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Trip Suggestions: Kind of a long shot (1 Viewer)

Dortmundbirder

Well-known member
I know this opens up to a wide variety of suggestions. But with the far traveled community here iam hoping for the final input for this.

I want to give my dad (65years old) a kind of "thank you" gift. We are often birding together and also have been on a couple of trips together. As my personal situation is cahnging and he has some problems with his knee and foot and of course is not getting younger it might be one of the last "adventurous" trip we might be doing together. And give him the chance to see some "Birds you really want to see in your life".

Lets handle these suggestions as if we wouldnt have any covid-19 at the moment, because we anyway cant foresee the situation when we are going to travel.


Some general points:

We are based in Germany.
Looking for 2-2.5 weeks trip length.
Dates are flexible.
Budget up to ~4k€ per person would be possible. Not set in stone if the possible trip is outstanding :D
Large list and endemics are good but really nice would be as well a good quality of observations


I love to do things independently (it would be a bonus) but i know in a lot of areas guides are needed. Self-Drive + local guides or a tailored tour by a local company would be fine as well if you have good recommendations. I have been driving in Mexico and South Africa and would call myself a rather confident driver (but without 4x4 experience).
We definetly dont want to go with the "big tour operators".

Europe can be excluded as well as North America + Mexico and Costa Rica. In Africa he has been Visiting SA+Namibia, Uganda and Gambia/Senegal

I speak English, Spanish and German.

I know this vague limitation opens up pandoras box but Iam open and grateful for any suggestion, because that is exactly my problem at the moment. The number of potential great trips is still too large to get my head around it to go deeper into planning.

Thank you.
 

Welsh Peregrine

Well-known member
Sabah in Borneo; could be done independently or with a local operator, and unless you must climb Kinabalu for the Friendly Warbler not physically demanding. Otherwise Ghana (good local guiding), Argentina (most southern cone stuff easy enough if you don’t want guiding and are happy to drive VERY large distances) or Australia (need to focus on one or two areas).
 

dwatsonbirder

Well-known member
I'd second Sabah, but you may also consider Uganda (if he is keen to return), Thailand and Sri Lanka, as all are fairly "doable" on public transport, and all offer great birding.
 

Larry Sweetland

Formerly 'Larry Wheatland'
Australia. Pretty much everything will be new and outrageously different, much of it spectacular and easy to find without having to cover tricky terrain if his walking's not up to much.
 

Dortmundbirder

Well-known member
Thank you for the already very good input. Sabah was also very high on my personal thoughts as well as South America, especially birding in the amazon.

Actually he is still not that bad with walking, but trekking in nepal or very steep long climbs are not doable.

Australia and Japan iam not considering that highly at the moment as they are probably easier doable in older age for him.
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
Ecuador is a great SA country for birding (see the Ecuador section). Most of the country is easy enough to self drive but if you want to do something special arrange for going to one of the Amazon locations where you have to be picked up in a canoe and brought out to a lodge (you may not need a car for that period if you can find another way to get to the pickup place). Similarly for Peru (disclaimer: I have not visited Peru) but possibly with higher cost for visiting the Amazon area (My impression from BF threads).

Galapagos is worth a visit but low number of birds and can probably be pushed further into the future. If you want to see it all, then a special tour is probably needed or a long time to arrange local transport.

Finally, Panama is one of my favorites; last time I did the one week at Canopy Camp for Darien specialties, everything else have been self drive with local guide sporadically intermixed.

Niels
 

lgonz1008

Well-known member
United States
Depending on what you consider "Birds you really want to see in your life", I'll give this list of options, hopefully others will agree with me or give alternatives, I'll only give 5 big targets per region but there's plenty more to see including mammals in some locations:
  • Guatemala (200-250 species, Horned Guan, Resplendent Quetzal, Pink-headed Warbler, Ocellated Turkey, Orange-breasted Falcon)
  • Ecuador [Choco, Andes and Amazonian Foothills] (450-500 species, Giant Antpitta, Andean Condor, 'San Isidro' Owl, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Oilbird)
  • Colombia [Western and Central Andes] (450~ species, Multicolor Tanager, Yellow-eared Parrot, Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, Buffy Helmetcrest, Red-bellied Grackle)
  • Australia [Queensland] (250-300 species [200+ of which are endemics], Southern Cassowary, Magpie Goose, Victoria's Riflebird, Albert's Lyrebird, Regent Bowerbird)
  • India [Northern area] (250-300 species, Ibisbill, Great Hornbill, Koklass Pheasant, Sarus Crane, Nepal Cupwing)
  • Malaysia [Mainland, Sabah state is good too but others already recommended that site] (200-250 species, Malaysian Rail-Babbler, Malayan Banded-Pitta, Malayan & Mountain Peacock-Pheasant, Blue Nuthatch)
 

DMW

Well-known member
The problem with these requests is that you will end up with a long list of everybody's personal favourite birding destinations, and it probably won't help you narrow things down very much!

Surely your best bet is to ask your father what are his "must-see" birds, or what places he would really like to visit? Does he enjoy two solid weeks of rainforest birding, or does he prefer more open habitats? Also, timing is a factor - if you can only go at certain times of the year, it might take some destinations off the list.

Having said all that, I think the Indian sub-continent is hard to beat. There are some great 2-3 week itineraries possible in India or Nepal, but with your budget I would seriously consider Bhutan.
 

Welsh Peregrine

Well-known member
If the Amazon is high on the list, then Peru - I got 630 species in 4 weeks, and would recommend my guide, Silverio. Needs a bit of thought, eg Sandpiper-Plover was exhausting high altitude walking, but fine as long as you kept it slow and steady. Long-whiskered Owlet and Pale-billed Antpitta fantastic birds, but both requiring significant slogs (antpitta to get to the bird, owlet to return to the lodge!) Other sites however are easy, and Inca Tern, Hoatzin, Sunbittern, Sungrebe, Giant Otter and Junin Grebe are magical.
 

ratt

Well-known member
Around this time of year and after, Desert national park, India and into Gujarat. Virtually all can be done without a guide. Rent a little motorcycle or jeep for very good/fair prices. No one would be disappointed with a birding trip, or cultural one, with your allotted time, or longer. I and many others will vouch for this. Very easy on the body also.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
I know this opens up to a wide variety of suggestions. But with the far traveled community here iam hoping for the final input for this.

I want to give my dad (65years old) a kind of "thank you" gift. We are often birding together and also have been on a couple of trips together. As my personal situation is cahnging and he has some problems with his knee and foot and of course is not getting younger it might be one of the last "adventurous" trip we might be doing together. And give him the chance to see some "Birds you really want to see in your life".

Lets handle these suggestions as if we wouldnt have any covid-19 at the moment, because we anyway cant foresee the situation when we are going to travel.


Some general points:

We are based in Germany.
Looking for 2-2.5 weeks trip length.
Dates are flexible.
Budget up to ~4k€ per person would be possible. Not set in stone if the possible trip is outstanding :D
Large list and endemics are good but really nice would be as well a good quality of observations


I love to do things independently (it would be a bonus) but i know in a lot of areas guides are needed. Self-Drive + local guides or a tailored tour by a local company would be fine as well if you have good recommendations. I have been driving in Mexico and South Africa and would call myself a rather confident driver (but without 4x4 experience).
We definetly dont want to go with the "big tour operators".

Europe can be excluded as well as North America + Mexico and Costa Rica. In Africa he has been Visiting SA+Namibia, Uganda and Gambia/Senegal

I speak English, Spanish and German.

I know this vague limitation opens up pandoras box but Iam open and grateful for any suggestion, because that is exactly my problem at the moment. The number of potential great trips is still too large to get my head around it to go deeper into planning.

Thank you.
I would avoid Australia at the moment just because they seem to have the strictest covid lockdown protocols, and the situation with that virus is fluid enough that I wouldn't risk it.

The Brazilian Atlantic forests might be an option. Places like Regua have some pretty decent package deals.
 

DMW

Well-known member
Around this time of year and after, Desert national park, India and into Gujarat. Virtually all can be done without a guide. Rent a little motorcycle or jeep for very good/fair prices. No one would be disappointed with a birding trip, or cultural one, with your allotted time, or longer. I and many others will vouch for this. Very easy on the body also.
I agree, for all round ease of birding, variety of habitats, birds and mammals I think it's hard to beat NW India. DNP, Kutch, Corbett and the Nainital area would make the basis of a fantastic 2.5 week trip.
 

AveryBartels

Well-known member
I may be biased, having spent so much time there, but Colombia has it all. A wealth of habitats, lots of endemics, plenty of local operators and local guides to choose from and it is drivable with a healthy does of self confidence. Another plus is that the Amazon is a good deal cheaper than in Ecuador or Peru. Puerto Inirida in particular is SUPERB and has most of the northwestern White Sands forest specialties (Pompadour Cotinga, White-naped Seedeater, Bronzy Jacamar) and localized species like Orinoco Softtail and Yapacana Antbird.

If your father likes open habitats birding the Guajira desert in the north and/or Llanos (plains) of the northern part of the eastern lowlands is exceptional and again, won't break the bank.

Otherwise, as in Ecuador/Peru there is brilliant Andean and humid lowland birding. The Santa Marta massif with it's ~20 endemics, and i could go on and on.

If you do consider Colombia I would be happy to help out, I know most (at least by reputation, some personally) of the local guides/tour operators and could put you in touch and give you info on any areas you are interested in.
 

Dortmundbirder

Well-known member
Thank you for the addtional info.

I sorted out a Shortlist right now of 7 Destinations. Which I then will discuss directly with him to see where he wants to go also looking a little bit into logistics.

I might come back to your kind offer with the colombia intel Avery.
 

seedyrom

Well-known member
We went to Columbia in October. we used Multicoloured Birding. PM me if you want further info. Similarly with Ecuador. I know a good guide in Sabah too.
 

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