Kasbah du Toubkal

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Last updated: 3 January 2019, 12:53 GMT

Discover Ltd and Kasbah du Toubkal's reaction to the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal, 16/17 December 2018

Update No. 9 3rd January 2019

Imlil and the whole region is operating normally and was within a day immediately after this sad and tragic event.

The reviews from people who stayed over the Christmas and New year period can be seen at www.kasbahdutoubkal.com/imlil and can attest to how Imlil is very much back to normal and how our guests felt safe in the region.

The main change, is that it is currently compulsory to take a guide when trekking up Jbel Toubkal, something we have always recommended.

I hope this will be my last update on this sad and tragic event as we have already returned to normality and life goes on. Anyone who is interested in the previous updates these are all available below by cursoring down, and I am always happy to speak to anyone who would like more information.

I believe these are the main relevant facts:

  • Imlil and trekking in the region is operating normally.
  • Imlil and the Moroccan people, as evidenced by their behaviour since the events, are as horrified as you or I (or even more so), as it is their mountain that was desecrated by these acts. The vigils held in many places in honour of Louisa and Maren and other posts are evidence of this.
  • Kasbah du Toubkal had no client cancellations for stays for the period 16 December 2018 to 2nd January 2019 after the tragedy which is a busy period and our guests unanimously showed solidarity to us and the Imlil people and against terrorism by carrying on with life. See their feedback: www.kasbahdutoubkal.com/imlil
  • Neither the UK FCO nor the US State Department (nor any other country as far as I am aware) have changed their travel advice for Morocco generally, nor for the Imlil region specifically. There are no travel restrictions for Morocco.
  • The culprits of this act were not from the region and have been caught and it is generally agreed that the Moroccan authorities acted with speed and professionalism.
  • Morocco remains a relatively safe country vis a vis terrorism by many experts and certainly considered safer than UK or France.

I, and the whole of the people of Imlil, would like to thank all those who have carried on with their travel plans during this difficult period and showed solidarity with the region and against terrorism.

I came across these words recently attributed to Confucius:

Education breeds Confidence, Confidence breeds Hope, Hope breeds Peace

We hope we play our part: www.kasbahdutoubkal.com/education.

Morocco, Imlil and the Kasbah du Toubkal looks forward to welcoming all our guests in 2019.

Mike McHugo, Kasbah du Toubkal and the peace-loving people of Imlil

Update No. 8 23rd December 2018

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Since the 16/17 December 2018 our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region. Guests continue to come from Marrakech to enjoy a trek and lunch at the Kasbah.

On the 18th December The Governor of the D’Al Haouz Province, along with authorities from Marrakech, held a meeting in Imlil with the local community saying this was an isolated tragic event and life in Imlil should continue as before.

The authorities have increased the police presence in Imlil to 24/7 and check points have been added en route to Toubkal. For me, the greatest increase in security is the local population who have been horrified by this tragic event, perhaps even more than us, as it is their Berber homeland that has been desecrated by this violent act. Nothing like this has ever happened before and they will be determined it never happens again.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46632182

Thomas Reilly British Ambassador to Morocco tweeted yesterday:

Thomas Reilly‏ @TSAReilly
#Morocco murder video authenticated. Terrorism is irreligious no religion or other excuse justifies it. We will never give into terrorism. We must also not over-react. This appalling act doesn’t change the beauty of #Morocco & the warmth kindness & generosity of its people.

On the 22nd December, a tribute in Imlil took place where the people of Imlil, the Moroccan authorities and tourist from Marrakech came to pay tribute and share food together in an act of solidarity. I was asked to write some words:

Mike McHugo "After the tragic events on Toubkal earlier this week we need to honour the 2 women who were so tragically murdered in the beautiful Toubkal massif.

"We also need to not let the culprits succeed in their desire to bring discord between peace loving people no matter what their religion or belief system. We need to treat this for what it is a brutal isolated criminal act perhaps in the name of religion but do not let these fanatics bring the discord they seek.

"We believe all peace loving people should come together to honour the lives of these two nature loving women. Show solidarity against terrorism and show solidarity for the peace loving Berber people of the Atlas Mountains by continuing to trek and visit the area which is what has been happening by visitors all this week. Thank you for your support.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the women so tragically murdered. Honour them and show your solidarity against terrorism."

The whole Kasbah du Toubkal team and people of Imlil.

Morocco and the people of Imlil deserve our support, we look forward to welcoming you.

I hope this information has been useful.

Kind regards

Mike

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 7 23rd December 2018

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Since the 16/17 December 2018 our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region. Guests continue to come from Marrakech to enjoy a trek and lunch at the Kasbah.

On the 18th December The Governor of the D’Al Haouz Province, along with authorities from Marrakech, held a meeting in Imlil with the local community saying this was an isolated tragic event and life in Imlil should continue as before.

The authorities have increased the police presence in Imlil to 24/7 and check points have been added en route to Toubkal. For me, the greatest increase in security is the local population who have been horrified by this tragic event, perhaps even more than us, as it is their Berber homeland that has been desecrated by this violent act. Nothing like this has ever happened before and they will be determined it never happens again.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46632182

Thomas Reilly British Ambassador to Morocco tweeted yesterday:

Thomas Reilly‏ @TSAReilly
#Morocco murder video authenticated. Terrorism is irreligious no religion or other excuse justifies it. We will never give into terrorism. We must also not over-react. This appalling act doesn’t change the beauty of #Morocco & the warmth kindness & generosity of its people.

On the 22nd December, a tribute in Imlil took place where the people of Imlil, the Moroccan authorities and tourist from Marrakech came to pay tribute and share food together in an act of solidarity. I was asked to write some words:

Mike McHugo "After the tragic events on Toubkal earlier this week we need to honour the 2 women who were so tragically murdered in the beautiful Toubkal massif.

"We also need to not let the culprits succeed in their desire to bring discord between peace loving people no matter what their religion or belief system. We need to treat this for what it is a brutal isolated criminal act perhaps in the name of religion but do not let these fanatics bring the discord they seek.

"We believe all peace loving people should come together to honour the lives of these two nature loving women. Show solidarity against terrorism and show solidarity for the peace loving Berber people of the Atlas Mountains by continuing to trek and visit the area which is what has been happening by visitors all this week. Thank you for your support.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the women so tragically murdered. Honour them and show your solidarity against terrorism."

The whole Kasbah du Toubkal team and people of Imlil.

I hope this information has been useful.

Kind regards

Mike

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 6 21st December 2018

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Since the 16/17 December 2018 our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region. Guests continue to come from Marrakech to enjoy a trek and lunch at the Kasbah.

On the 18th December The Governor of the D’Al Haouz Province, along with authorities from Marrakech, held a meeting in Imlil with the local community saying this was an isolated tragic event and life in Imlil should continue as before.

The authorities have increased the police presence in Imlil to 24/7 and check points have been added en route to Toubkal. For me, the greatest increase in security is the local population who have been horrified by this tragic event, perhaps even more than us, as it is their Berber homeland that has been desecrated by this violent act. Nothing like this has ever happened before and they will be determined it never happens again.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46632182

Thomas Reilly British Ambassador to Morocco tweeted yesterday:

Thomas Reilly‏ @TSAReilly
#Morocco murder video authenticated. Terrorism is irreligious no religion or other excuse justifies it. We will never give into terrorism. We must also not over-react. This appalling act doesn’t change the beauty of #Morocco & the warmth kindness & generosity of its people.

22 Dec a tribute in Imlil took place where the people of Imlil, the Moroccan authorities and tourist from Marrakech came to pay tribute and share food together in an act of solidarity. I was asked to write some words.

Mike McHugo "After the tragic events on Toubkal earlier this week we need to honour the 2 women who were so tragically murdered in the beautiful Toubkal massif.

"We also need to not let the culprits succeed in their desire to bring discord between peace loving people no matter what their religion or belief system. We need to treat this for what it is a brutal isolated criminal act perhaps in the name of religion but do not let these fanatics bring the discord they seek.

"We believe all peace loving people should come together to honour the lives of these two nature loving women. Show solidarity against terrorism and show solidarity for the peace loving Berber people of the Atlas Mountains by continuing to trek and visit the area which is what has been happening by visitors all this week. Thank you for your support.

"Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the women so tragically murdered. Honour them and show your solidarity against terrorism."

The whole Kasbah du Toubkal team and people of Imlil.

Morocco and the people of Imlil deserve our support, we look forward to welcoming you.

I hope this information has been useful.

Kind regards

Mike

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 5 20th December 2018

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Since the 16/17 December 2018 our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region. Guests continue to come from Marrakech to enjoy a trek and lunch at the Kasbah.

On the 18th December The Governor of the D’Al Haouz Province, along with authorities from Marrakech, held a meeting in Imlil with the local community saying this was an isolated tragic event and life in Imlil should continue as before.

The authorities have increased the police presence in Imlil to 24/7 and check points have been added en route to Toubkal. For me, the greatest increase in security is the local population who have been horrified by this tragic event, perhaps even more than us, as it is their Berber homeland that has been desecrated by this violent act. Nothing like this has ever happened before and they will be determined it never happens again.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-46632182

I hope this information has been useful and the Kasbah du Toubkal and all the people of Imlil thank you for your support.

Kind regards

Mike

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 4 20th December 2018

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Since the 16/17 December 2018 our activities have continued as usual both at the Kasbah du Toubkal and trekking in the region. Guests continue to come from Marrakech to enjoy a trek and lunch at the Kasbah.

On the 18th December The Governor of the D’Al Haouz Province, along with authorities from Marrakech, held a meeting in Imlil with the local community saying this was an isolated tragic event and life in Imlil should continue as before.

News on the BBC indicate that three suspects has been arrested in Marrakech. See:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46597369

You can also see reports on Moroccan World News at:

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/12/260806/source-police-arrest-3-suspects-for-killing-scandinavian-tourists-near-mount-toubkal/

Mike McHugo

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 3 19th December 2018

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Currently, 19th December 2018, our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region. Guests also came on our lunch excursion from Marrakech yesterday the 18th December.

Today the Governor of Tahanaout, along with authorities from Marrakech, held a meeting in Imlil with the local community saying this was an isolated tragic event and life in Imlil should continue as before.

The latest news on the BBC indicate that three suspects has been arrested in Marrakech. See:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46597369

You can also see further reports on Moroccan World news at:

https://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2018/12/260806/source-police-arrest-3-suspects-for-killing-scandinavian-tourists-near-mount-toubkal/

Mike McHugo

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 2

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Currently, 18th December 2018, our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region.

The latest news on the BBC indicate that a suspect has been arrested in Marrakech. See:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-46597369

Mike McHugo

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Update No. 1

We, as with all the people of Imlil, were horrified to learn about the tragic events that took place on Mount Toubkal and our thoughts go our to all those directly concerned.

We are in contact with both the Moroccan authorities and the British Ambassador to Morocco.

Our reaction to these tragic events is very much along the lines that we believe were well written in the Financial Times after September 11th 2001. We believe these words are still relevant.

"Meanwhile, the best that the ordinary citizen can do, especially if we are in for the long haul, is to doggedly pursue our normal activities."
Financial Times, 27 Sept 2001

To this we would add, "…until advised differently by the appropriate authorities."

Currently, 18th December 2018, our activities continue at Kasbah du Toubkal and with trekking in the region.

Mike McHugo

Managing Director, Discover Ltd,

Your visit to Morocco

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Visiting Morocco after the events in Paris

Here are a selection of comments left by customers who have been to Morocco since the events that took place in Paris during November 2015.

Morocco is a lovely, extremely safe country. We were there before, during, and after the Paris attacks and had no concerns whatsoever—all the Moroccans we met shared our dismay at the random vicious violence perpetrated by an extremist fringe element of their religion. On a more general note-- we were two women travelling alone and self-driving. We had no concerns/issues and received nothing but generous assistance from everyone we met. It saddens me that I have had to explain to so many Americans that Morocco is probably safer than my home town of NYC. I encourage anyone considering travelling there to take some time to educate yourself. Listen to the feedback from other travelers, read the papers—I think you will find that it’s safe, it’s beautiful, and the people are extraordinarily kind. Then go!

I recently went back to Marrakech in December 2015, travelling with my life partner and we stayed for 3 nights at the Kasbah du Toubkal. We have been very friendly welcomed at any places we stayed on, either in town or in the mountains and we never felt, as travellers from Europe, that we were not accepted by local people. The people of Morocco have a great sense of hospitality and I hope that the recent tragic events that took place in France will not restrain tourists from discovering and continuing to visit the country, which has many many things to offer us.

I’ve been to Morocco, and the Atlas Mountains, several times over the last 10 years and at last was able to bring my family. My wife and four daughters appreciated the special beauty of the Kasbah and its surroundings. We also spent a couple of days in Marakesh, which was a brilliant contrast. It’s exciting and a little edgy especially in the medina. This is part of its appeal and we had absolutely no concerns about our safety during our stay in Morocco.

I would just like to say what a fantastic, amazing trip we had when we came to Morocco in November last year. We arrived just before the terrible attacks in Paris and we never once felt uncomfortable or threatened during our stay at ANY point. We only encountered friendly, interesting people who loved the place they lived and were keen to show us the positive way in which they live their lives. We will go back to the Kasbah du Toubkal some time soon to do more trekking in the High Atlas Mountains which we fell in love with.

We had wanted to visit Morocco for years and saw no reason to change our plans once it became possible to actually come. Via Casablanca, we visited the medinas of Fes and Marrakech and the Kasbah du Toubkal over two weeks, travelling by train (mainly) and private car. We had an extraordinary time and found our Moroccan hosts and the people to be friendly, helpful and a delight to be with. We would be back in a heartbeat!

I didn’t think about the fact that Morocco is mostly Muslim when making my booking. I have traveled extensively around the world and Moroccans would be in my top 3 of gentle, kind and hospitable people. They are one of the things that make it a special trip.

Delightful spring break in Morocco—23 degrees and unbroken blue skies for 4 days was a wonderful way to wash away February UK blues. Hospitality of the local Berber community was wonderful—such a relaxing place to spend time in the mountains of the wonderful contrast of the cities. Do go—you’ll love it!

Had a long weekend climbing ice and snow in the Atlas Mountains. First visit to Kasbah du Toubkal, lovely place with a fascinating story. Staff extremely helpful and friendly, and muledrivers and others we met en route also very friendly. Thoughts of danger, apart from those associated with climbing steep ice, never entered our minds. As elsewhere on the planet people gets nicer the further away from towns you get, and hospitality increases with reduced prosperity. Having said that my wife and I are frequent visitors to Marrakech, pone of our favorite towns anywhere.

As an expatriate based in Morocco’s capital, it’s been my highlight to go hiking in late autumn, at Kasbah du Toubkal. Its setting, dramatically against the mountain backdrop, is unbeatable. Sitting on the roof tower is so unwinding. While security advises from most Western embassies do matter, they have hardly ever excluded travel in most areas of Morocco and especially the Atlas mountains in the last five years. I can really only recommend the Kasbah du Toubkal for anyone who wishes to get a stylish yet authentic experience of the Moroccan Atlas mountains.