PIPA visits Casablanca (Marocco) - The country with the fastest growing number of pigeon fanciers in the world! A view on a unique evolution!

At the end of last year PiPa was contacted by the “Union Casablanca”, one of the biggest pigeon sport organisations in Morocco, to invite us to pay a visit to this country where the pigeon sport is becoming extremely popular

It is always fascinating to learn about the pigeon sport in other countries, so we gladly accepted the invitation to travel through Morocco for 4 days to learn about the local pigeon sport. .

Visits were made to fanciers, there was a basketting and the homecoming from a race and there was a meeting of all the chairmen of the 10 pigeon clubs in Casablanca .

Let us first introduce you to the pigeon sport in Morocco.
What many people outside Morocco probably don’t know is that the pigeon sport here is becoming very popular. Over the last few years thousands of fanciers have been added and there is no sign of this stopping over the next few years. One of the biggest clubs in Casablanca, “Association Casablancaise de Colombophile” started in 2004 with +- 60 fanciers in the first season. Now the number has grown to 180 fanciers! Every week these fanciers race in their club against 4.000 to 5.000 pigeons!
In total Morocco has about 8.000 fanciers over the entire country, but mainly concentrated in the bigger cities so as Casablanca, Rabat and Agadir. Over the entire country there are about 80 pigeon clubs .

Yet in Morocco the pigeon sport already has a long history and they have raced pigeons since the 60’s.  It is since the millennium that the pigeon sport started changing. Not only in the number of members, but also qua structure and organisation. Everything is being done to establish a National pigeon federation. This takes priority by the governors of “Union Casablanca” because they realise that Morocco can only take the real step to making pigeon sport a professional sport when there are uniform regels and a national organisation. In addition they are also busy organising themselves according to the rules of the F.C.I. so that they can soon have accession to the international pigeon federation.

How is it that the pigeon sport in Morocco has become extremely popular whilst in many other countries the pigeon sport is declining?
Promoting the pigeon sport in a very positive manner has attracted an enormous number of young people to the pigeon sport over the last decade. No less than 70 to 75% of the pigeon fanciers in Morocco are aged 20 to 30 years old. This gives the pigeon sport in Morocco a very “young” image which then again results in many more people taking interest.

The experience during our visit also suggested another reason why it is becoming so popular. We experienced a fantastic atmosphere during the basketting. The fancier here treat each other as real friends, they hug each other, they laugh, they have fun, and no-one is left out. As a none-fancier you could get the feeling of wanting to belong to the sport…It may be a simple conclusion to say that this is one of the reasons for the interest, yet we believe that the high level of accessibility has a very positive effect.

Another fact which makes the pigeon sport, specifically in Morocco, so attractive is the climate. When you are almost 100% certain that you can race for the whole year in stable weather conditions with temperatures between 20°C and 30°C, exceptionally what higher, and also know that by more than 80% of the races there is a head wind, then it is clear that it is a real pleasure to race the pigeons in Morocco.
The conditions in which they can race gives the Moroccan fanciers the belief that the level will rise over the next few years. Because if you have tough, but fair races week after week then you can soon select the good pigeons .

On the map of Morocco you can find the location of Casablanca. The pigeons are always taken in a south-westerly direction. So always along the coastline as it were. All the races are liberated in Morocco, they go to the extreme south-west, in the area of Tarfaya from which they have races of more than 900 km. With these liberations the pigeons have to race 400 to 500 km over pure desert. Logically this end race of 900 km is also the most prestigious race of the year in Morocco, because not only can the clubs from Casablanca participate, but the whole of Morocco baskets for this marathon race (as long as they meet the necessary kilometres).

The racing season in Morocco starts in November and ends at the beginning of June. Naturally they begin with the sprint races and this up to and including March. They then race the middle distance for a few weeks until the middle of April and the last races up to and including June are all long distance races. There are no specific races for youngsters here, they are only trained and not raced until they are yearlings.

A big difference with the pigeon game in most European and Asian countries is that in Morocco they don’t (yet) race for money, but they have the ambition of doing so in the near future. According to many fanciers there this is a very important step in allowing the pigeon sport to evolve further. Racing for money will give the fanciers more investment drive, investing in infrastructure, coaching, pigeons, supplements and so on… and thus put the pigeon sport on a higher level.
Of course, just like with any other fast growing organisation there are certain teething troubles. At this moment there is a debate taking place regarding the electronic clocking system. The introduction of the E.C. was to take place next season on a large scale, but the people who don’t (yet) have an E.C. advocate a compensation time of 15 seconds or more for the users of the mechanical clocking system. The conclusion of the discussion, which has been taking place for weeks, is that a compensation time of 15 seconds will be allowed only for the 2011-2012 season, but the following year there will be no more compensation time. This gives everyone enough time to invest in an E.C. A happy medium was found for the people who were for and those against. The introduction of the E.C. will give the sport a more professional image.

In line with the pursuit of progress PiPa was addressed by the chairmen of the Union Casablanca to auction the 3 best pigeons of the 2010-2011 season on PiPa. It concerns the winning pigeon in the preliminary race of 700 km, the winning pigeon in the last race of 900 km and also the best pigeon over the 2 races. After internal consultation by PiPa the decision was made to honour the request as we are convinced that the pigeons that win in such tough circumstances from such distances are pigeons which have something to offer.

Finally we would also like to inform you that PiPa will sponsor the most important race of the year, the end race of  900 Km, and will give prizes to the winning pigeons. In this way we hope to contribute to the growth of the pigeon sport in this beautiful country!

We would specifically like to thank Mr. Said Kohen, Mr. Atmani and Mr. Bouzoubaa Mouhssine for the time they took to give us a glimpse of the Moroccan pigeon sport. They were 4 fantastic days!


Au nom de tts les colmbophiles marocain,je salut et remercie mr Thomas Gyselbrecht pour sa visite fructueuse au maroc,en esperant un partenaria durable et epanouissant.

Loin des yeux près du cœur
Cette visite emmènera un bole d'aire à la colombophilie marocaine pour lui donner sa reconnaissance et sa place mondiale.
D'autres visites sont organisées pour placer le Maroc dans le rang des plus grands pays de pigeon de course dans le monde, vue son developpement et sa croissance la plus rapide
Merci à MR Saïd Cohen d'avoir bien assuré le séjour de Mr THOMAS.
Vive la colombophilie marocaine

A bientôt

Merci M"thomas merci pour c'est gents qui mérite d'être bien traité c'est bien la réalité y'a des gens au grand coeur, qui font preuve d'amour pour se oiseau pigeons et essai d'avoir une meilleur technologie...Peut-on vraiment penser l'avenir en regardant les gens comme M'bouzoubaa et kohen et badr et safeh ..etc.. et merci d'avoir assuré ce séjour de M'thomas

Bonne année 2011 .

Nous avons l'honneur de Visite de Mr Thomas et bianvenue à tous les colombophiles du monde au Maroc

Nice to here the news pigeon sport in Morocco.Best of luck for all brothers....

Just one thing to be hihlighted , this visit has been focused on just one or two associations this not mean that the visited persons present tne Union , more diffuclties has been occured during the last racing Tamanarat for Exp due to new way of declaration , that's mean no Union till now .
the first thing that the association must take into there consideration is to find a solution between the new electronic detetcor and the old way of declaration 'ATENTO' This have no sens to get 30 seconds as interval between the new way and the last way of the pigeon declaration .

Please the union must be between us , and don't jump out the reality from the last window .

Any way thanks for the efforts done for both , associations represtatives & PIPA as well .
last thing , i will be happy when PIPA menmbres come again in Morocco but on there charge not on the associations budget i Think Smile!

Taoufik Kourrate

Congratulations Marruecos to all his race pigeons fanciers.

really im very happy to see the pictures of my friends with Thomas Gyselbrecht .thanks mouhssin good luck.....mouhssin good results this year .i wish a lot of good luck with your pigeons ..say hello to lafjar baydori markhouss and all

Le Maroc est un pays où la colombophilie progresse à grand pas .La visite de Mr Thomas au Maroc donnera un coup de pousse et fera connaître la colombophilie au reste du monde .Le Maroc est une terre d'accueil est tous ceux qui désirent nous rencontrer sont les bienvenue .

Namens alle colmbophiles Marokkaanse hallo en ik de heer Thomas Gyselbrecht bedanken voor zijn succesvolle bezoek aan Marokko, in de hoop Pri een duurzame en vervullend.

I would like to advertise in the pigeon press in Morroco. Can any one put me in touch with them.

ok Stragg ,
can you contact me :

.good luck moroccan fanciers

Greacht heer Thomas

dank u wel voor jou marokko bizok en badankt voor jou interessant

Ik heb een vrag aub

Is er een veiling voor de verkoop de eerst en de tweede duiven

(lang ofstand) ?

Met de beste groeten

merci Thomas pour la visite du Maroc -casablanca- nous attendons a Tiflet pour le visiter j'ai gagner en 1er place nationale le lacher d'AGADIR avec 16 association.

à tous ceux qui applaudissent à la visite de Pipa , Oui c'est bien de découvrir le Maroc bla bla bla , mais comme même réagissez vous au moins sur la carte géograhpique dont on voit la moitier du Maroc manquante .

Arrêtez ! de vos éloges , est penser à votre Sahara manquante dans la carte géographique .
Cela est un message de reconnaissance claire de la part de pipa en vers al Polisario .....
si jamais quelqu'un souhaite me répondre j'aimerai bien à l'avance qu'il communique la carte complète du Maroc à Pipa et si Pipa là change avec la bonne carte , dans ce cas je peux lui écrire on lui disant Châpeau .

Merci !

salam 3alikom !! tberkelah 3likom !! 9aher sahraa (desert) vainquer de smara 2005

cooool !

Nous avons l’honneur de vous accueillir. Le Maroc est un grand pays colombophile, une fédération nous manque pour briller à l'international, je vous promis !

bravo pour la visite c'est un honneur