With a good safety record, a great tourism infrastructure and easy access from Europe, Morocco is the most-visited African country by tourists. For birders there are a good number of North-West African (Maghreb) specials on offer and the charismatic Northern Bald Ibis is a major birding highlight. Although overall diversity is fairly low, Morocco offers access to many desert birds that are hard to see elsewhere.
We visit all key birding sites in Morocco, starting off in the high Atlas Mountains where African Crimson-winged Finch and Moussier's Restart occur. From there we descend to the southern coast around Tamri, where the fantastic Northern Bald Ibis breeds. Having passed the western side of the Atlas Mountains we travel east through the rain shadow along the deserts of southern Morocco, visiting the famous sand deserts of Merzouga/Erfoud area where we hope to find Egyptian Nightjar, Desert Sparrow, African Desert Warbler, Crowned Sandgrouse, Spotted Sandgrouse, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl and Streaked Scrub Warbler. In the Atlas foothills we look for Dupont's Lark and Tristram's Warbler, before searching for Atlas Pied Flycatcher and Levaillant's Woodpecker in the coniferous in the Ifrane area. The tour ends in Casablanca, with our final stop at the wetlands of Sidi Bourhaba to look for White-headed Duck.
Leader: Michael Mills
Michael Mills grew up "in the bush" in the Kalahari and Kruger National Parks where his parents were carnivore researchers. His incredible focus, dedication and ability to locate and show people Africa's toughest birds is probably unequalled on the continent.
Michael has led dozens of tours in Southern, East, Central, West and North Africa and his experience in locating birds on just the softest of calls or briefest of views impresses those who have travelled with him (see Client Comments).
There is seldom a tour where Michael doesn't make an interesting discovery such as finding a new species for a country or record an undescribed bird call (and he has published these in the scientific literature).
Not only is Michael one of our principal leaders, but he also helps extensively with scouting and planning our most challenging itineraries.
This tour is strongly bird-focussed and suitable for keen birders. That said, Morocco offers great landscapes and interesting culture.
Due to the open landscapes and good light, birding is generally easy and there are good opportunities for photography.
This tour requires only a moderate degree of fitness. All walks will last less than four hours and be conducted at a manageable pace. Terrain where we walk is generally flat, except at Oukaimeden, where it is quite rocky.
Our tour coincides with the peak period of bird breeding activity, and a time when many passage migrants are passing from their wintering grounds in Africa to breeding grounds in Europe.
Days are generally warm and dry, although higher altitudes can be cold in the early mornings.
Accommodation and meals are of a resonably good standard. All rooms have private bathrooms and cold and hot running water is generally available.
We travel in four wheel drive vehicles. Travel conditions are generally comfortable with reasonably good roads.
Maximum 9 participants.
Key birds that we target include Northern Bald Ibis, Egyptian Nightjar, Th ick-billed Lark, Dupont's Lark, African Crimson-winged Finch, Seeböhm’s Wheatear and Maghreb Magpie.
Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us
to enquire about availability.
About Birding Africa
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour
company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed
holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies,
botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's
and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home
continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best
birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and
we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled
with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997,
we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders,
small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've
run Conservation Tours
in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult
for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC
Natural History Unit.