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Venezuela in April (1 Viewer)

JanArras

Well-known member
Hi,
I'm new to this forum. We'er planning a trip to Venezuela next year in late March / early April.We plan to visit Henri Pittier, Merida and the Llanos.
We plan to hire a car with driver. For the llanos we were told that Hato Cedral is THE place to be.
We are looking for information from people who have done this trip before. Is what we planned possible in 14 days ? Any advise on travel companies (for the driver)? Local birders who can help ? What area is a must ? Cheap accomodation close to good birding sites ?
This will be our first trip to South America, so any info is welcome.
Thanks, Jan
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Rasmus Boegh

BF member
Yes, Hato Cedral is one of the top two places in the Llanos. There are a small number of specialities that are easier there than just about anywhere else in the world. However, we are talking a few species and most Llanos inhabitants are just as easy to see at one of the cheaper lodges. In my opinion the best argument for Hato Cedral probably is a fairly good chance for seeing the beautiful Agami Heron. The (probably) endemic White-bearded Flycatcher is fairly common throughout most of the Llanos and is generally rather easy as long as you know the voice. If you do "hardcore birding" you can get a reasonable coverage of Henri Pittier, Merida and the Llanos in two weeks. Still, it would be a hard program and I perhaps would recommend a bit more time... we are talking South America... the continent where delays happen more often than not! On a "normal" birding trip I would say that 3 weeks would be optimal for the region you plan on doing, while a fourth week would give a possibility to include the Escalera and all its Tepui endemics + more Amazonian species. Still, two weeks certainly is fine, especially if you have done your preparations. You mention that this is your first trip to South America; in a case you don't already know this, much birding in South America is done by ear. Do yourself a favour and start practicing bird-voices as soon as possible. Also realize that a small player (minidisc/MP3 or similar) with pre-recorded voices is very useful for luring out species that are virtually impossible to see otherwise. For recordings I can recommend the CD-ROM "Birds of Venezuela" by Peter Boesman. Furthermore, the new edition (2003) of "Birding in Venezuela" by Mary Lou Goodwin is highly recommendable. Otherwise, good luck, Venezuela is an beautiful country with some amazing birds...
 
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