To do full justice to the cultural aspects of this fascinating country, we offer an incredible Ethiopia historical tour extension to the northern town of Lalibela where we explore the unique 12th century monolithic churches, hewn out of solid rock and which took an estimated 25 years to construct, now appropriately considered one of the wonders of the world!
Whilst our main focus during the Ethiopia historical tour will naturally be these amazing monuments, we can also expect some excellent birding. Possible species include White-collared Pigeon, White-winged Cliff Chat, Erckel’s Francolin, Egyptian Vulture, White-fronted Black Chat, Abyssinian Catbird, Little Rock Thrush, Thick-billed Raven, White-backed Black Tit, Hemprich’s Hornbill, the scarce endemic Banded Barbet, Black-billed Woodhoopoe and large flocks of White-billed Starlings.
White-backed Black Tit; Thick-billed Raven; Banded Barbet; White-billed Starling; Rüppell's & White-fronted Black Chats; White-winged Cliff Chat; Erckel's Spurfowl; Yellow-rumped & Brown-rumped Seedeaters; Wattled Ibis; White-collared Pigeon; Abyssinian Catbird.
temperate in highlands
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader
moderate pace, mostly undemanding walks
basic but comfortable
Greg de Klerk is an excellent leader. What I admired most about Greg was his willingness and patience to take the time and "teach" the group shorebird and wading bird identification. Throughout the tour, he would take the time and repeat the details to anyone who asked, or seemed to be unclear on the details.
The guide, Greg de Klerk, did a good job. He was well informed regarding the participants and tried hard to accommodate everyone's needs. He made a good effort to inform us daily as to what birds we might see, which was very helpful.
Greg de Klerk was an excellent guide and his lively manner and humour did much to make the trip enjoyable.
Heinz Ortmann did an excellent job of leading a group with diverse interests. He was particularly patient in showing the birds to the non-birders, and I believe he increased the level of interest in all of them with his enthusiasm. (Graham is already talking about a possible trip to Uganda!). He also did his best with my "wish-list" and I don't think we missed much. I have some stunning pictures of Stresemann's Bushcrow and Vulturine Guineafowl as evidence. It was necessary to make a couple of changes to the itinerary and accommodation, and Heinz managed all of this without any stress to the group.
This tour far exceeded our expectations. The pace was mostly fast, and many days were long with early starts, but we fully expected this for an endemic search tour; but we still managed lots of comradery, jokes, and cocktail time. We fulfilled our tour goal of finding all the endemic island species plus most of the endemic subspecies, including those that are most likely to be split in the future. We also got to sample the local culture and food of every island. Our tour was extremely productive and a very fun trip. We had a very experienced group of participants, and everyone was pleased with the tour. Our leaders were exceptional. Forrest Rowland and Ryan Chenery made an excellent team. Both are very knowledgeable, personable, and funny, as well as expert birders. Their knowledge of the species was profound. They worked hard to find each target and to make sure that everyone got on the birds. On several islands, we also had local leaders/drivers who were top-notch birders. They thoroughly knew their local species habits and vocalizations. The Lesser Antilles are Ryans domain; he expertly planned and conducted the tour. When you lead a group of people to ten different islands in 14 days via airplanes, ferries, and speedboats, you know that various matters will require attention and Ryan adeptly dealt with all issues that cropped up, most of which were not even apparent to us. Thanks, also, to Ryans wife Alexandria, who we got meet on their home island of Barbados, who ran the back-office logistics dealing with confirmations and handling real-time changes, as needed. The team of Forrest, Ryan, and Alex kept everything running smoothly and seamlessly. The Rockjumper home office also did a great job of handling the registration and payment processes and all associated travel paperwork and communications. This was our first Rockjumper tour, but it certainly wont be our last.
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