Tropical Birding Tours
Tropical Birding is an international tour operator specializing in birding, nature, and nature photography tours. We’ve been in business for over seventeen years, and now run over 100 tours per year; our list of destinations is over 70 countries and growing. Why come with us? Keep reading to find out why.
Fun and knowledgeable guides who love what they do
Let’s face it, you can’t have a great trip without a great guide. Our guides are full-time professional tour leaders; they are passionate about their work and take great pleasure in not only sharing their knowledge, but also making sure you get as much joy out of the tour as possible. They all understand that the trip is about seeing wildlife and having a great time, not to prove how great they are to others. The egos are left elsewhere but the varied personalities and backgrounds combine to form a guiding culture that is as at home virtually anywhere. Our guides can all work in a variety of countries and most are able to lead on two, three, or even more continents.
Even when not guiding, they are often in the field, chasing down birds and other animals they want to see, taking photos, writing field guides, searching out new locations we can run trips to, or just enjoying nature. They live all over the world; we have guides based not just in North America, but also the UK, Ecuador, Taiwan, South Africa, Madagascar, and Australia.
Small and diverse tour groups
Our group sizes average smaller than those of most of our competitors, often limited to eight or fewer participants. This makes a big difference, especially in forest-based tours where the birds and other animals are often very shy. Our photography tours have even smaller groups, usually limited to a maximum of six participants. While most of our clients hail from North America, we frequently have an interesting mix of nationalities in our tour groups, including Aussies, South Africans, New Zealanders, Brits, Europeans, and others.
Our itineraries visit not just the classic ecotourism hotspots, but also a great variety of other destinations you may not have considered before. Check out the various pages on our website, and if you need more information about any location, just email or call us, and we’d be happy to talk to you about them. Itineraries are well-researched and kept up-to-date – we often change them based on feedback from both our guides as well as tour participants. And we are always quick to modify if a great new locality or wildlife attraction becomes available.
We aim to strike a balance between high quality services and competitive price. We don’t cut corners if it means missing wildlife, but we also feel it is not necessary to have a 5-star luxury hotel when something elegant and clean, but less costly, will do just fine. We like to maximize our time in the outdoors, and would rather not to spend long hours languishing in restaurants in the middle of the day, preferring to have field lunches when they are called for to make the most of our time in the field. The majority of our tours include items like internal flights, tips to local drivers and guides, and airport transfers. When comparing prices, check to see what our competitors include. While we may not be the cheapest, if you take into account the itinerary, superb guide, group size, and what’s included, we offer excellent value.
Customized, private tours are big part of our business. We run dozens each year for bird clubs, conservation societies, families, groups of friends, world listers chasing down a last few targets, and even for other tour companies. For larger groups, a custom tour can even end up costing less per person than a scheduled tour, and you get to pick the dates and tweak the itinerary. We provide personalized service when you put together a custom tour, and our expert guides will help you design the perfect trip.
Birding with a Camera® (BwC) tours
Some tours are branded as “Birding with a Camera®” (BwC). Many birders that love photography want to be on a trip where they get to see lots of birds, and take loads of photos. They want a guide who is top-notch, who knows the vocalizations, taxonomy and identifying features. But they also want a guide who knows how to photograph birds, understands lighting, camera gear and can teach basic photo processing. If you have found yourself at the back of the line in a birding group, feeling guilty about trying to get that shot or not wanting to hold the group up, then you may want to consider one of our BwC tours. Click here to see a comparison between Birding Tours, Birding with a Camera® Tours, and Photo Tours. “Birding with a Camera” is a registered trademark.
Enigmatic Wildlife Tours (EWT)
We’re happy to announce a series of tours that we call Enigmatic Wildlife Tours. Birders and wildlife-watchers are increasingly fascinated by the rarest and least frequently seen wildlife on the planet, like Aardvark, remote and localized birds-of-paradise, Pallas’s Cat, Emperor Penguin, and Sunda Clouded Leopard – creatures so enigmatic that seeing one or of them could be the main focus of the trip. To cater for this “new breed”, we are introducing a series of trips that are designed to maximize our chances of seeing these enigmas. Of course, we will still look at the other birds and animals that are around us, but our main goal on these Enigmatic Wildlife Tours will be to find very specific targets, rather than racking up a huge list. They are a type of tour different from our Birding, Birding with a Camera®, and Photo Tours.
Many of our clients come back with us again and again. We appreciate repeat business, and after you have done four set-departure tours, we offer a 10% discount on your next set-departure tour (i.e. the 5th set departure tour), up to a maximum of $500. The 10% discount is based on the double-room price (i.e. there is no discount to a single supplement), and please also note that this offer does not apply to custom tours, due to their special pricing.
Why are we called “Tropical Birding”?
Tropical Birding was formed in 2001 by several guides who were then living in South America and Africa. In the early years, nearly all of our tours were to tropical areas of those two continents. Since then, we have rapidly expanded, and began great tours to locations far from the tropics, and even to far-flung, icy locations such as Alaska, South Georgia, and Svalbard. Regardless, the name has stuck!