Atlantic Coast, Desert and Atlas 8 days

Day 1 MARRAKECH

Depending on the free time our flight arrival time allows us, we can have our first taste of  Marrakech, where we will enjoy the first interesting birds of the trip, Common Bulbul, Little Swift and House Bunting will compete for our attention with the non-ornithological wonders that this city full of monuments has to offer. Declared a World Heritage site, it has the traditional largest market in the country and one of the busiest squares in Africa and in the world, the Jema El Fna square, where we will have a special dinner. Our accommodation is located in the old area of the city, a few minutes from the square. 

 

Day 2 MARRAKECH – ESSAOUIRA

Early in the morning we will head to the pearl of the Atlantic, Essaouira seaport, with a medina that has been declared patrimony of  humanity. Although the city  is in  itself a marvelous tourist attraction, we will dedicate our solar hours to bird watching. Here we  can enjoy  of the several hundred pairs of  Eleonora´s falcon which have established a breeding colony on the island of Mogador, opposite the town and  less than 1 km away. We will also enjoy waders, gulls and  herons including Reef egret and passerines such  Egret as the White Wagtail ssp subpersonata, Brown-throated martin and even the chagra. The overnight will be  in a riad in the medina.



 

Day 3 ESSAOUIRA – SOUS MASSA

We will have breakfast in Riad and continue enjoying the charms that are offered by Essaouira. After our meal we will head to Souss Massa, where we will overnight inside the Park by the seashore.


 

Day 4 SOUSS MASSA – GUELMIN

This morning will be  dedicated to the Souss Massa National Park. Here our main interests will be the resident Bald ibis, chagra and Moussieris redstart. We will also see many other interesting species in this unbelievable place that has an huge ornithological richness, making it easy to observe the  algeriensis ssp Shrike, the Moroccan magpie, common little owl ssp glaux, Cream-coloured courser, Spanish  Sparrow, Desert Wheatear and thousands of water birds… In the afternoon we leave towards the South, where we will be making interesting stops along the way before reaching the edge of the great Sahara. Night in Guelmim.


 

Day 5 GUELMIM – TAROUDANT

We wake up in an area where our chances of finding desert species are very good. We expect to see birds such as the Saharan race of  Shore Lark, Desert Lark, Bar-tailed Desert Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Thick-billed Lark, White-Crowned Black and Red-rumped Wheatear,  Barbaryand Lanner Falcon, Cream-coloured Courser,  Trumpeter Finch, Fulvous Babbler and Tritram’s Warbler. Even the elusive and difficult Scrub Warbler and Desert Warbler will be possible. In the afternoon we will head to Ouarzazate where we will night in the area of Taroudant.


 

Day 6 TAROUDANT – OUARZAZATE

We leave Taroudant very early to be as soon as possible in the vicinity of Ouarzazate where we will look for the Maghreb Wheatear. This specie is sought by most ornithologists who visit the country, and has in this area one of the best preserved nuclei. Here we will also have a chance of finding the Thick-billed Lark, Desert Lark, Red-rumped Wheatear, Crowned Sandgrouse and Barbary Falcon. Night in Ouarzazate.

 

Day 7 OUARZAZATE – OUKAIMEDEN – MARRAKECH

In the early morning we will leave towards the High Atlas, passing through the heart of the spectacular Valley of Ourika, with good possibilities to see Levaillant’s Woodpecker, African Blue Tit, the African race of Chaffinch and other forest birds. We will finally reach Oukaïmeden and we will focus on the typical birds of high mountains. We can see there  Horned Lark, Crimson-winged Finch , Choug and alpine Chough, Alpine accentor, Rock sparrow, Barbary  Partridge… Late in the afternoon departure to Marrakech, where we will overnight.


 

Day 8 MARRAKECH

Today we will use the free time to learn a little bit more of Marrakech, until our flight takes us way back to the other reality….

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