Morocco has one of the most diverse landscapes on earth. While most attention is drawn by the Sahara desert and four mountain ranges, the country also has wetlands, tidal lagoons, deep forests, cultivated farmland and coastal and marine habitats.
There are eleven National Parks in Morocco, covering over 7,700 square kilometres between them. These important areas are vital for conservation, hosting numerous species of flora and fauna that are either at risk or endangered. They are also spectacular places to visit for nature lovers, places of beauty and peace where visitors can enjoy the diversity of wildlife that Morocco offers.
In the south Dakhla National Park is a gorgeous blue lagoon where you can go to spot dolphins, porpoises and – if you’re extremely lucky – a monk seal, an endangered species that is precariously close to extinction.
The Souss-Massa National Park is found just a few miles south of Agadir, and covers beaches, sand dunes, cliffs and Argania forests. There is a wide range of wildlife to be found here, including the endangered Northern Bald Ibis and various other wading birds. Captive breeding programmes are in place to increase numbers of threatened animals including the dorcas gazelle and scimitar oryx.
The Tazekka National Park in the Middle Atlas was created in 1950 to protect a grove of cedars at the top of Jbel Tazekka, measuring just 6.8km2. This zone has been expanded several times over the years to its current size of 137km2.. It’s an area of caves, canyons, oak forests and the original cedar trees, and home to North African boars, Algerian wolves, Barbary stags, peregrine falcons and more.
A short drive from Marrakech is the Toubkal National Park. It’s a popular destination for trekking, climbing and enjoying time in the wild. As well as containing the tallest mountain in North Africa, the park is home to a wide variety of wildlife – the golden eagle can be spotted soaring in the skies, while on the ground keep an eye out for mongooses and porcupines, the Atlas viper, and thorny eyed gecko.
And if you’re a hardcore birdwatcher you need to visit the Oued-Massa National Park. A short drive from Agadir, it’s home to numerous flocks of birds, both native and migrating. Depending on the time of year you can see cranes, godwits, little crakes, dunlins, spoonbills, flamingos, harriers and ospreys.