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marroc, estepes and turons

Morocco; swamps and steppes


Northern Morocco hosts some of the most impressive birdlife in Magrebh. Due to the variety of landscapes, the list of speciliaties living here is almost never ending and includes some of the more scarce birds in Western Palearctic. In this tour we will explore some of the most legendary natural hot-spots in Morocco, such as Merga Zerga, the hilly Zäers and gorgeous Middle Atlas hosting some mytical specialities such as Double-spurred Francolin, Marsh Owl, White-headed Duck, Black-crowned Tchagra, Levaillant's Woodpecker or Dupont's Lark.


Marsh Owl (Asio capensis) is one of the most endangered birds in Western Palearctic, with less than 10 pairs surviving in Merja Zerga, North Morocco. Photo: Carles Oliver


Day 1. We will meet in Rabat airport or in any other point of Morocco's capital city. Transfer and check-in at our hotel and birding in Merja Zerga, the major lagoon in North Morocco. The variety of ambients in this salty lagoon would allow us to discover a variety of species including Slender-billed and Audouin's Gulls, Lesser Crested and Caspian Terns as well as a never-ending variety of waders and ducks. Other specialities would include Stone Curlew and Cream-coloured Courser. At sunset will be the moment to discover one of the jewels of the lagoon, the endangered Marsh Owl. Stay in Larache for two nights.

Day 2. Early morning start to approach the very last Great Bustard population in North Africa. During the morning we will also visit a number of small swamps, perfect corners to discover Marbled Duck, Purple Swamphen, White-headed Duck and Crakes. Raptors here would include Northern Harrier and Booted Eagle. For lunch we will enjoy Larache beautiful's downtown with also interesting birding as Little Swifts nest in the city. During the afternoon we will explore Loukos Estuary, a major wetland where Moustached Warbler, Cetti's Warbler and Collared Pratincole are common along with the very scarce Brown-throated Martin and a wide variety of passage waders. During winter some Little Bustards and Common Cranes can be found here!!

Day 3. Early morning start, this time to explore the an amizing Cork Oak forest that composes the Zäers, immediatly South of Rabat. Here we could admire some really scarce specialities such as Double-spurred Francolin, Black-crowned Tchagra along with raptors; Booted & Short-toed Eagles, Black & Red Kites. Black-winged Kite and Spanish Imperial Eagle are occasional at this time of the year. Other common birds here include Thekla Lark, African Blue Tit, Common Bulbul and Red-knobbed Coot. After midday transfer to Zeïda. Stay in Zeïda for two nights.

Day 4. This day we will explore the steppes and semi deserts of Middle Atlas. Main target would be the very secretive Dupont's Lark, as this location is one of the best spots for them all over the world. Other larks of probable appearance would include Thekla, Lesser Short-toed, Greater Short-toed, Temminck's and Thick Billed's along with Cream-coloured Courser and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Desert, Black and Red-rumped Wheatears as well as Trumpeter Finch are common here.

Day 5. During the morning we will explore some steppe lands around Zeïda. The area is specially noted for raptors and Lanner Falcon, Long-legged Buzzard (North African cirtensis phorm) as well as Bonelli's Eagle would appear at any moment. During the afternoon transfer to Ifrane with a good number of stops along the way. Rock Sparrow, Ruddy Shelduck, Blue Rock Thrush, Seebohm's Wheatear, North African White Wagtail (race subpersonata), Rock Bunting, Desert Lark and Tristam's Warbler are only some of the specialities that would appear.

Day 6. During most of the day we would explore the huge area between Ifrane and Sefrou. Here a number of lakes are found in the middle of steppelands. It is a perfect place to have nice sights on Lesser Kestrel, Levaillant's Woodpecker, Horned Lark, Moussier's Redstart, Wryneck, European Bee-eater, Barbary Partridge, Spectacled Warbler, Common Chaffinch (probable future split) and Ring Ouzel. The lakes host a good variety of waterfowl including Red-knobbed Coot and Ferruginous Duck. Final transfer to Rabat.


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Moroccan Tours

Morocco; Atlas & Deserts Tour

Price per person:


single room surcharge:

  13th to 22th March, 2018            




 North Morocco; swamps & steppes Tour


Strong heat in most Moroccan birding locations points out early spring as best season for birdwatching in the country, with moderate temperatures along both North & South tours. All months from March to June are highly recommended.