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In the same way that Chicago is distinct in every way from New Orleans, the countries in North Africa are very different from the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. But even within the northern region, every country is unique. So, if you’re looking to start your North African adventure, and you’ve already explored Egypt, you have a whole new world ahead of you in Morocco.

This country has a rich culture, with influences from several different peoples. Here are the top 5 things to do when you’re in Morocco.

Tanneries in Fez

Ever wonder where leather comes from? You can find out at the tanneries in Fez. This isn’t a trip for those who are sensitive to smells; tanneries use lots of chemicals to cure and preserve leather. But if you do visit, you’ll get a new appreciation for the effort and craft it takes to make leather.

Try a Public Steam Bath

Public steam baths are a Moroccan tradition that you absolutely must experience if you visit. The custom of group cleansing started because in ancient times, not everyone could afford a private bath. The baths are not co-ed, so if you’re a female traveler, this is an excellent way to meet local women. 

Sahara Desert Sleepover

Book a camel ride and desert tour while you’re in Morocco. Spend the day riding through the sands, and lie under the stars at night. Make sure to pack warm clothes, because the desert can get very cold after the sun goes down. But in the day, the sun can be merciless, so remember to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. 

Shop the Souks

Souks are traditional markets where vendors sell everything from spices to clothes. The souks in Marrakech cater to tourists, so if you’re in this city, make sure to visit them. Practice your haggling skills or simply take in all the sights and sounds of this authentic Moroccan experience.

Hike the High Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains are on the west end of Morocco and stretch into Tunisia. There are easy routes to get up to the top, but give yourself a full day so that you can enjoy the scenery as you make your way toward the summit. The best time of year to visit is between April and May, when there is the least amount of rain.

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