SAUDI ARABIA & KUWAIT- Arabian endemics & specialities from desert & mountains to the Red Sea coast.

It's still not really on the birding map yet but Saudi Arabia ticks a lot of boxes for us birders. Firstly and most importantly, there's a great variety of birds to find including a number of Arabian endemics mixed in with an interesting mix of African species and some great migrants. Most of the best birding sites are concentrated in the far south-west of the country, thus eliminating an excessiver amount of driving. The infrastructure is good, food is good and there's decent birding opportunities all year round. Add to this, direct flights from the UK and you have a perfect birding destination. Zoothera is one of the first bird tour companies to offer a tour to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and what an exciting destination this truly is.

Our tour begins and ends in Riyadh. The desert to the north of the city is home to one of the most prized and little-known birds in the Middle East - Arabian Lark. There's also chances of Cream-coloured Courser, Thick-billed Lark and White-crowned Wheatear, whilst both Desert Owl and Pharaoh Eagle-Owl are present in nearby wadis. A short flight to Abha will take us to the far south-west of the country and is the gateway to some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in all of Arabia. Here, we will look for Philby's Partridge, Arabian Woodpecker, Buff-breasted Wheatear, Yemen Thrush, Yemen Warbler, Asir Magpie, Arabian Golden Sparrow, Arabian Waxbill, Arabian Serin, Yemen Serin, Yemen Linnet and Arabian Grosbeak. There's a fine assortment of habitats to explore and it's not just all mountains, with deep valleys, reservoirs, lakes, farmland, parks and woodland hosting a fine supporting cast such as Arabian Partridge, Gabar Goshawk, Arabian Scops-Owl, Arabian Eagle-Owl, Abyssinian Nightjar, Dusky Turtle-Dove, Olive Pigeon, White-browed Coucal, Arabian Green Bee-eater, Rufous-capped Lark, Arabian Wheatear, African Stonechat, Arabian Babbler, Black Scrub-Robin, Palestine Sunbird, Arabian Sunbird, Long-billed & African Pipits, Brown Woodland Warbler, Little Rock-Thrush and many more. Heading south we will visit the fantastic birding site of Jazan Dam Lake where Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse, both Plain & Nubian Nightjars and many other great birds reside. Fields to the south are home to Harlequin & Small Buttonquails, Helmeted Guineafowl, Greater Painted Snipe, Spotted Thick-knee, African Swamphen, Abyssinian Roller, Singing Busklark, Black Scrub-Robin, Nile Valley Sunbird and others can be found. And then there's the fantastic coastal birding at Al Birk and Jazan where species such as Lesser Flamingo, Goliath Heron, Crab-Plover, White-eyed Gull, White-cheeked and hopefully Saunders's Terns, Mangrove White-eye, Mangrove Reed Warbler & more can be found. And now we have added 2 full days to this popular tour as we feel it warrants extra time and the birding is just that good. There is now an exciting boat ride to see Sooty Falcons and a variety of seabirds in the Red Sea providing another unique Zoothera Birding twist to an already great tour! 

We are also offering a pre-tour extension to Kuwait. As it's along the eastern border of the Western Palearctic, there's some interesting species to add to our WP lists. Primarily, we are here for Afghan Babbler, Hypocolius, take a boat trip to find Socotra Cormorant, hopefully find a few migrants such as Semicollared Flycatcher, White-throated Robin & Cinereous Bunting, as well as giving us a slightly better opportunity to see Basra Reed Warbler. For WP listers there's also the added incentive of Crab-Plover, Bridled, White-
cheeked, Lesser and Greater Crested Terns, Indian Silverbill, Pale Rockfinch and more. 

And that's our tour in a nutshell. So Saudi Arabia & Kuwait - why not?  

Kuwait Pre-tour ext: 15th - 20th April
Saudi Arabia: 21st - 31st April 2025


Here are just a few of the key species we will be targetting on this tour:

  • Philby's Partridge
  • Arabian Partridge
  • Harlequin Quail
  • Small Buttonquail
  • Crab Plover
  • Cream-coloured Courser
  • Lichtenstein's Sandgrouse
  • White-eyed Gull
  • Saunders’s Tern
  • White-cheeked Tern
  • Arabian Eagle Owl
  • Arabian Scops Owl
  • Pharaoh Eagle Owl
  • African Olive Pigeon
  • Plain Nightjar
  • Abyssinian Nightjar
  • Nubian Nightjar
  • White-throated Bee-eater
  • Little Rock Thrush
  • Black Scrub-Robin
  • Bar-tailed Lark
  • Arabian Lark
  • Temminck's Lark
  • Thick-billed Lark
  • Arabian Green Bee-eater
  • Arabian Woodpecker
  • Asir Magpie
  • Rufous-capped Lark
  • Gambaga Flycatcher
  • Mangrove Reed Warbler
  • Brown Woodland Warbler
  • Yemen Warbler
  • Arabian Warbler
  • Mangrove White-eye
  • Arabian Babbler
  • Tristram's Starling
  • Yemen Thrush
  • Buff-breasted Wheatear
  • Arabian Wheatear
  • Arabian Sunbird
  • Arabian Golden Sparrow
  • Arabian Waxbill
  • Arabian Golden-winged Grosbeak
  • Arabian Serin
  • Yemen Serin
  • Yemen Linnet     
yemen warbler
Yemen Warbler

Leaders:  Nick Bray & local guides.

Saudi Arabia Ground Price 2025: £2995.00 - Riyadh/Riyadh
Kuwait Ground Price 2025: £tba - Kuwait City/Kuwait City

Single supplement (Saudi): £450.00
Single supplement (Kuwait): £tba

Deposit: £500.00

Group size: Minimum of 4 with 1 guide in 4x4 and 7 with 2 guides in two 4x4's.

Included in cost: Accommodations based on two persons sharing a two-bedded room. We select good hotels convenient to our birding destinations. All transportation in 4x4's, bottled water, and services of guides
Not included: Insurance, Kuwait - Riyadh flight, drinks and items of a personal nature.

Hotels: The motels and hotels we will use are all of a medium to good quality and within easy reach of the areas we wish to bird. All of them have air-conditioning, hot showers & comfortable beds!

Tour Code: A reasonably relaxed birding break for all levels of ability and fitness. Leisurely walking, very occasionally over moderately rough terrain, is the only physical requirement on most days. We may well walk for a few kilometres through some arid wadis, but a lot of our  birding will be done near or close to the vehicles. Expect it to be hot during the day and much cooler, especially in the mountains, at night. 

All photos copyright Zoothera Birding.