Andalusia: the Iberian Lynx and the wonders of Doñana

  • Upcoming dates 14-19 February 2024
  • Duration5 days (4 nights)
  • Sites of interestParque Natural de Doñana, Dehesa de Aznalcázar, Siviglia, El Rocío.
  • Pricefrom 1350€
  • Number of participantsMin 4
  • Tour leader Valerio Russo

The Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus) is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is more easily observed in winter, during the pre-reproductive period.

The wildlife expedition will include the exploration of Doñana Natural Park, one of the most suggestive parks in Europe, guided by a local expert. During the trip, most of the time will be dedicated to birdwatching and the observation of the rich biodiversity of the area.

In addition to admiring suggestive landscapes during the whole expedition, the wonderful city of Seville and the famous village of El Rocío, located in the heart of Doñana, will be visited.

-DOÑANA NATURAL PARK: The most important natural reserve in Spain, the Parque Nacional y Natural de Doñana is one of the largest and most important wetlands in Europe. This is also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The park, located along the Atlantic coast, around the delta plain of the Guadalquivir and its tributaries, contains many environments of great interest, from lagoons to Mediterranean forests to extensive dunes. In addition to being characterized by endemic species of the Iberian Peninsula (among them Iberian Lynx and Spanish Imperial Eagle), the area represents a hotspot for birdlife during spring and autumn migrations. In winter, Doñana is a wintering site (the most important in Western Europe) for hundreds of thousands of ducks, as well as for a huge number of Greylag Geese, Cranes, Flamingos, Spoonbills and many other species. From a herpetological point of view, Doñana is among the richest areas in the whole of Spain. The diversity of Mammal species is also exceptional, which includes, in addition to the aforementioned Iberian Lynx, numerous Ungulates and particularly interesting species such as the Egyptian Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) and the Common Genet (Genetta genetta). Inside the park there is the village of El Rocío, a town with a unique charm, and it is precisely here that we will stay!

-AZNALCÁZAR DEHESA: The area west of Seville, despite the signs of anthropic activity with cultivated fields and infrastructure, is rich in natural areas characterized by the presence of dehesa. This evergreen forest typical of the Iberian Peninsula is home to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal species. The queen of this environment is certainly the Iberian Lynx, an elusive predator present with several pairs. It is precisely here that we will go in search of the traces left by this rare cat trying, with a little luck, his encounter!

-SEVILLE: Perhaps one of the most fascinating cities in the world, all the typically Spanish traditions converge in it. It was recently named by the well-known Lonely Planet guide as the city worth visiting in 2018. Once a traffic-congested metropolis, resting on its laurels of history, today a city full of bicycles and trams, enthusiastically committed to reviving his artistic past. Among the countless monuments worthy of interest, the Alcázar stands out, an example of Mudejar architecture, with strong Islamic influences and splendid and colorful patios.

-EL ROCÍO: As in a western-style film set, its sand-covered streets are lined with one-story houses with large patios. Locals here prefer to use the horse as a means of transportation. Visiting this town is a unique experience in Europe.

Mammals: Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus), Egyptian Mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon), Common Genet (Genetta genetta), Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra), Iberian Hare (Lepus granatensis), Iberian Red Deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus).

Birds: White-headed Duck (Oxyura leucocephala), Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus), Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti), Bonelli’s Eagle (Aquila fasciata), Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus), Red-knobbed Coot (Fulica cristata), Western Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio), Great Bustard (Otis tarda), Little Bustard (Tetrax tetrax), Eurasian Stone-curlew (Burhinus oedicnemus), Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Pterocles alchata), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Pterocles orientalis), Iberian Woodpecker (Picus sharpei), Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae), Lesser Short-toed Lark (Calandrella rufescens), Black Wheatear (Oenanthe leucura), Southern Grey Shrike (Lanius meridionalis), Spotless Starling (Sturnus unicolor), Iberian Magpie (Cyanopica cooki).

Reptiles: Mauremys leprosa, Testudo graeca, Chamaeleo chamaeleon, Acanthodactylus erythrurus, Psammodromus algirus, Psammodromus occidentalis, Timon lepidus, Podarcis carbonelli, Podarcis vaucheri, Chalcides bedriagai, Chalcides striatus, Blanus cinereus, Blanus mariae, Hemorrhois hippocrepis, Rhinechis scalaris, Coronella girondica, Macroprotodon brevis, Natrix astreptophora, Natrix maura, Malpolon monspessulanus, Vipera latastei.

* given the winter period, the observation of the Reptiles will mainly depend on the weather present during the tour.

Amphibians: Pleurodeles waltl, Lissotriton boscai, Triturus pygmaeus, Epidalea calamita, Alytes cisternasii, Discoglossus galganoi, Discoglossus jeanneae, Pelobates cultripes, Pelodytes ibericus, Bufo spinosus, Hyla meridionalis, Pelophylax perezi.

DAY 1: Rendez-vous in Seville. Transfer and exploration of Doñana Natural Park. Birdwatching at sunset. Dinner and overnight in El Rocío.

DAY 2: Whole day dedicated to the search for the Iberian Lynx with the guide of Wild Doñana. Birdwatching. Dinner and overnight in El Rocío.

DAY 3: Transfer to the Dehesa de Aznalcázar. Day focused on the search for the Iberian Lynz and on birdwatching. Return to Doñana. Dinner and overnight in El Rocío.

DAY 4: Transfer to Chipiona and seawatching. Birdwatching along the eastern side of the Guadalquivir river mouth. Transfer to Jerez de la Frontera. Dinner and overnight.

DAY 5: Transfer to Seville. Urban birdwatching. Free visit of the city. Departure of the group.

Rates from € 1350

For more information contact the organizers.

What is included:

  • Overnight stays (single and double option).
  • Meals (4 breakfasts, 5 packed lunches, 4 dinners – drinks not included).
  • Internal transfers by van, including fuel costs, tolls, parking.
  • Local expert zoological guide of Wild Doñana.
  • Scientific accompaniment by zoologist for the duration of the trip, with support material for wildlife observations (binoculars, spotting scope, field guides, etc.) – supplied according to anti-Covid19 safety provisions.
  • Travel insurance.

What’s not included:

  • Flights.
  • Entrance to the monuments and any tips to local guides.
  • Everything not mentioned in the previous item.

Possibility to request a quote including airfare, with any additional nights, depending on personal needs.

The rate includes basic travel insurance.
For further information regarding the possibility of taking out additional insurance policies, contact the organizers.

Penalties in the event of cancellation: In the event of unmotivated withdrawal of the contract by the consumer, the penalties are equal to 100% of the entire participation fee, in addition to non-refundable insurance premiums.

Number of participants: Minimum 3

If the minimum group is not reached or if the organization cancels due to force majeure, the entire amount paid will be refunded.

Reservations within 30 days from departure.

Information regarding rates and payment methods will be communicated by email after completing the request form.

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