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2025 Saudi Birding Tours

Following the success and excitement of recent tours, I am offering three eight-day tours of Saudi's southwest in 2025. The February 2025 tour is now fully booked; however, spots are still available for the May and October tours.

These tours 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 Tihamah 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, Basra Reed Warbler, Yemen Warbler, "Mangrove" White-eye, Arabian Babbler, Tristram's Starling, Yemen Thrush, Buff-breasted Wheatear, Arabian Wheatear, Arabian Shining Sunbird, Arabian Golden Sparrow, Arabian Waxbill, Arabian Grosbeak, Olive-rumped Serin, Yemen Serin, Yemen Linnet.


Check out a more complete list of the regional specialties we may encounter HERE.

Details in Brief

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

2025 Dates: February 14 - 21, 2025 (tour full); May 23 - 30, 2025 (3 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 day reaching around 110° F (43° C), the weather in the highlands will be cooler and much more pleasant with the temperature rarely 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

Cost: $2550 USD per person*; single-room supplement of $350  (* estimated based on current prices)

Deposit: 20% to reserve your spot

Northwest Tour Extension

In addition to the main tour, during the fall and 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 world heritage site Hegra as well as a visit to the storied Jebel Al Lawz, the highest mountain in the region and only location in the the Kingdom where Syrian Serin has been recorded wintering three years in a row.



Target species during this extension are See-see Partridge (seven-day tour only), Chukar, 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. This would make an ideal add-on to the endemics tour for WP listers.


Participants: Max group size 8

Five-day Extension: $1650 USD per person*; single-room supplement of $275 (* estimated based on current prices)

Seven-day Extension: $2250 USD per person*; single-room supplement of $380 (* estimated based on current prices)

 

If you're interested in joining one of the tours, click HERE and scroll down to complete the booking form.


Happy Saudi Birding!




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