Exciting reserve for wildlife enthusiasts, photographers and hikers.
For those unfamiliar with this area the following may be helpful: -
Permits seem not to be required but access does seem to be restricted in some areas.
We hired a local guide, plus a 4WD and driver, (4WD not essential), from our hotel. Our guide knew the layout of the reserve but was not able to identify the wildlife. Sign posting is rudimentary, the trip may be difficult if undertaken by non-Arabic speakers, unfamiliar with the area.
There is a car park at Sidi Benzarne, access to the estuary is by foot only, along a level, un-metalled track.
Information Boards on the main track to the coast, in French, give basic information on the environment and wildlife.
A website gives some information. http://visitnationalparksoussmassa.jimdo.com
There is a list of Moroccan Birds at
We have been unable to find a website for Souss Massa specifically. We visited in June, (i.e. not the key migration season), and saw Flamingo, Spoonbill, Bald ibis, to name a few, within the first hour of our visit.
The reserve covers some 34,000 hectares but the key area seems to be the Souss Massa River, for about two kilometres upstream from the car park, to the estuary/coast. Own binoculars/telescope and identification guides are essential.
There is a concrete building on the main track overlooking the estuary, which can be used as a hide.
We visited at mid-day, as our hotel was a few hours drive away. There were many birds on the estuary and in surrounding agricultural land. Visiting early morning would have been even better.
There are café’s at Sidi Wassay but seemingly no facilities on the estuary. Water, sun cream, food and a hat are essential. The insects did not trouble us but we used insect repellent. There are no obvious toilet facilities. We were the only visitors to the estuary on the day we visited.
In summary, absolutely worth the effort. The river has been dammed upstream, and locals are worried the low water levels may affect the number of birds. Go now!
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