Birdwatching, or birding, is an addictive pastime and the reward comes after often remaining perfectly still for hours, just waiting for that rare glimpse. There are plenty of birding adventure holidays around the world that offer both birding novices and serious twitchers a unique and rewarding vacation and these are just eight great experiences;
8. Okavango, Botswana – The Okavango River is a treasure trove of exotic African birdlife and those with keen eyes could spot Giant Kingfishers, Coucals, Black Crake and the stunning Carmine Bee-eater.
7. Papallacta, Ecuador – Home to an amazing 1,600 species of birds, Ecuador is home to possibly the greatest bird diversity. Ecuador’s unique landscapes offer easy access to birding in the cloud forests surrounding the volcanoes in the high Andes and Papallacta offers glimpses of the Andean Guan, Gray-breasted Mountain-Toucan, Turquoise Jay and the Sword-billed Hummingbird, to name just a few.
6. Kakadu, Australia – Twitchers should head to the World Heritage Kakadu National Park which is 20,000 square km of pure birding heaven! There have been over 280 recoded bird species here as well as a multitude of insect, frog and reptile species. Just some of the birdlife that can be seen include Buff-sided Robin, Black Bittern, Little Kingfisher and the Great-billed Heron.
5. New Nickerie, Suriname – The second capital city of Suriname is home to various exotic birds, amazing fish and a huge array of wildlife all set against a backdrop of beautiful landscapes, fascinating culture and ancient architecture. Around 122 different types of birds have been spotted in the New Nickerie Bigi Pan of which 72 remain all year round. Visitors are rewarded with views of the Red Ibis, the Fish-Hawk, the Stems and the Stilt-Walkers.
4. Dannum Valley, Malaysia – Located deep in Sabah, the Dannum Valley Conservation Area forms part of the 1 million hectares of Borneo protected forest. There is only one hotel in the jungle but expert guides can show you the local birdlife including Borneo Bristlehead, Bornean Ground Cuckoo, Blue-Banded Pitta and the Blue-Headed Pitta.
3. Scotland, UK – The birding highlight of Scotland has to be a glimpse of the rare Golden Eagle. For those that aren’t lucky enough to see the ferocious claws and beaks in action, the Natural History Centre shows pre-recorded CCTV footage of Golden Eagles tearing into deer carcasses.
2. Minsmere, England, UK – Head to the highly-respected RSPB bird sanctuary of Minsmere, located in deepest Suffolk. The bird reserve is suitable for all birding enthusiasts who could spot Avocet colonies, Bearded Tits, Bitterns, Marsh Harriers and Nightingales.
1. Lovund, Norway – Lovund Island is home to just 400 people but is better known for its abundance of Puffins which live amongst the misty mountain slopes. Puffins are beautiful and mesmerizing creatures – who would believe that Gordon Ramsay caught and ate one!