Get to Know Morocco Guide Youness Labchir

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Youness Labchir grew up in a small town in Morocco and moved to Marrakesh to study; earning money in his free time by driving tourists around — including actors on movie shoots. This inspired Labchir to create his own company, Morkosh Tours, where he showcases the culture and customs of the Moroccan people — from Moroccan-Andalusian architecture to the traditional way of life, such as Berber cooking, as well as adventure tours in the Atlas Mountains and Sahara desert.
How did you become a Morocco guide?

I began as an English-speaking driver for tourists. I received a job opportunity working in the (movie) industry where I drove those who were working on movie shoots around Morocco. I learned many things and met several people of different nationalities, religions and cultures. I have also had the privilege to work alongside Genevieve O’Reilly, John Stellan Skarsgard and Clint Eastwood.

Why did you create your own company?

I am highly motivated and strive to do the best I possibly can. Realizing my extensive knowledge of Moroccan history and my natural flair with the general public, combined with having received positive feedback from customers, I realized I could have the freedom to plan a personal itinerary based on the individual client’s needs.

What are some activities for the more adventurous traveler in Morocco?

There are several adventure tours customized according to the location and customers themselves: camel trekking in the Palmeraie of Marrakesh or in the sand dunes, quad biking in the desert of Marrakesh and water reservoir or on the beach of Essaouira, jet skiing in Essaouira or Agadir, hiking in the Atlas Mountains or in the Sahara desert.

What’s involved in a Berber cooking class?

The cooking classes are organized in a true Berber house and not in a touristy restaurant or a hotel. The dishes are (made) by customers with the guidance of the grandmother of the Berber family to keep the local methods, and our guide will translate and assist with communication. We like to give our customers a real, unique experience of village life by shopping alongside the locals, making them feel welcome at the souk. The Berber Cooking Tour offers opportunities to make Berber mint tea and fresh Moroccan salads, take milk from the cow, (and) bake and cook local bread, tagine and couscous on an open fire.

What is your favourite trip, and why?

The Sahara desert, knowing that the first leg of the journey is an eight-hour drive of stunning, breathtaking scenery … stopping halfway for an overnight stay in the backdrop of the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Do you have a certain style of guiding?

I do as much as I can to make my customers feel confident and trusting. The choice is always theirs.

What’s the best part of your job?

At the end when I reach our commitment.

What’s the most bizarre experience you’ve had on a guided tour?

When somebody asks to go to the desert from Marrakesh in one day because it is a lengthy journey.

As an experienced guide yourself, can you explain the benefits of hiring a guide?

Safety, knowledge, trust, comfort, hassle-free.

Where in the world would you like to travel to next?

Thailand, Cambodia, Istanbul, the U.K., the U.S.

If you like this, you might like: Explore Morocco

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