Morocco, with its breathtaking scenery, delicious food, rich history and fabulous birding, is an essential destination for all birders and travellers. As an independent country after French rule, few Muslim countries offer the combination of such a friendly atmosphere complimented with strong cultural beliefs and few restrictions on visitors. Interesting habitats are found in the various geo-physical regions and vary from the high snow-covered Atlas Mountains, to low lying woodlands and the red sand dunes of the great Sahara desert. Cities and towns bustle with activity, where mud-walled buildings line souks (long narrow alleyways) that are filled with bazaars selling carpets and crafts, and laden with exotic spices. What’s more, Morocco is also home to numerous special birds and several North African endemics including the beautiful Moussier’s Redstart, Tristram’s Warbler, Barbary Partridge, Levaillant’s Woodpecker, Fulvous Babbler, African Blue Tit and African Crimson-winged Finch. Our main target however is one of the world’s most endangered birds, the Northern Bald Ibis or Waldrapp, now restricted to only two colonies in Morocco and a recently introduced breeding colony in Spain. We take a pelagic trip off Agadir to see the Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwater before heading into central and eastern Morocco. Our time on the stony gravel plains and sandy deserts are liable to be rewarded with Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, dainty Cream-colored Courser, up to four species of Sandgrouse, Desert Sparrow, African Desert Warbler and numerous larks, including Temminck’s, Maghreb, Thick-billed and the Western Palearctic’s most difficult species Dupont’s Lark. Heading further north, we stop in the pine and oak woodlands near Ifrane for Atlas Pied Flycatcher before continuing onwards to wetlands near Casablanca for the rare White-headed Duck, Moustached Warbler and recently split Western Swamphen. We complete our tour with an early morning trip to a known stakeout for Double-spurred Francolin.
Northern Bald Ibis, chances for Houbara Bustard, Balearic Shearwater, Barbary Falcon, Marbled Duck, Barbary Partridge, Audouin’s Gull, Crowned, Spotted & Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Cream-colored Courser, Pharoah Eagle-Owl, Red-necked & chances for Egyptian Nightjar, Levaillant’s Woodpecker, Fulvous Babbler, Greater Hoopoe-Lark, Temminck’s, Calandra, Thick-billed, Desert & Dupont’s Lark, Moussier’s Redstart, African Blue Tit, African Crimson-winged Finch, Tristram’s & Spectacled Warbler, Streaked Scrub Warbler, African Desert Warbler, Red-rumped Wheatear, Desert Sparrow, White-headed Duck, Moustached Warbler, Western Swamphen, Double-spurred Francolin, Marsh Owl, European Turtle Dove, Common Cuckoo, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Common Nightingale, Seebohm’s Wheatear (a distinctive race of Northern Wheatear)
Gundi, Barbary Macaque, Fat Sand Rat, Red Fox, chances for Barbary Sheep.
mountains, woodlands, coastal lagoons, open ocean, wadis, stony & sandy deserts, wetlands
temperate and pleasant, cold in high mountains
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader / 10 with 2 Rockjumper leaders
relaxed pace, some long drives, undemanding walking
easy open country birding
175 – 210
Atlas Mountains, medieval cities, Erg Chebbi dunes, great food
Morocco was a fun and thoroughly enjoyable tour. How could it not be with David Hoddinott and Mark Beevers as leaders!!! They just make me want to go on more Rockjumper tours to see as many birds as I can. You have no idea how appreciative I am of them. They are great and generous and fun and so focused. I love that. They have an intensity that makes birding fun.
David Hoddinott is an excellent birding tour guide. He has an ease with him that makes him enjoyable at all times. On this tour he was indefatigable, knowledgeable, even-keeled, and receptive to ideas and suggestions. He faces the birding with enthusiasm--- No signs of burnout. Morocco itself exceeded my expectations in the quality and quantity of birds/birding. Overall, the tour exceeded expectations.
It was a great trip and I thought that Mark Beevers and Glen Valentine did a wonderful job of finding the birds and helping me get on them.
The guides, Glen Valentine and Mark Beevers, were excellent and got us on nearly all the target birds for the trip. Their knowledge of North African birds added to the enjoyment. A tour not to be missed.
I had an amazing trip. The guides, Glen Valentine and Mark Beevers, were knowledgeable and caring. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently. Thanks for an excellent trip!
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