/ Driving in Morocco

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mypyrex - on 24 Feb 2013
Anyone driven(a hire car) in Morocc, particularly Marrakech. Just wondering what their standard of driving is like. How does it compare with, say, Italy(the worst driving experience I've had)?
Lukas V-L - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Out in the countryside its fine, roads are good, just slow down in good time before you get to the towns.

Marrakesh on the other hand is pretty intense. wide roads with no lane markers so it turns into a free for all, lots of scooters weaving about and the pedestrians tend to have a general disregard for own lives. My mate did most of the driving while I directed with the satnav. Itd be nails to navigate through the city without one.
RickGrundy - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

I've driven in and out of Marrakech on a few occasions. Definitely a bit worse than most of Europe (but I've never driven in Italy), but it's not too bad as most things move pretty slowly. The airport is on the outskirts so it's pretty easy if you're heading West, and once out of the city I don't think it's a problem. Don't let it put you off going- just be ready for it!

Rick
AJM - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Agree with the others. I was happy driving outside the cities, although quieter roads were better - the drive through the atlas is infinitely quieter and more picturesque, if slower, than the main coastal road from Marrakech to Agadir as a way to get to Tafraoute. The rule in overtaking, pulling over on narrow roads etc simply seems to be that size matters. The flocks of scooters around Marrakech were the bits which made me most uneasy - a 3 lane car road or 16 lane scooter road with few markings takes some getting used to. Definitely wouldn't want to go into the centre if I could avoid it.
cuppatea on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Worse than Italy.

Engage police in conversation, compliment their country, offer a Marlboro in order to smooth over minor diving rule infringements ;-)
Dave Williams - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

Yes, I agree it's a bit less disciplined than Italy (but I don't think the Italians are all that bad tbh - and I have driven quite extensively there!) In my experience, the Moroccans don't drive particularly fast nor that aggressively (Grand Taxis may be an exception!) Britain is actually far, far worse in that respect. No, it's just that they're a bit more careless and indisciplined.

Rules of the road are generally adhered to and, even though there are some serious jaywalking, moped and horse cart issues in urban and suburban areas, if you drive very defensively and be very alert at all times, then you should be fine.

Be particularly alert if driving after dark due to unlit carts and mopeds and pedestrians wearing dark or black clothes. Also many of the tarmac roads in the mountains are 1.5 x car width and always be prepared to give way on these (by driving onto the rocky verges) as the locals tend not to take any prisoners. This is even truer on unsurfaced pistes, but at least you normally have some warning as you'll usually see the dust clouds from approaching vehicles.

Now, if you want a really "interesting" driving experience in North Africa, then I'd thoroughly recommend Tunisia - where meeting cars being driven the wrong way down dual carriageways, five weaving lanes of traffic on two lane roads and sheep and goats being herded down the motorway are all quite normal.

Dave
Cú Chullain - on 24 Feb 2013
Morrocan police are very keen with their use of speed cameras/guns so do observe the speed limits. Outside every major town there is always a poilce checkpoint, dont even think of not stopping even if you cant see a policeman. Typically there is a stop sign about 50 meters before you reach the policeman, stop here and wait for the copper to signal for you to move forward, usually they are pretty friendly and professional, a knowledge of Barcelona football club is always useful.

The roads are generally excellent and well signposted. The motorways have tolls so make sure you have some spare dirhams.
silo - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex Hi,
Out of town its great because there's not much traffic on the roads but in the large towns the more eyes on the road the better!It is also more expensive roughly 180 per week but fuel is inexpensive.
jonathan shepherd - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex: Marrakech can be a nightmare and very busy, lot's of scooters that nip into any gap they see in traffic without any thought for other drivers or their own safety. All in all morroco has possible the worse driving i have ever seen in my life, i saw a hay lorry driving at night which was so overloaded (imagine a cheese triangle with the pointy bit on the flat bed of the lorry and the wide bit at the top) that every time it went round a corner even thought it was only doing a couple of miles and hour the wheels on the inside of the bend were lifting off the ground. I've never been so glad to get past a vehicle in my life.
andyb211 - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex: Turin at rush hour would be childs play!! Driven all over the planet and the one and only place I was scared was Morocco, tho you should be alright just let Rudolf do the Nav ;) By the way put the Santa photo back on your profile Euan used to say goodnight to you at bed time and still asks, shame on you upsetting a 3 year old!
mypyrex - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to andyb211:
> (In reply to mypyrex) Euan used to say goodnight to you at bed time and still asks, shame on you upsetting a 3 year old!

Aaaaawwwww! Another one on the way.

mypyrex - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to andyb211: PM me and I'll send Euan a special copy
ads.ukclimbing.com
mariopulquerio - on 24 Feb 2013
In reply to mypyrex:

You'll be fine. I have driven my car all over Morocco and never had a problem. Cities can be a little bit more chaotic, but normally cars will drive at slow speeds. Outside cities the main problem are trucks overtaking other trucks!

I tried never to drive at night due to cars without any lights (this is actually legal in Morocco!) and whenever a enter a city I always respect speed limits. Police are usually at city entrance, so be careful.

The only strange thing that happened to me was having my car runover by a pedestrian in Marrakech! A very entertaining moment!!!

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