Don't take your drone to Morocco

 Enjoy the sunset. Take a picture even. But leave the drone at home.

Enjoy the sunset. Take a picture even. But leave the drone at home.

When I travel for pleasure I like to take along my Mavic Air drone, which is small and light enough that I can throw it in a bag and forget about it, and not feel bad if I don’t end up using it. Typically when I travel (and always when it’s work-critical) I’ll check up on drone regulations in a country. Somehow, Morocco didn’t seem like the kind of place that would present an issue. How wrong I was.

I was one of the first through immigration and since I didn’t have a checked bag, I was soon marching through that last bastion of officialdom before freedom, customs. The man there called out to me: camera? drone? I naively said, why yes, I do have a drone. How did you know? It’s my job, he said.

So he led me to a small office off of baggage claim, and another man started filling out paperwork. It dawned on me that I wouldn’t be taking my drone into Morocco. But since I had at least admitted to having it, they would not confiscate it, but rather hold it for me in a storage room until my return flight. Which they did.

Drones are basically banned for any kind of casual use, and permission is needed to even bring one into the country.

It was a good reminder to always check drone regulations before traveling to a new country, or you may face a nasty surprise. This is a good starting point, but I find it better to just google “drone regulations [country]” to check out multiple sources.

 You can, and maybe should, bring your fishing pole to the lovely Moroccan Atlantic coast. But not your bird.

You can, and maybe should, bring your fishing pole to the lovely Moroccan Atlantic coast. But not your bird.

 Morocco’s Atlantic coastline features postcard-perfect scenery. Just keep it at ground level.

Morocco’s Atlantic coastline features postcard-perfect scenery. Just keep it at ground level.