Chasing flamingos in Morocco

I have never been crazy neither about flamingos nor about the birdwatching.  Probably, even now I would not go on the birdwatching holiday. However, after an unexpected encounter with flamingos in Morocco, I would definitely recommend anyone to spend a day observing birds.

To see flamingo was a spontaneous idea. We were driving from Tangier to Marrakech and on the way, in a distance, noticed some flamingo. As we were not in a hurry, decided to chase more flamingo. Luckily, we discovered Moulay Bousselham, located only 130 km from Tangier.

Moulay Bousselham is a small town in the Kénitra Province. No wonder I’ve never heard about it.  This resort is popular almost entirely with Moroccans and birdwatching community. Moulay Bousselham is famous for its lagoon and the wetland area called Merja Zerga. No wonder why Moulay Bousselham is one of the most popular birds watching place in Morocco. The wetland is home for over 100 birds species like the flamingo, grey herons, storks, black-winged stilts, African marsh owls, marbled teals, red-knobbed coots etc.

Because of GPS mistake, we arrived at Moulay Bousselham from the other side of the lake. Meaning we either had to drive all the way back to the town or simply catch some fisher boat to the town. Thanks to this mistake, we discovered beautiful a wild wide beach sheltered by cliffs. The beach has an abrupt drop-off, which creates a continual crash of breaking waves. I’ve never seen anything like this in Morocco before. There were only a few locals and we imagined ourselves here cooking tagine and enjoying the wild scenery.

We decided to reach the town by hitchhiking a boat. First, the idea sounded crazy, but we succeeded! A fishermen boat stopped and gave us a lift. There, we asked people where to find flamingo. Some of them smartly spotted their finger to the sky. However, shortly one man offered us a 2 hours boat trip to find flamingo. We didn’t expect anything else than a boat ride but also got professional binoculars and even the encyclopedia of birds. Only then we realized that birdwatching is a popular activity.

Our captain was a young talkative guy. He patiently moved the boat around the lake and introduced us not only with birds but also with all kinds of sea creatures.  We saw crabs, sea shells etc.

And then, finally, flamingo. We saw them from very far away and tried to chase them with a boat. Of course, they flew away every time we got closer. However, we were happy even seeing them from a distance.

Did you know that flamingos are not born pink?  They have grey feathers that with time turn into the pink color. It happens because of a natural pink dye that flamingos get from their diet consisting of brine shrimp and blue-green algae.

It was a great spontaneous activity. Honestly, I never though bird watching is something for me, but why not?

If you would like to do a birdwatching tour or include it in your Moroccan trip itinerary, contact me rasa@blondieinmorocco.com

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