Small Group Tour with fixed depature dates
Iberian Lynx, is the most endangered cat species in the world and is sadly on the brink of extinction. However the pro-active Andalucian government have a strategic plan of conservation and re-introduction to help save this wonderful and iconic cat.
The Sierra de Andujar in northern Andalucia forms part of the Sierra Morena mountain chain and has a landscape formed from granite, quartz and slate, which is bordered by two rivers – the Jandula and the Yeguas. This Natural Park currently holds around 200 individuals (64% of the world population estimated to be 311 in 2012) of Iberian Lynx, and work is ongoing to increase this figure. This fantastic animal lives within some of the last remaining pristine Mediterranean forest where it specialises in hunting rabbits and birds. This ancient woodland is open and spacious – primarily of Holm, Gall and Cork Oak, though Alder, Ash and Poplars are to be found at the margins of rivers, glades and meadows. In this quiet and relatively unpopulated region, Spain’s wild animals thrive. As well as Iberian Lynx, Otter, Wild Boar, Moufflon, Red and Fallow Deer are occasionally to be seen. This unique natural reserve also holds a large population of raptor species with good numbers of Spanish Imperial and Golden Eagle, Black and Griffon Vulture.
Subject to availability of guides and accommodation we can look to arrange a private tour for groups of four to six persons, so please contact us for details.
Itinerary and price
Next tour dates: 5th – 9th December 2016
Day 1: Malaga - Sierra de Andujar
Flight to be organised by you to arrive in Malaga. The tour begins late morning/early afternoon in Malaga to tie in with flight arrival times. We will be welcomed by our guide inside the arrivals hall at Malaga Airport (look for our names on a placard). From here we’ll drive north to the Laguna de la Fuente de Piedras (Rocks Spring), where we will have our lunch near the visitor centre. We shall check the shores of the lake for any wintering waders although it is better known for it’s Greater Flamingos, which occur here in their 1000’s. Mid-afternoon we shall drive to our charming hotel in the heart of the Sierra de Andujar Natural Park. Our rooms have balconies or terraces overlooking deciduous woodland mainly of oak, with the Sierras towering up in the distance beyond. Birds around the hotel gardens will include Azure-winged Magpie, Short-toed Treecreeper, Firecrest and Nuthatch. Once we have settled in we shall make our first visit to one of the several viewing areas in the hope of finding an Iberian Lynx. Who knows we might get lucky on our first attempt!
Days 2 - 4: Sierra de Andujar
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Three full days will be spent in the Sierra de Andujar, a contrasting region with some of the best representations of Mediterranean Forest still surviving in Europe. We shall be spending every early morning and late afternoon searching for Iberian Lynx from strategic watchpoints around the sierra. The rest of the time will be spent walking and driving the roads and tracks within the reserve along with time to relax in the afternoon around the hotel complex before the evening vigil.
This Natural Park is also home to the magnificent Spanish Imperial Eagle and many other sought-after raptors including Golden Eagle, Black Vulture, Goshawk and Peregrine. The tranquil rivers, separating a series of reservoirs, with dramatic dam walls that attract Black Wheatear, Rock Sparrow and Crag Martin, with Otters fishing the river below, will be in marked contrast to the lush vegetation of the rest of the trip. Everywhere we look there will be Azure-winged Magpies, Short toed Treecreepers, Firecrests, Nuthatches and Crested Tits. If time allows we shall even take a drive up to the pilgrimage site of Santuario Virgen de la Cabeza – a dramatic and historic building perched on top of a mountain in the centre of the reserve.
Day 5: Sierra de Andujar - Malaga
Our final day will be dependent on our success the past few days as there will again be an optional early start to look for Lynx. After breakfast we shall make our way back to Malaga Airport and with the available time shall visit the nearby Rio Guadalhorce Nature Reserve, which should be quite productive. This small reserve can be an excellent coastal migrant trap as well as home to many waterbirds and waders. Here we should hope to find Balearic Shearwaters, Audouin’s Gulls, and Gannets off-shore, with Black-necked Grebe, Purple Heron, White-headed Duck and Marsh Harrier along the river.
The base for this trip offers the basic comfortable facilities for resting and sleeping with easy access to most of our viewing points, via a short ride in the minibus. Apart from the wildlife this trip will be remembered for its food, which is as varied as it is plentiful and delicious.
Price per person valid for tours departing in 2016: £850
No single room supplement
4 nights accommodation with private facilities
All land transport
Use of field guides and maps
Flights into and out of Malaga
Extra food and drinks to normal meal times
Tips, laundry, phone calls and anything else not listed in the inclusions
Note: Flights are not included in the price. However, we can assist you with finding a suitable flight you can book yourselves. Train travel is also possible.