- Tour Plan
- 14 days Tour in 4wd or Mini-Van vehicles with AC
- Airport Transfer
- All guide fees
- Bottle of water / day / person
- Driver (English Speaker)
- Local Birding guide
- Local Birding guide in Merzouga
- Private Transfer to your accommodation
- Alcoholic beverages
- Lunches on tour dates
- Tips and what's not listed on the Included list
Luxury birding tours in Morocco. 14 Days of the Best of Northwest Africa.
Luxury birding tours in Morocco offer a unique and extravagant way to explore the diverse avian life of the region. With opulent accommodations, personalized guiding, and exclusive access to prime birdwatching locations, these tours cater to affluent bird enthusiasts seeking both luxury and adventure.
Morocco is yet another great Western Palaearctic location. It has a tantalizing combination of breathtaking beauty, rich history, amazing topography, and an impressive variety of bird species. Its location on the African continent’s northwesternmost tip makes it an essential stop on the African-Eurasian Flyway. Migrating birds leave in the spring and return in the fall on their northern and southbound migrations, respectively, resulting in an incredible list of migrant species as well as an incredible number of resident species.
- Day 1
- Day 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 5
- Day 6
- Day 7
- Day 8
- Day 9
- Day 10
- Day 11
- Day 12
- Day 13
- Day 14
Arrival to Casablanca
Morocco Planet LLC representative will meet you at Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport. He will be wearing the Morocco Planet sign. Transportation to and from your lodging. Spend the night in Casablanca.
Casablanca – Merdja Zerga – Rabat
We head north for the day, stopping first at Lac Sidi Bourghaba to examine the shore and Atlantic Ocean for terns, gulls, any skuas passing through, and Balearic Shearwater. We continue on to Merdja Zerga, which translates as "Blue Lagoon." This enormous saltwater lagoon is teeming with waders such as godwits, Greenshank and Redshank, lingering ducks, and flamingos. The marshes are currently one of just two places in North Africa where the endemic African Marsh Owl may be found. Rabat is where you'll spend the night.
Rabat – The Zaers – Azrou
We begin our journey early in the morning by driving southeast to the King's hunting forest, the Zaers. An early start is required to hear and maybe sight one of Morocco's rarest birds, the Double-spurred Francolin. In Morocco, it is the highly endangered galliform subspecies, and it is the specialty of this remnant Cork-oak woodland. Other specialties we may see include the Black-shouldered Kite, Long-legged Buzzard, African Blue Tit, and Black-crowned Tchagra. Many other species, such as the Sardinian Warbler and European Serin, will also be present. Azrou is where you'll spend the night.
Azrou – Middle Atlas Mountains – Zaida
Driving south-east, we'll first look for Lesser Kesterl. Then we stop in the Middle Atlas to look for Levaillants Green Woodpecker and Ruddy Shelduck. We may also spot Wood Lark, Firecrest, and local races of Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Barbary Apes, and Atlas Flycatcher in the Cedar woodlands. We continue our search for the elusive Dupont's Lark among the sagebrush on a stony plain near Zaida. Zaida Plain is one of the best places in the world for them. This tough high-plains species vanishes among the tussocks. Common species include Seebohms Wheatear, Desert Wheatear, Red-rumped Wheatear, Black-Bellied Sandgrouse, Spectacled Warbler, Thekla Lark, and Short-toed Lark. Overnight stay in Zaida
Zaida – Ziz Valley – Merzouga
We will visit historic earth-walled towns and date palm plantations that line watercourses as we go south down the Oued Ziz towards Rissani across the dry environment. We'll keep an eye out for the rare Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, a migrant that should be returning to breed soon, as well as hunting Lanner and Barbary Falcons. Our destination is a "Kasbah" hotel in the distant desert settlement of Merzouga, where we will spend two nights. Merzouga is located at the foot of the Erg Chebbi desert's towering red sand dunes, Morocco's largest and most picturesque dune system, and acts as a magnet for northward passage migrants in spring.
Many species, including the Wryneck, European Bee-eater, and Melodious Warbler, might be seen as they migrate north across the Saharan sands. Merzouga is where you'll spend the night.
Day trip at Erg Chebbi Dunes
One of the highlights of the journey is our 4x4 drive into the Sahara sands. Many desert-dwelling species, such as larks, wheatears, and sandgrouses, are common in Morocco's desert. We leave our hotel before early in search of the Egyptian Nightjar, a rare and unpredictable species located in the desert outside Merzouga. Although we have been fortunate in each of the last nine years, we cannot guarantee that we will continue to be so. The Hoopoe Lark and Maghreb Crested Lark, as well as the African Desert Warbler and the Brown-necked Raven, may be new to us today.
We're also expecting to spot the desert's most elusive bird, the attractive and wandering Desert Sparrow. Unfortunately, this is now one of the species in significant decline in Morocco, having been driven out of many of its former haunts by the ever-expanding House Sparrow. Houbara Bustards are exceedingly rare in Morocco nowadays and are rarely spotted - although we've been lucky on this journey before, so you never know. If it has rained in the desert during the winter, birding destinations include the Merzouga temporary lake. In that event, we'll head out to an ephemeral lake that attracts flocks of transient ducks and waders, including Greater Flamingos and Coots, as they wing their way across the Saharan dunes in the spring.
It's an incredible picture when set against the backdrop of towering red dunes! Spotted Sandgrouse may come in to drink from time to time, while Cream-colored Courser and Hoopoe Larks loop the loop in song flight display. After a fantastic morning in the desert, we return to the hotel for lunch, where those who wish can take a break from birding and later watch the sun set on Erg Chebbi. In the afternoon, assuming we haven't already been there, we will drive out to some cliffs that have rewarded our previous five visits with excellent views of two more Saharan specialties: Pharaoh Eagle Owl and Barbary Falcon. Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse frequent the low bushes in this location. Merzouga is where you'll spend the night.
Merzouga – Goulmima – Todra Gorge – Tagdilt Track – Boumalne du Dades
We'll explore around our accommodation before leaving the desert. Then we'll continue west to Goulmima, pausing at one or two of Arnoud's "special hotspots" to look for the elusive Streaked Scrub Warbler. Perhaps a swarm of chattering Fulvous Babblers will appear, but there will always be plenty to keep an eye out for. We continue on to the magnificent Toudgha Gorge, which is definitely worth a visit only to marvel at the towering walls of sheer pink granite reaching high above us. Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, and Rock Bunting breed in the cliffs, and the afternoon is an excellent time to seek for the hawkish Bonelli's Eagle, which nests here as well.
We'll make another attempt to locate the elusive Tristram's Warbler nearby. At an elevation of roughly 1.600 m, one of Morocco's most productive hamada or stony desert locations is known simply as the Tagdilt to birdwatchers. Track The Atlas Long-legged Buzzard, Cream-colored Courser, and laughing Black-bellied Sandgrouse live on this vast, high dry plain. Crowned and Spotted Sandgrouse are both rarer and more elusive, but we do occasionally see them. Most of the region's specialty larks, including the delicate Bar-tailed, the 'Viking-like Temminck's Horned, and the bruising Thick-billed, may be found in Tagdilt. Desert Wheatears sing their'sad Robin' song, and we might even hear a Red-rumped Wheatear sing a whistling kettle coming to a boil! Stay the night in Boumalne du Dades.
Boumalne du Dades – Rose Valley – Ouarzazate – Ourika valley
Today, we'll take a long drive west to the High Atlas Mountains. We drive through Rose Valley, a stretch of villages and oases where rose petals are gathered for rose water. The riverbed itself can be intriguing, and a brief pause may uncover migrating White and Yellow Wagtails, the latter of which is usually of the race iberiae, as well as the spectacular Moroccan White Wagtail. Waders such as Green and Common Sandpipers come by here as well. We'll make one or two stops near Ouarzazate to look for larks and get our first looks at Trumpeter Finch and White-crowned Black Wheatear.With luck, we will also see the Western Mourning Wheatear, which is by far the rarest and most difficult to locate of all Moroccan wheatears. Tristram's Warblers like the low maquis-like scrub on the slopes as we ascend towards the pass, and we'll have a decent chance of seeing this super Sylvia, another difficult northwest African endemic. We should see North African Raven over the pass and possibly a Black-eared Wheatear or two along the way. Ourika Valley is where you'll spend the night.
Ourika valley – Oukaimeden – Taroudant
The trip to the ski resort of Oukaimeden (2.600 m) along the mountain route will present us with truly breathtaking scenery, but we must keep an eye out for another of the region's most sought-after birds, the lovely Moussiers Redstart. The endemic Levaillants Green Woodpecker, as well as Blue Rock Thrush, Black Redstart, Rock Bunting, and Red-billed Chough, can be found on the higher slopes. We'll search the snowline for the gorgeous Crimson-winged Finch, as well as Seebohm's Wheatear and Shore Lark, as well as Rock Sparrow, Water Pipit, Red-billed and Alpine Chough Raptors. Atlas Horned Lark, Black Wheatear, Golden Eagle, and possibly Alpine Accentor are among the other species of note here, while groups of Alpine Chough whirl overhead. Taroudant is where you'll spend the night.
Taroudant – Souss valley – Agadir
We watch some species before leaving Taroudant, as there may be Little and Pallid Swifts over the town. We drive through the rich Sous Valley, which is home to scrub thickets and citrus plantations. Initially, we will look for several larks and wheatears along the roadway. We also saw European Rollers and Black Shouldered Kites, as well as Black Kites migrating overhead and European Bee-eaters sitting on roadside wires.
Several pauses will undoubtedly yield interesting migrating passerines, raptors, waders, or storks. Agadir is where you'll spend the night.
Day trip to Oued Massa
An early start will get us to the Atlantic coast on time. The morning will be spent in the Sous Massa National Park. We will walk the entire length of this essential habitat for the critically endangered Northern Bald Ibis, one of the world's rarest birds. This is an incredibly significant bird population and we shall cherish our time with these delicately gorgeous Ibis. We'll also look for skulking Squacco and Purple Herons in the undergrowth along the water's edge, while the unmistakable call of Black-crowned Tchagras rings out from the dense cover. Marbled Duck, Marsh Harrier, Osprey, Black-shouldered Kite, Glossy Ibis, Purple Herons, Ruddy Shelduck, and Plain Martin are among the other birds that can be seen.
The following birds may be seen in this bird-rich area: Savi's, Western Olivaceous, and Moustached Warblers, Zitting Cisticola, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Pallid Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Common Bulbul, and Spotless Starling. We'll also attempt a tiny river where we've seen Brown-throated (Plain) Martin in the past. Agadir is where you'll spend the night.
Agadir – Oued Tamri – Essaouira
We'll continue north early in the morning, stopping first at Cap Rhir for a seawatch, particularly for shearwaters and skuas. We'll head north to Oued Tamri to increase our chances of seeing a Northern Bald Ibis. We'll spend some time in Oued Tamri, where we'll see one of the world's largest colonies of these birds. This will undoubtedly be one of the tour's highlights, as the birds are often fairly approachable in a vehicle, providing excellent photographic opportunities. Audouin's Gull, Zitting Cisticola, Barbary Partridge, Moussier's Redstart, and possibly Little or Spotted Crake are among the other species we hope to see. Of course, we'll make several stops on the way to Essaouira. There will be a large number of gulls on the beaches, mostly Lesser Black-backed Gulls of two races, but there will also be Audouin's and a few Yellow-legged Gulls. Essaouira is where you'll spend the night.
Essaouira – Casablanca
The Eleonora's falcon has the greatest colonies in Morocco, if not the entire globe, on the isle of Mogador close offshore. Because the species is migratory, the journey should be planned to coincide with the bird's residency period, which runs from late April to October. The birds can be seen all the way down to the mouth of the Oued Ksob at the southern end of the bay. Moussier's Redstart, Barbary Partridge, Rock Bunting, Common Bulbul, Masked Wagtail, and African Chaffinch were among the other species we saw. Spend the night in Casablanca.
Departure at Casablanca Airport
Transportation to the Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca. (B)
Morocco Planet crew wishes to thank you and warmly invites you to return to Morocco!