Zegrahm Cofounder and Expedition Leader, Mike Messick, is thrilled to be joining our upcoming Sea to Sahara: Cape Verde, Canary Islands & Morocco expedition. Along with him for the ride are conservation biologist Rich Pagen and ornithologist Mark Brazil. Find out why they can't wait to explore this region in our short video.
Mike Messick, Cofounder / Expedition Leader: So we have this new trip that’s coming up, which we’re very excited about; even though we have traveled in the region before, we’re including a whole bunch of new stops on this itinerary. Starting in the Cape Verde Islands, we’ve got Fogo, Brava, and Santo Antão; all great stops that we’ll be spending the day on before we have a couple days at sea going to the Western Sahara. The Western Sahara, boy, that’s exciting and one of the reasons for me joining this expedition. We’ve got a couple of stops: we’ll be going into the sand dunes, we’ll be visiting with local people and local tribes, and going to visit towns with souks. I’m very excited about this, this is one of the new places on this itinerary, the Western Sahara.
Rich Pagen, Conservation Biologist / Naturalist: This part of the world is known for its diversity and abundance of marine mammals; so in addition to seeing beautiful sites on land, we’re going to be looking for some of these spectacular creatures on our transits, as well. One of the highlights of the Canary Islands, for me, is Lanzarote, which is a volcanic landscape, very stark, beautiful white architecture. And we visit a lava tube there that’s flooded and has evolved a unique, endemic crayfish, or squat lobster, found nowhere else in the world.
Mark Brazil, Ornithologist: I’m standing in front of Nijo Castle in Kyoto, thinking ahead to a wonderful trip taking us from Sea to Sahara. The aspect of this trip that excites me most of all is that we’re ending the trip in Morocco, one of my favorite parts of Africa. The reason I like that area is because of the Atlas Mountains; a fantastic range of mountains, but my memories of going there always include early mornings going up the valleys on the north side of the Atlas Mountains, before dawn, listening to the sounds of dozens of nightingales. These small forest birds, migrants that have come across the Sahara, breeding in North Africa, and singing their hearts out to welcome us as we head up into the mountains.