Europe’s rarest cat
Few people realise that a critically endangered feline lives just a morning’s drive from the Costa del Sol. The Iberian lynx – an elegant, fox-sized cat with tufted ears – is confined to the wildest corners of Andalucia, including Andujar and Doñana National Parks, where it stalks the scrubby hillsides for rabbits.
Expert guides stake out the cats’ favourite haunts and follow up tracks and signs. Lynx safaris typically spend several days searching for the cats, while enjoying the traditional rustic hospitality of the local villages.
Encounters are reasonably reliable, but with wild landscapes and a wealth of other wildlife – from wild boars to Spanish imperial eagles – a great trip does not hinge on lynxes alone. Top tip Peak lynx season is OctoberMarch; the animals are more visible in winter. How to book Wildlife Worldwide (01962 302 086; wildlifeworldwide. com) offers the eight-day Iberian Lynx Quest from £1,495 per person sharing,