- Fly from London to Seville, where we meet our guide and drive to the rugged, dry and rocky hills and mountains of Andújar Natural Park, some three hours away.
- Accommodation: Andújar, 3-nights on full board basis
- Andújar Natural Park has some of the best preserved Mediterranean forest in the Iberian Peninsula. Among the oak forest that clads the hills are grassy glades and secluded valleys where Iberian lynx hunt rabbits, rest amongst the rocks, and raise their young in ancient, hollowed-out oaks. The majority (perhaps 70% or more) of the world’s remaining Iberian lynx live here.
- In this quiet and relatively unpopulated region, others of Spain’s wild animals thrive. As well as Iberian lynx, there are also otters, wild boar, mouflon and red deer. The mountains also hold a large population of griffon vulture, as well as good numbers of the rare cinereous vulture and Spanish imperial eagle.
- Today we drive west to El Rocio, on the edge of the renowned Coto Doñana National Park. This extraordinary village fiercely preserves its own totally distinctive appearance and character, In the evenings horseback riders pause outside the bars to sip sherry and chat, while pallid swifts and red-rumped swallows wheel about overhead.
- Just beside our hotel lies one of Doñana’s fabulous marshes which, even when dry, attracts birds. In the autumn, red deer stags can be heard roaring from deep inside the marsh in the early mornings.
- Accommodation: El Rocio, 4-nights on full board basis.
- The remainder of the Iberian lynx population lives in and around Doñana National Park, a quite different environment of flat grasslands and pine forests where just a few individual oak trees or remnant patches of Mediterranean oak forest are found.
- Although the lynx population here is slowly increasing, the possibility of seeing an Iberian lynx by chance in the wild here is extremely small, so we enlist the help of local guides to take us into the National Park and adjacent areas where they know the best places to look for tracks and signs of lynx.
- With such an intensive itinerary, we also take a break from our main quest and head down to the coast for a day’s birdwatching along the shore and in its adjacent lagoons and saltpans. We should see a wealth of wintering and migrant birds, including flocks of greater flamingos plus numerous waders and gulls.
Day 8 Transfer to Seville and fly back to the UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
- 2nd leader subject to minimum numbers
We stay in a 3-star hotel in El Rocio and purpose-built rural apartments in Andújar.
All rooms are en suite, except for the singles at Andújar, two of which share a bathroom on the top floor of the cabin – clients who wish to have the whole top floor, and their own private facilities, may do so, at extra cost.
All meals are included. Breakfast and dinner will be taken at the hotel, and lunches will be picnics in some wonderfully scenic spots.
Other species thrive in the secluded hills and valleys, including a large population of griffon vulture, and good numbers of the rare black vulture.
- Spanish imperial eagle
- Red-rumped swallow
- Greater flamingo
- Pallid swift
Although our tour concentrates on looking for the endangered, and elusive, Iberian lynx, we will hope to see other animals that thrive in the habitats.
- Wild boar
- Red deer
On this tour we explore two distinct habitats favoured by the Iberian lynx: one, the unique Mediterranean cork oak woods, and the second, an environment of flat grasslands and pine forests. The scenic village of El Rocio is more reminiscent of old Mexico than Iberia.
Typically warm and sunny, with temperatures in the range of 12°–26° Celsius, but the early morning and evening can be chilly, especially in March.
March is often showery, while October is usually dry.
Easy. Most lynx watching is done either from the vehicle or from nearby at fixed locations in the main viewing areas – so as not to disturb the animals. Any walking is short distances only over mainly easy terrain, but may involve the odd steeper slope. Walking boots are not essential, but nonetheless advisable.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Seville – London.
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.