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Nick Garbutt Wildlife Worldwide Photography Tours

Photography Tours Nick Garbutt WW logoI am pleased to offer an exclusive programme of wildlife photography tours in partnership with my friends at Wildlife Worldwide.

The aim of these tours is to offer unmatched experiences that maximize opportunities to photograph and watch wildlife in the finest locations and also to help participants improve their techniques and achieve the best results from their photography, irrespective of their level of experience.

Itineraries are carefully designed, with locations chosen to offer unrivaled photographic opportunities. While the pace of the tours allows ample time to get the most from the potential of each location. Informal workshops - tailored to suit all levels of experience - will cover a cross-section of photographic and digital processing techniques.

Binocular IconThe binocular icon denotes a tour that is also suitable for anyone who may be more interested in watching and enjoying wildlife, rather than concentrating principally on photography.

Nick’s Newsletter

Photography Tours Schedule

AUSTRIA: Close-up on Alpine Nature: June 2018, 2019 & 2020

Mountain Apollo roosting

Dates: 16th - 23rd June 2018

Price: £1895 (Twin-share: Flight inclusive)

Price: £1695 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: FULL

Dates: 15th - 22nd June 2019

Price: £1995 (Twin-share: Flight inclusive)

Price: £1795 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: 1 single remaind: Please Enquire

Dates: 13th - 20th June 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flight inclusive)

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

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LEADERS: Alex Hyde & Nick Garbutt

June sees the alpine meadows of the Austrian Tyrol in their full glory. They are flushed with a spectacular show of wild flowers, and an equally stunning array of butterflies and other insects. This is the perfect time to visit for our macro photography tour.

A riot of colour: An Alpine meadow in full bloom

A riot of colour: an Alpine meadow in full bloom

Trumpet Gentians growing in the high Alpine zone

We will explore the many and varied meadows and discover a rich flora and along the way encounter many exciting and beautiful insects that flourish on these alpine slopes. In the locations we visit there is a good chance of finding the iconic apollo butterfly. Moving higher up the slopes, the colourful meadows give way to swathes of vibrant alpenrose and high alpine species such as dwarf snowbell and trumpet gentian.

The tour has been designed to maximise macro opportunities.  Along with a renowned local guide, we will take you through all you need to know to photograph the region’s fascinating plants and wildlife. There will be an emphasis on macro techniques, as well as general and landscape elements. We will also photograph other attractions such as marmots, mountaintops at sunrise and dramatic glacial valleys.

Whether a beginner or a seasoned photographer, you will benefit from the tutors’ guidance and experience. We will be looking at all aspects of macro photography from the basics through to advanced techniques like focus stacking.

Captivated by the floral splendor: one of our clients immersed in her photography.

Cluster of Burnt or Burnt-tip Orchids

In addition there will be indoor workshops on digital workflow. You will learn how Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop techniques can complement your field skills and let you get the most from your digital camera.

A friendly family-run hotel provides the perfect base for our week of photography and fresh mountain air. Flexible transport arrangements mean that we can make best use of the light. A short drive takes us to an extensive cable car network, making access to high mountain scenery and plants easy.

Alex Hyde and Broad-leaf Marsh Orchid

Alex Hyde and broad-leaf marsh orchid

Alex Hyde

I am delighted to be joined by good friend Alex Hyde on this trip. Alex is one of the UK's finest exponents of macro photography, combining the best of art and science into his exquisite images. He is a master of the technical aspects of digital photography and in the field or indoor workshop environment has the enviable skill of being able to convey challenging topics and ideas, concisely, simply and in a way that makes them understandable. To see more of Alex's stunning work click here

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PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Birds of Paradise & Tribal Culture: July 2018 (New Tour)

 

Male Raggiana Bird of Paradise

Male Raggiana Bird of Paradise

Binocular IconDates: 29th June - 17th July 2018

Price: £10,595 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £8,995 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 8
Current Availability: FULL

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New Guinea is unquestionably one of the world’s last great frontiers. It is the world’s second largest island, that is split into the nation of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and West Papua and Papua (together formerly Irian Jaya) that are part of Indonesia. Few destinations conjure visions that are more remote or evocative. Many areas are still largely untouched by time and Western influence. It is a place where pristine rainforests harbour an intriguing array of wildlife, and tribal peoples live in ways that have changed little in centuries.

Huli Wigmen. Haro Ngibe (foreground) and chief Timon Tumbu (behind)

Huli Wigmen. Haro Ngibe (foreground) and chief Timon Tumbu (behind)

The natural history is very special and very specialised, with influences that are sometimes south-east Asian, but primarily Australasian. The famed Birds of Paradise are certainly the islands’ show stoppers. These ‘living jewels’ are perhaps the most extreme expressions of the forces of sexual and natural selection and this stunning family of birds (that are most closely related to crows) have long been recognised and revered, thanks to their ornamental plumage, dazzling colours and extravagant courtship displays.

A huge Hercules Moth at Ambua

A huge Hercules Moth at Ambua

The Birds of Paradise, and the majority of the islands other species, including bowerbirds, parrots, hornbills and cassowaries, inhabit the various types of tropical rainforest, that still largely cloak the island. The forests are also home to many rare species of marsupial such as tree kangaroos and cuscus (although these are challenging to see) and flamboyant insects including the Queen Alexandra birdwing (the world’s largest butterfly) and Hercules moths.

Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise

Male Magnificent Bird of Paradise

This itinerary will combine the best elements of lowland and montane rainforests as well as coastal areas and enchanting cultural exchanges and festivals. There is little doubt that PNG is one of the world’s most exciting and challenging destinations and this tour is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

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BRAZIL: The Pantanal, North: Wetland Wonder: August 2018 & 2020
Yacare Caiman gaping, Pantanal

Yacare Caiman gaping

Binocular IconDates: 24th August - 10th September 2018

Price: £9895 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £8945 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire

Maximum Group Size: 10
Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

Dates: Early - Mid August 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire

Maximum Group Size: 10
Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

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Read tour report 2014

In the heart of South America, south of Amazonia and east of the Andes, lies an immense landlocked delta where seasonal floodwaters rise then recede providing an annual pulse of nutrients that results in one of the richest wildlife areas on earth - the Pantanal.

After rains in the surrounding uplands, more than 80% of the Pantanal becomes submerged (December-March) and wildlife is dispersed around the limited areas of dry land, but as these waters drain away and the land dries out, migratory birds return and other wildlife becomes more concentrated. These concentrations reach their peak in the dry season (July-October) when the remaining pools and flowing watercourses act like wildlife magnets.

Giant Otters, Paraguay River, Taiama Reserve

Giants Otters in lagoon

The quantity of wildlife the area supports is breath taking, but it is more its accessibility that makes a trip to the Pantanal so memorable and rewarding photographically. Seeing iconic and rare animals frequently and closely is a very real possibility.

Jaguars generally top everyone's wish list: there is no finer place in the world to capture images of  South America's apex predator and the chances of success are very realistic. This tour spends time in two river locations that are renowned: during morning and afternoon boat trips there is an excellent change of encountering jaguars, some times within pulse-racing close proximity.

Male Jaguar stalking Cuiaba River Pantanal Brazil

Male Jaguar stalking

A close up study of a hyacinth macaw

Southern Tamandua carrying its young, Pantanal

Southern Tamandua carrying young

Add to this, the likelihood of encounters with giant otters (the Pantanal is arguably now the best place in South America to see these magnificent creatures), Brazilian tapir, giant anteaters, hyacinth macaws, howler and capuchin monkeys, jabiru storks, toco toucans and countless capybara, yacare caiman and a wealth of colourful bird life it is easy to appreciate why the Pantanal is regarded as such a special place.

Toco Toucan feeding Cuiaba River Pantanal

Toco Toucan feeding

We combine two prime jaguar locations (8 nights), with a mixture of other locations away from major rivers where different habitats - a mosaic of grasslands, marshes, small rivers and still waters and forest patches - provide refuge for a tremendous diversity of species that are both relatively easy to see and approachable enough to offer great photo opportunities. Wildlife watching and photography on the rivers is by small boat, while at others locations there is a combination of guided walks, drives in safari trucks, night drives and horse riding.

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CANADA: Great Bear Rainforest: Spirit Bear Quest: September 2018 (New Tour)

Binocular IconDates: 18th September - 3rd October 2018

Price: £8795 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £7595 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Single Supplement: NA

Maximum Group Size: 12
Current Availability: FULL

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Early morning mist hanging over coastal forest

Early morning mist hanging over coastal forest

Spirit Bear on Gribbel Island

Spirit Bear on Gribbel Island

Few places in the world are as evocative, ethereal and scenically spectacular as the central coast region of British Columbia. This mosaic of forests, islands, fjords and mountains is intricately entwined in the history and culture of the native First Nation peoples and its protection has led to the region becoming known as the ‘Great Bear Rainforest’.

The regions lush, temperate coastal forests are dominated by western hemlock, sitka spruce and red cedar, and these forests in turn support a wealth of wildlife. Renowned for its healthy populations of grizzly bears, black bears and locally endemic spirit bears, this area is also home to a diversity of other terrestrial and marine species – five types of salmon, wolves, mountain lions, numerous species of whales, sea lions, seals and various types of deer.

Orca leaping in Mathieson Channel

Orca leaping in Mathieson Channel

Being such a remote and rugged area, the logistics of travel in the Great Bear Rainforest can be involved and time-consuming. Hence, the most practical and enjoyable way to explore the region is from the comfort of a live-aboard boat.

Aboard our chartered motor yacht ‘Island Roamer’, we will be able to cruise the sheltered waterways accompanied by an expert local naturalist guide. This will give us maximum flexibility to investigate different locations and linger in those places that prove most productive.

Grizzly Bear with Pink Salmon

Grizzly Bear with Pink Salmon

As we journey between favoured spots, there will be ample opportunity to watch for wildlife, both in the sea and along the shorelines and estuaries. Daily shore excursions using inflatable zodiac’s, and shore and forest walks will allow us to fully experience the unrivalled richness of this part of Canada’s Pacific Coast.

In addition, to maximise bear photography opportunities, will spend time at a remote floating lodge at the southern edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, where a number of close and accessible sites that offer excellent grizzly and black bear viewing. A number of strategic hides provide excellent photographic opportunities at prime bear locations where a considerable intimacy and variety of shots is achievable.

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Timber Wolves resting on the shoreline

Timber Wolves resting on the shoreline

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SOUTH ATLANTIC: South Georgia: Festival of Photography: November 2018 (New Tour)
King Penguin preening

King Penguin preening

Binocular IconDates: 1st - 19th November 2018

Prices from: £8895
Maximum Group Size: 35

LEADERS: Nick Garbutt & Alex Hyde

Current Availability: Limited - Please Enquire

Black-browed Albatross at sea

Black-browed Albatross at sea

In this day and age, superlatives tend to be rather overused. Where South Georgia is concerned, however, no amount of superlatives can do it justice. It has rightly been referred to a, ‘the most staggering wildlife show on earth’.

South Georgia may be only 170km long, have no trees and be half covered in permanent snow and ice but this rugged, austere wintery landscape contrasts markedly with the immense profusion of life that gathers around the coastal areas. The shores are smothered with hundreds of thousands of king penguins, cliff tops are encrusted with breeding albatross, petrels and other sea birds and the beaches are peppered with elephant seals. This is without question one of the wildlife wonders of the world and provides unprecedented photographic opportunities.

Wandering Albatross flying over the Bay of Isles

Wandering Albatross flying over the Bay of Isles

Most visits to South Georgia last three or four days as part of a longer itinerary also taking in the Falkland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula. The problem is that leaving South Georgia after such a short visit leaves you feeling unfulfilled and frustrated, especially as a photographer. Also most trips to the region take place later in the season (December to February), when the snow and ice has receded and the huge bull elephant seals have left the beaches.

Leopard Seal on ice flows

Leopard Seal on ice flows

This trip is different. We can now offer a tailored photographic voyage with ten full days of exploration around South Georgia at the beginning of the season, timed to coincide with the arrival of 
spring as the island emerges from
 winter.

Bull Southern Elephant Seal

Bull Southern Elephant Seal

Mid to late October is an exceptional time to visit as it marks the start of the wildlife migrations and beginning of the breeding cycle for many species. Scenes of male elephant seals (beach masters) battling for control of their beaches (and the female harems), the intimate and beautiful courtship rituals of albatross and antics of the penguin chicks, are a daily occurrence and will have you thinking you are immersed in your very own private wildlife documentary.

Our day-to-day itinerary will be influenced by the prevailing weather, but the intention will be to stop at all the major wildlife and historical sites on South Georgia. We begin along the southern coastline at King Haakon Bay, before sailing around to the more protected waters of the north east coast, where we can indulge in an in-depth exploration of the bays and harbours that run the entire length of the island, including iconic sites like The Bay of Isles and Salisbury Plain, Fortuna Bay, Stromness and Grytviken and St Andrews Bay and Gold Harbour.

King Penguins at Gold Harbour

King Penguins at Gold Harbour

The days spent at sea at the beginning and end of the trip are also very productive, with a constant stream of sea birds, including petrels, prions and albatross visiting the ship and various whale species seen at times.

There is little doubt any trip to South Georgia is an amazing experience that becomes indelibly branded into the memory. This extended photographic voyage is sure to provide an unsurpassed depth and variety of experience that will not only be unforgettable, but also provide a constant steam of peerless photographic opportunities.

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PATAGONIA, CHILE: Pumas, Penguins & Whales in Focus: November 2018
Female Puma prowls her territory

Female Puma prowls her territory

Binocular IconDates: 20th November - 7th December 2018

Price: £11,295 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £10,195 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire

Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: Limited - Please Enquire

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Patagonia, at the tip of South America is imposing, windswept and beautiful. Here, the southern portion of the Andes juxtaposes with wide-open grasslands to epitomise the very notion of wilderness.

Andean Condor over the Torres del Paine Massif

Andean Condor over the Torres del Paine Massif

Torres del Paine in southern Chile is a distinct rugged massif at the southern tip of the Andes and is often quoted as one of the most beautiful and majestic wild places on earth. Here breathtaking mountains meld with stark glaciers, blue melt-water lakes and free-flowing rivers.

This area is a refuge for a wealth of Andean wildlife and is a major stronghold for the region's top predator, the puma. The first half of this tour is focused in an area where seeing and photographing these beautiful cats is not only possible, but very likely. Certain areas of Torres del Paine support large populations of guanacos, the pumas main prey, and the cats are often encountered active and especially around dawn and dusk. 

The Torres del Paine Massif just after sunrise

The Torres del Paine Massif just after sunrise

We engage specialist local guides and puma trackers to maximise our chances of finding and photographing these sublime felines. Furthermore, the region also offers a chance of seeing and photographing other iconic species, like the Andean condor, together with other animals like inquisitive guanacos and grey foxes, that are surprisingly relaxed and approachable.

A Puma climbs among boulders at sunset

A Puma climbs among boulders at sunset

Lake Grey is another highlight within the park, where icebergs lie stranded on the southern shore after a slow drift from the Grey Glacier front. Despite its rather austere name, Grey Glacier is one of the most beautiful and colourful in Patagonia. The front is deeply crevassed and the solid glacial ice varies in colour from whitish to deep indigo. The glacier is flanked towards the east by impressive granite walls that are part of the Paine Massif, and towards the west by the eroded and low summits of the older Andes.

King Penguins displaying

King Penguins displaying

At the very southern tip of mainland South America the sub-polar influence on the wildlife becomes more apparent. At Useless Bay on Tierra de Fuego, there is a well-established colony of king penguins which offer straightforward access and good photography possibilities.

Humpback Whale waving its flukes

Humpback Whale waving its flukes

The Straits of Magellan separate mainland South America from Tierra del Fuego and are an important migratory route for many species. Carlos III Island within Francisco Coloane Marine Park lies towards the Pacific side of The Straits where deep water upwelling occurs close to sheltered waters creating rich feeding grounds for many marine species, particularly humpback whales. We will base ourselves on Carlos III island to take advantage of this and observe the feeding whales at close quarters, together with other marine mammals and a variety of sea birds, including different penguin species and black-browed albatross.

With out question Torres del Paine and the very southern tip of South America are Patagonia's premier wildlife destinations and in combination with unsurpassable scenery and comfortable and dramatically located accommodation this makes for a perfect photography tour destination.

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YELLOWSTONE: Wild West Winter Wonderland: January 2019 & 2020

 

A sun pillar appears over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Dates: 17th January - 2nd February 2019

Price: £7295 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)

Price: £6395 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: FULL

Dates: 1st - 16th February 2019

Price: £7095 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £6195 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: FULL

Dates: 9th - 25th January 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Single Supplement: £ Please Enquire
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

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Read tour report 2016

Yellowstone was the world's first national park (established in 1872) and remains as breathtaking as ever. Its grandeur is unquestionable at any time, but in the depths of winter the landscape takes on an ethereal harsh beauty.

The juxtaposition of fairytale frosts, ice and snow with swirling mists and rising steam from countless hot springs and geysers (the park contains half of the world's geothermal features) creates a landscape laden with atmosphere, mystique and photographic inspiration and opportunity.

Bison gather around hot springs in the Firehole Valley

The greater Yellowstone ecosystem is also widely considered to be the finest wildlife habitat in the lower 48 States. In the grip of winter large numbers of bison can be seen around hot springs and in the sheltered valleys it is possible to encounter coyotes, red fox, elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope.

Wolves feeding on a bison carcass

The Lamar Valley area, in the north east corner of the park, is one of the best places to see wolves. A number of packs that frequent the vicinity, although their movements vary considerably from year to year with changes in pack dynamics. Research teams are out daily to track wolf whereabouts and if good sightings are possible they are always happy to help. Along the Madison River valley bison and bald eagles are regularly encountered and bobcats are sometimes seen hunting waterfowl along the river margins.

Bobcats might be seen in the Madison River Valley

A Red Fox 'snow dives' for rodents in the Hayden Valley

This tour initially concentrates in the north western corner of Yellowstone, including Mammoth Hot Springs and the Lamar Valley, before moving to the spectacular Firehole River Valley, where there is the greatest concentration of geothermal features, and herds of frost-covered bison stand by steaming springs and numerous geysers, like 'Old Faithful', 'Castle Geyser' and 'Lone Star Geyser' erupt with predictable regularity.

Yurt Camp by night

Arguably the tour highlight is the final four days where we stay in the center of the park near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, based at a Yurt Camp. This is the only permanent winter accommodation within the vicinity and allows us unprecedented and sole access to some of the most scenically spectacular and wildlife-rich areas in the park. Using over-snow vehicles we will visit the most dramatic locations like the Canyon itself, the Hayden Valley and Yellowstone Lake.

Along the Upper Yellowstone River, it is possible to see otters, beavers and several species of waterfowl, while the Hayden Valley is especially rewarding for bison, coyotes and red foxes hunting for rodents.

The cosy Yurt Camp provides a comfortable homely base and offers the opportunity to explore the areas close at hand, by snow-shoe and for those who wish on cross-country skis, including trails around the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

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INDIA, LADAKH: Searching for Snow Leopards: February 2019 & 2021

A Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture

Dates: 23rd February - 12th March 2019

Price: £7145 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £6345 (Twin-share: Land Only)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire


Maximum Group 8


Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

Dates: Mid February - Early March 2021

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Land Only)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire


Maximum Group 8


Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

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Read tour report 2017

If ever an animal epitomised remote, rugged wilderness it is the snow leopard: for so long regarded as a mythical ghost of the mountains, a creature that lived unseen amongst the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas and Central Asia.

Until now that is. Over the past decade locations in the Himalayas have emerged that reveal regular and reliable sightings and offer the opportunity to see what must be one of the most mysterious and beautiful animals on earth.

A female Snow Leopard strides over rocky terrain

A male snow leopard stalks a ridge

Chukar Partridge

Fresh pug-marks of a snow leopard

Rumbak Valley in Hemis National Park, Ladakh is perhaps the best known location and its popularity has increased dramatically. However, as visitor numbers have increased, the facilities have lagged behind. Reaching the valley requires a strenuous trek and campsite accommodation with basic living conditions.

Instead we have developed, what we regard as a superior option based in the Zanskar / Himalayan ranges. We work closely with a team of local trackers from the Snow Leopard Conservancy who are renowned for their abilities to locate the cats. While the trackers search, we follow in comfortable vehicles, which allows us to move easily between locations and also get as close a possible to potential sightings before setting out on foot (although sightings also happen from road side locations).

Urial are a wild sheep of the region

The comfortable lounge at our homestay lodge

While snow leopards are clearly the main focus and looking for them occupies the majority of our time, there is plenty of other Himalayan wildlife to see and enjoy in the area. The valleys in which we concentrate our efforts are also excellent for ibex, wolf, red fox and urial or shapo (wild sheep), as well as birds such as golden eagle, lammergeyer, red-billed chough, Alpine chough and wallcreeper.

Accommodation is a comfortable homestay with heated bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities with western-style toilets. We will spend ten days in the snow leopard areas, with at least two days of acclimatisation to altitude in Leh beforehand.

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COSTA RICA: Pacific & Caribbean Rainforests: April 2019

Male Magnificent Hummingbirds at Bosque de Paz

Dates: 6th - 24th April 2019

Dates:  27th April - 15th May 2019

Price: £6995 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £6410 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 10
Current Availability: BOTH TOURS FULL

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Read recce tour report 2016

The iconic Red-eyed Tree Frog

Costa Rica has long been regarded as a Central American jewel, renowned for its remarkable biodiversity and extensive protected forests. The incredible array of wildlife results from its position connecting North and South America and its topography as a central spine of mountains creates different habitats and forest types on the Pacific and Caribbean slopes.

To gain a full appreciation of Costa Rica’s wildlife it is crucial to visit both slopes and our itinerary offers extended stays in prime photography locations on each side of the divide.

Eyelash Viper: the distictive yellow / orange form, 'Oropel'

Our first stop on the Pacific side is the montane forest at Bosque de Paz. Here a variety of hummingbirds provide constant activity around the lodge and the grounds attract many other birds and mammals like agoutis and pacas (after dark). Trails through adjacent forest, and along the streams offer the chance of good photography opportunities especially for frogs.

Boca Tapada, close to the border with Nicaragua, on the Caribbean slope is an area of exceptional biodiversity. At its heart is Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge and our lodge is set in a large tract of private forest adjacent to the reserve.

On forest walks it is possible to see and photograph numerous birds, several species of primate, various poison dart frogs, snakes and other reptiles plus wonderful invertebrates like owl-eye and Morpho butterflies. Night walks offer excellent opportunities to photograph various frog species, including the iconic red-eyed tree frog. In addition the lodge offers a number of tailored photo locations where perches are baited to attract various birds and other species.

A flock of Scarlet Macaws on the Osa Peninsula

We then continue to Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast, one of Costa Rica’s most famous national parks. It is renowned for turtle nesting, with four species using the park’s beaches to lay their eggs. Inland are forests and a labyrinth of waterways, where birds and primates are easily seen. This area is best explored by boat, but around our lodge there will also be opportunities to walk.

Male Resplendent Quetzal in the Savegre Valley.

In the higher montane forests lives the resplendent quetzal, arguably Costa Rica’s most iconic bird. We visit the Savegre Valley where there is an excellent chance to see and photograph this avian jewel as well as other species like emerald toucanet and collared trogon. Our lodge sits are the heart of the valley with numerous well-known quetzal feeding and nesting sites close by.

Green-and-Black Poison Dart Frog on rainforest floor.

Our final location is the Osa Peninsula, situated in the far south on the Pacific coast. Our lodge overlooks the ocean and the extensive rainforest areas harbor a fabulous diversity of wildlife: spider, howler and squirrel monkeys are generally seen, while coatis and agoutis live in and around the gardens. There are plenty of frogs (including poison dart frogs and red-eyed tree frogs), reptiles and invertebrates to find and photograph. The forest reserve also has pumas, ocelots and even jaguars that are seen very occasionally.

The bird life is diverse: black-mandibled toucans are generally seen, while scarlet macaws visit on a daily basis and can provide excellent photography opportunities as they fly, often at near eye level, between roosting and feeding areas.

Costa Rica is without question a fabulous wildlife destination. The combination of wonderful biodiversity, accessibility and good quality accommodation means it warrants a tour that offers both a breadth of experiences and extensive lengths of stay in each location to make the most of the excellent photographic possibilities.

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TANZANIA: Northern Serengeti Migration: August 2019

Masai giraffe

Dates:  21st August  - 7th September 2019

Price: £11,195 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £10,630 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire

Maximum Group 8
Current Availability: Limited - Please Enquire

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Tarangire is an excellent place to look for leopards

The annual migration of wildebeest, zebra and other game around the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem is one of the world's greatest wildlife wonders. The spectacle is an ongoing event with the herds constantly on the move in search of the best grazing. Their movements are governed by the annual cycle of rains, which dictates that the animals follow a predictable yearly circuit around the vast ecosystem.

Between August and October rains fall in the northern Serengeti and across the border in Kenya's Masai Mara and over a million animals gather to feed on the rich grasses. The Mara River flows through this region from east to west and present a barrier that the animals must cross in both directions on a regular basis. River crossings take place at known locations and in the northern Serengeti several are used frequently in close proximity to the camp in which we are based for seven nights.

A modest herd of wildebeest cross the Mara River in the northern Serengeti

Male lion playing with cub

Witnessing these crossings is spectacular and provides not only a fantastic spectacle but also many and varied photographic opportunities, featuring both the animals crossing and also the attendant carnivores, like lions, leopards and hyenas that make the most of the bounty.

Our tour begins, however, in Tarangire National Park, an area of quintessential African bush dominated by statuesque baobabs. Between July and October the regions is dry and the only water available flows in the Tarangire River. Consequently, large herds of elephants, wildebeest, zebra, eland and other wildlife move in from surrounding areas and gather along the river. The different habitats provide a home for a large diversity of other mammals and birds and there is always excellent photographic potential.

A baobab in Tarangire silhouetted at sunset

No tour to this part of the world would be complete without visiting the Ngorongoro Crater: an exceptional place where tolerant game can be viewed in close proximity. It is perhaps the best location in East Africa to see majestic bull elephants, many still sporting impressive tusks and also black rhino, that have thrived with increased protection. The early morning and late afternoon light in the Crater is often exquisite and all set against an awe-inspiring backdrop.

In addition we also visit Ndutu, the boundary region of the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area which at this time of year is dry, but nonetheless always offers excellent wildlife viewing and photography. Here the open plains are broken by areas of woodland with lakes and marshes that are always home to lions, cheetahs and leopards.

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INDONESIA: Komodo & Sulawesi: September 2019 (New Tour)

Crested Black Macaque

Dates: 20th September - 3rd October 2019

Price: £5895 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £5095 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
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Maximum Group 9
Current Availability: FULL

Sulawesi, a curiously-shaped island lying off the east coast of Borneo, is a land of huge contrasts. The dramatic and varied landscapes - rugged mountains, pristine rainforest, highland lakes, idyllic beaches and rich coral reefs – are home to an amazing variety of flora and fauna, much of which is endemic. Mammals such as crested black macaque, Sulawesi bear cuscus, spectral tarsier and babirusa are found nowhere else. In addition around 90 bird species are endemic too, as are a high percentage of the islands’ reptiles and amphibians.

The islands’ position and location relative to other islands also contributes to its unique nature. Sulawesi juxtaposes the biological influences of South East Asia and Australasia and sits in a zone of transition, where these two great contrasting biotas meet and meld. It is known as Wallacea, named after Alfred Russell Wallace, who first identified the phenomenon.

Tangoko Batuangus Nature Reserve at the extreme north east tip of Sulawesi offers the best and most diverse introduction to the island’s wildlife. Located at the foot of Mount Dua Saudara, the area comprises rolling hills and valleys cloaked in primary rainforest that comprise a variety of hardwood species and unusual plant life.

Fighting Komodo Dragons

The endemic crested black macaque, known locally as the wolai or yaki, is the park’s most conspicuous mammal and is now restricted to the forests of North Sulawesi and some of the smaller surrounding islands. It is one of seven endemic monkey species: all are threatened due to the loss of their forest habitat and hunting, although the yaki is the most critically endangered of all.

Spectral Tarsiers in Tangkoko

Tangkoko is also renowned as a place to see another endemic primate, the spectral tarsier. Like all tarsiers these miniscule primates are strictly nocturnal and are able to leap great distances in pursuit of their prey, generally large insects like bush crickets and cockroaches.

We will obviously look for tarsiers during night walks, where we also might see the unusual Sulawesi bear cuscus and dwarf cuscus, both nocturnal marsupials that live in the forest canopy. On night walks many of the islands’ unusual reptiles and amphibians will also hopefully be seen.

Knobbed Hornbill

The birdlife of the park is diverse and extensive, with many of Sulawesi’s endemic species readily seen. During our forest walks we will hope to see and photograph the maleo, a ground-dwelling species that buries its eggs in a mound of sand and perhaps the magnificent knobbed hornbill. Other birds to look out for include the Sulawesi pitta, Sulawesi scops owl, Minahassa masked owl and no less than ten species of kingfisher.

Some 1325km (825 miles) to the south, and east of Wallace’s Line, is the island of Komodo, famed as the home of the eponymous dragon. Komodo Dragons are in fact monitor lizards. Isolated islands are associated with the evolution of giant species: Komodo dragons are the world’s largest lizards, weighing up to 70kg.

The islands of Komodo and Rinca

Today the dragons are masters of their domain, the apex predator in the island ecosystem they dominate. While they eat a variety of prey including invertebrates when they are small and birds and mammals, very large dragons are capable of bringing down deer. They also scavenge carrion.

Komodo National Park comprises the three main islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar, plus numerous smaller islands. Komodo and Rinca support the main populations of dragons. The climate is hot and dry and the islands are characterised by savannah grasslands consequently biodiversity on the islands is poor.

During our time visiting the national park we will be based on our live aboard boat and visit both Komodo and Rinca to hopefully maximise our opportunities to see and photograph the dragons.

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MADAGASCAR: An Island Apart: North, West & East: November 2019
A male Parson's Chameleon climbing in forest understorey. Andasibe-Mantadia NP, Madagascar

A male Parson's Chameleon

Binocular IconDates: 15th October - 4th November 2019

Price: £8395 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £7595 (Twin-share: Ground Only)
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Maximum Group 8
Current Availability: FULL

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Read an account of the 2014 trip

Madagascar is a country like no other. Millions of years of isolation have led to the evolution of an array species found nowhere else. Add to this an extraordinary range of habitats and the result is a destination brimming with intrigue and excitement.

The island's most famous inhabitants are its lemurs - charming and highly varied off-shoots of the primate family tree: cuddly teddy-bear like indri and gorgeous diademed sifaka live in the lush eastern rain forests, while Verreaux's sifakas bound through the deciduous forests of the west and south. Then only after dark do the island's 'Spirits of the Night' become active: miniscule mouse and dwarf lemurs scurry along branches, while hedgehog-like tenrecs bumble in the undergrowth.

An Aye-aye peers down from the canopy

An Aye-aye peers down from the canopy in Daraina

Adult male Fosa prowls in Kirindy

There are numerous birds unique to the island (over 65% are endemic), varied vangas with many beak shaped, noisy couas and colourful, skulking ground rollers. Reptiles too abound - over 60% of the world's chameleons live nowhere else and the amazing leaf-tailed geckos has near-perfect camouflage. Add to this a myriad of colourful and very vocal tree frogs and multitude of peculiar insects like the amazing giraffe-necked weevil and there is always something to grab your attention.

Helmet Vanga, Masoala, Madagascar

Helmet Vanga, Marojejy

This trip will visit some of the island's prime sites like the rainforests of Andasibe-Mantadia, home of the indri, and the western deciduous forests of Kirindy, where the fosa, Madagascar's largest carnivore might be seen, together with less well-known but equally spectacular and unusual places like Marojejy and Daraina.

Golden-crowned Sifaka and infant, Daraina, Madagascar

Golden-crowned Sifaka and infant near Daraina

Marojejy, towards the far north-east, is one of the island's truly great wilderness areas, where extensive lowland and montane rainforests containing a wealth of wildlife, including gorgeous silky sifakas, one of the world's rarest primates. At Daraina in the far north, fragments of remaining forest support the beautiful golden-crowned sifaka and even the elusive aye-aye (during the 2013, 2014 and 2016 tours, we had excellent views of this bizarre animal).

In summary, Madagascar is intoxicating - a strange and incongruous mixture of wildlife and culture combine to produce a country unlike any other. Memories of the friendly people, unique habitats and wildlife will linger and the overriding experience will be of an island lost in time.

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Nick with orphaned Ring-tailed Lemur

Nick with orphaned Ring-tailed Lemur

Nick and Madagascar

Nick is well-known as a leading authority on the wildlife of Madagascar. He first visited the island in 1991 and, with £200 in his pocket and 60 rolls of film, spent a month back-packing and exploring four of the parks and reserves. Since then, he has returned every year and in doing so has travelled the length and breadth of the island many times, visited all the major national parks and reserves and he has seen the majority of the island's lemurs (now more than 100 species) and other mammals in the wild, plus a very high proportion of the other endemic fauna.

He has written several books on the island's wildlife, including the highly acclaimed Mammals of Madagascar: A Complete Guide, Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitor's Guide and Chameleons and his enthusiasm for the country and its natural history remains undiminished and infectious.

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INDIA: Red Pandas & Tigers: November 2019

Dates: 13th - 27th November 2019

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
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Information about this tour will be available shortly.

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INDIA: Tigers & Central Indian Wildlife: February 2020

Sloth Bear foraging

Dates:  Early - Mid February 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
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Nowhere is quite like India. Be it sights, sounds or smells, the Subcontinent serves up a continuous and compelling assault on the senses. Few places more evocative or magical than one of its ancient forests: shrouded in early morning mists with shafts of light spearing through the trees spangled in a glorious palette of golds, ochres, oranges and greens, there is intense charged excitement when the alarm calls of monkeys and deer break the silence, as a tiger takes it first steps of the day. No other animal heightens awareness and sets the pulse racing quite like a tiger: even the tiniest inkling that there may be one in proximity - concealed, lurking, silent - sets the nerve-ends jangling.

A male Tiger patrolling his territory

With the specific focus on photographing tigers, this tour visits two of Central India’s premier reserves. Bandhavgarh is a small reserve famed for its tiger viewing. It is a former hunting preserve of the Maharajas of Rewa and became a protected area in 1972. A mixture of low-lying meadows, mixed forest and bamboo spreading into rocky hills, the park provides plenty of habitat variety creating excellent predator country. The park is administered in three zones, each of which have different characteristics and tigers can be seen in any.

Dhole or Indian Wild Dogs

While some of India's famous tiger reserves have become overcrowded in recent years, and unrewarding in the wildlife experience they offer, reserves remain where tigers are visible and the experiences are still memorable for all the right reasons. One of these is Kanha National Park, where moist deciduous sal forest and bamboo covers the hilly terrain, and open meadow areas form focal points for wildlife. Kanha, is situated in the Maikal hills, in the Satpura range, and provides a quintessential Central India experience. Many believe its forests provided the inspiration for Kipling’s ‘Jungle Book’. It is without doubt one of Central India’s most diverse reserves and has been a Project Tiger reserve since 1974.

Spotted Deer or Chital alert to a predator

However in India it is all too easy to become preoccupied with one animal (the tiger) and judge the success of a tour around seeing it alone, yet the forests and remaining wild places of the subcontinent support a wealth of other charismatic species that are also exciting to see and photograph. Both Bandhavgarh and Kanha also supports a broad diversity of other wildlife, including leopards, sloth bears, dhole (wild dogs), gaur (Indian bison), sambar and chital (spotted deer).

The time of year for this tour is also import. Many choose to visit India in the warmer months (March - May) when air temperatures are higher, vegetation is drying out and it gets dusty. This trip is specifically timed for the end of winter, when parks tend to be more atmospheric. Early mornings are cool (and can be cold) and mist often hangs over the damper meadows creating conditions with more evocative photographic potential.

By concentrating on these two renowned parks, this tours aims to maximise the very best tiger photography opportunities, as well as plenty of potential to photograph other species.

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TANZANIA: Southern Serengeti Migration: March 2020

Large numbers of wildebeest crossing Lake Ndutu

Dates:  22nd March - 9th April 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
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Maximum Group 8
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The annual migration of wildebeest, zebra and other game around the Serengeti-Masai Mara ecosystem is one of the world's greatest wildlife wonders. The spectacle is an ongoing event with the herds constantly on the move in search of the best pasture and grazing.

Their movements are governed by the annual cycle of rains, which dictates that the animals follow a predictable yearly circuit around the vast ecosystem. Between January and April the rains brings the herds, in their hundreds of thousands, to the fertile short grass plains of the southern Serengeti. Here the wildebeest give birth to their calves, with around 90% being born in February.

Male lions: these brothers form a dominant coalition

Witnessing this is one of the "must see" events of the natural world. I have visited the Serengeti on countless occasions at this time and it never fails to captivate and set the pulse racing. Sightings and photographic opportunities on each trip are very different - with considerable year-by-year variation - but there are always many special encounters and sightings and the events witnessed live long in the memory.

Mass migration in the southern Serengeti: zebra and wildebeest on the short grass plains

For photographers the areas at the boundary of the Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area consistently provide a stream of unrivalled opportunities for creating memorable images. Here the open plains are broken by areas of woodland with lakes and marshes that form focal points for the gathering herds and attendant carnivores (especially the cats).

This trip makes the most of this special place with an extended stay in the area. Through a combination of morning, afternoon and full-day game drives, there will be ample time to explore the vicinity and go further a field to follow the shifting herds, look for all the cat species (all six East Africa species are present and the area can be exceptional for cheetahs) and other predators.

A leopard sighting like this is very special

The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best places to see black rhino

In addition we also visit the Ngorongoro Crater: an exceptional place where tolerant game can be viewed in close proximity. It is perhaps the best location in East Africa for seeing majestic bull elephants, many still sporting impressive tusks. The early morning and late afternoon light is often exquisite and all set against an awe-inspiring backdrop.

The tour begins in Tarangire, an area of quinessential African bush dominated by statuesque baobabs, where large herd of elephants and other wildlife gather along the river. The different habitats provide a home for a large diversity of other mammals and birds and there are always many and varied excellent photographic opportunities.

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COSTA RICA: Rainforest Photography Workshop: April 2020

Male violet sabrewing at Bosque de Paz

Dates:  Late April - mid May 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Ground Only)
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Maximum Group 12
Current Availability: Please enquire

LEADERS: Nick Garbutt & Alex Hyde

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Read recce tour report 2016

Male resplendent quetzal in the Savegre Valley

Costa Rica has long been regarded as a Central American jewel, renowned for its remarkable biodiversity and extensive protected forests. The incredible array of wildlife results from its position connecting North and South America and its topography as a central spine of mountains creates different habitats and forest types on the Pacific and Caribbean slopes.

The iconic red-eyed tree frog

To gain a full appreciation of Costa Rica’s wildlife it is crucial to visit both slopes and our workshop itinerary offers extended stays in several prime photography locations on both sides.

Our first stop on the Pacific side is the montane forest at Bosque de Paz. Here a variety of hummingbirds provide constant activity around the lodge and the grounds attract many other birds and mammals like agoutis and pacas (after dark). Trails through adjacent forest, and along the streams offer the chance of good photography opportunities especially for frogs.

Boca Tapada on the Caribbean slope is an area of exceptional biodiversity. At its heart is Maquenque National Wildlife Refuge, where we stay a two different lodges both set in large tracts of private forest adjacent to the reserve.

On forest walks it is possible to see and photograph numerous birds, several species of primate, various poison dart frogs, snakes and other reptiles plus wonderful invertebrates like owl-eye and Morpho butterflies. Night walks offer excellent opportunities to photograph various frog species, including the iconic red-eyed tree frog. In addition the one lodge offers a number of tailored photo locations where perches are baited to attract various birds and other species.

A spectacular king vulture photographed from a hide

Leaf-cutter ants are widespread in rain forest areas

The Osa Peninsula is very good for scarlet macaws

In the higher montane forests lives the resplendent quetzal, arguably Costa Rica’s most iconic bird. We visit the Savegre Valley where there is an excellent chance to see and photograph this avian jewel as well as other species like emerald toucanet and collared trogon. Our lodge sits are the heart of the valley with numerous well-known quetzal feeding and nesting sites close by.

Green-and-Black Poison Dart Frog on rainforest floor.

Our final location is the Osa Peninsula, situated in the far south on the Pacific coast. Our lodge overlooks the ocean and the extensive rainforest areas harbor a fabulous diversity of wildlife: spider, howler and squirrel monkeys are generally seen, while coatis and agoutis live in and around the gardens. There are plenty of frogs (including poison dart frogs and red-eyed tree frogs), reptiles and invertebrates to find and photograph. The forest reserve also has pumas, ocelots and even jaguars that are seen very occasionally.

The bird life is diverse: black-mandibled toucans are generally seen, while scarlet macaws visit on a daily basis and can provide excellent photography opportunities as they fly, often at near eye level, between roosting and feeding areas.

Costa Rica is without question a fabulous wildlife destination. The combination of wonderful biodiversity, accessibility and good quality accommodation means it warrants a tour that offers both a breadth of experiences and extensive lengths of stay in each location to make the most of the excellent photographic possibilities.

Why a Workshop?
Tropical rain forests are the greatest expressions of life on the planet and offer a wonderful array of species, but they are also amongst the most challenging places to take photos successfully. As such rain forest locations lend themselves ideally to workshop format tours, where fewer locations are visited but much longer is spent in the chosen locations than would be the case on a 'regular' tour.

In addition being hosted by two leaders, with a wealth of rain forest photography experience, means that the photographic potential and individual teaching opportunities for participants will be maximised, such that they gain as much insight as possible. 

Alex Hyde
Alex_HydeI am delighted to be joined by good friend Alex Hyde on this trip. Alex is one of the UK's finest exponents of macro photography, combining the best of art and science into his exquisite images. He is a master of the technical aspects of digital photography and in the field or indoor workshop environment has the enviable skill of being able to convey challenging topics and ideas, concisely, simply and in a way that makes them understandable. To see more of Alex's stunning work click here

Click: contact Wildlife Worldwide to book this tour

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PERU: Magnificent Manu: Amazon Rainforest: September 2020

Leaf mimic busk cricket or katydid

Dates: 3rd - 22nd September 2020

Price: £7495 (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £6595  (Twin-share: Ground Only)
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Maximum Group 8
Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

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Peru’s Manu Biosphere Reserve is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. Tropical rainforests anywhere are extremely rich, but Manu is exceptional and has earned a reputation as the jewel of Amazon wildlife viewing experiences.

Consisting of several very different habitats and ecological and elevational zones, Manu is the perfect place for a multi-location rainforest photography tour, that visits the several principle areas of exceptional species richness. Our overland route takes us from highland Andean paramo, though high and mid-elevation cloud forest to various sites in lowland Amazonian rain forest.

A male Cock-of-the-Rock displays at a lek

The cloud forests are rich in bird life including the iconic Andean cock-of-the-rock. We will make visits to a nearby well-known lek (a dancing ground where males display to females) that offers exceptional photography opportunities. Other area specialties include several species of hummingbirds, motmots, toucans and quetzals. There is a huge diversity of butterflies and moths and other invertebrates that provide endless photographic options as well as large numbers of frogs and reptiles that are sure to provide us with further inspiration.

Red-and-Green Macaws at the Blanquillo clay lick in Manu

Once in the lowlands we venture deep into the Peruvian Amazon and stay at three different locations. The first allows us to work closely with scientists involved in active research that gives us unprecedented access to rare and difficult to photograph species. The second location has two oxbow lakes close by, which are home to giant otters, while the surrounding forests support 13 species of monkeys and an abundance of bird life. Viewing from mobile lake platforms and canopy towers offers excellent photographic opportunities.

Giant waxy monkey frog in Manu

The final location off the main Manu River channel, is potentially the highlight of the tour. Here two separate clay licks offer excellent chances of photographing flocks of noisy red-and-green macaws and other parrot species (by day) and the South American tapir (at night). There is an extensive network of trails from the lodge giving us freedom of access into the forest, day or night. There is also a canopy tower for viewing many species that are inaccessible from ground level, especially birds.

Throughout the trip we will also explore areas after dark. Night walks are an idea way to look for frogs and some of the extraordinary invertebrate diversity for which Amazon rain forests are renowned and these will provide a wealth of photographic subjects.

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PERU: Tambopata Rainforest Extension: September 2020

A hoatzin in the margins of the ox-bow lake

Dates: 21st - 27th September 2020

Price: £1345 (Twin-share)
Single Supplement: Please Enquire

Maximum Group 8
Current Availability: Yes: Please Enquire

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Tambopata Reserve, is widely regarded as one of the top wildlife locations in South America. It harbours some of the wildest, least human-impacted habitats that remain anywhere in the world. Here pristine rain forests dominate in a land where rivers are the only means of accessing the remote areas.

The Heath River on the Peru-Bolivia border is one of the many rivers that drains the region and it passes through some of the largest tracts of undisturbed Upper Amazonian forests that is home to jaguars, giant otter, South American tapirs, several species of monkey, numerous species of macaws and other parrots, over 400 other bird species and a myriad of amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates.

Red-and-Green Macaws at the Heath River clay lick

The Heath River Wildlife Centre is the only lodge in the entire region, so offers exclusive access to the rain forests and some adjacent very unusual savannah areas. The lodge’s unquestionable highlight is one of the very best knowm macaw and parrot clay licks. On most days upwards of 100 spectacular red-and-green macaws gather, along with smaller numbers of chestnut-fronted macaws and mealy parrots and blue-headed parrots, just 40m in front of the hide. The photography opportunities are very special.

Squirrel Monkey in rainforest canopy

Squirrel Monkey in rainforest canopy

During quiet boat rides on a nearby ox-bow lake it is sometimes possible to see giant otters and hoatzins, while there are red howler, squirrel and titi monkeys in the surrounding forests. A variety of trails near the lodge offer convenient wildlife viewing and photography opportunities, with primates often seen and a wealth of bird life and invertebrates.

A longer trail through forest abruptly gives way to open rather incongruous grasslands, where blue-and-yellow macaws can be seen. There is also a watchtower to enjoy an elevated view of this area.

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BORNEO: Rainforest Photography Workshop: October 2020

A colugo feeding after dark

Dates: TBC October 2020

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
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Maximum Group 12
Current Availability: Please enquire

LEADERS: Nick Garbutt & Alex Hyde

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Male Proboscis Monkey

Few places conjure more evocative images of mystery than Borneo. It’s varied rain forests are amongst the most diverse on the planet and are home to some of the most charismatic and well-known ‘jungle’ species. Perhaps most renowned are two extraordinary primates; the fabled orang-utan, literally "Man of the Forest", and the improbable proboscis monkey. There are also a host of other primates too, like cheeky long-tailed macaques and elegant leaf monkeys. Add to these, pygmy elephants (the world’s smallest), spectacular rhinoceros hornbills, several species of pitta - exquisite jewel-like birds, a myriad of tree frogs and some of this natural wealth becomes apparent.

Macro photography is spectacular: Under UV light a giant forest scorpion

Focusing on three of the most diverse locations, the Kinabatangan River, Tabin and Danum Valley, we will explore in considerable depth these enchanting rain forests and have an excellent chance to see and photograph many of the island's iconic species.

The Kinabatangan River is one of the most important wildlife sites in SE Asia. It is a mosaic of natural riverine forest, mangrove and nipah palm habitat, that supports an extraordinary diversity of wildlife. It is perhaps the best place to see and photograph proboscis monkeys and is also very good for orange-utans, other primates and pygmy elephants. Birds, frogs and reptiles also abound. We will stay at two different lodges that each offer different and varied photographic potential.

A huge flanged male orang-utan in Danum Valley

Tabin Wildlife Sanctuary is perhaps less well-known, but is nonetheless and excellent wildlife location. The forests close to our lodge offer excellent chances to photograph gibbons and other primates. Hornbills too are common. There will also be plenty of opportunity to concentrate on smaller subjects as insects and other invertebrates are incredibly diverse.

Sumatran pit viper in the rainforest understorey

Many regard Danum Valley as Borneo’s premier wildlife location. The combination of untouched primary rainforest brimming with wildlife and a wonderful lodge in an exceptional setting is remarkable. So many of the major sought-after species, like orang-utans and red leaf monkeys are seen in the forests immediately around the lodge. The extensive and well maintained trail network allows access to all forest areas, where so many varied exciting animal encounters and photographic opportunities occur.

There is also scope for numerous exciting night walks. Tabin and Danum Valley, are particularly good for this. At night a completely different cast of characters become visible; there are numerous frogs, lizards and reptiles, bizarre invertebrates and if fortune favours, endearing primates like the western tarsier and slow loris and other mammals such as, mouse deer, colugo and different species of giant flying squirrel.

In combination the locations we visit offer a window in to the natural splendour of Borneo and provide a wide range of opportunities to experience and photograph the island's incomparable wildlife.

Bornean horned frog exquisitely camouflaged in leaf-litter

Why a Workshop?
Tropical rain forests are the greatest expressions of life on the planet and offer a wonderful array of species, but they are also amongst the most challenging places to take photos successfully.

For this workshop tour, hosted by two leaders with a wealth of rain forest photography experience, we have chosen extended stays in Borneo's two premier wildlife locations to maximise the photographic potential and teaching opportunities, so that participants gain as much insight as possible. 

Rain forests in Borneo can be particularly hot and humid, so we have chosen lodges that best cater for comfort in our chosen locations, but that also offer excellent immediate access to the forest and create a convivial atmosphere.

Alex Hyde
Alex_HydeI am delighted to be joined by good friend Alex Hyde on this trip. Alex is one of the UK's finest exponents of macro photography, combining the best of art and science into his exquisite images. He is a master of the technical aspects of digital photography and in the field or indoor workshop environment has the enviable skill of being able to convey challenging topics and ideas, concisely, simply and in a way that makes them understandable. To see more of Alex's stunning work click here

Click: contact Wildlife Worldwide to book this tour

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ECUADOR: Rainforest Photography Workshop: 2021: Dates: TBC

 

Blue Morpho Butterfly in Ecuadorian Amazon

Blue Morpho Butterfly in Ecuadorian Amazon

Dates: TBC

Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Flights inclusive)
Price: £TBC (Twin-share: Ground Only)
Maximum Group 12

LEADERS: Nick Garbutt & Alex Hyde

Ecuador is an amazingly rich, diverse and rewarding wildlife and photography destination. Lying on the equator, straddling both the east and west slopes of the Andes and encompassing the western extreme of the Amazon Basin, Ecuador supports 15% of the world's known bird species and in the Ecuadorian Amazon, live over 30% of all bird species in Amazonia.

But such staggering levels of diversity alone do not necessarily make for a prime photographic destination; the accessibility of the wildlife is also key. Here Ecuador also scores very highly. Locations chosen for this tour include some of the most astonishing hummingbird sites on earth, where literally dozens of species can be seen and photographed and two Amazonia locations that are each different in character, but in combination offer a range of excellent options and sites from quiet back waters, to parrot clay licks to rainforest canopy platforms.

Many-banded Aracari

Many-banded Aracari

Sword-billed Hummingbird feeding at a Devil's Trumpet Flower

Sword-billed Hummingbird feeding at a Devil's Trumpet Flower

Beginning in the cloud forests on the western slopes of the Andes we are based in a secluded valley, where bird diversity in general and hummingbird diversity in particular is astounding. Within the lodge grounds over 30 species of hummingbird have been seen and up to 20 of these visit the lodge feeders on a daily basis. Diversity on the eastern slopes of the Andes is equally impressive, but the species composition is different and therefore offers a wealth of new and enthralling photographic opportunities. Our lodge is a prime place to see the amazing sword-billed hummingbird, which in relation to body size, has the longest beak of any bird.

Wildlife watching from a canopy tower in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Wildlife watching from a canopy tower in the Ecuadorian Amazon

From the Andes, we travel into the Amazon Basin and divide our time between two locations that again offer different experiences and photographic opportunities. Both are located along the Napo River, but on opposite banks, where species likely to be seen and photographed will vary. One location may give us the chance to observe one of the regions top carnivores, the endearing Giant Otter and there will also be an opportunity to visit a renowned parrot-lick on at least one occasion.

The photographic opportunities on this tour will be broad. In all locations we will spend time looking for the more accessible wildlife like frogs, reptiles and insects which lend themselves to macro techniques. Bird and mammal photography will be more opportunistic, but is certainly rewarding, especially from canopy platforms. In the Andes there will also be time to get to grips with hummingbird photography, including various aspects of using flash.

Why a Workshop?
Tropical rain forests are the greatest expressions of life on the planet and offer a wonderful array of species, but they are also amongst the most challenging places to take photos successfully. As such rain forest locations lend themselves ideally to workshop format tours, where fewer locations are visited but much longer is spent in the chosen locations than would be the case on a 'regular' tour.

In addition being hosted by two leaders, with a wealth of rain forest photography experience, means that the photographic potential and individual teaching opportunities for participants will be maximised, such that they gain as much insight as possible. 

Alex Hyde
Alex_HydeI am delighted to be joined by good friend Alex Hyde on this trip. Alex is one of the UK's finest exponents of macro photography, combining the best of art and science into his exquisite images. He is a master of the technical aspects of digital photography and in the field or indoor workshop environment has the enviable skill of being able to convey challenging topics and ideas, concisely, simply and in a way that makes them understandable. To see more of Alex's stunning work click here

Click: contact Wildlife Worldwide to book this tour

Testimonials

"We've been traveling with Nick for sixteen years, and have been lucky enough to have had some of the most wonderful animal encounters in awe inspiring locations, from Orang-utans and Proboscis Monkeys in Borneo, Jaguars in the Pantanal and the Wildebeest migration in Tanzania to the tiny things like pygmy chameleons and Giraffe-necked Weevils in Madagascar. No matter how big or small the subject, Nick will encourage and give advice on how to photograph it with unending patience and good humour.

Not a moment of any day is wasted often starting before dawn to perhaps admire the sunrise on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo and ending well after dusk maybe staking out an Aye-aye nest in Madagascar. And then there's the photo editing tuition if wanted in between. Every day is a new adventure and we can't wait for the next trip."

Jan and Nick, Madagascar 1998 & 2014, Tanzania 2000 & 2006, Borneo 2008, Pantanal 2011 etc.

"We did want to sing Nick's praises in respect of our Serengeti trip. It is perfectly possible to go on a NG Wildlife Photography trip when you don't know anything at all about photography!! He is patience personified and he set about explaining what we needed to do to draw maximum benefit from the trip. I don't know whether or not it is his custom to organise tutorials during any free time, but this he offers very willingly and we simply could not have had a better teacher.

On the wildlife side of things, he is just awesome, so knowledgeable that you have faith in him right from the outset, and he never appears to tire of questions even after 14 days!

Our whole trip was also significantly complemented by Jombi and Faizal who could not have tried harder to present for us the best viewing spot, who were extremely knowledgeable in their own right and who were frankly an absolute joy to be with."

Jan and Paul, Tanzania 2014

"A fantastic trip, and we would repeat it in a heartbeat if only we could! This was our first trip with Nick, but won't be the last. Nick is great trip leader, and a thoroughly nice person to boot. He works tirelessly to get the most out of the trip for everyone and, where possible, to tailor content to the wishes of individuals.

Early mornings and late nights are mainstays of this experience, but the great thing is you can do as much or as little as you choose - be warned though; the wildlife is compulsive! We'd hoped for wild orang-utan and tarsier; we were incredibly fortunate to see both. And what magical encounters too, so much more than just 'a tick'. Add in frequent night walks that reveal an entirely new perspective, and you've a top drawer trip. Nick knows the areas extremely well, and uses excellent local guides. Food and accommodation is fine throughout, culminating in the wonderful Borneo Rainforest Lodge in Danum Valley - a wildlife traveller's heaven!"

Anne and Steve, Borneo 2014

"What a wonderful exciting and memorable trip to the Pantanal, with brilliant views of jaguars during the day and night, giant otters, caiman, capybara. birds & frogs - the list is endless !! Part of the trip included a visit to Iguassu Falls a definite must do.

Nick is an outstanding guide with incredible enthusiasm, patience and knowledge. He makes every effort to ensure that everyone has a close encounter of the wildlife kind which is unique and personal. Careful consideration is given to the welfare of the animals and minimising disturbance to the environment. Locations are carefully selected to give the best opportunities for intimate and rewarding wildlife experiences. The lodges were eco-friendly with lovely staff and enthusiastic guides. Photographic sessions were tailored to everyone's ability and were fun and informative.

A top quality trip!"

Barbara, Pantanal Tour 2012

"This was not an easy trip, and the word 'holiday' may not apply - BUT the reward was fully worth the effort! On our adventure we stayed in all manner of accommodation, from western-style with modern comforts, to remote and basic bush camps in the forest. Food was mixed too, but included the best chocolate mousse ever.

But there is no such variation when it comes to the quality of wildlife viewing! We saw things, special things - and very special things. From the astonishing diversity of geckos and chameleons, through numerous kinds of lemurs, to the most remarkable aye-aye encounter, that will remain with us for life.

Nick is a brilliant trip leader, as is his local guide Hery - they are a winning combination. Expect long days, long drives and aching muscles, coupled with stunning scenery, exceptional encounters and magical memories. Be prepared for an assault on your senses. The culture and people add an extra dimension to this trip too, especially in the more remote areas visited. There are many reasons why Nick is a terrific leader - his expertise and patience (notably before and during the trip), his enthusiasm and tireless commitment, and his sense of humour. Not insignificant, either, is his taste in restaurants and patisseries!"

Anne and Steve, Madagascar 2014

"Wonderful trip which lived up to expectations. Nick catered for our different photographic levels and interests and each of us came back having learnt new things an keen to learn more. The wildlife was abundant and there was a good variety of photographic opportunities. The guides Jombi and Faizal were terrific and their knowledge and enthusiasm really made the trip memorable. The combination of Nick and the guides and of course the wildlife made it a great trip"

Kathy & Brian, Serengeti Migration Tour 2014

"As a professional wildlife biologist, a very novice photographer and someone with little experience of organised tours, I was somewhat apprehensive about joining Nick's trip to Madagascar. I certainly needn't have worried. Nick's comprehensive knowledge of the island, its wildlife and his local contacts meant we were often well off the main tourist routes and had wonderful opportunities to see some of the rarer lemur species.

Our small group size allowed us to have some very intimate wildlife encounters. Whilst always conscious of animal welfare, we never felt rushed and were able to observe fascinating natural behaviours. I'll never forget the aye-aye tapping a tree trunk to find food.

Nick went the extra mile getting us up and dawn and out again after dark to maximise chances of finding wildlife and optimise conditions for photography. He took time to ensure everyone had a chance to take photos and was always happy to help where necessary - which was often in my case.

I have some fabulous memories, pretty good photos and I'm already planning my next trip!"

Jane, Madagascar, 2014

"Our tour with Nick was fantastic and we had so many incredible tiger sightings: even I got some great photos. Tigers, leopards, rhinos, wild dogs, bears, jackals and wild elephants are just a few of the animals we saw. We loved the whole trip."

Penny & Richard, India 2014

"We had a very good Tanzania trip with Nick Garbutt who was an excellent group leader, very helpful for those needing photographic assistance - he was always patient, kind and prepared to go the extra mile for us. We also had two first class guides, Jombi and Faizal whose experience, driving skills and knowledge of the wildlife provided us with the best chances of good photographs. I will say that following my first Wildlife Worldwide holiday I will not hesitate to travel with the company again. Well done."

Gloria, Tanzania 2014

"The whole trip was absolutely wonderful. The two Nicks (Mackman and Garbutt) were great, so patient and always there when we needed help. What an experience and a privilege to be supported by them, both at the top of their profession. I have not stopped talking about the trip since returning home."
Louise

"Thank you so much for the tour and all the photography and lightroom tips. You have a wonderful personality, enthusiasm and professionalism for leading the tours and obviously a lot of patience for all levels of experience"
Chris

"You are an exceptional teacher. It was a joy listening to you."
Jean

All Zambia Photo & Art Safari 2015

"My trip was organised by Wildlife Worldwide, and led by the brilliant Nick Garbutt, whose knowledge of the natural history of Borneo is second to none, and whose wildlife and photography skills led to some great images (although don’t mention Atlas Moth!). All in all a brilliant trip, and I can’t wait to return!"

Adrian, Borneo 2015

“The trip was outstanding and we felt privileged to be in such an unspoilt an area and it was such a thrill to see snow leopards. The guides were amazing in their ability to find the cats and to help us to follow them. As always ,Nick was the perfect tour leader, helping everyone with their photography and always considerate. How glad we are that even at our age, we were able to get there. Thank you to everyone who organised the trip.”

Felicity & Roger, Ladakh Snow Leopard Tour 2017

“Nick was fantastic thoughout. The guides at Singinawa were outstanding and the accommodation excellent. We really enjoyed our time at Godwad and had great experiences both with the leopards and also cultural.”

Jenny and Graham, India Wild Cats 2017

“I had an absolutely incredible trip to India. The wildlife, people, cultural experience and food were just perfect. A special mention to the guides at Kanha who were world-class and the managers at Godwad for going out of their way to making us feel welcome. Nick was a fabulous host. I always felt like I was in safe hands and this was very much appreciated. I will definitely be back!”

Jashika, India Wild Cats 2017