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Our last trip was a major success as we saw over 120 bird species and had almost point blank views of Iberian Lynx, leaving us with a 100% track record of finding the world's most endangered cat. Join us in 2017 for the next adventure to this magical part of Spain. The first part of the trip is planned to coincide with the Autumn time migrations (especially raptors), where thousands upon thousands of birds head south; leaving their summer breeding grounds all over Europe, to return to the heat of Africa, where they will remain throughout the winter, until the spring, when they will head back north.  Our first destination, Tarifa, is the prime location during this spectacle, as the birds cross the Strait of Gibraltar at its slimmest point. Tarifa lies just 14 kilometres from the coast of Morocco and as such is known as the gateway to Africa.

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We will be staying here for three nights in comfortable log cabins situated just outside of town in the Playa de los Lances nature reserve, a mere stone’s throw from a deserted beach which allows for amazing views across the Strait. As raptors constitute one of the most remarkable groups on the move during this period; the sky is literally teaming with thousands of birds of prey such as booted eagles, black kites, short toed eagles, honey buzzards and Bonelli's eagle, the list goes on and on and on. Depending on wind direction we will be heading out daily to various observation points situated in the hills that are the backdrop of this spectacular coastline. The birds cross quite low, allowing for breath taking views and excellent photographic opportunities. The area is also home to a rich variety of resident birds. Do not be surprised if you come eye to eye with a committee of griffon vultures as they ride the low thermals. Believe us, this is a sight which you will not forget!

On day 2 we will be chartering a boat and heading out onto the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Here there is a realistic chance of observing seven different species of whale and dolphin. If all the stars are aligned, and the gods are in our favour, we will hopefully see killer whales. In the evenings we will take the short drive into town to visit one of several excellent restaurants Tarifa has to offer, and discuss our day’s sightings over a glass or two of rioja.  A walk around this picturesque town is a must, the well preserved 960 Guzman castle is a show stealer and the 16th century gothic Church of St. Matthew is also pretty high up the list of things you must see.  

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On day three we tear ourselves away from Tarifa and head up the coast, north and west to our next destination, Aznalcazar, near Doñana national park, one of the most imporatant Iberian lynx habitats left on the planet Our accommodation is a beautiful and very typical Spanish hacienda type villa, in the very sleepy village of Aznalcazar. As with most of the lodges we choose, the owner, Juan Antonio, is also very interested in and involved with local nature and will be more than happy to share his local knowledge with us.

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Our primary purpose whilst in this area will be to explore the Doñana National park and the surrounding environs for Iberian Lynx; the most endangered cat on Earth. After breakfast and armed with a packed lunch we will be heading out with our local spanish guide who will be leading this part of the tour. He has been leading tours around Doñana for many years and knows the area like the back of his hand. Entrance to the park is only permitted with a licensed guide. Hopefully, with his experience and our excellent track record, we will be lucky enough to see this beautiful but elusive animal.

The park is home to a plethora of wildlife, the species list is huge, from Andalucian residents such as hoopoe and bee-eaters, flamingos and spoonbills, to Spanish Imperial eagles and the Egyptian mongoose. If we find ourselves with some spare time, we can also have a small tour around El Rocio, a bizarre little town not dissimilar to the wild west. Night time offers a wide selection of places to eat, with some amzing tapas bars to sample!

El Rocio

Hopefully with a hatful of memories and a belly full of fine food we will head away from Doñana, driving the dusty roads and making tracks towards Andujar and the Sierra Morena mountains, taking in the breath taking scenery of rural southern Spain along the way. The accommodation at Andujar is full board with its own private pool, so if you desire, you can kick back and relax after 5 days packed wildlife watching and have a cold one by the pool, weather permitting.

Day 5 sees us heading out into the hills of Sierra Morena, the best place in the world to see lynx. This area is their hotspot and also has a high density of the rare Spanish Imperial eagle, so, if the gods are not in our favour in Doñana, Andujar allows us a second bite of the apple. The area is also host to a wide range of flora and fauna which will make for an action packed day with lots of sightings guaranteed; Azure winged magpie, Black vulture, Iberian green woodpecker, ibex, Mouflon and blue rock thrush being just a few of the many highlights. There is much to discover in this area, especially for admirers of architecture and cultural connoisseurs. The typical style of the buildings gives one the feeling of being in the middle ages. This is a side of Spain that you’re typical tourist will never see.

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On day seven, with heavy hearts but a mind full of memories, we say goodbye to Andalucía, make our way to the airport and head back to the reality of home. This trip will be mind blowing, jam packed with once in a lifetime experiences leaving you yearning to return to Andalucía time and time again. Trust us, this will happen, we know because it happened to us.

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Target Species The Iberian Lynx, Ibex, Red Dear, Eagle Owl, Little Owl, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Booted Eagle, Golden Eagle, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Kite, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier and many more birds.
Accommodation Chalets and Hotels
Meals Half board
Difficulty Easy,
Tour no.
7 days
September 2017
from
£815 + flights
Coming soon
  • Conservation Work

    The Iberian Lynx is thought to be the rarest cat on earth and is just on our doorstep. We want to do everything in our power to help this enigmatic animal and give it a chance of survival in a constantly changing world. We are currently in talks with local groups and conservationists, to find out the most effective and direct ways of helping this cat. One organisation we are currently working hard to get involved with is WWF Spain. They are heavily involved in Iberian Lynx protection, conservation and reintroduction.

    The local griffon vultures are also having a hard time so we want focus some of our attention on this bird to see what we can do to help. One organisation that is doing amazing work for birds is Fundación Migres who, among many other things, are responsible for migration counts. Twice yearly they spend long days counting and noting this spectacular occurrence, collating highly important data which is then analysed, allowing for migrating bird numbers to be monitored. They are also involved with the protection of the griffon vulture, who’s numbers have dramatically dropped following changes in farming practises.

    Rest assured that our trip to Andalucía will result in a beneficial contribution to local wildlife, emails and phone calls are being exchanged so there will be more details to follow.

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  • Pricing
    This 7 night trip costs £815 plus flights. Our pricing is extremely competitive when compared with other tour operators, and our itineraries tend to be more extensive. 
     
    Personal Payment Plans: For your convenience you can spread the cost of your trip by paying in installments with a personal payment plan. A non refundable deposit of 10% is also required on booking; this can be taken as your first payment.
     
    Included in the price: Accommodation, breakfasts and lunches, all transport and fuel, all wildlife watching activities such as birding trips and whale watching boat trip, local guide fees, and national park entry fees.
     
    Not Included in the price: Flights, evening meals and beverages.
     

     

     


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