salad) is served as a separate course. After this, Couscous Marrakesh, the marvelous Moroccan national dish made of semolina with each grain separate from the other is served. The dinner is completed with slices or wedges of peeled melon La Morocaine pastries made with honey and almond land finally a small glass of mint tea. The following dinner is a very much simplified version but it is delicious gives the “feel” of Morocco.
To know the high risk associated with the trip and avoidance to death, check the latest travel news and advisories with current government warnings if you are heading to the area for the history of explosions. Travelling to the Western Sahara region of Morocco is not advised due to the presence of landmines. Though amidst all the fuss; Moroccan adventure caravan tour, North morocco plus Fez Escape tour, Moroccan adventure holiday and self drive tours to the southern coast of Morocco can be a boon to an adventurous mind. Morocco is enlightened with such undoubtedly splendid pride and vastness available in resources to fulfill the lavish hunger for adventure, food and life. It can surely be an obsession that would make one smile with an inspiration to give.