This was my first trip to Morocco or anywhere in Africa for that matter. I didn’t really know what to expect but I wasn’t disappointed! I had picked February as the temperature seemed bearable and it was even quite cool on a few of the days which is fine with me. The first thing you notice about Morocco is the diversity. There is a stark contrast between the old and the new, the traditional and modern co-existing side by side. You would see brand new range rovers parked next to a donkey and cart and friends together dressed in traditional religious clothing with others in jeans and t-shirts. Considering it’s location it’s not really surprising it is influenced by the Middle East, Africa and Europe. The landscape is just as diverse with miles of arid deserts broken with lush green oases and the snow topped Atlas Mountains leading to the greener coastal regions. Whatever you’re interested in Morocco will have something for you.
The Madinas | Marrakech
Marrakech is most peoples main destination when visiting Morocco. There are lots of impressive places to visit like the palaces and mosques with their intricate architecture. You will also find numerous Storks nesting throughout the city on palace walls and roof tops. The Medina's and spice markets are also popular but after a couple of visits the harassment from people trying to get you to buy things can become a bit much.
Jardín Majorelle | Marrakech
Located in Marrakech, these gardens are a popular tourist attraction with the brightly coloured villa in the centre of the gardens and the large variety of plants and birds. Getting photos without other tourists in can be tricky but there are plenty of quieter areas throughout the gardens.
Ait Benhaddou | Central Morocco
Ait Benhaddou is an UNESCO world heritage site. This town constructed from earth and clay has been the location for many films over the years and is located along the ancient caravan route between Marrakech and the Sahara Desert. There are also some great views from the summit overlooking the town.
Tizi n Tichka Pass | Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains contain breathtaking landscapes and also offer some relief from the heat in the lower lying regions. The Tizi n Tichka Pass is the main road through the mountains but this can often be blocked with snow. On sunny days you get to enjoy the countless mountain streams, Argan trees and view points.
Merzouga | Sahara Desert
It's a bit of a trek from Marrakech but visiting the Sahara Desert should be on everyones list. Sitting round the camp fire under the clear starry skies listening to traditional music and drinking Berber teat is an unforgettable experience. I'd try to keep the camel trekking to a minimum because a few hours on one is more than enough! Temperatures can top 50°C in summer so be aware of the seasonal temperatures when you're booking your trip.
Essaouira | West Coast
Essaouira is a port city on Morocco's Atlantic coast. With a mix of great views, historic architecture and cultural diversity it's a great place to visit. In recent years it featured in Game Of Thrones but it has been a popular tourist attraction for many years. The traditional blue fishing boats fill the small harbour and along the sea front there are plenty of vendors cooking the freshly caught sea food.
The Anti-Atlas | Southern Morocco
In Southern Morocco you can find the Anti-Atlas Mountains. This vast area looks more like the surface of mars in places but you may see lizards, snakes or scorpions on the road side. Area's of Southern Morocco where once covered by the ocean and it is a popular place for fossil hunters and nearly every little town and village you pass through will have shops selling fossils and other souvenirs.
Travel Tips | Equipment To Take
I took my standard kit for this trip as I wasn’t to sure what I would need. In retrospect I could have used everything but the logistics of taking everything not to mention carrying it on a camel meant I was glad I only took the basics. I took my Nikon 24-70mm and 70-200mm. I also took my 1.7TC to give me a bit more zoom for the wildlife photos. I took my travel tripod as well for some night time photography. I considered taking my flash gun and wish I had so if you have room I would recommend taking one. If you’re going to specifically photograph the birds and wildlife definitely take your biggest telephoto lenses. For general travel and portrait shots the smaller lenses should do. I packed a couple of Lee Filters as well for the landscapes.