Birdwatching holidays are becoming ever more popular, matching the increased popularity of birdwatching as a hobby. There are many birdwatching holidays available in the UK but Europe and Africa are also popular destinations. Birdwatching holidays in Norfolk and in Scotland have a good reputation but you can arrange holidays throughout the UK. If you really want to see a large number of species then Africa might be your choice, bird watching holidays in Gambia are particularly popular.
Birdwatching Holidays UK - Value and Quality
For the beginner or improving birdwatcher a birdwatching holiday in the UK is recommended. You need to answer the following questions in order to plan and make the most of your holiday.
- Does your holiday group include non birdwatchers?
- Do you want your holiday to be totally focused on birdwatching?
- Are there particular birds you want to see?
- Do you require the services of a full time guide?
Depending on the answers you may choose a holiday in Norfolk, Scotland or even Gambia! Obviously there are many other potential birdwatching holiday destinations but the following examples will give you some ideas on how to enjoy a good value, quality birdwatching holiday.
Birdwatching Holidays in Norfolk
If you are taking your family on holiday you may wish to plan a family holiday on the North Norfolk coast. You could rent a cottage close to the RSPB's (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) bird reserve at Titchwell. There are many superb beaches for your family nearby and the North Norfolk coast is a renowned tourist destination in its own right. At the same time the Titchwell reserve organizes birdwatching walks three to four times per week. These walks are suitable for all abilities and ages and are always led by an experienced guide. There will be walks in the morning and evening so you can fit your birdwatching to tie in with your family. These walks are extremely good value especially if you are a RSPB member as you will be entitle to reduced fees. In school holiday weeks Titchwell also organizes special events for families and children and these also extremely good value. Titchwell is one of the most well known reserves in Norfolk but there are many more to visit. The RSPB has four other reserves in Norfolk and Snettisham and Strumpshaw Fen are particularly recommended.
The Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) has thirty reserves in the county (Cley Marshes is world famous). Entrance to many of these reserves is free and the NWT organizes many events. Walks with the Warden at Cley Marshes are recommended. Norfolk is probably England's most popular birdwatching holiday destination but with a little planning you could have a good value and quality family birdwatching holiday in many UK counties.
Birdwatching Holidays in Scotland
Scotland has the most spectacular and large areas of wilderness in the UK. There are many birds that you are likely to see in Scotland that are rare or virtually non-existent in the rest of the UK. You may expect to see Golden Eagle, Scottish Eagle, Capercaillie, Ptarmigan, Scottish Crossbill, Black Grouse, Dotterel and Crested Tit. In addition there are many exciting mammals such as Otter, Red Deer, Pine Marten and Scottish Wild Cat. You may choose to organize a family holiday (similar to the Norfolk holiday detailed above) but you could select a specialist birdwatching holiday. These holidays are totally focused on bird and wildlife watching. You will be sharing your holiday with like minded birdwatching enthusiasts and will have the services of full time, local experienced guides. These guides are so knowledgeable that they will guarantee that you will see all the rare local birds and mammals. This type of holiday is more expensive as it is usually all inclusive with good quality accommodation, meals, minibuses and guides.
Birdwatching in Gambia
Gambia offers 569 recorded bird species and, in the main, a pleasant climate. There may be heavy rain showers and higher humidity in the period July to September. Most of the country is situated between desert and tropical rainforest. You are likely to see birds from both environments plus migrant birds from Europe. Hotels in Gambia range from average to excellent. Until you get to know the country it would be wise to go on birdwatching excursions or guided tours. Your hotel may organize tours but if not they will be able to give you contact details. It is always advisable to use your hotel or travel agent to make these arrangements because the quality of guides is highly variable. A huge variety of spectacular birds, a pleasant climate and experienced bird guides all add up to the birdwatching holiday of a lifetime!