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THE TRAVELLING

NATURALIST TRAVEL

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EXPERIENCE

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CONSERVE

BIRDWATCHING & WILDLIFE HOLIDAYS WORLDWIDE

2017/18


THE TRAVELLING

NATURALIST

Contents Tour calendar General information Naturalist tour leaders EUROPE Austria Belarus Corsica Crete Cyprus England Estonia Finland France Germany Hungary Iceland Ireland Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Sardinia Scotland

4-5 6-7 8 9-36 10 11 11 12 12 13 14 15, 24 11, 15-19 20 20-21, 32 21-22 23 23 24 24 25-26 27 27-28 28 29-31

Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden

32 32 33-35 35-36

Costa Rica Falkland Islands Guatemala Guyana Mexico Trinidad & Tobago

55 55-56 56 57 57-58 58

AFRICA Botswana Ethiopia Gambia Ghana Madagascar Morocco Namibia South Africa Tanzania Uganda Zambia

37-47 38 38 39 40 40-41 41 38, 42 42-45 46 46 38, 47

ASIA Armenia Borneo India Japan Malaysia Maldives Mongolia Sri Lanka Taiwan

59-65 60 60 61-62 62 63 63 64 64-65 65

NORTH AMERICA Alaska Canada USA

48-51 49 49 50-51

AUSTRALASIA Australia New Zealand Papua New Guinea

66-69 67-68 68 69

LATIN AMERICA Argentina Bolivia Brazil

52-58 53 54 54

Wildlife Worldwide Wildlife cruising

70 71

The following symbols identify the primary focus of each small group tour and help you find your ideal wildlife holiday. Birdwatching Flora Whale & dolphin watching Mammals Dragonfly watching Photography Butterflies & moths

2


WELCOME A warm welcome to our new brochure! For more than 30 years The Travelling Naturalist has been taking small groups around the world in search of wildlife. Over the last year we have continued to work closely with our naturalist leaders to create even more exciting itineraries to new destinations. Our brochure continues to grow and there are now more than 100 tours from which to choose. This year we have introduced an unprecedented number of new trips in such diverse locations as Argentina, Australia, Austria, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Japan, the Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Taiwan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States – which gives us a truly global presence. Some of these tours were released earlier in the year as part of our policy to innovate by introducing two new trips each month on the Travelling Naturalist website – which continues to make huge advances – while others make their appearance for the very first time. And although most focus on birdlife, in others mammals, botany or wildlife photography form the major component, while the 2017 Festival of Wildlife in Borneo is a celebration of all aspects of that extraordinary island’s rainforest. As usual you can meet us in person as we tour the UK with our Discover Wildlife evenings between September and March. Featuring presentations by our own experts, together with speakers from around the world, these will appeal to all lovers of travel and nature. To check your nearest venue and book a place, see our website. You can also find us – along with the Wildlife Worldwide team – at Birdfair in Rutland, the Luxury Travel Fair in Olympia, and Destinations in both Manchester and London. So that you can stay up-to-date with all the above, plus events and special offers, make sure you visit our website and sign up to receive our regular e-newsletter. Whatever your interest, you are guaranteed to find something to inspire you, and we look forward to welcoming you on your next Travelling Naturalist holiday.

Chris Breen Managing Director

Visit Us The Travelling Naturalist office is located in the charming and historic city of Winchester, and you are more than welcome to visit the team there. We are open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday throughout the year, and between January and March we also open on Saturday mornings from 9am to 1pm.

www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 3


Your Tour Calendar

Destination and dates are colour coded by region and page numbers are specified for ease of reference.

October 2016 South Africa Brazil Hungary Scotland Germany England Scotland Spain South Africa Namibia

Flowers & Wildlife of the Cape & Garden Route Jaguars & Raptors of the Pantanal Steppe & Forests in Spring & Autumn Outer Hebrides in Summer & Autumn Brandenburg Crane & Goose Concerto Dorset’s Coasts & Heathlands Autumn in the Scottish Highlands Iberian Lynx Quest Wildlife of Kruger & KwaZulu-Natal Skeleton Coast & Etosha

Sun 2 p.43 p.54 p.20 p.30 p.20 p.13 p.30 p.34 p.44 p.42

Thu 6 Sat 8 Mon 10 Thu 13 Mon 17 Sat 22 Sat 22 Sun 23 Sun 23

November 2016 Iceland Gambia Zambia India Taiwan Guyana Argentina Falkland Islands India Japan Sri Lanka

Harlequins & Northern Lights in Winter West African Birdwatch Birding in South Luangwa Birds & Big Cats Endemics & Winter Migrants Rainforests, Savannahs & Wetlands Wildlife & Glaciers of Patagonia Falklands Wildlife Photography Birding in Central India Japan’s Spectacular Winter Wildlife Blue Whales & Dolphins

Thu 3 Fri 4 Sat 5 Sat 12 Sat 12 Sat 12 Mon 14 Thu 24 Fri 25 Sat 26 Sat 26

p.22 p.39 p.47 p.61 p.65 p.57 p.53 p.55 p.62 p.62 p.64

December 2016 Sri Lanka Spain Gambia

Birds & Whales of Sri Lanka Wallcreepers & Cranes in Aragón Bird Photography Safari

Sat 3 p.65 Sun 4 p.33 Tue 13 p.39

The Cape & Karoo New Zealand’s Natural History Quetzal Quest in the Land of the Maya Birding the Rio Grande Valley Iberian Lynx Quest

Sat 7 Sat 7 Sat 21 Sun 22 Sat 28

p.43 p.68 p.56 p.50 p.34

Thu 2 Mon 6 Thu 9 Thu 16 Sat 18 Tue 21 Tue 21 Wed 22 Sat 25 Sat 25

p.26 p.26 p.58 p.38 p.61 p.40 p.16 p.58 p.38 p.55

January 2017 South Africa New Zealand Guatemala USA Spain

February 2017 Poland Poland Trinidad & Tobago Ethiopia India Ghana France Mexico Botswana Costa Rica

Bison, Elk & Wolves in Winter Bison, Elk & Wolves in Winter The Asa Wright Experience Ethiopian Endemics in Winter Quest for the Snow Leopard Quest for the Picathartes Camargue in Winter - Wallcreepers & Wetlands Butterfly, Whale & Bird Migration Endemics & Migrants in Kalahari Waterways Cloud Forests, Jungles & Volcanoes

March 2017 Iceland Malaysia Sri Lanka France Morocco South Africa Germany

Winter Orcas & Auroras Peninsular Birding Blue Whales & Dolphins Wallcreepers, Woodpeckers & Kites of the Dordogne High Atlas, Sahara & Atlantic Flora & Fauna of Zululand & the Drakensberg Brandenburg Crane & Goose Concerto

Thu 2 p.21 Fri 3 p.63 Sat 4 p.64 Tue 6 p.17 Fri 10 p.41 Tue 14 p.44 Thu 16 p.20

Iceland Sri Lanka Cyprus Portugal Norway & Finland

Harlequins & Northern Lights in Winter Birds & Whales of Sri Lanka Birds & Flowers on Aphrodite’s Isle Alentejo & Algarve in Spring & Autumn Northern Lights, Astronomy & Wildlife

Thu 16 p.22 Fri 17 p.65 Thu 23 p.12 Sun 26 p.24

Secret Wilderness of Extremadura Highland Wildlife Break Ocean Giants of Baja California Spring Birding in Slovakia Spectacular Flowers & Wildlife Scandinavian Spring The Unknown Adriatic Lewis & Harris - Seabirds & Standing Stones Forest Birds of Deepest Belarus Mountains in the Med

Sat 1 Mon 3 Fri 7 Wed 12 Tue 18 Thu 20 Sat 22 Sat 22 Sun 30 Sun 30

p.33 p.31 p.57 p.32 p.12 p.35 p.23 p.29 p.11 p.11

Orkney’s Wildlife & Prehistory Pyrenees & Plains Birding the Serengeti & Beyond Primeval Forests & Marshes Dorset’s Coasts & Heathlands The Baltic in Springtime Steppe & Forests in Spring & Autumn Wildlife of the Dordogne in Spring Lake Neusiedl in Spring & Autumn Isles of Scilly in Spring & Autumn Birding in Livingstone’s Footsteps Spring Photography of the Steppe & Forests Brown Bear Explorer

Wed 3 Sat 6 Sun 7 Mon 8 Mon 8 Fri 12 Sat 13 Mon 15 Sat 20 Sat 20 Sun 21 Sun 21 Sun 28

p.29 p.35 p.46 p.25 p.13 p.14 p.20 p.17 p.10 p.13 p.47 p.21 p.15

Festival of Wildlife Flower Photography of the Vercors The High Aragón The Burren & Aran Islands Vercors in Spring Birds of Paradise Birds & Bears in Transylvania Alaskan Wilderness in Summer Close-up on Alpine Nature Shetland Wildlife Birding the Land of Genghis Khan Brown Bear Explorer Wildlife of Dordogne in Spring Butterflies & Dragonflies in Summer

Sat 3 Wed 7 Sat 10 Sun 11 Mon 12 Mon 12 Fri 16 Sat 17 Sat 17 Sun 18 Sun 18 Mon 19 Sat 24

Dragonflies in Deepest Dordogne Brown Bear Explorer Principally Puffins Flower Photography in the Pyrenees Butterflies of the Alps, Grasslands & Coast Outer Hebrides in Summer & Autumn Brown Bear Explorer

Mon 3 p.16 Sun 9 p.15 Fri 14 p.22 Sat 15 p.18 Sat 15 p.32 Sat 22 p.30 Sun 23 p.15

Sat 25 p.27

April 2017 Spain Scotland Mexico Slovakia Crete Sweden Montenegro Scotland Belarus Corsica

May 2017 Scotland Spain Tanzania Poland England Estonia Hungary France Austria England Zambia Hungary Finland

June 2017 Borneo France Spain Ireland France Papua New Guinea Romania USA Austria Scotland Mongolia Finland France Sweden

Fri 2 p.60 p.19 p.34 p.23 p.19 p.69 p.28 p.49 p.10 p.31 p.64 p.15 p.17 p.36

July 2017 France Finland Iceland France Slovenia & Hungary Scotland Finland

4 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


August 2017 Netherlands South Africa Canada USA South Africa Austria France South Africa Armenia Australia

January 2018 Waders in Friesland Spring Flowers from Kalahari to The Cape Grand Manan’s Birds & Whales Grand Teton & Yellowstone Solar Eclipse Flower Photography in Namaqualand Lake Neusiedl in Spring & Autumn Camargue & Pyrenees in Autumn Birds & Big Cats of Kruger Demoiselle Cranes in Autumn Top End Birding

Thu 10 Sat 12 Thu 17 Fri 18 Sun 20 Sat 26 Sat 26 Mon 28 Tue 29 Tue 29

p.24 p.42 p.49 p.51 p.45 p.10 p.15 p.45 p.60 p.67

September 2017 Sweden England Spain Sardinia France Australia Madagascar Poland Spain USA Uganda Estonia Australia Spain Portugal

Scandinavian Autumn Isles of Scilly in Spring & Autumn Pyrenees & Plains Mediterranean Wildlife Dordogne’s Moths & More Jewels of the Kimberley Land of the Lemur Birding in Krakow & the Carpathians Pyrenees & Plains Land of the Navajo Uganda’s Great Apes Autumn Migration in the Baltic Islands, Rivers & Ranges Secret Wilderness of Extremadura Alentejo & Algarve in Spring & Autumn

Fri 1 p.36 Fri 1 p.13 Sat 2 p.35 Sat 2 p.28 Mon 4 p.18 Wed 6 p.67 Thu 7 p.40 Fri 8 p.25 Sat 9 p.35 Mon 11 p.50 Thu 21 p.46 Fri 22 p.14 Sat 23 p.68 Sat 23 p.33 Sun 24 p.27

October 2017 South Africa Bolivia Brazil Maldives Hungary Scotland Madagascar Germany Argentina England Falkland Islands Spain Scotland Namibia South Africa

Flowers & Wildlife of the Cape & Garden Route Birding in the Heart of South America Jaguars & Raptors of the Pantanal Whales, Dolphins & Mantas in the Indian Ocean Steppe & Forests in Spring & Autumn Outer Hebrides in Summer & Autumn An Island Apart Brandenburg Crane & Goose Concerto Birding in Northwest Argentina Dorset’s Coasts & Heathlands Birding the Falklands Iberian Lynx Quest Autumn in the Scottish Highlands Skeleton Coast & Etosha Wildlife of Kruger & KwaZulu-Natal

Sun 1 p.43 Wed 4 p.54 Thu 5 p.54 Fri 6 p.63 Sat 7 Sat 7 Tue 10 Thu 12 Fri 13 Mon 16 Thu 19 Sat 21 Sat 21 Sun 22 Sun 22

p.20 p.30 p.41 p.20 p.53 p.13 p.56 p.34 p.30 p.42 p.44

Fri 3 Sat 4 Fri 10 Sat 11 Sat 11 Thu 16 Sat 18 Fri 24 Sat 25 Sat 25

p.39 p.47 p.53 p.61 p.65 p.22 p.57 p.62 p.62 p.64

Sat 2 Sat 2 Sun 3 Tue 5 Sat 23

p.65 p.50 p.33 p.39 p.33

November 2017 Gambia Zambia Argentina India Taiwan Iceland Guyana India Japan Sri Lanka

West African Birdwatch Birding in South Luangwa Wildlife & Glaciers of Patagonia Birds & Big Cats Endemics & Winter Migrants Harlequins & Northern Lights in Winter Rainforests, Savannahs & Wetland Birding in Central India Japan’s Spectacular Winter Wildlife Blue Whales & Dolphins

December 2017 Sri Lanka USA Spain Gambia Spain

Birds & Whales of Sri Lanka Birding the Rio Grande Valley Wallcreepers & Cranes in Aragón Bird Photography Safari Secret Wilderness of Extremadura

South Africa New Zealand Falkland Islands Guatemala Spain

The Cape & Karoo New Zealand’s Natural History Falkands Wildlife Photography Quetzal Quest in the Land of the Maya Iberian Lynx Quest

Sat 6 p.43 Sat 6 p.68 Thu 11 p.55 Sat 20 p.56 Sat 27 p.34

February 2018 Poland Trinidad & Tobago Ethiopia India France Ghana Mexico Botswana Costa Rica

Bison, Elk & Wolves in Winter The Asa Wright Experience Ethiopian Endemics in Winter Quest for the Snow Leopard Camargue in Winter - Wallcreepers & Wetlands Quest for the Picathartes Butterfly, Whale & Bird Migration Endemics & Migrants in Kalahari Waterways Cloud Forests, Jungles & Volcanoes

Thu 1 p.26 Thu 8 p.58 Thu 15 p.38 Sat 17 p.61 Tue 20 p.16 Wed 21 p.40 Wed 21 p.58 Sat 24 p.38 Sat 24 p.55

March 2018 Iceland Malaysia Sri Lanka

Winter Orcas & Auroras Peninsular Birding Blue Whales & Dolphins Wallcreepers, Woodpeckers & Kites of the France Dordogne Morocco High Atlas, Sahara & Atlantic South Africa Flora & Fauna of Zululand & the Drakensberg Germany Brandenburg Crane & Goose Concerto Iceland Harlequins & Northern Lights in Winter Sri Lanka Birds & Whales of Sri Lanka Portugal Alentejo & Algarve in Spring & Autumn Norway & Finland Northern Lights, Astronomy & Wildlife Spain Secret Wilderness of Extremadura

Thu 1 p.21 Fri 2 p.63 Sat 3 p.64 Tue 6 p.17 Fri 9 Tue 13 Thu 15 Thu 15 Fri 16 Sat 24 Sun 25 Sat 31

p.41 p.44 p.20 p.22 p.65 p.27 p.24 p.33

Highland Wildlife Break Birds & Flowers on Aphrodite’s Isle Ocean Giants of Baja California Spring Birding in Slovakia The Unknown Adriatic Spectacular Flowers & Wildlife Mountains in the Med Scandinavian Spring Lewis & Harris - Seabirds & Standing Stones Forest Birds of Deepest Belarus

Mon 2 Thu 5 Sat 7 Wed 11 Sat 14 Tue 17 Wed 18 Thu 19 Sat 21 Sun 29

p.31 p.12 p.57 p.32 p.23 p.12 p.11 p.35 p.29 p.11

Orkney’s Wildlife & Prehistory Focus on the Danube Delta Pyrenees & Plains Birding the Serengeti & Beyond Primeval Forests & Marshes Dorset’s Coasts & Heathlands The Baltic in Springtime Steppe & Forests in Spring & Autumn Wildlife of the Dordogne in Spring Lake Neusiedl in Spring & Autumn Isles of Scilly in Spring & Autumn Birding in Livingstone’s Footsteps Spring Photography of the Steppe & Forests

Wed 2 Sat 5 Sat 5 Sun 6 Mon 7 Mon 7 Fri 11 Sat 12 Mon 14 Sat 19 Sat 19 Sun 20 Sun 20

p.29 p.27 p.35 p.46 p.25 p.13 p.14 p.20 p.17 p.10 p.13 p.47 p.21

April 2018 Scotland Cyprus Mexico Slovakia Montenegro Crete Corsica Sweden Scotland Belarus

May 2018 Scotland Romania Spain Tanzania Poland England Estonia Hungary France Austria England Zambia Hungary

To view full details of our comprehensive collection of birding and wildlife holidays please go to our website www.thetravellingnaturalist.com

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 5


General Information Our expert naturalists lead small group tours to some of the world’s most spectacular wildlife destinations.

NATURALIST LEADERS Our expert leaders are all-round naturalists with a wealth of field and leadership experience. It is their expertise and professionalism, coupled with their easy-going and flexible approach, that is probably the most important factor in the success of our tours. We also work with expert local guides to ensure the highest-quality wildlife experiences. Although we endeavour to name the naturalist who leads each tour, on occasion we may have to substitute a different leader. See overleaf for further information on our naturalist leaders.

SMALL GROUPS We believe that our holidays are best enjoyed in small groups. The maximum size of our groups is usually 12 or 14 clients (frequently fewer), with a leader and/or a local guide; a group of 11 or more is usually accompanied by two leaders/local guides. Please note that if numbers fall below this, the tour may operate with a local guide only. Cruises are not subject to this restriction – please refer to the detailed tour description. The operation of our tours is subject to reaching a minimum number of participants at least 70 days prior to departure. The usual minimum number of clients on a trip is four to six, but we often run tours with fewer than this number. If a tour has not reached the minimum number required at that time, we may defer cancellation but will inform you if the tour is running or not, no later than six weeks prior to departure.

SINGLE ROOMS We welcome single travellers, offer a limited number of single rooms on all our trips, and endeavour to keep single room supplements as low as possible. In most cases, if you are a single traveller willing to share with someone else of the same sex, we will not charge a single supplement.

A COMPLETE SERVICE We provide a complete service from the moment you book, taking all the stress out of arranging your holiday so you can relax. We never forget that it is your holiday and work hard to ensure that all the components of a tour – accommodation, transport, food, design and pace of the itinerary, and the all-important leadership factor combine to create a superb all-round experience, and, of course, some wonderful wildlife memories! We can help to arrange connecting flights where needed – just request this at time of booking –as well as offering useful discounts on airport car parking and a choice of airport hotels. Details are sent with our travel information pack. And if you have any questions about the tour – just ask our friendly team!

TAILOR-MADE EXTENSIONS If you have an extra few days to spare, why not let us quote for an independent extension either before or after your tour? We can offer excellent prices at a range of hotels or lodges, and our expert team will make some suggestions for those extra days.

HOW TO BOOK Once you have selected a tour you would like to book, you can either book online or contact a member of our expert team who will check availability on your chosen departure date. We can hold a provisional reservation for up to five days. When you are happy to proceed with your booking, we require you to pay a deposit of £200 per person or 20% of the total cost of the holiday (whichever is the greater) and send a completed booking form. If you book 12 weeks or less before departure, you must pay the total cost of the holiday at the time of booking. Please note that for some holidays we may ask you to pay a higher deposit.

THETRAVELLINGNATURALIST.COM Our website contains much more information than we can squeeze into this brochure! It features detailed day-by-day itineraries for each holiday, profiles of our expert leaders and an easy-to-use tour calendar. We are continually adding new tours, so take a look at the website for the latest trips, the most up-to-date programme, and last-minute availability. You are now also able to book any tour online for your added convenience. Sign up to receive a copy of our e-newsletters, which include information on new tours, events and offers – we send out one or two per month. If you are not an internet user, please contact our expert team who can give you firsthand advice and mail copies of the itineraries that interest you.

"Our trip to Finland to see the bears was amazing..never in our wildest dreams did we expect to see so many bears….definitely one of the best experiences of our lives." Sally M travelled to Finland in 2016

6 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


TOUR PRICES All tour prices in this brochure include flights from the UK (except where specified), accommodation, most meals, transportation, wildlife and birdwatching activities as detailed in the itinerary, and the services of an expert leader. Prices are correct at the time of print. Please consult our website for accurate, up-to-date prices, or call our team of consultants.

EARLY-BIRD OFFER We are delighted to offer a discount of £50 per person for each 2017 and 2018 departure booked before 14 October 2016. Please note: this offer applies to new bookings only and to qualify booking form and deposit must be received by 14 October 2016. This early booking discount scheme only applies to tours featured in this brochure. The discount will be deducted from the holiday balance.

LOYALTY DISCOUNT We are extremely proud of our clients' loyalty towards us. Many new clients learn about us through personal recommendation and some of our regular clients return year after year. A few have even notched up over forty trips! Our loyalty programme offers a special 5% discount from the price of the main tour (excluding any single supplement) on every fifth trip you take with us. To claim this discount, just let us know how many trips you have taken with us when you book, and we’ll check against our records, and deduct the appropriate amount from the final invoice. If you wish, you can save two 5% discounts to get a 10% discount on your tenth tour! Please note: this loyalty discount scheme applies to tours that appear in The Travelling Naturalist brochure and website, and excludes bookings made with sister company, Wildlife Worldwide.

SUSTAINABLE TOURISM We firmly believe that the sustainable development of wildlife tourism can be a major tool in promoting conservation, generating long-term benefits for wildlife, the environment and communities alike. We support small, locally-owned hotels and lodges as well as local wildlife guides, and employ local staff where possible, thereby providing employment and generating incomes in local communities. We work with and support local projects and conservation charities including the Save The Rhino and their Rhino Dog Squad project, South Luangwa Conservation Society and World Land Trust, to name a few.

"Really enjoyed the week in the Highlands. It exceeded my expectations." Liz and Jim N travelled to the Scottish Highlands with Mike Read in 2015

YOUR FINANCIAL SECURITY We hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL number 10544) authorised by the UK Civil Aviation Authority. Our flight inclusive tours are fully bonded. This means that the complete cost of the holidays featured in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for this and check it to ensure that everything you booked is listed on it or your travel plan. Please see our booking conditions for further information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate, go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that you are not stranded abroad, and will arrange to refund any money paid for an advance booking. The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for The Natural Travel Collection Ltd trading as The Travelling Naturalist, and in the event of insolvency, protection is provided for the following: 1) Non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK 2) Non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK 3) Flight inclusive packages that commence outside the UK, which are sold to customers outside the UK Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly from The Travelling Naturalist.

BROCHURE VALIDITY This brochure is published in August 2016. The itineraries and prices herein replace those previously published. To see our booking conditions, please visit www.thetravellingnaturalist.com/booking/conditions

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 7


Meet our Naturalist Tour Leaders Our expert leaders are all-round naturalists with a wealth of field and leadership experience. Here we introduce you to some of them – have a look at our website to see all their profiles.

Barrie Cooper

Stephen Daly

Chris Mattison

John Muddeman

Ashley Grove

Chris Griffin

Varun Narain Mathur

Dr Charles Anderson

Mike Read

Nick Garbutt

With a lifelong interest in nature, Barrie’s enthusiasm for conservation led him to develop a career with the RSPB, where he worked developing international conservation and ecotourism – one legacy of this can be seen on our trip to Belarus. His passion for travel then encouraged him to develop and lead tours. As an amateur astronomer, he delivers the occasional informative session on the night sky. With a degree in zoology, Chris specialises in natural history photography – particularly reptiles and amphibians. A past Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and member of several natural history societies, he has participated in many field trips, both independently and as a tour leader, to North, Central and South America, the Galapagos Islands, Southern and East Africa, South-East Asia and Madagascar. Ashley has been a wildlife enthusiast from childhood, and is now an excellent self-taught wildlife photographer with more than ten years of experience. Since 2011 he has been leading tours to The Gambia and elsewhere, helping both beginners and experienced photographers to capture great images of West African birdlife, as well as running workshops and lecturing to local RSPB groups. Raised within an environment of wildlife preservation, Varun grew to love and respect India’s natural heritage. With first-hand knowledge of the country’s key wildlife and birding locations, he has worked with the Wildlife Conservation Society among others to educate visitors in ecology, animal behaviour and the challenges to conservation. He will introduce you to India’s most sought after wildlife, and its lesser known species. An experienced tour leader, author, and superb wildlife photographer, Mike’s books include ‘The Barn Owl’, ‘Red Kite Country’ and ‘The New Forest National Park’. His friendly and easy-going style of leadership and his ability as an allround naturalist add immensely to the tours he leads in Europe and elsewhere. All he needs now are some new jokes for the returning clients he often attracts.

Stephen’s first birding memories are of Aberlady Bay outside Edinburgh at the age of eight. After living and working in the UK, Germany and France, he settled in southern Spain where he ran his own wildlife tour company. Now back in southern Germany, he is a devotee of Facebook and tweeting, and enjoys using his wide-ranging knowledge on some of our European tours. After settling in Madrid in 1997, John now lives with his family in the mountains nearby. He is a freelance wildlife tour guide, author, translator and honorary member of the Extremadura Association of Birdwatching and Wildlife Guides. His all-round natural history knowledge, affable personality and excellent field skills have brought him a welldeserved loyal following.

Chris has been passionate about birds from the age of six, but expanded his knowledge to encompass other aspects of the natural world from butterflies to reptiles and more. Although only 31, Chris has more than 20 years experience of volunteering and working in conservation, for the RSPB and as a Field Ornithologist. He is an avid photographer and is training to be a bird-ringer. As a professional marine biologist who has lived in the Maldives since 1983, Charles is the islands’ foremost authority on cetaceans and fish, and pioneered whale and dolphin watching there. In addition to many scientific papers, he has published a series of guides to Maldivean marine life. A talented underwater photographer, he usually gives evening presentations on marine life on his trips.

A photographer with a background in zoology, Nick combines these skills with leading tours and lecturing. Author of several critically acclaimed books such as ‘100 Animals to See Before They Die’, Nick has twice been a winner in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and also won the prestigious Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. His photographs appear widely in publications.

8 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

9


Austria

Austria

Lake Neusiedl in Spring & Autumn

Close-up on Alpine Nature

Saturday 20 - Saturday 27 May 2017 Saturday 26 August - Saturday 2 September 2017 Saturday 19 - Saturday 26 May 2018

Saturday 17 - Saturday 24 June 2017

Visit the lakes, forests and mountains of Eastern Austria in spring, when the breeding season is in full swing and the mountains are carpeted with flowers, or in early autumn, with all the excitement of passage migrants. Neusiedl has long been a firm favourite of ours – one of Europe’s largest lakes, and one of the very best for birds. To the east lie the splendid wetlands of the Seewinkel and the start of the Great Hungarian Plain; to the north, the riverine forests of the March; and to the west, the pine-clad foothills of the Austrian Alps which we access via a scenic rack-and-pinion railway. The tapestry of habitats is surpassed only by the hugely impressive variety of birds. Most of central Europe’s long list of special birds occur here: spoonbill, ferruginous duck, red-crested pochard, great bustard, black and Syrian woodpecker, penduline tit, golden oriole and redbacked shrike should all be present. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

June sees the alpine meadows of the Austrian Tyrol in their full glory, flushed with a spectacular show of wild flowers and an equally stunning array of butterflies and other insects. In short, this is the perfect time for macro photography. We explore the many and varied meadows to discover gems such as the delicate burnt tip orchid hidden amongst the grasses, and along the way encounter beautiful insects that flourish on the alpine slopes. There is a good chance of finding the iconic Apollo butterfly too. Moving higher up the slopes, the colourful meadows give way to swathes of vibrant alpenrose and high alpine species such as dwarf snowbell and trumpet gentian. We will photograph flowers and insects, marmots, mountaintops at sunrise and dramatic glacial valleys – looking at all aspects of macro photography from the basics such as depth of field, through to advanced techniques like focus stacking. You will learn how Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop techniques can complement your field skills and let you get the most from your digital camera. Why not consider our Further into the Field extension? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Vienna & transfer to Illmitz Natural history excursions in & around Lake Neusiedl Transfer to Vienna. Flight to UK

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

ACCOMMODATION Small, characterful, family-run hotel with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,495 SINGLE SUPP £110 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Stephen Daly TOUR CODE AUST2

Fly to Innsbruck & transfer to Fisse Höfe Photography workshops in alpine meadows & back at the hotel Flight to UK - or join extension 'further into the field'

ACCOMMODATION Friendly, family-run hotel with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,595 (land only) SINGLE SUPP Nil PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 10 LEADERS Alex Hyde & Nick Garbutt TOUR CODE AUST1

10 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

Belarus

Corsica

Forest Birds of Deepest Belarus

Mountains in the Med

Sunday 30 April - Sunday 7 May 2017 Sunday 29 April - Sunday 6 May 2018

Sunday 30 April - Sunday 7 May 2017 Wednesday 18 - Wednesday 25 April 2018

Imagine a land of ancient forests, hundreds of meandering rivers, the biggest marshes and fens of the continent, and roads where you hardly ever meet any traffic or even people – this is the wild country of Belarus!

We travel to the breathtakingly scenic island of Corsica in the Mediterranean, where we search out its unique wildlife among stunning granite mountains reaching nearly 3,000 metres.

Poland's eastern neighbour boasts a superb variety of birds and mammals and we visit three contrasting locations to see as many as possible. The fabled marshes of Pripyat National Park near Turov play host to numerous migrant waders including Terek and marsh sandpiper, and other eastern species such as the beautiful azure tit. The only place in Europe where we have a good chance of finding this stunning bird is in the willow forests along the Pripyat River. Penduline tits also hang their distinctive nests here. On the other hand, the forests of Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, a wilder and larger counterpart to the adjoining Bialowieza National Park in Poland, are home to elk, wild boar and Eurasian lynx, while Sporava Reserve protects a huge percentage of the world’s aquatic warbler population.

Fly to Minsk Pripyat National Park Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park Sporava Reserve Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

We begin in the mountains in search of Corsican nuthatch, Corsican citril finch and lammergeier. Descending to the coast we should see Audouin’s gull, Cory’s shearwater and many Mediterranean birds including cirl bunting, spotless starling and Eurasian hoopoe. Cap Corse, to the north, is one of the best migration watchpoints in the Western Mediterranean and can turn up a good range of migrants as well as the resident Marmora’s warbler. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Day 8

Corsica is one of the most rugged and mountainous of Mediterranean islands, largely untouched by tourist development. From the clear, dark blue seas of the coast, up through the lush green forests of the lower slopes, to the white snow-capped peaks of its highest mountains, the island offers a superb variety of both scenery and wildlife.

Simple tourist class hotels £2,095 £200 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Attila Steiner & Barrie Cooper* BELA1

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Bastia & transfer to Corte Restonica Gorge Etang de Biguglia & Cap Corse Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Good quality hotels with character £1,595 £240 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 Mike & Liz Read* FRAN3

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 11


Crete

Cyprus

Spectacular Flowers & Wildlife

Birds & Flowers on Aphrodite’s Isle

Tuesday 18 - Tuesday 25 April 2017 Tuesday 17 - Tuesday 24 April 2018

Thursday 23 - Thursday 30 March 2017 Thursday 5 - Thursday 12 April 2018

This rugged island - the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean - has a mountainous spine that rises to nearly 2,500 metres. At this time of year it forms a spectacular snow-capped backdrop almost wherever we go.

This relaxed trip has been one of our staples for more than 20 years and offers plenty of time to enjoy gentle walks amidst the flowers and birds of this compelling island - the Mediterranean's third largest. Lying right across the flyway of birds passing from sub-Saharan Africa, north through Egypt and over the Eastern Mediterranean into Europe, Cyprus is one of the most exciting places we know to watch the annual passage.

Crete's remarkable geology, along with its isolation from mainland Europe, Asia and Africa, has endowed it with a unique and diverse flora - no less than one tenth of all its plants (some 180 species) are endemic to the island. For anyone interested in botany, the orchids are many and varied: Cretan bee, bumblebee, yellow bee, Marengo, milky, Provence and Bory’s toothed orchids are all found here. The range of avian species is almost equally diverse. The high mountains and deep gorges provide a refuge for the endangered lammergeier, while other raptors include golden and Bonelli's eagles, griffon vulture, a trio of falcons - Eleanora's, peregrine and lanner - European kestrel, and tawny and little owls. During our one-week stay we are also likely to see hooded crow, Eurasian hoopoe, European bee-eater, wryneck, red-throated pipit, blackeared wheatear, plus alpine and red-billed choughs. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-5 Days 6-7 Day 8

GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

The activity can be dramatic, with large flocks of herons, as well as hoopoes, larks and wagtails, and parties of common, pallid and alpine swifts, and red-rumped swallows flying low overhead. Add to this the presence of a number of distinctive island races and two unique endemic species – Cyprus warbler and Cyprus wheatear – plus around 30 possible species of orchids and several endemic flowers, and the appeal of a week-long stay on beautiful ‘Aphrodite’s Isle’ in springtime is virtually irresistible! OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Fly to Heraklion & transfer to Chania Chania; explore the surrounding area Transfer to Heraklion & explore Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES

There's plenty of variety as we explore the Paphos headland and the west coast, venture into the snow-capped Troodos Mountains, and visit beaches, wetlands and salt pans.

Good quality, comfortable hotels £1,395 £95 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 14 Mike Langman GREE1

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Larnaca & transfer to Paphos Birding & wildlife excursions around the island Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

12 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Good quality hotel £1,645 £145 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 14 Mike Langman CYPR1


Europe

England

England

Dorset's Coasts & Heathlands

Isles of Scilly in Spring & Autumn

Monday 17 - Thursday 20 October 2016 Monday 8 - Thursday 11 May 2017 Monday 16 - Thursday 19 October 2017 Monday 7 - Thursday 10 May 2018

Saturday 20 - Saturday 27 May 2017 Friday 1 - Friday 8 September 2017 Saturday 19 - Saturday 26 May 2018

We go back to our roots on a short break in the wonderful county of Dorset and stay at one of its very best hotels. South Dorset, with the Isle of Portland sticking out into the English Channel, includes some of the best sites in Britain - and some would say Europe - to witness the spectacle of bird migration. Each spring and autumn thousands of migrant birds break their journey by resting on Portland’s fields and shoreline. The fields and hedges at this time can be alive with warblers, chats and flycatchers, with wheatears on the open fields. Offshore, seabirds such as skuas and shearwaters stream past the tip of Portland Bill en route to their Arctic breeding areas. Some, such as puffins, stop to breed on Portland’s high cliffs, along with a growing population of peregrine falcons and ravens. We also explore the nearby RSPB reserves of Radipole and Lodmoor for sightings of breeding bearded tit and Cetti’s warbler. Dartford warbler and woodlark can be seen only a few kilometres further away on Dorset’s heathlands.

It is partly the scale of Scilly that makes it so special – the biggest town is the size of a village, the main road is a tiny winding lane, and the fields seem like walled gardens. Add to this the unique character of each of the islands: Tresco with its amazing variety of lush vegetation, heathland, and lagoon; St Martin’s with its cliffs, sandy beaches, and seals offshore; wild Bryher, which takes the full force of the Atlantic breakers; and lovely St Agnes with its cottages, and tamarisk-edged bulbfields. Horse Point on St Agnes is the most south-westerly point of Britain. It is the edge of the world for many migrant birds – whether they’ve strayed too far out into the Atlantic, or whether they’ve headed west beyond Cornwall, birds arrive here in amazing variety. Although birds don’t occur here in great numbers, the excitement of birding on the islands is that of simply not knowing what you may find. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-7

Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4

Day 8

Meet at Weymouth station or Isle of Portland Birding & wildlife excursions around South Dorset End at Weymouth station

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Good hotel overlooking Portland Harbour £535 (land only) £175 Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 8 Bob Ford UK2

Meet at Penzance and ferry to St Mary's Walking & boating excursions to enjoy the birds & wildlife of the islands End at Penzance

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES

GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Good quality hotel with en suite facilities £1,295 £270 Return ferry from Penzance, accommodation, most meals & guided activities 10 Will Wagstaff UK3

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Estonia

Estonia

The Baltic in Springtime

Autumn Migration in the Baltic

Friday 12 - Friday 19 May 2017 Friday 11 - Friday 18 May 2018

Friday 22 - Friday 29 September 2017

Few places in Europe can match the excitement of watching Estonia’s amazing wildlife. In May, birds – especially wildfowl and waders – pass through this tiny country in their millions, pausing to feed and rest here before pushing on northwards to their summer feeding grounds on the tundra and in the forests of Lapland. Our visit is timed to coincide with massed flights of common and velvet scoters, long-tailed duck, red-throated and black-throated divers, and skeins of barnacle, bean and white-fronted geese migrating northward up the Baltic Sea. We will also enjoy woodpeckers in Estonia’s ancient forests, ‘lekking’ great snipe and black grouse, and magnificent elk in the marshes. This natural bounty attracts predators such as white-tailed, lesser spotted and golden eagles, while mammals of note include mountain hare, red and flying squirrels, brown bear and – with any luck – European beaver.

Estonia, the smallest and northernmost of the Baltic republics, lies at a crossroads on the Eastern Atlantic migratory flyway, between the Gulf of Finland, the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, and Lake Peipsi near the Russian border. During the migration season, flocks of southward-rushing birds pass through in incredible numbers – several hundred thousand waterfowl and passerine migrants can be seen flying overhead every day. The peak time for observation is at the end of September. Estonia’s coastline offers a natural stepping-stone between their breeding and wintering areas for millions of Arctic birds – making birdwatching fabulous at this time of year. But our trip is not all about passage migration; the country’s long and indented coastline, shallow and sheltered bays, straits, coastal meadows, marshes, lagoons and over 1,000 islands are crucial feeding sites, and provide some wonderful viewing points. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Tallinn & transfer to Noarootsi Peninsula Tartu Rakvere Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Good mid-range hotels with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,995 SINGLE SUPP £215 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Barrie Cooper TOUR CODE ESTO2

Days 1-3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Day 8

Fly to Tallinn & transfer to Haapsalu Saaremaa Island Pärnu Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Good mid-range hotels with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,945 SINGLE SUPP £215 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Barrie Cooper TOUR CODE ESTO1

14 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

Finland

France

Brown Bear Explorer

Camargue & Pyrenees in Autumn

Sunday 28 May - Sunday 4 June 2017 Sunday 18 - Sunday 25 June 2017 * Sunday 9 - Sunday 16 July 2017 Sunday 23 - Sunday 30 July 2017 *

Saturday 26 August - Saturday 2 September 2017

During this week-long trip at the height of summer, we stay at two carefully selected locations, each equipped with purposebuilt hides, where we keep a night-time vigil to see bears, wolverines and wolves lured by carrion.

The array of herons is quite outstanding: grey herons, little and cattle egrets, and great white egret – a more recent colonist. Raptors are always present, including marsh harrier, short-toed eagle and hobby chasing the abundant dragonflies.

Martinselkonen Nature Reserve is now considered one of the best places to see and photograph European brown bear. On occasion up to 20 adults and eight cubs have been seen in a single night. We also visit Boreal Wildlife Centre where we spend as many hours as possible looking at, and photographing, bears and other wildlife.

In the limestone hills of the Alpilles with the spectacular hilltop fortress of Les Baux we may see blue rock thrush, alpine swift, crag martin and rock sparrow.

We may also see moose, wolverine and possibly wolf. Birds such as Siberian jay, rustic bunting, black kite, white-tailed eagle, golden eagle and up to ten species of owl are also possible. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Kajaani & transfer to Martinselkonen Bear-watching & birding Bear-watching & birding at Boreal Wildlife Centre Flight to UK

* These departures operate in reverse

ACCOMMODATION Wilderness guesthouse with shared facilities & simple bear-watching hides/ cabins with shared toilet facilities PRICE FROM £1,595 SINGLE SUPP £115 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADERS Jani Määttä or Joona Kaltion TOUR CODE FINL1

The freshwater marshes of the Camargue and the surrounding meadows remain one of Europe’s most exciting birdwatching areas.

In the High Pyrenees, amongst some of Europe’s most inspiring scenery, we can find lammergeier patrolling the cliff-faces, griffon vulture and golden eagle, and both red-billed and alpine chough. The pine forests hold citril finch and crossbill, while high on the slopes we can see rock bunting, snow finch and alpine accentor and possibly wallcreeper. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Marseille & transfer to the Camargue Birding excursions in & around the Camargue Luz St-Sauveur Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Good hotels, all with en suite facilities £1,995 £245 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 Ashley Grove FRAN2

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France

France

Camargue in Winter - Wallcreepers & Wetlands

Dragonflies in Deepest Dordogne

Tuesday 21 - Sunday 26 February 2017 Tuesday 20 - Sunday 25 February 2018

The Dordogne is an excellent place for a dragonfly-watching holiday. There are around 60 species across a diverse range of wetland habitats – ponds, canals, lakes, fens and, of course, the great River Dordogne itself, together with its smaller tributaries, streams and springs.

Winter in the Camargue, one of Europe’s great river deltas, is a superb time to visit, with birds present in tens of thousands. Masses of wildfowl, waders, raptors and flamingos haunt the wetlands, while high alpine species winter in the drier country waiting for the warmer weather to arrive. These include wallcreeper, often a difficult species to get to grips with in breeding habitat, but easier to see at this time as they forage for insects on the low cliff-faces in and around the lovely town of Les Baux. Other mountain birds that descend here for the winter include alpine accentor, which hang around the village in small flocks. Out on the steppe-like habitat of La Crau, little bustards also spend the winter – in the past we have seen more than 150 in a single flock. Other resident birds elsewhere in the area include Eurasian eagle owl, Bonelli’s eagle, red kite and the rather more humble rock sparrow.

Monday 3 - Monday 10 July 2017

Water quality is high and adjacent grasslands and forest habitats provide further feeding areas. Most habitats are on limestone but we also visit areas of sandy geology. Rare and extinct UK species can be seen here together with exotic and familiar ones. We visit several reservoirs where a variety of species can be found, including the orange-spotted emerald, which became extinct in its last Dorset stronghold about 20 years ago, and the violet dropwing, an exotic new arrival. Western demoiselles and smaller damselflies flit close to the bank whilst larger clubtails patrol the open water. Perhaps a western spectre may even grace us with its presence after dinner above the terrace at our cosy riverside hotel! Our trip is designed and co-led by dragonfly expert Dick Askew, a keen entomologist and author of ‘Dragonflies of Europe’.

OUTLINE ITINERARY  OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-5 Day 6

Fly to Marseille & transfer to the Camargue Birding excursions in & around the Camargue Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotel with en suite facilities £1,395 £145 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 14 Mike & Liz Read* FRAN1

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Bergerac & transfer to Mauzac Dragonfly & wildlife excursions in & around the area Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

16 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Cosy riverside hotel with en suite facilities £1,645 £260 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 David Simpson & Dick Askew FRAN4


Europe

France

France

Wildlife of the Dordogne in Spring

Wallcreepers, Woodpeckers & Kites of the Dordogne

Monday 15 - Monday 22 May 2017 Monday 19 - Monday 26 June 2017 Monday 14 - Monday 21 May 2018 We keep an eye out for woodland birds such as honey buzzard, Bonelli’s warbler, crested tit, woodlark and golden oriole. In the fields and scrub we should see crested lark, melodious warbler, red-backed shrike, corn bunting, stone curlew and hen harrier. The flowers are outstanding, orchids are everywhere and many butterflies that are scarce or on the edge of their range in the UK can easily be seen here, including European swallowtail, Duke of Burgundy and Glanville fritillary. Honey-coloured villages with Romanesque churches and chateaux dot the picturesque landscape, and the local Périgord cuisine is renowned, together with the wines of Bergerac and Cahors. Our boat trip in an old ‘gabarre’ on the Dordogne and a visit to a cave with prehistoric art by mini electric train add an interesting cultural and geological insight to the experience. This holiday is a gentle affair and has been designed as an introduction to the wildlife riches of the region.

Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 March 2017 Tuesday 6 - Saturday 10 March 2018 For the enthusiastic naturalist the Dordogne offers a wide range of interesting habitats including dry rocky hillsides, arable plains, heathlands and wetlands. However, the area is dominated by the classic oak forest and limestone meadows cut through by the great river itself, beneath some impressive cliffs. This short trip visits the area in early spring as the land is warming up, early avian migrants are moving through, leafless trees make the birds easy to see, and the weather can be very pleasant! Wallcreepers are relatively easy to find, often accompanied by alpine accentors. Peregrine, red, black and black-shouldered kite, raven, crag martin and regular over-wintering ‘specials’ like water pipit and rock bunting are all possible. The Dordogne is rich in woodpeckers too. We should see black, middle spotted, green, great spotted and, with any luck, lesser spotted woodpecker. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Bergerac & transfer to Mauzac Wildlife & flora excursions in & around the area Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Cosy riverside hotel with en suite facilities £1,495 £270 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 David Simpson FRAN7

Day 1 Days 2-4 Day 5

Fly to Bergerac & transfer to Mauzac Wildlife & birding excursions in the area Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Cosy riverside hotel with en suite facilities £1,095 £150 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 David Simpson FRAN5

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France

France

Dordogne’s Moths & More

Flower Photography in the Pyrenees

Monday 4 - Monday 11 September 2017 The warm, humid nights of early autumn are always an exciting time for moths, with light traps often at their most effective. David Simpson, ‘our man in the Dordogne’, invites moth enthusiasts to visit and see what the light traps bring in. Moth expert Mike Coverdale will be co-leading this tour.

Saturday 15 - Saturday 22 July 2017

David Simpson’s home, La Cabane du Pommier, lies in the forested hills near the small town of Lalinde, north of the Dordogne River, approximately 20 kilometres east of Bergerac. Its situation presents excellent opportunities for the recording of moths and butterflies, due to the wide ranging habitats nearby. We will run a number of Robinson traps every night, weather permitting, and we will examine the catch the following morning, with plenty of time available to identify and photograph the moths. Aside from a diversity of moths, the traps often attract large numbers of weevils, as well as smaller numbers of coneheads, mantids and beetles. The property is situated at the edge of woodland, with an open meadow looking out across a quiet valley. Other habitats close by range from dry limestone grassland to marshland.

On this dedicated photography trip, flowers, insects and the magnificent scenery that the area offers will be our main subjects. However, large raptors occasionally pass low overhead and we occasionally drive close to alpine marmots, so having a longer lens handy may prove useful. At this time of year the weather is generally superb but the morning mist in the valleys and occasional ‘above cloud’ views at higher altitudes can make for excellent ‘mood’ shots.

The central area of the French Pyrenees is home to a wonderful range of wildlife from eagles and vultures to mammals and endemic flowers such as Pyrenean saxifrage and Spanish iris.

We will be using La Cabane du Pommier as our main ‘field station’ and stay in a cosy riverside hotel in nearby Mauzac.

We visit Cirque de Gavarnie, perhaps the most scenic in the French Pyrenees, and on the way are likely to find magnificent wildflowers including common and yellow monkshood, dusky cranesbill and elder-flowered orchid. Butterflies here include Apollo, scarce and common swallowtails, as well as a number of blues and fritillaries. And of course you will be accompanied by Mike Read – an expert wildlife photographer.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Bergerac & transfer to Mauzac Birding & moth excursions in the surrounding area Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Cosy riverside hotel with en suite facilities £1,645 £260 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 David Simpson & Mike Coverdale FRAN6

Fly to Toulouse & transfer to Luz St-Sauveur Flower photography outings & excursions in the area Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Good comfortable hotels with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,995 SINGLE SUPP £180 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER Mike Read TOUR CODE FRAN9

18 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

France

France

Vercors in Spring

Flower Photography in the Vercors

Sunday 11 - Sunday 18 June 2017

Saturday 3 - Saturday 10 June 2017

Vercors is a superb mountain area on the fringes of the French Alps. Our springtime trip is timed to coincide with the birds and flowers at their best.

We travel to the Vercors with our cameras to capture the superb flora, which includes up to 30 species of wild orchids amidst stunning scenery. Focusing on flower, landscape and, if opportunities arise, insect photography, we will find different ways to capture the essence of our subjects whether it is a closeup portrait or a wide angle ‘in habitat’ view.

The region is home to an excellent range of mountain birds including alpine chough, golden eagle and citril finch. At lower altitudes the forests show a decidedly Central and Eastern European influence, with breeding nutcracker and Tengmalm’s owl amongst the beeches and firs. Other owls include the localised pygmy owl, eagle owl on some of the cliffs, and scops owl sometimes close to our hotel in La Chapelle. The area's mammals are also fascinating, with alpine chamois and mouflon quite widespread, while alpine ibex may be seen on some of the highest ridges and we may visit a colony of alpine marmot. Finally, the flora of the Vercors is truly superb, with an array of wild orchids, from the diminutive coralroot, growing in the depths of beech woodland, to the spectacular lady’s slipper which sometimes can be found in large clumps. Depending on the timing of the season, we often see 30 or more orchid species during our visit.

This mosaic of limestone mountains provides a rich range of flowers, butterflies, mammals and birds, all of which add their own magic to a stunningly beautiful part of France. The flora is spectacular with alpine meadows full of white, yellow, blue and pink blossoms, including the semi-parasitic greater yellow rattle – which is increasingly rare in the UK. Various species of cranesbill, saxifrage and narcissus may be the first plants we notice in the meadows, but these are soon followed by the vivid deep blues of spring gentian or the pinks of red clover, wild thyme or mountain thrift which catch the eye. Wild orchids are also abundant throughout the Vercors and we regularly see Spitzel’s orchid – one of Europe’s rarest.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-7 Day 8

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-7 Day 8

Fly to Lyon & transfer to Chichilianne Natural history excursions around the Vercors La Chapelle-en-Vercors Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Simple hotels with en suite facilities £1,795 £90 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 14 Mike & Liz Read* FRAN11

Fly to Lyon & transfer to Chichilianne Flower photography excursions around the Vercors La Chapelle-en-Vercors Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Simple hotels with en suite facilities £1,995 £170 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 Mike Read FRAN12

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

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Germany

Hungary

Brandenburg Crane & Goose Concerto

Steppe & Forests in Spring & Autumn

Thursday 13 - Monday 17 October 2016 Thursday 16 - Monday 20 March 2017 Thursday 12 - Monday 16 October 2017 Thursday 15 - Monday 19 March 2018

Saturday 8 - Saturday 15 October 2016 Saturday 13 - Saturday 20 May 2017 Saturday 7 - Saturday 14 October 2017 Saturday 12 - Saturday 19 May 2018

The State of Brandenburg has Berlin at its centre – the terrain is flat and wetlands abound, with lakes, rivers, polders, marshes and reed-fringed fishponds interspersed with forests, meadows and swathes of heathland. This watery land holds the last remaining population of great bustards in northern Europe.

Steppe covers a vast swathe of temperate Eurasia, but only extends into Europe in one place – the Great Plain of Hungary. This is the Hortobágy, an ancient floodplain of grassland, meadows, marshes and pools, which is one of Europe’s largest national parks, where nothing other than the odd patch of woodland breaks the horizon.

From autumn through to early spring sizeable numbers of geese are present: bean, white-fronted, barnacle, lesser white-fronted and red-breasted. Ducks are also abundant, as are golden plover and lapwing. This huge avian concentration attracts a good population of raptors that includes white-tailed eagle, rough-legged buzzard, hen harrier, merlin and goshawk.

In May it is green and lush, and offers some of Europe’s most exciting birdwatching, while in autumn it is a place to marvel at the awe-inspiring migration along Europe's main eastern flyway for cranes. At peak there may be as many as 60,000 of these magnificent birds here, and the sight of squadron upon squadron filling the sky is one of Europe's great avian spectacles!

Spectacular numbers of common crane migrate through in October on their way south to Extremadura, while in March they are heading north. In the woodlands there is a chance of black, middle spotted and lesser spotted woodpeckers and hawfinch.

We also visit the rolling, forest-clad Zemplén Hills which are home to various Central European forest specialities, including eastern imperial eagle, Ural owl and nine species of woodpecker.

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Day 5

Fly to Berlin & transfer to Semlin Birding & wildlife excursions Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotel with en suite facilities £995 £75 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 8 Stephen Daly GERM1

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-7 Day 8

Fly to Budapest & transfer to Hortobágy National Park Birding & wildlife excursion around Hortobágy Zemplén Hills Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Good hotels with en suite facilities £1,395 £130 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 14 Gábor Sĭmay & Barrie Cooper* HUNG2

*2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

20 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

Hungary

Iceland

Spring Photography of the Steppe & Forests

Winter Orcas & Auroras

Sunday 21 - Saturday 27 May 2017 Sunday 20 - Saturday 26 May 2018 If your interest is bird photography, this one-week trip at the height of the breeding season is ideal. Various hides in scenic, bird-rich Kiskunság National Park – at the forest edge, overlooking marshland or on the banks of alkaline lakes – offer exceptional photographic opportunities. Avocets, geese and stilts nest here, and the lakes offer a temporary home to many migratory species. In spring, waders such as ruff and redshank stop off to feed en route to their northern breeding grounds. Flocks of greater whitefronted goose rest here, along with bean and greylag goose, while black-tailed godwit and great bustard all breed in the area. The sparse forest has red-footed falcon, common kestrel and longeared owl, while little owl and barn owl nest in abandoned farm buildings, and lesser grey shrike are seen among the bushes. The migrating flocks attract white-tailed eagle, but common buzzard and the rare saker falcon also hunt here. Each day brings something entirely new and unexpected!

Fly to Budapest & transfer to Tiszaalpár Bács-Kiskun Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

On this short winter break, we search for birds and whales in south and west Iceland. We travel in a specially prepared ‘winterised’ 4-wheel-drive vehicle to get to some really out-ofthe-way places. Iceland’s wildlife has to struggle to survive the harsh winter conditions and often congregates around the coast or other sheltered areas. We expect to see several different species of wildfowl, including harlequin and eider ducks, and there’ll be lots of gulls including glaucous gull and the eponymous Iceland gull on the coasts and in harbours. We’ll also keep an eye out for common and grey seals in the fjords. Further inland we should encounter large flocks of snow buntings and ptarmigans in their white winter plumage, and there’s always the chance of a gyrfalcon or even a white-tailed eagle. All this is complemented by the dramatic landscapes of Iceland, orcas and white-beaked dolphins off the magnificent Snæfellsnes peninsula and, if the weather allows, beautiful displays of the northern lights. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-6 Day 7

Thursday 2 - Tuesday 7 March 2017 Thursday 1 - Tuesday 6 March 2018

Good hotels with en suite facilities £1,795 £145 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 8 Mike Read & István Bártol HUNG1

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Day 6

Fly to Keflavik & transfer to Hveragerði South coast birding & hot springs Whale watching in Snæfellsnes Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotels with en suite facilities £1,645 £200 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 10 Trausti Gunnarsson ICEL1

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 21


Iceland

Iceland

Principally Puffins

Harlequins & Northern Lights in Winter

Friday 14 - Friday 21 July 2017 This trip offers the best possible views of puffins and other North Atlantic seabirds and takes place at a perfect time to delight in the colourful carpet of Arctic and alpine wildflowers found here and we have a good chance of finding cetaceans offshore too! We spend time on the Westman Islands and travel to the incredible bird cliffs of Latrabjarg in the north-west of the country. After crossing the staggeringly beautiful Breiðafjörður we visit the island of Flatey to see yet more puffins. Iceland’s vibrant geology and remarkable landscapes never fail to impress. We visit the crater on Heimaey - one of the Westman Islands - and keen botanists will be delighted by the colourful carpet of arctic and alpine wildflowers that are found here. Of course Iceland’s other special birds are important too and we may see harlequin duck and Barrow’s goldeneye, white-tailed eagle and gyrfalcon and a wonderful array of breeding waders. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Day 8

Fly to Keflavik & transfer to Hveragerði Westman Islands Snæfellsnes Flókalundur Reykjavík Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Hotels & guesthouses with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £2,745 SINGLE SUPP £320 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Trausti Gunnarsson TOUR CODE ICEL4

Thursday 3 - Monday 7 November 2016 Thursday 16 - Monday 20 March 2017 Thursday 16 - Monday 20 November 2017 Thursday 15 - Monday 19 March 2018 Each year Iceland is locked firmly in an icy grasp for several months, yet the start and end of winter, when the nights are not too long, are still good times to visit. Along the coast and on the numerous lakes there are many wildfowl, and sightings of harlequin duck, Barrow’s goldeneye, glaucous gull and Iceland gull are frequent. Inland the snowy wastes are enlivened by flocks of snow buntings, ptarmigans in their winter plumage, and even the odd gyrfalcon or white-tailed eagle. Iceland’s unique landscapes leave an indelible memory at this time of year, as its extraordinary geology takes on a entirely different character. However, possibly the greatest highlight of all is the unforgettable sight of the northern lights – illuminating the night skies of the sub-Arctic region. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Day 5

Fly to Keflavík & transfer to Hveragerði Exploring the coast & mountains of south Iceland Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

22 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Comfortable guesthouse £1,295 £150 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 10 Trausti Gunnarsson ICEL2


Ireland

Montenegro

The Burren & Aran Islands

The Unknown Adriatic

Saturday 10 - Saturday 17 June 2017

Saturday 22 - Sunday 30 April 2017 Saturday 14 - Sunday 22 April 2018

This spring trip combines the fabulous wild flowers of the Burren with an opportunity to explore this lovely coast, and includes a stay on the Aran Islands. The Burren is a plateau of carboniferous limestone worn bare by the last glaciation. The rock forms an amazing landscape of limestone pavement cut by gullies, swallet holes, underground rivers and caves. The region is renowned for these rock formations and its relics of ancient civilisations, but is best known for its rich combination of Mediterranean and Arctic-alpine flora. Here you can see gems such as spring gentian, pyramidal bugle, fen violet and mountain avens. The gullies between the limestone pavement harbour rare ferns, and the whole area is a botanist's paradise and also home to 80% of Ireland’s butterfly species. To the south of the Aran Islands, at the mouth of Galway Bay, the spectacular Cliffs of Moher house superb seabird colonies, and there is always a chance of seeing whales and dolphins offshore.

Europe

Despite its tiny size, Montenegro contains a wealth of habitats – rich wetlands, conifer-clad mountains, and deep, dramatic fjords. The Mediterranean coast is perhaps the most striking in Europe. Besides beaches, it also offers saltpans, sand dunes and the River Bojana delta – each an important migration stopover. Further inland, Lake Skadar, fed by the scenic Rijeka Crnojevica, is home to thousands of pygmy cormorant, and the westernmost nesting place of the endangered Dalmatian pelican. And Durmitor National Park offers unspoilt mountains with huge coniferous forests that are home to three-toed woodpecker, nutcracker and several alpine species amongst others. We make a short side-trip into Albania to bird around the southern end of the lake, where the hilly countryside is home to classic opencountry birds and a variety of egrets and waders. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 3-4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Day 8

Meet at Shannon airport & transfer to Lisdoonvarna Explore the Burren Ferry to the Aran Islands Ferry to the mainland & transfer to Lisdoonvarna Transfer to Shannon airport to head home

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable inn & simple guesthouse with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,545 (land only) SINGLE SUPP £110 PRICE INCLUDES Accommodation, transfers, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Steve Duffield TOUR CODE IREL1

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Days 6-7 Day 8 Day 9

Fly to Dubrovnik, in Croatia Cross border to Montenegro & drive to Virpazar Virpazar; day trip into Albania Zabljak, Durmitor NP Back to Dubrovnik Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Mid-range hotels & guesthouses with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,595 SINGLE SUPP £195 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADER István Bártol TOUR CODE MONT1

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Norway & Finland

Netherlands

Waders in Friesland

NEW

Thursday 10 - Monday 14 August 2017

Northern Lights, Astronomy & Wildlife

Join us for a superb summer break in one of Europe’s best destinations for waders. Few places on earth offer such a variety of species and such a great number of birds, which visit the reserves along the northern coast as an essential stopover during their southward migration in summer.

Sunday 26 March - Saturday 1 April 2017 Sunday 25 - Saturday 31 March 2018

The Netherlands’ most famous high-tide refuges offer the unforgettable spectacle of many species of waders seen at close quarters. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage area of the Waddenzee, Lauwersmeer National Park has another major attraction: raptors such as white-tailed eagle and Montagu’s harrier, which breed here. In a single day it’s not unusual to see around 100 species!

The birds at this time of year include some really sought-after Siberian specialities. We start amidst the conifers of the taiga forest in Finland, which still harbour Siberian tit, Siberian jay and pine grosbeak, before crossing north into Norway where the sheltered coastal waters have three species of eider in stunning plumage and are thronged with seabirds.

Breebaart Polder, at the northeastern tip of Groningen province, is a must for anyone who wishes to see the highly sought‐after broad‐ billed sandpiper in its sheltered inland roost. Nearby, the recently developed Oostpolder and Onnerpolder have rapidly become wellknown birding destinations, mainly famous for breeding terns, as well as the numbers of migrating waders.

In March there is plenty of daylight to take advantage of all this wildlife, while the nights are still long enough to give us a good chance of seeing the northern lights in all their glory. We’ll also do some astronomy here – birding telescopes and even binoculars can be excellent for this.

This combination of northern lights and wildlife has proved highly popular in this interesting Arctic land.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5

Fly to Amsterdam & transfer to Groningen Birding at Westhoek & Zwarte Haan Lauwersmeer National Park Breebaart Polder plus Oostpolder & Onnerpolder Transfer to Amsterdam and flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable, small, mid-range hotel £845 £165 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 Martijn Bot NETH2

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Day 6 Day 7

Fly to Ivalo & transfer to Kaamanen Batsfjord Vardo Kaamanen Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotels & lodges £2,495 £225 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Local guide & Barrie Cooper* FINL2

*2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

24 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

Poland

Poland

Primeval Forests & Marshes

Birding in Krakow & the Carpathians

Monday 8 - Monday 15 May 2017 Monday 7 - Monday 14 May 2018 North-eastern Poland boasts some of the wildest forest and freshwater marshland habitats in Europe. From the vast Biebrza Marshes to the ancient forest of Bialowieza, we travel through an old-world landscape of working horses and wooden carts. The forest of Bialowieza is the largest area of virgin lowland woodland in Europe. Huge trees, some of which are over 2,000 years old, form the core of the forest. May is the prime breeding season when red-breasted flycatcher, river and aquatic warblers are all in full song. Nine woodpecker species occur here including middle-spotted and the rare white-backed. We should also see pygmy owl, thrush nightingale and scarlet rosefinch. Biebrza Marshes form one of the largest stretches of marshland in Europe and are home to a plethora of species including rednecked grebe, spotted crake and white-winged black tern. The maze of channels intersect a landscape of pools, reedbeds and wet meadows, where we hope to see a range of mammals, including elk, otter and wild boar, as well as European beaver.

NEW

Friday 8 - Friday 15 September 2017 Visiting four key birdwatching sites in the south of Poland – the Pieniny Mountains, the Tatra Mountains, Niepołomice Forest and the extensive Zator Fishponds – we hope to witness the autumn migration in full swing, and enjoy a wealth of spectacular birds. The tour begins in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains, where we explore the mixed forests and wild meadows of the Pieniny and Tatra ranges in search of raptors, woodpeckers and cranes, all the while looking out for the large mammals that inhabit Poland, including brown bear, Tatra marmot, chamois and beaver. Spending a day at Zator Fishponds should reward us with Temminck’s stint, ferruginous duck and little stint, as well as nutcracker, alpine accentor, Caspian gull, lesser spotted eagle and black stork. Our final stop is Niepołomice Forest, where amidst the oak, hornbeam and lime trees of six nature reserves, we look for redbacked shrike, great grey shrike and Ural owl. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Warsaw & transfer to Bialowieza Wildlife & birding excursions in & around Bialowieza Biebrza Marshes Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotels with en suite facilities £1,395 £135 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Felix Felger POLN1

Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Day 5 Days 6-7 Day 8

Fly to Krakow Explore the Pieniny Mountains Explore the Tatra Mountains Visit Zator Fishponds Explore Niepołomice Forest Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotels with en suite facilities £1,295 £90 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Felix Felger POLN2

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Poland Bison, Elk & Wolves in Winter

NEW

Thursday 2 - Monday 6 February 2017 Monday 6 - Friday 10 February 2017 Thursday 1 - Monday 5 February 2018 Visiting two of Poland’s renowned areas for wildlife – Biebrza Marshes and Bialowieza Forest – we go in search of the large, yet elusive mammals and exceptional winter birdlife that inhabit the unspoilt snow-covered landscapes. Our tour begins in the wildlife-rich Biebrza Marshes in the northeast of the country where we look for an array of mammals including elk, otter, European beaver, red deer, wild boar, roe deer, red squirrel, pine marten, and – if we are lucky – we may even encounter wolf or lynx. As we travel to the ancient Bialowieza Forest, we visit a 19th century Russian fortress which is known for being one of the largest wintering bat sites in Eastern Europe. We can expect to see around ten species of bat here including greater mouse-eared, Daubenton’s, Natterer’s, Brandt’s, whiskered, pond, northern, brown long-eared, serotine and barbastelle bats, which spend the winter in the underground corridors.

We continue south to Bialowieza which is most famous for its reintroduced herd of European bison. Visiting the forest during winter also gives us the advantage of being able to track the more elusive species in the snow, and look for numerous bird species such as white-tailed eagle, waxwing, eagle owl, great grey shrike and nine species of woodpecker. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Day 5

Fly to Warsaw Visit Biebrza Marshes Explore Bialowieza Forest Return to Warsaw for flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

26 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Comfortable hotels with en suite facilities £995 £55 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Felix Felger POLN3


Europe

Portugal

Romania

Alentejo & Algarve in Spring & Autumn

Focus on the Danube Delta

Saturday 25 March - Saturday 1 April 2017 Sunday 24 September - Sunday 1 October 2017 Saturday 24 - Saturday 31 March 2018

The Danube is Europe’s second largest river delta and one of the continent’s great wetland wildernesses. In spring it is a haven for migrating birds, as well a being the permanent home for a wealth of other wildlife that includes mammals, reptiles, amphibians and an impressive diversity of insects.

With its great diversity of habitat providing first landfall for thousands of spring migrants, and a fine range of resident birds, Portugal’s Algarve and Alentejo regions offer some of Europe’s finest spring birdwatching, and outstanding flora. Add to this a range of varied and beautiful landscapes, a rich history, friendly people and some fine food and wine, and you have the makings of a great week! Alentejo’s rolling plains dotted with cork oaks are home to great and little bustard, larks, buntings, Montagu’s harrier, white stork, European bee-eater and hoopoe. Further south, the Algarve’s coastal habitat, from the rugged cliffs of Cape St Vincent on the Atlantic coast to Salgados Marsh and Ria Formosa wetlands, is home to an impressive array of birds, including azure-winged magpie, and purple gallinule in the freshwater marshes.

Saturday 5 May - Saturday 12 May 2018

An extensive network of trails from our lodge on a private reserve allows access to all the prime wildlife areas, and dotted around the complex are more than 20 photographic hides that have been established to target key species. More than 150 bird species are resident, including European roller, Eurasian hoopoe, white-tailed eagle, marsh harrier, little owl, collared pratincole, European bee-eater, common kingfisher and black, grey-headed and lesser spotted woodpeckers. The varied wetlands are also home to a fantastic array of dragonflies and damselflies, and after dark there are opportunities to see and photograph various nocturnal species including wild cats and several species of owl, with professional photographer and bird expert Ashley Grove.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Day 1 Days 2-7

Fly to Faro & transfer to Santa Clara Velha Birding & wildlife excursions Flight to UK

Day 8

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Family-run hotel with en suite facilities £1,545 £300 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Frank McClintock PORT1

Fly to Bucharest Wildlife & photography excursions in & around the Danube Delta Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Wilderness lodge with private facilities £1,995 £165 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 6 Ashley Grove ROMA1

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Romania

Sardinia

Birds & Bears in Transylvania

Mediterranean Wildlife

Monday 12 - Monday 19 June 2017

Saturday 2 - Saturday 9 September 2017

We travel to the historical region of Transylvania – for a wonderful variety of habitats and birds, and a chance to see some of Europe’s largest mammalian predators.

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and holds all the quintessential elements of Mediterranean beauty, from white sandy beaches to rolling plains, wetlands and mountain ranges.

We begin in Zarnesti, situated near the picturesque Piatra Craiului Mountains, to explore prime wildlife locations. We spend an afternoon in the Stramba Valley, where go in search of wild brown bear, and visit Bran Castle - a traditional Romanian fortress thought to be the home of the infamous Count Dracula. Birding highlights include alpine swift, crag martin, serin, crossbill, black woodpecker and numerous passerines. Surrounded by the spectacular Carpathian Mountains, we travel into the centre of Transylvania, stopping in Rimetea and Gheorgheni, to enjoy the wild mountainous landscape. Here we look for golden eagle, honey buzzard, nutcracker and an impressive diversity of alpine flowers. We also visit Dumbravita Fishponds, where we hope to see a wealth of waterbirds, as well as Eurasian spoonbill, whooper swan, glossy ibis and red-breasted goose. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Located on a main avian migration route between Europe and Africa, with a fabulous array of migrating and endemic species, the island is the perfect spot for an autumnal birdwatching break. In the mountains around Orgosolo we go in search of Corsican citril finch and hawfinch, while at Lago Omodeo we should see cirl and corn bunting. And we scout the coastal lagoons in search of greater flamingo, herons, egrets, ducks and waders. Exploring the southern end of the island from our base south of Cagliari, on Monte Arcosu we should see Sardinian, garden and melodious warblers on their southbound migration, and perhaps even golden eagle and the occasional red deer. We round off our trip with a ferry to the enchanting island of San Pietro to see breeding Eleonora’s falcon, and perhaps even a cetacean or two en route! OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Days 1-3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Day 8

Fly to Bucharest & transfer to Zarnesti Rimetea Gheorgheni Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Good local hotels £1,495 £245 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Local guide & Barrie Cooper* ROMA3

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

Days 1-2 Day 3 Days 4-7 Day 8

Fly to Cagliari & transfer to Orgosolo; explore Drive to Capoterra, south of Cagliari Wildlife & birding excursions from Capoterra Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Good quality hotels with en suite facilities £1,995 £190 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 Mike & Liz Read* ITAL2

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

28 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Scotland

Scotland

Lewis & Harris - Seabirds & Standing Stones

Orkney’s Wildlife & Prehistory

Saturday 22 - Friday 28 April 2017 Saturday 21 - Friday 27 April 2018 The neighbouring islands of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides are renowned for their wild, windswept beauty, with glorious white beaches, rugged moorland and lochs in the east. The former has extensive moorlands, and the latter high mountains, but both posess the typical vegetation of machair grassland where waders and corncrakes nest, wonderful coastlines for seabirds, and offer what is probably the best chance in Britain of seeing four species of diver in breeding plumage. Lewis has one of the highest densities of breeding merlins in Europe, and Harris is similarly endowed with golden eagles. Both are outstanding for breeding wildfowl and waders. Add to this, wonderful wild scenery and perhaps the most impressively-sited standing stones in Europe, at Callanish, and you have the ingredients for a great British holiday.

Wednesday 3 - Wednesday 10 May 2017 Wednesday 2 - Wednesday 9 May 2018 We spend a spring week on the green isles of the north to see huge numbers of breeding birds, an excellent array of northern flowers, and some of Europe’s finest archaeological monuments. The Orkney archipelago is a complex jigsaw of land and water, while the land is a varied patchwork of cliffs, beaches, rich farmland, wetland, lochs and dry moorland. The fertility of both the land and the sea, and the sheer diversity of habitat, gives rise to a corresponding wealth of wildlife - particularly birds - and Orkney boasts several reserves that protect them. Huge numbers of guillemot, razorbill, puffin, kittiwake and fulmar populate the cliffs, breeding wildfowl and waders frequent the small lochans, and short-eared owls quarter the moorland, along with both great and Arctic skua and a few hen harriers. Wild flowers also abound, including the minute and vivid Scottish primrose, a British endemic.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-6 Day 7

Day 1 Days 2-6 Day 7

Meet at Stornoway airport & transfer to Carloway Birdwatching & wildlife viewing around the islands End at Stornoway airport

ACCOMMODATION Charming mid-range hotel with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,295 (land only) SINGLE SUPP Nil PRICE INCLUDES Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER Steve Duffield TOUR CODE UK4

Europe

Meet at Stromness Wildlife & birdwatching excursions on Orkney End at Stromness

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Loch-side hotel with en suite facilities £1,525 (land only) Nil Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 8 Steve Duffield UK5

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Scotland

Scotland

Autumn in the Scottish Highlands

Outer Hebrides in Summer & Autumn

Saturday 22 - Saturday 29 October 2016 Monday 10 - Sunday 16 October 2016 Saturday 21 - Saturday 28 October 2017 The Scottish Highlands are at their most dramatic in late October, when autumn colours permeate the trees, mists linger in the glens, and red deer stags roar in the hills in the rutting season. We visit ancient Caledonian pine forests, moorland and perhaps lower mountain slopes, as well as the highland glens and lochs, and will also venture to the coast of the Moray Firth. Exploring nearby Loch Garten and Abernethy Forest Reserves, we search for common and Scottish crossbill, crested tit, capercaillie, black grouse, red squirrel and red deer, while in Strathdearn we should see brown and mountain hares, golden eagle, peregrine, raven, dipper and plenty of red deer. White-tailed eagles are a possibility here too.

Monday 10 - Sunday 16 October 2016 Saturday 22 - Friday 28 July 2017 Saturday 7 - Friday 13 October 2017 This beautiful corner of Britain is renowned for its wild and windswept beauty, with glorious white beaches and rugged moorland indented with numerous lochs to the east. In summer the machair is in full bloom, with multi-coloured patches of kidney and tufted vetch, and white and red clover creating a stunning, sweet-smelling display. Waders breed in abundance, divers in breeding plumage frequent the lochs, golden eagles soar overhead, and there's chance of seeing storm petrel and cetaceans.

On the coast we should see red-breasted merganser, long-tailed duck, common and velvet scoters, eider, plus various auks and gannets. There may also be time to visit the Black Isle to look for red kite and visit Chanonry Point to see bottlenose dolphins, seals and otters.

Autumn is arguably one of the most exciting times of year as the islands teem with migrant birds. The beaches are full with waders, while the lochs come alive with wildfowl arriving from the north. Raptors are everywhere, and the bellowing of red deer stags in their rut breaks the still morning air. Otters are easier to spot as they enjoy the renewed quiet in the seaweed-strewn arms of the eastern lochs, which also provide shelter to harbour seals.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-6 Day 7

Day 1 Days 2-6 Day 7

Meet at Inverness & transfer to Grantown-on-Spey Birding & wildlife excursions in the area End at Inverness

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotel with en suite facilities £1,325 (land only) £145 Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Mike & Liz Read* UK9

Meet at Benbecula airport Wildlife & birding excursions around the islands End at Benbecula airport

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

30 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Two-star hotel with en suite facilities £1,155 (land only) Nil Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 8 Steve Duffield UK6


Scotland

Scotland

Shetland Wildlife

Highland Wildlife Break

Saturday 17 - Saturday 24 June 2017

Monday 3 - Saturday 8 April 2017 Monday 2 - Saturday 7 April 2018

The most northerly place in Britain, Shetland is a rugged archipelago of over one hundred islands and skerries, with a landscape of peat-covered hills and a bewildering mosaic of sea lochs, rocky peninsulas and scattered crofts and freshwater lochs. These remote havens hold some of the most spectacular seabird colonies – a quarter of a million puffins and hundreds of thousands of guillemots for starters. There are accessible gannet colonies with at least 15,000 pairs, while kittiwakes and both common and Arctic terns have great and Arctic skua to contend with. The lochs hold numerous pairs of red-throated diver and several species of wader, including whimbrel and red-necked phalarope, breed here. Shetland has also become well known for its otters and we pay special attention to finding and photographing them on this trip. Finally, either of our boat trips or sea-watching from the shore may produce grey and harbour seal, harbour porpoise, minke whale and even orca (whose sightings are increasing each year). OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-3 Days 4-6 Day 7 Day 8

Meet at Sumburgh airport & transfer to Scalloway Baltasound; explore Unst, Fetlar and Yell Scalloway End at Sumburgh airport

ACCOMMODATION Good mid-range hotels with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,595 (land only) SINGLE SUPP £295 PRICE INCLUDES Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADERS Rebecca Nason & Phil Harris TOUR CODE UK10

Europe

Aigas Field Centre makes an ideal location for an early spring break in the Scottish Highlands. Based around a fine Victorian mansion that was originally built as a shooting lodge, it has both a formal garden and a wild estate. During our stay we enjoy the ‘Highland house-party’ atmosphere, hosted by its owners. The facilities are extensive with hides, nature trails and vehicles all designed with wildlife watching in mind, and a team of highly trained wildlife rangers. The grounds are alive with birdlife, including crested tit and crossbill. The mammals can be spectacular too, with red squirrel and pine marten around the lodge itself, and introduced European beaver nearby. Full day excursions to the Black Isle and across to the spectacular West Coast ensure we get the absolute best out of the region's flora and fauna. Highlights include its avian residents – golden eagle, peregrine, red kite, black and red-throated divers, and red and black grouse - some of which are in breeding plumage. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Day 6

Meet at Inverness airport/station & transfer to Aigas Wildlife & birding activities around Aigas Estate Nature trips to the Black Isle & West Coast End at Inverness airport/station

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Characterful accommodation at Aigas £1,045 (land only) Nil Transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 20 Brian Wood, accompanied by Aigas rangers UK8

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Slovakia

Slovenia & Hungary

Spring Birding in Slovakia

NEW

Wednesday 12 - Sunday 16 April 2017 Wednesday 11 - Sunday 15 April 2018 With its unspoilt nature, beautiful landscapes, short distances and good infrastructure, Slovakia makes an excellent birding destination. The Tatra Mountains offer beautiful scenery and vast coniferous forests with pygmy and Ural owls, three-toed and white-backed woodpeckers, ring ouzel, golden and lesser spotted eagles. The Tatras, which straddle the Slovak-Polish border, rising to 2,495 metres, are a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Among the commoner woodland species, we hope to find nutcracker, hazel grouse, firecrest and ring ouzel. Leaving the Tatras behind, we head southeast to the Slovak Karst. In April there’s a good chance of seeing pygmy and Tengmalm’s owls by day, while at higher elevations we search for hazel grouse, nutcracker, common crossbill and crested tit. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Day 5

GROUP SIZE LEADERS TOUR CODE

Saturday 15 - Saturday 22 July 2017 The tiny nation of Slovenia has a little bit of everything wonderful scenery with high mountains, Adriatic beaches and rich wildlife - all still relatively undiscovered. Amidst the majestic, soaring limestone crags of the Julian Alps, we explore still lakes, dense forests and high alpine pastures in search of the many butterflies that reside here, including a number of rarities. Camberwell beauty, purple emperor, dark green fritillary, false grayling and greater sooty satyr are all present. We then head down to the Adriatic coast in search of Mediterranean long- tailed blue, purple-edge copper, common glider, spotted fritillary and tufted-marbled skipper. In what must surely be one of the most varied itineraries possible in Europe, we also visit the beautiful glacial lake of Bohinj in Triglav National Park, before spending three days just over the border in Hungary. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Fly to Poprad and transfer to Liptovsky Jan in the Tatra Mountains Explore the Low Tatras Explore the Slovak Karst Drive to Poprad & flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES

Butterflies of the Alps, Grasslands & Coast

Simple but comfortable mid-range hotels £1,195 £130 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Local guide & Barrie Cooper* SLVK1

*2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8

Fly to Ljubljana & transfer to Podgorje Podgorje Mangartom Drive to Örség National Park, Hungary Örség National Park Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Mid-range hotels & guesthouses with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,695 SINGLE SUPP £215 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Rudi Verovnik TOUR CODE SLOV1

32 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Europe

Spain

Spain

Wallcreepers & Cranes in Aragón

Secret Wilderness of Extremadura

Sunday 4 - Saturday 10 December 2016 Sunday 3 - Saturday 9 December 2017

Saturday 1 - Saturday 8 April 2017 Saturday 23 - Saturday 30 September 2017 Saturday 23 - Saturday 30 December 2017 Saturday 31 March - Saturday 7 April 2018

Join us for a late autumn break to the mountains, steppes and wetlands of Northern Spain, with wintering raptors and mountain birds in the Pyrenean foothills, Dupont’s lark on the steppes, and thousands of cranes going to roost at the Laguna de Gallocanta. Starting in the High Pyrenees and reaching down nearly as far as Valencia, Aragón has many of the habitat types found throughout the rest of the country. There are wetlands, rolling dry grassland and farmland, rugged forested hills and canyons, and the snowcapped mountains of the Pyrenees themselves. We visit this area in late autumn when thousands of cranes are present on one of the lakes, when the sandgrouse form flocks in the steppe country, and when high mountain birds such as alpine accentor and wallcreeper have moved to more accessible lower altitudes. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Days 5-6 Day 7

Fly to Barcelona & transfer to Huesca Birding & wildlife excursions around Huesca Transfer to Daroca Birding & wildlife excursions around Daroca Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION 16th century ‘palacete’ & country hotel with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,395 SINGLE SUPP £65 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER John Muddeman TOUR CODE SPAI5

For more than a decade we’ve been running tours to one of our favourite areas in Europe, the secret wilderness of Extremadura in the centre of the Iberian peninsula. The wild and beautiful country of Extremadura holds some of Europe’s most endangered bird species in their last strongholds. The Spanish steppes are home to Europe’s strongest remaining population of great bustard, together with good numbers of little bustard, and both pin-tailed and black-bellied sandgrouse. A spectacular assemblage of raptors includes black vulture, imperial eagle and black-shouldered kite. Throughout the area, with its picturesque villages and huge savannah-like landscape, white stork nests can be found. This is a unique, and incredibly distinctive part of Europe, with lovely scenery and absolutely brimming with birds. As well as departures in spring and autumn, you can now also join us over Christmas on this trip in the wilds of Spain. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Madrid & transfer to Trujillo Birding & wildlife excursions throughout the area Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Small country guesthouse £1,645 £180 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 John Muddeman SPAI3

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 33


Spain

Spain

Iberian Lynx Quest

The High Aragón

Saturday 22 - Saturday 29 October 2016 Saturday 28 January - Saturday 4 February 2017 Saturday 21 - Saturday 28 October 2017 Saturday 27 January - Saturday 3 February 2018

Wednesday 7 - Wednesday 14 June 2017

Join us to explore some of the most wonderful and wild corners of Andalucia – the vast Doñana National Park and the rugged Andújar Natural Park. These are the last refuges of the rarest cat in the world – the critically endangered Iberian lynx – as well as home to a wealth of other delights. An expert at slipping through its scrubby habitat unseen, the Iberian lynx is the smallest of the world’s three lynx species. Although it is one of the hardest European wild cats to see, we maximise our chances and endeavour to learn about its ecology and conservation. We spend our time enjoying the diverse mammals and birds within these two, quite different, lynx habitats, with our base in truly beautiful and typical local villages adding a magical experience to our journey.

With snow-capped mountains to the north and pine-clad rocky hills rising dramatically from the Aragón Valley floor to the south, the Spanish Pyrenees make a truly spectacular setting for a wildlife holiday. We stay in the town of Hecho in the central Pyrenees, within easy reach of high mountains to the north, and pine forests and superb pinnacles of Riglos to the south. Red and black kite, together with griffon and Egyptian vulture and booted eagle, soar overhead, while short-toed eagle hover over the open hillsides searching for snakes and lizards, and golden eagle hunt amongst the highest peaks. But for most birdwatchers, one of the major goals of a visit to the Spanish Pyrenees must be to see that most rakish and dashing of vultures, the lammergeier. This is one of the best places in Europe to see this threatened species, and most years we see individuals on several occasions during our stay.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8

Fly to Seville & transfer to Andújar Explore the hills & mountains of Andújar Natural Park Transfer to El Rocío Explore Coto Doñana Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Three star hotel & garden cabins. All have en suite facilities except 2 single cabins PRICE FROM £1,545 SINGLE SUPP £160 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADERS John Muddeman & Chris Griffin* TOUR CODE SPAI2

Fly to Bilbao & transfer to Hecho Birdwatching & wildlife excursions in & around Hecho Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

* 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

34 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Three star hotel with en suite facilities £1,295 £120 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 John Muddeman SPAI4


Spain

Sweden

Pyrenees & Plains

NEW

Saturday 6 - Saturday 13 May 2017 Saturday 2 - Saturday 9 September 2017 Saturday 5 - Saturday 12 May 2018 This tour explores nine distinct habitats in the western corner of the Pyrenees. Raptors are common and we should see red and black kites, griffon and Egyptian vultures, marsh and Montagu’s harriers and – biggest of all – lammergeier. The plains of Bardenas Reales are home to all the larks - including Dupont’s. The saline lagoon is one of the best spots in Spain for bittern, and also good for marsh harrier, while the surrounding farmland offers bee-eater, roller, hoopoe and corn bunting. We continue past rocky massifs to explore the foothills and mountains of the Pyrenees. Other specialities include wallcreeper, alpine accentor, alpine chough, citril finch, black redstart and northern wheatear. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Days 5-7 Day 8

Fly to Bilbao and transfer via Urdaibai to Uncastillo Explore Bardenas Reales Nature Park Visit Agüero and Riglos en route to Berdún Explore the Pyrenees Transfer to Bilbao and fly back to the UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Small hotel & family-run guesthouse £1,495 £140 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 7 Richard Cash SPAI7

Europe

Scandinavian Spring Thursday 20 - Sunday 23 April 2017 Thursday 19 - Sunday 22 April 2018 Enjoy a few days among the many lakes and wild forests of central Sweden. Great birds and wonderful hospitality are the ingredients for a hugely rewarding short break! The forests of Central Sweden are an extension of the great belt of taiga forest that stretches between the Arctic tundra and the temperate forests of Eurasia. These woodlands are clearly different to anything we have in Britain, and are an echo of the ancient woodland that once covered much of Europe. They are correspondingly rich in fauna, combining elements of Arctic with both central European and alpine wildlife. Crested tit, osprey, black grouse and both red and black-throated divers are found all here, in addition to hazel grouse, nutcracker, black, grey-headed and three-toed woodpeckers. There is also an excellent concentration of owls, with pygmy, Tengmalm’s, Ural, great grey and eagle owl all present. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4

Fly to Stockholm & transfer to Skultuna Birdwatching in & around Svartådalen Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotel with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,795 SINGLE SUPP £100 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER Daniel Green TOUR CODE SWED2

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 35


Sweden

Sweden

Scandinavian Autumn

Butterflies & Dragonflies in Summer

Friday 1 - Tuesday 5 September 2017 Autumn amongst the lakes and wild forests of central Sweden brings tens of thousands of migrating raptors, cranes and geese, a chance of seeing bluethroats and other migrants in the hand, plus a selection of northern moths and butterflies, and - with luck - even rutting elk.

Saturday 24 June - Friday 30 June 2017

As the summer draws inexorably to a close, these peaceful forests, lakes and water meadows act as a giant magnet for large numbers of migrating birds, as they head south through Scandinavia en route to winter in warmer climes.

At the height of the Nordic summer, when the nights are little more than an hour of twilight, a fascinating collection of unique Scandinavian species is on the menu. This is the best time to see poplar admiral, Baltic grayling, scarce fritillary, Frigga's fritillary and many more.

Beside the many expanses of open water, raptors such as whitetailed eagle, osprey, hobby and marsh harrier are all easy to see. In addition to this abundance of migrants, the many resident birds are active, busily putting on weight to see them through the snowy months ahead. Mammal sightings are also possible, including belligerent elk bulls which are ready for the autumn rut with an impressive full rack of antlers designed to attract attention. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Central Sweden offers a wide variety of butterflies – in fact around 85 of Sweden's 120 species can be seen here, together with an interesting combination of dragonflies and damselflies.

We visit some of central Sweden’s richest butterfly sites without the need for any really long drives. Starting with a night on the Baltic coast opposite Gräsö Island gives us a chance of seeing Glanville fritillary, while on the mainland we hope to find clouded Apollo. This is also the season for several of Scandinavia’s dragonfly specialities, such as yellow-spotted, lilypad and ruby whiteface, common clubtail, small pincertail and the very rare pygmy damselfly. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Day 5

Fly to Stockholm & transfer to Skultuna Birdwatching in & around Svartådalen Örebro Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotel with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,695 SINGLE SUPP £100 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER Daniel Green TOUR CODE SWED3

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-6 Day 7

Fly to Stockholm & transfer to Öregrund Visit 'Butterfly Road' & transfer to Svartådalen Butterfly & dragonfly watching in Svartådalen Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotels with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £1,995 SINGLE SUPP £125 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER Niclas Lignell TOUR CODE SWED4

36 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Africa


Botswana, Namibia, Zambia Ethiopia

Endemics & Migrants in Kalahari Waterways

NEW

Saturday 25 February - Sunday 12 March 2017 Saturday 24 February - Sunday 11 March 2018 Botswana’s diverse habitats - from grassland and savannah to salt pan, wetland and lagoon – are home to over 580 bird species. This two-week itinerary combines comfort, wilderness and the finest wildlife locations at the peak of the 'green season' – an ideal time for migrants – accompanied by Botswana-based naturalist guide, Richard Randall. Highlights include the near-endemic slaty egret, endangered wattled crane, and rare Pel’s fishing owl in the Okavango, Schalow’s turaco near Victoria Falls and Caprivi Strip, the colourful carmine bee-eater and kori bustard in Chobe, while Makgadikgadi Pans offers the spectacle of thousands of greater and lesser flamingos that congregate in its shallow waters to breed! 

Ethiopian Endemics in Winter

NEW

Thursday 16 February - Saturday 4 March 2017 Thursday 15 February - Saturday 3 March 2018 Ethiopia’s unique habitats boast one of Africa’s richest populations of indigenous birds, plants and wildlife. We focus on the most sought-after of the 800 plus bird species which include 37 endemics. The Rift Valley and its lakes have few endemics, but offers varied and enjoyable savannah and wetland birding for resident species, plus a host of migrants. The alpine moorland, grassland and lakes of Bale Mountains National Park and the Sanetti Plateau are home to Ethiopian wolf and many highland endemic birds; curiously, there are also a number of species not found elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, while the south of the country offers superb birding, with much sought-after specials such as the endemic Ruspoli’s turaco, white-tailed swallow, Ethiopian bush crow, and the highly endangered Liben lark. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-10 Day 11 Days 12-14 Day 15 Day 16

Fly overnight to Maun Lake Ngami Panhandle, Okavango Delta Caprivi Strip, Namibia Livingstone, Victoria Falls Chobe National Park Nata Bird Sanctuary & Magkadigkadi Pans Moremi Game Reserve Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Safari lodges & tented camps £4,895 £365 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees 9 Richard Randall BOTS3

Day 1 Fly overnight to Addis Ababa Days 2-3 Drive to Debre Libanos & return to Addis Days 4-6 Awash National Park Days 7-9 Lake Awassa, Great Rift Valley & Wondo Genet Days 10-12 Bale Mountains, Sanetti Plateau, Harenna Forest & Welman River Falls Day 13 Goba & Negele Days 14-15 Negele & Lake Langano Day 16 Return to Addis & overnight flight Day 17 Arrive UK ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

38 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Simple, yet comfortable accommodation £4,395 £365 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees 12 Chris Griffin ETHI1


Africa

Gambia

Gambia

Bird Photography Safari

West African Birdwatch

Tuesday 13 - Friday 23 December 2016 Tuesday 5 - Friday 15 December 2017

Friday 4 - Friday 18 November 2016 Friday 3 - Friday 17 November 2017

The Gambia has long been a top destination for birdwatchers, attracted by its huge variety of colourful and approachable birdlife. Wildlife photographer and West African birding expert Ashley Grove will be on hand to get us close to some of the country's iconic species.

Abuko Rainforest Reserve, the huge area of mangroves, freshwater pools and savannah at Keur Saloum, Kaur wetlands and the creeks of the Gambia River are all on the list of this magnificent West African birding safari – only six hours away from the UK.

This trip travels through a tremendous range of habitats including dry savannah, wide rivers, forest and tidal creeks, each home to a rich variety of birdlife. Although there will be photographic opportunities throughout, particular highlights include Tanji Beach, Katong wetland, Kotu, and the Gambia River, where we take excursions into the creeks and intricate waterways with huge mangroves. Whether you are a capable photographer or just starting out, Ashley will be able to offer the necessary guidance for your level of experience. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-3 Days 4-5 Days 6-8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11

GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

There is some great wildlife in the area including several spectacular butterflies. We hope to see Nile monitor lizard and both green and red colobus monkey. The Gambia makes an ideal introduction to African birdwatching coupled, as it is, with comfortable hotels on the coast, and a friendly welcome from the locals. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Fly to Banjul, coastal birding Kiang West National Park Georgetown Kiang West National Park Banjul Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES

Parrots, hornbills, rollers, bee-eaters, sunbirds, kingfishers, and more than a dozen species of heron can all be found here, together with Egyptian plover, crowned cranes and the diminutive whitefaced scops owl.

Comfortable hotels & safari camps £2,695 £160 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 8 Ashley Grove GAMB2

Days 1-5 Days 6-7 Days 8-10 Days 11-12 Days 13-14 Day 15

Fly to Banjul, excursions to reserves & wetlands Keur Saloum Georgetown Kiang West National Park Banjul Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable hotels & safari lodges/camps £2,895 £250 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 14 John Muddeman GAMB1

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 39


Ghana

Madagascar

Quest for the Picathartes

NEW

Tuesday 21 February - Saturday 4 March 2017 Wednesday 21 February - Sunday 4 March 2018 With over 760 bird species, more than 1,000 butterfly species, and an interesting diversity of flora and mammals, Ghana is a naturalist’s paradise. The aim of our tour is to see the iconic whitenecked picathartes, and we will be one of the first groups to stay within walking distance of this prehistoric bird’s nesting site. We visit a spectacular range of habitats from Kakum National Park, where we search for birdlife on the famous canopy walkway situated 40-metres above the forest floor, to the beautiful Ankasa Reserve – Ghana’s only evergreen rainforest. Bird highlights include blue-moustached bee-eater, Congo serpent-eagle, Akun eagle owl, and black dwarf hornbill. We also visit Bobiri Butterfly Sanctuary, Shai Hills Reserve and Sakumono Lagoon. Why not extend your stay and visit Mole National Park and Bolgatanga? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11

Fly to Accra Kakum National Park Ankasa Reserve Kakum National Park Abrafo Forest Kumasi Bobiri Reserve Overnight flight arriving Day 12 - or join extension to Mole National Park

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Hotels, lodges & camps £2,695 £225 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Paul Mensah GHAN1

Land of the Lemur Thursday 7 - Wednesday 20 September 2017 Separated from the African continent by just a few hundred kilometres of sea, but by more than a hundred million years in time, Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island and almost a continent in its own right. It is home to more than half the world’s chameleons and, of course. lemurs – the most primitive group of primates. They have evolved into a stunning range of species from the howling indri, which greets the dawn in Périnet with its echoing calls, to tiny nocturnal mouse lemurs. Madagascar will dazzle any wildlife enthusiast with its birds, mammals and reptiles, many of which are quite simply nothing short of bizarre! OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Days 10-12 Day 13 Day 14

Fly to Antananarivo Berenty Private Reserve Fort Dauphin Tulear Isalo Ranomafana National Park Antsirabe Andasibe-Mantadia National Park Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

40 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Small hotels & lodges £4,145 £500 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees 14 Barrie Cooper MADA2


Madagascar

Morocco

An Island Apart

High Atlas, Sahara & Atlantic

Tuesday 10 - Monday 30 October 2017

Friday 10 - Monday 20 March 2017 Friday 9 - Monday 19 March 2018

The island’s most famous inhabitants are its lemurs – charming relatives of the primates that have lifestyles as diverse as the forests they live in. Elegant white Verreaux’s sifakas and charismatic ring-tailed lemurs live in the arid south, cuddly teddybear-like indri and gorgeous diademed sifaka live in the lush rainforests, and only after dark do tiny mouse and dwarf lemurs become active. We visit some of the island’s prime sites such as Masoala and Andasibe-Mantadia National Parks, together with less wellknown but equally spectacular and unusual places like Marojejy National Park and Daraina, accompanied by renowned wildlife photographer and Madagascar expert, Nick Garbutt. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Africa

With a magnificent variety of dramatic landscapes at any time of year, Morocco boasts possibly the richest birdlife of any country in North Africa. We start in the mountains of the High Atlas, as we look for the endemic Levaillant’s woodpecker, before descending to the northern boundary of the immense Sahara desert. Out in the sand dunes at Merzouga we try to locate specialities such as pharaoh eagle owl, desert sparrow and Egyptian nightjar. In complete contrast, our trip ends at the Atlantic coast, where we explore the broad estuaries of the Souss and Massa rivers for waders, wildfowl, and wetland species that include the threatened bald ibis. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Days 1-2 Day 3 Days 4-6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Days 10-12 Day 13 Days 14-15 Day 16 Days 17-19 Day 20

Overnight flight to Antananarivo Maroansetra Masoala National Park Antananarivo Sambava Marojejy National Park Vohemar Daraina Antananarivo Andasibe Depart Antananarivo arriving Day 21

ACCOMMODATION The best available in each location including two permanent field camps PRICE FROM £6,595 SINGLE SUPP £550 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Nick Garbutt TOUR CODE MADA1

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Day 8 Days 9-10 Day 11

Fly to Marrakech Ourika, in the Atlas Mountains Boumalne du Dadès Derkaoua, near Merzouga Tamnougalt, Draa Valley Ouled Berhil, near Taroudant Agadir Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Good mid-range hotels £1,445 £150 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 t.b.a MORO3

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 41


Namibia

South Africa

Skeleton Coast & Etosha

Spring Flowers from Kalahari to the Cape

Sunday 23 October - Sunday 6 November 2016 Sunday 22 October - Sunday 5 November 2017 Namibia has one of Africa’s most bird-rich coastlines and some of the highest and most dramatic dunes in the world. It is also blessed with rocky highlands, coastal wetlands and Etosha – one of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves. The gigantic skeleton dunes of Sossusvlei, the southern part of the Skeleton Coast at Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, and the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park are all integral stops on our route, offering a superb array of mammals and birds – including a number of avian endemics. We also take in a visit to the deciduous woodland of the Waterberg Plateau Reserve and its surrounding semi-dry acacia forest, where we will look for rosy-faced lovebird.

Saturday 12 - Monday 28 August 2017 This safari visits a multitude of habitats from the blistering deserts and the wildflower meadows of Namaqualand to the fynbos kingdom of the Western Cape. Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is home to huge black-maned lion, cheetah, leopard, gemsbok and numerous other mammals, as well as over 200 species of bird, and is one of the world’s last true wilderness reserves. Add to this Augrabies Falls, dramatic mountain scenery, unique fynbos vegetation, the kaleidoscopic colours of the world famous Namaqualand in full spring bloom and you have a safari packed with plant life as well as wildlife! OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-7 Days 8-9 Days 10-11 Days 12-13 Day 14 Day 15

Fly overnight to Windhoek Windhoek Waterberg Plateau Etosha National Park Damaraland Swakopmund & Walvis Bay Sossusvlei Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Hotels, guesthouses & safari lodges £4,795 £385 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees 8 Geoff Crane NAMI5

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Days 10-12 Day 13 Days 14-15 Day 16 Day 17

Fly overnight to Cape Town Cape Town, Cape Peninsula Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park Augrabies Falls National Park Goegap Nature Reserve Namaqua National Park Cederberg Mountains Rondevlei Bird Reserve & Hermanus Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION A mixture of characterful hotels, lodges & national park rest houses PRICE FROM £4,395 SINGLE SUPP £320 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Geoff Crane TOUR CODE SOUT4

42 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


South Africa

South Africa

The Cape & Karoo

Flowers & Wildlife of the Cape & Garden Route

Saturday 7 - Sunday 22 January 2017 Saturday 6 - Sunday 21 January 2018 Starting in Cape Town, we spend time exploring the wonders of this beautiful city including the world famous Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, and both Rondevlei and Strandfontein Bird Reserves. We visit the Great Karoo, Mountain Zebra and Addo Elephant National Parks during the summer rains, which makes these areas much greener and cooler than usual, resulting in great mammal sightings.

Africa

Sunday 2 - Sunday 16 October 2016 Sunday 1 - Sunday 15 October 2017 From the flowers, whales, birds and stunning scenery of the Cape, along the west coast, across to the Karoo, and back along the beautiful Garden Route, we visit an astoundingly beautiful and varied land, rich in wildlife.

January is a great time to visit the Cape, with all the Palaearctic and African bird migrants present, and the weather is almost guaranteed to be hot and sunny.

We start amongst Cape Town’s dramatic mountains and unique fynbos vegetation, travel up the west coast to Langebaan Lagoon and then to Lambert’s Bay for the Cape gannet colony. We enjoy ancient rock art then head for the Karoo, with its drought-adapted succulent plants and specialised birds, ending in one of the best places in the world for shore-based whale-watching.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-10 Days 11-13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16

Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Days 10-11 Days 12-13 Day 14 Day 15

Fly overnight to Cape Town Cape Town Karoo National Park Mountain Zebra National Park Addo Elephant National Park Garden Route Hermanus Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION A mixture of small hotels, guesthouses & national park chalets PRICE FROM £3,995 SINGLE SUPP £320 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities , park fees GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Geoff Crane TOUR CODE SOUT2

Fly overnight to Cape Town Cape Town Langebaan Lagoon Bird Island & Cedarberg Karoo National Botanical Gardens Garden Route Hermanus, whale watching excursions Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable guesthouses, national park chalets & small hotels PRICE FROM £4,395 SINGLE SUPP £385 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Geoff Crane TOUR CODE SOUT6

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 43


South Africa

South Africa

Flora & Fauna of Zululand & the Drakensberg

Wildlife of Kruger & KwaZulu-Natal

Tuesday 14 - Tuesday 28 March 2017 Tuesday 13 - Tuesday 27 March 2018 The dramatic Drakensberg Mountains are a wildlife treasure chest with over 2,000 species of flowering plant, 290 bird species and 48 mammal species recorded to date. We enjoy leisurely walking, birding and botanising on the many trails of the Drakensberg before heading to the Bonamanzi Private Game Reserve adjacent to Lake St Lucia and the magnificent Hluhluwe River. Here we can relax on a birdwatching boat trip on the river, as well as birdwatching and botanical walks in the sandforest and areas of tall woodland around the main camp. Our final visit is to the montane grasslands of the Highveld that surround the fabulous wetlands of Wakkerstroom. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Sunday 23 October - Sunday 6 November 2016 Sunday 22 October - Sunday 5 November 2017 From the big game of Kruger National Park and stunning grassland scenery of Mpumulanga, to the lowland savannah and coastal wetlands of KwaZulu-Natal, we visit a land rich in wildlife. We start with some birdwatching in Dullstroom before continuing to South Africa's foremost protected area, Kruger National Park – renowned for its range of large mammals and predators. From here we head back up into the Mpumalanga highveld, where the open grasslands are home to blue and crowned cranes and delightful meerkats. We then continue south-east to KwaZulu-Natal, whose lowland savannahs and coastal wetlands offer probably the best birdwatching South Africa. The trip ends on the coast at St Lucia, where we explore the wetland and adjacent dune-forest, and the possibility of seeing humpback whales. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-11 Days 12-13 Day 14 Day 15

Fly overnight to Johannesburg Golden Gates Highland National Park Royal Natal National Park uKhahlamba National Park, Drakensberg Lake St Lucia Wakkerstroom Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION A mixture of characterful guesthouse & safari lodges with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £3,995 SINGLE SUPP £320 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Geoff Crane TOUR CODE SOUT3

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-7 Days 8-9 Days 10-11 Days 12-13 Day 14

Fly overnight to Johannesburg Dullstroom Kruger National Park Wakkerstroom Tembe Elephant Reserve St Lucia wetland Overnight flight arriving Day 15

ACCOMMODATION Small hotels, guesthouses & spacious safari tents PRICE FROM £4,195 SINGLE SUPP £360 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Gavin Sims TOUR CODE SOUT7

44 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


South Africa

South Africa

Birds & Big Cats of Kruger

Flower Photography in Namaqualand

Monday 28 August - Saturday 9 September 2017 We visit South Africa’s north-east corner on this birdwatching and wildlife tour, taking in the highveld, Kruger National Park and a superb private game reserve, with unparalleled opportunities to see lion, leopard, white rhino and other mammals. South Africa is world-renowned for its incredible biological diversity, and nowhere is this more evident than in the north-east of the country. Within a day’s drive we go from cool grasslands at over 2,000 metres to hot, sub-tropical savannah at no more than 250 metres above sea level, with various transitional habitats in between. For the birder and wildlife enthusiast this translates into a superb range of species that includes bokmakierie, Gurney’s sugarbird, Denham’s bustard, Drakensberg prinia, Cape grassbird, sentinel rock thrush, buff-streaked and ant-eating chat, and secretarybird, and makes an ideal introduction to the region’s wildlife. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Days 6-9 Days 10-11 Day 12

Fly overnight to Johannesburg Dullstroom Mount Sheba Kruger National Park Sabi Sand Game Reserve Overnight flight arriving Day 13

ACCOMMODATION Characterful guesthouses, national park accommodation & safari lodge PRICE FROM £4,095 SINGLE SUPP £500 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Gavin Sims TOUR CODE SOUT5

Africa

NEW

Sunday 20 August - Monday 4 September 2017 Join award-winning natural history photographer Chris Mattison to capture the glorious bloom of spring flowers in contrasting areas of the Western Cape. The trip includes visits to the Cape Winelands, as well as the Cederberg Wilderness – famed for its Bushman rock paintings, which are over 1,000 years old. The itinerary is designed to maximise the creative opportunities as Chris takes you through one of his favourite regions in the company of a local botanist guide. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Fly overnight to Cape Town Day 2 Visit Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Day 3 Cape Peninsula Day 4 The West Coast Day 5 Flowering bulbs in the highlands Days 6-9 Spring flowers of Namaqualand Day 10 Succulents of The Knersvlakte Day 11 The Cederberg: Wupperthal & Biedouw Valley Days 12-13 Central Cederberg Day 14 Through the ‘Cape Fold Mountains’ Day 15 False Bay, Harold Porter Botanical Garden, & overnight flight Day 16 Arrive UK ACCOMMODATION Characterful guesthouses, national park accommodation & safari lodge PRICE FROM £4,395 SINGLE SUPP £270 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities, park fees GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Chris Mattison TOUR CODE SOUT8

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 45


Tanzania

Birding the Serengeti & Beyond

Uganda

NEW

Sunday 7 - Friday 19 May 2017 Sunday 6 - Friday 18 May 20178 Coinciding with the wildebeest migration, our safari to northern Tanzania focuses on the incredible East African birdlife, and the abundance of mammals roaming the rolling plains. We begin in Arusha National Park, set between the towering Mount Meru and snow-capped Kilimanjaro, to look for black-and-white colobus monkey, buffalo and giraffe, as well as fantastic birdlife including bar-tailed trogon, Hartlaub’s turaco, silvery-cheeked hornbill and Baglafecht weaver. We travel onwards to Tarangire, where amidst acacia bush, baobab trees, plains, swamps and rocky outcrops lies a plethora of wildlife, including large populations of elephant. We also visit Lake Manyara, which supports greater and lesser flamingo, as well as pink and white-backed pelican. Finally, we visit Ngorongoro crater, and the Serengeti plains to see the dramatic migration, while looking for rufous-tailed weaver, Fischer’s lovebird and grey-breasted spur-fowl. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-11 Day 12

Fly to Kilimanjaro Arusha National Park Tarangire National Park Lake Manyara National Park Ngorongoro Conservation Area Serengeti National Park Overnight flight arriving Day 13

ACCOMMODATION Hotels, guest houses, safari lodges & tented camps PRICE FROM £5,495 SINGLE SUPP £115 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER James Wolstencroft TOUR CODE TANZ4

Uganda's Great Apes

NEW

Thursday 21 September - Tuesday 3 October 2017 With the world’s highest density of primates, Uganda is a truly spectacular wildlife destination. Join renowned guide Harriet Kemigisha on this unique safari in Uganda’s best national parks. We begin our tour in the enchanting Kibale Forest, home to 13 species of primate, to track man’s closest relative – the chimpanzee. Continuing to Queen Elizabeth National Park, we look for the famous tree-climbing lions and a wealth of birdlife including black bee-eater and up to 11 species of kingfisher. We explore the park on boat trips, game drives and walking safaris. Our next stop is Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to the endangered mountain gorilla. We trek the forested mountainous slopes for a face-to-face encounter with these endearing apes. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Days 8-10 Day 11 Day 12

Fly to Entebbe Kampala Kibale Forest Queen Elizabeth National Park Bwindi National Park Lake Mburo National Park Overnight flight arriving Day 13

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

46 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays

Hotels, safari lodges & tented camps £6,295 £900 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 12 Harriet Kemigisha UGAN1


Africa

Zambia

Zambia

Birding in South Luangwa

Birding in Livingstone's Footsteps

Saturday 5 - Sunday 13 November 2016 Saturday 4 - Sunday 12 November 2017

Sunday 21 May - Saturday 3 June 2017 Sunday 20 May - Saturday 2 June 2018

South Luangwa is undoubtedly the jewel among Zambia's parks. The eastern boundary of this unspoiled wilderness is the meandering Luangwa River, whose many regular changes of course create scenic oxbow lakes. There could hardly be a better place for birdwatchers, as Luangwa is blessed with some 400 species including 39 raptors and 47 migrant species.

Our tour begins in the wildlife-rich South Luangwa National Park where we can see Nile crocodile, hippo, lion, leopard and a plethora of birds.

The sun-scorched riverbanks play host to colonies of carmine beeeaters, which – together with numerous raptors, lovebirds, weavers and kingfishers – lend more than a splash of colour to this beautiful destination. The beautiful ‘green season’ begins with the arrival of the first rains in early November. These cleanse the dust and haze that builds up during the intense heat of the dry season, giving rise to a wonderful burst of green that adorns the previously parched earth. Flowering trees and plants come into bloom, and many animals – including African wild dog – give birth at this time, offering fantastic photographic opportunities.

A short flight by light aircraft takes us to Mutinondo, where we take a day trip to look for the fascinating shoebill, all-the-while looking out for wattled crane, pallid and Montagu’s harrier, yellowbilled duck and countless other waterbirds, as well as tsessebe and thousands of endemic black lechwe. We head on to Lavushi Manda and walk in the foothills before continuing via Kapandalupili Falls and pristine miombo woodland. Our final stop is the remote Kasanka National Park where we take a boat ride in search of Pel’s fishing owl, African finfoot and white-crowned night heron. Here we see Zambia’s tallest tree and perhaps blue duiker, while on the plains we should see puku, sitatunga and hippo. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-7 Day 8 Day 9

Fly overnight to Mfuwe via Lusaka Birdwatching & game-viewing in the Luangwa Valley Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES GROUP SIZE LEADER TOUR CODE

Comfortable safari lodge £3,695 Nil Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities 10 Kangachepe Banda ZAMB3

Day 1 Fly overnight to Mfuwe via Lusaka Days 2-4 South Luangwa National Park Days 5-7 Mutinondo Wilderness Days 8-9 Lavushi Manda National Park Day 10 Fly to Kasanka via Bangweulu Swamp Days 11-12 Kasanka National Park Day 13 Overnight flight arriving on Day 14 ACCOMMODATION Simple, rustic bush lodges & comfortable safari lodges PRICE FROM £7,695 SINGLE SUPP £625 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Frank Willems TOUR CODE ZAMB4

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 47


North America


North America

Alaska

Canada

Alaskan Wilderness in Summer

Grand Manan’s Birds & Whales

Friday 16 - Wednesday 28 June 2017

Thursday 17 - Friday 25 August 2017

More than anywhere else in North America, Alaska has retained its wild character and ecological integrity, making a visit here simply a ‘must do’ experience.

The Bay of Fundy is one of the world's great marine wonders. This amazing ecosystem is powered by the highest tides in the world – which reach a staggering 14.5 metres.

We visit in June when there are almost endless hours of daylight for exploring. This is an active time for birds and wildlife who feed their young during the brief summer season. We look for moose in thick spruce forests, circumnavigate islands full of seabirds in the narrow fjords at Kenai, and hike in the magnificent wild surroundings of Denali National Park.

Charging through submarine canyons, Fundy’s mighty currents create upwellings that result in an abundance of food for marine life and produce one of the greatest – and most accessible – concentrations of whales and seabirds in the North Atlantic.

Along the coast we can expect close encounters with humpback whales, orcas, dolphins and Steller’s sea lions, as well as tufted and horned puffins, Brünnich's guillemot and red- faced cormorant, plus possibly the rare Kittlitz's murrelet. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Days 8-10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13

Fly to Anchorage Anchorage Homer Seward Anchorage Denali National Park Anchorage Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Good mid-range hotels & lodges PRICE FROM £6,795 SINGLE SUPP £1,085 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 9 LEADER Greg Smith TOUR CODE ALAS2

Fin, minke, humpback and the rare North Atlantic right whale congregate here in August to feed their young, play and mate. We enjoy boat trips into the bay for whales and seabirds. Harbour porpoise may be seen as we head out to sea, and the likes of grey and red-necked phalarope, Atlantic puffins and Arctic and pomarine skua are all regularly observed. The intertidal zone is equally rich in life, attracting thousands of migrating waders – particularly semi-palmated sandpipers, which at this time of year can be in their thousands. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9

Fly to Halifax & transfer to Bouctouche Bouctouche Grand Manan Island Fundy National Park Mary's Point & overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Good hotels & guesthouses PRICE FROM £3,595 SINGLE SUPP £325 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADERS Mike & Liz Read* TOUR CODE CANA3 * 2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 49


USA

USA

Land of the Navajo

Birding the Rio Grande Valley

Monday 11 - Friday 22 September 2017

Sunday 22 January - Sunday 5 February 2017 Saturday 2 - Saturday 16 December 2017

Join us for a wonderful and unique tour, packed with birdwatching, wildlife and Native American history. We visit Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion National Parks, plus the no less spectacular Capitol Reef and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We also take in Antelope Canyon and enjoy a full day boat trip on Lake Powell. Prairie dog, mule deer, elk, Townsend’s solitaire, Clark’s nutcracker, mountain chickadee, American dipper, black phoebe and greater roadrunner are all possible sightings, as are groups of migrant Townsend’s and yellow-rumped warblers, as well as both mountain and western bluebirds. And if the pinyon pines have a good crop of cones, we may find flocks of pinyon jays too. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Day 6 Days 7-8 Days 9-10 Day 11 Day 12

Fly to Salt Lake City Capitol Reef National Park Bryce Canyon National Park Lake Powell Grand Canyon National Park Zion National Park Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotels, inns & motels PRICE FROM £3,995 SINGLE SUPP £845 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADER Pat Lueders TOUR CODE USA4

The jewel in the Rio Grande’s crown is undoubtedly Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, however there are many other interesting sites to visit along the way. The first part of the trip is dominated by southern US specialities, such as colourful Altamira orioles and green jays, which inhabit the riverine woodlands. At Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge some 80% of North America’s redheads winter on the shallow coastal lagoon, and ospreys and rare aplomado falcons are also possible. In New Mexico we visit the high deserts, pine forests and reservoirs of the ‘upper’ Rio Grande for grebes, ducks and geese, ending in Bosque del Apache for the spectacle of some 12,000 sandhill cranes and 35,000 snow geese! OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-5 Day 6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Days 10-12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15

Fly to McAllen Birding around the Rio Grande Valley Las Cruces Silver City Truth or Consequences Socorro Las Cruces Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotels, inns & motels PRICE FROM £4,995 SINGLE SUPP £630 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Mike Read TOUR CODE USA5

50 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


North America

USA Grand Teton & Yellowstone Solar Eclipse

NEW

Friday 18 August - Friday 1 September 2017 This one-off birdwatching bonanza visits scenic Grand Teton National Park to see the first total solar eclipse visible in the USA for 26 years, plus the world’s oldest national park – Yellowstone – where real conservation was pioneered! Starting from Salt Lake City, we explore Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake to see the millions of birds that gather on the lakeshore, while Wyoming’s Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge is also a vital resting place for migrants. The varied habitats of rugged Sinks Canyon State Park, beside the Wind River Mountains, hold an equally wide diversity of birds, wildlife and plants. En route back to Salt Lake City we visit various reserves to see migrating waterfowl and shorebirds and more views of the Great Salt Lake.

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Fly to Salt Lake City Days 2-4 Green River & Lander/Riverton Days 5-7 Grand Teton National Park for the eclipse Days 8-11 Yellowstone National Park Days 12-13 Brigham City & Lehi Day 14 Overnight flight Day 15 Arrive UK ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES

Comfortable mid-range hotels & lodges £4,995 £910 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 16 LEADERS Barrie Cooper & Tim Avery TOUR CODE USA6

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 51


Latin America


Argentina

Birding in Northwest Argentina

Argentina

NEW

Friday 13 - Sunday 29 October 2017 Argentina’s northwestern provinces are overlooked by the lofty mountains of the Andes – the rugged countryside wrought from rock creates weird and wonderful landscapes studded with flowering cacti. With its mix of dusty indigenous towns, traditional handicrafts, llamas, Inca ruins, and the country’s first colonial settlements, the arid plateau of the puna extends into Chile and Bolivia. The region contains some of South America’s most spectacular landscapes - vineyards, low-lying woodland, cloud forest, shrubby desert, Andean foothills, and high meadows with snow-capped peaks - but this variety of habitats guarantees an exceptionally rich and varied birdlife. Why not consider our Iguazu or Esteros del Iberá extensions? See website OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Fly overnight to Buenos Aires Days 3-4 Fly to Tucuman, Tafí del Valle, Cafayate Days 5-6 Cabra Corral Day 7 San Lorenzo Days 8-9 Purmamarca Days 10- 11 Abra Pampa Days 12-14 Yavi, Yala & Salta Days 15-16 Fly to Buenos Aires, overnight flight Day 17 Arrive UK ACCOMMODATION Good mid-range hotels & lodges PRICE FROM £4,695 SINGLE SUPP £495 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADER Luis Segura TOUR CODE ARGE3

Latin America

Wildlife & Glaciers of Patagonia Monday 14 - Thursday 24 November 2016 (11 days) Friday 10 - Wednesday 22 November 2017 (13 days) In the wilds of Patagonia we marvel at penguins in their thousands, condors soaring above Andean glaciers, southern right whales and elephant seals in their breeding grounds, and aweinspiring scenery. Our journey begins in the harsh, windswept desert of the Valdes Peninsula, where we watch colourful burrowing parrots, inspect impressive flowering cacti, visit a Magellanic penguin rookery, and watch offshore for whales. Continuing south to Ushuaia on Tierra del Fuego we explore the shores of the Beagle Channel. On our return northward we pause in Calafate, where the great plain of Patagonia reaches the very edge of the Andes, and condors vie for attention with stunning glaciers and towering peaks. Why not consider our Iguazu extension? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Days 6-8 Days 9-10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13

Fly overnight to Buenos Aires Buenos Aires Fly to Valdes Peninsula Fly to Ushuaia; Tierra del Fuego National Park Fly to Calafate; Los Glaciares National Park Fly to Buenos Aires Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Good mid-range hotels & lodges PRICE FROM £4,595 SINGLE SUPP £500 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADER Luis Segura TOUR CODE ARGE2

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Bolivia

Brazil

Birding in the Heart of South America

Jaguars & Raptors of the Pantanal

Wednesday 4 - Sunday 15 October 2017 Bolivia is a biological treasure trove, with over 1,300 species of birds; these include some 40 percent of the species present in South America, with 20 endemics and another 100 species endemic to the ecosystems which Bolivia shares with its neighbours. Our tour begins on the wildlife-rich lowlands and foothills of the Andes, before we make our way to an altitude of 4,720 metres, for an introduction to Bolivia's diverse habitats, landscapes and culture. Among the birds we should see are hoatzin, southern screamer and scaly-naped parrot, as well as such endemics as black-hooded sunbeam, Bolivian warbling finch, Bolivian blackbird, swallowtailed nightjar and short-winged grebe. Why not consider our Trinidad extension to see the endangered endemic blue-throated macaw? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Thursday 6 - Wednesday 19 October 2016 Thursday 5 - Wednesday 18 October 2017 From the dry mountains of the interior – the Cerrado – to the fabulous wetlands of the Pantanal, we explore some of South America’s finest wildlife areas, for superb birdwatching and an array of mammals from giant river otter to jaguar. Hard on the border with Bolivia lies the vast inland swamp that many people believe to be the world’s finest wetland for birds - the Pantanal. Jaguar, ocelot, tapir, giant otter and maned wolf are all possible here, as well as a wonderful variety of exotic birds, butterflies and plants. We stay in both the southern and northern Pantanal, allowing us to see the differences between the two. In total contrast, the mountains of the Serra das Araras rise above the forests and the floodplain, and offer a possibility of seeing some of the world’s most spectacular birds of prey. Why not consider extending to Iguazu Falls? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Day 8 Days 9-10 Day 11 Day 12

Fly overnight to Santa Cruz Arrive Santa Cruz, visit Botanical Garden Birding in Lopas de Arena Refugio Los Volcanes Comarapa & the Mizque Valley Comarapa & Siberia Forest Cochabamba & upper Chaparte Road Cerro Tunari, fly Santa Cruz & overnight flight - or join extension to Trinidad. Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Hotels & lodges PRICE FROM £2,995 SINGLE SUPP £380 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Pablo Petracci TOUR CODE BOLI1

Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14

Fly overnight to São Paulo South Pantanal Serra das Araras North Pantanal Porto Jofre Cuiabá Overnight flight - or join extension to Iguazu Falls Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Hotels & lodges PRICE FROM £4,595 SINGLE SUPP £520 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADER Miguel Castelino TOUR CODE BRAZ2

54 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Latin America

Costa Rica

Falkland Islands

Cloud Forests, Jungles & Volcanoes

Falklands Wildlife Photography

Saturday 25 February - Friday 10 March 2017 Saturday 24 February - Friday 9 March 2018

Thursday 24 November - Monday 12 December 2016 Thursday 11 - Monday 29 January 2018

Costa Rica is a land of spectacular mountains and active volcanoes, pristine beaches, lowland rainforest and high cloud forest festooned with orchids and bromeliads, and wonderful tropical wetlands.

This is a fantastic location if you want to get close to penguins and the islands' other birds and wildlife. We maximise the photographic potential with visits to colonies of gentoo, southern rockhopper and Magellanic penguins at a time of year when the chicks are at their most photogenic. Black-browed albatrosses, elephant seals and sealions also make intriguing subjects.

We aim to visit a representative sample of Costa Rica’s biologically rich areas, and provide the best possible experience of this small country. Howler monkey, pecari, agouti and two-toed sloth are all possible mammals, whereas from a bird point of view we should see fiery-throated hummingbird, resplendent quetzal, trogons, woodpeckers and a bewildering array of flycatchers. In Carara National Park, a Pacific lowland forest, we should see white-faced capuchin and tamandua, and on the coast skimmers, terns, frigatebirds and many wintering waders from North America.

We even take a boat trip to photograph such species as sooty shearwaters and albatrosses skimming over the waves of the South Atlantic. There is also a good chance of seeing orca, plus Commerson's and Peale's dolphins. Why not consider our extension to Torres del Paine, Chile? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Days 8-9 Days 10-11 Day 12 Day 13

Fly to San José Sarapiquí Arenal highlands Cerro de la Muerte Carara National Park Tempisque River San José Overnight flight arriving Day 14

ACCOMMODATION Hotels, lodges (some remote) & cabins PRICE FROM £3,195 SINGLE SUPP £450 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Alfredo Scott TOUR CODE COST1

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-5 Days 6-8 Days 9-11 Days 12-14 Days 15-16 Day 17 Day 18

Fly overnight to Santiago Santiago Fly to Falklands & transfer to Darwin Pebble Island Saunders Island Bleaker Island Sea Lion Island Stanley Santiago - or join extension to Torres del Paine Overnight flight arriving Day 19

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable hotels & island guesthouses PRICE FROM £7,295 SINGLE SUPP £745 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals (except Santiago) & guided activities GROUP SIZE 7 LEADER Mike Read TOUR CODE FALK3

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 55


Falkland Islands

Guatemala

Birding the Falklands

Quetzal Quest in the Land of the Maya

Thursday 19 - Monday 30 October 2017 This short trip takes in tiny Sea Lion – the archipelago's most southerly inhabited island – which has sandy beaches, cliffs, freshwater ponds, heathland, and a colony of elephant seals. We see gentoo and rockhopper penguins, blackish cinclode, snowy sheathbill and brown skua, while land birds include endemic Cobb’s wren, short-eared owl, South American snipe, caracaras plus rufous-chested dotterel.

Saturday 21 January - Friday 3 February 2017 Saturday 20 January - Friday 2 February 2018

Low, flat Bleaker is a national nature reserve with colonies of gentoo and Magellanic penguins, plus king cormorant and southern giant petrel. The eastern end is good for sea-watching, and its ponds attract white-tufted and silvery grebe, black-necked swan and whitewinged coot. Around Stanley we watch for shearwaters and Wilson’s storm petrel, and may see black-browed or wandering albatrosses. At Volunteer Point the colonies of gentoo and king penguins are a final highlight.

The hills of the Pacific slope are home to different species including azure-rumped tanager and long-tailed manakin, and in the cloud forest of the Quetzal Biotope Reserve we should see resplendent quetzal, azure-hooded jay and spotted nightingale-thrush. Our final visit is to the Mayan sites of Tikal and Yaxca for Yucatan howler and spider monkeys, coatimundi and countless birds.

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Days 8-9 Day 10 Day 11

Fly overnight to Santiago Santiago Fly to Falklands & transfer to Darwin Sea Lion Island Bleaker Island Stanley, visit Volunteer Point Fly to Santiago Overnight flight arriving Day 12

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable hotels & island guesthouses PRICE FROM £4,795 SINGLE SUPP £655 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Claudio Vidal TOUR CODE FALK4

We begin in Antigua, with its fine colonial architecture, visiting the Central Highlands to look for endemics such as pink- headed warbler. On Lake Atitlán, overlooked by a trio of volcanoes, a boat trip reveals lesser scaup, pied-billed grebe and American coot.

OUTLINE ITINERARY Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-5 Days 6-7 Day 8 Days 9-11 Day 12 Day 13

Fly to Guatemala City & transfer to Antigua Antigua Santiago Atitlán Los Tarrales Reserve Quetzal Biotope Reserve Flores Tikal National Park Antigua Overnight flight arriving Day 14

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable hotels, some quite rustic PRICE FROM £3,695 SINGLE SUPP £390 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADERS Benedicto Grijalva & Barrie Cooper* TOUR CODE GUAT1 *2nd tour leader subject to minimum numbers

56 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Latin America

Guyana

Mexico

Rainforests, Savannahs & Wetlands

Ocean Giants of Baja California

Saturday 12 - Thursday 24 November 2016 Saturday 18 November - Friday 1 December 2017

Friday 7 - Thursday 20 April 2017 Saturday 7 - Friday 20 April 2018

Guyana is a tiny country containing pristine rainforest, wonderful waterfalls, freshwater marshes teeming with birds and mammals, and lekking sites for the spectacular Guianan cock-of-the-rock.

Our voyage along the 1,300 kilometre-long Baja Peninsula visits the world’s finest whale-watching location. Guadalupe fur seal, California sealion, elephant seal, loggerhead and green turtle, coyote and even a rattleless rattlesnake all occur here, but it is the whales that steal the show. Hundreds of grey whales come to breed and calve in the sheltered waters of San Ignacio Lagoon. Whalewatching here is like nothing on earth, as here the whales come to you!

We visit the coastal plain, sand-belt forest, the rainforests of the interior, Kaieteur Falls and the Rupununi savannah, travelling by four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorised dugouts and on foot. The birdwatching is wonderful with blood-coloured woodpecker, rufous crab-hawk, scarlet ibis, oilbird, white-tipped swift and Amazonian antshrike all possible. Mammals include black spider and red howler monkey, wedge-capped capuchin, banded tamandua, giant river otters and numerous capybara. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Rounding the peninsula and heading into the deep water of the Sea of Cortez, we enter perhaps the greatest concentration of cetaceans on earth. Humpback, fin, sperm, Bryde’s, dwarf sperm, orca and pygmy killer whale all occur here, but the real prize is blue whale – the largest mammal of all! OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-5 Day 6 Day 7 Days 8-10 Day 11 Day 12

Fly to Georgetown Georgetown Iwokrama River Lodge Atta Rainforest Lodge Surama village Karanambu Ranch Georgetown Overnight flight arriving Day 13

ACCOMMODATION Good lodges & rustic accommodation PRICE FROM £5,695 SINGLE SUPP £525 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities. GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Gary Swey TOUR CODE GUYA1

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-12 Day 13

Fly to San Diego Board m/v Searcher Islas Todos Santos & San Benito San Ignacio Lagoon Magdalena Bay & Cabo San Lucas Sea of Cortez Los Cabos, overnight flight arriving Day 14

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable vessel with 13 compact cabins. Mid-range hotel in San Diego. PRICE FROM £5,195 SINGLE SUPP On request PRICE INCLUDES Flights, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 24 LEADER Rob Nawojchik TOUR CODE MEXI2

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 57


Mexico

Butterfly, Whale & Bird Migration

Trinidad & Tobago

NEW

Wednesday 22 February - Thursday 9 March 2017 Wednesday 21 February - Thursday 8 March 2018 Combine two extraordinary wildlife events whilst enjoying some of the finest birdwatching in Mexico; observe millions of monarch butterflies settling in the warmer climate of Michoacán for their winter hibernation and witness hundreds of inquisitive grey whales arriving at their breeding grounds in the waters of Baja California. Visit San Blas Nayarit, a birders' paradise and considered one of the best birding location in the Americas, with over 300 species including 30 endemics such as the rufous-bellied chachalacas, a vast number of Neotropical migrants and plenty of wading birds and parrots.

The Asa Wright Experience Thursday 9 - Tuesday 21 February 2017 Thursday 8 - Tuesday 20 February 2018 An introduction to the natural riches of the Caribbean, based at the world-famous Asa Wright Nature Centre on Trinidad, together with Tobago's tropical seabirds and coral reefs. The view from the verandah of Asa Wright is superb. Birding here – sometimes just a few metres from the hummingbird feeders – is always outstanding. Around the centre, 100 hectares of former coffee-cocoa-citrus plantation are now reverting to secondary forest, surrounded by impressive rainforest. Here we hope to encounter violaceous trogon, channel-billed toucan, whitebearded manakin, ornate hawk-eagle and the stunning white hawk and oilbird. Tobago with its lovely beaches, coral reefs and seabird islands, makes a fine conclusion to the trip.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Ideal to combine with our Butterfly, Whale & Bird Migration trip.

Day 1 Days 2-3 Day 4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Day 9 Day 10 Days 11-14 Day 15

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Fly to Mexico City Monarch butterfly sanctuaries in Michoacan Fly to Los Cabos, Baja California Sonoran Desert & Cabo Pulmo Sierra de la Laguna & Magdalena Bay La Paz coastal birding & ferry to Mazatlan Scenic drive to San Blas San Blas & Puerto Vallarta Overnight flight arriving Day 16

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotels, guesthouses & ranches PRICE FROM £5,695 SINGLE SUPP £745 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADERS John Muddeman & Greg Homel* TOUR CODE MEXI3

Day 1 Days 2-7

Fly to Port of Spain & transfer to Asa Wright Asa Wright Nature Centre. Excursions to Nariva & Caroni Swamps, Oilbird Cave, Blanchisseuse & Arena forest Day 8 Fly to Tobago Days 9-11 Tobago Day 12 Overnight flight arriving Day 13 ACCOMMODATION Asa Wright Nature Centre & comfortable hotel in Tobago PRICE FROM £4,395 SINGLE SUPP £955 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER John Muddeman TOUR CODE TRIN1

*2nd leader subject to minimum number

58 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Asia


Armenia

Borneo

Demoiselle Cranes in Autumn

Festival of Wildlife

Tuesday 29 August - Sunday 10 September 2017

Friday 2 - Sunday 11 June 2017

This tour aims to be the first of its kind in landlocked Armenia, combining a remarkable diversity of habitats and landscapes with something of the country’s rich ancient culture, and a unique opportunity to see demoiselle cranes on their autumn passage.

Join a team of renowned wildlife experts that includes TV presenters Nick Baker and Nigel Marven, author/photographer Nick Garbutt, macro photography expert Alex Hyde, award-winning sculptor and artist Nick Mackman, local artist YeeTing Wong, and Borneo’s leading naturalist Dr Arthur Chung, for an exceptional experience with talks, presentations and workshops.

As we are more likely to see migrating cranes at the start of our stay, and raptors on passage towards the end, we head first to Yehegnadzor via the wetland of Armash, then visit the central and northern parts of the country in an anti-clockwise loop. This means we visit the country’s largest body of water, Lake Sevan, early in the itinerary and leave the northern areas for migrant raptors until later. On our return to Yerevan we revisit Armash, and may note a considerable change in even such a short period. Armash is one of the top birding sites in the Western Palearctic and - as we know from experience - its list of species is mouth-watering! OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2

Fly to Yerevan; visit Garni Temple & Geghard Monastery Days 3-5 Yeghegnadzor via Armash Day 6 Sevanavank Days 7-8 Vanadzor Days 9-10 Gyumri Days 11-12 Yerevan; revisit Armash Day 13 Flight to UK ACCOMMODATION Comfortable mid-range hotels PRICE FROM £2,695 SINGLE SUPP £215 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER John Muddeman TOUR CODE ARME1

Wildlife abounds in the Danum Valley, a pristine 43,800-hectare conservation area where more than 340 bird species have been recorded, along with 124 species of mammals, 72 of reptiles, 56 of amphibians, and a staggering 200 plant species per hectare! Much of the fauna is nocturnal, and is most likely to be seen on a night safari, however wild orangutans frequently nest close to the lodge. The nearby canopy walkway provides unimpeded viewing of the 130-million-year-old forest at eye level with the tree-tops. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Day 3 Days 4-8 Day 9 Day 10

Fly overnight to Kota Kinabalu; in Kota Kinabalu Fly to Lahad Datu & transfer to Danum Valley Wildlife activities, talks, presentations, & workshops Fly to Kota Kinabalu; overnight flight to UK Arrive UK

Why not join a pre- or post-Festival extension? See website. ACCOMMODATION Comfortable rainforest lodge & hotel PRICE FROM £5,195 SINGLE SUPP £300 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & full programme of events GROUP SIZE 46 (split into intimate groups) LEADERS Nick Baker, Nigel Marven, Nick Garbutt, Alex Hyde, Nick Mackman, YeeTing Wong & Arthur Chung TOUR CODE BORN2

60 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


India

India

Quest for the Snow Leopard

Birds & Big Cats

Saturday 18 February - Thursday 2 March 2017 Saturday 17 February - Thursday 1 March 2018

Saturday 12 - Saturday 26 November 2016 Saturday 11 - Saturday 25 November 2017

Ladakh in the Himalayas provides a habitat for some interesting birds and mammals, but its most famous resident is that most elusive of cats – the snow leopard.

This comprehensive safari visits the parks of Corbett, Bharatpur and Ranthambore – each rich with birds and mammals.

Hemis National Park in Ladakh has become the most reliable place in the world to see this magnificent predator. Camping here for six nights will maximise our chances of seeing it, and the park guides will do their utmost to help us locate this king of the mountain. However, snow leopards are secretive animals with a large territory so sightings cannot be guaranteed. Other possible sightings include lammergeier, golden eagle, redbilled and yellow-billed chough, Himalayan snowcock, chukar and Tibetan partridge. In addition, blue sheep, woolly hare and Royle’s pika are all found close to the camp.

Lying on the Indo-Gangetic plains, Corbett is home to tiger, leopard, sloth bear, rhesus macaque, nilgai, chinkara, wild boar, sambar, chital and reptiles that include gharial crocodile. The birdlife is also excellent here – more than 300 species include raptors, parakeets, owls, orioles, drongos, kingfishers, bee-eaters, hornbills, warblers and many more. The park’s location at a natural crossroads means it is a meeting ground for species from high altitude areas, plains and the eastern and western regions. Ranthambore is best known for its tiger sightings, but is also home to numerous mammal species. Its setting, on a maharajah’s former hunting reserve, is quite exquisite.

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY 

Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Day 6 Days 7-11 Day 12 Day 13

Day 1 Days 2-3 Days 4-7 Day 8 Days 9-10 Days 11-13 Day 14 Day 15

Fly overnight to Delhi Delhi Leh to acclimatise Hemis National Park - camping Trekking in search of snow leopards Leh Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION City hotels (basic in Leh) & camping PRICE FROM £3,095 SINGLE SUPP £275 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Barrie Cooper TOUR CODE INDI2

Asia

Fly overnight to Delhi Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary & Okhla Bird Park Corbett National Park Corbett to Delhi Agra, Taj Mahal & Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary Ranthambore National Park Delhi Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable jungle lodges PRICE FROM £2,995 SINGLE SUPP £1,075 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Varun Narain Mathur TOUR CODE INDI3

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 61


India

Japan

Birding in Central India

Japan's Spectacular Winter Wildlife

Friday 25 November - Sunday 11 December 2016 Friday 24 November - Sunday 10 December 2017 From the Chambal River and wetlands of Bharatpur, to the legendary Taj Mahal and some little visited parks, this itinerary offers ample opportunity to see the country’s finest species. Openbills, spoonbills, jacanas and the threatened Siberian crane are amongst the bird options in Bharatpur. The Chambal River, a maze of intertwining mud cliffs, is one of the last remaining strongholds of the Gangetic river dolphin and boasts an impressive bird list with over 290 species. Pench, Satpura and Tadoba are little visited and, in addition to enjoying game drives, we can bird on foot and by boat. Wildlife in the parks is outstanding with opportunities to see sambar, chital, nilgai, fishing cat, Asiatic jackal, hyena, mongoose and tiger. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-6 Day 7 Days 8-11 Days 12-13 Days 14-15 Day 16 Day 17

Fly overnight to Delhi Delhi Bharatpur Chambal Agra, Taj Mahal Satpura National Park Pench National Park Tadoba National Park Delhi Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable jungle lodges PRICE FROM £3,995 SINGLE SUPP £1,350 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Varun Narain Mathur TOUR CODE INDI4

NEW

Saturday 26 November - Saturday 10 December 2016 Saturday 25 November - Saturday 9 December 2017 Covering a range of climatic zones, Japan’s diverse habitats support an abundance of wildlife. More than 600 bird species have been recorded, of which over 250 are known to breed in Japan. Endemic highlights include Japanese woodpecker, green pheasant - Japan’s national bird - and copper pheasant. On this tour we hope to see large numbers of migrating cranes, swans and geese in Arasaki, which make a fabulous spectacle. A visit to Akan Tancho no Sato should provide views of the stunning and elegant red-crowned crane at a riverine roost. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Days 7-9 Days 10-11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15

Fly overnight to Tokyo, fly to Miyasaki Birding at Kadogawa, drive to Mi-ike Lake Mi-ike & Kirishima Arasaki & Kogawa Reservoir Fly to Tokyo, onto Kambayashi Onsen Karuizawa Fly to Kushiro, on to Yoroushi, Lake Mashu, Kussharo & Yoroushi Valley Notsuke Peninsula, Lake Furen & Nemuro Tsurui Fly to Tokyo Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable, small, mid-range hotels PRICE FROM £8,395 SINGLE SUPP £920 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 14 LEADERS Barrie Cooper & local leader TOUR CODE JAPA1

62 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Malaysia

Maldives

Peninsular Birding

NEW Whales, Dolphins & Mantas in the Indian Ocean

Friday 3 - Sunday 19 March 2017 Friday 2 - Sunday 18 March 2018 The central and northern regions of Peninsular Malaysia offer a diverse range of habitats including lowland rainforest, montane forest, mangrove, mudflat, wetland and scrubland. Together the states of Selangor, Penang, Perak and Kedah offer a vast expanse of untouched rainforest, golden beaches and secluded coral islands with fantastic birds. In all, some 640 bird species are found on the mainland, and 11 of the peninsula's 18 Important Bird Areas lie within these four states. The relatively untouched Belum Forest Reserve alone is home to some of world’s most threatened mammals, including Malaysian tiger, Asiatic elephant, Sumatran rhinoceros, white-handed gibbon, and Malayan sun bear. More than 300 avian species are found here, and it is the only place to see all of Malaysia’s ten species of hornbill: white-crowned, bushy-crested, wrinkled, wreathed, plain-pouched, black, oriental pied, rhinoceros, great and helmeted. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Fly overnight to Kuala Lumpur Days 2-4 Bukit Fraser Days 5-8 Taman Negara National Park Days 9-10 Batu Gajah Days 11-12 Taiping Days 13-14 Royal Belum State Park Days 15-16 Penang, then overnight flight to UK arriving Day 17 ACCOMMODATION Good, comfortable, mid-range hotels PRICE FROM £4,395 SINGLE SUPP £1,485 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Andrew Sebastian TOUR CODE MALA1

Asia

Friday 6 - Sunday 15 October 2017 On this small group tour, we look for whales and dolphins from aboard our chartered liveaboard vessel and enjoy snorkelling on colourful coral reefs that are home to rich marine life. If lucky, we may even have a chance to swim with magnificent manta rays – which some consider to be the wildlife highlight of a lifetime! The Maldives possess an incredibly rich diversity of cetacean life, and in recent years, an astonishing 23 different species have been observed. Spinner, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins plus shortfinned pilot whale are frequently seen, along with spotted and striped dolphins and dwarf sperm whale. Other possible sightings include blue and Bryde’s whales and the rare Longman’s beaked whale. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-7 Day 8 Day 9 Day 10

Fly overnight to Malé Arrive Malé, transfer to liveaboard Whale, dolphin & seabird watching around the atolls Whale & dolphin watching off Malé atoll Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable vessel with 10 cabins, each with en suite shower/toilet PRICE FROM £3,495 SINGLE SUPP £1,215 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 16 LEADER Dr Charles Anderson TOUR CODE MALD2-1

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 63


Mongolia

Sri Lanka

Birding the Land of Genghis Khan

Blue Whales & Dolphins

Sunday 18 June - Monday 3 July 2017

Saturday 26 November - Friday 9 December 2016 Saturday 4 - Friday 17 March 2017 Saturday 25 November - Friday 8 December 2017 Saturday 3 - Friday 16 March 2018

This fabulous birdwatching itinerary visits the majestic mountains and steppe of Mongolia. Sandwiched between Russia and China, this is a vast open grassland, bordered by the Altai Mountains in the north and west, and the Gobi Desert in the south. From the spectacular Hustai National Park, home of the Przewalski's horse, to the taiga forests in Terelj National Park, Mongolia has much to offer. Pacific swift, steppe eagle, Pallas's fish-eagle, black vulture, upland buzzard, saker and Amur falcon, white-naped and demoiselle crane, red-flanked bluetail, Siberian rubythroat, Henderson's ground jay, Altai snowcock and saxaul sparrow are all possible sightings and among the mammals we hope to see are Tarbagan marmot, white-tailed gazelle and grey wolf. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Days 4-5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Days 9-10 Days 11-12 Day 13 Days 14-15 Day 16

Fly overnight to Ulaanbaatar Ulaanbaatar Hustai National Park Ugii Lake Kharkhorin Elsen Tasarkhai Ulaanbaatar Yolyn Am Khongoryn Els Dalanzadgad Ghorki-Terelj National Park Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Mid-range hotels & tourist 'ger' or yurt camps PRICE FROM £4,095 SINGLE SUPP £415 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Bayanmunkh Dashnyam (Bayanaa) TOUR CODE MONG1

At Kalpitiya we should see large numbers of spinner dolphins. We then cross the island and head for the south coast, for an opportunity to see blue whales – the largest mammals on earth – and possibly orca, sperm, and beaked whales. En route we visit Sri Lanka’s premier national parks – Yala and Udawalawe. Yala is acknowledged as one of the best places in the world to see leopard, but is also home to water buffalo, elephant, sloth bear, sambar, chital, wild boar, marsh mugger crocodile and civet. Birding highlights may include blue-faced malkoha, yellow-wattled lapwing, rufous-winged bush lark, thick-billed flowerpecker, purple sunbird, little minivet, white-rumped shama and black-necked stork. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-12 Day 13 Day 14

Fly overnight to Colombo Kalpitiya Udawalawe National Park Yala National Park Mirissa Katunayaka Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable hotels & resorts PRICE FROM £2,795 SINGLE SUPP £625 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation with some evening meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Upul Wickramasinghe or Saman Kumara Gamage TOUR CODE SRIL1

64 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Sri Lanka

Taiwan

Birds & Whales of Sri Lanka

Endemics & Winter Migrants

Saturday 3 - Sunday 18 December 2016 Friday 17 March - Saturday 1 April 2017 Saturday 2 - Sunday 17 December 2017 Friday 16 March - Saturday 31 March 2018

Saturday 12 - Friday 25 November 2016 Saturday 11 - Friday 24 November 2017

We search for Sri Lanka’s endemic birds among a host of exquisite winter visitors and Southern Indian specialities. And, along with Asian elephant, leopard and possibly sloth bear in Yala National Park, we also hope to see blue whale offshore. This Indian Ocean paradise is home to more than 30 endemic bird species. We should see most of them – from Legge’s flowerpecker and Sri Lankan hanging parrot, to Sri Lankan junglefowl and Sri Lankan blue magpie, and hopefully Serendib scops owl as well as Sri Lankan frogmouth, Malabar trogon, yellow-browed bulbul, and Loten’s and purple-rumped sunbird.

Asia

NEW

Our tour focuses on Taiwan’s national treasure, its superb endemic birds, along with the winter migrants. The combination of highlands, wetlands and northern coastal regions should provide the greatest diversity of species. Over 500 bird species have been recorded on the island, and 24 endemics include the stunning Swinhoe’s pheasant, Taiwan fulvetta, Taiwan blue magpie, Taiwan whistling thrush, and the exquisite flamecrest. One of the nonendemic highlights is the graceful and unusual black-faced spoonbill, just one of the many migrants that passes through on route between Siberia and tropical Asia between September and March. OUTLINE ITINERARY 

OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Days 2-4 Days 5-6 Days 7-8 Days 9-10 Days 11-12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16

Fly overnight to Colombo Sigiriya & Kandy Nuwara Eliya Kitulgala Sinharaja Udawalawe National Park Yala National Park, Tissamaharama Bundala National Park, onto Mirissa Whale watching in Mirissa, drive to Katunayaka Flight to UK

ACCOMMODATION Comfortable hotels & resorts PRICE FROM £2,995 SINGLE SUPP £700 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Saman Kumara Gamage or Wicky Wickramasekara TOUR CODE SRIL3

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Days 9-11 Day 12 Day 13

Fly overnight to Taipei Taipei Taipei Botanical Gardens, onto Hualien Aowanda Huisun Puli Alishan, birding at Guanghua Village Augu Wetland Dasyueshan Taipei Overnight flight arriving Day 14

ACCOMMODATION Small, basic to mid-range hotels PRICE FROM £3,995 SINGLE SUPP £570 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADERS Barrie Cooper & local leader TOUR CODE TAIW1

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 65


Australasia


Australia

Top End Birding

Australia

NEW

Australasia

Jewels of the Kimberley

NEW

Tuesday 29 August - Sunday 10 September 2017

Wednesday 6 - Friday 22 September 2017

The 'Top End' of the Northern Territory is a haven for birdlife and hosts some truly spectacular species such as rainbow bee-eater, Gouldian finch, and the emblematic black-necked stork, as well as numerous mammals, colourful insects, and an incredible array of reptiles including the legendary saltwater crocodile.

Western Australia has more than 500 bird species including 18 endemics. The best birding is in the Kimberley in the tropical far north, where Broome is outstanding for waders, migrants and mangrove species, while Kununurra is a hotspot for finches, parrots, honeyeaters and water birds, and Derby has over 200 species. Many near-endemic, migratory and highly sought-after species can be found, including purple-crowned fairy wren, whitequilled rock pigeon and grey shrike-thrush.

This tour covers all the key locations from the Mary River wetlands and Kakadu National Park, to the scenic Katherine Gorge and Kununurra in the Kimberley. Why not consider our pre-tour Sacred Arnhem Land Extension? See website. Ideal to combine with our Jewels of the Kimberley trip. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Days 3 Days 4-5

Fly to Darwin Arrive Darwin, visit Fogg Dam Conservation Reserve Mary River Wetlands & World Heritage Kakadu National Park Day 6 Drive to Pine Creek, birding activities Day 7 Katherine Gorge – Nitmiluk National Park Days 8-9 Timber Creek Days 10-11 Drive to Kununurra and explore Lake Argyle Day 12 Transfer to Kununurra airport & overnight flight – or join Jewels of the Kimberley tour Day 13 Arrive UK ACCOMMODATION Wilderness retreats, eco lodges, and rustic hotels in remote locations PRICE FROM £5,995 SINGLE SUPP £1,000 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 10 LEADER Luke Paterson TOUR CODE AUSI3

Ideal to combine with our Top End Birding trip. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7 Days 8-9 Day 10 Days 11-12 Day 13 Day 14 Day 15 Day 16 Day 17

Fly to Kununurra Arrive Kununurra, transfer to Lily Creek Lagoon Lake Argyle, Kununurra Drive to to El Questro via Parry Lagoon Birdwatching at Emma Gorge Drive to Drysdale River Station Mitchell Plateau Return to Drysdale River Station, birdwatching Mount Elizabeth Station Drive to Derby Drive to Broome via Taylor’s Lagoon & Fitzroy River Broome: whale watching & birding on the coast Overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Wilderness retreats, comfortable eco lodges & rustic hotels PRICE FROM £5,995 SINGLE SUPP £1,000 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER George Swann TOUR CODE AUSI4

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 67


Australia

Islands, Rivers & Ranges

New Zealand

NEW

Saturday 23 September - Saturday 7 October 2017 With a diversity of habitats from the dry red interior of the outback, to the wetlands, mangroves and estuaries of the Coorong National Park, we visit the best birding locations South Australia has to offer. We begin in the well-known Flinders Ranges, where we follow the Samphire Coast to the Eyre Peninsula, before visiting the Murray River, finishing at Gluepot Reserve and the beautiful Kangaroo Island. We can expect to see over 200 species of birds, including five species of parrot, three species of cockatoo, little penguin, black-eared miner, malleefowl, western whipbird, freckled duck, Cape barren goose and a variety of grasswrens, eagles, rails and crakes. Aside from the rich birdlife, we will also look for endemic mammals such as the shortbeaked echidna, koala, three species of kangaroo, the endangered yellow-footed rock wallaby, seals, sealions and cetaceans. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-5 Days 6-7 Days 8-9 Day 10 Days 11-12 Day 13 Day 14

Fly to Adelaide Adelaide Eyre Peninsula Flinders Ranges Murray River Victor Harbour Kangaroo Island Adelaide Overnight flight arriving Day 15

ACCOMMODATION Hotels, guest houses & lodges with en suite facilities PRICE FROM £4,395 SINGLE SUPP £575 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Peter Waanders TOUR CODE AUSI5

New Zealand's Natural History

NEW

Saturday 7 - Monday 23 January 2017 Saturday 6 - Monday 22 January 2018 A hundred million years of isolation have made New Zealand a world apart in evolutionary terms. The absence of land mammals has given native birds room to occupy the niches filled elsewhere by mammals. This truly fascinating avifauna includes the nocturnal flightless kiwi, and many other unique and often very tame species. This is the botanical and wildlife trip of a lifetime, covering South Island. In search of endemic plants and birds, we find a host of seabirds along the coast, and a wealth of botanical treasures including the famous ‘vegetable sheep’! Why not consider our North Island extension? See website. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Days 1-2 Day 3 Day 4 Days 5-6 Day 7 Days 8-9 Day 10 Day 11 Days 12-13 Days 14-15 Day 16

Fly to Auckland Fly to Invercargill, drive to Fjordland Lake Te Anau & Milford Sound Stewart Island Catlins to Dunedin Lake Ohau & Mount Cook National Park Arthur’s Pass Moa Forest to the Tasman Sea Kaikoura St Arnaud Fly to Auckland and depart for the UK, & overnight flight arriving Day 17 – or join extension to North Island

ACCOMMODATION PRICE FROM SINGLE SUPP PRICE INCLUDES

Comfortable mid-range hotels £5,295 £715 Flights, transfers, accommodation, all meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 12 LEADER Geoff Henderson TOUR CODE NEWZ1

68 Over 30 years experience in birding & wildlife holidays


Australasia

Papua New Guinea Birds of Paradise

NEW

Monday 12 June - Friday 23 June 2017 Papua New Guinea, with an unparalleled array of natural beauty and exotic wildlife, is one of the world's last frontiers. Lying just north of Australia, occupying roughly half of the world's second largest island, this is a land of extraordinary contrasts with 4,500 metre high mountains, vast expanses of rainforest, huge river systems and pristine coral atolls. With one of the world’s richest and most varied avifaunas, it possesses more than 700 species that include seven endemic families, and 38 of the world’s 43 bird of paradise species. There are kingfishers, doves, berrypeckers and fairywrens, and the air is filled with a cacophony of sounds from cuckoo shrikes, cassowaries and fantails. Raptors include the magnificent New Guinea harpy eagle. The indigenous population is extremely diverse, and more than 700 languages are spoken. Age-old traditions remain very much at the heart of everyday life, and people share their heritage with genuine openness. Scattered wilderness lodges in remote areas provide bases for sampling indigenous culture and witnessing the various ecological niches. From Port Moresby, the capital, we fly to Mount Hagen in the Central Highlands to stay at Kumul Lodge, famed for its birdfeeding table where we may see smoky honeyeater, Brehm’s tiger parrot, Belford’s melidectes, brown sicklebill, and ribbon-tailed astrapia among other species, and have an opportunity to learn about the Melpha people. Continuing by charter flight to Karawari, we explore the Sepik River and enjoy its jacanas and colourful array of kingfishers. Here we witness a way of life that has only opened to the outside world since the 1930s - local people still live entirely off the land and perform their ceremonial dances. Back at Mount Hagen, our second stay is at Rondon Ridge in high altitude forest. An early morning foray offers an excellent chance

of seeing endemic species such as King of Saxony bird of paradise, brown sicklebill and Loria’s satinbird. We return to Port Moresby and visit nearby Varirata National Park, home to great and slender-billed cuckoo doves, olive flyrobins, and the miniscule bull-faced pygmy parrot. Why not join our extension to Lake Murray? This four-day extension visits Lake Murray, which is home to more than 50% of PNG’s bird population, including pelicans, hornbills and eagles. Many of the area’s 5,000 inhabitants live in stilt houses, and use dugout canoes as their primary means of transport, while fishing provides their main source of food. OUTLINE ITINERARY  Day 1 Day 2 Days 3-4 Days 5-7 Days 8-9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12

Fly overnight to Singapore Day transit hotel; fly overnight to Port Moresby Fly to Mt Hagen; stay at Kumul Lodge Charter flight to Karawari; explore Sepik River Charter flight to Mt Hagen; explore Rondon Ridge Fly to Port Moresby; visit Varirata NP - or join Lake Murray extension Fly to Singapore & overnight flight Arrive UK

ACCOMMODATION Good city hotels & rustic rainforest lodges PRICE FROM £7,095 SINGLE SUPP £785 PRICE INCLUDES Flights, transfers, accommodation, most meals & guided activities GROUP SIZE 8 LEADER Barrie Cooper TOUR CODE PAPU2

01305 267994 | sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com | www.thetravellingnaturalist.com 69


WILDLIFE WORLDWIDE

We create outstanding wildlife holidays tailored for you Established in 1992, Wildlife Worldwide is an award-winning specialist tour operator. Focusing on tailor-made wildlife travel experiences, we offer an unparalleled range of opportunities to see the finest wildlife in the world by air, expedition vessel, in open four-wheel-drive vehicles, boats, canoes and, of course, on foot. From cruising in the Galåpagos Islands to whale-watching in Canada, African safaris and wildlife viewing in Brazil’s amazing Pantanal, we harness not only the best ways of getting you where you need to be, but also the optimum means of watching wildlife. Our team has travelled the world, managed overseas lodges, worked as safari guides and tour leaders, and has many years of experience in the travel industry. We continually research, explore and photograph wildlife and wilderness areas around the world to update our knowledge, and arrange outstanding trips to meet your personal requirements.

Contact our expert wildlife team to help you plan your holiday of a lifetime, or to order a copy of our latest seasonal brochure.


Wildlife cruising Exploring the natural world by boat while being looked after by a crew whose sole objective is your comfort and welfare, allows you the chance to relax and make the most of the wildlife you see along the way - in the company of expert naturalists. Each voyage has its own rhythm and daily shore excursions punctuate shipboard life to provide a fascinating insight into the habitats you visit, and their wildlife, and informal talks and lectures are offered throughout the voyages. From the Arctic and Antarctic, to the Galapagos Islands, Canada, Alaska and Russia, our collection of wildlife cruises offer a spectacular way to witness some of the world’s most exciting wildlife events.

Alaska – Bears & Whales in South East Alaska

Take an unforgettable voyage to witness bears gorging on salmon, a majestic glacier spawning icebergs, and humpback whales bubble-net feeding. Departures: July

15 days, from £5,995 (voyage only)

Antarctic – Classic Antarctica

This incredible voyage visits prime wildlife sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland islands, making a perfect introduction to the Antarctic! Departures: November-March

11 days, from £5,500 (voyage only)

Arctic – North Spitsbergen

Navigate through a wonderland of mountains and glaciers, and enjoy wildlife encounters in the land of the polar bear – a paradise for birdwatchers too. Departures: June-September

8 days, from £3,545 (voyage only)

Galápagos – Highlights

Spend a week exploring the Galápagos Islands on-board the Beluga, with landings to see penguins, giant tortoises and a host of unique bird species. Departures: All year round

8 days, from £2,995 (voyage only)

Wrangel Island Exclusive with Mark Carwardine

Explore the remote wilderness of Wrangel Island on this 14-night wildlife Cruise which takes you right to the top of the world between Russia and Alaska in the company of renowned explorer Mark Carwardine. Departures: 22 July 2017 & 2018

18 days, from £11,495

Canada – Orcas, Bears & Totems

Enjoy spotting orcas and watching grizzly bears on this breathtaking trip to British Columbia, in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Departures: July–August

10 days, from £4,795 (voyage only)

See our website or talk to one of our expert consultants for more information.

01962 302 055 sales@wildlifeworldwide.com

www.wildlifeworldwide.com


THE TRAVELLING

NATURALIST

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01305 267 994 sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com www.thetravellingnaturalist.com

The Travelling Naturalist Capitol House 12–13 Bridge Street Winchester SO23 0HL Photographs courtesy of: Nick Garbutt, Ashley Grove, Geoff Crane, Chris Mattison, Aziz Ahmed Mohammed, Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, Alex Hyde, Barrie Cooper, Mike Read, Felix Felger, Frank McClintock, Bob Ford, Martin Steenhaut. Š The Travelling Naturalist 2016 No portion of this brochure may be reproduced without the prior written consent of The Travelling Naturalist.

The Travelling Naturalist is part of The Natural Travel Collection, a small independent travel company specialising in sustainable wildlife and birdwatching holidays.


The Travelling Naturalist Brochure 2017/18