Modern Morocco caters for a diverse range of sports, notably King Golf. When, decades ago European consular staff, in their spare time, dug the occasional hole in the ground in Tangier and practiced putting, they could little realize that they had planted the germ of an enthusiasm which one day would not only sweep the land, but become a virtual industry and a catalyst underpinning the growing tourist trade in Morocco. With at least 29 world class courses designed by internationally reputed architects such as Robert Trent Jones, Cabell Robinson, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus, annual trophy competitions draw international stars.
Other sports and pastimes include Grand Prix motor racing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, mountain biking, hang-gliding, canyoning, rock climbing, para-jumping, ballooning, flying, camel-trekking in the desert, horse riding, skiing and scuba diving.
Freshwater fishing includes perch, pike, black-water bass, carp and roach while in the Mediterranean are sea perch, mullet and sea bream. The Atlantic offers these and trips a la Hemingway, seeking swordfish, and other big fellows of the ocean, tuna, marlin and groupers.
Some of Britain’s top climbers along with experienced Berber mountaineers act as expert guides in the Ante and the High Atlas or on the rock faces of some awesome gorges.
Skiing on the higher peaks is usually viable from February to April. Oukaimeden, about 70 km south of Marrakesh has the highest ski lift in North Africa. It is possible, in season, to ski in the High Atlas, yet within hours be on the fringe of the Sahara desert, swim in the Atlantic or play golf at sunny Agadir opposite the Canary Islands.
Autumn and winter are the practical choices for those seeking a camel desert expedition varying from two days to two weeks.
Morocco is a birdwatcher’s paradise with its mild climate and as a stopover point for migratory birds, some who wintered south of the Sahara heading north in Spring to breed in Europe and migrating back in Autumn. These include storks, hawks and eagles, bustards and cranes, rollers and bee eaters. The Greater Flamingo can be found in freshwater lakes, estuaries and dams. Most varieties of birds can be found in the many nature reserves, particularly Oued Loukoss, an area of marshes with ducks and waders, Merja Zerga, a coastal lagoon with flamingos, waterfowl and waders and Daya Aoua, a mountain lake surrounded by woods in the Middle Atlas for water birds, buntings, firecrest, short-toed treecreeper and Levaillant’s woodpecker.