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WESTERN SAHARA EXPEDITION

Golden Nightjar, Dunn's Lark, Fennec Fox & Sand Cat

Friday 24th March — Friday 31st March 2017
(8 days)


Leaders: Mark Beaman and Inger Vandyke

Group Size Limit: 6

Tour Category: Mostly easy walking, plenty of night drives and comfortable accommodations

In recent years the remote Dakhla region in southernmost Morocco, at the southern edge of the 'Western Palearctic' faunal region and part of the territory of Western Sahara that was annexed by Morocco after the Spanish left their former colony, has become famous as a place for seeing some very special birds and mammals.

Prime amongst the avian specialities are Golden Nightjar (recently found calling on territories here), Dunn's Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, the splendid Cricket Warbler, Desert Sparrow and the lovely Sudan Golden Sparrow. Golden Nightjar has only once been recorded on a Birdquest tour and the African form of Dunn's Lark, a potential split, has never been recorded on one.

An interesting supporting cast includes Cream-coloured Courser, Audouin's Gull, Royal Tern, Spotted and Crowned Sandgrouse, Pharaoh (or Desert) Eagle-Owl, Thick-billed, Greater Hoopoe, Temminck's and Bar-tailed Larks, White-crowned, Red-rumped and Desert Wheatears, African Desert Warbler, Fulvous Babbler, Brown-necked Raven and Trumpeter Finch. There are also chances for Kelp Gull and Lesser Crested Tern.

Even more remarkably, this is an extraordinary place for seeing deep desert mammals. The gorgeous little Fennec Fox is relatively easy to see here and there is even a good chance of encountering Sand Cat! Other mammals regularly seen here include Rüppell's Fox, Wild Cat, African Savanna Hare, Lesser Egyptian Jerboa, Pygmy and Lesser Egyptian Gerbils, Desert Hedgehog and Atlantic Humpback Dolphin (the latter seems regular inshore near Dakhla).

Join us for a very special week in the desert!

Itinerary

Day 1 The expedition begins this evening at Dakhla airport in southernmost Morocco, from where we will make the short journey to our hotel.

Days 2-7 Exploring the Saharan habitats of the southern region of Western Sahara, nowadays the farthest south of Morocco, including plenty of night excursions in search of mammals and nightjars.

Day 8 The expedition ends this morning at Dakhla airport.

Accommodation & Road Transport: Hotel accommodation is of good quality and comfortable. Road transport will be by cars and roads are mostly good.

Walking: The walking effort is mostly easy, but there may be some moderate grade walks.

Climate: Typically warm or hot and sunny. Rain is very unlikely.

Bird Photography: Opportunities are good.

Important Information for Pound Payers: Kindly note that the Pound prices shown here are based on post-EU-referendum exchange rate reality, unlike the website prices of most UK bird tour operators which are still based on outdated and hugely higher pre-referendum exchange rates. Consequently you can rest assured that we will not have to adjust these prices upwards at invoicing, unless the Pound falls significantly further, and if there is any recovery by the Pound you will receive the full benefit of the cost-saving by way of a price reduction at invoicing.

Expedition Price: £1690, €1990, $2210 Dakhla/Dakhla.

Price includes all transportation, all accommodations, all meals, bottled water, some drinks, all excursions, all entrance fees, all tips for local drivers/guides and for accommodations/restaurants, leader services.

Base prices for this tour are determined in Euros, the currency in which we pay for most tour services. The exchange rates applied at the time of costing were: £1 = €1.180 and €1 = $1.110. For those not paying us in Euros, prices may be adjusted (either downwards or upwards) at the time of invoicing should there be a change in the exchange rate. See booking information.

Single Room Supplement: £196, €231, $256.

Deposit: £300, €400, $450.

Air Travel To & From The Tour: Our in-house IATA ticket agency can arrange your air travel in connection with the tour from a departure point anywhere in the world, or you may arrange your own air travel if you prefer. We can tailor-make your itinerary to your personal requirements, so if you would like to travel in advance of the tour (and spend a night in an hotel so you will feel fresh when the tour starts), or return later than the end of the tour, or make a side trip to some other destination, or travel business class rather than economy, we will be happy to assist. Please contact us about your air travel requirements.

Many of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOL Certificate

Birdquest Ltd is Registered in England, Company No. 01568270. The address of our registered office is Two Jays, Kemple End, Stonyhurst, Clitheroe, Lancashire BB7 9QY

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