Keeping stomach bugs at bay on the road in Morocco

Before the overland truck filled with tourists continued barreling through Morocco and on its way to Ghana, the driver and guide of the tour revealed that it seemed that their crew got sick in Morocco almost more often than anywhere else in Africa. What they were talking about was Montezuma’s revenge – a nice way of saying traveler’s diarrhea.


Why in Morocco would foreigner travelers get stomach illness? Morocco has plenty of clean water and plenty of clean restaurants too.

In Morocco, a traveler must be much more prudent about his or her sanitary habits. If coming from Western countries such as the United States, England, or Australia, most travelers will feel some stomach discomfort if they stay in Morocco for longer than a week or two unless precautions are taken. Of course, some sort of stomach ailment is actually natural, as a traveler’s system is simply getting used to a few more types of bacteria in the food. Indeed, some normal stomach irritation can also be caused by the stress involved with traveling in new places as well as adapting to a new culture- even while on vacation.

Here is a list of the five prudent things to think about to minimize getting sick during your travels to Morocco and some other parts of Africa, where applicable:

  • Wash your hands often and regularly.

  • Bring self-drying sanitizer along.

  • Avoid eating the snails sold on the street, called les escargots.

  • Unless you prepare it, avoid eating salad or uncooked vegetables.

  • Don’t eat fruit unless you wash it with soap, or soak it in vegetable wash first.

  • Drink only bottled water.

Of course, the main point here is to recognize that you play a key role in your travel health anywhere you. Visitors to any country destination are best served by paying a little more attention to ensure a cleaner environment.

The metropolitan cities of Morocco are as clean as other countries in Africa that you may visit. While eating at street stalls or in small eateries or cafes, anything cooked is going to be perfectly safe.

However, in smaller more rural settings in Morocco as well as other African countries, health education has not reached the countryside. While there are international health groups and world-wide volunteers in Morocco, who are promoting proper hygiene practices, there is only so much that can be done with limited resources.

There is a lot of fine food to enjoy in Morocco, there are even magazines dedicated to Moroccan culinary art. So, search around, find a good, clean establishment (perhaps where other tourists are eating) and enjoy some of the finest cuisine in all of Africa!