Birdwatching and nature

Morocco is a paradise for nature lovers. It is a prime location for birdwatching, and there are many other natural delights to savour. If you are a keen photographer of wildlife or an artist, our Sahara Atlas Tours driver-guides have a special understanding of your needs.

Birdwatching

In March-April and again in October, a host of migrant bird species travel through Morocco.

Fan-tailed warbler

Fan-tailed warbler

In the coastal wetlands such as the Oualidia lagoon and the Souss-Massa National Park, many waders and other water birds can be seen, including black redstarts, Sardinian and fan-tailed warblers, common bulbuls and spotless starlings, as well as the endangered Andalusian Hemipode.

Bee-eater

Bee-eater

 

In the High Atlas, particularly in the Dades Valley region, there are resident species from the blue rock-thrush to golden eagles and Egyptian vultures. April also sees many migrant species, including flocks of brilliantly coloured bee-eaters with their trilling song, pass through the lush green valleys as they head for their breeding grounds further north.

 

Rock formations, fossils and the Sahara Desert

The Monkey's Fingers rock formation, Dades Valley

The Monkey’s Fingers

The geology of Morocco is a real marvel. Visit the extraordinary ‘Monkey’s Fingers’ in the Dades Valley, a unique formation of red sandstone slot canyons and peaks, which offers an exciting half-day trek. There are also many other spectacular rock formations to be seen in the Atlas Mountains, including basalt columns in the Jebl Saghro and the famous Todhra and Dades Gorges.

 

Erfoud Fossil Museum

Erfoud Fossil Museum

The Sahara Desert is also a prime site for fossils. The Fossil Museum at Erfoud is the largest in the world, and was featured centrally in the first two episodes of David Attenborough’s BBC nature series Life On Earth. Erfoud is near the Erg Chebbi dunes of the Sahara, so you can take in a visit to the museum on the way to a camel trek and nomad bivouac in the heart of the desert.

Camel-drivers will also help you to see the sights and signs of flora and fauna in the desert, showing you the tracks of lizards, beetles and smal mammals who live in this seemingly inhospitable terrain.

 

Cedar forests and Barbary Apes

barbary ape

Barbary Ape © Anthony Stanley

In the green rolling foothills between the Rif Mountains and the Middle Atlas are extensive cedar forests. They are on the route between Fes and Marrakech passing pretty hillside towns with Swiss chalet-type houses, such as Azrou and Ifrane. Your Sahara Atlas Tours driver-guide will equip you with bananas and peanuts, and seek out colonies of playful Barbary Apes who live in these forests. They are a delight to watch!