The smallest bird on the planet, Bee Hummingbird, a myriad Cuban Todies and Cuban Trogons in every patch of scrub, and a host of other endemics and regional specials – all on an island paradise that is safe and full of history! Combining this 11-day ‘Birding Tour Cuba’ adventure with our Jamaica tour provides opportunities to see almost 60 single-island endemics spread across the two islands: Cuba, the largest of the Greater Antilles, and Jamaica, the smallest of the main islands in the group. In addition, we will have chances to find a number of multi-island endemics and regional specialities, some of which may, in the future, be upgraded in their taxonomic status.
On Birding Tour Cuba we aim to find all of Cuba’s realistic avian endemics, a host of wider Caribbean endemics, and, finally, a bunch of north American migrants (like a stack of brightly-colored wood warblers), while also having time to snorkel during the heat of the day when not birding, to see the amazing architecture not only of Cuba’s capital but also of Camagüey and other towns, and of course to enjoy the old American cars and the general atmosphere of this tropical paradise. It’s quite an easy tour, in which we find the birds we need without too much trouble (except for a couple of them, such as the quail-doves, that require persistence).
Shortly after arriving in the charismatic city of Havana, as the next stage of Birding Tour Cuba we immediately head to the picturesquely mountainous and very bird-rich La Güira National Park. Here we search the caves where Che Guevara hid during the Cuban missile crisis, looking for our first of many endemics, Cuban Solitaire. We then return to Havana, where we look, on foot, at some of the main historical sites and catch some of the amazing vibe.
With much anticipation we then proceed to Cuba’s famous Zapata Swamp, one of the richest single sites throughout the West Indies, which continues across much of the western two-thirds of this island – which is widely regarded as the last bastion of communism in the world, but is now gradually becoming slightly more liberalized. We will have good chances of finding all of Cuba’s endemics, with the exception of the near-mythical Zapata Rail, whose voice is still not definitely known, and the extremely rare Cuban Kite, which is restricted to the extreme east of the island and requires a trip of near-expedition proportions for any chance of seeing it.
We then proceed to a chain of islands connected to the mainland by a 17 mile (27 km) long causeway, seeking Bahama Mockingbird, some Cuban endemics reaching the western limit of their range here, Mangrove Cuckoo, and more.
Eventually we clean up on the birding at Sierra de Najasa and then either drive back to Havana for your international flights home or continue to Santiago de Cuba to island-hop to Jamaica for the next tour.
This tour can be combined with our Birding Tour Jamaica: Jamaica at Its Best 2019 tour for a very comprehensive birding experience in the Caribbean.
Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 5 - 9
Date Start: March 02, 2019
Date End: March 12, 2019
Tour Start: Havana, Cuba
Tour End: Havana, Cuba, or Santiago de Cuba
Please note that outside of Havana and Cayo Coco we have used the best and most suitable accommodation that is available, but this might not be quite to the same standard that Birding Ecotours would normally use in other parts of the world.
Price: £3640 per person sharing, assuming 5-9 participants
Single Supplement: £309
Unlimited bottled water
Accommodation while on tour
All transport while on tour
Cuban exit taxes
Cuban Tourist Card
Items of a personal nature, such as gifts
Duration: 11 days
Limit (Group Size): 6 - 8
Date Start: January 15, 2019
Date End: January 25, 2019
Price: US$6145 per person sharing
Details: Trinidad and Tobago are a remarkable set of islands, and a fantastic setting for Birding Tour Trinidad and Tobago. Located in close proximity to the mainland of South America, the islands enjoy both m
Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 5 - 8
Date Start: March 12, 2019
Date End: March 19, 2019
Price: US$4660 per person sharing, assuming 5 - 8 participants (Please contact us for the pricing for smaller groups.)
Details: Welcome to our ‘Birding Tour Jamaica’ adventure. Birding Ecotours invite you to explore Jamaica: an extraordinary country in the heart of the Caribbean Sea. Even though Jamaica may be famo
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Bo Beolens of Fatbirder put me onto Chris Lotz of Birding Ecotours originally. What a favour he did me. Not only is Chris an excellent birder, but he goes out of his way to be really helpful. I and my partner settled on Namibia with Birding Ecotours as our next trip, and as we were in Jo`burg visiting friends a few days before the trip, I asked Chris if he could also arrange for me to see Flufftails in the gap available. The hub of Birding Ecotours couldn`t have been more delightful to deal with. Not only did he get very excited by this challenge, but took it upon himself to do our guiding. He found an equally enthusiastic birder, Kevin, to join the trip and off we set for the Dullstroom area, where there was a Striped Flufftail guide, all revved up and ready to go except it was miserable weather. Never mind, a quick re-calculation and we descended down to Nelspruit Botanic Garden and sunshine, and spent half a day revelling in Sth. African birds. Then we ascended and went lark and pipit hunting which Chris found by call. He also found us an Oribi which was stunning, we were so close. Chris and his guide worked extremely hard the next day, trying to call out a flufftail . We could hear them but the thick vegetation prevented any views of them. After doing a circuit of the whole area, Chris and the guide doing more, as they were going up and down the hill , we were losing heart. Luck returned as Chris planted us by a carefully placed mp3 playing flufftail, and a narrow trodden path into the bracken. We waited as the sound of another flufftail got closer. I could hear Kevin hyperventilating as he suddenly found himself looking at a full frontal view of a male Striped Flufftail. As I was at a slightly different angle, I couldn`t see this marvellous apparition, but found myself breathing hard in anticipation when, from behind the clump of grass I was straining to see through, a female suddenly leapt across the gap like a frog, so fast that all I got was a view of the back and tail! No wonder they are a difficult bird to get to grips with but I would recommend this sort of diversion to anyone. I wouldn`t have climbed the hill after the Cape Eagle Owl if it wasn`t for Chris`s infectious enthusiasm either, and we were sorry to see both of them go; they had been so easy to get on with, both entertaining and amusing We flew to Walvis Bay a few days later to meet Steve Braine, our leader for the Namibia trip, and the rest of the participants. We found that Steve was a born and bred Namibian and knew the country like the back of his hand. He knew exactly where everything was, and if he didn’t, he had a hot-line to somebody who did. Fortunately the rest of the group were a relaxed bunch and very talkative and entertaining, and soon Steve had everyone fixated on birds. Steve and his bird knowledge is fearsome. He worked tirelessly, always on the go arranging the next highlight, repeating things if he thought anybody had missed out. He knows all the mammals, all the reptiles, loves scorpions and even dabbles with Lepidoptera. We were all beginning to think he was some kind of magician a week into the trip. There are sights on this trip you will never forget. For me, even the sight of a line of larks, all squashed together along a 1 inch wide line of shade under a notice board was spectacular. The plumage of desert birds looking like ink etchings: I could go on. Steve is an extremely good leader and I for one am grateful for his excellent birding skills and tireless driving.