Iberian Lynx watching holiday in Spain

Tailor made week of wildlife watching in the highlands of Andalucía accompanied by a wild cat tracking expert and knowledgeable local guides.
Lynx tracking in Sierra de Andujar National Park Wildlife watching in Torcal de Antequera Birdwatching around Fuente de Piedra Lagoon
Price
£1495 excluding flights
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Duration
6 Days
Type
Tailor made
Reviews
More info
From £1,495 (5 nights) full board, including a zoologist or resident biologist escort, inc any domestic flights necessary & transfers; excl international flights.
Price depends on your party size (couples and private solo tours can be arranged).
Make enquiry

Description of Iberian Lynx watching holiday in Spain

This is your chance to join our expert Spanish biologist and enjoy some of the best wildlife watching in Europe. We have an enviable success rate when it comes to seeing Iberian Lynx and know all of the best spots, far from the typical tourist trails.

We have spent many years travelling the world searching for the best locations to see rare and elusive cat species and none is rarer than the endemic Iberian lynx. Once ranging throughout the whole of the Iberian peninsula the sight of Iberian lynx hunting rabbits on the open scrubland would have been a pretty regular sight. However, habitat destruction and hunting took its toll on their numbers and the species was feared to be heading swiftly towards extinction.

Most people who came to the south of Spain to try and spot one of the last Iberian lynx travelled to Coto Donana but sightings were becoming frequently scarce. We had experts scouting out other areas of southern Spain and we started to hear rumours that lynx were being seen more and more within Sierra de Andujar Natural Park. We came to the conclusion that this is indeed the best place to see the Iberian lynx and as it happens the current population is making a large recovery in their numbers.

Our guide for this tour is Jose Luis who is one of the most well regarded bird and mammal watching guides in all of Spain. In the suggested itinerary below we aim to explore the Sierra de Andujar by vehicle and on foot. Being on foot increases our chances of getting close up views of lynx and other wildlife including the wonderful variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians that inhabit this region.

There is no really bad time to visit southern Spain although we do not recommend travelling in the summer (July and August) as the heat can be very draining and the main lynx spotting is done in the open with no shade.

Anticipated fitness level:

The majority of the wildlife watching is all done from a vehicle (or a stationery position in the reserve) so any fitness level can participate. Any walking can be done at your leisure and there is no sustained walking involved. Temperatures can be hot during the middle of the day so be prepared for the heat.

Minimum age: 16 years old

Price information

£1495 excluding flights
Convert currency:
From £1,495 (5 nights) full board, including a zoologist or resident biologist escort, inc any domestic flights necessary & transfers; excl international flights.
Price depends on your party size (couples and private solo tours can be arranged).
Make enquiry

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements

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Holiday information

Dietary requirements:
We can cater for vegetarian and vegan diets.

Reviews

2 Reviews of Iberian Lynx watching holiday in Spain

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Reviewed on 12 Jul 2020 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


A male lynx walked right next to us! To see one of the rarest and most endangered species of wild cats on the planet so close was a truly amazing and
memorable experience!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


July being a very hot month, I was glad for the 6am starts. José is an excellent guide and I certainly would have missed out on some sightings without his
expert eye!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes definitely benefited local people. And great to know that a share of the profit from the operator "Iberian Lynx Land" goes to the conservation of the
Iberian Lynx

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent wildlife.

Reviewed on 14 Jun 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Almost too may to mention, seeing the Lynx with her cubs, a Golden Eagle feeding her chicks in the nest…

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?




3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes our guides were local , we stayed in locally run accommodation, the guide company support the Lynx project .

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Brilliant holiday if you like wildlife watching.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.

Planet

Nature positive

This trip is working to protect the Iberian lynx in the Sierra de Andujar Natural Park. IUCN Red List status is Endangered

The biggest threats to the lynx are habitat destruction and hunting.

What action is being taken to address these threats?

We keep a record of all the lynx activity we see on each tour and record the environmental factors, this data is used by ourselves but also given to the researchers who work for SOS Lynx. All the information collected in invaluable as the knowledge of this lynx population very little understood. We also donate our pictures to the researchers to aid in their photo identification studies.

Where possible, we make sure that the lodges, camps and ranches that we use support local projects for the protection of the wildlife and local communities which rely on tourism as the principal source of income.

What successes have there been?

The current Iberian lynx population in Sierra de Andujar Natural Park is making a large recovery in their numbers. We are not sure if this can be called a success of the trip or the work is done in this location because the population is strengthening.

How can tourists expect to see the conservation work, or make a contribution?

Environment

In Spain (as with everywhere we go) we carefully choose accommodation, supplies and transportation that either minimises its effect on the environment or helps to contribute to its sustainable development. By choosing small, privately owned accommodation where possible we also look to only stay in truly eco-lodges that abide by basic and also pioneering methods of ecological sustainability. Where possible, we make sure that the lodges, camps and ranches that we use support local projects for the protection of the wildlife and local communities which rely on tourism as the principal source of income. We make sure that all the food consumed on the tour is locally sourced.

We plant around 10,000 trees in the Russian Far East each year as part of our on going commitment to reforesting areas unsustainable deforested. In this particular tour we look to us hybrid vehicles (electric vehicles where possible - this is not always possible when going off road on safari) as well as staying and recommending eco hotels. We also encourage our clients to arrive into Andujar with the local train and not driving by not including transfers to and from the major airports (Malaga and Madrid) in the price of the trip.

Wildlife Promise: By bringing people here with a professional zoologist we aim to not just showcase the lynx and its natural environment in full but also to allow you to learn about the problems facing the lynx and other endangered European species in the area and how cutting edge research is countering the problems as well as showing you examples of success stories (such as the Iberian wolf). We also keep a record of all the lynx activity we see on each tour and record the environmental factors, this data is used by ourselves but also given to the researchers who work for SOS Lynx. All the information collected in invaluable as the knowledge of this lynx population very little understood. We also donate our pictures to the researchers to aid in their photo identification studies.

People

In all of our tours of Spain we stick to our policies that strive for continued environmental conservation ethics to be upheld by ourselves and all the local suppliers that we use. We look to employ as many local staff in our tours and in Spain we employ the services of local biologists. Our local guides are members of the Los Amigos de la laguna de La Janda.

This area is a huge agricultural area in southern Cadiz province. It used to be one of the biggest lakes and wetlands in Europe but has since been drained in the last century. This environmental project hopes to recover a substantial piece of this land and return it to its natural state, which would inevitably lead to even more wildlife returning to this rich area. We also support projects which are looking into alternatives to the needless slaughter of birds by farmers.

We spend much of our time searching for birds on private land and pay the farmers for the privilege, this then increases their revenue and farmers are beginning to be very happy to have birds on their land. We also encourage the purchasing of local handicrafts which are all created in a sustainable way and provide great unique souvenirs.

Our local guides are just that, local on this tour, so their travelling distances to and from the tour are small, the hides and lodges we use on this tour have very small energy requirements, instead of using heating by using accommodation with modern and effective insulation, which helps in lowering the energy requirements on the trip.

The vast majority of the food on this trip comes from local producers and we look to reduce the amount of meat consumed on the trip by providing vegetarian meals where possible and more fish than meat.

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