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 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 the 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. 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 a GPS mistake, we arrived at Moulay Bousselham from the other side of the lake. Meaning we either had to drive back to the town or catch some fisher boat to the town. This mistake made us discover a beautiful, 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 cooking tagine and enjoying the wild scenery.
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We decided to reach the town by hitchhiking a boat. At first, the idea sounded crazy, but we succeeded! A fishermen’s boat stopped and gave us a lift to the town port.
There, we asked people where to find flamingos. Some of them smartly spotted their finger in the sky. However, shortly one man offered us a 2-hour 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 do we realise that birdwatching is a popular activity.
Our captain was a talkative young guy. He patiently moved the boat around the lake and introduced us not only to birds but also to all kinds of sea creatures. We saw crabs, seashells, etc.
And then, finally, flamingo. We saw them from very far away and tried to chase them with a boat. Of course, birds flew away every time we got closer. However, we were happy even seeing flamingos from a distance.
Did you know that flamingos are not born pink? They have grey feathers that, with time, turn into a pink colour. It happens because of a natural pink dye that flamingos get from their diet: brine shrimp and blue-green algae.
WHAT ELSE TO DO IN Moulay Bousselham?
Moulay Bousselham is a small town, busy by local holidaymakers in the summer and peaceful the rest of the year. If you are not interested in bird watching, you can stop by to have a delicious fresh fish lunch.
We often stop at Moulay Bousselham on the way from Tangier to Marrakech, eat fish and bring some home. In the town, there are many fish restaurants. However, I choose the ones located in the local market. Ask people; they will show you where is it.
If you would like to do a birdwatching tour or include it in your Moroccan trip itinerary, contact me firstname.lastname@example.org