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Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

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Montclair, New...
posts: 12
reviews: 4
Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

I am very petrified of snakes. How can I avoid having a snake draped around my neck or a monkey

placed on my shoulder? If I am vigilant, can I avoid this happening or do I need to stay out of the


Richmond, VA
posts: 209
reviews: 5
1. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

No you don't need to stay out of the square, when you see them just walk a ways away, or walk in another direction. They don't chase down the tourists and put animals on you like the way the henna ladies chase down tourists. :)

Marrakech, Morocco
posts: 149
reviews: 14
2. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

I would suggest you walk around the outside of the Djemma El Fna and head straight for the terrace of a café that looks down onto the square. In my opinion, the Café de Glacier gives the clearest view of the action below. You (or a companion) can then suss out which areas to avoid and you'll feel more confident walking through afterwards. Hope that helps.

Montclair, New...
posts: 12
reviews: 4
3. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

thanks so much.

Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 7,702
reviews: 63
4. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna


Just so you know there are boys selling articulated wooden snakes in the souks close to the square so don't be startled. The real snakes stay in the square with their charmers!

posts: 1,329
reviews: 3
5. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

Now I remember my son telling me about his experience in the square. He and my daughter were approached by an "ear cleaner", and he managed to escape only after one of his ears was thoroughly scraped out free of charge.

Destination Expert
for Marrakech
posts: 3,521
6. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

David - do you have contact details for the ear cleaner? I'm quite interested in that :)

7. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

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posts: 7,442
reviews: 30
8. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

henna ladies and snake charmers sit under large, mostly green, umbrellas. the snakes are carried in quite distictive wooden boxes, quite large, similar to a half-case of fine claret....

you can see them from quite a distance.

the small boys with wooden snakes were being quite careful to say they were not real, and keeping a reasonable distance[ from me, at any rate.] i suspect a few husbands have given them a slap when wives have had a fright...

some of the leather shops had boots and bags fashioned from snakes, including the heads. i did not investigate whether they were real or fake, but if you don't expect it it can be a bit of a scare.

posts: 112
reviews: 20
9. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

Don't take pictures or videos up close. Once they see your camera one of them will walk up to you and demand money while another sneaks up behind you and places a snake or monkey on your neck. Once they do that they demand ridiculous prices for a photo op you didn't want. Snake guy insisted on 300 dh. I handed him 50 and he screamed , cursed and followed me for 5 minutes. It got really ugly. Same thing with the acrobats, musicains and transvestite dancers--once they see you taking a picture you are hounded and harrased. I have no problem paying for the entertainment but the demands were outrageous.

Even taking a picture of food vendors will result in a request for more money than the price of the meal.

Marrakech, Morocco
Destination Expert
for Morocco
posts: 2,830
reviews: 72
10. Re: Snakes and Monkeys in Djemma al Fna

even 50dh is too much! should give 10dh maximum and just walk away ignoring their protests

i know it is difficult to deal with when you are not used to it, but it is all a big act really

the problem is that their screaming and hassling usually works in extracting more cash from people so they keep doing it