Meet Issmail Bizzou, Flash Pack’s guide in Morocco

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Issmail Bizzou has been running Flash Pack adventures in Morocco since 2015. His trips are now so in demand, we’ve launched two new versions in the past year alone. Issmail comes from a small village in the Atlas mountains and when he’s not busy showing Flashpackers the beauty of his home country, he lives part-time in Marrakech

To be a good guide, you need to be easygoing and to care about people.

You’re travelling and sometimes problems happen, but it’s your job to reassure people; to be calm, confident and show that everything is alright.

You need to be available and there for your group, always. But you can also enjoy it.

I love being able to share the excitement that Flashpackers get when they see something for the first time, whether it’s the Atlantic ocean at sunset, or hiking in the Atlas hills.

People who travel with Flash Pack want to discover and learn more about the culture of Morocco, so every chance we have, we interact with local people.

When we’re in the Atlas mountains, we stay in small Berber guest houses, so Flashpackers get a really nice experience – it’s simple, comfortable and authentic.

We get to hike and to meet families who live in the area. Sometimes we take Flashpackers to someone’s house to have tea, and find out more about the local community.

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Morocco is a great place to disconnect, too. Most places have wi-fi , so it’s a personal choice – but people do say: “Right, I’m not going to use my phone, I don’t need it.”

We do camel rides and food safaris but the itinerary is not too intense in terms of activities. We get lots of time to relax.

We can talk into the evenings and it’s really nice to catch up and get to know each other. We’re talking about everything, it’s very lovely.

The dynamic is great with Flash Pack because everyone is aged 30-50, and they have a similar mentality. Everyone gets along with each other, everyone likes to travel and do a bit of adventure.

It’s not a traditional “I’m the guide and you’re the customer” approach – you try to be people’s friend. There are so many great moments on the Morocco adventure that make people happy.

In the mountains, the views are so nice – we go up to the rooftop and have mint tea, and it’s a beautiful moment.

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And in Agafay desert, we have sunsets and star-gazing. Sometimes, I use a laser to point out different stars; most of the time, it’s a beautiful, clear sky because we’re far from the cities.

And on the last three days of the trip, we stay in a very peaceful place surfing and doing yoga by the beach.

Morocco is made up of a mixture of lots of different cultures and indigenous people. We have Berber people, Arab people, Europeans, Saharan influences. It’s a very diverse country, and it’s so friendly and hospitable.

Because of what is happening in some parts of the Middle East, some people are afraid to come here.

They’re scared about what to expect but then they arrive and meet local people, who have a different story to what is shown on the news or on social media.

And then after the trip, they say, “Oh I feel very safe in Morocco, safer than home.”

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In Moroccan culture, it’s very special to take care of people and to welcome them.

So, I’m really proud to share my love of my home, especially when people say “Wow, you have a beautiful country – I want to come back.”

I want people to leave thinking “Morocco is the best. I’ll tell my friends about it.” Or even “I didn’t expect it to be as wonderful as it was”.

It makes me so happy when people say that.

We now run three showstopping adventures in Morocco, covering everything from climbing Mount Toubkal to learning to surf and Saharan camel rides. Have a browse right here

Images: Flash Pack

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