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Zar forest

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Gorges and birds

Right next to Rabat and not too far from Casablanca either, the Zar forest is quite a treat for anyone wanting scenery but short travels.
A circuit of the region will lead you through small almost charming villages, green valleys with many cork-oaks and surprisingly dramatic gorges.
North of Sidi Bettache, there is a region with rich bird life. The best part is reportedly near a hunting lodge in the village Sidi-Yahya-Zar. Among the species most often spotted here are spotted flycatchers, white storks, larks, black-headed bush-shrikes, black-shouldered kites and double-spurred francolins. The latter species are only found in Morocco.
A tour from Rabat, which has the nearest hotels and restaurants, will be anything between 40 km and several hundred km back and forth. This could easily be a day tour, but ask ahead for amenities.

Zaer forest, Morocco

Double-spurred francolins.
Zaer forest, Morocco

Black-headed bush-shrikes.

By Tore Kjeilen