A great way to discover the world around us as well as wildlife in a relaxed and welcoming way is to travel with experienced and knowledgeable guides. With a variety of weekend getaways and day trips to interesting wildlife destinations, but with a focus on easy access, the Birding Vacation tours are designed to satisfy everyone from beginning birders to experienced naturalists. Group sizes are small, creating a more intimate wilderness experience. Enjoy access to premium Swarovski Optik equipment while learning from and enjoying your surroundings.
Best time to travel: Sep–Mar Expected number of bird species (20 days): 400+. Pace: Intense Physical difficulty: Relaxed Climate: Moderate mornings and warmer afternoons (12–30°C) are the order of the day; cooler in the mountains.
Best time to travel: Oct–Apr Expected number of bird species in 6 days: 120-150. Pace: Relaxed Physical difficulty: Relaxed Climate: warm (21–30°C) and humid throughout, cooler in the mountains.
Best time to travel: May–Aug Expected number of bird species (10 days): 180-195. Pace: Moderate Physical difficulty: Moderate Climate: warm (16–32°C) and dry, cooler overnight.
Best time to travel: Mar–Apr Expected number of bird species (9 days): 160-170. Pace: Relaxed Physical difficulty: Relaxed Climate: Cool mornings and warmer spring afternoons (8–22°C) are the order of the day as spring shifts to summer in Spain.
Expected number of bird species (15 days): 380-450 (more with the 8-day extension). Pace: Moderate Physical difficulty: Relaxed Climate: warm (20–30°C) and humid in the north, cool (8–22°C) and crisp in the far south.
Best time to travel: Nov–Mar Expected number of bird species in two weeks: 400-450. Pace: Moderate Physical difficulty: Moderate Climate: warm (20–30°C) and humid in the south, cool (8–22°C) and crisp in the northern mountains
South Africa is a spectacularly beautiful country that is rich in wildlife. In the southwest there are two unique habitats: the stark heath-like fynbos and the expansive semi-desert Karoo. You should seek out many endemics, including rockjumpers and sugarbirds. In the northeast, South Africa metamorphoses into golden-green grasslands and tropical savanna and species diversity increases dramatically. Spectacular species include a host of bee-eaters, hornbills, kingfishers, barbets, and sunbirds. Of course, while you will see a ton of birds, other spectacular wildlife will never be far away, and you can hope to net the Big-5 among the 40-50 odd mammal species seen
If a visit to Jamaica sounds like an excellent vacation, that's because it is! Besides beautiful beaches, lovely food (think jerk chicken) and a fantastic culture, you will be able to explore the island looking for some exceptional wildlife. The gardens will host a variety of birds including spectacular endemics like streamertails, Jamaican Mango, Crested Quail-Dove, Jamaican Owl, Arrowhead Warbler, Yellow and Black-billed Parrots, and odd, solitary Jamaican Blackbird. The stars of the show are often the delightful Jamaican Tody, or even the tree-stump mimic, Northern Potoo. Caribbean birding at its finest awaits you in Reggae-loving Jamaica.
Arizona is well and truly on the beaten track; out-of-state and foreign birders and photographers alike have been streaming into the state for decades. For good reason! The southeastern corner of the state offers a delectable set of enticing birds, many of which reach their northern limits here. Treats like Elegant Trogon, Spotted and Elf Owls, Montezuma Quail, Red-faced Warbler, and Five-striped Sparrow are hard to resist. Photographers will enjoy the cooperative nature of most of the birds mentioned above. And finally, Phainopepla and Olive Warbler are likely to provide entirely new bird families for many. And who can resist a roadrunner? Beep-beep!
Non-European birders often ask “If I take one trip to Europe where should that be?” You cannot go wrong with Spain! This Iberian nation is steeped in fascinating history, with ancient Roman, Gothic and Islamic pre-hispanic cultures and a unified Spain dating back to the early 1500s. We recommend to first visit Extremadura, frequently designated one of Europe’s finest birding areas. Your timing is strategic as this is when the hulking male Great Bustards perform their extraordinary displays on the plains. You should also target Spanish Imperial Eagle at Monfragüe. Next, explore Doñana, one of Spain’s most famous parks, where a mosaic of habitats provides some of Andalucía’s longest bird lists, including the endangered White-headed Duck, flocks of Greater Flamingoes, Red-knobbed Coot, the rare Marbled Duck, Audouin’s Gull, Iberian Magpie (formerly Azure-winged), and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse.
Australia is a massive draw to birders and photographers alike, as not only does it offer hundreds of new birds for first time visitors to the continent, it is also characterized by easy birding and photography. Targeting some rare species as well as many common spectacular Australian endemics, many photo opportunities are sure to arise, whether it be seabirds on the Great Barrier Reef, or tame wild parrots and bowerbirds at O’ Reilly’s to a variety of stunning fairywrens peppered throughout the trip. And let’s not forget kangaroos and wallabies, platypus, koala or echidna.
Thailand is undoubtedly one of Asia’s most exciting birding destinations. Located at the crossroads of Southeast Asia, Thailand has exceptionally high bird diversity. Home to many colorful resident species which share their habitats with healthy numbers of Palearctic and Himalayan migrants. Combined with legendary Thai hospitality, some of the finest cuisine in the Orient, and high-quality accommodation, it is no surprise that this is one of Asia’s most popular destinations for birders and naturalists. Explore the national parks of south, central, and northern Thailand, looking for handsome hornbills, spectacular broadbills, stunning pittas, and a host of other feathered Asian denizens. We will also seek out larger wildlife like elephants, gaur, and deer.
is an international tour operator specializing in birding, nature, and nature photography tours. They have been in business since 2001, and ran over 150 tours in 2019; the list of incredible destinations and types of trips in over 70 countries is growing. All trips are led by expert guides who are passionate birders, naturalists and expert photographers. Some of the tours are fast-paced trips that target every possible endemic, whereas others are more relaxed with a stronger focus on other wildlife or cultural activities. For more please check the tour overview and itinerary to see if a trip is right for you.