Touring the Wildlife on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain

Touring the wildlife attractions on the Costa del Sol in Southern Spain

There is an amazing array of things to see and do on the Costa del Sol, running along the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain. In this article are just some examples of the attractions available between the city of Málaga and the seaside town of Estepona. In each case, a little wildlife is involved, and this doesn’t mean the nightlife.

The N340 coastal highway makes it easy to visit all the seaside towns along the way, meaning that wherever you stay along the route, whether in a hotel or a holiday villa, you can access all these attractions with ease and convenience.

Torremolinos and the Crocodiles

Crocodile Park: Big Daddy the largest crocodile in Europe © Anne Sewell

Crocodile Park: Big Daddy the largest crocodile in Europe © Anne Sewell

Close to Málaga, Torremolinos is a great place to visit and while the town has many attractions, including kilometers of pristine beaches with waving palm trees and excellent restaurants and bars, one great attraction for the brave visitor is the Crocodile Park.

This is home to the largest crocodile in Europe, dubbed Big Daddy, and the name says it all as this guy is 4.5 meters long and weighs over 500 kilograms. Not exactly a critter you would like to meet on a dark night. Besides visiting Big Daddy, the park offers guided tours of the many enclosures and even has a petting zoo, where you can get up close and personal with the residents, along with a souvenir shop and cafeteria.

Benalmádena Costa and the Eagles

Several species of eagles can be seen at The Birds of Prey Observatory © Anne Sewell

Several species of eagles can be seen at The Birds of Prey Observatory © Anne Sewell

The next stop on the wildlife tour is Benalmádena Costa and the cable car ride up to Calamorro Mountain and the Birds of Prey Observatory that is located up there. With magnificent views over the countryside and blue Mediterranean, there are some excellent hiking trails to enjoy. It is possible to visit a range of different species of birds including the Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture and Fish Eagle, among others. On a regular basis, displays of falconry training are given, as well as talks about the eagles, as they are released in free flight.

Fuengirola and its Bioparc

Orangutan mother and child in the Bioparc Fuengirola © Anne Sewell

Orangutan mother and child in the Bioparc Fuengirola © Anne Sewell

One of the best wildlife locations to visit on the Costa del Sol is the Bioparc Fuengirola. While this used to be a normal, and not very pleasant, zoo, a few years back it was upgraded into an amazing natural environment, with spacious and attractive enclosures for the animals to enjoy. Since the upgrade to a Bioparc, it is a common sight to see baby animals, including endangered species like the Borneo orangutan. The residents in the Bioparc hail from Africa and Asia and they have recently welcomed some new arrivals from the Indo-Pacífic region.

Always changing and updating, Bioparc Fuengirola is a very pleasant day out, strolling the leafy pathways with the many surrounding water features and, of course, making the acquaintance of the many species living there. Also good to know is that your contribution on entry goes towards helping endangered species in the world.

Estepona and a Wildlife Safari

Zebras are one of the many safari mammals to see in Selwo Aventura Estepona

Zebras are one of the many safari mammals to see in Selwo Aventura Estepona

Right down the coast, en route to the British territory of Gibraltar, the quieter, traditional and attractive seaside town of Estepona also has a little wildlife on offer.

Selwo Aventura Estepona offers a great safari experience and while not exactly offering the Big Five, it comes pretty darn close. Asian elephants, towering and majestic giraffes, zebras and cheetahs rule the countryside along with many other mammals from Africa and Asia. Nature’s Portico abounds with lemurs, meerkats and red pandas, among other species, and Bird Canyon has an amazing array of the feathered variety on display.

A close up of the giraffe showing the colourful markings on the head, photograph CC by Hans Hillewaert

A close up of the giraffe showing the colourful markings on the head, photograph CC by Hans Hillewaert

Besides the animals, it is possible to ride the exciting Ziwa zipline for a view with a difference, or enjoy bouncing on the four trampolines on offer, giving great sporadic views of the lake on the property from up high. Kiddies have a chance to enjoy the Pigmy Goats enclosure as well as the nearby Mini-Farm where they can meet sheep, pigs, rabbits, turkeys and chickens, up close and personal.

In conclusion, anyone up for a little wildlife couldn’t do better than to visit the Costa del Sol in Andalucía, down in the south of Spain.

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