Although it has earned quite a reputation for its politics, Iran is also one of the world’s most culturally diverse and interesting countries to visit; woven together to form a rich tapestry of religion, culture and heritage. At an astonishing 636,372 square miles (or 1,648,195 square kilometers) it is the Middle East’s second largest country and offers a great deal to the intrepid and curious traveler. With 21 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, sweeping terrain ranging from rugged mountain peaks to arid desert, phenomenally ancient and scenic cities and towns, and the world-famous hospitality of the Iranians, truly make Iran memorable and worthy of deep explorations.
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 Iran – Persian Birding Adventure 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.