1. Sunglasses, Suncream and Umbrella
If you think that Morocco is all sand and sun, we made the same mistake! In our 6 days in Morocco we were subject to everything but snow! Torrential rain in Marrakech, storms and wind in Ouarzazate, and searing heat and sandstorms in the Sahara. If you have space in the car, protection against all of the elements may be necessary!
2. Jerry Can
Throughout much of Morocco, there are long drives between the big cities along very quiet roads. Filling up at each Petrol station is key, as is always keeping at least half of a tank of petrol full. However, taking a jerry can which you can also fill up as a backup gives you the extra peace of mind should you misjudge any distances.
3. List of all hotels
Travelling between new cities every day can be confusing, so always take a list of each of the hotels you are staying in, preferably with a version in Arabic too, can help you find your hotel or ask for directions should you be lost. Be careful of who to ask, and whether they will show you where to go before asking for money. Asking Policeman always was the safest bet for us.
4. SIM card
Purchasing a SIM card as early as possible can really help with everything from navigation to contacting hotels. We purchased a Maroc Telecom PAYG Sim Card for 100MAD (around £8) which included around 5GB of data and plenty of minutes to contact all of our hotels. Most of the riads were quiet and asked for a call prior to us arriving or to find a suitable car park, so having a working and cheap phone was essential. The amount of data also allowed us to navigate around the cities and on the road.
An obvious staple of any road trip, the trusty map is useful for not only navigating but planning your trip before-hand. There are plenty available, but we used this one from Amazon, which was plenty big enough and handily laminated to avoid any tears or water damage.
6. Food and Water
Moroccan hospitality is second to none, and every riad, restaurant, cafe and campsite we stayed in gave us the most incredible food and service. However, on the roads between the big cities, there’s little to find to fill the gap between the breakfast and tea. Make sure that you pack plenty of snacks, and take as much water as you can fit. We took a number of 2 litre bottles of water to use on the road and in the riads, and were glad we did. When you are on the open roads, especially in the South, there can be little shade from the hot sun. We also asked each riad to fill our flask with boiling water each day, and a coffee on the side of the road was often a lifesaver on a long drive.
7. First Aid Kit
Another travel staple, but always worth having in the back of the car in case things go wrong. Paracetamol, Plasters, as well as diarrhoea tablets to calm the stomach, should you have an adverse reaction to any of the new food in the country. As well as this, some of the drives are long with little in between, so some basic toiletries to freshen up along the journey can also be a benefit.
Another obvious one, but I would highly recommend investing in a decent camera before a road trip to Morocco. With so many incredible sights, from the big cities in the North, to the barren roads and Sahara Desert in the South, you will want to capture as much of the trip as possible. Exercise caution when photographing locals though, many don’t appreciate the attention, and some in the touristy cities will demand money for it.
An important asset for any road trip, taking some of your favourite music helps to whittle down the numerous hours driving around the country. For a flavour of the local music, Tinariwen are a Grammy award-winning group of musicians from the Sahara Desert of Northern Mali.
10. Guide Book
Although we enjoyed speaking to locals, exploring the cities, and making gut decisions, we always had our handy Morocco guide-book with us which was essential in helping us plan, understand the local culture, and to fall back on for food and drink recommendations if we needed them. We decided to go for the Lonely Planet guide which was jam-packed with useful information and top tips for the whole country.