The Malaga wildlife tour

Wildlife watching
Expert Nature Guide
Wildlife watching
Expert Nature Guide

Natural parks

Guadalhorce, Torcal, Fuente de Piedras, Chorro, Grazalema, Bermeja, S. Nieves

Seasons

Spring / Autumn

À la carte

6 days with Mediterranean wildlife

. Photo: Enrique Calzado Rivillas.

– Ten protected natural areas

– Birds & Butterflies

– Laboratory & microscopes

Region

Spain/ Andalusia

Meeting point

Malaga

Specialized service

Small parties

Andalusia is often splitted in two sub-regions: the eastern, mountainous and much dry Andalusia, and the wetland rich western lowlands. The province of Malaga is conveniently located in the middle and also along the Mediterranean coast… This explains why a travel to Malaga is a must to get a whole flavour of our rich region in very few days.

We will visit coastal and inland wetlands, a strech of non-urbanized beach along the Mediterranean coast, mountainous areas full of cliffs and karstic rocky formations, a farmland range with steppic features, dense and very diverse forests, well preserved streams and rivers, and a variety of open habitats, grasslands and matorral.

In short, the trip will cover most ecosystems you can find in the Andalusian biodiversity hotspot. It is worth noting we will be able to enjoy them at the most renowned protected natural areas (natural and national parks). So be ready with your camera.

We will focus on the wildlife globally, enjoying birdwatching of course, but also paying attention to insects, butterflies, dragonflies and many more, diurnal vertebrates, Mediterranean species of plants dominating the vegetation, pretty flowers, a little bit the geology in order to understand the landscape. On the top of it, we will sleep at off the tracks hotels in order to enjoy quietness and to support people living in rural Andalusia.

The support of ecoturist and wildlife lovers is much necessary since our mountain are loosing population and also the biodiversity associated with traditional agriculture and pastoralism.

Travel schedule

DAY 1 | Transfer from Malaga airport - Guadalhorce River estuary

We will meet at Malaga international airport and quickly move to visit the nº1 birdwatching site in the area at the Guadalhorce River estuary, with high diversity of waders and waterfowls (e.g. White-headed duck). We will walk along the sea side at a wild beach and check for marine birds. Lagoons are also home to southern mediterranean species of dragonflies. We will then travel and be hosted near Antequera for two nights.

DAY 2 | Torcal de Antequera - Steppe birds - Fuente de Piedra

Morning dedicated to the most famous Iberian limestone landscape: the Torcal de Antequera, a maze of cliffs and eroded rocks scattered with small trees. This karst is perfect for Spanish ibex, Blue Rock-Thrush and Black Wheatear. Various Mediterranean orchids and butterflies are found among the species-rich chalk grassland. We will then move towards a nearby farmland range in Seville province, where we will mostly search for steppe birds: Calandra Lark, Lesser Kestrel and so on. We will finish our day at Fuente de Piedra, a truly classic site hosting the largest colony of Greater Flamingo in the Mediterranean Basin.

DAY 3 | Cliffs at El Chorro, Caminto del Rey and Ronda Gash

A big colony of Griffon Vulture is thriving at El Chorro Gorge, alongside with many other raptors. Mountainous landscapes are breath-taking. The shy Bonelli’s Eagle is a (uneasy) target for the day. We will walk the Caminito del Rey, a must-see and very popular path located on a cliff side. Later, we will move to the lovely town of Ronda and walk a short hike which allow to look at common crops and fruit trees and their many associated insects. El Tajo gorge and Ronda surrounding landscapes are unforgettable sceneries. We will be hosted in Serranía de Ronda at the scenic white village of Benarrabá for three nights.

DAY 4 | Los Alcornocales and Moth trapping

A circular journey within the province of Cadiz where moisture is higher and vegetation lusher. We will discover the largest European forest of Cork Oak Los Alcornocales and its surrounding area. Various short stops will allow to search for plenty of insects, birds and flowers. Visited habitats include forests, dehesas, grasslands, carrion site and rivers. The Mirador de Africa will allow us to gaze over another continent (!) and to observe (with a bit of luck) hill-topping butterflies. Night trapping will allow to look at nocturnal invertebrates (moths, mantis).

DAY 5 | Sierra de Grazalema

The Serranía de Ronda has been celebrated since the Romantic travelers, for the beauty of its town, the folk and above all nature. We will explore the spectacular high plateau of “Llanos de Libárin Sierra de Grazalema, a large Portuguese Oak dehesa, surrounded by cliffs and grazed by sheep and goats. Little known, yet full of wildlife and flowers. We will have plenty of opportunities to search for mountain birds. Later in the afternoon, on our way, we will cross the River Guadiaro (good site for dragonflies) and move towards the Genal River valley.

DAY 6 | Sierra Bermeja and Sierra de Las Nieves

We will cross the Genal Valley, quite unique for retaining the Mediterranean tradition of polyculture within the forest and visit Sierra Bermeja, a red mountain made of the rare peridotite rock and home to the endemic Spanish fir (Abies pinsapo). Nice panorama over the coast. Our last site is a little-known river located in Costa del Sol, near Marbella, part of Sierra de Las Nieves National Park, which host the highest diversity of aquatic life (dragonflies, fishes), etc. in the region. A variety of habitats will allow for very nice species. We will lodge near Malaga and have our farewell party.

DAY 7 | Back to the airport

Transfer in the morning in order to be back early and safe. We hope you did enjoy the trip.

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INCLUDE

  • A wildlife watching travel lead by local nature guide. Groups 5-8 people.
  • Half board (picnics by the participants).
  • Double rooms (single room supplement).
  • Does not include round-trip flights by plane.

Bonus

The trip includes a visit to the beautifull town of Ronda and accodomation at a typical white village in Serrania de Ronda. Not only you will enjoy wildlife but also the Andalusian culture and gastronomy. A whole different lifestyle! Dinners will include typical dishes.