Al Hoceima National Park in Morocco
Al Hoceima national park is a national park in the Republic of Morocco situated outside the town of Al Hoceima. The park covers an area of approximately 480 square kilometers including 196 square kilometers of the sea.
Al Hoceima national park was created in 2004 and it is managed by the Haut Commissariat des eaux et forets et de la lute contre la desertification. It is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean coast on 50 kilometers and south by the National road 16. With its distance of 480 square kilometers, Al Hoceima National Park is a home to various features including some of the most unspoilt coastal sites on the north coast of Morocco as well as the high cliffs and mountainous interior. The area of the park also includes a terrestrial part which is located on the Ibaqouyen Rif mountain range and a par which is located at the sea. The terrestrial part of the park is made up of the partial territories of five communes which are from west to east and the coastal municipalities of Bni Boufrah, Senada, Rouadi and Izemmouren as well as Ait Kamara to the south of Izemmouren.
Wildlife of Al Hoceima National park
Al Hoceima national park consists of 110 species of vascular plants. Among these trees include the Aleppo pine, Barbary thuya, the wild olive, the lentisk, the carob tree, the kermes oak, the green oak, the Mediterranean dwarf palm and the jujube. The shrubs and grasses between the cliffs provide a habitat to a number of wildlife.
Since Al Hoceima national park encompasses part of the Mediterranean Sea, it is a home to three species of dolphins including the common dolphin, the striped dolphin and the common bottlenose dolphin. The sea caves also at times provide a habitat to the endangered species like Mediterranean monk seals. The sea records more than 100 species of fish and the loggerhead sea turtle, the green sea turtle and the leatherback sea turtle also feed in this area. Also, the park is a home to the rare giant ripped Mediterranean limpet.
The forested areas of the park are homes to some animal species including the wild boar, jackals and other small mammals.
Al Hoceima national park is a home to many species of seabirds since it is near the Mediterranean Sea. Among the birds include the large colony of ospreys as well as the African fish eagles. The park records more than 70 species of birds including the shorebirds, seabirds and the raptors.
Best time to visit the park
During the summer period in June to September, hiking is difficult but the period is suitable for other safari experiences like snorkeling, swimming and other beach activities. Hiking is done during the moderate time of year in the months of April to October. The winter months are characterized by some rains.