Rockjumper is excited to announce the launch of our brand-new, informative webinar series entitled Dream Destinations. Every week one of our passionate tour leaders will act as your personal virtual guide as you explore some of the planets most exotic sites from the comfort of your armchair. Ever wanted to learn more about hummingbirds in general, where is the best place to see a Satyr Tragopan or why the months of October and November are prime time for visiting Madagascar? These questions and so much more will be on the agenda during the webinars. Our tour leaders will happily answer questions live and should volume be high remaining questions will be answered after the webinar has concluded. The webinars in this series are all being offered free of charge. Should you however wish to donate towards our tour leaders our GoFundMe is still open.

Up next is Uganda with David Hoddinott – Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Time: 12:00 PM (New York), 05:00 PM (London), 6:00 PM (Johannesburg). Click here to sign up.

 
Dream Destinations Webinar: Uganda with David Hoddinott

Our first webinar in our Dream Destinations series is Sri Lanka where globe-trotting Rockjumper tour leader Stephan Lorenz will get into the intricacies of this exotic island. Learn more about Sri Lanka’s endemic birds, mammals, history, top birding sites and conservation issues as Stephan showcases the natural wonders of Sri Lanka.

This webinar features a bird family that is very high up on most people’s favorite list – Hummingbirds. Forrest Rowland, one of our most popular tour leaders, showcases the myriad varieties of these extraordinary little birds. This one is not to be missed as the images are knockout and Forrest entertains with stories, facts, and plenty of interesting information featuring hummingbirds front and center.

We are back to Asia where Rockjumper tour leader Daniel Danckwerts showcases one of the most pristine countries on the planet – Bhutan. This beautiful part of the world is high on many peoples’s wish list and for good reason. Unique in so many ways, Daniel will highlight many of the country’s top drawcards including its fascinating culture, remarkable scenery, and intriguing wildlife. Join us as we explore the home of tragopans, myzornis, leiothrix and elachuras!

Our 4th webinar in our Dream Destinations series features one of our freshest and most exciting tours – our fabulous small group cruise through the Remote West Papuan Islands from Waigeo in the Raja Ampats to Buru in the Malukus. Join Glen Valentine, one of Rockjumpers most popular and well-known tour leaders, as he takes us on a spell-binding voyage to one of the most remote and isolated parts of the planet. A stunningly scenic part of the world that is dripping with beautiful endemics and specials from Wilson’s Bird-of-paradise and Carunculated Fruit Dove to Kofiau Paradise Kingfisher and the legendary Madanga. This is a webinar not to be missed and promises to put a massive tick next to the exotic box.

BirdLife South Africa: Conserving the White-winged Flufftail

BirdLife South Africa’s Dr Hanneline Smit-Robinson (Head of Conservation), Robin Colyn (Science & Innovation Programme Manager) and Dr Kyle Lloyd (Rockjumper Fellow of White-winged Flufftail Conservation) present a fascinating webinar on the conservation of the Critically Endangered White-winged Flufftail. The species is arguably one of Africa’s rarest and most threatened birds with an estimated fewer than 250 individuals remaining, globally. These elusive rallids live and breed in the high-altitude grasslands of South Africa and Ethiopia. Within the last 3 years, BirdLife South Africa’s work into understanding the ecology and behaviour of the White-winged Flufftail using the BirdLife South Africa Rallid Survey Method, a system of remote monitoring camera and acoustic devices, has fundamentally changed what we know about the species. Join the White-winged Flufftail team as they share one of conservation’s most enthralling stories about a little known bird that has been able to unite industry, science, conservation and government to ensure that it does not become the first known species in Africa to slip into extinction.

The vast plains of the Serengeti and nearby Ngorongoro Crater are arguably two of the most iconic names in the natural world. This is, after all, where the legendary wildebeest migration takes place. Africa’s most famous animals still reside in magnificent numbers and the birdlife is prolific. Join Rockjumper’s Founder Adam Riley as he takes us on a classic virtual safari through these two mind-blowing locations in northern Tanzania. If you have been before its likely next week’s webinar will be a nostalgic journey down memory lane while for those who have yet to experience the sheer marvel of this ecosystem, it promises to be a spell-binding presentation that will likely launch the Serengeti and Ngorongoro to the top of your bucket list. 

Beautiful South Africa is next on the Dream Destinations list as home grown Rockjumper leader Greg de Klerk highlights one of the most iconic wildlife reserves on the planet – Kruger National Park. Famous for its big mammals such as Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, African Wild Dog and White Rhinoceros, Kruger has been a drawcard for wildlife enthusiasts for many decades. The reserve protects an incredible 19 485 km² of pristine habitat and well over 500 species of birds have been recorded from within Kruger’s borders. Join us as Greg showcases Kruger in all its glory and appreciate why it has earned a reputation as one of the most renowned wildlife reserves in the world. 

Of all the world’s birding destinations few capture the imagination quite as profoundly as Papua New Guinea. The island is justly famous for its spectacular birds-of paradise while also holding a variety of other exciting and exotic families such as bowerbirds, jewel-babblers, owlet-nightjars, and fairy-wrens. Join Adam Walleyn as he takes us on a fantastic virtual experience, highlighting a treasure trove of mind-blowing birds, with some insight into the regions fascinating culture and customs. There are few people on the planet that have spent as much time as Adam, travelling and birding through this region, and his webinar is not to be missed.  

 

Our 8th instalment in our Dream Destinations webinar series features the magical island of Cuba. For such a small place, it has certainly given the world much to ponder over the years from interesting politics, leaders and alliances to world famous cigars and rum. The island also happens to be a paradise for birders and holds an exceptional array of endemic, special, and range-restricted species. Join Rockjumper’s Operations Manager Clayton Burne as he showcases this remarkable island in all its glory. From vintage cars to Che Guevera and all Cuba’s wonderful birds, this will certainly be a fascinating presentation.  

 

To kickstart the month of August we will be featuring Zambia, a country that largely flies under the radar for many world birders and travellers. Interestingly, this fascinating location holds a plethora of special and localised species, including some of the most iconic birds in the world, such as Shoebill and African Pitta. Other interesting locations and landmarks include the mighty Victoria Falls, massive Bangweulu Swamps, and some of Africa’s most famous national parks such as Kafue, Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa, which all hold exceptional numbers of Africa’s classic big game. Join Daniel Danckwerts for an incredible journey through his home country of Zambia, where you will get to learn a lot about this often-overlooked birding and wildlife destination.  

With an exceptional volume of endemic birds and wildlife Ethiopia has always ranked as one of the top destinations to visit on the African continent. The ‘Roof of Africa’, as it is often referred to, is also blessed with a remarkable history and some of the most extraordinary cultures on the planet. We invite you to come and learn more about the remote Omo Valley, where untouched local tribes still forge an existence in this harsh terrain, the magnificent Bale Massif and Sanetti Plateau, which is the last stronghold of the beautiful Ethiopian Wolf and a plethora of endemic birds to boot. Join us for an intimate virtual exploration across the ‘Roof of Africa’ with Nigel Redman, one of the world’s most knowledgeable tour leaders and co-author of the superb field guide – Birds of the Horn of Africa.  

Mexico, a land of stark contrasts, supports an enviable, endemic-rich avifauna, third only to Brazil and Peru in the New World. Home of the Mayans, Aztecs, Zapotecs and Spanish Conquistadores, Mexico is one of the world’s most charismatic countries. Over 1100 bird species have been recorded from within the country’s borders while over 140 of those are endemic and found nowhere else on earth. This week join Lev Frid as he showcases the countries very best birding locations from Baja, Jalisco and Veracruz to Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Yucatan. 

Our Dream Destinations webinar series moves back to South America next week where the featured country is Peru. With the second highest birdlist in the world, with over 1800 species, Peru is quite simply a birding mecca. So diverse is the countries habitats, and birding potential, that covering even half of the region in a single trip is impossible. For our Peru exploration we will begin with Northern Peru, home to a fantastic array of special and little-known avian gems such as Marvelous Spatuletail, Long-whiskered Owlet, Yellow-scarfed Tanager and Royal Sunangel. Our guest speaker will be stalwart Rockjumper tour leader Rob Williams. We are in for a real treat as very few people on the planet have the depth of knowledge or passion for Peru as Rob does. 

To kick things off in September our Dream Destinations webinar series heads off to Brazil’s glorious Pantanal. Traditionally September is a fantastic time of the year to explore this watery wildlife haven and we felt it was fitting to showcase this spectacular part of the world as a virtual tour, while Brazil’s travel restrictions are still in place. Nowhere in South America are large mammals as prolific as the Pantanal and it is well regarded as THE place to see a Jaguar. Other outrageous species such as Giant Anteater, Brazilian Tapir, Southern Tamandua, Ocelot and Giant River Otter are also possible, and the birding opportunities are remarkable with many stunning species being extremely approachable. From Hyacinth Macaw and Helmeted Mannakin to Sunbittern and Jabiru we invite you to join Stephan Lorenz as he showcases this magnificent part of the world. It feels like a long time ago now but some of you may remember Stephan as our guest speaker during our very first Dream Destinations Webinar on Sri Lanka. This will now be our 13th webinar in the series and we wanted to thank all of you for your heartfelt support during these trying times. 

The tiny country of Israel is well known within birding circles for its incredible migration spectacle, where thousands of raptors pour through Eilat and other locations offering a truly mind-blowing interaction with the natural world. This week we invite you to join Rockjumper leader Yoav Perlman, as he showcases his remarkable home country. With an exceptionally rich history to augment the birding experience Yoav will give us a wonderful in-depth understanding of what one can expect and enjoy within the borders of Israel. Get ready for Macqueen’s Bustard, Barbary Falcon, Cream-coloured Courser, no less than 5 species of sandgrouse and much more as the Hula Valley, Eilat and Mount Hermon await.

For our next instalment in our Dream Destinations Webinar series we venture off to the ‘Great White Continent’ of Antarctica. Referred to by many as the ultimate destination, this virtually untouched part of our planet offers some of the most magnificent settings and scenery anywhere on Earth. Join Adam Walleyn, a past master of the seas, as he takes us on a classic voyage from the southern tip of Argentina to the remote Falkland Islands, South Georgia, South Shetlands and, finally, the Antarctic continent. The sheer scale of nearly everything in this region is grand, and complementing the astounding vistas are vast colonies of penguins, brash skuas, giant petrels, sheathbills, somnolent seals, feeding whales and a fabulous variety of albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters and diving petrels that all add life to the region’s stark and amazing beauty. This is bound to be one of our finest webinars yet and follows the exact same route as our special Rockjumper Antarctica Charter in November 2021. For those who have been before, this is sure to be a wonderful journey down memory lane, while for those who have yet to experience Antarctica this is a webinar not to be missed.

16_Colombia with Forrest Rowland

Please note that due to technical issues we cannot upload the recording at this time. We are working on a solution and will upload it as soon as possible. 

 

Up next in our Dream Destinations Webinar series is the incredible country of Colombia. Nowhere on our planet can more birds be found, with the total steadily heading towards the 2000 mark! The primary reason for this phenomenal number of birds is Colombia’s exceptional habitat diversity that includes three Andean Cordilleras, two inter-Andean valleys, the lowland rainforests of the Amazon and Orinoco regions, the isolated snow-capped Santa Marta Mountains and the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. One of Rockjumper’s most popular guides Forrest Rowland is back for his second webinar and we could not think of anyone more appropriate to showcase Colombia’s natural splendour, given his depth of knowledge in the region. Prepare to be enthralled by a plethora of fabulous families from tanagers and hummingbirds to antwrens and antpittas. Colombia offers a truly mind-blowing birding experience and we invite you to join us for a small sample of what one might expect in this bird-rich land.