Ultimate Iberian Wolf & Lynx

 This is an opportunity to join a unique trip looking for some of Spain's endemic mammals with particular focus of the extremely rare Iberian Lynx and the endangered Iberian Wolf amongst a host of other species.

Our 10 day holiday starts in the one of the remotest areas of Spain, the 'Sierra de Culebra'. This one of the stronge holds of Iberian Wolf, and this reserve holds a major percentage of Spain's total population of 3000+ individuals. Time will be spent stood quietly waiting & watching for this very elusive mammal mainly at dawn and dusk when they are at their most active and likely to reveal themselves. However while we are there we should be also be looking to find Wild Boar, Red Fox, Red & Roe Deer. The days will be spent visiting the surrounding areas, especially Villafafila and it's adjacent low-intensive agricultural lands that has Spain's largest concentration of Great Bustard. The natural park of Arribes del Duero forms the natural border between Spain & Portugal as this mighty river carves a winding course through steep sided valleys, home to many breeding raptor species.

On the 4th day we will head southeast to the quaint La Manchan village of Alcoba in readiness for the following morning. One of the tour highlights will be a memorable half day in the little-known reserve of Los Cabañeros, 

a haven for wildlife. We spend the morning driving round this 'Serengeti of Spain' in specially adapted vehicles, which allow us into the more remote inaccessible areas of this excellent National Park.

Next we continue to drive south east into Andalucia spending one night in Cazorla, where our rural hotel could hold a surprise with feeding stations for both mammals and birds. The following morning will be spent in the Sierra de Cazorla where or targets will be Spanish Ibex, Red Squirrel and hopefully Lammergeier!

Our final destination is the Sierra de Andujar looking for Iberian Lynx, is the most endangered cat species in the world. However the pro-active Andalucian government have a strategic plan of conservation and re-introduction to help save this wonderful and iconic cat. The natural park currently holds around 70% of the world's population and is working hard to increase this figure. Also here Otter, Genet, Wild Cat, Moufflon, & Fallow Deer can be found along with good population of Spanish Imperial and Golden Eagle, Black and Griffon Vulture.

ACCOMMODATION OVERVIEW:
Both of our accommodations are perfectly positioned for easy access to the best areas for finding Iberian Wolf and Lynx, and not only is it a fantastic place to stay but the owners have up-to-the-minute information on the mammals and their where-abouts. Both places have made every effort to maintain a “natural style”to blend in with the surroundings.

Rates for this Safari
Price excluding international flights:
2014 $2600 PP
 
No single supplement
Safari Summary

Notes:

Dates: 26th Oct - 5th Nov 2014

Price Includes:

10 nights accommodation with en-suite facilities

All meals

All transport costs

Wolf watching permission

Information pack

Daily check list

Use of field guides & maps

Price does not Include:

Flights to Madrid

Extra food/drink to normal meal times

Travel & contents insurance

Items of personal nature

Tips/gratuities

Flights are not included in the prices quoted, however there are lots of options many with low cost carriers and we are more than happy to help with finding suitable flights Or Train travel possible !

Full Safari Details
Ultimate Iberian Wolf & Lynx

 

 This is an opportunity to join a unique trip looking for some of Spain's endemic mammals with particular focus of the extremely rare Iberian Lynx and the endangered Iberian Wolf amongst a host of other species.

Our 10 day holiday starts in the one of the remotest areas of Spain, the 'Sierra de Culebra'. This one of the stronge holds of Iberian Wolf, and this reserve holds a major percentage of Spain's total population of 3000+ individuals. Time will be spent stood quietly waiting & watching for this very elusive mammal mainly at dawn and dusk when they are at their most active and likely to reveal themselves. However while we are there we should be also be looking to find Wild Boar, Red Fox, Red & Roe Deer. The days will be spent visiting the surrounding areas, especially Villafafila and it's adjacent low-intensive agricultural lands that has Spain's largest concentration of Great Bustard. The natural park of Arribes del Duero forms the natural border between Spain & Portugal as this mighty river carves a winding course through steep sided valleys, home to many breeding raptor species.

On the 4th day we will head southeast to the quaint La Manchan village of Alcoba in readiness for the following morning. One of the tour highlights will be a memorable half day in the little-known reserve of Los Cabañeros, 

a haven for wildlife. We spend the morning driving round this 'Serengeti of Spain' in specially adapted vehicles, which allow us into the more remote inaccessible areas of this excellent National Park.

Next we continue to drive south east into Andalucia spending one night in Cazorla, where our rural hotel could hold a surprise with feeding stations for both mammals and birds. The following morning will be spent in the Sierra de Cazorla where or targets will be Spanish Ibex, Red Squirrel and hopefully Lammergeier!

Our final destination is the Sierra de Andujar looking for Iberian Lynx, is the most endangered cat species in the world. However the pro-active Andalucian government have a strategic plan of conservation and re-introduction to help save this wonderful and iconic cat. The natural park currently holds around 70% of the world's population and is working hard to increase this figure. Also here Otter, Genet, Wild Cat, Moufflon, & Fallow Deer can be found along with good population of Spanish Imperial and Golden Eagle, Black and Griffon Vulture.

ACCOMMODATION OVERVIEW:
Both of our accommodations are perfectly positioned for easy access to the best areas for finding Iberian Wolf and Lynx, and not only is it a fantastic place to stay but the owners have up-to-the-minute information on the mammals and their where-abouts. Both places have made every effort to maintain a “natural style”to blend in with the surroundings.

ITINERARY

Days 1 - 5 :- After your arrival into Madrid Airport,  you will be met by your guide and having load up our mini-van will drive straight through to your superb accommodation in the heartland of the Sierra de Culebra. During these four days we will be spend lots of time early morning and late evening searching for the Iberian Wolves as this is the time when they are most active in daylight hours. During this time of watching and waiting we should also see other mammals including Red Fox, Wild Boar & Roe Deer, some of the iberian Wolf's favoured prey.

Although a good deal of our time will be spent looking for our major target we shall also be spending a lot of time birdwatching around the forest and beyond.

Not too far away is an area of specifically developed, low-intensity agricultural land which holds Spain's highest density of Great Bustard with realistic chances of seeing literally 100's during a daily visit. Other species to be found on these undulating steppes could include Black bellied Sandgrouse, Rock & Tree Sparrows, Lesser Kestrel, White Storks, plus big numbers of larks, finches and sparrows. Common Cranes will be starting to arrive from the north and with luck we will first hear their very distinctive 'bugling' call as they head for their wintering grounds in this area. We will also visit the lagoons of Villafafila with it's waders and wildfowl, with this being an inland staging post it could produce the odd Spanish scarcity amongst the commoner waterbirds. With all this potential prey around there is a healthy population of avian predators such as Red Kite, Marsh & Hen Harriers, with Merlin and Peregrine regularly patrolling the wetlands on a regular basis.

One day will make an excursion south to Spain's third longest river - the Duero, an impressive water course that forms much of the border between Spain & Portugal. This deep-sided river is another excellent place for birds with lots of Griffon Vultures, both Golden & Bonelli's Eagles, Blue Rock Thrush, Southern Grey Shrike, Crag Martins, Grey Wagtail, Spotless Starlings and Raven. It is not only very impressive for wildlife but also the scenery is superb

After breakfast on our final morning we set off south east to Castilla La Mancha where we head for Alcoba a small village situated on the edge of Los Cabañeros National Park.

The journey will be punctuated with birding stops en-route and of particular note will be another of Spain's National Parks - Tablas de Daimiel. This extensive reedbed and wetland is home to many sort after species such as Moustached Warblers, Water Rail, Black-shouldered Kite, Bearded & Penduline Tits.
We will continue south until we eventually reach Alcoba and if time allows we shall visit a local hide where we should find Black & Griffon Vultures, Southern Grey Shrike, Azure winged Magpies and Spanish Sparrows.

Day 6 :-  An early start as we swap transport for a special 4 x 4 vehicle, which will take us on safari for the morning. Apart from the main road that runs through the reserve vehicular access to here is restricted to this type of transport (or walking) and strictly governed. The huge plains and rolling hills, with Red Deer, Red Fox & Wild Boar and a very high concentration of raptors with reputedly 120+ pairs of Black Vulture alone, plus Spanish Imperial & Golden Eagles, Lapwing, Little Bustard, Southern Grey Shrike, Jay and Corn Bunting.
After lunch we will continue our journey towards Andalucia, which passes through some prime plains habitat and with luck we should find some roadside steppe species such as bustards, sandgrouse and larks. This then continues over the mountains of the regional northern border of Andalucia and on to an overnight stop at a fabulous hotel near the Sierra de Cazorla.
We have been working with the hotel's owners and have developed a couple of feeding stations for both mammals and birds with regular visits by Beech (or Stone) Martin, Fox, Red Squirrel, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Rock & Cirl Buntings. We will definitely be spending time watching these feeding areas in the hope of seeing something special at close range.

Days 7 - 11 :- In the morning we will be taken into the fabulous Sierra de Cazorla where we should easily find our first Spanish Ibex of the holiday. Although our time is limited to just a full morning we will be doing as much as possible and hopefor a chance of seeing one of their famous Lammergeiers, which were part of a very successful re-introduction several years ago.
After lunch we will pack up the minibus and drive the 1.5 hour joureny to the Sierra de Andujar, which is arguably the best place in the world for seeing the incredibly rare Iberian Lynx. Our timing will ensure we have our first try for this exquisite mammal that afternoon in the mountains of this wonderful reserve.
The next two days will be spent exploring the Sierra de Andujar, a contrasting regional park with some of the best representations of Mediterranean Forest still surviving in Europe. The Sierra de Andujar forms part of the Sierra Morena Mountains and has a landscape of hills and mountains formed from granite, quartz and slate, which is bordered by two rivers - the Jandula and the Yeguas. Yet another of Andalusia’s hidden treasures of a Natural Park; which is home to the elusive and highly endangered Iberian Lynx of which only 150 or so remain in the wild. We shall be spending every early morning and late afternoon searching for this secretive animal 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 our 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 Santuario Virgen de la Cabeza – a dramatic & historic building to which there is a pilgrimage in May that’s perched on top of a mountain in the centre of the reserve.
On our final morning will be dependant on flight times but there could be another opportunity to go out early to look for Lynx. However after breakfast we shall load the minibus and drive the 3 hour transfer back to Madrid, possibly stopping at one or two key sites en-route.

Rates for this Safari
Price excluding international flights:
2014 $2600 PP
 
No single supplement
Book this safari
Safari Summary

Notes:

Dates: 26th Oct - 5th Nov 2014

Price Includes:

10 nights accommodation with en-suite facilities

All meals

All transport costs

Wolf watching permission

Information pack

Daily check list

Use of field guides & maps

Price does not Include:

Flights to Madrid

Extra food/drink to normal meal times

Travel & contents insurance

Items of personal nature

Tips/gratuities

Flights are not included in the prices quoted, however there are lots of options many with low cost carriers and we are more than happy to help with finding suitable flights Or Train travel possible !