Robert Williams

Rob is an experienced tropical biologist and birder who specializes in the New World tropics. For the last decade, he has lived in South America, firstly in Ecuador and now in Peru, and has guided birding tours on five continents and seen over 5,000 species in the process.

  • Rob has been interested (some might say obsessed!) in birds and mammals since he was a child, but is generally fascinated with all aspects of the natural world. He read zoology and went on to obtain a PhD in conservation ecology working on Long-eared Owl population dynamics in Europe. Since 1997 he has worked for conservation organizations including RSPB International, BirdLife International, Wildlife Conservation Society and Frankfurt Zoological Society, and has written 4 books on birds and birding as well as many scientific articles. He is currently involved in research projects on Andean Condor, White-winged Guan, Andean Bear, Maned Wolf and Giant Otter and is also the scientific director of the award-winning Chaparri Reserve, the first community-owned private conservation area in Peru.

  • PR, India 2023

    As usual another fantastic journey masterfully organized and enabling us to discover places and birds in the best possible way. Supreme guide, all matters perfect, except the lack of heating in the bus. Chilly India, believe it or not !

    DM, Thailand 2023

    Great tour, logistics we excellent, bird finding was great, both leaders were excellent at finding and identifying birds

    JH & CH, Southern Peru

    Our guide, Rob Williams, was exceptionally well qualified, good humoured in all circumstances and remarkably diligent in accommodating all levels of birding skills within our group. He went out of his way to make sure that each member of the group realised their expectations for the trip. We would welcome the opportunity to join him on additional trips; he is a quality individual with sound values and a superb representative of Rockjumper Birding Tours.

    PM, Peru

    Rob Williams is the best guide I have ever birded with - wonderful birding and people skills.

    UA, Peru

    Rob Williams is right up there among the very best tour leaders. His vast experience from lots of research and conservation projects and intimate knowledge of the country add lots of value compared to a tour leader who is "just" a good organiser, birder and guide. He is also great company, with a sublime sense of humour.

    BA, Colombia 2017

    Rob Williams and the Rockjumper folks were absolutely fantastic in helping me after I lost my passport. They made sure I got back to Bogota for the embassy appointments, changing plans on the fly. Very impressive dedication to help customers.

    CA, Colombia 2017

    From the several members of the office staff to the actual tour itself, I have nothing but high praise for my Rockjumper experience. This was my first tour with Rockjumper, but I hope it won't be my last. Alison and Sarah were tremendously helpful. Rob Williams is as good a leader as I have ever experienced. He not only knows the birds, but he made sure that we all got to see them, showing patience way beyond what I thought necessary. When one of our participants lost his passport, Rob bent over backwards to help this hapless person, never complaining while doing so. Rob always told us what the plan was for the next day. When Plan A didn't pan out, he had Plan B ready. If something went askew, he handled it with aplomb, always keeping his sense of humour. Did I mention he showed us wonderful birds? Oh, we saw some beautiful ones!

    AH, Spain 2018

    Rob Williams was a fantastic guide -- "Everything's under control!" He is absolutely superb at bird identification. Rob has a great sense of humor, and a wonderful relationship with the innkeepers and vendors along our way. Yeray Seminario, our guide on the Gibraltar Extension, is a treasure! He is soft-spoken, easy-going, approachable, and incredibly knowledgeable about birds. I was delighted to learn that he is an eBird moderator for Spain. He directed us to several great restaurants in the Tarifa area. Alberto Bueno is a sweetheart! He is so classically Spanish and so passionate about the birds. Except for myself (!), I think he was the most enthusiastic about EVERY bird we saw. He is a delightful guide -- compassionate, generous and fun. He and Rob made an unbeatable team and got along seamlessly. We saw well over 250 species of birds, enjoyed fantastic scenery, food and wine! It was a very good trip, and my thanks go to Rob, Yeray and Alberto for all their hard work.

    CK, Spain 2018

    I enjoyed the tour and was especially pleased with our tour leader, Rob Williams, and both local guides, who were excellent and very adept at finding our target birds as well as managing all the logistics required by a trip of this nature. This was my first Rockjumper birding tour and the tour exceeded my expectations.

    CH & JH, Spain 2018

    Guides Rob Williams & Alberto Bueno were professional, diligent and hardworking throughout the tour, maintaining their sense of humour and pleasant demeanour to the end; their respective birding competence was impeccable and, more importantly, they functioned as a team without issue or conflict, complimenting each other in a manner which quite enhanced the trip.

    FO, Spain 2018

    Everything was very good. We certainly tried for everything. Great that we had the time to look at reptiles, frogs, etc. I certainly got almost all my major targets.

    LM & JM, Brazil 2018

    Rob Williams was knowledgeable about all kinds of animals, and went out of his way to point out lizards he spotted that I would otherwise have missed. I greatly appreciate that. Some of the best moments on the trip for me included sightings of Jaguars, otters, Crab-eating Fox, agoutis, Guinea Pigs, Capybaras and Tegu Lizards. IguazĂș Falls was spectacular.

    JH, Brazil 2018

    Rob Williams was helpful above and beyond the call by going out of his way to make it an enjoyable tour.

    TJ & AJ, Madagascar 2018

    Our leader, Rob Williams, was extremely knowledgeable, had a good sense of humour and was keen to see as many species as possible. He helped group members locate more difficult species.

    PM, Dominican Republic 2018

    Rob Williams and Caesar were excellent, and so was the birding and group dynamics.

    MK, Dominican Republic 2018

    Rob Williams and local guides were absolutely excellent. They knew the birds, the calls, where to go, when to be there.

    MS - Thailand 2019

    The guides, Rob Williams and Uthai Treesucon, were top notch and helped us to see many species of birds. We were allowed time to view or photograph them. They worked well together. Uthai was very good to the drivers, an important part of the trip. Rob was passionate, funny, very sociable and somehow managed to locate a frogmouth in a banana grove. It was a great privilege to be with Uthai. He taught me a lot about Thai customs, and was patient with everyone in the group. He helped me when I got sick, and he noticed if someone hadn't seen a bird, and tried to get them on it. The trip was beautifully planned and somehow we were wheels up at 6 am every day. It was a very well planned trip.

    SB - Peru

    It is terrific to have a bilingual guide in any country and one who knows the history and culture of the country is even better, thanks Rob! As always, terrific eyes, ears and birding skills.

    SP, Colombia 2019

    Rob did an outstanding job on this tour. He is an excellent birding guide, great personality and provided insights on a variety of diverse subject matters. I was also impressed with the local operator and their quick actions in dealing with unexpected situations like the general strike and road closure to Medellin.

    IS, Colombia 2019

    Rob's combination of bird finding skills and tour management expertise made for a great birding trip which was enjoyed by all.

    PM, Panama

    Every tour I have had with Rockjumper and every Rockjumper guide (both birding and people skills I have birded with have been outstanding.

    DR, Panama

    First let me just say that the tour was excellent, the birding sites were interesting, the pace was perfect, Rob and both local guides were amazing. Top marks.

    BS, Panama

    Kudos to the entire Rockjumper team for making this tour on the cusp of a global pandemic a complete success: Rob for remaining in the present during our week in the highlands, always congenial, informative and entertaining despite facing complete uncertainty about being able to return to the UK; our superb local guide, who immediately found sites outside the closed national parks for our target birds. For five magical days we had good birds, good coffee, and good vibes all around.

    LW, Colombia 2021

    "This was the fourth of four tours we did for Colombia 2021. This was a great experience. Such diversity of habitats and birds in this small area! Both our guides were excellent. Rob particularly went above and beyond all expectations helping participants with the logistics of getting Covid testing done under the severe time restrictions imposed by recent changes in US rules. We always feel secure traveling with Rockjumper because of the quality of the tour leaders!!"

    JP, Colombia 2021

    I was extremely pleased with Rob and his ability to locate birds and get all members of the group on them for viewing. This was no small task given the reclusive nature of many of the species and the size of our group. In addition to Robs valuable birding skills are his management skills in planning and timing and surmounting both the usual and the unexpected difficulties associated with delays and circumstances. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and has excellent communication skills. His stories are informative and most often entertaining. He was a fun guide and I give him a 5 star plus rating.

    JF, Colombia 2021

    The Santa Marta Mountains were truly a great place to bird with several endemics to be seen and spectacular mountains views. The lodge was a fantastic place to stay for three nights. Highly recommend this extension tour!!!!

    CB - Peru 2022

    Guides were awesome. Found lots of birds; guide was way too knowledgeable about the bird species and taxonomy.

    TW, Spain 2022

    Both leaders were very good, especially Rob who combines great birding knowledge with a friendly and helpful attitude. He is one of the best leaders of any company that I have travelled with. The tour seemed to successfully balance the expectations of the keener birders like me with those who had a more relaxed style of birding. I thought the hotels were good, and well located for those of us who like to go out birding during down time. The food was very good, and occasionally excellent. Overall it was a very enjoyable tour and gave me a very positive first impression of Rockjumper.

    SC, Spain 2022

    Both guides were excellent and also good drivers. They make a very good team together. They complemented each other well. Their knowledge of birds and lynx are incredible. They share their passions easily. They both made ebird lists which was greatly appreciated. Rob Williams has also a great sense of humor which made the trip even more fun. Yeray Seminario is very attentive to our needs and very good at managing the logistics. He was always keen to share information about Spain, birds, animals and answered all the questions that we asked. The wine and food were excellent as were the accommodations. Overall we had a great trip.

    MK, Peru 2022

    Successful and enjoyable. Rob proved his already high reputation. Special thanks to our driver Miguel - always helpful, always smiling.

    GW, Peru 2022

    This is my first birdwatching tour organized by a company such as Rockjumper, but I have been on tours organized by my local Naturalist Society. Both Rob and Miguel were excellent. They worked extremally hard to keep everyone happy, find as many species as possible and get everyone onto each sighting.

    SL - Ghana 2024

    We covered the length and breadth of Ghana on this fantastic tour, with wonderful birds, very friendly people and many colourful sights. Rob Williams and our local guide, Philip, were outstanding. They complemented each other beautifully and both were cheerful and enthusiastic. We greatly appreciated Philip keeping us supplied with fresh local bananas, mangoes, watermelon and pawpaw throughout. The organisation of the tour was superb and everything went smoothly