Hitchhiking Morocco for female travelers : 10 tips for a successful trip

This summer I decided to get into a whole new travel experience. While I’ve been hitchhiking many times in different parts of the world, I’ve never tried it in my own home country: Morocco.

Many reasons came together to make me almost never think of hitchhiking Morocco before. Most of these reasons are obviously related to security. I’ve been raised in a culture where travelling alone as a woman is not widely accepted, let alone hitchhiking in the country being a female traveller.

After 2 years travelling Latin America solo, I decided it’s high time to overcome the fears and barriers the society somehow injected in my mind. The same fears I had accepted for many years without really questioning them. And so I started a long hitchhiking trip of 1600km from El Jadida, my hometown, all the way to Dakhla, a beautiful city in the Sahara known for being a kitesurf paradise.

A hichhiking trip of 1600km all the way to Dakhla

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I decided, though, that I’m not doing it alone this time. I embarked my younger sister and a friend in the adventure. We travelled 10 days in total, 5 on the road and a 5 days stay in Dakhla. The experience was very much enriching at all levels; beautiful encounters, going beyond our limits, letting go of expectations, living the present moment, trusting in ourselves and in other human beings…and rediscovering our own country through a different experience, where fear was merely replaced by the willingness to open up to new friendships and the excitement of a first-time like adventure.

Here are my 10 tips for a successful hitchhiking experience trough Morocco for female travellers. Some of the tips are general ones and would work for women and men alike.

1. The number of hitchhikers should ideally be 2

Three is the maximum. Beyond this number it would be almost impossible not to split. When you’re 2 women hitchhiking together you’ll have more chances to find enough place in a vehicle for yourselves and your luggage, while keeping an eye on each other. It’s especially suitable if you’re planning on longer distances and need to rest during a ride. Take for example the Sahara; the ride from Boujdour, the last inhabited settlement before Dakhla, is almost 350 km. There are some chances  you’d want to sleep for a moment. A mate would keep en eye on you during the ride.

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2. Hitchhiking alone as a female traveller in Morocco

I wouldn’t advise to do it alone, not that it is especially dangerous but just to make sure you’re more relaxed. If you’re 2 you’ll get to enjoy the trip instead of worrying all the time for your physical and belongings’ security. I do know moroccan women that hitchhike alone with no issues whatsoever but it is still a personal choice that comes with some downsides.

3. Always stay together no matter what

It was certainly more difficult for the three of us to move on quickly as most of the vehicles that were willing to give us a ride, didn’t have enough room. Still, we decided we would stick together and it worked at the end, with no extended waiting times. We made it to Dakhla, 1600km, in 5 days, while taking our time to visit the major points of interested we crossed.

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4. Use your number efficiently

It you’re 2 or 3  hitchhiking together bear in mind that it is useless to remain all standing waiting for a vehicle. Get some rest while you take rounds. Yet, remember it is very important to stay all visible all the time, even seated. It would spare you ineffectual situations where a driver with 1 available seat would stop making you miss the following vehicle who had enough room for all of you.

5. Take your time on the road

Try  always and plan to arrive in a village or city before sunset. You should be always ready to give up if the waiting is too long and stay the night in the place where you are. Remember also that cities are usually more dangerous than empty roads and so even if you decide to spend the night where you are do look for a place to stay early, systematically before sunset.

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6. Always aim for longer trips

Be ready to wait a bit longer and find a driver who would get you the farthest possible instead of numerous short trips. Generally it will take longer to make shorter trips than a long wait for a drive that goes a longer distance.

7. Aways start the day early

You should also try to position yourselves outside the city or the village as much as possible. Not very far though in case it’s necessary to give up and go back to where you started from. In Morocco, police checkpoints are a good place to be waiting for a drive. You’ll in most cases find one at the exit of a city or village. Just wait after those checkpoints or in a gas station. You’ll feel more secure in doing so and you might also ask the policemen for some help finding a drive.

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8. Chose what you get into

Try not to get into a vehicle just because it stopped first. Follow your intuition and how you feel about the driver and the people in the car. It is perfectly ok to say “No, thank you” to a driver toward whom you have mixed feelings. Be assertive and convey the message very clearly.

9. Avoid judgements

When I speak of intuition in the previous point, I absolutely do not refer to judgments. There were vehicles and people that we wouldn’t have trusted if we relied on judgements only. It was much efficient and secure to rely on our intuition instead. The question you would ask yourself is not if, just from the looks of it, this person in that car is trustable enough. The question is simply how you do feel about taking that ride. Feelings have nothing to do with data and looks.

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10. Try to be well stocked in snacks

Make sure you have enough water on you, sun protection, a hat, some snacks and fruits. Load up also on music and especially tons of humour and optimism. The wait for a car in some deserted areas can sometimes be very laborious.  Try being in a good mood and enjoying the present moment whatever the situation is. This would definitely be your best ally for a successful hitchhiking.

Globetrotteuse et blogueuse marocaine. Je partage sur cet espace mon expérience personnelle du voyage, sa préparation, ses innombrables plaisirs, ses couacs et surtout comment il me permet d'apprendre, d'échanger et d’évoluer.

2 Comments

  • When I see women hitchhiking I truly admire them. You are so brave, Houda!

    Reply
    • Thanks Agness for the nice comment. I do admire hitchhikers very much as well, men and women!

      Reply

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