How To Choose a Birding Tour, and Why Price-driven Decisions Often Fail

Birding tourism is in its heyday and there is no shortage of tour companies to choose from. Markus Lilje from Rockjumper Birding Tours explains the many factors you should consider in selecting your tour and why focusing on price could lead to disappointment.

There are so many birding tours out there to choose from that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which one is right for you. Recently there have been a number of countries and regions that have become more accessible too, making the choice even tougher. Here I will take you through some of the factors that are often considered important and that could make a difference in you having a great tour and going back for more or being disappointed because the tour was not what you had expected. A lot of this is already decided before the tour starts and you can make fairly sure that a tour is well suited to you or not.

One of the first questions to ask yourself is why you are interested in taking part in birding tours, what you want from them and what you feel is less important for you. If you are mainly interested in increasing your life list, seeing a very large number of species and targeting endemics you are likely to focus on a different range of tours than if you are mainly interested in experiencing a different country through birding or if you are also interested in mammals, scenery and culture. Keep in mind that tours will often tend to attract people that have a similar aim, although there is always some overlap of course. Once you have a good grip on your own motivations there are many other variables that you should consider.

On our tours we try to find as many species as possible on our route, as long as it is reasonable and the tour does not become too rushed. This means that all the tours will have a variable degree of birding intensity, because there are different numbers of species that need to be found and variation of difficulty in finding those species. In Madagascar, for example, there are not a huge number of species, but a large number of them are very hard to find, meaning that much time and effort is often required to find the species we are searching for. We spend time searching for the birds that are considered important, trying to limit the degree to which this negatively impacts the rest of the tour. This means on most tours we find a good balance between getting a large number of species and still ensuring a certain level of comfort for the participants when this is possible.

Icebergs are an added attraction on cruises to Polar Regions by Markus Lilje

Icebergs are an added attraction on cruises to Polar Regions by Markus Lilje

Icebergs are an added attraction on cruises to Polar Regions © Markus Lilje

Time of year can be a big issue as most people are not able to pack up their bags at any time of the year and most countries have a fairly defined time of year where the conditions suit birding the best. We always attempt picking the best time of year for getting the highest species total, which is not necessarily when most species are in the area, but also depends on climatic conditions, for example. On some occasions it also makes sense to take advantage of low-season rates as tour costs can be reduced while often not negatively impacting on the number of species we expect to find. Some countries should just not be visited at certain times of the year and we would even advise against it on private tours, while others, perhaps where the endemics are the important targets, can be productive during a larger part of the year. Here are some examples of good areas to visit in different months: the Indian subcontinent, Colombia, Chile, Myanmar, South Africa, Antarctica and Ethiopia from November to February. February is also good for the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Morocco, while we mainly visit Cuba a little later on in March. March and April are good for Cameroon and Bhutan and our Ecuador and the Philippines tours occupy this part of the calendar too. The time we prefer in east Africa is April and May in Kenya and Tanzania, towards the end of this time is when we also head into eastern Europe and Mongolia. Uganda is best a little later towards June and July, which is when the season begins in Papua New Guinea, too, and Spitzbergen is more navigable. August is great for Gabon and Sulawesi as well as Brazil and our Namibia season starts here. September is great for much of South America, including Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. Moving into October, South Africa, Australia and Madagascar come into their most productive period as we enter the austral summer again. Remember that this is just a brief indication and many areas are good during a variety of seasons and can be visited at other times too, especially on private tours.

One of the first things often looked at is the length of a tour and how well it fits in with other plans you may have. We often try to start a tour towards the end of a weekend, giving the participants time to reach the destination if they leave on a Friday evening or Saturday, reducing the number of leave days required to do the tour. Most tours are also just less than either 2 or 3 weeks long (with exceptions), depending on the destination, again allowing tour participants to get home on a weekend. Most of our guests prefer longer tours, as the cost an effort of getting somewhere warrants this, rather than shorter tours that require relatively longer travel times. To add options for those wanting to extend their experiences there are often extensions that are offered before or after some tours, targeting something different in a similar region.

This gets us to another very important factor, namely cost, which is often the most important consideration for many people. Of course there is often a whole range of operators that will offer a tour of a certain region at widely varying costs. Things that can be easily overlooked are factors such as where you will be accommodated on tour, how good, experienced and specialized the guide is, and whether there are local guides or assistants on the tour that will help with logistics and any language problems if these should surface. You might find a very cheap tour somewhere and then be disappointed to find that you miss so many of the potential highlights because shortcuts are taken or the guide has no birding experience. Some destinations are also just more expensive than others, where again you would have to decide what you want from a trip. How many tours you are able to do in the longer term is also an important consideration, as you would probably go about things in a very different way if you want to maximize what you get from a single tour in Africa or if you want to do 5 different areas on the continent to get as high a list of birds in Africa as possible.

Something that goes along with the two previous factors is ease of travel to the start of the tour – more distant tours are usually more time-consuming and expensive to get to and you may need a day or two to get over the jetlag if there was a big change in the timezone. In some cases it is possible to combine tours so that you can take advantage of being in an area, for example there are different tours on the Indian subcontinent or the Caribbean that follow on from each other for this purpose. This simultaneously reduces your travel costs and relative travel time to get to a tour.

Some forms of transport are more traditional than others. by Markus Lilje

Some forms of transport are more traditional than others. © Markus Lilje

 

Some people have specific birds they would particularly like to see or groups of birds they are really interested in. Doing a whole tour for a single bird may not be worthwhile, but looking at the distribution of the species in question and seeing what options are available within this range would often mean that you are able to come up with an option that combines a number of interesting features that would make it a tour worth pursuing.

How good are your birding skills? Some destinations, especially those that visit a lot of forest sites, require a lot of patience, effort and skill if you expect to see most of the birds that are possible in the area. Some participants will struggle to pick up movement, for instance, making it very difficult for them in tougher birding situations. On other tours that have more open habitats or relaxed birds, the birding can be a lot less demanding and some people just get more from this and are less bothered about not getting all the birds that are possible if they were to bird in forests too.

Short-legged Ground Roller by Adam Riley

Short-legged Ground Roller is a bird that often requires much time and effort © Adam Riley

On some tours there are very few physical demands for participants, such as in east Africa, where much of the birding happens in National Parks, where you may not leave your vehicle due to danger from wild animals. If, however, you plan to try to find Horned Guan in Guatemala or Mount Cameroon Speirops in Cameroon, you would expect to have to put in a bit of effort to have a fair chance to get to see these birds. Long driving days can also be quite demanding physically, although this can often not be avoided on comprehensive birding tours.

Related to the above point is the intensity level of a tour, where some tours may be very intense, with birding activities from dawn until dusk and often beyond, whereas others will have some more relaxed days or breaks built in to the itinerary. Often some segments can be left out, for example if you are not interested in taking part in a night walk, this can be a way to reduce the intensity of a tour, but many people are worried about missing special sightings and will try to minimize the experiences that they miss on any trip. Whether you sit down for every meal or take packed meals that you eat ‘on-the-fly’ also can influence heavily how much birding time is available every day.

Comfort that you experience on a tour can also be important to incorporate into your decision making. On some tours we can offer great accommodations and vehicles driving on good roads for the duration of the tour, such as in our home country, South Africa, and Thailand for example. But this is very definitely not the case in many destinations, where conditions cause some discomfort that we will have to deal with in order to get the chance of finding our target species. The same can be said for food, such as in Sri Lanka, where much of the food is spicy hot and fantastic if you enjoy that kind of cooking, but possibly a little monotonous if you don’t. Many of the less developed countries would have food that is very often less diverse than you may be used to and this can sometimes be seen as problematic.

Birders riding an Elephant by Markus Lilje

One of our less comfortable modes of transport © Markus Lilje

Along these lines of difficult tours, we make a point of always advising our tour participants to do the toughest tours first. It is easier to enjoy tours that are tough when you are younger, rather than waiting a few years to do a tour that might require physical fitness, include tough birding in dark forests, or lack luxurious travelling and accommodation possibilities. We consider Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Angola as some of these countries that potential tour participants should consider doing earlier rather than later.

While our tours obviously target mainly birds and we attempt seeing as many as we can during the tour, there are many other attractions that we would never ignore – if these are things you are particularly interested in then this would be worth looking at as some tours have many other highlights that we incorporate into the whole experience. The obvious secondary target on many tours is seeing mammals, be it in Africa’s big game reserves, where this could hardly be avoided, or searching for Tiger and Rhino in India, Jaguar and Giant Anteater in Brazil or many smaller and less well-known species in other parts of the world. On our India tour we spend time at the Taj Mahal in Agra and in Bhutan visiting a few of the Dzongs is a highlight for many of the guests we travel with; the archaeological sites in Egypt form a large part of the tour we offer to this part of the world and has been a huge attraction for centuries. During travel days in particular there are often ample opportunities to study and experience some of the local culture, although there are limited times where we specifically target this aspect of travelling.

Cultural attractions by Markus Lilje

Cultural attractions are an added bonus on some tours © Markus Lilje

Many people enjoy the challenge of bird and wildlife photography, which can also be pursued on our tours. One thing that must always be remembered is that these tours target finding and seeing the birds, rather than photographing them. Once we have found something we will thus stay around the birds for the amount of time we need to see and enjoy them. If photographers want to use this opportunity to get some photographs this can be very rewarding and if done in a careful way can be a great enhancement to any tour, if other participants are not disturbed. Some tours are much better suited for photographers than others. Open country is generally far better suited than forest, and countries where birds are not hunted, and thus allow a closer approach, are better than tours where you get fleeting glimpses of often-persecuted species.

Another thing that people either look for or try to avoid is a tour where you experience some sense of adventure – be it due to uncertainties with weather or getting to places where few other tourists get to go. Some countries certainly offer this, such as Angola, where the whole tour is a camping experience and gets us really close to many of the best sites that are within walking range. We are never sure what could show at any time because of the lack of birding that has taken place here over the last decades. Papua New Guinea has a number of sites where you can really feel like you are the only humans in a patch of remote forest, while a tour to Antarctica and South Georgia certainly visits some really remote places. Many countries do offer the comforts that make tours seem less adventurous, where we stay closer to standard tourist routes such as in South or East Africa, although even here we get to experience off-the-beaten-track sites, which are just a part of the general birding experience.

Tour leaders and guides are all different and have certain ways of structuring every day of every tour, and different styles will work better with some personalities than with others. This can certainly have an impact on your tour, although experienced leaders will have much practice in dealing with most personalities and situations. Sometimes it can be a good idea to see what experiences other birders have had travelling with a certain leader, although this could never be considered totally reliable. Although every company has a certain idea of how they run a tour in general, there is no way of making every tour the same, even if run within certain parameters. Seeing how different guides and tour leaders bird can actually be a great way of improving your own birding. Every tour leader also has certain interests you may have in common that would affect your enjoyment of a tour; they might be particularly interested in mammals, photography, certain families, or recent taxonomical changes or scientific publications that could make your tour more memorable.

Group size is a tough one to quantify because of various factors involved. Obviously, the smaller the group the better your contact will be with the tour leader and the more likely it is that your needs will be taken into account to a greater degree. Smaller group sizes do come at a financial cost, however. Larger groups also mean that you would be more likely to find other participants in the group that you get along with well – many lasting friendships have been formed when like-minded people meet on birding adventures. There are more eyes and ears to find what you are searching for on bigger tours, too. A large group in a forest can be very frustrating as people in the back might miss some of the shyer species, although with a good rotation system on trails no single person should miss too many that are just glimpsed. On our tours we have a second leader as soon as our group size gets beyond 8, which we find to be a great way to travel as the second leader can assist at the back of the group and take care of logistics if these become time-consuming, as they can be in countries like Papua New Guinea where a single leader could be kept away from the group for extended periods.

Birding experience by Markus Lilje

Sometimes it is as much about the experience as it is about the birds © Markus Lilje

 

Trying to record and see as many different bird families as possible has become a very popular thing to do in many birding circles, and this would change the countries someone is likely to target quite drastically. Some monotypic families in particular only occur on specific islands, where trips to New Caledonia, Sulawesi, Borneo and Hispaniola would be necessary and larger islands like Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and New Zealand harbor numerous different endemic families.

For many of these considerations there is an easy solution. But one that, again, comes at a cost. Private tours are the simplest way for you to control many of the factors mentioned above, as you can decide h

Birding tourism is in its heyday and there is no shortage of tour companies to choose from. Markus Lilje from Birding Ecotours explains the many factors you should consider in selecting your tour and why focusing on price lead to disappointment.

There are so many birding tours out there to choose from that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out which one is right for you. Recently there have been a number of countries and regions that have become more accessible too, making the choice even tougher. Here I will take you through some of the factors that are often considered important and that could make a difference in you having a great tour and going back for more or being disappointed because the tour was not what you had expected. A lot of this is already decided before the tour starts and you can make fairly sure that a tour is well suited to you or not.

One of the first questions to ask yourself is why you are interested in taking part in birding tours, what you want from them and what you feel is less important for you. If you are mainly interested in increasing your life list, seeing a very large number of species and targeting endemics you are likely to focus on a different range of tours than if you are mainly interested in experiencing a different country through birding or if you are also interested in mammals, scenery and culture. Keep in mind that tours will often tend to attract people that have a similar aim, although there is always some overlap of course. Once you have a good grip on your own motivations there are many other variables that you should consider.

On our tours we try to find as many species as possible on our route, as long as it is reasonable and the tour does not become too rushed. This means that all the tours will have a variable degree of birding intensity, because there are different numbers of species that need to be found and variation of difficulty in finding those species. In Madagascar, for example, there are not a huge number of species, but a large number of them are very hard to find, meaning that much time and effort is often required to find the species we are searching for. We spend time searching for the birds that are considered important, trying to limit the degree to which this negatively impacts the rest of the tour. This means on most tours we find a good balance between getting a large number of species and still ensuring a certain level of comfort for the participants when this is possible.

Icebergs are an added attraction on cruises to Polar Regions by Markus Lilje

Icebergs are an added attraction on cruises to Polar Regions © Markus Lilje

Time of year can be a big issue as most people are not able to pack up their bags at any time of the year and most countries have a fairly defined time of year where the conditions suit birding the best. We always attempt picking the best time of year for getting the highest species total, which is not necessarily when most species are in the area, but also depends on climatic conditions, for example. On some occasions it also makes sense to take advantage of low-season rates as tour costs can be reduced while often not negatively impacting on the number of species we expect to find. Some countries should just not be visited at certain times of the year and we would even advise against it on private tours, while others, perhaps where the endemics are the important targets, can be productive during a larger part of the year. Here are some examples of good areas to visit in different months: the Indian subcontinent, Colombia, Chile, Myanmar, South Africa, Antarctica and Ethiopia from November to February. February is also good for the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Morocco, while we mainly visit Cuba a little later on in March. March and April are good for Cameroon and Bhutan and our Ecuador and the Philippines tours occupy this part of the calendar too. The time we prefer in east Africa is April and May in Kenya and Tanzania, towards the end of this time is when we also head into eastern Europe and Mongolia. Uganda is best a little later towards June and July, which is when the season begins in Papua New Guinea, too, and Spitzbergen is more navigable. August is great for Gabon and Sulawesi as well as Brazil and our Namibia season starts here. September is great for much of South America, including Peru, Brazil and Bolivia. Moving into October, South Africa, Australia and Madagascar come into their most productive period as we enter the austral summer again. Remember that this is just a brief indication and many areas are good during a variety of seasons and can be visited at other times too, especially on private tours.

One of the first things often looked at is the length of a tour and how well it fits in with other plans you may have. We often try to start a tour towards the end of a weekend, giving the participants time to reach the destination if they leave on a Friday evening or Saturday, reducing the number of leave days required to do the tour. Most tours are also just less than either 2 or 3 weeks long (with exceptions), depending on the destination, again allowing tour participants to get home on a weekend. Most of our guests prefer longer tours, as the cost an effort of getting somewhere warrants this, rather than shorter tours that require relatively longer travel times. To add options for those wanting to extend their experiences there are often extensions that are offered before or after some tours, targeting something different in a similar region.

This gets us to another very important factor, namely cost, which is often the most important consideration for many people. Of course there is often a whole range of operators that will offer a tour of a certain region at widely varying costs. Things that can be easily overlooked are factors such as where you will be accommodated on tour, how good, experienced and specialized the guide is, and whether there are local guides or assistants on the tour that will help with logistics and any language problems if these should surface. You might find a very cheap tour somewhere and then be disappointed to find that you miss so many of the potential highlights because shortcuts are taken or the guide has no birding experience. Some destinations are also just more expensive than others, where again you would have to decide what you want from a trip. How many tours you are able to do in the longer term is also an important consideration, as you would probably go about things in a very different way if you want to maximize what you get from a single tour in Africa or if you want to do 5 different areas on the continent to get as high a list of birds in Africa as possible.

Something that goes along with the two previous factors is ease of travel to the start of the tour – more distant tours are usually more time-consuming and expensive to get to and you may need a day or two to get over the jetlag if there was a big change in the timezone. In some cases it is possible to combine tours so that you can take advantage of being in an area, for example there are different tours on the Indian subcontinent or the Caribbean that follow on from each other for this purpose. This simultaneously reduces your travel costs and relative travel time to get to a tour.

Some forms of transport are more traditional than others. by Markus Lilje Some forms of transport are more traditional than others. © Markus Lilje

Some people have specific birds they would particularly like to see or groups of birds they are really interested in. Doing a whole tour for a single bird may not be worthwhile, but looking at the distribution of the species in question and seeing what options are available within this range would often mean that you are able to come up with an option that combines a number of interesting features that would make it a tour worth pursuing.

How good are your birding skills? Some destinations, especially those that visit a lot of forest sites, require a lot of patience, effort and skill if you expect to see most of the birds that are possible in the area. Some participants will struggle to pick up movement, for instance, making it very difficult for them in tougher birding situations. On other tours that have more open habitats or relaxed birds, the birding can be a lot less demanding and some people just get more from this and are less bothered about not getting all the birds that are possible if they were to bird in forests too.

Short-legged Ground Roller by Adam Riley Short-legged Ground Roller is a bird that often requires much time and effort © Adam Riley

On some tours there are very few physical demands for participants, such as in east Africa, where much of the birding happens in National Parks, where you may not leave your vehicle due to danger from wild animals. If, however, you plan to try to find Horned Guan in Guatemala or Mount Cameroon Speirops in Cameroon, you would expect to have to put in a bit of effort to have a fair chance to get to see these birds. Long driving days can also be quite demanding physically, although this can often not be avoided on comprehensive birding tours.

Related to the above point is the intensity level of a tour, where some tours may be very intense, with birding activities from dawn until dusk and often beyond, whereas others will have some more relaxed days or breaks built in to the itinerary. Often some segments can be left out, for example if you are not interested in taking part in a night walk, this can be a way to reduce the intensity of a tour, but many people are worried about missing special sightings and will try to minimize the experiences that they miss on any trip. Whether you sit down for every meal or take packed meals that you eat ‘on-the-fly’ also can influence heavily how much birding time is available every day.

Comfort that you experience on a tour can also be important to incorporate into your decision making. On some tours we can offer great accommodations and vehicles driving on good roads for the duration of the tour, such as in our home country, South Africa, and Thailand for example. But this is very definitely not the case in many destinations, where conditions cause some discomfort that we will have to deal with in order to get the chance of finding our target species. The same can be said for food, such as in Sri Lanka, where much of the food is spicy hot and fantastic if you enjoy that kind of cooking, but possibly a little monotonous if you don’t. Many of the less developed countries would have food that is very often less diverse than you may be used to and this can sometimes be seen as problematic.

Birders riding an Elephant by Markus Lilje One of our less comfortable modes of transport © Markus Lilje

Along these lines of difficult tours, we make a point of always advising our tour participants to do the toughest tours first. It is easier to enjoy tours that are tough when you are younger, rather than waiting a few years to do a tour that might require physical fitness, include tough birding in dark forests, or lack luxurious travelling and accommodation possibilities. We consider Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and Angola as some of these countries that potential tour participants should consider doing earlier rather than later.

While our tours obviously target mainly birds and we attempt seeing as many as we can during the tour, there are many other attractions that we would never ignore – if these are things you are particularly interested in then this would be worth looking at as some tours have many other highlights that we incorporate into the whole experience. The obvious secondary target on many tours is seeing mammals, be it in Africa’s big game reserves, where this could hardly be avoided, or searching for Tiger and Rhino in India, Jaguar and Giant Anteater in Brazil or many smaller and less well-known species in other parts of the world. On our India tour we spend time at the Taj Mahal in Agra and in Bhutan visiting a few of the Dzongs is a highlight for many of the guests we travel with; the archaeological sites in Egypt form a large part of the tour we offer to this part of the world and has been a huge attraction for centuries. During travel days in particular there are often ample opportunities to study and experience some of the local culture, although there are limited times where we specifically target this aspect of travelling.

Cultural attractions by Markus Lilje Cultural attractions are an added bonus on some tours © Markus Lilje

Many people enjoy the challenge of bird and wildlife photography, which can also be pursued on our tours. One thing that must always be remembered is that these tours target finding and seeing the birds, rather than photographing them. Once we have found something we will thus stay around the birds for the amount of time we need to see and enjoy them. If photographers want to use this opportunity to get some photographs this can be very rewarding and if done in a careful way can be a great enhancement to any tour, if other participants are not disturbed. Some tours are much better suited for photographers than others. Open country is generally far better suited than forest, and countries where birds are not hunted, and thus allow a closer approach, are better than tours where you get fleeting glimpses of often-persecuted species.

Another thing that people either look for or try to avoid is a tour where you experience some sense of adventure – be it due to uncertainties with weather or getting to places where few other tourists get to go. Some countries certainly offer this, such as Angola, where the whole tour is a camping experience and gets us really close to many of the best sites that are within walking range. We are never sure what could show at any time because of the lack of birding that has taken place here over the last decades. Papua New Guinea has a number of sites where you can really feel like you are the only humans in a patch of remote forest, while a tour to Antarctica and South Georgia certainly visits some really remote places. Many countries do offer the comforts that make tours seem less adventurous, where we stay closer to standard tourist routes such as in South or East Africa, although even here we get to experience off-the-beaten-track sites, which are just a part of the general birding experience.

Tour leaders and guides are all different and have certain ways of structuring every day of every tour, and different styles will work better with some personalities than with others. This can certainly have an impact on your tour, although experienced leaders will have much practice in dealing with most personalities and situations. Sometimes it can be a good idea to see what experiences other birders have had travelling with a certain leader, although this could never be considered totally reliable. Although every company has a certain idea of how they run a tour in general, there is no way of making every tour the same, even if run within certain parameters. Seeing how different guides and tour leaders bird can actually be a great way of improving your own birding. Every tour leader also has certain interests you may have in common that would affect your enjoyment of a tour; they might be particularly interested in mammals, photography, certain families, or recent taxonomical changes or scientific publications that could make your tour more memorable.

Group size is a tough one to quantify because of various factors involved. Obviously, the smaller the group the better your contact will be with the tour leader and the more likely it is that your needs will be taken into account to a greater degree. Smaller group sizes do come at a financial cost, however. Larger groups also mean that you would be more likely to find other participants in the group that you get along with well – many lasting friendships have been formed when like-minded people meet on birding adventures. There are more eyes and ears to find what you are searching for on bigger tours, too. A large group in a forest can be very frustrating as people in the back might miss some of the shyer species, although with a good rotation system on trails no single person should miss too many that are just glimpsed. On our tours we have a second leader as soon as our group size gets beyond 8, which we find to be a great way to travel as the second leader can assist at the back of the group and take care of logistics if these become time-consuming, as they can be in countries like Papua New Guinea where a single leader could be kept away from the group for extended periods.

Birding experience by Markus Lilje Sometimes it is as much about the experience as it is about the birds © Markus Lilje

Trying to record and see as many different bird families as possible has become a very popular thing to do in many birding circles, and this would change the countries someone is likely to target quite drastically. Some monotypic families in particular only occur on specific islands, where trips to New Caledonia, Sulawesi, Borneo and Hispaniola would be necessary and larger islands like Papua New Guinea, Madagascar and New Zealand harbor numerous different endemic families.

For many of these considerations there is an easy solution. But one that, again, comes at a cost. Private tours are the simplest way for you to control many of the factors mentioned above, as you can decide how you would like the tour to run. The participants can decide if they want to change the structure of an existing tour, the length or time of year, as well as the group size and tour intensity to suit their requirements as much as possible. This is a very popular option and one which often can be offered at a lower rate than our standard tour costs if other factors remain similar.

Some of the above factors may be very important for some people and not relevant for others. To get ideas of what tours would be best suited to you, your interests, and your style of birding, it is often best to talk to previous tour participants or guides that have experienced the destinations before.

We hope this helps to clarify some of the many considerations involved in selecting your particular birding tour of choice. We wish you the best in picking the perfect tours, and we look forward to birding with you in the future, wherever in the world this may be! For more info go to www.rockjumperbirding.com or email [email protected]

ow you would like the tour to run. The participants can decide if they want to change the structure of an existing tour, the length or time of year, as well as the group size and tour intensity to suit their requirements as much as possible. This is a very popular option and one which often can be offered at a lower rate than our standard tour costs if other factors remain similar.

Some of the above factors may be very important for some people and not relevant for others. To get ideas of what tours would be best suited to you, your interests, and your style of birding, it is often best to talk to previous tour participants or guides that have experienced the destinations before.

We hope this helps to clarify some of the many considerations involved in selecting your particular birding tour of choice. We wish you the best in picking the perfect tours, and we look forward to birding with you in the future, wherever in the world this may be! For more info go to www.rockjumperbirding.com or email [email protected]

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