Tour 5: Grand Birding Tour. Deserts, Mountains, Coasts and North

(14 days / 13 nights)

Tour Dates 2023:

01 – 14 May 2023    (Spaces Available)

16 – 29 May 2023    (Spaces Available)

NOTE: If you have a specific date please let us know your arrival and departure dates!

Tour Cost: The price is depends on number of participants on the tour, for the price please contact us!

Group Size: Max 7 people, if you are a tour company or big group please contact us!

Tour starting/ending: Marrakech airport, Morocco

Price includes:

* Comfortable transport.

* 13 Nights hotel accommodation en-suite rooms and Half-board

* Guiding services and general assistance where and when required.

* Day trip in 4×4 vehicle in the sahara deserts ( the day 7)

Price excludes:

* International airfare

* Lunches & drinks

* Travel insurance

* Item of a personal nature and tips

Target Birds on this trip: Pharaoh Eagle Owl, Double-spurred Francolin, African Marsh Owl, Dupont’s Lark, Atlas Flycatcher, Marbled Duck, Northern Bald ibis, Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Barbary Falcon, Cream-coloured Courser, Spotted Sandgrouse, Crowned Sandgrouse, Laughing Dove, Little Swift, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker, Desert Lark, Bar-tailed Lark, Thick-billed Lark, Hoopoe Lark, Desert Wheatear, Desert Sparrow, Red-rumped Wheatear, Seebohm’s Wheatear, Maghreb Wheatear, White-crowned Wheatear, Scrub Warbler, Tristram’s Warbler, African Desert Warbler, Saharan Olivaceous Warbler, Common Bulbul, Fulvous Babbler, Alpine Chough, Brown-necked Raven, Trumpeter Finch, African Crimson-winged Finch, House Bunting, Black wheatear, Audouin’s Gulls,…etc!


Fantastic 14 days birdwatching tour around Morocco, from the spectacular Atlas mountains to the North and to the barren Sahara Desert then to the Atlantic wetlands. This holiday goes further than a simple birdwatching tour; the culture and history of the region will amaze you, and the landscape will take your breath away. We will be covering most of the southern part of the country, including all the most amazing and incredible birdwatching places: the Atlantic wetlands, the dunes and oases of the Sahara, the Atlas Mountains and the marshes. All these places are of great importance to millions of birds during the spectacle of spring migration from Africa to Europe. Morocco has bird specialities and near-endemics found only in the southern part of the Western Palearctic, and this country provides amazing opportunities for birding that seem to have been put together for this purpose alone. The variety of habitats visited during this tour includes oases, stony deserts (hammada), dunes, lakes, rivers, estuaries, marshes and the intermediate and high mountains, where we will drive up to around 2,600 metres.


Day 1: Marrakech Airport – High Atlas Mountains – Oukaimeden
Meet and welcome you at Marrakech airport or hotel in Marrakech, we will drive up into the High Atlas Mountains and visit Oukaimeden (2600m). As we drive along the cultivated fields, we should find a good mix of resident species such as Southern Grey Shrike, Little Owl, Sardinian Warbler, Spotless Starling, Moroccan Magpie, Moussier’s Redstart and House Bunting. Slightly higher up, among the rocky slopes, we will search for Blue Rock Thrush and the endemic Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker. When we reach the ski resort at Oukaimeden, we will check the snowline for the handsome Crimson-winged Finch. Other species here include Rock Sparrow, Black Wheatear, Seebohm’s Wheatear, Alpine Chough and Atlas Horned Lark.
Dinner and accommodation at the Atlas Mountains.

Day 2: High Atlas Mountains – Marrakech – Casablanca – Rabat
After an early breakfast we leave the mountains behind, perhaps pausing again en route for Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker. From the flat plains of Marrakech and then north-west via Casablanca to Rabat for the 3 nights. En route we will make some birding and several stops to look for Calandra Lark.
Dinner and accommodation in Rabat.

Day 3: The Zaers – Sidi Bourhaba
An early start today is essential for a trip southeast of Rabat into the King’s hunting forest, the Zaers, to hear and see Double-spurred Francolin, a secretive game bird that calls from the tops of tree stumps. Other woodland species possible include Black crowned Tchagra, Black-shouldered Kite, Woodpigeon, Greenfinch, Serin, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and Barbary Partridge. We’ll spend the afternoon along the Atlantic coast, visiting lagoons and saltpans including an excellent freshwater lake, Lac de Sidi Bourhaba. Good numbers of Red-knobbed Coots should be on the lake as well as Marbled Duck and White-headed Duck, while Western Marsh Harriers quarter the reed beds.
Dinner and accommodation in Rabat.

Day 4: Merdja Zerga & African Marsh Owl
After breakfast, we head north to Merdja Zerga, which means “Blue Lagoon”, a sweeping wetland on Morocco’s Atlantic coast south of Tangiers. Merdja Zerga is famous amongst birders as the last known winter haunt of the legendary Slender-billed Curlew, a bird now sadly presumed extinct. None have been seen here since 1995. Despite the demise of its Slender-billed Curlew, Merdja Zerga is still a magnificent wildlife site. Here a variety of terns stop to feed and breed, while waders probe the mud in their thousands, amongst them Green shanks, Spotted Redshanks, Whimbrels and Avocets. We’ll stay until late afternoon, for then we have a chance of seeing the extremely rare Moroccan Marsh Owl.
Dinner and accommodation in Rabat.

Day 5: Rabat – Meknes – Cedar Forest in Azrou – Middle Atlas Mountains – Zaida
Driving south-east to Zaida, we will stop firstly to see Lesser Kesterl in Azrou town and then at excellent sites in the Middle Atlas for Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker and Ruddy Shelduck. In the Cedar forests we may also see Wood Lark, Firecrest and the local races of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Barbary Apes and chances also exist to see Atlas Flycatcher.
Dinner and accommodation in Zaida.

Day 6: Zaida Plain – Ziz Valley – Merzouga
We will leave early to search for Dupont’s Lark near Zaida. This very difficult high-plains species disappearing amongst the tussocks. During our walk we should see Thekla and Short-toed Larks. After breakfast in our hotel we will head south to the edge of Sahara desert. En route we may see Eurasian Crag-martin, Desert Lark, Black and White Crowned Wheatears while, in a spectacular Valley, Rock Bunting and Blue Rock-thrush can be found. Finally after another exciting stop we arrive at our Desert hotel for the two nights.
Dinner and accommodation in Merzouga.

Day 7: Merzouga – Erg Chebbi Dunes – Rissani
Today we will dedicate the whole day to exploring the sandy dunes and the nearby stony desert of Erg Chebbi – the largest dune system in Morocco. Brown-necked Raven, Hoopoe Lark, Desert Sparrow, African Desert Warbler, Fulvous Babbler, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Bar-tailed Lark, Fulvous Babbler, Cream-coloured Courser, Spotted Sandgrouse, Crowned Sandgrouse, Barbary and Lanner Falcon and different migrant passerines are all possible. In addition, If rains have been plentiful a seasonal lake near Merzouga can be very interesting, with ducks, waders and their attendant raptors. Very good chances also exist for “GAYUIN” Pharaoh Eagle Owl and Egyptian Nightjar at daytime.
Dinner and accommodation in Merzouga.

Day 8: Merzouga – Goulmima – Todra Gorge – Tagdilt Track – Boumalne du Dades
After an early look at the desert around our hotel, we will head west and stop at a site to search for Scrub warbler, Thick-billed Lark, Spectacled Warbler and Trumpeter Finch. Next we travel westwards and stop at Todra Gorge for Tristram’s Warbler, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock-thrush, Rock Dove, Crag Martin and possible Bonelli’s Eagle! then to Tagdilt Track. The stony desert here is at quite a high altitude. Larks are well represented with Thekla, Short-toed, Thick-billed and Temminck’s Larks; Desert and Red-rumped Wheatears also occur; with luck, we may see Sandgrouse flying around the area, most likely Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Long legged Buzzard and Cream-coloured Coursers may well be present.
Dinner and accommodation in Boumalne du Dades.

Day 9: Boumalne du Dades – Tagdilt Track – Ouarzazate
We will begin at the Tagdilt Track again, to look for any species we may have missed yesterday, then head west, searching the roadside stone-deserts for the rare wheatear “Maghreb Wheatear”. Before reaching our hotel in Ouarzazate we’ll stop to explore the Barrage at Mansour Eddahbi. Here we have the chance of seeing Ruddy Shelduck, Marbled Duck, Black winged Stilts and Maghreb Lark, as well as Cormorants and Herons and a selection of waders.
Dinner and accommodation in Ouarzazate.

Day 10: Ouarzazate – Anti Atlas Mountains – Souss Valley – Taroudant – Agadir
A long drive to the west will take us over the Anti Atlas mountains, into the Souss Valley and on to Agadir. Initially we will keep our eyes open for various larks by the roadside and for wheatears. In the Souss Valley we could see Black crowned Tchagra, Laughing Dove, Cirl Bunting, Spanish Sparrow. Over the town of Taroudant there may be Little and Pallid Swifts. Finally after another exciting stop we arrive at our Hotel in Agadir for three nights.
Dinner and accommodation in Agadir.

Day 11: Agadir – Cap Rhir – Tamri Estuary
Early in the morning We will head north, stopping firstly at a beach where there will be Lesser Black-backed Gulls of two races, Audouin’s Gulls and a few Yellow-legged Gulls and then at Cap Rhir for a seawatch, primarily for shearwaters and skuas. We will continue north to Tamri to search in the scrub and fields adjacent to the coast for the Northern Bald Ibis. Late in the afternoon we travel back to Agadir.
Dinner and accommodation in Agadir.

Day 12: Oued Massa – Oued Souss
South of Agadir is the famous Oued Massa. We have an early start to Oued Massa on the Atlantic Coast. Target birds: the secretive Black-crowned Tchagra, Marbled Duck, Moussier’s Redstart, Sardinian Warbler, Little Owl, Moroccan Cormorant, Stone Curlew, Glossy Ibis, Laughing Dove and Brown-throated Martin.
Later we visit the Oued Souss – an excellent area for Flamingos, shorebirds and large numbers of roosting gulls and terns.
Dinner and accommodation in Agadir

Day 13: Agadir – High Atlas Mountains – Marrakech
Transfer day from Agadir to Marrakech through the high Atlas mountains with some stops in the road. Late in the afternoon we arrive to Marrakech. Free evening to visit the old quarter of Marrakech and the impressive Jema-el-fna square which is an unbelievable experience for any visitor – water sellers and spice stalls plus the charm of bargaining in the Souk (OPTIONAL).
Dinner and accommodation in Marrakech.

Day 14: Marrakech – Airport
If time allows some more birding in the Marrakech area, then transfer to the airport where the trip ends.


NOTE: This is a flexible itinerary which may be adjusted to allow for changes in arrival and departure times, weather conditions and other related factors.


Accommodation: We stay in a selection of comfortable hotel, all rooms are en-suite.

Food: All hotels provide a simple breakfast typical of Morocco, consisting of fresh bread, butter, honey and jam. Fruit juice and tea or coffee is also available. For lunch we will have picnic lunches when out in the field. Evening meals will be a mixture of local and international dishes.

Walking: The tour is not strenuous. Leisurely walking, very occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement on most days. Most birding is done close to our vehicle, though we will need to walk to see mountain species, and some exertion will be required in mountain environments. There will be the option to stay close to the vehicle, should anyone wish to go back.

Weather: Typical temperatures. Changeable and sometimes cold, windy or wet weather is very possible on the Atlantic and the Atlas Mountains, so bring a warm jacket, gloves, warm layers and adequate rainwear.

Group size: Max 7 people, if you are a tour company or big group please contact us!



Brahim Mezane was born in the sahara desert of Morocco in 1986, having a Berber father and mother. He has been an enthusiastic birder since he was 15 years old and has been bird watching all over Morocco. He has been working a several years of guiding for other companies and has led many very successful tours to all over Morocco. In 2013 Brahim created a bird guide company in Morocco called Gayuin Birding Tours to be able to offer his own tours and activities. He speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic and Berber.