We’ve received some fantastic testimonials from our clients. Click the plus signs on the testimonials below to read more.
Agnes - On Ghana
Thank you for organizing this trip for me, thank you for your patience during these troubled times. I will return for sure, to Ghana and maybe to neighboring countries. I’d love to see the very difficult Black-collared Lovebird. Or the Timneh Parrot (Psittacus erithacus timneh). And when I return, I’d love to stay a bit longer in Bonkro. I simply adore that place, the comfort of the lodging, the birding location, the peace and quiet. It was by far the best lodging (and food) of the whole trip. And, of course the out-of-this-world-bird, the Picathartes. Thank you all for a very successful and fun trip.
Ahmad & Sue - On Andy and Thailand
We just returned from our trip to Thailand. It was wonderful. Thank you very much for arranging our tour with Andy Walker. He was the best guide we ever had. He is knowledgeable,easy going, hard working, and has all the qualities that people expect from a guide. We really enjoyed birding with him. We would be happy to go birding with him any time and would highly recommend him as a guide to any of our friends. Thanks again for giving us the opportunity to have him as our guide.
Alma - On Dylan and South Africa
Dylan Vasapolli is extremely knowledgeable about birding and photography, but it’s his enthusiasm for the subject that is wonderful to experience. He has been birding for many years, and still, he has such a love for birding and the environment, which is very infectious. I was extremely lucky to have him as my guide.
Anne - On Eduardo and Bolivia
Bolivia was a place on my wish list for some time. Unfortunately, the time I picked to go happened to be a time of political unrest. But, in spite of that, Eduardo and the Birding Ecotours team did an amazing job of keeping us all safe and still managing to take us to some special places to see some special birds. The endemic and critically endangered Blue-throated Macaw was a real highlight. Sadly, the trip was cut short due to the state the country at the time, but the professionalism of Birding Ecotours never came into question. I felt safe in their hands and would travel with them again anytime.
Anne - On Eduardo and Brazil
I was fortunate enough to be able to add an extension on to the Best of Brazil Pantanal and Atlantic Forest 2019 trip. The extension took me on a visit to the Belo Horizonte and the Caraça Monastery where one gets to see the Maned Wolf and then to the border of Brazil and Argentina where the famous Iguazu Falls cascade between the two countries. I did the extension as a private tour with Eduardo Ormaeche as tour leader. I would definitely recommend a private tour if it is within your means as the beauty of seeing the Maned Wolf at the monastery is turned into magic when there is a limited amount of people around. Staying at the Monastery is also truly an experience not to be missed. In addition to the Monastery and Maned Wolf, Eduardo did a fantastic job at finding all the birds of note in the area. Iguazu Falls was truly beautiful. It is a very busy area though with many tourists from both Argentina and Brazil coming out for day trips, but there are so many lookouts and viewing areas that one can see the falls from many angles and get some wonderful photographs. The Great Dusky Swift are around the falls and Eduardo was able to find the perfect viewing spot to watch them nesting. It was a trip well worth remembering and recommending.
We chose the 2-day Tankwa Karoo birding trip and had an incredible time. I think we saw just short of 90 different species over the 2 days, including many new species for our bird book, which would have taken us years to find without Dom. It was an incredible experience and Dom’s ability to find birds just by their call is something to marvel at.
Barbara & Jim - On Galo and Ecuador
We have travelled with Galo twice and had planned a third trip with him until world problems interfered. We have greatly enjoyed his company and good nature. He has been a tremendous guide with great ear for the bird calls and knowledge of all sites. He is very helpful and patient with us. He seems to anticipate our needs without our asking and adapts to our capabilities and interests. We look forward to travelling with him again.
The Classic Colombia tour was so wonderful. I cannot say enough about how great it was. Eduardo is/was fantastic as a guide and leader. The itinerary was also great, and he has a warm relationship with local guides and lodging hosts. I have zero complaints! An added bonus was having Giancarlo Ventolini as a driver and extra guide for much of the trip. That young man was a sweetheart, a super driver as well as a really good and knowledgeable birder. He has a lot of potential for being a bird guide in the future. I wish you could see how well we all got on. I thank you for allowing a tour with only two participants. We four became good friends and had so much fun together. Honestly, with the difference in ages, it was not expected. I am old enough to be mother to Eduardo and Anne, and a grandmother to Giancarlo. Yet we truly had a blast! You do have a treasure in Eduardo as your employee. He made the tour perfect for me. I hope to do another trip with him in the future. Good birding!
Betty - On Dylan and India
Dylan is an excellent birder and so at ease with all ages and skills and personalities. He’s comfortable in new situations and very organized and made the tour a pleasure. I can’t believe how young he is! Deepak was great! We were so fortunate to have him with his good English, local knowledge of birds and culture, and he was such a help to me personally.
Bev - On Dylan and South Africa
We had an absolutely wonderful weekend at Ezemvelo. Great company, good weather and Dylan. What a good guide that young man is!!! He certainly knows his birds, and tries very hard to make everyone happy. He really goes out of his way. He’s such a gentleman, he’s going to go far. By the way four adults and one Blue Crane chick were seen on the weekend. Also a Black Stork, which Dylan was so pleased to see, and a couple of Honey Buzzards
Bev and Terrie - On Dylan
Our trip was wonderful! Dylan was great. Top notch birder and guide. Patient, kind, thoughtful, understanding. Best birding ears ever! He found us so many great birds! My count is 430, more than I had expected for the entire trip! Great views as well. He worked hard to get the birds and get us in position for photos. My best decision was hiring Birding Ecotours.
Just wanted to tell you what a fantastic time I had on my custom Sri Lanka birding tour. Everything went flawlessly thanks to Andy’s preparation, and his knowledge and passion for the birds was infectious and made it great fun. Our local guide, Lester, was as passionate, and was expert in locating the birds and sharing his knowledge of the country. The food and lodging were great, and we became good friends as well as birding buddies, and I would recommend Sri Lanka as a, safe, friendly place to bird. Andy’s trip report is on the website. Birding Ecotours ran a wonderful tour, and I will use their services again for our next trip.
Bill - On Eduardo and Argentina
My trip to Argentina was amazing! We always see huge numbers of species on Birding Ecotours trips, and this one was no exception. Add to that the scenery in the Andes, among the most spectacular anywhere; meanwhile, accommodations, arrangements, and guiding were fully up to Birding Ecotours’ usual standards. Eduardo is a great guide, always watching out for our welfare as well as finding the birds, and Diego was one of the more knowledgeable – and friendly – local guides we have had in years. As my trip focused on the northwest, I look forward to visiting the rest of this wonderful country soon.
Bill - On Namibia
We toured Namibia in a private group of six people through Birding Ecotours in 2010. Our group was rather diverse, with birding desires ranging from obsessive to casual and including a wildlife photographer. The range of interests could have led to issues, but we all were very satisfied with the trip. We not only had great birding results, thoroughly satisfying the more bird-oriented among us, but also had unforgettable experiences viewing mammals to the delight of the entire group. The tour was well-organized and well-executed, we had plenty of information in advance, the arrangements took account of our special needs, accommodations and transportation were excellent, and the price was quite reasonable. We were delighted with the trip and look forward to our next adventure (already booked!) with Birding Ecotours.
Bo - On Chris and Birding Ecotours
What do you most need in a guide and a tour company? Some would say trustworthy arrangements that yet stay flexible to the needs of the individual birder, some would say someone who can find you the target birds and others might say an all-rounder who combines birding knowledge, great communications skills and organisational ability. Birding Ecotours and its owner/operator Chris Lotz tick all the boxes! I’ve birded with Chris and travelled with the company and asked them to arrange tours for others, and Chris has come up trumps every time. I value my own integrity too much to give endorsements unless I have personal experience that truly warrants it. I recommend Chris Lotz and Birding Ecotours!
Bob and Terrie - On Andy and Thailand
We spent three weeks with Andy in Thailand and enjoyed the trip thoroughly. Andy worked so hard to find the birds, and get us on them. He was very patient and took the time we needed. He knew all the best places to go, knew what birds would be expected, identified them in an instant and still managed to find some pretty good rarities along with the known birds, Himalayan Cutia anyone? And we spent literally hours getting great looks at Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Andy got us very close without disturbing the birds or any other birders. It was a highlight of the trip. We are hoping to see Andy in York later this year for a days birding on his home patch!
Dylan is just what you want in a guide-excellent eyes and ears, quick with the scope, knows just where the specialties are found in each site. He knows multiple sites well and that allowed us to modify our day in real time to not waste time driving when the remaining hours in the day were running short. He is a super nice guy as well, I really enjoyed spending the day with him.
Chad - On Andy and Bali
Andy provided an amazing 1-day tour around Bali. He knows every bird and where to find the key treasures. Loved spending the day with Andy and looking forward to more birding trips with him.
Claudia - On Andy and Iceland
Our small group had a great trip birding Iceland with Andy Walker. Andy’s knowledge, tenacity, organizational skills, patience and fun personality allowed us to maximize this opportunity to see every possible bird within our range. Because of Andy’s scientific knowledge as well as field skills I learned a great deal. His enthusiasm kept us going even when the weather attempted to dampen and freeze mine! Iceland is an awesome country and Ecotours did a great job of arranging an itinerary that provided excellent food and lodging along the way. Very well organized. I’d go with this company and guide again!
Debra - On Jacob
Jacob is an excellent birder and has great people skills. Both are needed in a good guide. He knew his stuff and put up with all the joking but was serious when it came to the birds. Would definitely tour with him again.
Our guides, Jacob and Mandy, were a great team! This was my second tour with Jacob and I was very impressed with his knowledge of the endemic birds of Hawaii. He is very personable and his birding skills are excellent. Mandy is also very personable and an excellent birder. She shared her extensive knowledge of Hawaii, the endemic birds, their habitat and the dangers they are facing.
Donna & Allen - On Andy and Australia
We loved traveling with Andy. Thanks to Andy’s birding and organization skills, this trip exceeded our expectations. Andy is an excellent bird guide and tour leader! His knowledge of the birds, their songs, habitats, and ability to locate birds was amazing. We all appreciated his ability to make sure that we all saw good views of the birds.
Hume - On Andy and India
The 2016 Northern India Birding Ecotours trip was everything I had hoped for and more. As a novice both when it came to Asian birds and Indian travel, the trip couldn’t have been better. Andy Walker, our guide, was brilliant at finding the expected birds and some amazing rarities and getting us good looks. I managed close to 400 lifers combined with Fatehpur Sikri, the Taj Mahal, some fascinating glimpses of rural India and a spectacular time in the Himalayan foothills. Our driver, van, train travel and hotels were all comfortable and worked like clockwork. Thanks for the trip of a lifetime.
Ira - On Dylan and India
Highlights of the Western Ghata and Nilgiri tour included seeing the regional endemic bird species such as Nilgiri Blue Robin, White-bellied Blue Robin, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Sri Lanka Bay Owl, giant squirrels and Asian Elephants. The local cuisine was also a highlight! Dylan was friendly and professional with a good sense of humour. He knew when to be intense, when to lighten up on the birding and was always cordial. Dylan was never demeaning when answering questions. Our local guides were excellent, especially in Thattekad and Masinagudi.
Ira - On Dylan and Uganda
This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The birding was intense but fun. There was a relaxed atmosphere despite the intense birding. My partner, a birding novice, loved the trip. We did the optional gorilla and chimp trekking – both well worth doing. Dylan was great. He made sure all went smoothly. He was attentive to all our needs. He’s a superb birder with a great knowledge-base of sounds and a sharp keen eye.
Jacques and Elzine - On Eduardo and Brazil
Dear Chris, Thank you for your interest in the outcome of our tour. It is not possible to answer you in one note, so I will try to do so in a few ‘to the point’ remarks. Yes, the trip met all our expectations, and more! We saw and experienced the Cerrado, the Amazon forest, even better than previously at Tambopata, and the Pantanal with its amazing variety and volume of wildlife. For me the sight of a Hyacinth Macaw, which drew me to the Pantanal, already made it worthwhile. Then, of course, come the excellent sightings of the Jaguars and the Otters and then all the birds for which Eduardo made special efforts to find for his goals. In the Cerrado we stayed in an excellent farm-lodge where we were lucky to experience the sighting of the Maned Wolf and the Burrowing Owl (which was on Elzine’s bucket list), apart from a number of colourful specials like the Motmot and Jacamar. In the Amazon we were also very lucky to find another of Elzine’s target species, the Anaconda, and also another member of South America’s big five, the Tapir. We had an excellent session of forest birding on one of the towers where we could really appreciate the advantages of our private tour which, we think, was good value for the additional cost. Together with the Cristalino guide we had the tower for ourselves, and with an excellent guide like Eduardo also with us, we experienced a feast of good sightings. On EDUARDO: It was a pleasure to travel with him again and having him as a guide who showed his expertise even in the presence of other local guides. It is good to hear that he also enjoyed our company. In summary, we came back as very satisfied customers of Birding Ecotours and wish to thank you and Lynn for the opportunity to experience the Heart of Brazil.
Janice - On Andy and Australia
Andy is a superb guide with a wonderful knowledge of birds and where to find them. He is enthusiastic and keen, great company and a real pleasure to bird with. Our Australian trip was very successful in terms of sightings and also really enjoyable. Andy played a big part in that with his superb organisation, excellent birding skills, easy-going nature and positive attitude. I would happily join Andy on a birding trip again and hope to be able to do so later this year!Not sure how you would pick a favourite place from that. Each region is different and of course getting to see different parts of the country is something that I would have thought one would want to do if doing OZ. I would have loved to have seen more butterflies, mammals and reptiles than we did, but maybe that requires different locations and more time in the field. We did however get Platypus and Echidna. Butterflies are pretty much restricted to the north east. Timing for birds is tough as there is so much movement amongst them depending upon food sources, but I would have said we did pretty well. While obviously we wanted to see all we could, it was not the end of the world if we missed anything, and a huge list was not our goal. We were there in the dry season, I would hate to think what it would be like in the wet season, as a number of places/routes would have been under water, especially in the Darwin region. Accommodations on the whole were very good – I loved the different lodgings, many of which we had to do our own breakfast, with kitchen facilities in the cabins. The country is huge, and with very few people, less than SA!, so some of the locations there was little choices, especially for a large group, but Barry did great in getting what he did. At each region we had to get a bus, there were 14 of us – these varied between great to OK, as the on the extension we had to have one with a trailer.
Jay - On Birding Ecotours
I have birded with Birding Ecotours since 2004. As I stated in my first web trip report of Southern South Africa that I thought you were one of the most competent guides I had ever birded with and that Birding Ecotours was an extremely professional organization in every way. In 2013, after birding with you a dozen times in 8 countries (and more this April and June) my opinions are now cast in concrete. Your ear and ability to co-ordinate the sounds with species is unsurpassed. You are decisive and a lot of fun to travel with which, in my opinion, are qualities essential in a top guide. You and Nadia organize trips meticulously and show truly sound judgment in your choices of routes, lodging and transportation arrangements. As you know, I ask a lot of questions and have always received thoughtful and timely answers. I have never been left feeling neglected in any way. I’ve been asked many time by birding friends all over the world for recommendations, and Birding Ecotours is always my first choice in Africa. I don’t doubt that our coming trips to Asia and the Caribbean will be equally productive and fun.
Jean - On Dom and South Africa
My sister and I used one of our 2 and a half days in Cape Town to do a birding tour of the Peninsula including the Cape of Good Hope. I had great communication with our guide, Dom, before the tour and he picked us up right on time at our hotel. It was an excellent day. Dom is very knowledgeable and good company. It turned out he was at Magee Marsh in Ohio the same time I was this year! The weather was glorious and we got to see lots of SA endemics plus a Humpback Whale and a lifer sewage pond! I would recommend Birding Ecotours and Dom Rollinson to anyone birding in South Africa.
Jim - On Eduardo and Colombia
I feel that our trip to Colombia was one of the most enjoyable and rewarding bird tours I have ever been on. You did an excellent job of planning, guiding and looking after the logistics on the tour. Colombia is a pleasure to travel in with very friendly people, excellent roads and pleasant, clean accommodation. Even the more basic places were comfortable, clean and quiet. Santa Marta is a wonderful place with plentiful birds and fantastic scenery. Rio Blanco was my favorite part of the tour with the antpittas and Ocellated Tapaculo at my feet. Otun Quimbaya with Red-ruffed Fruitcrows as yard birds was also a very enjoyable. In all parts of the country I never felt at risk. Colombia is now a safe, rewarding country to travel in. I can hardly wait to return.
John - On Eduardo and Peru
Peru was extraordinary!!!!!! My to do list includes a message to Eduardo with some images that we captured and a tally of the last day’s birds seen with Dennis near Lima, so he can prepare a complete trip report. Wil and I completed our tally while he was still here visiting after our trip and it came in at a staggering 430+ species seen, and a trip total of 460 species either seen or heard by the Taylor brothers. Your guys delivered BIG TIME on this trip, with three stellar guides and nearly flawless logistics, including two excellent drivers as well. Can’t thank you enough, Chris. Eduardo, as you no doubt already know, was top notch. It was tough saying good bye to him and Raul when they dropped us at the Cusco airport. We could not have had a better guide/driver combo for the core of the trip. Wil and I have never hesitated to recommend you and BE to our acquaintances, and we now know that our unconditional recommendation can be extended to your Peruvian office as well. Thanks a million for your help in getting the Peru trip arranged. We’ll be in touch. I attach a photo of satisfied customers with their weary guide near the lower end of the Manu Road, with the Rio Union in the background. For my part, the tour with you was the best overall of all the tours we’ve taken; most memorable, rewarding, and enjoyable.
John and Judy - On Oli
Oli proved patient and informed about our bird ID questions and applied his extensive knowledge on each species to answer our questions and round out our understanding.
John and Judy - On Oli and Portugal
My wife and I joined three friends on our first in-depth visit to Portugal. The route included birding habitats across the country from Porto to Lisbon usually with longer stays at attractive, comfortable locations close to five wineries each providing a different tasting experience. Our guides proved knowledgeable. We felt that we were not just seeing new lifers often with close knockout views (like Water Rails, Iberian Grey Shrike, and others) sometimes dramatic concentrations of birds, like Greater Flamingo (up to 1,500), White Stork (500+), Griffon Vulture, Common Cranes, migrating raptors, etc., but also felt we were learning and contributing to their protection.
John and Maggie
Giancarlo was an excellent guide. He is very knowledgeable about the birds of Colombia and a very pleasant person to be with. He was good at seeing and hearing birds and then using the tapes to draw the birds in. It was also very good that he wasn't using a camera. We've had guides who were more focused on getting photographs for themselves rather than helping us get the photographs.
John and Maggie - On Giancarlo and Colombia
We were very impressed by the sheer number of birds we saw and the range of interesting and beautiful habitats on our 2020 Best of Colombia birding tour. We really did think we were seeing the best of Colombia from a birding perspective. Giancarlo was an excellent guide and a very nice person to be with for 3 weeks. It was also very nice that there were just the three of us and we weren’t in a large group.
I don't have enough positive adjectives to describe the experience! This was my third birding trip to Costa Rica and my husband's second for photography. Costa Rica is a birder's paradise and it was just exactly the trip we had hoped for! While we wanted to see birds, we wanted a more leisurely pace than the hard-core, up before dawn, push all day, to maximize the day list type of trip. Eduardo balanced our interests in seeing a variety of fabulous birds and opportunities for photos incredibly well. He and our driver, Juan Carlos, were a great team in ensuring that we traveled in comfort and never had any worries about logistics. For anyone interested in both birding and wildlife photography I highly recommended this trip! And I can't wait to see more of Central and Southern America with Eduardo to see more birds!
Joyce and Bill
Every aspect of this tour was great. First of all, you must have cornered the market on great young tour guides, because Jacob was wonderful. Obviously an excellent birder, he was patient with us over 70 crowd members (we teased him about nobody over 70 ever again), enthusiastic and had a great sense of humor. He is very easy to be around, making all feel comfortable. Of course, the pelagic trip was, for us, the high point. We would suggest that you make the trip to Vinalhaven a regular part of the tour, and add Captain John Drury a must. He was a real character, and took special pains to make sure we saw all that we could see...even the Red-billed Tropicbird. And the trip up Mt. Washington was so very interesting, with all the vegetation changes as the altitude changed. AND we got the Bicknell's Thrush! Maine, from the mountains to the sparkling waters perfectly describes this tour, as it encompassed a wide variety of habitat and birds. Definitely a must if you want to see some hard-to-get species.
Karen - On Eduardo and Costa Rica
I loved all properties on the Costa Rica Escape tour in January 2019 – small family run establishments in lovely grounds. Accommodation at Savegre was very good and the best in the area. We had a 12-seater van for one couple along with our guide Eduardo and driver Ricardo, who drove excellently and we felt safe. Our guide Eduardo, is funny and friendly, and has an amazing knowledge of all wildlife. He is great company! Highlights of the tour included Resplendent Quetzal, Snowcap and the structure of the tour.
Kay - On Eduardo
I’ve just returned from our custom tour with Eduardo and I want to tell you – he is a jewel! Very knowledgeable, approachable, friendly and seems to enjoy birding and helping other birders find and appreciate the birds. His guiding, listening and decorum were beyond reproach. He could many times describe where the target bird was, rather than just pointing and scaring it away. A true gentleman and very helpful when I needed help or clarification. It would be a pleasure to go again with him. He was able to find 26 lifers for me when I expected at the most 19. Now my world list total is 7466 and counting!
Keith - On Chris
I joined a custom trip, followed by an African Bird Club conservation tour, with Chris Lotz of Birding Ecotours, in November 2012. I sent Chris a wish-list and he was very quick to reply with a detailed itinerary based on the list I sent him. I got 42 lifers on this trip, which actually exceeded my expectations: with a world list of over 7000 species, it is tough for me to see new birds anywhere. Both the custom trip and the conservation trip were extremely well-organised, and the Birding Ecotours guides were superb. The African Bird Club will be doing more trips with Birding Ecotours.
Kelvin - On Andy and Sulawesi and Halmahera
"Andy is a first-rate guide; his ability to direct people on to a bird is tremendous. He is also not just a birder; on this trip we also ended up with over 100 invertebrates fully identified; great for the all-round naturalist! Always affable, and with the best interests of his clients in mind; I look forward to more trips with him in the future". Kelvin, UK.
Kim - On Dylan and South Africa
Just a quick note today to let you know that mom (Eleanor) and I had a fantastic day with Dylan. First of all it was a great comfort to meet someone at the airport from the area who knows how to go about things. Dylan provided us with a splendid introduction day to the common bird families and antelope (plus a mongoose) at Rietvlie which was exactly what we needed after being cooped up on a plane for so long! He also capably described things about each family and then the species we were seeing. What surprised me was how knowledgeable he is about other species around the world which makes it easy for him to relate to our knowledge base. We had a splendid day talking about all sorts of things. You guys are doing everything right -Bravo! Your website came up first in a Google search and it’s very inviting which encourages an inquiry. Chris, you got back to me right away, and Dylan followed up with answers and then read perfectly what we needed. Thank you so much! I will most definitely recommend you to anyone coming to this part of Africa. Keep up the good work! Dylan, thank you! I look forward to coming back some day.
Kristine - On Andy and Iceland
Birding with Andy through western Iceland was marvelous. He’s a wealth of birding knowledge and information, down to the most minute details of all the birds we viewed. He has tremendous patience and perseverance in locating the birds, and worked hard with each individual to make sure we were satisfied with all sightings. He kept us on track and in motion, as we passed through the vast and rugged expanses of western Iceland. He has non-stop energy and a great personality. Couldn’t ask for better.
Laurie & Steve - On Dominic and Ethiopia
Our birding trip to Ethiopia was fantastic. The country is so rich in history and interesting people and customs. The birding was great! Needless to say Dominic is an expert birder. He is a warm and gracious person and we all really enjoyed his company. Our Ethiopian driver and guide, Tesfaw, was also very good. He was an experienced guide and driver. His contacts were good as were his day to day decisions. He kept our group on time and on schedule but was also flexible to our requests and needs. We rate our trip excellent (A,10/10). Thank you for all your work in arranging the trip. We appreciate all your prompt correspondences. We certainly will be using Birding Ecotours in the future. We hope to meet you in person some day.
Liam - On Dylan and South Africa
I just wanted to email and say how much I enjoyed the day yesterday in and around Suikerbosrand – Dylan was a fantastic guide, unbelievably knowledgeable, very helpful (and patient!) and good company. We saw much more than I expected, and the flufftail was the icing on the cake! I would go out of my way to recommend you guys and Dylan in particular – thanks again for a thoroughly enjoyable day. I will be in touch when I return to South Africa – even if just to set eyes on that pesky grass owl. . .!
Linda - On Dylan and South Africa
We went out to Marievale with Dylan to (re)connect with some South African birds after some years away from SA. It was a wonderful experience. Dylan was charming, helpful and incredibly knowledgeable about the birds. We saw over 50 species in a morning and learned a lot about the birds. We would highly recommend Birding Ecotours for an excellent birding experience.
Lisl - On Andy and India
I had an awesome two weeks’ trip in northern India in January 2016 with Andy Walker of Birding Ecotours. Total bird species seen by the group was 401. Highly recommended for life birds, collecting bird families and beautiful scenery. Some highlights included: Hill Partridge, Painted Spurfowl, Koklass and Cheer Pheasants, Black Bittern, Himalayan Vulture, Sarus Crane, Barred Buttonquail, Ibisbill, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Indian Courser, Painted Sandgrouse, Sirkeer Malkoha, Crested Treeswift, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Himalayan Flameback, Collared Falconet with prey (Cinereous Tit), Chestnut-headed Tesia, Striated Laughingthrush, White-rumped Shama, White-tailed Rubythroat, Golden Bush Robin, Brown Dipper, Pink-browed Rosefinch, Crested Bunting and Altai Accentor. The group total also included 10 owls and 17 woodpeckers, all seen.
Lisl - On Birding Ecotours
Birding Ecotours company and SA office staff I can highly recommend booking a trip through Birding Ecotours South Africa. The Birding Ecotours staff is professional, the e-mail responses fast and all questions receive detail replies. Chris Lotz of Birding Ecotours forwarded excellent advice to me on how to start world birding, which countries to visit in order to find a high number of birds over a short period and which bird book(s) to use for a country. Birding Ecotours’ newsletters provide further information on upcoming trips, details on areas (e.g. East African birding), on target birds per trip, as well as regarding birding books available for countries or areas. Trip reports (forwarded upon request) allow one to mentally prepare regarding number of possible birds, endemics per country and difficulty or travel time of a trip. The Birding Ecotours’ Facebook postings include snippets from current trips with photos as well as spaces available on future trips. The single supplement for Birding Ecotours’ trips is in most cases lower than other tour companies, which makes for safe as well as affordable travelling.
Lisl - On Eduardo and Peru
Birding Peru for the first time in July 2012 with Eduardo, a professional and very knowledgeable local Peru guide, ensured a smooth, safe and hassle-free trip filled with south Peruvian endemics such as Junin Canastero, White-bellied Cinclodes, Great Inca-Finch and Inca Wren. Eduardo, with the assistance of Raul, were quick to spot birds and ensured that all in the group got onto the birds as fast as possible. While birding, Eduardo also enlightened and amused us with his vast knowledge of birds and other fauna of the area. At the end of each day Eduardo assisted the group to complete a list of birds seen and heard for the day. A briefing each evening prepared participants on what to expect the next day. The accommodation was clean and safe, even in off-the-beaten-track areas. I can highly recommend the Birding Ecotours bird guide in Peru.
Luis and Belen - On Finland
Finland for bird photography: About Finland I can tell you that we had very good opportunities to take photos. We got superb photos of species such as Western Capercaillie, Black Grouse, Hazel Grouse, Great Grey Owl, Ural Owl, Northern Hawk Owl, Pygmy-Owl, Short-eared Owl, Common Goldeneye, Whooper Swan, Common Crane, Parrot Crossbill, Red-flanked Blue-tail, Rustic Bunting, Red-breasted Merganser, Red-necked Grebe, Siberian Jay, Siberian Tit, Willow Tit, Honey-buzzard, Temminck’s Stint, Common Redshank, Baltic and Little Gulls, Eurasian Jackdaw, Hooded Crow, Arctic Tern, Common Cuckoo, Three-toed Woodpecker and Pied Flycatcher. We also take nice photos of Dotterel, Black-throated Diver, Ruff, Sedge and Icterine Warblers, Red-breasted Flycatcher, Fieldfare, Eurasian Wryneck, Common Redpoll and some other birds. We missed Terek Sandpiper (we saw it but we can’t take any photos) but another group took very good photos of it before we arrived to the place where the bird was. To me, it has been an excellent trip to take photographs, plenty of good chances. Undoubtedly it has been the best trip I have made ever in Europe from this point of view.
Matt and Chris - On Dom and South Africa
I am writing to you to send a formal review of our birding day tour with Dominic Rollinson on May 18,2021. Matt and I are not bird experts by any means but we do enjoy watching and tracking the various species of birds back home here in the Houston, Texas area. It is very relaxing and very enjoyable learning new things about all of the beautiful feathered friends out there! While planning our South African adventures last year, we certainly knew that we had to spend one day learning about and hopefully seeing many of the beautiful birds of South Africa. Dominic Rollinson, our truly knowledgeable and awesome birding guide provided Matt and I with a truly unique and genuinely wonderful birding experience! Our day started around 7:30 am with a prompt arrival for pick up at our hotel in Camps Bay. We headed on to our first destination for the day, Rondevlei Nature Reserve and Cape Flats wetlands. Here we were able to observe various birds such as the Southern Double-collared Sunbird, Karoo Prinia, Levaillant’s Cisticola, and Bar-throated Apalis. There were other birds around the various waterways including the Blacksmith Lapwing, Cape Shoveler, and Little Swifts. The highlight was seeing our first sunbird! The next stop on our day adventure was the Strandfontein sewage works. Here we were able to see Blacksmith Lapwing, Hartlaub’s Gull, Cape Spurfowl, Cape and Reed Cormorants, Black-necked Grebe, Hadeda and African Sacred Ibis, Egyptian Goose, and many other species of various water fowl. Our next stopping point was the peaceful, beautiful and extraordinary Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens! It is here that we saw an abundance of feathered friends! We saw Cape Bulbul, Forest Canary, Cape Sugarbird, Southern Double-collared Sunbirds galore, feeding on the beautiful candelabra aloe flowers, and even a beautiful male Malachite Sunbird! Other sightings included the Sombre Greenbul, Common Waxbill, Cape Robin-Chat, Olive Thrush and Cape White-eye. Our final stop of the day was at almost sunset overlooking the coast in Clifton. Here we caught a glimpse of African Oystercatchers, Bank and Crowned Cormorants, and the beautiful sunset to cap off a really special day! Dominic Rollinson provided us with in-depth knowledge and a greater understanding of the various birds, wildlife and ecosystems that make up the areas in/around Cape Town and South Africa! Our expectations for the day were not only met but greatly exceeded with Dominic guiding us along the way! Matt and I truly had a blast and would highly recommend Dominic Rollinson as a birding guide!
Otto - On South Africa
In the fall of 2011 my wife and I did a 28 day bird watching tour of South Africa with Birding Ecotours. Birding Ecotours was recommended by our Canadian agent, Tours of Exploration. Both of our driver/guides were excellent and our group of 5 saw well over 500 species of birds and over 60 species of animals as well as a large number of amazing endemic plants. The tours were well planned and run and came off without a hitch. The guides were very patient and accommodating and allowed us to change the schedule when we were in areas of great interest. Along with showing us the amazing natural history of South Africa our guides also explained the cultural history which made the trip special. We hope that we will have the opportunity to will travel with Birding Ecotours again in the near future.
Owen - On Eduardo and Peru
Eduardo, thanks so much for all your efforts to make this a fantastic , superbly well organised, entertaining, comfortable, informative , comprehensive and safe tour through Southern Peru. The Peru you showed me is indeed fabulous. It was a trip of a lifetime for me, which Sue and I can now enjoy remembering together.
Rolland - On Eduardo and Peru
I have recently taken a trip with four friends to northern Peru with Eduardo Ormaeche, Birding Ecotours. I have no hesitation in recommending Eduardo and his co-guide Giancarlo Ventolini to anyone wanting to take a birdwatching trip to Peru. Eduardo was an outstanding bird guide. His knowledge of birds and ability to quickly and easily identify birds was truly exceptional. This includes all those very tricky flycatcher types that are so difficult to ID. Eduardo was extremely helpful, patient, and was excellent company. I am an extremely experienced bird watcher having travelled the globe extensively and Eduardo proved to be one of the very best bird guides I have ever experienced. If you are considering bird watching in Peru then think no further than using Eduardo!
Sandra - On Oli
I look forward to my next trip with Oli which is in about five months. He is knowledgeable, considerate and kind. He knows how to bring his clients onto birds they might have trouble seeing and then teaches them how to identify the bird. He is terrific.
Sandra - On Oli and Portugal
We not only saw approximately 150 species of birds (this was an October trip) but visited five wineries, and historical sites. Our hotels ranged from a Quinta to purpose built ecologically focused ones. All were beautiful, clean and comfortable. Our guides were terrific. We had our Birding Ecotours bird guide and trip leader supported by a local guide who was also a fabulous birder. Between the two we saw a lot and had a great time.
Sue - On Jacob and Southeast Arizona
The Southeast Arizona tour is in the perfect area to see the maximum number of species and rarities. This tour has the perfect guide, Jacob Roalef, who works diligently to make sure that each participant sees all the birds he finds. This tour has the perfect number of participants to have fun, share knowledge and get to know each other. I would highly recommend this tour! Jacob was an outstanding guide and I can’t say enough good things about him!. First, he knew the birds and could identify them by ear and sight. He made sure that each of us saw the bird(s) he had heard, seen or scoped. He also provided information about field marks, habitat, behavior and other interesting facts about the birds. Additionally, he knew a lot about the environment and gave us good context for the area that our tour covered. He was very diligent in finding the rarities, and then persistent until we saw them. Jacob also was very perceptive about each individual on the tour and gave equal attention to each of us based on our skill level in birding and our personal quirks. He is fun and funny, patient and well-organized and a safe and good driver. I innocently asked if there had ever been a flat tire on ones of his tours and that jinxed us because we indeed had one at 7,800 feet after a rain. Jacob was cool, calm and collected and what could have been a disaster ended with hilarity and a Band-tailed Pigeon. He facilitated and contributed to the camaraderie and banter that our group shared. I hope to go on another tour that Jacob guides.
Dylan is a very competent guide who has an excellent knowledge of the birds, always listening for calls and very able to direct his participants to their location. He had endless patience with the group and solved any issues that came his way with great patience and good humor. We so enjoyed his company that we have booked another tour with himas our guide.
Tim and Kay
Galo Real was a gem of a guide. He was very knowledgeable and experienced given this was his own country. He was able to pick out multiple bird songs at a time and quickly spotted where they were. We couldn't have asked for a better guide and frankly don't think there is a better guide. We look forward to future trips with him.
Tim and Kay - On Galo and northern Ecuador
Galo and his driver Nestor were a dream team. They were very experienced and we saw ten times more birds and other wildlife than if we had tried to guide ourselves. We saw over 200 new birds including 49 different hummingbirds. The bird of the trip was the Cock-of-the-Rock (both east and west versions) while the Tayra (east and west versions) and Mountain Tapir showings were amazing. We would highly recommend this trip…and guide team.
Jacob was personable and knowledgeable, and it was obvious he was keeping up with local birding reports to make sure we had the best opportunities to see our target birds. He was also great at making sure everyone saw the birds, pointing out field marks and helping to distinguish between different species (just what you need on a 10 sparrow day!). For those who wanted in- depth information, he was ready, and for those who just wanted to enjoy, he let us experience things at our own level.
Tracy - On Eduardo
The Costa Rica Escape tour was my second trip with Birding Ecotours, after Brazil. It was a great winter break and also a teaser trip to the country, leaving us wanting to see more. Any trip with a Resplendent Quetzal has to be a good one, but the variety of birds we saw at the various stops was amazing. One of the highlight memories for me was when Eduardo and the local guide were off the trail, listening for an owl, and a Great Tinamou walked right up to their feet without them realizing it. As a guide, Eduardo is professional, knowledgeable and personable. I'm already planning my third trip with the company!
Tracy - On Jacob and Maine, USA
Maine is beautiful, whether you’re on the shore or inland, and this tour showed us the best of both. Experiencing the variety of habitats with a knowledgeable guide and great companions was just what we needed after a year of not travelling. Jacob was a great leader for our group, making sure we saw the birds we wanted, but also on the look-out for mammals or letting us slow down to enjoy the wildflowers.
Urban - On Oli
Oli is very knowledgeable and articulate and very good at the thing I value most in a guide: teaching. I don’t want the guide to just point out new birds to me; I want him to tell me how to identify them should I see them again.
Wendy and Karen
Our guide, Dominic Rollinson, was exceptional in every way. Of course, he had an unbelievable knowledge of where and how to find the birds. Additionally, he was a real pleasure to be with. He was happy to answer any question and his knowledge of South Africa really enhanced our experience. The itinerary was thoughtfully planned and we were able to see a huge variety of birds. The accommodations he choose were comfortable and interesting and the food was consistently delicious. We can't say enough good things about Dom and the trip!
Will - On Chris and South Africa
My brother John and I joined Chris on a tour of KwaZulu-Natal. As scientists, we were difficult customers, constantly being distracted by plants and rocks instead of birds. Chris tolerated these diversions with unflappable grace. And when our attentions were finally engaged fully in the bird watching we could not have asked for a better guide who knew the calls, where to look for tricky sightings, and had all the necessary local contacts to help us find the truly strange and wonderful. My favorite example of the strange and wonderful category was the African Broadbill which was displaying, but in the midst of impenetrable vegetation. Despite this, Chris and the guide managed to get us amazing views in the spotting scope. It was my most memorable bird of the trip. He accompanied us just across the border into Swaziland, past guards with guns (because we wanted to say we’d been there), and to a truly dodgy neighborhood in Durban to look at a rock outcrop, and never once complained – at least not out loud. We’ve been on several other international birding trips, and Chris is still our standard of comparison to all our other guides. And he’s still number one. We will be doing a pelagic trip off South Africa in the not too distant future, and will plan it so Chris can lead us there.