- About Us
Morocco Earthquake update - Our Story (27.09.23)
I have just returned from Morocco and would like to update you on how things are on the ground from a personal humanitarian side and operationally as owner of Nomadic Expeditions (trading as Nomadic Tours and Nomadic School Tours).
It has been two weeks since the earthquake struck the remote High Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
We had already assessed operationally after the earthquake, that apart from some minor damage in Marrakech (the repairs have already begun here) that it was both safe and desired by Morocco to keep our tours running. Our tours are not operationally affected by the damage in the Atlas Mountains. There is a clear message from people in Morocco that they don’t want to create an economic disaster on top of a natural one and that it would only make things worse if we stop visiting.
Morocco is our second home after working here for 26 years. Our guides and their families are a part of our family. We have friends and associates all over the country, including the Atlas Mountains, so on a personal level we are desperate to help.
On my arrival to Morocco after meeting with the crew, I headed straight to the epicenter at Talet N Yakaaoub and surrounding affected villages of Ourgane, Tafaghouste, Arden, Timizar & Okheriben to see for myself how we can help.
What struck me most was how Morocco has come together during this crisis, there are private individuals in their thousands, the government, international tour operators, Charities etc. It was truly humbling to see this response and then be welcomed into this new community of support.
In the first days after the earthquake, Nomadic sent out the link for the Red Cross relief campaign and we thank all of you that contributed to that. What we have now established is where we can target specific help to people on the ground in the worst affected areas in the villages that I mentioned above through a 'Go Fund Me' page.
Our own Ait Ouham Association has been able to help directly, but we have also connected with another Association on the ground and found out exactly what they need, where and when.
After being shown around the villages, we could see many tented camps, kitchens and medical support, with more on it’s way, but we were told there was a desperate need for toilets with privacy. There is also a need for solar lighting, as many villages are still without power.
The costs for these items are £25 for a toilet and £20 for solar lights.
Nomadic has installed 40 toilets to date and will continue to help directly, but we need to raise even more funds to get to 100+. We also need a lot more solar lighting.
Please remember that long after the TV crews have left and winter sets in, that these communities may get forgotten, so we want to keep this momentum going.
Many thanks for reading our story. If you are unable to contribute yourself or have done so already, could you please share this link with your friends and families.
If you are able to help, we have set up the following GoFundMe page…. https://gofund.me/89f2be24
A big Thank You from…
Mark, Diana, Sherrie and the whole UK and Moroccan team.
The 8th of September 2023 was a national tragedy for Morocco.
Currently the Moroccan Government, local authorities, Foreign Governments, Charities and local people are doing what-ever they can to contribute to the relief effort, especially in the worst affected areas of the remote High Atlas Mountains.
We are very grateful that all our guides, their families, the hotel staff, and our suppliers are all safe.
Diana & I founded Nomadic over 26 years ago and together with our team, owe so much to this beautiful country and its people.
We have decided to support the British Red Cross ‘Morocco Earthquake Appeal’ at https://donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/morocco-earthquake-appeal
The Red Cross is an internationally accepted charity that we trust and can be sure will offer the right targeted assistance on the ground, where it is needed.
In conjunction with our own Association https://www.nomadic-tours.com/association-work Nomadic will be offering further assistance for communities most affected in the High Atlas Mountains.
We understand you may be worried, and we want to reassure you that tours can go ahead as planned. Currently, the UK Foreign Office has not introduced any travel restrictions and all flights are operating on a normal schedule. Morocco still relies on tourism and on consultation with our guides, the local authorities and other tour operators, we will be continuing our normal program of tours.
Our guides are continuously in touch after assessing each location we visit. All the hotels we use and roads we take are clear of damage and safe to use. We are monitoring this all the time and will update you should anything change.
Should you have any concerns about your upcoming tour, please do contact us.
We thank you for your concern, support, and patience at this difficult time.
MD / Owner
Nomadic Tours - Covid-19 Compliance Policy – Date 06/09/2023
What is the situation in Morocco?
Morocco re-opened its borders for International flights on the 7th February 2022.
As from the 30th September 2022, Morocco removed the requirement for vaccine passes and PCR tests. These are no longer mandatory to enter Morocco.
Please still check with your own countries travel restrictions.
Our tour guides and the Moroccan people can’t wait to welcome you to their beautiful country.
Our Covid-19 refund and wellbeing Promise:
We want you to feel reassured that when you book with Nomadic Tours, that your money is safe with us and we are looking after your wellbeing whilst on tour.
Please see our FAQ’s below to put your mind at ease.
Have you made any Covid-19 amendments to your booking terms and conditions?
To give you the confidence to book with Nomadic we have made the following booking condition amendments. Tour balances are now due only 28 days before your tour departure date. This will give you plenty of time to be assured that your tour is going ahead and that you are also able to travel to Morocco. In the event you are unable to travel due to Covid-19, (evidence of a positive test or quarantine required) our Covid-19 cancellation conditions apply. In the event you change your mind or can’t travel for any other reasons, then our standard booking conditions apply.
(Please see our cancellation policy below…..)
What happens if I or Nomadic Tours cancel my tour?
1. If Nomadic Tours cancel your tour:
In the event that Nomadic Tours have to cancel your tour before departure, or a travel ban has come in to place in Morocco, you will receive a FULL REFUND of your deposit and NO balance payment will be due, or you can keep your credit on file for another departure within 18 months.
2. If a client cancels the tour:
FREE of charge postponement of your tour to be re-booked for travel within 18 months of the original departure date, or FULL cancellation at NO charge will be offered up to the departure date of your tour, if a travel ban or lockdown has come into place in the country you are departing from.
For Covid-19 sickness Cancellations (evidence must be provided):
You can transfer your trip to someone else with 7 days written notice, £50 admin fee applies.
Covid-19 Cancellation Conditions (Covid related cancellation):
Period when notice of cancellation for Covid-19 related issues apply:
More than 28 days - Loss of deposit only
Between 15 to 28 days - 75% of total price paid
Between 0 to 14 days - Credit voucher for 18 months or claim on travel insurance policy
|In all other non-Covid-19 related cases, normal cancellation policy and charges apply. Below are our adjusted standard terms used during the Covid-19 pandemic only.|
Standard Cancellation Conditions during the pandemic (non-covid cancellation):
Period when notice of cancellation for non-covid related issues apply:
More than 28 days - Loss of deposit only
Between 15 and 28 days - 75% of total price paid
Between 0 and 14 days - 100% of total price paid
What has Nomadic Tours Refund policy been during the COVID-19 pandemic?
All Nomadic clients that have requested a refund since the Covid-19 pandemic, have received a FULL cash refund. Clients that were able and wanted to postpone their tour were able to do so FREE of charge. It is as simple as that!
What happens if there is another outbreak in Morocco and I need to leave the country?
Through our contacts on the ground, our guides and the 24/7 involvement of our Managing Director we managed to repatriate all of our clients within 5 days of border closures during the outbreak in March. Should this happen again, we will repeat this effort.
How safe will my tour be in Morocco?
We will keep group sizes small in order to maintain a low risk ‘small group bubble’, with an average of 13 guests in each group. Additionally, group members will be asked to do a temperature check on arrival or within the first 12 hours of the start of the tour. For now, your Nomadic Guide won’t shake hands on arrival or hug on departure You will be asked by your Nomadic Guide to report any COVID symptoms immediately, so that appropriate action can be taken to safeguard the group. Your Nomadic Guide will carry some extra personal protection equipment, for example face masks, disposable gloves, hand sanitiser, thermometer; surface cleaning materials, etc In the unlikely event that your group needs to self-isolate, your local team will offer support throughout. We will help arrange accommodation and food and help to organise medical care and liaise with your insurance provider. In the unlikely event that a guide contracts COVID, they will be replaced immediately. You will be required to wear a face covering in all public places whilst on tour. Members who are travelling in bubbles with their spouse, family or friends are of course able to share room/s together. For those of you that prefer not to share a room with someone of the same gender, then Single room supplements will be available. The minister of Tourism in Morocco have provided detailed guidelines for all areas in travel & tourism. We will give you a brief summary on each section below, but for the full detailed information please contact us directly.
Moroccan airport guidelines
On arrival at any Moroccan airport, the Moroccan minister of Tourism have created a full set of guidelines. Temperature control and health declaration on arrival As required by Morocco Health Authorities, all passengers must be subject to temperature control / check when they arrive at the airport. Passengers whose temperature is elevated will be directed to a medical centre for further examination. All passengers are required to complete the health declaration form required by the Health Authorities. All passengers must wear a face mask and respect the correct 1.5m social distance in all areas of airports. For more details and guidelines for all areas in the airport including Baggage reclaim, Customs, restaurants, etc please follow the link below (Please contact us if you want to see the full guidelines).
How will I get from the airport to the hotel?
You will be collected from the airport and taken to the joining hotel in our own mini vans. Should you need to take a taxi from the airport, please follow the instructions sign posted at the airport and read the details of the guidelines re taxis
Morocco Hotel guidelines
Delay check in and checkout hours from one client to another to avoid the risk of traffic . Install distributors of hand sanitizer in common areas. Ensure compliance with social distancing measures (1.5 m or 1m if in restaurant, transport) Make it mandatory for staff to wear masks in common areas welcoming customers. (Please contact us if you want to see the full guidelines).
Morocco Restaurant guidelines
At the entrance of each tourist restaurant and at convenient places of high traffic areas (kitchen entrance, delivery area, etc.) place a disinfectant and non-slip mat Reduce the capacity of the restaurant room and separate the tables by a minimum distance of 1 meter (including for terraces). Ensure that air conditioning systems are run over to renew the air more regularly and to promote the natural ventilation of the premises when possible. Ensure respect for social distancing and control the flow of customers (Please contact us if you want to see the full guidelines).
Morocco Tour Guides guidelines
Protective measures against COVD-19 must be implemented: before, during and after the guides service (visit to tourist monuments, museums, natural sites, excursion, etc.). Carry a PPE / hygiene kit (masks, gloves, disinfectants, etc.) All our tour guides will have emergency and contact numbers for you to get the best treatment (Please contact us if you want to see the full guidelines).
Morocco Transport guidelines
Here are the essential guidelines from the Moroccan Minister of Tourism for transportation; Install a physical barrier / screen between the driver and the client(s) If the installation of a physical barrier is not possible for security reasons, the driver must wear a protective mask. Promote the greatest possible distance; Limit the number of customers per vehicle in order to respect as far as possible the distance of 1 meter between customers Disinfect the surfaces frequently touched by customers (eg: interior handles, exterior handles, interior of the door, seat belts, etc.), with the usual disinfection products between each client use. Gloves may be appropriate for disinfection to protect hands from products that may be irritating. Ventilate the passenger compartment as often as possible, if the temperature allows it, and do not put the ventilation in air recirculation mode. (Please contact us if you want to see the full guidelines).
What are the current international airport and flight guidelines?
For travel to and from any airports in the UK please follow the Government guidance on public transport and aviation Safe travel guidance – UK Gov https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#public-transport Safe air travel guidance – UK Gov https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-air-travel-guidance-for-passengers Aviation passenger Guidance – UK Gov https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891521/Aviation_Guidance_Poster.pdf (Should you be travelling from a departure airport outside of the UK, please refer to your local government advice on travelling)
Do I need Travel Insurance to join one of our tours?
Travel insurance has always been mandatory to join any of our tours. It is essential you have the correct travel insurance. For your travel insurance to be valid, the FCO must have removed their advice against 'all but essential travel'; we expect this to happen as part of the air bridges. You should check that your policy covers you for medical expenses, subsistence, and repatriation if you or a member of your party contact COVID-19 during your holiday. If you took out a single trip policy or renewed an annual policy before the outbreak began in February, you should be covered but you will need to contact your insurer to check you are covered . Some insurance policies are allowing customers extensions on their policies to cover specifically for COVID-19. Some Travel Insurance that cover COVID-19 have exclusions from cover, please read the small print carefully. After much research we have found that Campbell Irvine seems to offer the most inclusive and comprehensive cover. Please compare various providers to make sure the cover is right for you. Campbell Irvine Travel Insurance, All Clear, AXA, Battleface, Cover for You, PJ Hayman, Holidaysafe, Staysure.
What happens if someone on my trip exhibits symptoms of Covid-19?
Quickly acting to place distance between the unwell traveller and others. Depending on location this may be through physical distance or the use of Personal Protective Equipment such as a face covering and disposable gloves. Seeking medical advice and facilitating testing. Liaising with local authorities and government and follow their directives on any quarantine measures. All our tour guides will have emergency and contact numbers for you to get the best treatment (Steps above include, but are not limited to).
What happens in the event of a “Local” lockdown in the UK preventing our group, or any member of our group from travelling. Will I be entitled to a refund?
In the event of a local lock down you would not be entitled to a refund from Nomadic Tours, but if you are prevented from travelling, you should be able to claim from your travel insurance provided you took out the policy before the lockdown was imposed. In the event of a local lock down you should first check with your local authority to ascertain if the local ban prevents you from travelling abroad as some local lock downs only apply to services provided in the area affected. If you are not allowed to travel provided you took out your insurance before any local lockdown preventing you from travelling your policy should cover you for this eventuality. You should ensure that your insurance policy has the option of Travel Disruption Extension Under these circumstances if the UK Government or local authorities have not issued any advice before you bought the policy you will be covered if a local lockdown preventing you from travel is brought in. Equally when you bought your policy which includes Travel Disruption Extension this should cover you if there was not a publicly known outbreak or quarantine in the resort you are travelling to.
Please note we reduced our balance due date from 56 to 28 days before departure. Our deposit amount is only £100, so hopefully this along with our REFUND PROMISE will give you confidence to book when you are ready.
Other useful links:
Morocco Passenger Health Form for entry in to Morocco: https://www.onda.ma/form.php
PCR test discounts in the UK: RANDOX https://www.randoxhealth.com/
ENTER CODE: AITO43 TO GET YOUR PCR TEST FOR £21.50
For PCR tests in Morocco our guides will be able to assist you.
Travel Insurance Options - Covid-19
Battleface - https://www.battleface.com/en-gb/covid-19/ Campbell Irvine - https://www.campbellirvinedirect.com/CIDirect/ Cover For You - https://www.coverforyou.com/coronavirus_cover.php PJ Hayman - https://www.pjhayman.com/travel-insurance/ HolidaySafe - https://www.holidaysafe.co.uk/coronavirus-travel-insurance/ StaySure - https://www.staysure.co.uk/single-trip-travel-insurance/?gclid=CjwKCAjwpMOIBhBAEiwAy5M6YLzHIJHMsw-rd2Nv60lDQzvUf6Vrt2Rd-lsyRNNfxipZlKO2lTrPexoCvzkQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds