One of the most valid proofs of a successful visit to Morocco is a picture of you with one of the snakes of Marrakesh slithering over your shoulders. But what if thinking about being near a snake sends a chill shuddering down your spine? You still want to see all the wonders the Red City has to offer, but you hate snakes. It’s quite a dilemma. It makes you wonder: How can I enjoy Marrakesh when I’m afraid of snakes?
Here are five simple pieces of advice to take from someone who hates snakes but still got to explore Marrakesh:
1: Avoid Visiting Marrakesh During the Summer
This is the first thing to do when thinking about them makes you want to hide under a blanket and maybe consider a move to the North Pole. Not only is summer quite hot in the area, but also summer = snakes on the loose! To roam freely around the city, the ideal periods are either April to June or from September to October. The weather is warm enough for you to work on that tan. You can visit everything without being burned by the sun or soaked by rain. More important, snakes are more hesitant to show their ugly slit-noses during these periods, no matter how much the charmers play for them.
2 – Wear Long Pants and Covered-Toe Shoes
This way, you won’t have to worry when walking around the Bahia Palace (and all the other places to visit) as it would be a shame not to enjoy the fantastic work that has been done there and the diversity of plants and craftsmanship you can find. The heat might make it difficult to wear anything past the knee, but your safe skin will thank you later! That also applies if you intend on visiting the desert afterwards or in the middle of your stay.
3- Visit Souks During the Warmest Hours
To enjoy an explosion of smells and colors – all while being as far from snakes as possible, of course – try and visit the souks during the warmest hours of the day. That way you are under the shade. You can even buy loose flower-printed pants and leave your suffocating jeans in your suitcase to protect your precious skin. These hours are also less busy and give you plenty of time to choose a souvenir or take wonderful pictures
4 – Try to Stay in a Place that Doesn’t Have a Golf Course or a Swimming Pool
It sure is nice to be able to jump in a cool pool. Especially after a long day of walking around the hot city! However, try to stay in a place where the pool isn’t surrounded by grass. This goes double for or a place that has a golf course. These will be a prime slithering spots for snakes. There are tons of riads and boutique hotels with pools that are just as nice as the others. These riads and boutique hotels are gorgeous. Even better, they will ensure you won’t have a meeting with your least favorite reptilian!
5- Avoid Jemaa el-Fna During Peak Hours
Peak hours are a surefire of snake charmers popping up everywhere. The ideal would be to hit the Jemma el-Fna right before lunch, as the charmers haven’t yet started charming their forked-tongue friends. Why not switch things up and visit it in the morning? The view is just as beautiful in the sunlight and it will be much easier to take pictures and walk around. Maybe a breakfast on the terrasse of the upstairs cafés will make you appreciate the beauty of the Koutoubia Mosque when there is natural light. If you must visit it at night for the sake of the gorgeous sunset, be sneaky. Don’t walk right in the middle of the Jemma el-Fna. Instead, march along the walls and climb into one of the cafés upstairs. You’ll get your picture of Jemaa el Fna by night while sipping on a sweet cup of tea with no snakes in sight!
About the Author
Laïla Ouazzani is a Meknèsiya (a native of Meknès, Morocco) who loves discovering what her country has to offer. She is a born foodie. Lucky for her, there are plenty of delicious dishes to be discovered around Morocco. Besides food, she enjoys everything else that connects her to the roots of her country and shares her findings and experiences with everyone she can! Laïla is currently based in Casablanca.