La Doñana National Park


     El Parque National de Doñana is one of Europe’s largest national parks consisting of almost 200 square miles (125,000 acres).    It is on a migration route between Europe and Africa and visited by over 300 species of wild birds.  We were able to see Osprey, Cormorant, Herons, Storks and Flamingos. 

     Pictured above are its marshlands [Las Marismas] are described in detail in James Michner’s book “Iberia” where he also describes its history.  It was the private domain of the Dukes of Medina-Sidonia for centuries and was used only for hunting and a small amount of timber milling.  As a result its woodlands, marshes, beaches [Atlantic and along the north bank of the Guadalquivir River] remain free of development.  We are not exactly sure how the Park became nationally owned but there are only a few remaining grandchildren of the Dukes still living who retain right of use for their lifetimes.  Otherwise entry into the park is strictly limited to authorized tours.

     We took one such tour by boat 13 km up the Guadalquivir River making two stops along the way to more closely view marshes and forest lands.   A protected area on the south bank of the river allows some mixed use including production of sea salt. 

             Cormorant in La Doñana Park

         Heron surveysher domain on the Guadalquivir

          Our vessel looks like the “AfricaQueen”                        

Rob underway

“Umbrella Pine” covers the dry land in La Doñana          

More wild life [Touristas}


© Robert Carpenter 2017