Tour Details

Dates:16th of Feb - 22nd of Feb 2025
Group Size:Minimum 4, maximum 8 guests
Grading:Easy to moderate - there will be some pre-dawn starts
PricesFull price: £1,475.00 / person Single room supplement: £175.00 / person Deposit: £150.00 / person
Price includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transportation, services of your guides, and a holiday report
Not included: International travel, drinks and other personal items, holiday insurance

Tour Highlights

  • A tour with a focus on encounters with Europe's rarest cat, the majestic Iberian Lynx
  • Using local Iberian Lynx researchers' knowledge, and access to a private estate where chances of sightings are greatly improved
  • Other wildlife highlights will include late winter/early spring wildflowers, endemic birds including Iberian Magpie, and early butterflies

Tour Description

We're delighted to offer an Iberian Lynx tour with a difference - as befits one of Europe's rarest and most iconic of mammals!

The Iberian Lynx is a dramatic apex predator in the Iberian Peninsula - and one that, for a time, teetered on the brink of extinction. Even now, it retains the dubious distinction of being Europe's rarest feline, but thanks to years of dedicated conservation work its population is recovering, and visits to its heartland can be made with an expectation of sightings, particularly in the months of winter when the animals are particularly active.

Some tours might rely on sightings coming in the public areas of the Natural Park of Sierra de Andujar - and we'll judiciously explore these areas too - but we prefer to maximise our chances of higher quality encounters with Iberian Lynx. To this end, we will enjoy two days of exclusive access to a private estate in the area, accompanied by biologists who work in the Iberian Lynx conservation program. Their knowledge of the countryside and the individual animals to be found in it is second to none, and in addition to enjoying the best chances of close encounters with the big cats, we can also learn firsthand about their conservation and prospects.

In the course of the tour we will also enjoy some other superb late winter wildlife watching - the first Provence Hairstreaks of the year may be on the wing, freshly emerged and looking like the lovechild of Green Hairstreak and Small Copper! Wildflowers will be starting to bloom - we'd expect to see delicate endemic Narcissus jonquila, and in the limestone areas may bump into some early orchids too - there's a chance of Anacamptis colina, Himantoglossum robertianum, and Ophrys fusca. We won't be able to miss the endemic Iberian Magpies with their flashing azure wings, and other top quality birds may also be hoped for - Spanish Imperial Eagle, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Rock Bunting, Cinereous Vulture, Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, and Greater Flamingo amongst others. Another iconic mammal is also on the cards - we should get close views of the photogenic Iberian Ibex.

Please note - we deliberately restrict the size of the group on this tour to ensure the best encounters with the famously shy and enigmatic Iberian Lynx. Several days will involve early, pre-dawn starts to ensure we're on-site before day breaks, to minimise disturbance and maximise the quality of the encounters we're hoping for.

Tour Leaders

For as long as he can remember, David has been passionate about birds and wildlife. This has led to a varied career in conservation, mainly working for the RSPB, and leading wildlife tours in Europe and beyond.

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Juan Pablo is a biologist with an MSc in Conservation Biology. He has a particular interest in Iberian butterflies, and also enjoys photography and hiking - often all three interests coincide!

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Tour Location


Tour Itinerary

  • DAY 1 - arrival at Málaga Airport, and transfer to our comfortable rural accommodation in Sierra de Andujar. If time allows, we will make an afternoon excursion to vantage points in public areas of the Natural Park. This forested area holds healthy populations of mammals and raptors alike, both of which take advantage of recovering populations of Rabbit that have been released in the area specifically for the purpose of helping the Iberian Lynx population to prosper anew. In the winter mating season Iberian Lynx become more active and are regularly seen patrolling their territories.
  • DAYS 2,3 & 4 - In the days that follow, we will spend two days with enjoying exclusive access to a private estate, accompanied by the local Iberian Lynx conservation team, to dramatically increase our chances of encountering Iberian Lynx. Away from the public areas of the Natural Park we anticipate more intimate and meaningful encounters with the cats - just the cats, and our small group - and, of course, some brilliant birds too. Early starts will ensure we're in place before dawn, to minimise disturbance and maximise our chances of excellent views of lynx - and in the meantime, we'll expect to encounter many endemic Iberian Magpies, and will also be looking for Iberian Green Woodpecker, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Cinereous Vulture, Rock Bunting, Hawfinch and Little Owl. One day will be spent in the public area of the park, where as well as chances of Iberian Lynx, we'll also anticipate encountering early spring flowers including Iberian endemic Narcissus jonquila, and will be hoping to see pristine, newly emerged Provence Hairstreak butterflies, looking like the lovechild of Green Hairstreak and Small Copper!

  • DAY 5 - transfer day - after a final scan for Iberian Lynx in the public areas of the Natural Park, we will depart to our comfortable base in Granada's Huétor-Tájar - here the surrounding countryside offers opportunities for some interesting birding, with Stone Curlew and Little Bustard particular targets.

  • DAY 6 - Torcal de Antequera & the lagoons of Fuente de Piedra. The limestone massif of Torcal de Antequerra provides us with the high probability of close encounters with another iconic Iberian mammal, the majestic and spectacular Iberian Ibex. Rock Buntings usually also afford excellent views here, and we may find ourselves looking down upon Griffon Vultures as we explore the area. The lagoons of Fuente de Piedra, meanwhile, are one of the foremost European breeding sites for Greater Flamingos and, in winter, we will also expect to see good numbers of the thousands of Common Crane that overwinter in area, in addition to many wildfowl, waders and hopefully some hunting raptors too - Black-shouldered Kite are present in the area, for example. If we're very lucky, we might bump into a final notable mammal - Egyptian Mongoose are present in the area, and we've seen them here in the past.
  • DAY 7 - departure day. Transfer from our hotel to Malaga Airport, and tour concludes. If time allows, we'll do a little extra birding on the way to the airport!
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