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3 Day Iberian Lynx Wildlife Tour in Sierra Morena, Jaén

Palacete Maria Rosa Hotel Rural, Baños de la Encina Calle de la Trinidad, 25, Baños de la Encina, Spain

Spain Wildlife Tour and Iberian Lynx Spotting Tour

Join in a tour for 3 days, guided by local experts with great knowledge of territory, with the aim of spotting the most threatened of the cats, of which only a little more than 600 specimens all over the world exist into the wild: the Iberian lynx. You will know their habitat, their ecology, their behavior, the conservation actions that have been carried out for its recovery and you will make waits to try to observe it in two private farms located in Sierra Morena and Valle del Guarrizas (Jaén).

Key information

  • Private or group safari
  • Minimum 4 and maximum 12 participants
  • Children from the age of 1 year are allowed to participate under the supervision of a parent or guardian, but please consult first with the organizer, as this might be a challenging tour for them.
  • Starting point and ending point: Baños de la Encina
  • English speaking expert local guide

Highlights

  • 3 days of guided tour in Sierra Morena de Jaén
  • Chance to spot the Iberian lynx, imperial eagle, foxes, wild boars, and many more
  • Explore a beautiful corner of Mediterranean nature
  • Transportation in 4x4 vehicle with 4 or 8 spots
  • Daily picnic breakfast and lunch
  • 2 nights accommodation

Styles


3 activity days in English
The organizer also speaks: Spanish
Group size: Maximum of 12 participants
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Accommodation

You will be accommodated at Palacete Maria Rosa Rural Hotel in double or twin rooms.

Program

Day 1: Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

The Sierra de Andújar is the largest population nucleus of the species, being one of the best places for your sighting. You will look for traces, traces and signs that indicate their presence.

You will visit the Encinarejo Recreational Area, a space for public use that has a vegetation riverbank well preserved, Mediterranean scrub, pine and pasture, and that opens the way to one of the most beautiful corners of the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park. Here, in the Jándula River, you can make a wait to try to observe the Palaearctic Otter and look for the Imperial Eagle. In this area it is also possible to observe the Iberian Lynx, as well as its tracks and traces.

After trying to observe the most emblematic species of this corner, the dehesas of oaks, cork oaks, pyreneans, heather, rockroses, strawberry trees, mastic trees, or different aromatic plants typical of the mountain and the Mediterranean area, between an infinite labyrinth of granite bolos will open the way to a private farm where you will have total exclusivity to make waits trying to observe the Iberian Lynx, always in small groups.

Day 2: Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

The second day you will visit other areas of the natural park, such as the well-known area of ​​La Lancha and the Jandula Reservoir, where you can make a stop to try to observe the Iberian lynx and different birds of prey such as Iberian imperial eagle, golden eagle, black vulture, griffon vulture, short-toed eagle or road eagle (depending on the time). The southern shrike, the great-billed warbler or the Iberian blue-winged ibex, the mountain goat or the solitary rockhopper, are some of the key species of this day.

As the previous day, you will make a wait in private farm in the Sierra de Andújar to try the observation of Iberian lynx.

Day 3: Valle del Río Guarrizas (Vilches)

The Guarrizas River Valley in Jaén became the second reintroduction zone in 2010 for the Iberian lynx, the first area of ​​reintroduction being the Guadalmellato River Valley in Córdoba, with the release of several specimens from the Sierra de Andújar and breeding in captivity. The Valley of the Guarrizas was chosen as a potential area for reintroduction due to an optimal habitat for the species, both for its conservation status and for the density of food available, as well as for its social acceptance.

Currently, guided visits for Iberian lynx observation in the province of Jaén, are carried out exclusively in the Sierra de Andújar, mostly because Valle del Guarrizas is an unknown and little traveled place from the point of view of nature observation tourism. During this day, you will visit another private property with which organizers have a collaboration agreement to enjoy a unique experience, and in which you can observe species such as the Iberian lynx, Iberian imperial eagle or black vulture, among others.

Species presented

  • Iberian imperial eagle (R)
  • Royal eagle (R)
  • Black vulture (R)
  • Black stork (E)
  • Griffon vulture (R)
  • Iberian Rabilargo (R)
  • Iberian Pito real (R)
  • Pico picapinos (R)
  • Bunting rat (R),
  • Gavilán (R)
  • Azor (R)
  • Vulgar Kestrel (R)
  • Solitary Roquero (R)
  • Cogujada montesina (R),
  • Picogordo (R)
  • Black Restrepo (R)
  • Eagle road (E)
  • Culebrera Eagle (E)
  • Abejaruco (E)
  • Crialo (E)
  • Carraca carrasqueña (E)
  • Bark rabilarga (R)
  • Vencejo cafre (E)
  • Alimoche (P),
  • Fishing Eagle (P)
  • Chova piquirroja (R)
  • Iberian Lince (R)
  • Iberian deer (R)
  • Gamo (R),
  • Muflon (R)
  • Cabra montés (R)
  • Meloncillo (R)
  • Gineta (R)
  • Garduña (R)
  • Fox (R)
  • Lure Careto (R)
  • Gato montés (R)
  • Sapillo pintojo (R)
  • Common Salamander (R)
  • Frog (R)
  • Rana Common (R)
  • Sprouts Toad (R)
  • Iberian Partero Toad (R)
  • Southern Ranita (R)
  • South Smooth Culebra (R)
  • Horseshoe Rattle (R)
  • Hocicuda Viper (R)
  • Necklace Rattle (R),
  • Viperine Snake (R)
  • Culebra Bastard (R)
  • Vanessa atalanta (P)
  • Vanessa Cardui (P),
  • Charaxes jasius (R)
  • Gonepteryx rhamni (R)
  • Gonepteryx cleopatra (R)
  • Pararge aegeria (R).

Note that R = Resident; E = Summer; I = Wintering; P = migration step

Frequent questions

  • Does entering a private farm make me see the Lynx?

No. The Iberian lynx specimens that you may usually observe live in complete freedom and can be anywhere in the farms you visit. Each Iberian lynx has its own territory, which runs marking it as such and looking for food and water points. Per se, observing an Iberian lynx in freedom is not easy, but with patience, perseverance and luck is possible, and probable.

  • What advantages does access to private farms offer me?

The exclusive access to a natural space that you share with the staff of others uses, such as livestock, hunting or beekeeping. The experience of the guides allow you to know the passage, feeding and resting areas of the Iberian lynx, being a plus to discover its location. In addition, these farms collaborate with the Life Iberlince Project, therefore, in each one of them, actions have been taken to recover the populations of its main food, the rabbit, being very linked to them.

  • How long will we be on private farms?

You choose. In general, it is always recommended for those who do not know the territory, to start the route making a tour of the public areas of the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park and its environment, in order to observe other species of interest and obtain an overview of the landscape of Sierra Morena, and then move towards the private estate to carry out the wait until nightfall. Keep in mind that the entire route runs through areas with stable presence of Iberian lynx, so that at any time could be a copy. Another option is to do all the activity on the private farm but remember that the wait is static and you will be several hours in the same observation point looking for the feline.

  • Are we going to walk a lot?

Practically no walking. The routes are made in 4x4 vehicle and you will only make small displacements on foot, for which it is necessary to wear suitable footwear to walk through the field.

Location

Sierra Morena de Jaen

Sierra Morena de Jaén is a territory located between the plateau Castilian and the Guadalquivir Valley. With a great diversity landscaping and a soil with poor agricultural capacity, Sierra Morena it has been characterized by its traditional livestock and hunting use.

With an average altitude of 600 meters above sea level, the Sierra de Andújar alternates grassland areas with wide extensions of dehesa, where the holm oak, the famous tree of the Mediterranean mountains, covers a wide area that gives shelter to endless of species, such as the Iberian rabilargo or the European críalo. Is It is also possible to observe the golden eagle, which already in the months winter performs courtship flights.

Other abundant species in the area are the European owlet, the hoopoe, the Iberian woodpecker, the southern shrike and the common shrike, the woodcock, the red partridge or the European turtledove, depending on the time of year.  As for mammals, you will find different species such as the wild boar, the fox, the badger or the mongoose, the latter with a population controlled by the presence of the Iberian lynx. Amphibians such as the runner toad and spur toad, or reptiles like the ocellated lizard or the Andalusian lizard, live together in this space of incalculable value.

But the undisputed king of the area is the Iberian lynx, which thanks to the actions developed by the Life Project Iberlince and the collaboration of the owners of the private farms, have established stable territories of this species. During the tour, you will also visit a private estate located in Valle del Guarrizas, which in December 2010 became the second nucleus of reintroduction of the species in Andalusia, with a very positive tendency regarding the establishment of territories of the Iberian lynx.

Food

Of course, observing without filling the stomach is complicated, so you have included a breakfast and picnic type lunch of local products to taste in the field for each day. Do not worry, while you enjoy the picnic, the guides are completely alert to any movement that may arise.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • 3 days and approximately 12 hours of wildlife observation
  • Transportation in 4x4 vehicles
  • Expert local guide for 3 days
  • Exclusive access to private areas
  • Loan of optical material.
  • Breakfast and lunch picnic of local products
  • Pick up at your accommodation
  • 2 nights accommodation

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 3 days before arrival.
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