Tag: morocco

tajine morocco support local artisans

Sustainable Tourism in Southern Morocco

South of the Moroccan tourism hub of Marrakesh is the jewel of Southern Morocco, Agadir. Encompassing Agadir and various other small towns, southern Morocco is largely underdeveloped with untapped potential. Morocco has been well-known by French tourists for a long time given its former status as a French colony. What is lesser known is that Agadir and Southern Morocco have an increasing capability to cater to the demands of sustainable tourists. Its location directly below Western Europe means it is only a short flight away for Europeans. With French and English widely spoken, communication is convenient for many travelers.

Key Destinations in Southern Morocco

Curious about where you should travel in Morocco and what you should do to make the biggest impact on your journey? Keep reading:

1. Agadir

The most popular destination in Southern Morocco is certainly Agadir. It rests on the western coast of Morocco, with 10 kilometers of beaches which receive over 300 days of sun per year. It is the perfect location for any beach lover, with easily accessible cafes, restaurants, and nightlife.


tajine morocco support local artisans

One reason why this city has a path to sustainable tourism is it is extremely walkable. One can spend the morning walking up and down Agadir Beach along the shoreline. If you venture inland to Souk El Had market, you can visit the hundreds of stalls selling unique Moroccan items, like bowls, jewelry, and other handicrafts. A large percentage of these stalls are owned by local Amazigh women, descendants of the pre-Arab people in North Africa.

Souss-Massa National Park is a long stretch of land just south of Agadir, where the terrain ranges from grassland steppes, sand dunes, sandy beaches, to wetlands. This park is the best chance for nature loving travelers to experience the wild side of southern Morocco. The park is home to 250 different species of nesting and migratory birds. The most famous of which is the Bald Ibis, other residents include antelopes, boars and mongooses.


agadir sunset

2. Tamraght and Taghazout

Further to the north, about a 25-minute drive, are the surfing towns of Tamraght and Taghazout. These smaller towns do not have resorts like Agadir, but offer quieter accommodation in mini hotels and Moroccan lodges for a more traditional experience. Often accommodations will offer Moroccan dishes for each meal of the day. Or you can visit the local markets for a chance to interact and negotiate your prices with the locals.

These towns have their own beaches and shops without the hustle and bustle of the larger Agadir. Here you can find water sports equipment rentals and guided tours around the area. Located in the shadow of the lesser Atlas Mountains, there are opportunities to hike into the mountains or simply lounge on the beach.

southern morocco is a very possible surfing destination

Paradise Valley is a quick day trip. Travelers can grab a minibus from various locations and arrive in a lush valley to swim and relax. Visiting this oasis is like stepping into another world away from the dry, arid Moroccan climate. This valley is also home to one of the oldest and most traditional honey making operations in the world.

3. Sustainable Activities to Enjoy on the Coast

The Southern Moroccan coast is primarily known for its surfing. The beaches along Agadir and the surrounding towns have a variety of different surf spots for all skill levels. Whether you are a beginner trying to experience a new sport or a pro seeking to hone your skills, there is a beach and a wave for you!

Surfing and the other water sports here may be the ultimate sustainable activities. The surfing culture is obsessed with keeping the ocean clean. After all, it is no fun to surf in polluted waters. Solely using the power of the ocean waves limits CO2 emissions and makes one tune in with the ocean’s natural power. Other water activities include sailing, parasailing, and swimming. If you want a break from the water, there are also horseback riding and camel tours where you can experience traditional Moroccan travel.

morocco sustainable camel tour

How can you get to Southern Morocco?

When traveling around Morocco, you have several different options. There are many bus coaches which go up and down the coast. In addition, Morocco has a few different train and rail lines to limit your carbon footprint.

If you are traveling around the city or a shorter distance, there are rental bike stands in the bigger cities. Renting bikes allows you to take in more of the sights for a cheaper, sustainable experience. If you don’t feel like pedaling yourself, there are taxi bikes available for a small fee. 

Solimar’s History of Supporting Sustainable Tourism in North Africa

Solimar International has always been committed to helping developing countries create a better sustainable tourism sector and garner more tourists to visit developing communities. At Solimar, we believe in tourism development that creates a positive experience for local businesses, local people, and the tourists themselves. This should be done without sacrificing the future of the planet.

In the past, Solimar has worked in Morocco. In 2012, we worked to create a series of cultural heritage routes to increase awareness of traditional Moroccan artisans and bolster their income.

Solimar is currently working on a USAID project in Tunisia. The goal of this five year initiative is to develop sustainable tourism in traditionally under-visited areas, bringing economic benefits to local communities and their inhabitants. This is the second project we have worked on in Tunisia – the first was the advancement and development of cultural heritage tours, in conjunction with the Smithsonian.

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August 9th is South Africa’s Women’s Day

Did you know that August 9th is South Africa’s Women’s Day? This special occasion honors the 1956 march that united more than 20,000 women in Pretoria asking for the end of the Pass Laws Act of 1952. These Pass Laws made it mandatory for all black South Africans over the age of 16 to carry a pass book with their biometric data (known as a dompas) everywhere and at all times. This law was designed to control the movement of black South Africans under apartheid as you could not move to a new area of the country without prior approval from the government. Those who violated the pass laws lived under constant threat of fines, harassment, deportation, and arrest.

South Africa’s National Women’s Day was celebrated for the first time on August 9, 1995 to remember the powerful women who fought against this injustice and the motto “You strike a women, you strike a rock” that developed from the resistance. South African women observe it now to commemorate the role women played in ending apartheid, while recognizing that the fight against injustice for women is not over. 

Why Does It Matter to Have Women in Tourism?

At Solimar, we strongly believe in tourism as a way to help the world attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs (gender equality is SDG #5). Women are an important part of the tourism and hospitality industry accounting for 54% of people employed by tourism worldwide in 2019. Therefore, creating equal opportunities and supporting women’s livelihoods plays a large role in the fight for true gender equality. When done correctly, tourism is a source of fair employment, fosters entrepreneurship among women, and inspires leadership in young girls. To honor stories of powerful women across Africa, this blog highlights historic attractions focused on African women. These sites demonstrate how tourism can play a role in empowering women and preserving their legacies.

Source: South African History Online


5 historical sites to remember African women’s fights for equality

  1. The Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa. 

This is the most symbolic site for South African Women’s Day. On August 9th, 1956, this is the spot where 20,000 women banded together to protest the Pass Laws Act of 1952 and left a strong legacy protesting both gender and racial inequality. The Women’s March filled the entire amphitheater of the Union Buildings, the official seat of the South African Government and offices of the President of South Africa, as well as the place where President Nelson Mandela’s inauguration took place in 1994.  With such powerful, iconic meaning and history, the Union Buildings and their gardens have also become a national heritage site and a popular tourism attraction that offers a stunning view of symbolic Pretoria. If you ever have the chance to visit the exteriors, you will not only admire the many statues – including Nelson Mandela’s – but also the memorial created by Wilma Cruise and Marcus Holmes to the Women’s March, reminding everyone that “Wathint’ Abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo!” – “Strike a woman, strike a rock!”

Source: South Africa History Online

2. Women’s Living Heritage Monument in Pretoria, South Africa

In 2016, a monument was erected for the remembrance of the four heroic women who led the protest at the Union Buildings. Lillian Ngoyi, Sophia Williams-de-Bruyn, Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa, the great leaders of the Women’s March, had the pleasure to attend the inauguration of their own statues on August 9, 2016 in Pretoria. Check out this article to know more about this Women’s Living Heritage Monument. 


Source : International Women’s Day 2021  

3. Women’s History Museum in Zambia

In Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, the Women’s History Museum was established recently to bring together and preserve African indigenous knowledge, with a particular focus on women. It aims at documenting and safeguarding historical narratives of African women, especially for the rich amount of knowledge and intangible heritage that is in danger of disappearing due to the impact of British colonialism. In addition to collecting and exhibiting traditional quits, audio recordings and photographs, the Women’s History Museum created the Leading Ladies animated video series to tell the histories of prominent Zambian women in pre-colonial times and make their stories more accessible. 

4. Musée de la Femme in Marrakesh, Morocco 

Heading to North Africa in the old Medina of Marrakesh is another women’s museum that represents the great culture and heritage of women. Since 2018, the Moroccan Musée de la Femme hosts different exhibitions to showcase the important contributions of women in the North African country. The museum also offers space to talented women – from photographers to artisans or leaders – bringing them out of the shadows and giving them the spotlight to be more widely recognized. 

Source: Musée de la Femme in Morocco (Atlas Obscura)

5. Voices of Women at the Phansi Museum in Durban, South Africa

Another project emerged in South Africa this year – ‘Amazwi Abesifazane – Voices of Women’ – a museum dedicated to the artwork of local women. Creator Andries Botha’s goal is to protect and conserve 3,000 unique archives (including embroidered cloths, memories and stories) to remember the fascinating lives of South African women. As a living museum, these exhibits provide sound excerpts in indigenous and English languages for each piece of art, thus offering a voice to these often unheard women. The Phansi Museum displays some of the greatest collections of arts and crafts from the country. This site is a meaningful portrail of South Africa’s Women’s Day. 


At Solimar, we are committed to fostering inclusion and it is important for us to position ourselves as allies in the fight for women’s rights. Creating opportunities for women to succeed in the tourism industry must be a priority in sustainable development. From the DMOs to the tourists, everyone in the industry can take part and choose to make tourism more responsible and inclusive of all genders, races, and sexual orientations.

If you are interested in learning how tourism is inclusive for women, make sure you follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.  Stay tuned for our Sustainable Destinations Podcast through the Institute for Sustainable Destinations, available wherever you find your podcasts.  

By Amèlie Keller and Keller and Marina de Moraes Lopes
“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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