Wildlife tours in the Middle East take you to a region that is the meeting point of Europe, Asia and Africa. The area is probably best known for birdwatching as it sits on the African-Eurasian migration flyways – the routes taken by many birds between breeding and wintering grounds. Countries along these routes are crucial feeding and resting places for millions of birds in spring and autumn. The Rift Valley and Red Sea Flyways, for instance, take in Jordan, Lebanon,...
Wildlife tours in the Middle East take you to a region that is the meeting point of Europe, Asia and Africa. The area is probably best known for birdwatching as it sits on the African-Eurasian migration flyways – the routes taken by many birds between breeding and wintering grounds. Countries along these routes are crucial feeding and resting places for millions of birds in spring and autumn. The Rift Valley and Red Sea Flyways, for instance, take in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Syria. Every year these flyways see the passage of more than two million soaring birds – eagles, hawks and vultures.
Of course, going on a wildlife tour in the Middle East conjures up images of trekking through true desert areas. You may think of barren, inhospitable sand, but these places are still home to interesting species. This is where you can find such delights as the Houbara Bustard, Lanner Falcon, Desert Warbler and Trumpeter Finch. Mammals include Oryx, Sand Cats, Striped Hyenas, Horned Vipers and the largest lizard in the desert, the Egyptian Uromastyx, known as the Dhub, that grows up to 2ft (60cm) long.
Don’t forget, many countries in the Middle East have extensive coastlines, too. Iran, for example, has 2,000km of land along the Persian Gulf where vast flocks of shorebirds over-winter on mudflats and mangrove plantations. Jordan and Israel border the Mediterranean, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are on the Red Sea. All of these bodies of water are rich in marine life, so the underwater wildlife world is as interesting as the above-ground one.
In the high mountains and forested areas of many Middle Eastern countries, you can find Alpine bird species, Syrian Brown Bears, Arabian Leopards and Indian Wolves. There are also Golden Eagles, Lammergeiers, Long-legged Buzzards and many other exciting raptors.
All-in-all, wildlife tours in the Middle East can take you to a wide variety of exciting habitats to encounter a rich variety of animals – more than you may have expected.
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