We are all guests of the local inhabitants of this area. From before the Roman conquest of North Africa the Berbers were the original inhabitants. We owe it to them to respect their environment and culture. We will be the richer if we also learn from them and minimise our negative impact.
The Berbers of the High Atlas follow Islam and as such do not drink alcohol nor eat pork. They are tolerant of western habits and wish tourism to develop for the mutual benefit of themselves and visitors. We do not wish to see the area turn into an artificial playground but to develop in a sustainable way for our and future generations. Please be considerate during your stay. By following the Code of Conduct below we believe you will not inadvertently cause embarrassment or damage to yourselves or our hosts.
Protect the natural environment
- Limit deforestation – make no open fires and discourage others from doing so on your behalf. Where water is heated by scarce firewood, use as little as possible. When possible choose accommodation that uses kerosene/gas or fuel-efficient wood stoves.
- Remove litter, burn or bury paper and carry out all non-degradable litter. Imlil has a rubbish collection system - please assist and show good example by depositing litter in the bins. Graffiti are permanent examples of environmental pollution.
- Keep local water clean and avoid using pollutants such as detergents in streams or springs. If no toilet facilities are available, make sure you are at least 30 metres away from water sources, and bury or cover wastes.
- Plants should be left to flourish in their natural environment – taking cuttings, seeds and roots is illegal in many parts of the High Atlas.
- Help your guides and porters to follow conservation measures.
Respect local traditions, protect local cultures and maintain local pride
- When taking photographs, respect privacy - ask permission and use restraint.
- Respect religious and cultural places - preserve what you have come to see, never touch or remove religious objects.
- Giving to children encourages begging. A donation to a project, health centre or school is a more constructive way to help.
- You will be accepted and welcomed if you follow local customs. Use only your right hand for eating and greeting. It is polite to use both hands when giving and receiving gifts.
- Respect for local etiquette earns you respect - loose, lightweight clothes are preferable to revealing shorts, skimpy tops and tight fitting action wear. Hand holding or kissing in public is disliked by local people.
- Visitors who value local traditions encourage local pride and maintain local cultures, please help local people gain a realistic view of life in Western Countries.
Based on ‘Tourism Concerns’ Code of Conduct developed for the Himalayas
This ‘Code of Conduct’ has been endorsed by:
The Village Associations of the Imlil Valley, The Governor D’Al Haouz, The Centre de Patrimoine de Haut Atlas, The Minister of Education, The Minister of Tourism, The Mountain Guides Association, The Association of High Atlas Tour Operators and all with an interest in the area.