Morocco and Egypt are two amazing destinations in North Africa. It’s easy to understand why anyone would struggle to pick one over the other. Each country offers very distinct experiences and sights to charm any traveller. So, if you’re struggling to pick a destination between these two, or thinking about which one of them to visit first, here are a few points to help you decide.
Getting to Egypt from Nigeria: Visas & Flight Details
I have previously written an article detailing how I travelled to Egypt, what airline I travelled with and how I got my visa. You can read all about that here. I had to travel down to Abuja – where the embassy is located to submit my documents personally. I don’t think this is compulsory as I saw several people submitting on behalf of others.
What to Expect in Egypt
I like to refer to Cairo as Lagos-Lite. Really-lite because no matter how locals or foreigners complain about the traffic or things like general cleanliness of the city, it doesn’t quite come close to the craziness of Lagos.
Generally, I found cities like Sharm el Sheikh and Aswan to be a lot more laid back. Cairo was busy and buzzing. There was a lot of noise and a lot of people. Luxor was also quite laid back but I don’t know if that had anything to do with the time I visited.
In August, the weather in Egypt reaches its highest levels. Luxor and Aswan in the south are especially hot and humid. This was the time I visited. Because of the higher temperatures, the crowd was less and the prices of hotels and tours were slightly lower.
A few more things to note:
Tipping is a big deal and is expected after every service rendered. Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country, so men and women are expected to dress modestly.
When is the Best Time to Visit Egypt?
While you can visit at any time during the year, the best time is usually from September to April.
One Dish You Must Try in Egypt?
Kushari: This is Egypt’s favourite street food (not pictured above); made of rice, macaroni, and lentils mixed together, topped with a spiced tomato sauce, and garlic vinegar, and garnished with chickpeas and crispy fried onions.
What to See and Do in Egypt…
- Visit the Pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza
- Visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo
- Head south to the cities of Luxor and Aswan (visit the Valley of the Kings, Luxor and Karnak Temples, Hatshepsut Temple, Abu Simbel Temples…)
- Relax and explore Egypt’s night and beach life in Sharm el Sheikh, Hurghada or Ain Sokhna
And Finally…What Kind of Traveller is Best Suited for Egypt?
Egypt is best suited for the history and art enthusiast and adventurer.
Getting to Morocco from Nigeria: Visas & Flight Details
The process of getting a visa to Morocco is quite similar to that of Egypt. The Moroccan embassy is also located in Abuja. You would either need to travel down there (if you live outside the city) to apply for a visa or use the services of a trusted agent.
Royal Air Maroc flies directly to Casablanca from Lagos. This is the fastest and usually the cheapest way to get to Morocco from Nigeria…
What to Expect in Morocco
Expect to see beautiful landscapes as you travel within the country. Depending on the time you visit, you can also expect to experience different climates. When Mark and I visited in early January, we went from fairly cool weather during the day to freezing weather at night in Marrakesh and the Sahara Desert; From a rainy Fes and Chefchaouen to a snowy Midelt. Have a look at the weather report before your trip and pack appropriately.
One of the things I often read about was racism (against blacks) and harassment towards female travellers. I didn’t experience any of these personally but it is worth knowing if you plan to visit. During my stay, especially in Marrakesh, I was called ‘Rasta’ and ‘Bob Marley’ a lot of times as I walked through the souks – which was pretty annoying. I later found out that regardless of skin colour, if you travel with braided hair, you will be called Rasta or the various variations available.
When is the Best Time to Visit Morocco?
Generally, the months between March and May (springtime) and Septemeber and November (Autumn) are the best times to visit. It gets really hot during the summer months (from June to August), especially in the Sahara Desert but the heat is bearable in the coastal cities. The winter months between December and January aren’t so bad either. I loved visiting then and if I had the option to go back to Morocco, I’d still choose to go back at about the same period.
One Dish You Must Try in Morocco?
Tajine: Did you really visit Morocco if you didn’t have Tajine (or mint tea)? This is definitely the most common meal in Morocco. The dish, which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked, is typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables, spices and dried fruits.
What to See and Do in Morocco…
- Visit Djemaa el Fna (day and night. It’s a completely different atmosphere depending on when you visit)
- Visit the Ksar Ait Ben Haddou
- Spend a night with Berbers in the Sahara Desert
- Visit the charming cities of Fes and Chefchaouen
- Visit one of the largest mosques in the world – the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
And Finally… What Kind of Traveller is Best Suited for Morocco?
Morocco is best suited for travellers with a thing for gorgeous architecture and even more stunning landscapes and mountains.