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Birding in Venezuela with Caiman tours (1 Viewer)

digiscope09

Well-known member
Booked a birding trip with Caiman tours via Birding Pals website where it advertises through it principal Joe Klaiber a native German who uses his interests/experience to portray the professionalism of his company but who spends most of his time living/working in Germany.

Nothing but bad news about this company. Exorbitant prices for services/accommodation, meals provided, incompetent guides, misleading information provided about tour etc. Almost all accommodation is in towns away from bird watching areas, vegetation etc and birding is difficult as the number of places that you can get away/off the road to safely watch birds is limited.

Unless you absolutely must see the endemics, my advice is to go to Ecuador, Peru or Columbia for a more enjoyable and satisfying bird watching experience. If you must go, research your guiding company wisely.
 

temmie

Well-known member
... or go independently based on some excellent reports + info you can get on this forum.
Venezuela is definitely a top birding destination so its a shame you had a bad experience with whatever tour company...
 

digiscope09

Well-known member
I would not recommend independent travel. Much too hard to get around and some of the key spots would be almost impossible to get too.
 

jurek

Well-known member
Few years ago we did successful and relatively problem-free self-organized trip to the eastern part of the country. We took a car to Paria peninsula, Cerro Humo, delta Amaruco (sp?), Oilbird cave, Harpy Eagles, La Escalera (tepuis) and Hato Pinero, with pre-booking only the delta and the Hato. Lots of birding highlights, although tracking (esp. getting visual obs) of all endemics proved impossible. Cannot comment on the Andes, though.
 

digiscope09

Well-known member
birding in venezuela with Caiman tours

I would not recommend independent travel. Much too hard to get around and some of the key spots would be almost impossible to get too.

Situation has changed somewhat. Depends on how many/what birds you want to/need to get. Some areas/special birds are pretty much impossible to get without a guide.

People are queueing for basic food supplies (and petrol) in some areas and police/army road control points are prevalent. Would still stick with a guide with their own transport.
 

temmie

Well-known member
Out of curiosity: can you name some of those places that are pretty much impossible now? Have you been there lately and how did it look like? I heard Venezuela is getting harder to go to, but there seems to be less and less up-to-date info...
 

cassowary

Well-known member
I have recently been in touch with Norbert Flauger
http://www.bugparadise.com/menus/menu_en.html and he is still operating
I wouldn't go independently now (imagine if you had to change a flat in a 'bad' area) - I went a few years back when it was far from safe; since then it has apparently deteriorated; but I might consider doing a tour with him or with Ascanio. http://www.abtbirds.com/. to the obvious places in western Venezuela but not the eastern areas. BTW my favorite places were Hato Pinero, Hato Cedral, the Azulita road near Merida, the Andean Cock of the Rock Lek area and 'around' Norbert's House in the Northern Cordilleras.
 
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Beto_Matheus

New member
Hello all,
I'm actually from Venezuela where I began birding. I now live in the USA but keep in touch with the Venezuelan birding community (regional reviewer for eBird Venezuela, member of the Rare Birds committee, etc.)
I too would advise against solo travel to Venezuela nowadays. Fortunately, there are several knowledgeable guides that can take you around to the good birding spots and avoid the harshness that are more of a norm than an exception these days.
As said before, David Ascanio runs regular, full service tours around the country. An alternative is to hire local guides at each of the locations, for which I can suggest several depending on the target area. If you need more information, you can reach me at lamatheus at gmail dot com.
As a disclosure, I have no affiliation nor gain anything by promoting any of the services. My only intention is to make sure you enjoy birding in Venezuela.
Safe travels and happy birding!
Luis "Beto" Matheus
Delray Beach, FL
 

cassowary

Well-known member
Beto welcome to bird forum.
Venezuela as you can probably tell unfortunately gets very little attention on this forum due to very high crime rate. Very few foreign birders currently go there. I don't quite understand how Venezuela got so socially and financially screwed up, especially with so much oil revenue. Anyway hopefully one day it will get sorted out.
 

Bananafishbones

Incoherently Rambling .....
go to Venezuela its brilliant.....

I spent 3 weeks based at Casa Maria with Norbert & Gabby Flauger in 2012 (see Cassowary post #7 for the link to Bugs Paradise). We spent time at Hato Pinero, Yacumbu park as well as various sites such as Morrocoy, Palmichal cloud forest. Wonderful hosts, knowledgeable and perfect travel organisers for all your trips.

for more info visit my blog http://bfbsoutdoorramblings.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/venezuela-part-1-casa-maria-and.html and search in the archives section on the right hand side for March, April, May 2012.

It would be a shame to dismiss this country when people at Casa Maria can organise a wonderful birding trip.

Dave
 

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