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I reserve “excellent” for outstanding services only, but I am very happy to give it to Markus because his enthusiasm and knowledge of ALL wildlife, along with a sense of humour, gave us one of the best wildlife tours we have ever had.
Our guide, Greg de Klerk, was absolutely fabulous. Not only great birding skills and knowledge throughout our tour, but his enthusiasm and amazing knowledge of Kruger and all its wildlife made for an unforgettable experience (it was my first trip to Africa). He was especially good at helping everyone in our party see each bird or animal which I greatly appreciated. Greg handled all aspects of the tour flawlessly. I would definitely recommend Greg highly for whatever tour he is leading.
Forrest was absolutely fantastic. The best birder/guide that we have ever had the pleasure of travelling with. His enthusiasm and passion for his work were exceptional and made for an awesome birding trip.
The tour was great. It exceeded our expectations. We got more than our money’s worth. Part of that was Dusan making everyone feel welcome. He was a great guide and worked really hard at locating Cuban Endemics for us. We also saw, surprisingly, many other North American Warblers. He was very friendly and didn’t mind being asked over and over, “which bird is that,” even though he had named the bird many times before. Talk about patience!
I still find it hard to believe that we saw all 40 of my targets in Cuba – you led a great trip and it was great birding with you again.
Excellent isn’t really adequate to describe the skills and personality of Keith. Phenomenal would be closer to the truth.
Gareth was an excellent guide. He was always on hand to give help and advice when needed and didn’t favour one guest over another. His enthusiasm could not be faulted and local and birding knowledge faultless.
Adam, “You are simply the best” and really showed me how one should bird and how to go about it. Our early morning walks in the forest gave me the impression that I was in the worlds finest concert hall with the greatest musicians rendering their best songs. I was humbled by this experience and will never forget it…
Rob Williams was a brilliant guide in all respects. Throughout the three weeks, he gave the group his all. He is outstanding, and we would love to travel with him again.
We found Adam Walleyn to be knowledgeable, experienced, and with expert birding skills and people skills. We enjoyed him thoroughly.
Greg de Klerk was very considerate of individual needs. He is also extremely knowledgeable about ornithology, wildlife, geology, local cultures and languages. A fountain of helpful information. I would certainly travel with Greg again, and would recommend him to others.
David was a fantastic guide whose love for his homeland, and passion for its wildlife, shone brightly. I couldn’t have wished for a better guide to show me the wonders of South Africa.
David Hoddinott was an excellent leader. It was obvious he had devoted a lot of preparation time studying the birds and learning their vocalizations. I was very impressed with his knowledge. I’d love to go on another tour with him some day.
Gareth studiously worked to meet each participant’s individual needs without sacrificing the overall experience of the group. His audio sense and grasp of song probably even exceeded his other birding skills (which were quite formidable in the own right). His sense of humour and engagement with people was excellent.
Thoroughly enjoyed Gareth – sense of humour was great and he worked tirelessly to ensure everyone could see the bird.
David was the most skilled birding tour leader that I’ve ever encountered in getting his telescope on a bird in record time. As a result, we saw beautiful images of many species that would have been difficult to observe with bins only. David is also very congenial and easy to talk with. His enthusiasm is contagious and he was generous in sharing his considerable knowledge.
Tour was FANTASTIC and Wayne was a big reason for our enjoyment.
Wayne Jones is one of the most incredible bird and wildlife guides I have ever encountered. Always helpful and professional.
Markus displayed his exceptional birding skills in additional to wonderful people management skills. Birds were obviously a delight and Markus was able to maintain his infectious enthusiasm for birds for the whole tour. At the same time Markus was very considerate of various people’s needs to make the tour a memorable time for all.
Markus’s ability to find, ID, and scope birds for us (apparently simultaneously, sometimes along with photographing it) was absolutely amazing, and we ended up with some very remarkable sightings of what I gather are generally quite difficult birds. His knowledge of the birds of the region and their natural history is comprehensive, and his enthusiasm added immeasurably to our enjoyment of the trip. He was always on alert, calling out birds as we drove or walked, somehow kept track of what everyone had or had not seen well so far, and was very patient about repeating ID tips. He did a great job of keeping us informed of the daily plans – both logistics and, birdwise, the rationale for choices of where we would stop and what our current targets were. Though we were a small group, we did represent a range on the spectrum of watchers and listers, and Markus did a fine job of catering to different interests. Markus seemed to have an endless store of energy, and along with his guiding and organizing skills, he was a fun travel companion. He even provided us with copies of some of his fantastic photos from the trip at the end, so after each long day of guiding, he must also have been spending his evening time working on his photos.
Sonya and I really appreciate all of your hard work….that truly was one of our trips of a lifetime. And that is saying something since that bar is constantly getting raised by all of our travel. Rockjumper can definitely count us in as repeat guests and I would count it as good fortune if you were our guide again.
I was really pleasantly surprised about every aspect of the Oman & UAE tour. Forrest Rowland did an outstanding job in every way and he has a great sense of humour. This tour exceeded my expectations. The pace was just right, accommodations and meals were of high quality, and Forrest did a great job of organizing details and making sure everything ran smoothly. He found the species that were sought and had expert knowledge of where the birds were likely to be found and when was the best time to try for them. – JM
The trip sounded good in the write-up but far exceeded our expectations. The pelagic trips were outstanding. The number of participants was perfect. Erik knew the birds and their calls/sounds and was very effective in getting everyone to see the birds. He called many pelagic IDs well before other people had even spotted the birds. Erik’s skills in managing the participants showed and his sense of humour added to his effectiveness. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
Markus gets A+++ marks from me. Not only is he an excellent birder, but he is also a wonderful traveling companion. Our conversations were varied and interesting. He not only knows a lot about nature; he also participated in talks about a wide variety of subjects. We learned a lot about South Africa. His sense of humor is wonderful. His enthusiasm kept us all on a anticipatory high. His leading a tour will be a big plus for me when I am deciding on another trip.
My wife and I were part of a six person tour of South Africa that was led by David Hoddinott. Our trip was excellent and seamless. David was the perfect guide for our group and, as I’m sure you’re aware, is an extraordinary birder and bird finder…. Thank you to Rockjumper, and David especially, for taking the time to create such a wonderful trip for our group.
As always, I’m sure that it’s a challenge to accommodate numerous personalities within a group and David was great at it. We all liked him from day one and he was always positive and up for anything. He was an absolute joy to be with.
We’d previously been to Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Botswana and South Africa was a totally different experience. We really enjoyed the people that we got to meet and the sheer beauty of the country is breathtaking. David’s enthusiasm and pride of his homeland was inspiring and infectious. We can’t thank him enough for making it come alive for us.
And thanks to all who had a part in setting it all up. We’d happily recommend Rockjumper to anyone thinking about a trip led by you.
The faster pace of the tour (South Africa Mega) was just what I wanted, and maximized chances for as many endemics as possible without adding more days. Markus was on top of things throughout, his timing and logistics were flawless, and his spotting skills are excellent. His precision served the group well and the group size (6) was ideal. He also was great with the many mammals, positioning the vehicle for the best viewing and photography, and sharing information about life histories. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and just wish I could do it all over again!
Keith was excellent on everything and a wonderful source of information. Keith and Markus are my favorite tour guides ever (over 20 tours with different companies). Keith arranged daily events extremely well and was good at taking the temperature of the group in terms of energy levels and enthusiasm. He is also enormously patient.
I would not have considered going to Malawi as a priority until I’d seen about 7000 life birds (or about 10 years from now) and was very pleasantly surprised by the number of special species, good accommodations, a well thought out itinerary and good arrangements.
All in all a memorable and special experience even for somebody who regularly does bird tours.
Hi David. Just to say that we couldn’t have had a better trip. The more I think about it, the more remarkable it was. We couldn’t have asked for better encounters with our target birds and the mammal experiences were memorable. Thanks!!!
The entire entourage was impressed by your skills and leadership. I’m glad we could make this happen. Looking forward to future trips.
This tour (Morocco) more than met my expectations, which I must admit were rather lukewarm. I knew there were not a lot of new birds for me but I signed up for the tour because Mark kept telling me how wonderful Morocco was. Well Mark, you were certainly right. The birds were fantastic, the scenery spectacular, the food way too good, and the geology unbelievable. I’m actually taking an online geology course because of this tour. This tour is truly a special one and I will spread the word to all my birding contacts. Thanks again for such a special experience.
Heard all about the trip from the guys and they all reckoned it to be their best ever to West Africa. All the pax only had praise for you… Thanks a million for the few days we had in the field together and overly impressed by your bird finding and leading skills. Way better than I ever was at your age and you have so much patience and never stop smiling … what is your secret?
Thailand was truly a wonderful trip! Markus is unbelievable in getting everyone on the bird! His recognizing and scoping of the birds is superb. Beyond this he is [also] a very kind man with a great personality who keeps things on an even keel, making sure there is lots of laughter. Because of this the group “gelled” very quickly . I plan to do more Rockjumper tours because of the information and encouragement he gave me and I hope he is the leader of at least some of the tours.
I participated in the Jan-Feb [private] tour to the Philippines guided by Rich Lindie…. I have to say that Rich’s … indefatigable attempts to make our trip a success was exemplary in every way. His birding skills are definitely well above the norm in birding companies I am familiar with (including some very elite companies.) Rich is also enthusiastic, energetic, fun loving, patient and always in full control of his clients. In short, he is in the elite echelons of the guiding profession and should be considered a valuable asset to your organization. It is my intent to single out trips guided by him for my travel considerations.
Clayton is a wonderful addition to the Rockjumper family. I look forward to being on tour with him again. He is highly skilled, friendly and aware of the participant’s needs.
You have made a very good decision in hiring David Erterius. He is a great young man and will be a very good guide for your company.
David was a terrific guide and traveling companion. He managed everything from birding to people to logistics like a veteran. We’d love to travel with him again any time
A first rate, very satisfying…tour that met all expectations. We missed two species we were especially interested in but our guide made an extra effort to find them and we were very pleased with him. A first rate birder. He is a great addition to the Rockjumer Team.
The B&BG Tour was the trip of a lifetime for me. Rockjumper did everything just right. The birds and animals, the accommodations, and especially Wayne were all top notch. Although Wayne is relatively new to Rockjumper, he is definitely a keeper – personable, a keen observer, and a natural leader. He really made the tour more than “just another birding trip”. This is certainly a tour that I would enthusiastically recommend to anyone, although I am seriously considering South Africa next.
Alison was wonderfully helpful, especially for finding a U.S. travel agent who booked affordable and reliable airline tickets for me.
We would like to take this opportunity to again thank you and Rockjumper for a well organized and productive tour which offered the bonuses of good accommodations, good food and good company. Even when trials….came our way, workable solutions were quickly found. We would not hesitate to recommend Rockjumper tours to our friends, and you, Cuan, as a first rate leader!
Wayne and Markus are both fantastic guides and the trip was spectacular!! I would definitely travel with Rockjumper again in the future and look forward to the possibility of doing so!
Glen’s pacing of the tour was particularly good – relaxed whenever possible and upping the pace when necessary. His responsiveness and attention to client requests was admirable, as was his general demeanor throughout. Nice to spend such a long trip with someone so enthusiastic and sociable.
Our Madagascar experience surpassed our wildest dreams. We didn’t even realise it was a ‘birding trip’ but David ensured that we saw much much more. The birds were great anyway, especially the pursuit of the magical Helmet Vanga! An unforgettable experience!
Everything was done by all staff to make the trip safe, fun and targets (birds, lemurs, etc) were actively sought out
Well, we have just returned from 2 wonderful weeks in Ecuador led by the best guide of any other trip we have taken for bird watching. Forrest is a true asset to the Rockjumper organization. On behalf of Kim and I, and I’m sure I can also speak for the rest of our group, please pass along our comments to Forrest. Forrest has taken birdwatching to a much higher level with his energy and knowledge, both of the area and his wealth of knowledge of the natural world. It is people like him that help make Rockjumper a Cadilac in the Birdwatching field.
The office staff are always so friendly in their response to emails, and I always feel that there is a personal relationship. That makes for good customer relationships. I met Rockjumper at an ABA conference years ago, and was impressed by them. I regret that I did not take the tour sooner. I have traveled with most of the major companies on more than 30 tours, and I feel that Rockjumper is superior in many ways, especially in having skilled and enthusiastic leaders.
I look forward to another RBT tour…you can never go on too many RBT tours.
Our Rockjumper guide was Rich Lindie. The word “excellent” does not begin to cover the outstanding quality of his technical and interpersonal skills. Rich is the personification of enthusiasm for what he does. Extensively knowledgeable about both flora and fauna (in particular of course birds), he was at all times professional and friendly. In addition, Rich has a great sense of humor and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him and hearing about some of his amazing experiences in international travel, living, teaching and guiding. What an interesting and talented young man. We were very fortunate to have him as our guide.
Suffice it to say we will remember this trip for the rest of our lives. It could not have been better from start to finish. Thank you to everyone there at Rockjumper, including yourself – you are quite a wonderful team!
Where do I begin? Our [private] Tanzanian safari had unbelievable sightings daily – from four lion cubs coming to within 10 feet of our vehicle, to a leopard stalking, catching and climbing a tree with his prey, to witnessing the wildebeest migration. The animal interaction exceeded anything I could have imagined. To our guide Markus – thank you for willingly sharing your knowledge, whether it be about birds, animals or photography. I look forward to traveling with you again.
I had the best time imaginable [in Cameroon]. Occasionally I had to pinch myself to make sure it was all really happening. And Markus enhanced the whole experience with his vast knowledge, unflagging enthusiasm and sweet, yet saucy, disposition. I cannot praise him enough and would tour again with him in a heartbeat. He was a joy to travel with. I also want to commend…your Cameroon ground agent. He was a lot of fun and took very good care of us….made sure that things ran smoothly and kept us well fed. Thanks to Rockjumper and all involved for making it a super fun trip….and the birds weren’t bad either :-).
This [Budget Namibia Birding] trip was a wonderful and unique experience for me. I was pleased with everything about it and also was pleased with myself for having met the challenge of camping and hiking and living out of a tent (most of the nights). It’s not something I’ve done for quite some years. I actually felt renewed and revitalized when it was over. Thanks to everyone for an experience of a lifetime for me!
I just have to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the N. India trip and how superb the leaders are… You know that, you only have world class guides. The last two days made the trip ‘beyond expectations’ with the birds we saw in Saital… Erik and Rich worked so well together and both are so funny, such a great combination. I especially have to thank Rich for taking pictures for me: I can immediately tell which ones he took: they make clear memories that are memorable…. With much gratitude to RBT for bringing birds and mammals into my life.
Just a quick report that we have returned home safely following a great trip to southern Africa. Everything came off as planned and the experiences were everything that we had hoped for. We really enjoyed the bush camps since they provide a remote experience with lots of animals and few other tourists. The selection of camps provided an excellent balance of habitats and wildlife viewing. Additionally, we would like to thank Athol for his excellent leadership during the Eastern South Africa tour. He is a true gentleman and excellent guide and birder…. All around we were very pleased with the trip. And, thank you and the other staff at Rockjumper for helping to put the trip together.
Perhaps the best thing about the experience [Kenya Mega tour] with the guides was their enthusiasm. They have been over the same ground many times, yet were genuinely pleased and excited to see the birds that turned up daily. It was more than just a job for them and I appreciated the freshness that they brought to each day. Of course it didn’t hurt that they occasionally found something totally unexpected. Their enthusiasm was infectious and through their constant encouragement, perhaps I made a little progress towards becoming a better birder.
Certainly I would be happy to recommend RBT, most especially David & Brian, and whomever was responsible for the smooth running of the trip. The drivers were exceptional, combining the most important facilities: skill, patience (with us!) and a sense of humour.
We had an absolutely fabulous safari in Tanzania! The sights we saw were unbelievable – the giraffe standing at the edge of the road, the lion walking up to our vehicle and laying in our shadow, the dik-dik walking down the centre of the road toward us, the many leopards and cheetahs so close and of course, the wildebeest migration. So much more! Just unbelievable! Markus was a marvelous leader. He was so good with our granddaughters and could relate to them so well. He was a big help to me and made sure I saw some birds. It was a good combination of birds and animals. Everyone else enjoyed the birds, also.I could go on and on. Rockjumper has top-notch people. Thanks for all the help.
I just wanted to pass on our thanks for a well organised trip. We had a ball in Cuba! Not only were the birds fantastic but the cigars, rum and country were mind-blowing. Our first RJ trip but I am sure that it won’t be our last. Well done to the team for arranging a hassle-free trip in a country where it can be difficult to organise things.
Rockjumper’s office staff continue with their excellent high level of client services. Prompt, concise and courteous replies are a trade-mark of the Rockjumper staff.
Our questions were always answered with clarity and accuracy. There were no surprises as a result… This trip was a wonderful and unique experience for me. I actually felt renewed and revitalized when it was over. Thanks to everyone for an experience of a lifetime!
I would recommend Rockjumper to my birding colleagues back in Cape May, New Jersey. Cuan and Rockjumper did an outstanding job in helping us plan our trip.