Costa Rica is one of the premier birding destinations in the world with a massive variety of species (887 recorded to date) inhabiting the coastal, mountain and forest regions. On this itinerary, you will stay in good quality eco lodges offering a range of activities as well as access to wildlife, other than birds – mammals, such as sloths and monkeys, reptiles – iguanas, snakes and colour...
An accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country.
In 1981 Toni moved to Namibia with her family and from then on her love of the outdoors and all things nature grew and grew. Her father was an exploration geologist who travelled extensively around Southern Africa, living in small mining towns and managing bush camps where Toni would spend her school holidays camping in the bush, or visiting private farms and reserves. Toni’s father passed on to her his unparalleled knowledge of all things Namibia, and she carried this with her as she became a manager and guide at some of the most remote lodges in the extreme North West of Namibia. Toni has travelled expansively across Namibia and its neighbouring countries, making regular visits to all of the National Game Reserves and developing her photographic skills which she takes great pleasure in passing on to visitors to the region.
Her deep love and knowledge of the Namibia, coupled with her infectious passion and enthusiasm to want to share it, make her one of the country’s top guides and ambassadors for this beautiful country. More than just a guide who simply points from a vehicle, Toni becomes fully involved in the experiences of her fellow travellers and places a great emphasis on finding the best adventures, wildlife encounters and photo opportunities for her tour groups. As a Managing Tour Consultant she plans safaris for a wide range of interest groups but her main focus is on birding and photographic small group tours, where she delights in each visitor gaining an up-close and personal experience of all that the country she loves and knows so well has to offer.
Born in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. She spent 11 years on Sea Lion Island as Manager of the Lodge, Warden of the Nature Reserve and as the principal tour provider, meaning her knowledge of Sea Lion Island in particular is second to none. Having spent so much time here, as expected her wildlife speciality is Elephant Seals, but she is also well versed in the ways of the seabirds, penguins, whales, dolphins and sea lions that call the Falklands their home.
After her time on Sea Lion Island Jenny moved to Stanley to work for the Falkland Islands Government and became manager of a local travel firm assisting with travel arrangements for incoming visitors, before taking semi-retirement to spend more time with her family and enjoy more time further exploring the lands she knows so well. Jenny is extremely passionate about sharing the hidden nature secrets of the Falklands with those who come to visit her homeland and will be looking forward to accompanying you and passing on her unsurpassed knowledge of the areas you will be visiting.
Transfer from airport to Hotel Bougainvillea set in tropical gardens in Heredia. Spot your first birds, such as hummingbirds, tanagers, kingbirds and flycatchers in the grounds and walk amongst the lush tropical vegetation or just relax and enjoy the hotel’s varied facilities.
Drive south-west to San Gerardo de Dota, an area of cloud forest, 2200 metres above sea level and the primary habitat of the country’s most famous bird, the quetzal. Two nights’ stay in the Savegre Lodge on full board basis.
Watch hummingbirds over an early breakfast and then take to the trail to look for over 170 species known in the area, including tanagers, woodpeckers and the quetzal.
Drive to the Rancho Naturalista in the beautiful Turrialba Valley, high on the Caribbean slopes of the Talamanca Mountains. Stunning views of volcanoes and a dedicated birding balcony from which over 250 species have been observed. Two nights on full board basis.
Full day birdwatching. Spot grey-headed chachalaca, white-crowned parrot, blue-crowned motmot, collared aracari, keel-billed toucan, Montezuma oropendola, various tanagers, white-collared manakin amongst over 400 species.
Drive to Salon Delia and transfer to Selva Bananito Eco Lodge for two nights on full board basis. The lodge does not have electricity (although batteries can be charged at the farm), but there are solar-powered lights and water heating. Spectacular views and comfortable hammocks.
Early breakfast, followed by guided bird-watching tour and natural history walk through the woodland. Optional tree climbing or horse riding.
After breakfast, drive on to another famous birding region at Sarapiqui, located in the lowlands of the north-east. Accommodation at the Selva Verde Eco Lodge for two nights’ full board. Massive variety of birds to be seen in both around the lodge and in the reserve.
Another recommended birding spot is the Nature Pavilion Nature Park, which has a spacious open-air covered pavilion, ideal for watching and photography. The area has one of the highest diversities of species in Costa Rica and is home to over 250 species.
Drive to Boca Tapada in the northern plains next to the San Carlos River for two nights at Maquenque Lodge on full board basis. This is one of the best areas for viewing the endangered great green macaw. Kayaking and horse riding are other options at the lodge.
05.30 start for guided birding tour, searching for green and scarlet macaws, toucans, oropendolas, honeycreepers, tanagers, euphonias, jacamars and many more. More birding in the afternoon or a raft ride on the San Carlos River.
Drive back to the Central Valley for another night at the delightful Bougainvillea Hotel and another opportunity to enjoy the birds and flora.
Transfer to airport for onward or return flights.