Tour Dates: Saturday 18th – Wednesday 22nd January 2020 (Malaga to Malaga)
Tour Price: £999pp plus flight
Estimated Flight Price: London to Malaga approx. £150 return
Deposit: £450 per person
Conservation Donation from Wise Birding: £150 – £250
Minimum Number: 5 people
Maximum Group Size: 7 people
Mammals: Iberian Lynx, Spanish Ibex, Mouflon, Red Deer, Fallow Deer, Otter and possibly Common Genet.
Birds: Spanish Imperial Eagle, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Black Vulture, Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Sparrow, Rock Bunting, Iberian Grey Shrike and Common Crane.
This tour is focused on trying to see Iberian Lynx. Until fairly recently the Iberian Lynx has been almost impossible to see, but in the Sierra de Andujar landscape you now have an excellent chance of seeing this beautiful cat. The tour will involve spending a lot of time scanning from strategic viewpoints and remaining focused, but it should be well rewarded. It is very difficult to describe the feeling when you finally get your first view of one of these truly stunning animals. It is a great adrenaline rush and regardless of how long you get to actually watch an animal, they always leave you with a feeling of wanting more! Iberian Lynx, as with most mammals tends to be most active at dawn and dusk, but during December and January as the breeding season starts, animals can literally appear at anytime and it is not unusual for animals to be within 200M of you! Whilst hoping for a view of one of the world’s rarest cats, we will enjoy numerous Eagles and Vultures soaring overhead. There will also be plenty of opportunities to see other mammals such as the Mouflon and the Spanish Ibex.
ACCOMODATION: 4 nights in Spain
All 4 nights at a very comfortable guesthouse with home cooked food
Inclusive Meals: Full board
DAY 1: Malaga – Sierra de Andujar
After meeting at Malaga airport we travel north to the Sierra de Andujar region which will be our base for the next four nights. Whilst we check in to our accommodation, we are sure to be distracted by the Azure-winged Magpies in the garden and then we will venture out for our first afternoon looking for Iberian Lynx. The Lynx density in this region is particularly good and our viewpoints look over areas where a number of cat territories overlap. We will remain vigilant as we scan the rolling valleys, Spanish and Holm Oaks and with luck, we may see a Lynx on our first day! Overnight Villa Matilde
DAYS 2 – 4: Sierra de Andujar
The Sierra de Andujar forms part of the Sierra Morena mountain range and it is a very scenic landscape. We will spend our time scanning hillsides and beautiful Mediterranean forest areas interspersed by rivers and streams whilst we search for the elusive cat. Our days will take a similar structure as we spend the early mornings and late afternoon/evenings concentrating our efforts on searching for Iberian Lynx
Of course whilst waiting for our prized target species, we will also spend time looking for the many other birds and mammals that can be found here. Spanish Imperial Eagles are very often soaring overhead sometimes interacting with Golden Eagles! Both Griffon Vulture and Cinereous Vulture are regularly seen, as are Northern Goshawk and Peregrine, so if birds of prey are your thing, you will be very much at home! Azure-winged Magpies are a very common bird, but nonetheless still impressive. We will take some short walks checking the woodland and rough grassland areas for Woodlark, Short-toed Treecreeper, Crested Tit, Little Owl Dartford and Sardinian Warblers. Other species we should see include Hawfinch, Rock Sparrow, Eurasian Crag Martin as well as Blue Rock Thrush and Iberian Grey Shrike. The landscape is very beautiful and the area is excellent for relaxing and just taking in the sounds and smells of this quiet corner of Spain. There are plenty of mammals other than the Lynx to keep us entertained as we will see numerous Red Deer and Fallow Deer, hopefully Wild Boar and the giant of the sheep, the Mouflon! If we are lucky, we may also find Spanish Ibex or an Otter fishing below us at one of the Iberian Lynx watchpoints. Overnight Villa Matilde
DAY 5: Sierra de Andujar – Laguna Fuente de la Piedra – Malaga
Dependent on flight times, we will either have an early breakfast and head to Malaga for our return flight. Or if flight times are later, we may have time for a last morning to try for Iberian Lynx! We will then head back south stopping at La Laguna Fuente de la Piedra where we will have time to enjoy some leisurely birding sifting through various wildfowl and Greater Flamingos as well as an impressive number of Common Cranes that winter here. We will then return to Malaga airport where the tour concludes.
Please note this is a flexible itinerary which may need to be adjusted slightly dependent on arrival / departure times, weather conditions and the most recent information from our local guides
Leader: Chris Townend
Included in cost: Accommodation in twin en-suite rooms, all meals, ground transport and services of leader
Not included in cost: International airfare, travel insurance, alcoholic drinks and any airport/visa fees
Single Supplement: £90
Transport: Minivan or Minibus dependent on group size
The walking throughout the tour is relatively easy going with leisurely walks on open mostly flat terrain.
Climate: Generally cold in the early morning and early evenings with temperatures getting down to 0 degrees C. Warmer during the day with typical temperatures between 10 – 15 degrees C.
Tour Start Point: Malaga airport, Spain
Tour End Point: Malaga airport, Spain
Suggested Airlines: Easyjet