Tour 6: The Northern of Morocco & Zaida plain

(8 days / 7 nights)

Tour Dates 2021:

15 – 23 May 2022             (Spaces Available)
24 – 31 May 2022             (Spaces Available)

01 – 08 June 2022            (Spaces Available)
09 – 16 June 2022            (Fully Booked)
17 – 24 June 2022            (Spaces Available)
25 June – 2 July 2022      (Spaces Available)

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

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

Tour starting/ending: Marrakech, Morocco.

Price includes:

 * Comfortable transport.

 * 7 Nights hotel accommodation en-suite rooms

* All breakfasts & dinners

 * Guiding services and general assistance where and when required.

Price excludes:

 * International airfare

 * Lunches & drinks

 * Travel insurance

 * Item of a personal nature and tips

Target Birds on this trip: Small Buttonquail, African Marsh Owl, Double-spurred Francolin, Atlas Flycatcher, Dupont’s Lark, Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker, Black crowned Tchagra, Seebohm’s Wheatear, Little Swift, Calandra Lark, Red-knobbed Coot, Marbled Duck, Greater Flamingos, Thekla Lark, Red rumped Wheatear, Black Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Lesser Kestrel, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse, Moussier’s Redstart, Spectacled Warbler, Black-shouldered Kite, …etc!

INTRODUCTION

Superb 8 days birdwatching tour to the northern of Morocco and Zaida plain. From the north of country to the middle atlas mountains and Zaida plain, but this tour 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 northern part of the country, including all the most amazing and incredible birdwatching places: the Atlas Mountains, the Atlantic ocean, the lagoons and the forests. All these places are of great importance to millions of birds during the spectacle of spring migration from Africa to Europe.

 ITINERARY 

Day 1: Marrakech – El jadida
Meet and welcome you at Marrakech airport in the morning or anywhere in Marrakech, we will drive north-west to El jadida, where we will spend the night. En route we will keep a look out for White Stork, Cattle Egret, Calandra Lark, Little and Pallid Swifts, Crested Lark, Common Bulbul and Spotless Starling.
Dinner and accommodation in El jadida.

Day 2: El jadida – Atlantic coast – Casablanca – Rabat
Following an early start, the whole day will be devoted to our search for the elusive Small Buttonquail along the Atlantic coast. There is, of course, no guarantee of this bird but we will be visiting sites where we have seen them recently and at the best time of year. Further new species for the tour should include African Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Sardinian Warbler. Late in the afternoon we drive to Casablanca then to Rabat.
Dinner and accommodation in Rabat.

Day 3: The Zaers – Sidi Boughaba Lake
An early start today is essential for a trip southeast of Rabat into the King’s hunting forest, the Zaers, to see and hear 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 Lake & 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 Midelt, we will stop firstly to search for Lesser Kesterl in Azrou town and then at excellent sites in the Middle Atlas for seeing Levaillant’s Green Woodpecker and Atlas Flycatcher. In the Cedar forests we may also see Wood Lark, Firecrest and the local races of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit and Barbary Apes.
Dinner and accommodation in Zaida.

Day 6: Full day birding in Zaida Plain
We will leave early to search for Dupont’s Lark in Zeida Plain. This very difficult high-plains species disappearing amongst the tussocks. Excellent chances exist for seeing Seebohm’s Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Red rumped Wheatear, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse, Spectacled Warbler, Thekla Lark and Short toed Lark. If the heat allows, we will dedicate most of our day to exploring this area.
Dinner and accommodation in Zaida.

Day 7: Zaida – Middle Atlas Mountains – Beni Mellal – Marrakech
Transfer day from Zaida to Marrakech, drive through the Middle Atlas Mountians. We will do some birding 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 8: Marrakech – Airport
If time allows some more birding in the Marrakech, 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.

 

 MORE INFORMATION

 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!

 

ROUTE MAP

YOUR LOCAL EXPERT BIRD GUIDE:

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.