About Birding Abroad
Group sizes - we aim to keep group sizes small, usually between 5 (with 1 leader) and 10 (with 2 leaders). We do this to ensure a friendly and personal approach which we can further tailor for individual needs, as well as to maximise opportunities for all members of the group to enjoy the best of the birds and wildlife. Our tour leaders will be on hand 24/7 whilst you are away on tour.
Accommodation - we stay in good quality accommodation, usually small to medium sized hotels with twin bedded rooms including en-suite facilities, but this depends on the location. Hotels are chosen primarily for their location (usually to be as close to birding locations as possible), and when feasible, they are situated in out of town locations enabling us to sample local fare and culture. Single rooms are usually available at a small supplement. We try to minimise the number of the hotel changes during a tour, but of course some destinations require us to be on the move more frequently. As seasoned travellers ourselves, we understand that group members want to feel comfortable, refreshed and enjoy what is after all a holiday too.
Pace and style of the tours - our itineraries are designed to allow ample time to enjoy the birds and wildlife in each location. We appreciate that tours are more enjoyable when fatigue is minimised, so each day we include short refreshment and comfort breaks, enjoying a coffee or snack, to break up the time spent in the field. In our tour descriptions we are transparent in explaining whether the itinerary, terrain, altitude or any other local conditions could present group members with particular challenges. The walks we make are fairly short, usually not more than one kilometre, with much of the bird watching actually done much closer to our vehicles. We take our walks at a leisurely amble, pausing regularly to absorb the birds and wildlife. Some target species do of course require us to be in the field early or later in the day and we indicate clearly in our tour descriptions if this is so. Any early morning starts or late evening sessions we undertake are optional, with some group members preferring to start after breakfast and end the day by late afternoon. We enjoy making new bird watching friendships and enjoy good natured and good humoured company from people of all backgrounds.
Our prices - we offer keenly competitive prices, with no compromise on quality and comfort to maximise the enjoyment for our customers. We achieve this because we operate as a two person team, doing all the planning, organising, tour leading and administration ourselves with no office staff or overheads and no expensive advertising budgets. Moreover, whilst we need to cover our business expenses, Birding Abroad is not primarily driven by the need to generate significant commercial margins, and hence we are able to keep prices low, passing on great value to our customers.
Customer feedback - we achieve high ratings from our customers, many of whom have chosen to travel with us on repeated occasions. We don't take customer loyalty for granted though and ensure that we listen to feedback and look for continual improvement in what we offer on our tours.
UK travel - we endeavour to use regional airports, but inevitably some tours have to start in London. We can sometimes offer assistance in getting to and from the UK airports we use.
Nick with group members watching Aquatic Warblers Poland May 2015
International Flights - Birding Abroad Ltd provides the ground tour only arrangements and your international flights are to be booked separately. We are not members of ATOL, a scheme which provides protection to customers in the event of a tour operator becoming insolvent. For the scale of our current operations we feel the costs of joining ATOL would add significantly to the price of our tours. By keeping flights and the other components of the tours as separate elements, we can keep prices competitive, without affecting the quality of the tours. Please remember that Birding Abroad will protect your money in a separate 'clients account' until the successful completion of each tour.
for the time being our tours will begin and end at the destination airport
of the country being visited. A number of factors have persuaded us
to structure tours in this way.
possible we will organise travel to and from the UK airports, usually
by mini-bus, for those that wish to have a 'door to door' experience.