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Help with day tours from Marrakech

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Wollongong
posts: 134
reviews: 90
Help with day tours from Marrakech

We have 6 nts in Marrakech from 20 June, but only have 2 full days left for day tours.We have decided to visit Essaouria. We would like to have a decent amount of time there to explore and have lunch. Is there anything worthwhile to visit on the way, which will still give us a decent amount of time there? We are going by car with our Riad's driver. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

ALSO, we are considering a trip to Ourgaine also with Riad's transport. What else could we do that day including lunch and maybe visit a Berber village?We were debating whether to visit Ourika Valley instead.

Regarding gifts/donations for villages have read that clothing/pencils/crayons for children are better than money. Comments please - any other suggestions?

We are interested in photography/scenery/architecture/local culture. We are not interested in long walks/hiking or climbing to see the waterfalls. Would appreciate any feedback although I know preferences are purely personal.

Thank in advance.

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,725
reviews: 33
1. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

I appreciate you are extremely well meaning, however gifts and donations for children are most definitely NOT wanted as this sign indicates: morocco-knowledgebase.net/tim/P1010696e.jpg

Translation: Don't make too much noise, keep a distance from wild animals, respect places of worship, avoid behaviour likely to shock locals, don't give to people--especially children--sweets, pens, medicines, so as not to encourage begging.

2. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

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Edited: 11:40 pm, October 28, 2013
Edinburgh
posts: 34
reviews: 2
3. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

Tim is this the same when we go out to the Atlas Mountains? Nearly every review talks about giving the kids gifts....

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 6,868
reviews: 60
4. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

Hi,

Going to Essaouira for a day trip you really only have time to stop at one of the many Argan co-operatives on the way there or back.

I prefer Ouirgane to Ourika (Ourika is too touristy these days) and if you are going to walk through villages and have lunch there's not much time for anything else. You could pop into Richard Branson's place for a coffee.

Your Riad will be able to pass on any donations you have to an orphanage in Marrakech, Atfalouna and Espoir for example (any problems contacting them send me a PM). In the mountains the driver could arrange for you to visit a school where supplies would be appreciated. Don't hand out gifts to children personally.

tripadvisor.com/…42600028

Edited: 5:07 am, May 18, 2013
Leeds, United...
posts: 55
reviews: 27
5. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

On my trip to the Atlas Mountains last month we took gifts of pens,crayons,notepads,toys and lucky bags, planning to drop them off at a school. We were told, however that the school was closed for holidays, so we started to distribute the gifts individually to a group of children. Unfortunately this resulted in a 'free for all', with fighting and tears and kids trying to climb into the car.Our driver got annoyed and made us leave.

On arriving back at our riad, we asked the staff if they could recommend an orphanage to take the remaining gifts to and we were directed to Complexe Social Dar Tifl. This is an organisation which looks after children needing refuge from situations at home,such as violence,bereavement,imprisonment.

We went by taxi and turned up without an appointment, but the directors were thrilled to see us and gave us a tour of the home,explained their work and invited us to stay for lunch! We also had a lovely chat with a young man who had stayed at the home for much of his childhood and who had returned to run sports classes. We talked about the Olympics and his ambition to study sports science at university.

Our taxi driver was genuinely interested in our visit and also accompanied us inside to act as translator. He did of course relieve us of some pens and toys for his own children!, We didn't mind though, because he had been very helpful and the fare charged was exactly what our riad staff had advised us to pay. This was very refreshing after days of hassle and arguments with taxi drivers.

I don't know the address, but if anyone is interested their website is www.Dar-Tifl.com

Birmingham, United...
posts: 178
reviews: 32
6. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

we are in marrakech for 6 days in june and have just booked a trip with 4x4 camels with adil. in his plan for the day he sugests we bring pencils ,gifts etc for the children.i was gong to ask on the forum the same question myself what to take for the children. im abit confused now and dont know wether to take gifts or not.or as we are having lunch with a berber family shall i take a gift for the family if so any suggestions.

help

debra

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 4,725
reviews: 33
7. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

Yes please don't bring gifts for children. It's not needed, pens are crayons are cheap in Morocco and the ones handed out like candy are only sold off. We don't really want to turn children into beggers. One simple rule, never give anyone anything unless it was for a service that you requested.

If you are having lunch with a family the traditional gift is sweet biscuits/cakes. I have in the past brought things from the UK such as Marmite (ha ha) and for one business negotiation I bought a Sheaffer pen.

As I enter a village I always acknowledge the older men and women with a formal nod or wave. A wave is one of the oldest human expressions meaning 'I have no weapons' and manifests itself in the 'How' of the North American indians, to the salute of the military.

The best gift you can give children is your time, so by all means stop and say hello (hello = "la bess" which actually means "no harm").

Go down on one knee so you are at their height, introduce yourself "Isme John" would mean "My name is John" (Isme has to be the easiest phrase to learn, though being Arabic might not be understood by all in the mountains where they speak Berber). What is your name is more difficult, "shnu schmidkt" is one approximation.

What I have done in the past is to take picture postcards of where I live to show them. Perhaps have a go at teaching them an English phrase. Please don't let them see tourists as just wallets on legs and remember that you are an ambassador for Europe (or wherever you come from).

Wollongong
posts: 134
reviews: 90
8. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

Firstly, thanks to all of you for your comments regarding "gifts". Someone who had stayed at our Riad posted a comment to say they had visited a village on one of their day tours and had taken items as mentioned and the family had shown great appreciation on receiving them. I though it was a good idea!!

I have taken on board your comments regarding encouraging "begging" and their perceptions of tourists being "walking wallets".

I have researched Espoir, Atfalouna Charity and Complexe Social Dar Tifli. I can only find information on the Atfalouna Children's Charity through one of the Riads, but would still like to have information on the others,. Can anyone help with further details regarding these two. Would appreciate replies asap as I need to make purchases before next week-end.

Thanks in advance.

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 6,868
reviews: 60
9. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

Hi,

PM sent re; Espoir.

10. Re: Help with day tours from Marrakech

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