We started using local leaders exclusively in the mid to late '90s and haven’t looked back since. Our local leaders often end up being the highlight of our trips. Their insights on the best chai in Delhi, the cheapest carpets in Marrakech, Uzbek wedding traditions and how to say ‘no, thank you’ in Swahili bring experiences money can't buy.
We switched to solely using local leaders so we could give something back to the local communities we travel in. A leader with local knowledge, language, best-meal-in-town kind of skills is invaluable and the feedback from our travellers has proved that we made the right choice.
Our Responsible Travel Coordinator, Lilli Morgan, knows the importance and value of local leaders all too well:
“Guidebooks can only go so far. It’s having a local leader that is really the highlight! It lets you experience and understand the country you’re travelling in and allows informal and meaningful interaction with the locals. It also benefits the local communities as it ensures financial return to the local economy and opens up training and employment opportunities.”
We had a chat with Issam, our awesome leader in Morocco, who let us in on some of the little tidbits he likes to share with his Peregrine travellers to make them feel like Morocco is their home too.
What’s your favourite part of living in Morocco?
I like the lifestyle here. I like the going out culture, and by going out I don’t mean going inside somewhere. Going out means going into the street and walking, seeing people and people watching or sitting on a cafe terrace sipping coffee. I like the no stress lifestyle. And the hammam, that’s another point of the lifestyle that I like in Morocco. It’s like a Turkish bath.
Best thing about Moroccan food?
Even the fast food places serve really nice and good cheap sandwiches with fresh things and ah I love the coffee, I love the freshly squeezed orange juice, it’s really cheap everywhere.
Best way to spend the day in Marrakech?
The square is a historical site. It’s always been a meeting point for people from the city and it’s different. The day time is a lot of snake charmers and jugglers and performers. And in the evenings it’s music bands and jokers and food stalls with all the smoke and nice coffee on the terrace overlooking the square. You can just sit in one of the cafes for hours and see the life going by.
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