This trip offers the chance to experience not one but two exceptional wildlife areas, combining the lush mountain scenery of the Ronda area with the unparalleled migration spectacle of thousands of vultures crossing the Straits of Gibraltar.
As we travel along narrow, winding roads through thousands of acres of cork and laurel forest and through mountains towards our first base in the quirky blue mountain village of Juzcar, we will hopefully have seen birds like Hawfinch, Crested Tit and Black Wheatear before we even arrive.
As if the journey wasn’t picturesque enough, your first view of Ronda, perched high above the massive El Tajo canyon, will take your breath away.
The neighbouring Sierra de las Nieves and Sierra de Grazalema mountain ranges are UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and host the densest raptor populations in Europe. There will be amazing photographic opportunities for Griffon and Egyptian Vultures and we will also be looking for Bonelli’s, Short-toed, Booted and Golden Eagles which all breed in the area.
Whilst exploring the area we should see species like Rock Bunting, Red-billed Chough, Alpine Accentor, Blue Rock Thrush and Black Wheatear as well as woodland birds like Crested Tit, Hawfinch Short-toed Treecreeper and Firecrest.
We will also have chance to explore some of the many pretty traditional whitewashed hilltop villages of the area especially the quirkiest of them all Juzcar, whose inhabitants voted to go against the grain and decorate the village with Smurf murals!
From our second base at the rural eco-lodge of Huerta Grande we can then take you to all the best places to observe thousands of vultures, eagles, kites and storks soaring across the 14km of water that separates Europe from Africa at the Straits of Gibraltar.
The vulture migration is particularly spectacular with as many as 2,300 birds recorded crossing the Strait in a single hour! This is one of most spectacular migrations in the world!
There will also be time to explore the local area in and around Tarifa where you will be introduced to some great wetland, woodland and inter-tidal area and quite likely, a couple of great bars as well!