Situated on the eastern edge of the Western Palearctic, Iran is not only a geographically diverse country but also host to one the world’s oldest civilisations. This ancient country, formerly known as Persia possesses over 20 UNESCO world Heritage sites, the only Asian population of Cheetah and a host of endemic and highly range restricted species. Part of the once famous ‘Hippie Trail’, Iran’s poor western public image has hamstrung tourism to the country until recently. The Persian people are without doubt some of the world’s friendliest and most hospitable!
Our fourteen day tour starts in the capital, Tehran with a short flight south to Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf. Here we will spend time investigating the mangrove forest around Jask, the almond and pistachio woodlands and orchards around Minab for Sind Woodpecker, Graceful Prinia, Red-tailed (Turkestan) and Bay-backed Shrike, Afghan Babbler, Dalmatian Pelican and Crab-plover.
We depart Minab and head to Ahvaz for a few days to search the Dez and Karkhe River area for Iraq Babbler, Grey Hypocolius, Hooded Crow (of the distinct Mesopotamian sub-species), Dead Sea Sparrow, Egyptian Nightjar and Menetries’s Warbler. Returning to Tehran, we shall spend the rest of our tour traversing the Alburz Mountain Range, the Caspian Sea and Touran National Park. Amongst the many species we can expect to see over the next few days, the highlights are sure to include Caspian Tit, Caspian Snowcock, Red-fronted Serin, Red-tailed (Persian) Wheatear, Black-headed Penduline Tit, Pleske’s Ground Jay, Asian Desert Warbler, Macqueen’s Bustard and See-see Partridge.
Pleske’s Ground Jay, Sind Woodpecker, Afghan & Iraq Babbler, Grey Hypocolius, Egyptian Nightjar, Caspian Tit, Caspian Snowcock, Red-tailed (Persian) Wheatear, Basra Reed Warbler, Crab-plover, Asian Desert Warbler, Macqueen’s Bustard, See-see Partridge, Sooty Gull, Pallid Scops Owl, Radde’s Accentor, White-throated Robin, Mountain Chiffchaff, Asian Crimson-winged and Desert Finch, Graceful Prinia, Dalmatian Pelican, Hooded Crow (of the distinct Mesopotamian sub-species), Dead Sea Sparrow, Menetries’s Warbler, Red-fronted Serin and Black-headed Penduline Tit.
Asiatic Wild Ass, Persian Fallow Deer
almond and pistachio woodland, coastal flats, palm gardens, local orchards, mangrove forests, rivers, mountains, broadleaf forest, semi-arid desert and steppe
warm to hot, mostly dry with bright sunshine. Expect cool or cold temperatures at higher altitudes. Can be quite humid along the Caspian Sea
comfortable, with mostly easy walking. Trail could be tough on the higher parts of the Alburz Mountains