Bird watching guide

Bird watching vacations travel guide

2 minute summary

Meet a good birding guide and you realise that the image of birders as people who are only driven by one thing in life, to sight a certain species, is unfounded. By going on a bird watching vacation, you are merely opting for an intensive wildlife experience that stretches you beyond the likes of a mainstream safari. There is something magical about adjusting your ears and eyes to birdlife on vacation. It gives you a completely new perspective. In Trinidad and Tobago, for example, you can bliss out on the beach all day. But with a birding expert, you will also watch the skies fill with scarlet ibis at dusk. You can hike Ethiopia’s magnificent Bale Mountains but, do so with a birding expert, and the skies become a whole new landscape in their own right. A sort of avian arcadia. And there are many to be found. You just need to keep looking up.
Bird watching vacations are...

the best way to find the secret, most tranquil spots of any country.
Expert guides have the eagle eye and are
as wise as owls.
Bird watching vacations aren't...

just about birds.
You also have tigers in India, leopards in
Sri Lanka, turtles in Tobago and
wolves in Ethiopia.

Best time to go on a
bird watching vacation

Feather weather

Vivianne McGrath, founder of our leading bird watching vacations supplier, MotMot:
"At dusk, the whole sky at Caroni Swamp in Trinidad turns red with hundreds of scarlet ibis. It is almost like a ballet, coming in from different directions, then swirling around, and roosting on trees – it just takes your breath away."
Trinidad and Tobago: Birds are abundant and colourful year round but, for specific species such as South American migrants, May to September is best. North American species head here October to March. For the highest numbers of scarlet ibis, January, February and March are best.

The best time for birding in Sri Lanka is September to April, when the migratory season kicks in.

Gambia’s birds are particularly gorgeous October to May.

For northern India, October to May is a good time for resident and migratory species, post and pre monsoons. In Kerala, March to May is blazing hot.

St Lucia is a-twitter all year round, but particularly January to April, the main breeding season.

The highlight of the birding season in Hungary is in the autumn, when thousands of cranes swoop in, creating stunning images against the early sunset skies.

For Ethiopian exquisite endemics, beginning of September until February are best, with migrants joining the party from November.
Photo credits: [Birds at the beach: Petra Bensted] [Scarlet ibis - trinidad: amanderson2]
Written by Catherine Mack
Gambia bird watching tours

Gambia bird watching tours

The world's best bird watching is in Gambia

From £355 7 Days ex flights
Ethiopia birdwatching holiday in Bale Mountains

Ethiopia birdwatching vacation in Bale Mountains

Discover Ethiopia's vast array of unusual birds

From £1083 10 Days ex flights
Birdwatching vacation in France

Birdwatching vacation in France

Great Bird Watching, Food, Wine and Bonhomie

From 879 6 Days ex flights
Kerala birdwatching vacations, Western Ghats

Kerala birdwatching vacations, Western Ghats

An endemic birding tour through the Western Ghats of India

From US $1360 8 Days ex flights
Kuril Islands cruises, bird watching cruise, Russia

Kuril Islands cruises, bird watching cruise, Russia

Explore wildlife-rich Kamchatka, Commander & Kuril Islands

From US $7300 13 Days ex flights
Sri Lanka birding & cultural tour

Sri Lanka birding & cultural tour

Top tour of birding, wildlife and culture of Sri Lanka.

From £1400 14 Days ex flights
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