Nature tour specialists in Gibraltar, Spain & Morocco
All photos by ©Andrew Fortuna
BARBARY PARTRIDGE (Alectoris barbara)
Gibraltar’s Barbary Partridge will never be prized for its song which is described as a 'series of shrill, broken monosyllable clucks with interposed double notes'. Its meat however might be a little more appealing to some, and that is possibly how the birds originally came to the Rock. Predominantly a North African species, Gibraltar is the only mainland European location for a self sustaining wild population (they are also found offshore in the Canaries and Sardinia).
Gibraltar is a great destination for botanists, with a wide array of endemic species such as the Gibraltar candytuft (see pic left), Gibraltar campion, Gibraltar sea lavender and others. We walk you through all the nooks and crannies in the famous Rock of Gibraltar in search of these specialities and a offers a great opporunity for children and nature lovers in general who enjoy a casual ramble in the local countryside!
A day in the wildnerness.
Witness the region from a natural history perspective!
A day out in the wilderness with a licensed guide. Are you tired of large noisy tour groups, or feel you have no time to stop and take your time to capture a brilliant nature photo opportunity without having that feeling of being left behind by the tour guide? Well if you feel that way, and your a nature lover, just want to stretch your legs, breath some fresh air or simply want to engage in a leisurely walk in the countryside, this tour is just for you! Experience how man and natural history has influenced the the region around us. Watch hundred of migrating birds of prey, native breeding birds, plethora of wild flowers and butterflies and and enjoy some stunning scenery.
We will take into account your activity preference birds, photography, digiscoping or nature in general. Let us know what your medical conditions / limitations are. Your health and safety is paramount for us! A great option if you'r based in Gibraltar or nearby area. We will arrange pickup / drop-off free of charge. Also a great option for general nature photographers.
What you require - Use appropriate footwear and clothing (no sandals). You can choose to bring your own food, however, tours pass by several restaurants and cafes. Bring your medication, suncream, sun shades, whilst insect repellent and a hat is optional.
PLEASE NOTE Our tours are strictly natural history, fees do not cover entrance to individual tourist sites inside the nature reserve such as the Moorish castle, cable car etc.. Small fuel surcharge applies to tours in Seville, Cadiz and malaga - Contact us for more info.
Explore the wildlife of the famous Rock of Gibraltar in search of the enigmatic Barbary partridge and the notorious Barbary apes! The tour also includes a round the rock tour visiting all the major birding sites as well as getting to know the local history and traditions at the hands of a local guide.
The primary habitat in Gibraltar is maquis, or dense Mediterranean scrub. This is mostly made up of tall bushes that include wild olive, Mediterranean buckthorn, lentisc, Osyris, terebinth, and smaller bushes that include shrubby scorpion vetch, spiny broom, teline, wild jasmine, shrubby germander and felty germander. The bay laurel, and the dwarf fan palm are also found in parts of the maquis.
Understory plants include the intermediate periwinkle, Butcher’s broom, Italian arum and Bear's breech. The firebreaks in the maquis are home to plants such as paper-white narcissus, common asphodel, giant Tangier fennel, wild gladiolus, Galactites and mallow bindweed. Butterflies include the Monarch, Two-tailed pasha, Moroccan orange-tip and others.
Target birds include
Resident in Gibraltar
European Shags, the only mainland site in Europe for Barbary Partridges, Peregrine Falcon, Common & Lesser Kestrels, Common, Pallid & Alpine Swifts, Blue Rock Thrush, House Martin, Eagle Owl and thousands of Yellow-legged Gulls. A plethora of smaller songbirds such as Spotted Flycatcher, Sardianian Warbler, Blackcap, Blackbird, Greenfinch, Serin, Zitting Cisticola and many others also breed.
Spring & autumn regular passage migrants include, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Turtle Dove, Northern & Black-eared Wheatears, Subalpine & Spectacled Warblers, Willow Warbler, Western Olivacious Warbler, Whinchat, Common Redstart, Tree & Tawny Pipit, Grasshopper Warbler, Reed Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Ortolan Bunting to name just a few! More scare migrants include Lanner Falcon, Roller, Stone Curlew and others. For a more detailed species migration timetable in Gibraltar visit.
BARBARY MACAQUE (Macaca sylvanus)
Although it occurs in the Atlas Mountains and Rif Mountains in Morocco, the Barbary macaque population in Gibraltar is the only wild monkey population on the European continent. Their origins are unknown although suspected to have been imported from North Africa, no records exisit. Their populations in Africa are experiencing a decline due to hunting and deforestation, whilst Gibraltar population is increasing. Currently, some 300 animals in five troops occupy the Upper Rock area of the Gibraltar Nature Reserve, though they make occasional forays into the town. Feeding them is strictly prohibited! As they are a tailless species, they are also known locally as Barbary apes or rock apes, despite being monkeys