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. 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 and recently split Western Swamphen. We compete our tour with an early morning trip in search of Double-spurred Francolin.
Northern Bald Ibis; Atlas Pied Flycatcher; Double-spurred Spurfowl; Balearic Shearwater; Maghreb Owl; Marbled & White-headed Ducks; Barbary Partridge; Audouin’s Gull; Crowned, Spotted, Pin-tailed & Black-bellied Sandgrouse; Cream-colored Courser; Pharoah Eagle-Owl; Red-necked & chances for Egyptian Nightjars; Levaillant’s Woodpecker; Fulvous Babbler; Greater Hoopoe-Lark; Temminck’s, Calandra, Thick-billed, Desert & Dupont’s Larks; Moussier’s Redstart; Maghreb Magpie; African Blue Tit; African Crimson-winged Finch; Tristram’s, Spectacled, Streaked Scrub & African Desert Warblers; Red-rumped & Atlas Wheatears; Desert Sparrow; Western Swamphen; Marsh Owl; European Turtle Dove; Common Cuckoo; Eurasian Golden Oriole; Common Nightingale; chances for Houbara Bustard.
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 / 9 -12 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
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.
Another wonderful Rockjumper tour. My sister and I were happy to reconnect with Glen Valentine, with whom we'd been on 2 tours before, and enjoyed meeting Mark Beevers who certainly knows the ins and outs of Morocco birding as well as anyone could. Both guides are excellent birders, of course, and very hard working, making sure we all had the best chance possible of seeing every bird. For the first time ever, though I always try to keep my expectations realistic, I came away with 30 of my 25 targets! This was a great trip, I would gladly travel with either Glen or Mark again. I should mention the food and accommodations were terrific too!
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.
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. Both the touring van and hotel accommodations were very comfortable, making the tour of Morocco delightful. 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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