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Go Birding with Saudi Birding

2024 - 2025 Arabian Endemics Tours

Following the success and excitement of the July and October tours, I am offering three eight-day tours of Saudi's southwest in 2024 and 2025. Spaces are sure to fill up fast, so secure your spot now!

 

These tours will run in summer and fall 2024 as well as winter, spring, and fall 2025 and cover the sand-gravel deserts, sandstone jebels, and wetlands around Riyadh; the highlands of the Sarawat Range from the Al Bahah Region to the Asir Region; as well as the foothills, wetlands, and coastal hotspots of the Tihama lowlands of Jazan. Following this rough itinerary, we will stand an excellent chance of encountering all of the Arabian endemics as well as most, if not all, of the near-endemics.

 

Trip Targets

While there's the potential of racking up a hefty trip list, brimming with lots of really interesting birds, particularly in the Jazan region with its abundance of Afrotropical species, the following will be our primary targets, most of which are endemic or near-endemic to the Arabian Peninsula: Helmeted Guineafowl, Arabian Partridge, Philby's Partridge, White-eyed Gull, Arabian Scops-Owl, Arabian Eagle-Owl, Arabian Green Bee-eater, Arabian Woodpecker, Arabian Black-crowned Tchagra, Asir Magpie, Arabian Lark, Rufous-capped Lark, "Mangrove" Reed Warbler, Yemen Warbler, "Mangrove" White-eye, Arabian Babbler, Tristram's Starling, Yemen Thrush, Buff-breasted Wheatear, Arabian Wheatear, Arabian Sunbird, Arabian Golden Sparrow, Arabian Waxbill, Arabian Grosbeak, Olive-rumped Serin, Yemen Serin, Yemen Linnet

Northwest Tour Extension

In addition to the main tour, during the fall or winter I can also offer a pre- or post-tour extension to the northwest of Saudi. This could be a five- or seven-day extension depending on the desired targets; all extensions will include a two-day visit to the historic province of Al Ula with its premier archaeological site Hegra as well as a visit to the storied Jebel Al Lawz, the highest mountain in the region and the most reliable location for finding Syrian Serin in the Kingdom. Price will depend on the number of participants and the number of days required.

 

Target species during this extension are See-see Partridge (seven-day tour only), Chukar, Common Wood-pigeon (seven-day only), Sociable Lapwing, Pharaoh Eagle-Owl, Desert Owl, Pallid Scops-Owl (seven-day only), Temminck's Lark, Arabian Lark, Thick-billed Lark (seven-day only), Hooded Wheatear, Kurdish Wheatear, Sinai Rosefinch, Trumpeter Finch, Desert Finch, Syrian Serin, among others.

 

Details in Brief

2024 Dates: June 14 - 21, 2024 (tour full); November 8 - November 15, 2024* (tour full)

2025 Dates: February 14 - 21, 2025 (1 spot remaining); May 23 - 30, 2025 (5 spots remaining); October 10 - 17, 2025*

Arrive: King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh by 3:00 AM on the first day of the tour

Depart: Leave via Riyadh late evening on the last day of the tour or the following day

Transport: Economy SUVs or minivan depending on the number of participants and space requirements

Itinerary: Riyadh (1 day); Riyadh to Al Bahah (day 2); Al Bahah to Tanomah (day 3); Tanomah to Muhayil (day 4);Muhayil to Jizan (day 5); Jizan (day 6); Jizan to Abha (day 7); Abha to Riyadh (day 8)

Climate: While the coastal plains along the Red Sea coast can be hot and humid with a heat index during the dayreaching around 110° F (43° C), the weather in the highlands will be cooler and much more pleasant with the temperaturerarely exceeding 86° F (30° C). There is also the chance of heavy mist and thunderstorms, especially during the summer.Expect hot but dry days around the central region of Riyadh.

Physical demands: There will be light to moderately strenuous walking at most of our birding stops

Participants: Max group size 8

Tour Cost: $2550 USD per person; single-room supplement of $350

  • Five-day NW Extension: $1650 USD per person; single-room supplement of $275

  • Seven-day NW Extension: $2250 USD per person; single-room supplement of $380

Deposit: 20% to reserve your spot

 

* Dates somewhat flexible for groups booking together

Terms and Conditions

What's included: Domestic flights; hotel accommodation in a single room, double room, or shared apartment; ground transportation to and from the airport and the various stops along our birding itinerary; all meals as well as light snacks and drinks throughout the day; access to the Raidah preserve in Abha and Hegra in Al Ula (northwest extension only); bird guide and driver

What's not included: International airfare and excess baggage costs; travel insurance*; Saudi eVisa; Saudi SIM card with data (recommended)**

* Basic medical insurance is included with the Saudi eVisa. However, I recommend a traveler's policy to cover other unexpected situations, such as cancellations, lost or stolen items, emergency evacuation, personal liability, etc. By completing the booking form below, you accept full responsibility for insuring your trip and personal items and full liability should you choose not to.

**  Check with your mobile provider first to see what data roaming they offer

Cancellation: You can obtain a refund of your deposit, minus a $30 cancellation fee, up to 90 days before the start of the tour.

For more information, click HERE to contact Saudi Birding. Interested in joining one of the 2024 - 2025 Arabian Endemics Tours? Complete the booking form below.

To help you prepare for your visit, please read the following post: "A Thousand Welcomes to Saudi Arabia": Discover the Thrill of Saudi Birding.

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Northwest Extension (winter and fall tours only)
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Remote Guiding

In lieu of custom tours, I also offer a consulting service for those visiting on their own for a flat rate. With that, I will draft a customized itinerary, in consultation with you, geared towards maximizing the success of your visit. Your custom itinerary will come replete with GPS coordinates, birding maps, advice on locating tricky species, as well as other site details to ensure safe and productive stops. In addition, I will also help with logistics and planning, including arranging visits to preserves, like Raidah in the Asir Region. Lastly, I will provide ongoing support during your visit via WhatsApp so that you don't miss a single target species, as I did for Andrew Spencer of the Cornell Lab's Macaulay Library and his birding companions during their February 2022 visit. Check out Andrew's testimonial.

For more information, contact Saudi Birding HERE

Your Guide

I have over thirteen years of experience with the avifauna of the Arabian Peninsula, having birded extensively throughout Saudi Arabia, Oman, the UAE, and Bahrain. I am skilled in identifying Saudi birds by ear as well as sight and, as the regional reviewer for eBird with a network of contacts across the country, will use the most up-to-date information for tracking down our target species. Finally, with my strong grasp of Arabic and knowledge of Saudi culture, I will enrich your experience of this intriguing and often misunderstood country and ensure you have a safe, secure, and enjoyable visit.

 

What better way to experience Saudi Arabia than with someone who knows the country well, can introduce you to the charms of its culture, and can find its amazing birds?

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