Which is the best North African destination for a holiday with a very young toddler.
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I would say Morocco or Tunisia, although I have only travelled in Tunisia as a couple (Sidi Bou Said, Djerba and the Sahara), so would not have been as aware of any potential issues. The reaction to kids in both countries is amazing – your toddler will be spoilt rotten, and in some cases you may actually find the attention a little too much, with people wanting to cuddle, caress and kiss your child, or hold them for posed photographs (especially if they have blond hair!). Getting hold of basic supplies such as disposable nappies won’t be a problem, either.
We travelled to Morocco last year with a 4-year-old and a 21-month-old, and while they both loved the souks of Fez and Marrakesh, donkey rides in the palmeries and camel trips into the Sahara, the younger one was definitely more of a worry, mainly regarding hygiene (lots of picking up stuff from grubby streets!) and health, as being under 2 years old he had not had all his standard vaccinations by then, as yours won’t have either. If you take sensible precautions against the sun (heatstroke, dehydration), watch out for stray dogs and cats (rabies is present in both countries) and be discreet if breastfeeding, then you should have a great trip. I would also suggest, from bitter experience, that you check the caps on bottled water, as we were caught out by a shopkeeper who had refilled a “new” bottle with tap water.
It’s also worth noting that, while the FCO can sometimes be overly cautious, they are currently advising against all but essential travel to parts of Algeria and Tunisia (Chaambi Mountain National Park, which is unlikely to be of interest anyway), and to Egypt as a whole.
Hi Keith. My husband and I want to travel to Morocco in May with our daughter who will be 21 months. I’m glad to hear that your 21-month old enjoyed the trip. We have about a week (possibly 10 days) total to spend in Morocco and would like to see Marrakesh, Fez, and the Sahara if possible. The trip you describe sounds pretty much exactly what we’re looking at doing, actually.
Could you provide some information on how you traveled, and any advice you have for us on things to do or not do – like take a long train or bus with the toddler, rent a car, hire a taxi, etc.