Magical Morocco: The Beginning…

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‘Would you want to go to Morocco?’ – These were the words that marked the beginning of an epic 16-day adventure across several cities in Morocco.

I can’t remember the exact moment this country popped into my wanderlust dreams. Perhaps it was when Mofe of Naija Nomads talked about her visit during one of our video sessions for ‘Through Our Eyes‘ but when Mark asked if I wanted to go, my answer was a resounding ‘YES!’

The result of this was 16 truly magical days, navigating the maze of vibrant squares and bustling medinas, watching beautiful sunrises and sunsets over deserts and oceans. Driving through winding roads with views of snow capped mountains and having so many beautiful and unique experiences.

Planning the Trip

Of course, the first step was planning the trip. Now, I know how planning a trip with avid travelers can be. Everyone has an idea of what experiences they are looking forward to and sometimes, managing these expectations can be difficult. So I was a bit nervous at first for this phase. But I had already sort of travelled with Mark twice before, so I knew I had nothing to worry about.

We decided on the dates we wanted to visit and had about six months to plan everything out. During that time, we worked on different versions of itineraries based on what was important to us. We also weighed the pros and cons of having a fixed itinerary, booking our accommodations and bus/train tickets in advance versus winging the trip and booking things as we go.

Since we were both not keen on staying in particular riads, (we actually planned on Couchsurfing for the most part), we leaned towards the latter option.

In the end, rather than having a concrete itinerary, we came up with four key activities we were interested in; spending New Year’s Day in Marrakech, camping in the dunes of the Sahara Desert, visiting Chefchaouen for the photo op for its vibrant culture and climbing Mount Toubkal.

It wasn’t possible to fit in all four within our time frame so we narrowed down to three and Chefchaouen made the cut! (Feyi’s trip and photos were the trigger!)

Chefchaouen

PS: It makes sense to book in advance for the popular riads or hotels as they get sold out quickly. But if you want to book places just before you have to travel, you’ll still be fine as platforms like Booking.com or Airbnb have an overwhelming amount of options to choose from. Many of which allow travellers change dates without cost.

Getting a Visa to Morocco and Flight Details

Nigerian passport holders need a visa to visit Morocco. Luckily, this isn’t so difficult to get. I used the services of Globe Jaunters to get mine. It was the most cost effective and convenient option for me and they delivered in record time. For my flight, I flew directly into Casablanca with Royal Air Maroc. The onward 4hour flight into Casablanca was not very pleasant (in terms of in flight services) but my return flight with the same airline was splendid.

I’ll share our final itinerary and what we got up to in the next few posts. Hopefully, it can inspire you to plan your trip and visit too!

Have you ever been to Morocco or is it now on your travel list? Let me know in the comment section below!

Other article in this series:

Marrakech

Sand & Snow!

Here’s Looking at You, Kid!

Photo Credit: Mark Huelsenbeck

43 Comments

  1. Amarachi, these pictures are so lovely! You have to get me with you next time! I want to go Morocco! Please take me!!!

  2. Hi Amarachi,

    First time on your blog. Got your details from Ufuoma Oghene. I came primarily to read about your Morocco experience…especially Casablanca, as I am due to travel there next month.

    Really like the layout and the details within – you’ve done a good job. Can’t wait for the Moroccan follow-up. I pray you spent a few days in Casa.

    More grease and happy travels!

    • Hey Kanmi, great to have you here! I spent about a day in Casablanca and had a good time. I’m sure you will too. I didn’t get to visit that many places there though. Just the Hassan II Mosque and a few restaurants including Rick’s Cafe. I also enjoyed walking along the Corniche. Didn’t get to visit the medina and souks which you may want to check out. Would you have time to see other cities in Morocco during your visit?

      • Thanks for the tips Amarachi.
        I may dabble in a trip to Marrakesh….it’s almost unavoidable on a trip to Morocco, right? Will definitely update you on how I get on.

  3. Never been to Morocco, well transit if that counts. lool
    Now i want to visit..

  4. Wow!
    Amarachi I can’t begin to explain my excitement now.
    I have been on Morocco case for some days now because I plan to make a trip 30th March. I have done all kinds of sketch plan with respect to the cities I want to visit, accommodation cost using airbnb and booking.com transportation cost moving about the cities (Casa, Mara, ESS, Fez etc)…lol. In fact, in my mind and paper, all is set…lol. But then comes the almighty travel joy killer of most Nigerian passport holders. I got stuck here and have exchanged several mails to this effect.
    Then I just said I should check Amarachi’s site to see if there is anything about Morocco travel there and boom to my face!
    Wow! a whole 16 days? This babe shaa, I dey gbadu your style shaa……lol. Congratulations and well done!. Please I will do you a mail later.

  5. Lovely experience. Morocco is certainly a good vacation destination and it’s a lot cheaper than going to Europe and America however there is racism there against blacks, you probably didn’t experience it because you travelled with a non black person.

    A Gabonese colleague who schooled there told me how she was beaten up on the street for just being black and a lot of her black friends also experienced similar racism driven abuses.

    • That’s very worrisome. I’m sorry to hear that. I did read a few articles about racism in the country before travelling and I think I sort of braced myself for the worst. But apart from the Rasta thing, I don’t think I encountered any DIRECT form of abuse. I don’t know if it was because I had a partner who isn’t black (like you mentioned) or for some other reasons..

  6. Morocco is now ringing in my ears. I am having a problem deciding between Kenya and Morocco. Your pictures were truly magical. Hope you will time to talk about their food in your next post.

    • Hmmmmmm, Kester please let the Morocco ring louder….lol.
      I am already making my Morocco plans and it would be nice if I see people to travel with or meet up with.

    • Thanks, Dad. There’s no need to decide, just go to both countries! 😛
      Yes, I’ll probably make a separate post about what we ate there…

  7. Your pictures are amazing!!! Thank you in advance for an amazing Easter trip,love you 😘😘

  8. Kevin Olumese

    Sounds crazy, but Morocco looks like so much fun after these pictures. Thankfully your post has given me all the info on how to make this dream come true. I’m definitely sold.

  9. Love this particular blog post. Love the pictures. Please when next are you planning another trip. Within Nigeria or Ghana, Cape Coast. I’m interested please. I need details. Thanks. Following your handle on Twitter. MsSpice007

    • Thank you, Tina. I don’t have any concrete plans at the moment. I’m more inclined to travel with Unravelling Nigeria (for trips with the country). Ghana, I’m not sure of but there are a couple of tours going there during Easter. Maybe you want to check up on those? You can send me an email and I’ll send you details.

  10. I don’t like you too much. I want to live in a riad. It looks so dreamy.

    Glad you had fun. Can’t wait to visit.

    LOOL, I like how I’m just keeping all these countries for when I damn everything and travel for a year.

  11. Its always a delight reading your travel stories. Been looking forward to this since I saw pics on IG.

  12. When I saw the pic with the blue walls (I hope they are blue, colour blindness is real) on IG earlier on, I had a feeling Feyi’s pics had something to do with them.

    Really lovely read, waiting for the remaining posts

    • Haha, you’re right. The walls are blue. We toyed with the idea of leaving Chefchaouen out to ‘discover’ other places off the beaten path but yes, Feyi’s trip sent us right back to that path!

      Thanks for reading and for your comment too 🙂

  13. Yas! Well done girl and I agree re the Riads. I started looking for riads for our group trip since 2nd week in December. It took me a week to finally find one that fit 16 people in marrakesh. I booked and paid for it immediately! I loved Marrakesh when I visited…in 2011, lol! But then I can’t compare it to any other city as I did not get to explore. Chefchaouen seems more hyped on the internet than marrakesh in my opinion. Thankfully I’m adding two more cities (Essaouira and El Jadida) to my Morocco hat 🎩 come Easter! Can’t wait

    • So excited for the Nomad trip to Morocco! It’s almost like I’m going with you. I think Chefchaouen is also more hyped on IG than Marrakech or any other city. Maybe because it is more recognizable? Anyway, glad to see El Jadida as one of the places you’ll be exploring. Can’t wait to read about your trip!

  14. Just got to know of your blog and I’m so elated as it makes me feel like my travel goals can be a reality. Do you only do solo traveling and where will you recommend in Africa for a first visit

    • Hi Oluwatosin, great to have you here! Do you mean to ask if I organize group tours? No, at the moment, I don’t but there are wonderful organizations who do. If you look around my blog (I listed a few of them here) or on Instagram, you’ll find operators to travel with.

      As for recommendations within Africa, West African countries, visa-free or a countries with a visa-on-arrival program are best to start with. (This isn’t to say you can’t begin with any other country) but yeah, that’s my recommendation for a first visit.

  15. (Perhaps because it’s constantly on my timeline and Discover page on Instagram) I think of Marrakech as an overhyped/ overdone destination that might be nicer to photograph than experience but I have a feeling your series of posts will help change my mind… It looks like you had a wonderful time so I look forward to reading about your experience and seeing more gorgeous photos! || http://www.lorikemi.com

    • If I’m being honest, Marrakech was my least favorite city as you’ll see in the next posts – but that might have had to do with my experience in the souks. The city has its gems, no doubt and I’m glad for the 2 days spent there – which was just enough time!

  16. I’ve never been to Morroco but it’s definitely on my wanderlust list. With the plenty pictures i’ve been seeing on Instagram.
    Lovely article, and useful tips.

  17. How many posts are yet to come on Morocco? Lets us know so we can plan our minds accordingly :). Love that you went with the flow, but 16 days, that’s a solid amount of time, I was in Marrakech for all of 3 days! bahaha! I feel like I need to re-do my Morocco trip, but in due time 🙂

    • Haha, only about two more left in the series – the first and second week diaries but I’ll also be writing about the places we visited and how people can plan their trips there as well. I’m ready to pack my bags and be your photographer when you go back. Call me!

  18. jennietobbie

    My goodness, I cannot come and die so my account has to resurrect sooner or later. Thanks for sharing your experience with us and the lovely information.

  19. It’s on my wishlist o but money never show yet 😂

  20. Even though Morocco has been all over my face since last year, not sure it is the first North African country I want to visit.

    Your pictures have inspired a need to visit, when I can’t tell for now.

    • Which country would you like to visit first? I’m certainly looking forward to reading about your trip (to Maroc or elsewhere)

  21. I have been waiting for this blog post and I’m so happy to finally read it. I feel like I’m travelling when I read your posts or see your pictures. Well done Amarachi. I can’t wait to read the other posts. Morocco looks so beautiful.

    http://www.fehintolaogunye.com

    • Thank you Fehintola! Makes me so happy to hear that 🙂
      PS:I hope we get to travel together this year. Let’s see how we can make that happen.

I love to hear from you!