10 Reasons To Go On A Bird Watching Holiday

Independent travel can be an exciting way to see the world, but sometimes it’s not practical. Even for the most seasoned adventurer, there are some far-flung places that may be just too challenging.

A great alternative is small group travel. Small group travel bridges the gap between going it alone and taking a package holiday, while remaining as authentic as possible.   

And with many small group travel companies specialising in bird and wildlife watching holidays if you’re looking for your next adventure then it may be just the ticket.          

If you’ve never been on an organised bird watching holiday or tour then here are 10 great reasons to do so. Plus 10 birds from around the world to inspire you!

Stork-Billed Kingfisher
Stork-billed kingfisher - Thailand


Form friendships

Joining a bird watching tour is the perfect way to meet like-minded people. If you’re worried about travelling on your own then joining a group is the ideal alternative and you may meet fellow birders from all over the world who become friends for life.

Collared Aracari
Collared aracari - Costa Rica


Save money

A tour may work out cheaper than organising the holiday yourself, as the tour operator should be able to take advantage of group discounts. Remember though, you are also paying for the convenience of a tour, which could prove invaluable.

King Penguins
King penguins - Falkland Islands


Save time

If you’re visiting a country for the first time, then going on a bird watching tour can be one of the most efficient ways of packing the most into your time away. The tour company will have a planned itinerary and visits to bird parks, nature reserves, and other attractions will all have been pre-booked saving you more time for bird watching.

Lappet-Faced Vulture
Lappet-faced vulture - Kenya


Better budgeting 

A bird watching tour makes budgeting easier. There’s nothing worse than budgeting a set amount for a holiday only to find you run out of money halfway through. With a tour, everything is paid for upfront, so you know that you’ll be able to enjoy everything that’s planned for you to do.

Empress Brilliant
Empress brilliant - Ecuador


Local language

You’ll be led by a local guide which smooths out any language difficulties as he or she will also be able to act as your translator. The guide may also give you a basic lesson on some of the most important phrases you should know to help you converse with the locals and immerse yourself in their culture. 

Bearded Tit
Bearded tit - UK


A custom trip

If you opt for a small group bird watching tour, then the trip can often be customised. Ask your tour operator before you go about the various options and they will usually be more than willing to accommodate your requests. Small group tours tend to be flexible which means you don’t need to join every activity if you fancy a day on your own. 

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate spoonbill - Florida


A custom trip

The tour operator and guide will know the area well and make sure that you see highlights that you may otherwise miss. Your guide will have expert knowledge of local wildlife habitats, which means you may be lucky enough to spot some rare birds.

Red-Winged Parrot
Red-winged parrot - Australia


Fully insured

If you’re booking with a well-known tourist company then the operator will be bonded and fully insured which means if they go bust, you’ll not have to make your own way home. However, do check your travel insurance and the credentials of the tour operator before travelling.

Tibetan Partridge
Tibetan partridge - India


Cared for

Your tour operator will take care of everything, so you won’t need to deal with unscrupulous taxi drivers, corrupt customs officials, or irate hoteliers who refuse to move you from a room with no view to one with a sea view.

Black Woodpecker
Black woodpecker - Romania


Secret places

On a bird watching tour you may get access to locations and venues that you would not be able to if you were travelling solo. Many tour operators have built up good relationships with the locals, and you can take advantage of this, with the opportunity to visit places off the beaten track.

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