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Familiarisation trip – Uganda birding & wildlife tour – arranged by the Uganda Tourism Board – 21 Nov – 5 Dec 2019

Day 0.
After arriving in Entebbe Int’l Airport and a short transfer to our hotel, we went for a walk in the leafy streets and gardens of Entebbe. Birdlife was prolific and after an hour and a half we had 30 species, including highlights such as the colourful Ross’ Turacao, the aptly named Splendid Starling, a Wahlberg’s Eagle flying over and the colourful yet skulking White-browed Robin-chat (pictured). A lively welcome dinner was enjoyed by all participants, and anticipation for the upcoming trip was high!

Day 1.
The group, consisting of representatives from bird- and nature related organisations around the world, met for an early breakfast and then headed off to the swamps of Mabamba in search of the highly anticipated Shoebill! This enigmatic bird inhabits dense papyrus and reed swamps. Dugout canoes were employed to crisscross the swamp, and after about half an hour a Shoebill was located much to the delight of everyone! This unique bird is in its own family, and was in the past regarded as a bad omen by fishermen but nowadays attracts birdwatchers from around the world to Uganda. The bird provided good photo and video opportunities and after some time, it departed, leaving us awestruck. Further birding in the swamp and the nearby rural landscape resulted in no less than 65 species just for the morning! Highlights were hard to choose… African Jacana, close-up views of Malachite Kingfisher, 3 species of Weaver, a Tinkerbird, a Palm-nut Vulture, and a Black-and-White Casqued Hornbill come to mind! After lunch we drove through the rural landscape to Masindi, our base for the next few days’ of exploring, with sightings of Marabou Storks, Hadada Ibis and Hooded Vulture along the way, finishing off with a great sighting of Ugandas national bird: 4 Grey-crowned Cranes!

Day 2.
We drove from Masindi town to Budongo Forest. A birding stop along the way in the rural landscape proved very productive, with great views of Red Bishop, Black-bellied Firefinch, Marsh Tchagra and many others. Once in the forest proper, we birded the ‘Royal Mile’ – a mile long forest road where the last Ugandan King walked to escape. We spent all morning and the first part of the afternoon just slowly birding along this track, and saw no less than 50 species in the forest! Highlights included Great Blue Turacao, Crowned Eagle, 4 species of Kingfisher including Chocolate-backed, Chestnut Wattle-eye, nesting Lemon-bellied Crombecs, nesting Superb Sunbird and Red-tailed Bristlebill… and many more. Red-tailed, Tantalus and Blue Monkeys entertained us while another awesome sighting was a family of 5 Chimpanzees! What a great forest and definitely recommended to visiting birders and naturalists.

Day 3.
An unbelievable day in Murchison NP in the far west of Uganda. This fantastic mix of dense forests, semi-open savannah, lakes and rivers is home to a rich variety of birds and literally thousands of mammals. In the forests, we saw Black-and-white Colobus, Olive Baboons, Guerza’s Mantled Monkeys and Tantalus Monkeys. After birding the forests (Brown-throated Wattle-eye, Green Crombec, Silverbird, Spotted Morning-thrush, Brown Twinspot) we stopped at the magnificent Murchison Falls – where the waters of the Nile flow through a narrow gorge only 7 metres (23 ft) wide before plunging 43 metres! Crossing the river Nile on a ramshackle vehicle ferry we had good views of a Hippopotamus and after that, we entered the savannah plains with scattered Acacia trees and palms. Here we had fantastic close-up views of many Rothschild’s Giraffes – we counted at least 30 of these magnificent beasts. We were even lucky enough to witness an dispute between two males over a female. These plains were teeming with Waterbuck, Kobs, Oribis, Warthogs and more. Birdlife was prolific with Ground Hornbill, Piapiac, Heuglin’s Francolin, Black-billed Wood-dove, Bateleur Eagle, Lappet-faced Vulture and many more birds not only seen but also providing great photographic opportunities. Arriving at the Pakuba Safari Lodge, our home for the next two nights, it didn’t stop – while watching the sunset over Lake Albert, a herd of some 20 African Elephants came casually wandering up to the lodge’s garden…!

Day 4.
The entire day was spent in Murchison’s NP: an unbelievable experience followed. The sheer variety and numbers of mammals were unparalleled. Many Rothschild’s Giraffes, a few herds of African Elephants (including a mating pair), dozens of Hartebeest, Waterbuck, Oribis and other small game; while birds such as Short-toed Snake-eagle, Northern Carmine Bee-eater, Oxpeckers on African Buffaloes, many species of Weavers, Senegal Coucal, 3 species of Lapwing, Denhim’s Bustards, an African Snipe, the subtly-coloured Cordonbleu finches, Grey-crowned Cranes with a young and many more were not only seen well but also provided great photographic opportunities! The afternoon was spent cruising the Nile river to the bottom of the Murchisons Falls, allowing multiple and close-up sightings of Hippopotamus, the cute Rock Pratincoles, a nesting colony of Red-throated Bee-eaters and we counted no less than 98 Pied Kingfishers! After dinner back at our lodge we went for a night drive and saw the amazing sight of our light reflecing in the eyes of thousands of animals congregrated for the night. A Leopard was seen crossing the road and stalking this huge herd, and we were also lucky enough to spot a Side-striped Jackal.

Day 5.
An early departure as we reluctantly left Murchison’s NP behind, with 2 great sightings of Spotted Hyena (in addition to the usual herds of game and Giraffes), and birds such as Eurasian Hoopoe, Helmeted Guineafowl, Grey Kestrel and Black-headed Gonolek along the way. We then spent most of the day driving to the Primate Lodge in Kibale National Park. Along the way we picked up interesting species such as Northern Masked Weaver, Marico Sunbird, Orange-breasted Bush-shrike and African Hawk-eagle. We checked in and had a tasty dinner at the Primate Lodge, located in the middle of the Kibale forest, overlooking the bird-rich gardens.

Day 6.
The Kibale forest is home to over 40 groups of Chimpanzees and we were lucky enough to spend the morning tracking one of these groups under the guidance of an experienced local Chimp tracker. We trekked through the dense forest on narrow elephant-trails, and in the process saw the beautiful Tambourine Dove and heard the African Emerald Cuckoo. After some time, we encountered a small number of Chimpanzees, feeding high up in a fig tree. We observed their antics for a while, then six more Chimps turned up walking straight past us! They walked in single file on the ground through the dense undergrowth and then rapidly climbed the surrounding trees to join the others in the large fig tree. We learned about the fascinating social structure, hierarchy, politics and mating behaviour of the Chimpanzees as told by our tracker before returning back to the lodge for a well-earned lunch. The afternoon was spent birding a nearby rural area consisting of a mixture of small rural plots, grassy fields, remnant forests and streams, through which a birdwatching trail had been constructed. This area was indeed very rich in birds and we quickly notched up over 30 species! It was also here where Bellbird’s Peter Waanders saw his 4000th lifer, the unassuming but uncommon Lesser Honeyguide. High-fives all around and then it was time to return to the Primate Lodge for dinner, capping off yet another day full of amazing experiences!

Day 7.
Kibale NP protects over 8000 square km of hill forests, with a pleasantly mild climate. Birding on foot from the main road through the park proved an enjoyable and productive way to spend the morning hours. Over 30 species were seen including such gems as Dusky Tit, Purple-banded Sunbird, Cassin’s Flycatcher, Violet-backed Starling, Little Greenbul, Western Nictator, Chestnut Wattle-eye, Speckled Tinkerbird and many others. Lunch was had at an establishment surrounded by bird-rich gardens in the tea plantations that covered the hills outside the park, where White-winged Saw-wing and Bronzy Sunbird provided great views, among others. We spent the afternoon driving to Queen Elizabeth NP, in the far south-west of the country. Upon arriving at our lodge (perched atop a ridge overlooking the park) we birded the grounds and nearby areas on foot. We found the equator here, and interesting bird species such as Arrow-marked Babbler, Yellow-throated Longclaw, Crowned Hornbill, Scarlet-chested Sunbird and Pin-tailed Wydah. Dinner was had from the verandah of the lodge while watching the sun set over the lakes an plains of the African savannah.

Day 8.
We spent the entire day in Queen Elizabeth NP which straddles the equator. As a light fog rose over the savannah and made way for a beautiful morning, we explored the plains with scattered Euphorbia trees. Wildlife was prolific and included Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Kob, Spotted Hyena, Warthog and African Elephant. Flocks of Yellow Wagtails, residents of the northern hemisphere who spend the northern winter months here, were interspersed with various species of local Larks and Pipits. There were many raptors, including White-backed and Palmnut Vultures, Grey Kestrel, African Fish Eagle and the Long-crested Eagle with its weird ‘hair-do’. Lunch was had on a hill in between Lake Edward and Lake George, which lie in the Rift Valley. The lakes are connected by a natural waterway, the Kazinga channel, and during the afternoon we explored this area by boat. An amazing variety of wildlife awaited us: 8 African Elephants (2 of them bathing), dozens of Hippopotami, herds of African Water Buffalo and a few lurking Nile Crocodiles. Birdlife was equally impressive: small muddy islands were literally covered in birds, with African Skimmer and Great Cormorant making up the large numbers, while hundreds if not thousands of Barn Swallows were hawking over the surface of the water. They too spend the northern winter here, as does the Willow Warbler, of which we saw one, singing its cute little song. There were flocks of pelicans: both Pink-backed and Great White Pelican, while Hamerkops were abundant. Two Black Crakes, many shorebirds including the migratory Little Stint and Three-banded Plover, a Saddle-billed Stork and dozens of Water Thick-knees were just a few of the many other species present here. At the end of the day we returned to our very comfortable lodge where dinner was enjoyed on the verandah, while a Spotted Eagle-owl was watching over us from atop one of the cottages!

Day 9.
We left Queen Elizabeth NP early for the drive to our next destination, Bwindi Imprenetable Forest NP. Birding along the way proved very productive, with highlights being good sightings of Papyrus Gonolek, White-winged and Grey-capped Warbler, Black-lored Babbler, Double-toothed Barbet and more. Upon arrival at the park, we birded the entrance track, which proved to be extremely bird-rich. Small flocks of birds and individuals were foraging in the lush trees – it seemed like every minute another new bird would appear and this resulted in a list of 51 species for the afternoon! Highlights included African Wood-owl, Pink-footed Puffback, African Paradise-flycatcher, Dusky Blue Flycather, 7 species of Greenbul, 5 species of Sunbird, Red-headed Malimbe, Golden-breasted Bunting…. and more!

Day 10.
Today our small group, all consisting of experienced birding and wildlife travellers, encountered what we all agred was without exaggeration our most amazing wildlife experience ever. After an early drive deep into the forest-clad hills of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest NP, we donned our trekking gear, and set off on foot – accompanied by what seemed like a small army of porters and trackers – down and up steep narrow trails, our guide hacking away vines and thorny branches with his machete, until suddenly and without warning, we were in the presence of a small group of Mountain Gorillas. We spent over an hour with these magnificent creatures. Words cannot do justice to describe this experience. There was a mother and father gorilla with a young; a few individual gorillas; and the leader of the pack, an old silverback. They quietly went about their way, undisturbed by our presence – in fact, a few times we had to jump out of the way as a Gorilla barged straight past us, brushing one person’s leg with its arm. Mostly they laid about resting, feeding, scratching their heads, while the playful young Gorilla clambered about in the vines and smaller trees. At one stage, the old silverback and his wife went for a walk, and we followed him to a new feeding place. After over an hour, it was time to leave the group in peace and we hacked our way back to the road, awestruck by this incredible experience. There are only 1000 of these formidable beast left in the jungles of this part of the world – the area where Uganda, Rwanda and Congo meet – and the park wardens gave us an overview of their behaviour, conservation issues and the way eco-tourism contributes to not only the conservation of the gorillas but also benefits the local community, so they are more likely to protect the forest and its inhabitants.
The afternoon was spent birding our way back to the lodge. Many new species were observed and added to the trip list, with highlights being White-naped Pigeon, Great Sparrowhawk, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, Stripe-breasted Tit, Red-headed Malimbe, Mountain Masked Apalis, Streaky Seedeater and a wintering Blackcap from Europe. At the end of the day, the heavens opened and we retreated to the lodge to watch birds from the veranda: Pin-tailed Whydah, Snowy-crowned Robin-chat and Bronze Sunbird put on a nice showing.

Day 11.
It had rained most of the night and was still raining as we departed the lodge, but it didn’t matter, as today was mostly a driving day. The dirt roads in this remote corner of the country doubled in function as small, fast-flowing streams and the actual proper streams we crossed over numerous bridges had swollen into raging torrents. Partway through the morning the rain stopped and we made a few birding stops, which yielded interesting sightings of Uganda’s national bird: Grey-crowned Cranes, as well as small flocks of Cinnamon-chested Bee-eaters, a pair of Double-toothed Barbets, a Rufous-necked Wryneck, Golden Weavers, African Firefinches and Village Indigobirds. As we travelled through the mostly rural landscape the roads improved from bumpy dirt roads to a smooth highway and we arrived at our hotel in Mbara in time to do some birding around the gardens and surrounding fields. A heronry of Black-headed Herons right outside our room was a pleasant surprise!

Tour Tweets

BellbirdBirdingTours @BirdsTours
Day 10: after our exciting Gorilla experience, we birded the dirt road along the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable NP, an… https://t.co/RoJ2yTkaSY
h J R
BellbirdBirdingTours @BirdsTours
Bellbird's Peter & Helga spent an hour with a group of Mountain Gorillas in the Impenetrable Forest NP, Uganda. Wor… https://t.co/1KN7FrhjGb
h J R
BellbirdBirdingTours @BirdsTours
African Skimmers were a highlight in the Kazinga channel. This natural waterway was excellent for birding and wildl… https://t.co/JGmMahtYLZ
h J R
BellbirdBirdingTours @BirdsTours
The amazing Palmnut Vulture, one of many species of raptor seen in Queen Elizabeth NP, Uganda during Bellbird's cur… https://t.co/myngWZA9Cc
h J R
BellbirdBirdingTours @BirdsTours
Bellbird's Peter & Helga are on a reccy trip in Uganda courtesy of the Uganda Tourism Board! So far we've visited… https://t.co/i57GS7MPBg
h J R
BellbirdBirdingTours @BirdsTours
Birding the small rural plots in Uganda during Bellbird's familiarization tour #africanbirdingexpo2019… https://t.co/kwWQmjykj7
h J R

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Testimonials

Peter Was Great!

“Peter was great, so knowledgeable and knew what was in his area we really enjoyed our time with him”

T Franks - UK
6-day Private Tour
Aug 2011

Knows His Species

“Peter is a good guide, and knows his species”

Pieter van der Luit - Netherlands
October 2002

Excellent Species!

“A fabulous trip with excellent species!”

Dick Holworth - UK
November 2004

Great Value for Money

“Great value for money, I would never have found these species myself”

Jules Bos - Netherlands
September 2005

A Very Successful Day

“I enjoyed Gluepot and your knowledge of it made it a very successful day”

John Rogers - Australia
November 2005

Peter Did an Excellent Job

“We’d been to Gluepot twice before, but despite three days of searching and following tips, we missed a number of crucial birds. Peter did an excellent job of finding all five lifers on our list, and then found us another 4 lifers we hadn’t expected to see!”

Neil Boyle - Canada
November 2005

I Can Thoroughly Recommend His Services

“Peter’s knowledge of the birds and the sites is excellent and I can thoroughly recommend his services”

Mike Catsis - UK
August 2006

A Great Day Birding

“Many thanks for a great day birding, 22 trip ticks including 12 lifers, it will take some beating! The most pleasurable thing was being able to get great views of all the birds”

Richard Banham, UK/Spain
November 2006

Thanks for Doing Such a Good Job

“Thanks for doing such a good job of guiding us – yes, I do know who to recommend as a bird guide in South Australia!”

Stephen F. Bailey - USA
December 2006

Gluepot beats the Daintree!

“Thanks for some of the best birding I’ve ever done – Gluepot beats the Daintree!”

Wayne Twydle - NZ
September 2007

Great Work Peter

“Great work Peter – fabulous views of all our main target species”

Pete Morris, BirdQuest - UK
October 2007

Absolutely Fantastic!

“Absolutely fantastic – all my targets seen, and great views!”

Arjen Brenkman, Netherlands
October 2007

Unique Birds

“Thanks very much for showing us South Australia and its unique birds”

Earl Rathbun - USA
6-day private tour
October 2008

Superlatives!

“It is difficult to find sufficient superlatives to describe the trip!”

Sue & Peter Jenkins - UK
4-day private tour
October 2008

We Would Never Have Found These Grasswrens

“We would never have found these grasswrens, or visited some of these places, by ourselves”

Robert Wynands - Germany
Highlights of SA 6-day tour
December 2008

A Real Eye-Opener

“Thank you for a fascinating week, which was a real eye-opener. There was just so much to take in – birds, scenery, geology, plants… Thank you for all your efforts”

Irena Henderson - UK
Highlights of SA 6-day tour
Aug 2009

We All Thoroughly Enjoyed It

“Thank you for a wonderful trip and for all your hard work. We all thoroughly enjoyed it”

Edward Cawley - Australia
Highlights of SA 6-day tour
Sept 2009

Happy and Exciting Time

“Your Highlights tour was great with such a hardworking and keen guide as yourself I had a really happy and exciting time”

Ruth Brozek - Australia
Highlights of SA 6-day tour
Oct 2009

Top Quality Birds

“I’ve never been to a site with so many top quality birds in such a short time anywhere in Australia”

M Lord - Australia
Five Grasswren tour
Nov 2009

Very Enjoyable and Extremely Productive

“Thank you for the bird guiding. Both days were both very enjoyable and extremely productive. We really appreciated the trouble that you took to ensure that we saw as many (virtually all in fact!) of our ‘wanted’ species!”

R Brace, UK
Dec 2009

Wonderful Trip!

“Thank you again for a wonderful trip last week. We were very fortunate!”

D Frederick - Australia
private 5-Grasswren tour
Sept 2010

Top Birding Moments

“Thank you for being part of my top birding moments of 2010”

U Gotthardson - Sweden
Five Grasswren tour
Oct 2010

Very Impressive!

“Thanks again to Helga for the very enjoyable day we had with you at Gluepot. Your knowledge of the bird calls and ability to pick the direction of the calls was very impressive!”

R Wescott - Australia
November 2010

Thanks Peter!`

“Thanks Peter, we had a great trip, and lots of photos”

A Low - Singapore
3-day private tour
Apr 2011

Great Time

“Thank you again for the great time I had last week! I saw 45 new birds thanks to your in depth knowledge…”

A Schulte - Germany
6-day Five Grasswren tour
Jun 2011

Truly Legendary Birds!

“Just a note to say how much I enjoyed the trip. I saw some truely legendary birds!”

S Summers - Australia
6-day Five Grasswren tour
Jun 2011

Ticked All Boxes for Me

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the recent 5 Grasswren trip. It ticked all boxes for me. The trip was really well paced and I loved your flexibility and the way you responded to all our various wish-lists. Our birding at Gluepot was one of the most fantastic days birding I have ever experienced.”

J Broadberry - Australia
6-day Five Grasswren tour
Oct 2011

Best Vehicles and Equipment

“You have the best vehicles and equipment of any Australian birding tour I’ve been on…”

A Wright - Australia
6-day Five Grasswren tour
Oct 2011

Enjoyed the Trip

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the recent 5 Grasswren trip. It ticked all boxes for me. The trip was really well paced and I loved your flexibility and the way you responded to all our various wish-lists. Our birding at Gluepot was one of the most fantastic days birding I have ever experienced.

J Broadberry - AUSTRALIA
October 2011

I Felt Very Safe

“Thank you for a fantastic experience. I felt very safe and confident with your highly skilled driving and excellent guiding.”

M Moxon - Australia
Private Five Grasswren Tour
Nov 2011

Exceptional Skills!

“It’s good to meet someone with such exceptional skills in bird watching!”

L Peters - Australia
May 2012

Wonderful!

“Thank you very much for a most enjoyable and successful trip. I did not expect to see Grey Falcon. Wonderful!”

S Taylor - Australia
6 Grasswren Tour
Jun 2012

Great Fun!

Thanks for a splendid trip that was full of interest and great fun. You did a fine job getting us on many great birds – not to mention the odd letter winged kite or two…!

J Hollyhead - UK
private Grasswren tour
September 2012

A Splendid Trip

“Thanks for a splendid trip that was full of interest and great fun. You did a fine job getting us on many great birds – not to mention the odd letter winged kite or two…!”

J Hollyhead - UK
Private Grasswren Tour
Sept 2012

One of the Very Best Days of Birding

“Thanks to both Peter and Helga for one of the very best days of birding we had during the entire month we were in Australia!”

J & K Munthe - USA
Oct 2012

The Best Time

“Thank you for the days birding at Lyndhurst and Gluepot. We had the best time and came home with memories that will stay with us forever”

T & L Pratt - USA
Private Tour
Nov 2012

Fascinating Country!

“Thank you very much again for the tour and introduction to this fascinating country.”

J Thiollay - France
Great Southern Tour
Dec 2012

A Really Good One

“My tour has been a really good one, and Peter contributed a lot to its success. Thank you so much!”

C Rowekamp - Germany
Feb 2013

Full and Knowledgeable

Thank you greatly for a full and knowledgeable tour of Gluepot. We had a thoroughly enjoyable birding day. Your knowledge of bird habits and calls is exceptional

Assoc Prof David & Roma Bell - Aus/USA
May 2013

I Got a Record 26 Lifers

“Last week we had a fantastic day’s birding at Gluepot Reserve. Thanks to our wonderful guide, Helga, I got a record 26 lifers!”

C Cooke - S. Africa/NZ
October 2013

Excellent and Pleasurable

“Many thanks for an excellent and pleasurable couple of days birding in SA!”

J & P Smallwood - UK
2-day private tour
Oct 2013

Thank You!

Thank you again for finding so many birds for us this week. Your time with us was really special. We will remember it always.

C. & S. Magee - USA
6-day private tour
October 2013

A Very Rewarding Experience

“82 species for the day, including a few lifers! Steve’s knowledge, skill and quick recognition of species make for a very rewarding birding experience”

A Brown - USA
November 2013

Worthwhile

“Thank you for the Gluepot Reserve birding tour. The sighting of Red-lored Whistler and Black-eared Miner made the trip worthwhile. Helga has looked after me well during the tour.”

R Wong - Australia
November 2013

Majestic Gluepot

Thank you for the Gluepot birding tour. The sighting of Red-lored Whistler and Black-eared Miner made the trip worthwhile. Helga looked after me very well during the tour.

R Wong - Australia
November 2013

Great Nine Grasswren tour!

Thanks again for a great Nine Grasswren tour!

P Crane - Aus
Nine Grasswren Tour
Aug 2014

Delighted!

A brief personal note of thanks: we were delighted with the entire Nine Grasswren Tour. I believe you set an inspirational yet practical example.

P & A Kabel - Aus
Nine Grasswren Tour
Aug 2014

Enjoyed Our Week

We enjoyed our week with Steve. He looked after us really well, making sure we saw the birds and realizing we wanted to see other things as well as the birds. The trip suited us very well, giving us time to soak in the outback once again.

J & H Plowright - Aus
Sep 2014

A Wonderful Tour

Thank you for such a wonderful tour. We both really enjoyed our time with you and the day at Gluepot was just magical, one special bird right after another; the memories will stay with us for a long time. The wide open spaces of the Outback and the scenic Flinders Ranges were also highlights.

B & P Wilson - UK
Dec 2014

This Trip the Best one Ever

I would like to thank all of you for your patience, guidance, knowledge and for making this trip the best one ever. You have all contributed to realizing my dream. I do hope we will have the opportunity to see some more feathered beauties together in the future.

A Coenen - Belgium
Dec 2015

Spectacular Birds!

Thanks Tim, for a great birding trip! It was a wonderful time, with so many spectacular birds!

Roger and Kathy - USA
November 2016

Great Birds!

Really enjoyed the trip, the company and all the great birds we saw.

Christine - UK
South-west Endemics Tour
Dec 2017

Superb Tour

Thank you both for a superb tour.  Great birds, great views of all the skulkers, great group and beautiful countryside.

Ian and Diana - UK
South-west Endemics Tour
Dec 2017

Everything Worked Out Excellently!

Thanks for the excellent tour.  Everything worked out excellently and we really enjoyed the company of everyone.

John & Mary - UK
South-west Endemics Tour
Dec 2017

Great Time

Many thanks for a great time in SW Western Australia!  I saw at least 29 new birds.

Jean - AUS
South-west Endemics Tour
Dec 2017

Great birds, great views

Peter never fails to deliver, we saw everything that was expected and more, and had great views of all of them , including the three skulkers!
Thanks

Richard - NZ
SW Endemics
November 2017

Excellent Guiding and Company

Thanks for such an enjoyable trip with excellent guiding and company. The birding, guiding, itinerary, accommodation and meals were first class. I would not hesitate to arrange another birding trip with Bellbird tours.

George - UK
Private SA Highlights Tour
March 2018

Amazing Week!

Thanks for an amazing week full of great birding, scenery and company!

Rose - Australia
Western SA Splits & Specialties Tour
May 2018

A Great Tour!

Thanks for a great tour, looking forward to doing another tour with Bellbird soon!

Rob - Australia
Western SA Splits & Specialties Tour
May 2018

Ticked off so many of my Bucket List Items!

Thank you for the trip, it was fantastic and ticked off so many of my bucket list items.
It was a very well organised, seamless operation that allowed every-one to make the most of the wildlife on offer.

Paul - Australia
Sabah-Borneo Tour
June 2018

Thanks for the Enthusiasm!

Thanks Peter for your guiding and driving and enthusiasm!

Robin - Australia
9 Grasswren Tour
2018

All needs are met!

Thanks especially to Peter for his expertise, driving, finding birds and arranging for all our needs to be met.

Lyn - Australia
9 Grasswren Tour
2018

Tremendous Amount of Work

Thanks to Peter for the tremendous amount of work put in (both before and during the trip) and to you all for making it fun.

John - Australia
9 Grasswren Tour
2018

Loved Every Minute of the Adventure

Thank you and the Crew who made our trip, so great after all my dramas. Photographed lots of new birds and nearly walked our old legs off. Loved every minute of the adventure.

Glen and Iris - Australia
Mallee Photo Tour
September 2018

We enjoyed it immensely.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for the trip. We enjoyed it immensely.

Neil, Jeff & Joy - USA/UK
Private Outback/Grasswren Tour
Sept 2018

It’s Whet My Appetite!

“Thank you very much for an excellent day ! Really enjoyed it and delighted to see these difficult species. It’s whet my appetite for more grasswrens!

Tony - UK
Mallee Birding Day Tour
October 2018

I can’t thank you enough!

I can’t thank you enough for your exceptional birding tour. I was very impressed by your professionalism as a guide and Bellbird being a well-run company is the other necessary component for success.

Carol and David - USA
private SA tour with Steve Potter
November 2018

An impressive list of birds seen!

Thank you very much for a wonderful day’s birding. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and your company. We came away understanding a lot more about the various species and their environments along with an impressive list of birds seen.

Ivor & Linda - UK
Adelaide day tour with Peter Waanders
November 2018

The best tour I’ve had in my 40 years of birding!

Our day tour with your guide in Sydney was the best tour I’ve had in my 40 years of birding. We visually saw over 100 birds and heard several others. Your guide was great and his knowledge of the bird calls was exceptional. I would highly recommend you as a guide for the Sydney area even for older folks like us.

Greg & Elizabeth - USA
Sydney day tour with Greg
November 2018

Most Instructive Tour

Many thanks for a thoughtful itinerary which gave us a chance to enjoy the varied aspects of your part of Australia. It was a most instructive tour – we saw so many many interesting animals, birds and plants, we were very happy!

Mr Sehnaoui, Mrs Burrows & Family - France
Private 2-day Tour, Riverland, SA

Awesome Day!

My lifer tally for the day was 66! Thanks for making it such as awesome day.

Jared & Sarah - USA
Adelaide day tour
March 2019

Enjoyed The Trip!

I thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and appreciated your patience, care and concern for our wellbeing and enjoyment at all times.

Pam - Australia
Thailand Tour
2019

A Wonderful Tour

Thanks again for a wonderful tour. I not only saw the birds I wanted to see but also some very beautiful countryside.

Tania - Aus
Western SA Splits & Specialties Tour
May 2019

5 New Birds on My List

Thanks so much for a great tour. I now have 5 new birds on my list!

Judy - Aus
Western SA Splits & Specialties Tour
May 2019

Fantastic 3 Days Sydney Tour

We had a fantastic 3 days Sydney tour with Greg McLachlan. He is very passionate about birding and really, really knowledgeable. His ability to identify the birds in the area by sound is really quite phenomenal. Thank you so very much!

George, Jes, Andre & Teddy - USA
Private Sydney Tour
June 2019

A Wonderful Trip

Thank you for a wonderful trip, and great birds. Really appreciate all the effort that you put in to make it work so well.

Ann M. - Aus
9 Grasswren tour
July 2019

A Memorable Trip

Thanks to Bellbird and Steve for a memorable trip to Far North Queensland!

Terry - Aus
Tropical & Far North Queensland tour
July 2019

The Birds Were Very Good!

We want to thank you for a great trip. We had a good time, all arrangements worked well and best of all, the birds were very good!

Ann and Bob - USA
Red Centre & 9 Grasswren tours
July 2019

The trip went very well.

The trip went very well. Steve is a first rate guide and tour leader and his efforts were outstanding.

Das + 4 others - Aus
Private Grey Falcon-Letterwinged Kite tour
Aug 2019

A Great Day Out

We had a great day out with Des. He is a most amiable and knowledgeable guide and I’d thoroughly recommend him.

Andy - UK
Day tour from Perth, WA
Aug 2019

Great Tour!

What a great job your guide did for us. We got both the Chestnut-breasted Whiteface and Grey Honeyeater. Plus we had the best breakfast I’ve ever had on a birding tour! Thanks for this great tour.

Rob - Aus
Chestnut-breasted Whiteface & Grey Honeyeater tour
Aug 2019

A Wonderful Trip of Outback Birding

Thank you for a wonderful trip of outback birding and seeing a unique part of Australia!

Jane & Kevin - Aus
Comfortable 9 Grasswren tour
Aug 2019

Wonderful trip!

Wonderful trip, above expectations, worth every cent!

Margareta - Aus
Top End Birding Adventure
Sep 2019

Birding Career Highlight!

The highlight of my birding career!

Brian D. - Aus
Grey-Falcon / Letter-winged Kite tour
Sep 2019

Exceeded Expectations!

Exceeded all my expectations!

Michael L. - Aus
Grey-Falcon / Letter-winged Kite tour
Sep 2019

A Wonderful Guide

Peter is a wonderful guide and great birder with vast experience

Bud A - USA
Private Grey-Falcon tour
Sep 2019

A Fantastic 4 Days of Birding

Rob and I would like to thank you, Helga and Peter for a fantastic 4 days of birding.  Both the company and the birding were terrific. We will definitely use Bellbird again.

Robyn & John, Aus
4-day private SA Tour
Sept 2019

Amazing Experience!

It was an absolutely amazing experience!

Andrew M. - Aus
Grey-Falcon / Letter-winged Kite tour
Sep 2019

A Perfect Trip

We had such a great trip. Steve is an incredible guide. I am still awed by how many birds we saw and all the amazing places. Thank you for much for making our trip so perfect.

Kathy & Anna, USA
Private Australia Tour
Sep 2019

A Marvelous Time!

I had a marvelous time birding around Melbourne with your guide Tim!

Vick - USA
Nov 2019

I’ll Always Remember It

Thanks for a wonderful trip. I’ll always remember it fondly. The variety of birds seen was impressive!

Ron W - Aus
Great Southern tour
Nov 2019

A Wonderful Day’s Birding

Thank you for a wonderful day’s birding. We were very pleased with the new birds we saw. Your knowledge and never give up attitude was a key to that outcome.

Anne & David
Mallee day tour with guide Helga
Nov 2019

A Wonderful Tour

We had a wonderful tour of the Victoria area of Australia with our guides Angus McNab and Tim Dolby as they shared their knowledge of the birds, wildlife and the history of Australia.

Mark & wife, USA
Private Birding Tour of Victoria
Nov 2019