The Grand Morocco Birding Tour
We guide this grand tour of Morocco into the best birdwatching sites in the Atlas and the desert. Top sites as Oukaïmeden, Erg Chebbi, the Tagdilt track and Ouarzazate are visited
Our Morocco birding tour is designed for wildlife enthusiasts visiting Morocco for the first time. The tour starts at the interesting city of Marrakech. From there we will enjoy birding as we cross the mighty Atlas mountains and huge predesertic valleys towards the outstanding immensity of the Sahara desert. A fantastic combination of the best birding areas in Morocco, outstanding scenic views, amazing food and a bit of cultural immersion.
Day 1: Crossing the Atlas
We set off birding right at our meeting in Marrakech by noon. We'll enjoy birding on route as we cross the snow-capped mountains of the Atlas, including the Tizi-n-Tichka pass. Some of our targets include African Blue Tit, the Moroccan subspecies of Red Crossbill, African Chaffinch, and -fingers crossed- Atlas Wheatear. Night in Ouarzazate.
Day 2: Plains and Gorges
A journey that will take us to the gates of the desert. We should encounter a variety of Wheatears and Larks from now on. Mouth-oppening landscapes throughout the journey. We'll be looking at river cliffs and gorges trying to locate one of the most emblematic birds in Morocco, the Pharaoh Eagle Owl. Night in Boumalne Dades.
Day 3: Tagdilt track
One of the most productive sites when it comes to birding in Morocco is the Tagdilt track. Three of the top species we hope to find here are Thick-billed and Temminck's Larks and African Long-legged Buzzard. A journey that will take us to the gates of the desert at sunset. Night in Merzouga near the sand dunes.
Day 4: Desert expedition
A day to be spent in the Sahara desert looking for the local specialities. We'll try to get Desert Warbler, Desert Sparrow, Brown-necked Raven, Hoopoe Lark, Egyptian Nightjar, Cream-coloured Courser and Pharaoh Eagle Owl. On this day we'll count with the invaluable help of a local guide, jeep drivers and even a goat shepherd! Night in Merzouga.
Day 5: After tricky birds
A transfer day with multiple stops along the route. We'll be looking for Fulvous Chatterer, Trumpeter Finch and other targets that we might have missed previously. Once near Ouarzazate we will scan the shores of the Al Mansour reservoir which will hopefully provide much more than birds! Night in Ouarzazate.
Day 6: Ouarzazate
The journey will start with a visit to the picturesque old town of Aït-Ben-Haddou. Another further stop at the Atlas mountains will allow to see Moussier’s Redstart and Tristram’s Warbler. In the afternoon we will head to Marrakech.
Day 7: the High Atlas
Today we will make a day-trip to the ski resort of Oukaïmeden, in the High Atlas. In this site we will be looking for mountain species such as Crimson-winged Finch, Horned Lark, Alpine and Red-billed Choughs, Moussier’s Redstart, Seebohm’s Wheatear and Rock Sparrow. In the afternoon we will head back to Marrakech and visit together its bustling main square for a delicios last supper.
Day 8: Marrakech
After enjoying our last breakfast, we will pack and head to the airport, where the tour ends. We hope this Grand Morocco Birding Tour has very much pleased you!
March 11 - 18, 2024
(2025 dates will be anounced by March 2024)
Or query us for a private tour outside the dates above.
Rates per person sharing: € 1900
Single supplement: € 250
Rates per person sharing: € 1900
Single supplement: € 300
Min. 6 - Max. 11 fellow travellers
Tour leader: Álvaro Peral
What it is included
- 7- night accommodation in nice quality hotels and riads. En suite bathroom on most of the days
- Half board from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8, meaning breakfasts and evening buffets
- All wildlife guiding by Álvaro Peral
- Ground transport in an air conditioned minibus
- 4x4 birding excursion in Merzouga desert
- Basic insurance. We highly recommend you to arrange your own travel insurance
- Daily birdlist and tour Roadbook
- All taxes
What it is not included
- Flights to/from Marrakech
- Lunches. We generally stop in local restaurants, an average meal costs 10 € per person per day
- Any drinks and personal costs
Target wildlife on this tour
Birds: House Bunting, Cream-coloured Courser, Crowned Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker, Moussier’s Redstart, Bar-tailed Lark, Desert Lark, Thick-billed Lark, Temminck’s Lark, Atlas Horned Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Brown-necked Raven, Long-legged Buzzard, Barbary Falcon, Lanner, Desert Sparrow, Seebohm’s Wheatear, Maghreb Wheatear, White-crowned Wheatear, Red-rumped Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Scrub Warbler, Tristram’s Warbler, African Desert Warbler, Trumpeter Finch, Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Crimson-winged Finch, Fulvous Babbler, Barbary Partridge, Laughing Dove, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Common Bulbul, Isabelline Warbler, Olivaceous Warbler.
Other: Moroccan Spiny-tailed Lizard, Saharan Pond Turle, Occidental Gerbil, Barbary ground squirrel.
Our Morocco Birding Tour is a very enriching tour in many senses of the word. The birds of Morocco are the main focus in the tour but we will also allow time for other forms of Nature, for the people in Morocco and even a bit of cultural sightseeing. The walking is easy and on good paths or tracks. Be ready to find rocks and dust, you're in predesertic areas! There is just one day on which there is a long drive (5h). Most of the birding is done within a short distance of our minibus.
Food, of course
Both breakfast and dinner will be served locally at the hotel. The lunch will take place at local restaurants on most of the days, where we will enjoy its rich local gastronomy. The most typical Moroccan option in the tour is the several types of Tajini, which normally allow for a vegetarian option if needed. Moroccan bread and tea are commonly served.
Give something back to Africa
By booking our tour you are contributing to the local economy. We will be hiring a local driver. We will also help promoting the nature tourism there, which is a key to protecting Moroccan birds and habitats.