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
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!
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!
The guides were excellent and worked well together. Mark Beevers and David Hoddinott were excellent at spotting and identifying the birds. They were also great company while not birding.
This tour (Morocco) more than met my expectations, which I must admit were rather lukewarm. I knew there were not a lot of new birds for me but I signed up for the tour because Mark kept telling me how wonderful Morocco was. Well Mark, you were certainly right. The birds were fantastic, the scenery spectacular, the food way too good, and the geology unbelievable. I'm actually taking an online geology course because of this tour. This tour is truly a special one and I will spread the word to all my birding contacts. Thanks again for such a special experience.
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.
Sign up now and get the best deals straight in your inbox!