web analytics
Worldwide Birding Tours - Birding Ecotours
Ross's Turaco by Masa Wang - Uganda birding tour





This May Andy Walker conducted a scouting trip to Peru to meet up with Birding Ecotours colleague and resident Peruvian tour leader and expert guide, Eduardo Ormaeche, to have a look at some of the areas Eduardo takes clients to during some of our Peru bird tours.

During his brief visit with friend Erich Lehner, Andy visited several distinct areas including the coast, the Andes, and the Amazon rainforest, and they even found a national mega rarity! Here’s a summary of some of the highlight birds Andy recorded from each distinct area visited, and some he managed to photograph (before he dropped his camera in the river!):

The Coast:

The first area visited was the coast near the capital city Lima, a city very much in the dry and sandy desert, but it was water and coastal birds that generally made up the order of the day. Reed-fringed pools hosted highly sought and spectacular Many-colored Rush Tyrant and the secretive and subtly-plumaged Wren-like Rushbird, while the waterbodies themselves held gorgeous breeding male Cinnamon Teal and White-cheeked Pintail, Giant and Pied-billed Grebes, Andean Coot, Plumbeous Rail, and a wide-range of herons such as Least Bittern and Black-crowned and Yellow-crowned Night Herons, as well as the ‘standard’ American herons and egrets you’d expect (Snowy Egret, Great Egret, etc.). Blackish Oystercatchers with their huge bills and their American Oystercatcher cousins were also evident, with Killdeer, Willet, and Ruddy Turnstone also recorded.

Moving out beyond the pools to the coast proper, the sight of thousands of seabirds was incredible! Scores of cormorants of three species, Red-legged, Neotropic, and Guanay Cormorants, were pouring through, along with hundreds of Peruvian Boobies and massive Peruvian Pelicans. The beaches were covered in terns and gulls, including the one we really wanted to see – the simply spectacular Inca Tern present in huge numbers and showing rather well, with a fine supporting cast that included Black Skimmer and Grey, Grey-headed, Franklin’s, Belcher’s, and Kelp Gulls. Take a look at some videos of an Inca Tern on our Facebook page here.

A short boat ride into a harbor gave us some spectacular close-up views of many of the aforementioned species but with the added bonus of Humboldt Penguin too. Watching them porpoising through the sea and then hauling themselves out onto the sheer cliffs was an early trip highlight on a day of many.

Several land birds were also recorded during the day, including the endemic Peruvian Seaside Cinclodes, plus West Peruvian Dove, Amazilla Hummingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Long-tailed Mockingbird, Scrub Blackbird, and Grassland Yellow Finch.

Inca Tern – incredible close-range views of this spectacular bird

Inca Tern – incredible close-range views of this spectacular bird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peruvian Pelican – A huge bird giving great views

Peruvian Pelican – A huge bird giving great views

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Andes:

Usually Eduardo would take a few days to explore the higher elevation birding spots that are accessible from Lima;  they are stacked full of exciting birds after all. However, due to our limited time and desire for a few key species we decided to do the trip from sealevel to 5500 m as a long day trip.

As we drove higher and higher into the mountains we started to pick off some of the birds we’d hoped for, Giant Hummingbird, which, as its name suggests, is rather large (it actually looks like a swift!), and then the other side of the size spectrum, the humongous Andean Condor, one of the must-see birds on the planet. However, it was one of the other must-see species we were really looking for, and with Eduardo’s excellent local knowledge and experience we were soon watching the one-of-a-kind Diademed Sandpiper-plover! In fact, we actually found a pair of birds with two young ones – a really great sighting of one of the ‘most-wanted’ birds in the world for many people (and it’s easy to see why). Check out the video on our YouTube page here.

The swampy, high-elevation bog areas, sheltered amongst the snow-covered mountains we visited, also contained many other new and exciting birds, and we enjoyed great views of Andean Flicker, Andean Goose, Andean Lapwing, Ornate Tinamou, Grey-breasted Seedsnipe, Silvery Grebe, and Giant Coot, along with a range of furnarids, flycatchers, and finches of assorted interesting names that included Slender-billed Miner, Dark-winged Miner, Buff-breasted Earthcreeper, Cream-winged Cinclodes, Streak-backed Canastero, Junin Canastero, Taczanowski’s, Cinereous, White-fronted, and Ochre-naped Ground Tyrants, White-browed Chat-Tyrant, Black Siskin, Mourning, Plumbeous, Ash-breasted, and Band-tailed Sierra Finches, Bright-rumped Yellow Finch, and White-winged Diuca Finch.

A drive to a higher area resulted in finding the rare and very localized endemic White-bellied Cinclodes, with us getting incredible close-range views as a pair of birds actually flew in towards us to check us out! Over the course of the day we saw at least ten of these Critically Endangered birds.

Although we only had the one day in this beautiful mountain landscape it was a fantastic introduction into the beautiful Peruvian Andes with a staggering haul of some of South America’s finest birds.

Diademed Sandpiper-plover – A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope). I didn’t want to get too close to these gorgeous birds and disturb them as they had two very young chicks with them.

Diademed Sandpiper-plover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

White-bellied Cinclodes – A Critically Endangered endemic found in a very localized area at around 5,500 m altitude in the Peruvian Andes above Lima.

White-bellied Cinclodes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erich, Eduardo and Andy high up in the Andes celebrating a fantastic day of birding in a magical, beautiful landscape.

Erich, Eduardo and Andy high up in the Andes celebrating a fantastic day of birding in a magical, beautiful landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Amazon Rainforest:

The final leg of our Peruvian adventure took us to the rainforest near Puerto Maldonardo in Southern Peru, reached after a short flight from Lima. On flying in to the airstrip the view was staggering and beautiful, forest and rivers for as far as the eye could see. We had two bases while there, one in a mix of agricultural and secondary forest growth along the river (Rio Madre del Dios) and the other further along the same river (5 hours by boat) and in some seriously impressive rainforest (a mix of secondary and primary growth).

One of the features of the Amazon is the plethora of ‘Ant-things’ to be found. I won’t list all the species we saw here (because there were so many), but there were enough antbirds, antshrikes, antwrens, antthrushes, ant tanagers, and bare-eyes in evidence to keep us occupied for a lifetime, and we took time working through them all. One of my favorites was the White-plumed Antbird, a really stunning bird.

Parrots were also numerous, and as you’d expect for bright, large, colorful birds, they were often rather conspicuous, though not massively so at times for certain species. A visit to a clay lick early one morning was a special moment with Red-bellied, Blue-headed, Blue-and-yellow, and Chestnut-fronted Macaws, along with Dusky-headed Parakeet, Southern Mealy Amazon, Blue-headed Parrot, Cobalt-winged Parakeet, and Orange-cheeked Parrot all seen well.

There were numerous other species to excite us on each of the few days we spent birding in this incredibly biodiversity-rich area, such as Horned Screamer, Spix’s Guan, Starred Wood Quail, Jabiru, Cocoi Heron, Capped Heron, King Vulture, Ornate Hawk-Eagle, Pale-winged Trumpeter, Hoatzin, Amazonian Pygmy Owl, Striped Owl, Blue-crowned Trogon, Amazonian Motmot, Purus Jacamar, White-throated Jacamar, Swallow-winged Puffbird, Gilded Barbet, Ivory-billed Aracari, White-throated Toucan, Yellow-tufted and Red-necked Woodpeckers, Black, Red-throated, and Southern Crested Caracaras, Screaming Piha, Amazonian Royal Flycatcher, Violaceous and Purplish Jays, White-winged and White-banded Swallows, Black-capped Donacobius, Thrush-like Wren, Orange-backed Troupial, Magpie Tanager, Masked Crimson Tanager, Paradise Tanager, and Swallow Tanager. Unfortunately, it was here that my camera’s life came to an end after getting rather wet while getting out of the boat on the river!

It was while being in this area of the country that as we were birding along a road chasing after skulking seedeaters we came across a bird none of us were expecting. This bird, an all-black colored flycatcher, at least on initial inspection, was sitting looking straight at us. We were all a little confused by the bird initially, and when it flew it showed white in the wings, and the bird was transformed suddenly into one of the black tyrant flycatchers. There was just one problem: we were not in range of any of the black tyrant flycatchers that occur in Peru! After some hasty research and some searching for the bird to get some photos and videos to prove our claimed mega national rarity, it was apparent we were looking at a male Hudson’s Black Tyrant, a species so rare in Peru this may have constituted about the 3rd record for the country, and the first record of a male! (Note: since returning from the Peruvian rainforest we have submitted a rarity record form and are awaiting formal acceptance from the Peruvian rare bird committee).

Blue-headed Macaw – One of the scarcer macaws that visited the clay lick. A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope).

Blue-headed Macaw – One of the scarcer macaws that visited the clay lick. A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoatizin – A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope) of one of the really special birds we saw.

Hoatizin – A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope) of one of the really special birds we saw.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hudson’s Black Tyrant – A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope) of this very rare flycatcher we found in Peru.

Hudson’s Black Tyrant – A phone-scoped shot (iPhone 7 and Swarovski ATX-95 scope) of this very rare flycatcher we found in Peru.

Summary

This was my first trip to Peru, and after spending time earlier in the year birding in Costa Rica and Colombia it was nice to see some more of the Neotropical avifauna. Finding a really rare bird for Peru was the icing on the cake, a wonderful, exciting cake made up of Humboldt Penguin, Inca Tern, Diademed Sandpiper-plover, Giant Hummingbird, Andean Condor, Hoatzin, Pale-winged Trumpeter, Horned Screamer, and so many more.

But Peru was so much more than just the birds. It was great to meet and go birding with Eduardo, take in some Peruvian culture and very nice food and drink, view and walk in some amazing coastal, mountainous, and rainforest environments, and see some other cool wildlife, particularly the several species of monkey we found.

This short trip has really whetted my appetite for visiting Peru again and I am already planning my next trip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Peru Birding Tours

Peru has the second-highest species list on earth and a huge list of 125+ endemic species; ever more are being discovered as the forests are studied now more readily than in the past. There is a huge amount of habitat to discover, and the remnants of the Inca Empire add to the majesty of any trip here. Because of its large size several trips or one long one are recommended to cover the major regions and give all of the fantastic EBAs (Endemic Birding Areas) due birding.

Birding Tour Peru - White-capped Tanager - Trevor Haardaker

Birding Tour Peru: The Endemic-rich North and Cordillera Blanca 2018

Duration: 26 days
Limit (Group Size): 3 - 8
Date Start: June 05, 2018
Date End: June 30, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$7259 assuming 6 – 8 participants, US$8229 assuming 3 – 5 participants
Summary: This expansive ‘Birding Tour Peru’ expedition of the magnificent north of Peru will lead us through all of the most rewarding birding hotspots of this astounding area brimming with avian riches...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Hoatzin- Ken Logan

Birding Tour Peru: South Peru - the Inca Empire, Mountains and Lowland Rainforests 2018

Duration: 16 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: July 01, 2018
Date End: July 16, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$7300 per person sharing for 4 - 8 participants, US$7713 per person sharing for 3 participants, US$9328 per person sharing for 2 participants
Summary: Welcome to the next tour in our ‘Birding Tour Peru’ collection. This is a classic Southern Peru birding tour, in which we sample a huge range of different habitats from coastal desert to high a...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Peruvian Pelican - Alan van Norman

Birding Tour Peru: The Lima Area – Extension to South Peru 2018

Duration: 4 days
Limit (Group Size): 1 - 6
Date Start: July 16, 2018
Date End: July 19, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: 4-6 participants US$1280 per person sharing, 3 participants US$1456 per person sharing, 2 participants US$1624 per person sharing, 1 participant US$2376
Summary: During this short ‘Birding Tour Peru’ excursion we will be birding Pacusana, the Santa Eulalia Road,and the Lomas de Lachay national reserve, searching, among others, for the legendary Diademed...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Marvelous Spatuletail - Ken Logan

Birding Tour Peru: Northwest and Abra Patricia Mountains 2018

Duration: 15 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Spaces Available:: 3
Date Start: July 25, 2018
Date End: August 08, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$5309 p/p sharing, 4 - 8 participants. Barbet extension US$1297 p/p sharing, 4 - 8 participants; US$2169 p/p sharing, 2 - 3 participants.
Summary: We’re excited to bring you this fantastic ‘Birding Tour Peru’ adventure. Birding in Peru is a great trip that will offer an amazing set of endemic and classic Neotropical birds such as Lo...

See full tour detail
Golden-headed Quetzal by Alan van Norman - Peru Birding Tour

Birding Tour Peru: The Manu Road 2018

Duration: 20 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: September 01, 2018
Date End: September 20, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 6093 per person sharing (6-8 participants), US$ 6486 per person sharing (4-5 participants), US$ 9514 per person sharing (2 participants)
Summary: Our Birding Tour Peru: The Manu Road is perhaps ‘the’ birding adventure of South America, and the Manu Road is one of the obligatory birding destinations of the world. Our 20-day trip will tak...

See full tour detail
Golden-backed Mountain Tanager - Alejandro Tello

Birding Tour Peru: Central Peru 2018

Duration: 18 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: September 27, 2018
Date End: October 14, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$6109 per person sharing, assuming 4-8 participants, US$9256 per person sharing for a private tour with just 2 participants
Summary: This tour is designed to search for endemics and localized birds of the Central Peruvian Andes. Exploring the highlands of Lima and Andean heights of up to 5000 feet as well as dry riverbeds, cloudforests,...

See full tour detail
Koepcke's Screech Owl by Alan van Norman

Birding Tour Peru: Cusco and Apurimac Jewels 2018

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: December 12, 2018
Date End: December 19, 2018
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 3000 per person sharing (4 - 8 participants) plus US$ 360 for domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: Our itinerary “Birding Tour Peru: Cusco and Apurímac Jewels” is designed to provide you with one of the best selections of endemic, range-restricted, and classic Andean species in one of the most popu...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - White-capped Tanager - Trevor Haardaker

Birding Tour Peru: Comprehensive Northern Peru 2019

Duration: 21 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: June 05, 2019
Date End: June 25, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 6659 per person (4-8 people) plus US$ 400 for the domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: This expansive tour of the magnificent north of Peru will lead us through all of the most rewarding birding hotspots of this astounding area brimming with avian riches. Major highlights will be the Owlet L...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Hoatzin- Ken Logan

Birding Tour Peru: South Peru - the Inca Empire, Mountains and Lowland Rainforests 2019

Duration: 16 days
Limit (Group Size): 2 - 8
Date Start: July 01, 2019
Date End: July 16, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$7,957 per person sharing for 4 - 8 participants, US$8,407 per person sharing for 3 participants, US$10,168 per person sharing for 2 participants
Summary: Welcome to the next tour in our ‘Birding Tour Peru’ collection. This is a classic Southern Peru birding tour, in which we sample a huge range of different habitats from coastal desert to high a...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Peruvian Pelican - Alan van Norman

Birding Tour Peru: The Lima Area – Extension to South Peru 2019

Duration: 4 days
Limit (Group Size): 1 - 6
Date Start: July 16, 2019
Date End: July 19, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: 4-6 participants US$1395 per person sharing, 3 participants US$1587 per person sharing, 2 participants US$1770 per person sharing, 1 participant US$2590
Summary: During this short ‘Birding Tour Peru’ excursion we will be birding Pacusana, the Santa Eulalia Road,and the Lomas de Lachay National Reserve, searching, among others, for the legendary Diademed...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Marvelous Spatuletail - Ken Logan

Birding Tour Peru: 14 Days Northwest and Abra Patricia Mountains 2019

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: July 25, 2019
Date End: August 07, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 4700 per person sharing (4 - 8 participants) plus US$ 400 for the domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: This two-week version of our Comprehensive Northern Peru tour is an excellent opportunity for those who cannot travel more than 14 days but want to see the best of this great birding route and the amazing ...

See full tour detail
Golden-headed Quetzal by Alan van Norman - Peru Birding Tour

Birding Tour Peru: The Manu Road and Lowlands 2019

Duration: 20 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: September 01, 2019
Date End: September 20, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 6,800 per person sharing (4-8 participants) plus US$ 400 for domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: Our Birding Tour Peru: The Manu Road is perhaps ‘the’ birding adventure of South America, and the Manu Road is one of the obligatory birding destinations of the world. Our 20-day trip will tak...

See full tour detail
Golden-backed Mountain Tanager - Alejandro Tello

Birding Tour Peru: Central Peru 2019

Duration: 21 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: September 29, 2019
Date End: October 19, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 5400 per person sharing (6 participants), US$ 6040 (4-5 participants), US$ 6921 (3 participants), US$ 8284 (2 participants)
Summary: Even though several birders visit the Central Andes of Peru each year, this still is perhaps one of the most unknown birding routes of South America, completely unjustified. This magnificent tour is desig...

See full tour detail
Koepcke's Screech Owl by Alan van Norman

Birding Tour Peru: Cusco and Apurimac Jewels 2019

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: December 12, 2019
Date End: December 19, 2019
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 3000 per person sharing (4 - 8 participants) plus US$ 360 for domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: Our itinerary “Birding Tour Peru: Cusco and Apurímac Jewels” is designed to provide you with one of the best selections of endemic, range-restricted, and classic Andean species in one of the most popu...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - White-capped Tanager - Trevor Haardaker

Birding Tour Peru: Comprehensive Northern Peru 2020

Duration: 21 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: June 05, 2020
Date End: June 25, 2020
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 7280 per person (4-8 people) plus US$ 400 for the domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: This expansive tour of the magnificent north of Peru will lead us through all of the most rewarding birding hotspots of this astounding area brimming with avian riches. Major highlights will be the Owlet L...

See full tour detail
Birding Tour Peru - Marvelous Spatuletail - Ken Logan

Birding Tour Peru: 14 Days Northwest and Abra Patricia Mountains 2020

Duration: 14 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: July 25, 2020
Date End: August 07, 2020
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 5170 per person sharing (4 - 8 participants) plus US$ 450 for the domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: This two-week version of our Comprehensive Northern Peru tour is an excellent opportunity for those who cannot travel more than 14 days but want to see the best of this great birding route and the amazing ...

See full tour detail
Golden-headed Quetzal by Alan van Norman - Peru Birding Tour

Birding Tour Peru: The Manu Road and Lowlands 2020

Duration: 20 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: September 01, 2020
Date End: September 20, 2020
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 7,140 per person sharing (4-8 participants) plus US$ 450 for domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: Our Birding Tour Peru: The Manu Road is perhaps ‘the’ birding adventure of South America, and the Manu Road is one of the obligatory birding destinations of the world. Our 20-day trip will tak...

See full tour detail
Golden-backed Mountain Tanager - Alejandro Tello

Birding Tour Peru: Central Peru 2020

Duration: 21 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 6
Date Start: September 27, 2020
Date End: October 17, 2020
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 5670 per person sharing (6 participants), US$ 6343 (4-5 participants), US$ 7268 (3 participants), US$ 8700 (2 participants)
Summary: Even though several birders visit the Central Andes of Peru each year, this still is perhaps one of the most unknown birding routes of South America, completely unjustified. This magnificent tour is desig...

See full tour detail
Koepcke's Screech Owl by Alan van Norman

Birding Tour Peru: Cusco and Apurimac Jewels 2020

Duration: 8 days
Limit (Group Size): 4 - 8
Date Start: December 12, 2020
Date End: December 19, 2020
Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: US$ 3150 per person sharing (4 - 8 participants) plus US$ 400 for domestic flights, which we will book for you
Summary: Our itinerary “Birding Tour Peru: Cusco and Apurímac Jewels” is designed to provide you with one of the best selections of endemic, range-restricted, and classic Andean species in one of the most popu...

See full tour detail
Buff-fronted Owl - Alan van Norman

Owls of Northern Peru

Tour Start:: Lima
Tour End:: Lima
Price: To be determined
Summary: Birding Ecotours has been operating tours in Northern Peru for almost a decade and has been pioneering in developing a tour like this. Our main objective during this trip will be to track down and show you...

See full tour detail
Diademed Plover - Niall Perrins

Peru day tours

Duration: 1 day
Summary: We offer 1-day Peru birding tours out of Lima. Please contact us for availability and details. ...

See full tour detail

Featured Guide - Eduardo Ormaeche

Senior Tour Leader and South American Office Manager Since 2004 Eduardo Ormaeche has not stopped working for Birding Ecotours. He started guiding tours in his native country of Peru and from there spr ...

See guide details

Download Tour Itineraries



Request More Info

Gallery for Country

What our clients say

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.

Jan and John, Wales



We can run any of our tours privately any time and we can also arrange custom itineraries - send us your wish-list and we'll put the itinerary together! Please click here.

Back to Top