This year the British Birdfair will be celebrating 30 years of conserving nature worldwide, from 1989-2018, and during this period has raised over £5,000,000 for BirdLife International and their various conversation initiatives over the years.
The Glastonbury of Birdwatching will be playing out under eight massive marquees over 3 days (Friday 17th to Sunday 19th August 2018).
So which “acts” do you see? To add to the mix, there are well over 250 wildlife tour operators and companies to choose from, some of which are located on tourism board stands and then there is the extensive choice of lectures and presentations playing out across the Birdfair site to consider as well.
Blue Sky Wildlife has put together our recommended “must see” exhibitor list of local wildlife specialists for those either short on time and not really sure where to start.
Blue Sky Wildlife has 34 local wildlife specialists who are not only listed on the site but will also be exhibiting at the year’s Birdfair. However for this year, we have focused on the Top 15 local wildlife specialists based on their Wildlife Reviews ranking by Birdwatching experience as at 20th July. Blue Sky Wildlife has secured over 265 independent Wildlife Reviews since the website went live.
In marquee order they are as follows:
Inglorious Bustards – Spain (Marquee 1, Stand 28)
Niki Williamson and Simon Tonkin will be at the Birdfair for the second time this year. If you are seeking a Spanish birding and wildlife tour with a difference, Inglorious Bustards are passionate about birds and wildlife, and equally passionate about showing birders chilled-out birding adventures fused with relaxation, fun, local culture and delicious food. At this year’s Birdfair, Niki Williamson and Simon Tonkin, located Marquee 1, Stand 28 are offering a 16% discount + a £50 donation to the Birdfair on a specially selected tour, until sold out. Pricing normally from £595 per person. More info
Niki Williamson and Simon Tonkin, Inglorious Bustards
Kolibri Expeditions – Peru (Marquee 2, Stand 48/49)
Gunnar Engblom will be located on the PromPeru in Marquee 2, Stand 48/49. Kolibri Expeditions, based in Lima, Peru and operating since 1998, has provided birding and wildlife eco-tours throughout Latin America for 20 years. Upto $US1,300 discount on offer if booked on selected tour during the Birdfair. Pricing normally from $US220 per person. More info
Kolibri Expeditions BIG MONTH 20th Anniversary & Bird Fair Special Offer – $US1,300 Discount
Iberian Lynx Land – Spain (Marquee 2, Stand 60)
Iberian Lynx Land offers real wilderness experiences in the Jaen province – the greenest of Spain’s provinces, Morocco and Ecuador lead by a professional team of local guides. Jose Luis Sánchez Balsera will be located on the Andalucia Wildlife Guides stand, Marquee 2, Stand 60. Pricing normally from €835 per person. More info
Birding in Paradise Safaris – Uganda (Marquee 3, Stand 5)
Johnnie Kamugisha has been exhibiting at the Birdfair for years, and besides being a bit of a character, he is the owner/operator of Birding in Paradise Safaris. They are an eco-tourism friendly wildlife tour operator specialising in birdwatching and filming based in Kampala while also offering birding tours in Uganda and Rwanda. Enquire directly regarding pricing.
Buenos Dias Birding – Argentina (Marquee 3, Stand 11)
Horacio Matarasso will be exhibiting at the Birdfair for their their third year (last year was in Marquee 6), however with nearly 30,000 Facebook fans worldwide you will understand why they are so popular. Buenos Dias Birding, based in Argentina, specialise in birding, wildlife and nature photography tours in the diverse wildlife areas of Southern South America. Enquire directly regarding pricing.
Colombia Birdwatch – Colombia (Marquee 5, Stands 12/13/14/15)
Colombia Birdwatch offer more than just a birding or nature tour, they offer an immersion into Colombian lifestyle, not only showcasing the wealth of bird species but also highlighting the culinary specialties and way of life of each region they visit. Christopher Calonje will be based in the ProColombia stand. Pricing normally from $US3,950 per person. More info
Jaguarundi Travel – Colombia (Marquee 5, Stands 12/13/14/15)
Jaguarundi Travel is a sustainable and responsible Colombian tour operator who offer custom and set departure wildlife tours including birding, wildlife, culture, archaeology and photography. René Montero will be located on the ProColombia stand and they offer very competitive birding, nature and adventure experiences throughout Colombia. René is offering a 15% discount all tours booked during the Birdfair.Pricing normally from $US2,315 per person. More info
Manakin Nature Tours – Colombia (Marquee 5, Stands 12/13/14/15)
Manakin Nature Tours, located on the ProColombia stand, is one of the leading birdwatching, wildlife and photography tour operators in Colombia. With over 95 nature locations and 30 different routes to enjoy, Manakin Nature Tours is lead by the charming and experienced birder, Luis Eduardo Urena. Travel with Luis to amazing Colombian locations such as the Andes, Choco, the Santa Marta Mountains, Magdalena Valley, the Amazon, Caribbean and Pacific coastal routes and as far away as the Eastern Plains. Pricing normally from $US4,340 per person. More info
Luis Eduardo Urueña, Manakin Nature Tours
Beaks and Peaks – Honduras (Marquee 6, Stand 15/16)
Located within the Honduras Tourism Stand, which won best international stand last year, William and Katinka who run Beaks and Peaks offer ethically and ecologically responsible birding and adventure tours in Honduras, in the heart of Central America. Sustainability, authenticity and diversity are the core values of their company. 10% discount on all Beaks and Peaks tours booked during the Birdfair and upto the end of August. Pricing normally from $US800 per person. More info
Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris – South Africa (Marquee 6, Stand 44/45)
Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris celebrated their 25th anniversary last year and are South Africa’s original birding outfit, offering top class set-departure, memorable custom birding tours, wildlife safaris and family wildlife experiences in Southern Africa (or to be specific Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia or Zimbabwe). At this year’s Birdfair Lawson’s are offering a 5% discount on Namibia / Botswana set-departures and a 10% discount on all of their South African set-departures between November 2018 and March 2019. Pricing normally from R26,425 per person. More info
Mavourneen Pearce and Leon Marais, Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris
Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve – Ecuador (Marquee 7, Stand 37)
Organise a time to meet Richard Parsons from Bellavista who offer close encounters with a diversity of Ecuador birding species while their eco wildlife lodge protects 700 hectares of primary and secondary forest, home to the Spectacled Bear and Olinguito! A range of birding tours are available from single day birding trips up to 10 day tours. Pricing normally from $US222 per person. More info
Birding Extremadura – Spain (Marquee 7, Stand 51/52)
Claudia and Martin Kelsey will be based on the Extremadura Tourism Stand (Gestion Publica De Extremadura). Birding Extremadura specialise in private week long guided birding tours with family-run guesthouse accommodation based in the heart of one of Europe’s top birding destinations, Extremadura. They have also partnered with acclaimed broadcasters and writers, Mark Cocker and David Lindo, offering group holidays with a difference. Martin and Claudia are offering a £200 Birdfair discount for the Extremadura’s Winter Spectacular Tour in 2018 and 2019 booked by two people during the Birdfair 2018. Pricing normally from €180 per two people. More info
Letaka Safaris – Botswana (Marquee 7, Stand 58)
Letaka Safaris is Botswana’s premier mobile safaris operator which is based in the wild wetlands of the Okavango Delta. They have been operating safaris in Botswana since October 2000 when they started off as a small two man operation which has grown to become one of the most successful safari companies in Botswana. Owned and operated by Brent and Grant Reed who recently featured in 6 series as the #SafariBrothers on Nat Geo WILD. Pricing normally from $US1,965 per person. More info
Grant Reed and Brent Reed (“The Letaka Brothers”), Letaka Safaris
Birdfair 2018 Information
For more information on Birdfair 2018, including opening times, lectures and ticket information, visit www.birdfair.org.uk
Originally Published: 23 Jul 2018