For many, Morocco is their first experience of Africa. With many connections to Europe, and direct flights to North and South America, Morocco is highly accessible for modern tourists compared to other African countries which are more closed off or have complicated visa restrictions. Since Morocco is part of Africa and for many first-time travellers is a trip into the unknown, it is common for visitors to hire private Morocco transport to travel between cities instead of renting a car and driving on unfamiliar roads. It is also common to hire a private guide in order to show the city and to make the most of their trip.
Drivers and guides are separate jobs in Morocco.
Drivers and guides are separate jobs in Morocco. Separate licences are required, which means that drivers cannot act as unofficial guides. Becoming an official guide in Morocco is quite complicated, as it requires a high level of education and proficiency in several languages. This means that your official guide is sure to be knowledgable about his/her city. Of course some guides are better than others, but as long as you ensure your guide is official, you can be sure that you won’t run into any problems.
There are many people inside the medinas, and at the entrances of the medinas, offering to be a guide. Almost all of the time, these people are unofficial guides, and do not have the permission to act as a guide for tourists. You can check if the guide is an official one, because normally they will wear a lanyard, or carry some other form of identification.
You should be careful if you decide to go with an unofficial guide, because it is often the case that you will be taken to shops and pressured into buying things. Even if the unofficial guide says the tour is free, money may still be demanded at the end.
The police are quite strict about unofficial guides because they leave a bad impression of Morocco, and tourism is very important for the country. Therefore, if an unofficial guide is found to be with tourists, he will be taken to the police station. For this reason, the unofficial guide may ask you to walk behind, so it is not obvious that you are together.
Drivers cannot act as unofficial guides.
For these reasons, it is not possible for our drivers to act as unofficial guides during your trip. We love to talk about history and Morocco when within the confines of the vehicle, but we cannot risk showing you around on foot because it is against regulations and could have big consequences. Therefore, it is always necessary to hire an official guide if you would like to be shown around on foot by a local person.
If you are booking Morocco transport or a Morocco tour, you should check if the guide is included in the price, and shouldn’t assume that the driver will act as a guide for you. In our case, the guides are not included in any of our prices, but can be added as an optional extra on the booking page. The reason we do that is because some people prefer to travel independently, although hiring an official guide for many is the best way to learn and see everything in a short space of time (like on a day trip for example).