“Thank you Adam for this virtual tour of the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti. The day we spent in the crater with Rockjumper was the absolute best day of my life. Your presentation today gave me renewed hope for a brighter tomorrow and taking more birding tours with you in the future.” – RK
“I wanted to thank you for these webinars. They have really helped us in understanding what the trips are like. It has made it easier for us to decide where we would like to go next. Also, I think your efforts to help support your guides during these difficult times is very admirable. Thank You.” – MW
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.
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.
We are back to Africa for our next Dream Destination webinar which means we are in for not only a spectacle of incredible birds but fantastic mammals as well. We invite you to join legendary Rockjumper guide David Hoddinott for a spell-binding journey across one of his favourite countries – Uganda, home to over 1000 different species of birds. Uganda is probably most famous however as a refuge for some of the last Mountain Gorillas on the planet and it is also a fantastic location for viewing Chimpanzee in the wild. From a birding point of view any country where you can see over 550 species including the likes of Shoebill, Green-breasted Pitta and Grauer’s Broadbill, in less than 3 weeks, makes any birder sit up and take notice. Besides the fiesta of birds come and learn about what else makes Uganda so special, from the various habitats and extensive national parks to famous landmarks such as Lake Victoria, Murchison Falls, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and the Victoria Nile.
Next week we are back to exploring the incredible realm of Antarctica. A few weeks ago, we were enthralled as Adam Walleyn took us on a memorable Antarctic adventure with visits to the Falkland and South Georgia Islands along the way. This time around it is the turn of David Tanguay, our guest presenter from Quark Expeditions, who will dive into the nuts and bolts of an Antarctica expedition. We have partnered with Quark for our special Antarctica charter in Nov 2021 and a whole range of other exciting polar expeditions as well. Next week’s webinar will be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the vessel we will be using on the charter, the zodiacs, how things generally work on landings and on board, the logistics involved and so much more. Antarctica is certainly a special part of the world and for those considering joining a cruise to this incredible continent this is sure to be an interesting and valuable presentation
There is nothing like dreaming about that next trip, doing the research, planning the itinerary, and thinking about the wonderful birds, animals, food, people, lodgings and habitat you will get to see and experience along the way. There are however the nitty gritty details that also come about when planning a big international holiday and insurance is one such item. Next week we are heading in a slightly different direction as we feature an informative webinar on travel insurance with insurance expert Uriah Jansen, Managing Director of Oojah Travel Protection (Pty) Ltd, part of the Hollard Group. This will be a wonderful opportunity to gain more insight into this topic, particularly given the current travel environment, and some of the items on the list to discuss include cancel for any reason, medical emergency, travel delay, cancelation vs curtailment, what insurance can’t cover, perils list, T&Cs, and when to buy insurance.
For those of you wondering if this means the classic Dream Destination webinars are coming to an end do not be concerned. We will be back next week with Japan followed by Argentina, South Africa, and Spain as we traverse 4 different continents in 4 weeks. As the saying goes – variety is the spice of life!
“Containing the spread of unnecessary panic is as important as stopping the virus itself. We want to deliver peace of mind to all our travellers ,” Uriah Jansen.
We are excited to announce that next week we will be broadcasting our 20th webinar in our Dream Destination series where we venture off to the fascinating country of Japan. From a birding perspective Japan is famous for its spectacular winter gathering of ‘dancing’ cranes, while other desirable species include the magnificent Blakiston’s Fish Owl, Steller’s Sea Eagle, and Okinawa Rail. Japan also has an extremely rich history and unique culture which is another enticing aspect to delve into and soak up while visiting. We invite you to join Rockjumper leader Stu Elsom as he showcases exotic Japan from the snowy mountains and frozen lakes of Hokkaido to the tropical islands of Okinawa and Amami.
At the southern cone of South America lies an astonishing part of the world, where the snow-covered Andes make for an incredible backdrop, spectacular glaciers loom proud and vast lagoons teem with birds. This is the home of Andean Condor, Hooded Grebe, Puma, Pichi and Magellanic Plover. This is Patagonia – land of fire and ice! Next week we invite you to join Bobby Wilcox for what is sure to be a memorable webinar as he showcases this incredible region in all its splendour.
The wilds of Alaska from Nome and Barrow to Denali, Kenai and the Pribilof Islands are some of the most spectacular landscapes on our planet. These remote locations still harbour a fascinating array of wildlife in breath-taking numbers from rafts of tiny auklets, stunning eiders and puffins to Polar Bears, Moose and Killer Whales. Next week Stephan Lorenz, whom many of you have thoroughly enjoyed listening to during past webinars on Sri Lanka and Brazil’s Pantanal, is back to showcase another of his personal favourite locations – Alaska. This promises to be another beautifully presented webinar and we will all no doubt learn a lot about Alaska’s birds and other wildlife while also touching on other aspects such as the geography, general natural history, conservation issues and more as we have come to enjoy during Stephan’s past presentations.
Spectacular scenery, vast areas of wilderness and awe-inspiring wildlife is the order of the day for our next Dream Destination webinar – Svalbard. Joining us from our friends at Quark is Naomi Box, who has an infectious enthusiasm for this stunning part of the world. This webinar will provide a wonderful overview of this extensive region, where Polar Bears still roam as the apex predator, Walrus lounge about on ice floats and legendary birds such as Ivory and Ross’s Gulls, Snow Bunting, Atlantic Puffin and Brunnich’s Guillemot are all on the radar.
Dotted off the west coast of equatorial South America lies a group of tiny volcanic islands where the wildlife is exceptionally approachable, finches use tools, mockingbirds drink blood, “dragons” characterize the rocky shorelines and tortoises weigh as much as 550 pounds! This is the Galapagos Archipelago – a stunning part of the world where wildlife flourishes with a high rate of endemism to boot. We invite you to join Rockjumper leader Dušan Brinkhuizen as he showcases the wonderful variety and diversity of these spectacular islands. Dušan is also busy putting the finishing touches to a brand-new field guide featuring the birds and mammals of the Galapagos, a ground-breaking effort that we are all extremely excited to see.
Adam was given a Roberts’ bird book for Christmas when he was 13 and has since been captivated by birds. Making birding his career, Adam has been fortunate enough to have travelled around the world, exploring its wildest places, in search of the world’s most spectacular birds. In the process he has visited 100 countries and seen over 8,000 bird species, many of which he has photographed. Adam’s slideshow will showcase some of his favourite bird photos coupled with stories of his adventures in finding these beautiful, but often elusive and sadly endangered, feathered creatures.
Next up our Dream Destination series heads off to the world’s 4th largest island – Madagascar. Often referred to as the 8th continent, Madagascar’s flora and fauna are uniquely distinct and have evolved over millions of years in isolation. The island alone has 4 endemic bird families and a further 2 that are shared with only the Comoros while also boasting over 100 species of different lemurs, for which the country is probably most famous for. The marvels of Madagascar however extend well beyond its avian gems and the island also plays host to an exceptional diversity of lizards, snakes, chameleons, frogs, and crazy insects. Join Rockjumper tour leader Greg de Klerk for an impactful overview highlighting the islands incredible diversity.
Next up is Spain! Always popular and offering a pleasing array of Mediterranean habitats, this destination is marked by beautifully scenic sites in lovely rural areas that are way off the beaten track, as well as others with Romanesque architecture or ancient, fortified hilltop villages. From the semi-arid steppes and cork-oak dehesas, we will explore the scenic Sierras and alpine Pyrenees, while also saving time for the wetlands of Doñana National Park on the Atlantic coast. Rob Williams details these great birding areas, as well as some of our most hoped for target birds. Fabulous birds dot the landscape including specials like Spanish Imperial Eagle and even another 20+ raptors, while we search also for the robust Great and diminutive Little Bustards, as well as Alpine Accentor, the Choughs, White-throated Dipper and the Wallcreeper. Join Rob for a thrilling review of one the world’s best known countries and an examination of its wonderful wildlife.
Happy New Year everyone! We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for all your support during 2020. Here at Rockjumper, we all feel honoured that we were able to bring a small bit of our beautiful world to you during a year where any form of travel was barely possible.
We are also excited to announce that while travel prospects are shaping up well for 2021, we will still be continuing with our Dream Destination webinar series. This year we are changing it up slightly with a different webinar every 2 weeks. Lev Frid gets us underway on January 20 with a special feature on Canada’s magnificent owls. Lev will be showcasing his home country and the winter months are famous for offering up wonderful owl viewing opportunities. Join us to learn more about this incredible family and to get up close and personal with magic species such as Great Grey, Northern Hawk, and Snowy Owls. Lev will also be giving some fantastic tips and techniques to help you find owls near your home.
Our next featured webinar deviates a little from our Dream Destination series and rather explores birding from a beginner’s point of view. Why do we love our feathered friends so? What makes the hobby, that so many of us are passionate about, so enjoyable? What is the lure of birding? And is it more than just the birds? Many of us know the answers to these questions, which are often very personal in nature but all stem from a deep appreciation of our natural world. On 3rd February we invite you to join Rockjumper guide Paul Varney as he dives into the world of birding, as a beginner. While the focus is on what it takes to be a birder, how to get into the hobby and why it is such a fabulous pastime. We are certain that many birding veterans will also find this a fascinating talk which touches on many avian highlights across the globe.
Next our Dream Destinations webinar series shifts to Africa and in particular the southern most country on the continent – South Africa. While previous webinars have dabbled in the region, this time around the focus is more in-depth and aims to cover most of South Africa’s highlight birding locations and showstopper species such as Pink-throated Twinspot, Drakensberg Rockjumper, Blue Crane and Ground Woodpecker. Greg de Klerk is certainly no stranger to our Dream Destinations webinars having showcased Kruger and Madagascar already and this time around we invite you to join him on 17th Feb for a memorable overview of his home country.
Keeping up the 2021 theme of switching continents our Dream Destination series ventures off to Asia, with popular Rockjumper leader Glen Valentine as he highlights one of the ultimate birding tours on the planet to Sichuan in China. This location is not only scenically impressive but also harbours some of Asia’s most sought-after specials. Join Glen on 3rd March for a comprehensive overview of this beautiful part of the world, where an incredible 10 species of pheasant still reside among the lofty mountains and other mouth-watering species such as Grandala, Pere David’s Owl, Wallcreeper, Ibisbill, Black-necked Crane and the monotypic Przevalski’s Finch can all be found. This is a webinar not to be missed!
In our next Dream Destinations webinar, we head back across to North America and specifically to the vast state of Texas, a birders paradise if ever there was one. Texas is famous for having produced a riot of ABA rarities over the years and is also well regarded as a migration hotspot with plenty of specials to boot. Right now, it is prime time for Whooping Crane in Texas and even the first migratory warblers start making their way back into the USA from wintering grounds further south in a couple of weeks. Our guest speaker will be none other than Stephan Lorenz. He knows the state inside out and is also no stranger to any of you having presented Dream Destination webinars on 3 occasions now (Sri Lanka, Brazil – Pantanal and Alaska). Once again this is sure to be a superb webinar in typical Stephan style with plenty of mouth-watering images and interesting notes around not only the birds and wildlife but the ecology, habitat, and conservation issues as well.
Harboring roughly 20% of Earth’s bird species, Colombia is well known as the birdiest country in the world. Less well known are the wilds of its eastern half. These include the vast seasonal floodplain that is the Llanos of Orinoquia, and the expanses of Amazonian forest surrounding the port of Inírida. The latter is a crazy confluence of influences, with huge stretches of varzea forest, some Guianan Shield species, and big blocks of white sand forest, holding associated endemics such as Pale-bellied Mourner and Orinoco Softtail. Combine these with the megafauna of the Llanos, like giant anteater, Orinoco crocodile, Anaconda, herds of Capybara, and special birds like White-bearded Flycatcher and Dwarf Cuckoo, and there is a ton of beasts on which to feast one’s eyes. We invite you to join George Armistead on 31 March for an exploration through this exciting and seldom explored part of Colombia.
In our next Dream Destination Webinar, we remain firmly positioned in the world’s most prolific birding continent – South America. We invite you to join Rockjumper leader Rob Williams as he takes us on another mouth-watering virtual escape through the southern and central regions of Peru, exploring famous sites such as the Manu Road, the Andes, Iquitos, Machu Picchu, and the Apurimac Valley – source of the mighty Amazon. This region holds a plethora of specials and endemics from Bearded Mountaineer, Wattled Currassow and White-cheeked Cotinga to Cerulean-capped Manakin, Ancient Antwren and Andean Cock-of-the-Rock!
Our Dream Destination webinars continue to visit a variety of interesting and exotic birding locations across the globe. In two weeks, we venture back to Europe when Rockjumper leader Nigel Redman will showcase the wonders of Georgia & Armenia. This exciting region located deep in the Caucasus, and on the eastern limits of the Western Palearctic, has a rich history and holds a wonderful assortment of special European birds with a lovely Asian influence as well. Sites such as Kazbegi, Mount Aragats, Yerevan and the Vedi Hills will all feature and these hold some incredible birds like Caspian and Caucasian Snowcocks, Eastern Rock Nuthatch, Güldenstädt’s Redstart, Great Rosefinch and Wallcreeper.