LOOK INTO THE EYES OF THE RAREST CAT OF THE WORLD
THE ONLY PHOTO TOUR WITH THE COMBINATION
LYNX, GOLDEN EAGLE, VULTURES AND OTTERS
6 - 14 DEC / 22-28 DEC / 7-20 FEB / 1-15 MARCH
FOTO MARTIN STEENHAUT - WILDPIX
ONCE IN YOUR LIFE YOU MUST SEE A LYNX
The Iberian Lynx, a mythical and extremely rare animal, the rarest feline in the world. An estimated 400 animals still live in the wild. He was about to die, but luckily he is getting a little better now.
Meeting this animal is really an indescribable experience. You see a cross between a tiger, a panther and a cat. His golden eyes look straight through you and his drawing and sideburns are fantastic. When you see him walk gracefully, you realize that you are experiencing an extremely rare moment that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
And as a nature photographer it gives a kick to see the Lynx in your viewfinder, the beauty of this beast splatters off your screen.
Our journey is the first and only one that focuses specifically on photography of the Lynx. Many offer observation trips that are fine and where you can see a Lynx from afar, but as a nature photographer you just want this.
From skins with a perfect view and with excellent accommodation as you are used to from Wildpix.
Patience and perseverance are needed, but with top photos as a result!
The Iberian Lynx : endangered but well protected
Although fortunately not all felines are threatened, unfortunately this is true for many species. Some species are even so seriously threatened that it is uncertain whether they will continue to occur in the wild for the next 50 years. The latter is true for the Spanish lynx which is probably the most endangered feline of all 36 (Amur panther and Asian cheetah also belong to this category).
Spanish lynx is about twice as big as a large house cat. The hind legs are slightly longer than the front legs. The tail is short and has a black tip. The coat can have all kinds of brown tones. The pattern varies from sharply delineated dense, round and elongated spots to blurred cloudy open spots. The front of the chest is lighter to white in color, as is the underside of the chin, throat and belly. The head is finer in build than other lynx species and the large ears with black plumes have a dark to black back with a white spot. The eyes have black eyelids and are white bordered with slit-shaped pupils. Adult lynxes have large round sideburns from the ear base to the base of the jaw. The sideburns have the coat choice and turn black towards the outside. Under their jaws they end in two white goatee whites. The nose leather is flesh-colored and black and the whiskers are white.
Distribution and habitat
habitat of the Spanish lynx consists mainly of dry shrub-covered areas and this lynx is found only in the south- west of Spain (west of the Pyrenees) in several separate populations, making its survival vulnerable. The total number is estimated at 84-140 (a new estimate at the beginning of 2011 is based on approximately 200). Data from early 2010 indicate that Coto Doñana has about 24-33 lynxes and that the population in eastern Sierra Morena is about 60-110 (the most important stronghold for this lynx). However, there are also regular young in the smaller populations of East Montes de Toledo, West-Sistema Central and some areas in the middle and western part of Sierra Morena. Adult lynxes defend a territory of 3-4 km² against lynxes of the opposite sex. Many rabbits have smaller territories.
lynx lives alone and will chase other lynxes out of the habitat. Only during mating and when there are young, they interfere with each other. Lynxes are spinning cats and this lynx keeps quiet for more than 90% of the day and hides in thick heather groves. In the habitat of the Spanish lynx foxes, genets and other robbers are a rarity because they are seen as food competitors and are chased away or killed.
Hunting and diet
number of felines have a specialized lifestyle, including the Spanish lynx. Living on the ground, this lynx hunts almost exclusively the European rabbit (over 80% of all prey). This makes this lynx very vulnerable. The enormous decline in the number of rabbits since the 1950s has therefore had a major impact on the chances of survival of this lynx (even today). Other incidental prey animals are small rodents, hares, partridges, ducks, geese and young (dam) deer. The Spanish lynx can smell a prey at a distance of 300 m.
Spanish lynx has a nest once a year but does not reproduce every year. The mating season is from January-July with a peak in the first two months so that in March-April the most young are born (gestation period approx. 60-70 days). Most of the nesting places have been found at the foot of old cork oaks. On average 3 kittens are born (see the picture of kittens). The first 20 days the kittens stay in the den and the female moves them 3 to 4 times during this period. Only 1 or 2 young survive the first 10 months and naca
The young leave their mother for 1-1.5 years. They go looking for their own territory that is usually about 10-20 km from their 'parental home'. This period is the most vulnerable for young Spanish lynxes. As much as 50% is not making it, and research shows that by far the majority of the causes are man-made (car collisions, drowning in wells, snares, etc.).
Status and threat
Spanish lynx has the status "Endangered"
on the IUCN Red List. Since the late 1980s, their number has fallen by 80%, with more than 40 populations collapsing altogether. One of the main causes is the decline of their natural prey; the European rabbit. Not only by over -hunting but especially by changing and disappearing suitable living environments and by the rabbit disease myxomatosis. Another cause is fragmentation and destruction of habitat by planting eucalyptus and pine and the disappearance of cork oaks. Motorways that cross their habitats and the use of snares for fox hunting also claim victims. Building on their habitat disturbs their peace and quiet and unshielded wells are a drowning hazard.
The living environment of the Lynx
We are in southern Spain, in the Andalucia region, just above Malaga. The Sierra de Morena nature reserve is huge and one of the last large wildernesses in Spain. The landscape in Andalucia is breathtaking and fortunately well preserved and protected. It is a mix of mountains, valleys full of rocks on which colorful mosses grow, olive trees and cork oaks. Silhouettes of eagles and vultures in the blue sky and everywhere flying Hops and Blue Magpies. Rivers sometimes meander through the landscape and otters feel perfectly at home there.
In the summer months it is known as one of the hottest places in Spain.
NEW PHOTO HIDES IN ALL COMFORT
New photo cabins have recently been built with much more comfort than before. Extremely easy chairs in a spacious cabin with quiet floor, black interior for minimal reflections and even separate sanitary ware. Screw plates are provided so you do not need a tripod. They were placed just as strategically and with great care as we always do.
EAGLES, VULTURES, OTTERS AND BLUE MAGPIES....
BUT ALSO FOOD FOR CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHERS!
In addition to the Lynx, there is of course much more to experience in this beautiful area. There is also a hiding place for the beautiful golden eagle and Spanish imperial eagle that you can try. On a photo day with the guide you go looking for Otters in the river, try the blue magpies and much more.
We have also placed those new photo huts for deer in such a way that you can create special silhouette images in backlight.
KNOW WHAT YOU'RE GETTING INTO - THE RARE LYNX IS NOT EASY TO SEE - PATIENCE!!
We want to tell you an honest story and that's that a Lynx can't just be photographed. Patience is the message, and this animal deserves it! The chance of success is estimated to be high but not always guaranteed.
That is why there are also minimum 4 attempts included in our program, in 4 days we hope to succeed.
The hides are placed in strategic places where many rabbits are sitting. Rabbits are for 90% the diet of the Lynx and therefore very important for its survival. Because so many Lynxes have disappeared in the past due to a shortage of rabbits, they are now helped by artificial housings for rabbits. That is the only way to help the Lynxes.
At one of the 'rabbit houses' a hide has now been placed. It is the place where the best chance is to see him because he knows there is food there. So we do not work with dead prey but in a natural way. When the Lynx gets there it is because it chooses to hunt there.
Be aware that these animals are extremely shy and do not show themselves for long. They walk by and if you have managed something, they sit or lie down for a while, they are felines who also like to bathe in the sun.
Wait slowly, practice patience, be constantly alert and above all realize that you are waiting for one of the rarest animals in the world.
You should remember that well when you make this travel. It's not a zoo and that's how it should be.
But if you manage to see them then it is an absolute top experience that will make your heart run wild and you will never forget that!
It is truly the most beautiful and rare cat on our planet.
YOUR PHOTO TRAVEL HELPS PROTECTING THE LYNX
As nature photographers, we must also protect nature. And in this project that is close to our heart. Protecting the Lynx is very expensive because large sites must be purchased and maintained to secure the living environment.
We are very happy that 20% of the income from the photo booths goes directly to the WWF to protect the Lynxes. By photographing him you help him to survive.
THE PHOTO HIDES
The photo cabins are simple wooden constructions with large mirror windows. They are spacious enough for one person to sit comfortably all day, in a folding chair. You can work from a tripod. Of course, they are in such a way that you always have the best light. There is a small tablet to put stuff on. They both have almost the same point of view. In front of the hut there is a small drinking trough with some branches and stones where during the day all kinds of interesting birds such as Tecklaleeuwerik, Iberian Klapekster and others come to sit. While you wait in front of the hut often fly Monk vulture, Vale Vulture, Imperial eagle and Golden eagle.
WHEN IS THE BEST PERIOD?
We deliberately offer this trip for only 4 months. This is the best to spot a Lynx.
November to March
During these winter months the chances are greatest because this is the mating season of the Lynx, where they go looking for partners and thus wander around a lot. More photo opportunities.
THE ACCOMODATION - TYPICAL SPANISH CASA RURAL
During the winter months you can stay in a modern and well-equipped 3*** hotel, these are separate cottages with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, hairdryer, TV set, swimming pool.
This package is provided in full board. Breakfast and coffee is always available at the hotel and if you leave early, you can make coffee in the room and breakfast will be prepared. You will receive your packed lunch.
After your long photo day you can have dinner in the hotel restaurant and enjoy the delicious Spanish cuisine.
From this hotel you have a reasonably long road to do from 1 hour to the cabin. But the comfortable 4x4 of the guide makes this easier. Unfortunately there is no alternative because the habitat of the Lynx is so remote. Just take into account not to have too heavy a breakfast, that's better done in the cabin.
PLANNING AND DURATION OF THE TRIP
This trip is a fixed package of 5 photo days - 7 nights
Day 1: travel day: arrival Malaga and transfer to hotel
Day 2: Lynx hide
Day 3: Lynx hide
Day 4: Lynx hide or Golden eagle
Day 5: guided photo day for Otter, Red deer, Blue Magpie, landscapes
Day 6: Lynx hide
Day 7: travel day back
From the 15 November to 15 March
We close the lynx hides after 15 march – other hides remain possible
AVAILABLE PERIODS SEASON 21-22:
6 - 14 DEC / 22-28 DEC / 7-20 FEB / 1-15 MARCH
TRAVEL and GUIDANCE
You travel alone or in group as you wish. You will be perfectly guided on site by our English-speaking colleague.
FLIGHTS AND TRANSPORT
The best connection flies on MALAGA. That can be cheap with Ryanair or other cheap flights.
You book the flights yourself and they are not included.
From there it is best to take a rental car and you will be on the property in approximately 2.5 hours. You will of course receive all necessary road information from us. The guide will be waiting for you at the hotel.
You can also be picked up at an additional cost.
You can stay in a modern and well-equipped 3-star hotel with free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a hairdryer, a TV and a swimming pool.
This package is delivered in full board. Breakfast and coffee are always available at the hotel and if you leave early, you can make coffee in the room and breakfast will be prepared. You will receive your packed lunch.
After your long photo day, you can dine in the hotel restaurant and enjoy the delicious Spanish cuisine.
NUMBER OF PERSONS
1 - 5 max Photographers
WITH HOTEL PACKAGE OUTSIDE THE DOMAIN
Price per person in single room and full board, 5 photo days € 2200 for the group trip in 2022
Price per person in single room and full board, 5 photo days € 2650 for the group trip in 2023
Price per person in single room and full board, 5 photo days € 2050 for the individual trip in 2022
Price per person in single room and full board, 5 photo days € 2200 for the individual trip in 2023
IF you want to leave a day late: Extra hotel stay including breakfast + € 100
accommodation 3 *** hotel with full board
all car transport on site
all photo booths and excursions
travel guidance by professional photographer
your flights on Malaga or Seville
your rental car
own other expenses on the spot
your extra meals or drinks on site
your own travel and / or cancellation insurance policies.
!! GOOD TO KNOW!
After booking you will receive a payment request and you pay the full amount in advance by bank transfer.
In this way everything is arranged and your trip is reserved. You will receive an invoice.
What if I have to cancel my trip?
In case of cancellation you must always inform us as soon as possible. Since we also have to pay cancellation fees with our partners, we also have to pay cancellation fees in some cases. This is explained in detail below, in the terms and conditions and in the travel information that is sent to you.
You can always contact your cancellation insurance.
Terms for cancellation costs:
5 TO 3 MONTHS FOR DEPARTURE. 25% OF THE TOTAL TRAVEL AMOUNT
3 TO 2 MONTHS FOR DEPARTURE. 50% OF THE TOTAL TRAVEL AMOUNT
2 TO 1 MONTH BEFORE LEAVING 80% OF THE TOTAL TRAVEL
1 MONTH TO 1 DAY BEFORE DEPARTURE. 100% OF THE TOTAL TRAVEL SUMMARY