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Monthly Archive 15 January 2019

The night is dark and (sometimes) full of animals!

We’re in the Western Sahara searching for a Sand Cat. You can read more about that here. The way to see it is to drive the road between Dakhla and Aousserd up and down at night and then spotlight in the desert hoping to encounter a Sand Cat or another nocturnal animal.

Birds of the Western Sahara

A little while ago I was in the Western Sahara looking for a new cat species: Sand Cat! Although searching for the cat mostly means going out at night, naturally we also went out during the day. Birding is namely mostly done during the day and less during the night. There aren’t a lot of birds in the Sahara but the birds that do live here are top notch! Many birders get very happy when they see these birds and I was no different.

A visit to the Western Sahara

I was in the Western Sahara for a week in order to search for a sand cat. You can read about that search here. The best place at the moment to find a sand cat is the piece of Western Sahara between the city of Dakhla and the small town of Aousserd. That’s why we flew from Paris Orly to Dakhla, after we arrived there with the Thalys via Gare du Nord at the airport. That turned out to be slightly more exciting than we initially thought because we had the last (!) train from Gare du Nord to Orly (which we didn’t know) and we slept on the floor of the airport (which we did know beforehand). We had an apartment in Dakhla and drove each day the long asphalt road up and down between Dakhla and Aousserd.

The Sahara: a bit more than just sand!

In January I drove around in the Western Sahara for a week searching for a Sand Cat. When I thought of the Sahara I had an image in my mind of endless rolling sandhills, but I turned out to look a bit differently. The landscape is quite monotonous, but has also some big rock formations. With a low sun every landscape looks better anyway. So I also wanted to share a few pictures of the landscape of the Western Sahara.

Sweating for a Sand Cat

My worldcatlist has after my visit of Botswana, Namibia and South-Africa reached the impressive number of four! So there is still enough room for improvement! A cat on which I’ve had my eye  for quite some time, is the Sand Cat. This is an animal about the size of a house cat with a preference for desert like areas. For some years the most reliable place of seeing it has been the Western Sahara near the town of Dakhla. Together with a fellow Dutchman who also has a special interest in cats, I went over there in early January.