Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is a birding tour really for me?
If you have never joined a birding tour, please contact us and ask us more about what a birding tour really involves, before signing up. Some people are surprised how tiring some birding tours can be, or how focused they are on searching for birds. Please also refer to our blog article for how to choose a bird tour.
What do your tours include?
Please refer to specific tour details. Typically, but not always, the tour price includes accommodation, meals, vehicle transport and fuel, entrance fees, and guide fees. Tour prices exclude visa fees, beverages, laundry fees, any additional/optional activities (not specified as such in the itinerary), gratuities, and items of a personal nature, such as gifts and souvenirs. The tour price does not include your international flight and usually does not include local flights either – but please refer to the details of your specific tour to see if local flights are included or excluded.
What are the accommodation and vehicles like?
We usually use clean and comfortable accommodation with en suite bath/shower/toilet, hot water, and electricity, but in some countries this is not always possible. Please ask us about the accommodation for a specific tour – for example, in South Africa the accommodations are comfortable but in Ghana they are not! Typically, the accommodation and vehicles we use are a little more comfortable than what the average birding tour operator uses, but our prices are in the middle/average, meaning that you typically get excellent value on Birding Ecotours trips. But we also feel it is better to be in the middle of the best birding area, even if the accommodation standard is not as good as in a town that is further away from where the birds are.
While we try to find comfortable accommodation wherever we go, this is not always possible in all countries, and also we do not use overly luxurious accommodation, as most birders feel that would be a waste of money. But, on a private tour, you can dictate to us whatever you want – from camping to 5-star.
Do you ever change the itinerary or tour leader?
We rarely change an itinerary but occasionally do because of availability of accommodation, road conditions, updates on where the best current sites are for certain species, the discretion of the guides, and other factors.
A tour leader can also rarely be changed, due to unforeseen illness or other factors.
What are the payment terms and how does one pay?
What language are tours conducted in?
English (unless mutually agreed to offer a tour in a different language – this could apply, rarely, to private tours)
Can you help me book flights?
Yes, we will always try our best to help with anything at all! We’re here to serve you. However, it is usually easier if you book your flight through your own travel agent as we can’t always get the best deals from your particular country. But we will help whenever needed!
Can you book accommodation for us the night before the tour starts and the night the tour ends?
While Day 1 is usually a travel (arrival) day, and the last day of the tour is usually also a travel day (departure), many people do like to arrive early and/or leave late. We can indeed book extra nights before and after the trip, and we in fact recommend you let us book them, as it avoids confusion and allows us to book the accommodation that is most convenient for the tour (most of the time it is the same hotel or lodge that you use on the first night of the tour, but in some instances it could be an airport hotel or an accommodation establishment close to where the guide lives).
Do you provide trip insurance?
No, because we find that it is better for trip participants to purchase their own medical, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance through their own insurance provider in the country they reside in. We expect all tour participants to have comprehensive insurance, and we encourage everyone to send us a copy of their insurance documents.
What must I bring on the tour?
Please kindly refer to our bird tour preparation blog for recommendation on what to pack for one of our birding tours.
How do 1-day trips work?
Please kindly find more detailed information on our 1-day tours as well as recommended day tour options here.
What is the best bird field guide or birding app to use when joining my birdwatching holiday?
Please kindly refer to our free resource here for the best field guide for each country
Do I need to tip on my birding holiday?
Tipping is not compulsory, but its appreciated if you reckon the service is good. Please kindly refer to our blog on tipping guidelines for details.