Arrival at Villardeciervo.
During lunch our naturalist guide will brief us on our eco-tour which will let us peer into the best kept secrets or the mountain and the animal that we have come in search of: the wolf (Canis lupus signatus), the most legendary of all Iberian animals.
Following the talk we will go out to one of the lupine territories in wait of a sighting. Our naturalist will initiate us in the ecosystem of Sierra de la Culebra and the interaction between humans and the local wildlife. Accompanied by our local guide who specializes in this species, we shall wait until twilight to observe the passing points, resting points and hunting grounds of one of the eight packs of wolf which inhabit the mountains.
We return to the hotel and have dinner.
We get up before dawn, have breakfast and depart by vehicle towards the interior part of the mountain in wait of more wolf sightings. The wolf is important but we must not forget the incredibly high biodiversity in Sierra de la Culebra. It is possible to observe other carnivores like the fox, the wild cat, or hoofed animals like deer and roe deer, which in these mountains we find the most impressive examples. We will be looking for the wolves in the areas which they hold most attachment to, depending on the time of year. The different seasons affect their behaviour in different ways, whether it is mating season or if they are rearing their young, and the cohesion of the pack will also vary.
Following the wolf watching and then a snack in one of the area’s most traditional bars, we will go on an interpretative walk along the mountain, recognizing the landscape, the fauna and the flora. We will identify all birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and footprints that we come across. We will pay particular attention to the impact of the wolf: its territoriality, its footprints, how we can differentiate its trails from other canid species, and we can gain an insight into its nourishment through its excrement.
We will have lunch at the hotel and then return to the mountain for our third sighting period which will again last until twilight. As the sun goes down the packs come to life, and remain active during the whole night. Dusk is the wolf’s hour, the brief window of time most suited to observing these animals.
After this we will return to camp to rest and before dinner there will be a briefing to resolve any doubts or questions we may have. Our professional naturalist will also give us advice and techniques necessary for tracking which we will use on our final excursion the following morning.
We rise early again to look for the most active animals. Whilst we wait and observe we always have viewing equipment and guides who can explain and interpret what we see. But the most important thing we can do is remain silent and aware of all the movements we notice in our surroundings.
If our previous excursions have produced numerous wolf sightings then we can opt to look for another characteristic carnivore, the otter, found in rivers and reservoirs in the mountains. We return to the hotel for an early brunch and depart.
IBERIAN WOLF TOUR - Sierra de la Culebra - 3 days / 2 nights
Tours start on a regular basis from several cities.
You can go on your own to the meeting point of every tour.
In the mountains where Zamora, Orense and Portugal meet, one finds one of the greatest wolf populations in the world. The regional conservation reserve accumulates, within its limits, much of this population. Next to packs of this large carnivore live the biggest wildcats, badgers, martens and roe deer of the Iberian Peninsula. A border in many ways, it divides the humid and Mediterranean parts of Spain which results in us finding species native to both environments.
The reptiles and amphibians of the Atlantic are represented in great number by the common frog and the Iberian emerald lizard. The towns which border la Carballeda are the heirs of Celtic forts which stood in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula.
The stone and slate houses with balconies full of flowers, along with evocative corners where walls, doors, doorknobs or stone benches that have stood the tests of both time and harsh weather of Zamora, offer travellers the chance to savour the rural and traditional spirit of these lands. This excursion is aimed at the discovery of the Iberian wolf and its world.
We will uncover the relationship it has with its environment and to the other animals that occupy its territory.
*Not less than 4 pax
*Single Extra Fee 80€/pax
• Two night’s accommodation
• Full board beginning with dinner on the first night through to lunch on the last day
• Expert local guide
• Transport for the excursions
• Telescopes – one per vehicle
• Basic insurance
NOT INCLUDED :
• Personal expenses Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) or food not mentioned in the program
• Transport to and from the camp needed on arrival and departure day
• Personal insurance policies for cancellations, repatriation etc.
- Rain coat
- Moutain shoes