Feedback on Rockjumpers PNG birding Tour July-August 2011 - Between a ro

To: <>, birding aus <>
Subject: Feedback on Rockjumpers PNG birding Tour July-August 2011 - Between a rock and a hard place so think before you jump!
From: robert morris <>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2012 09:01:39 +0000
This is the feedback I gave to Rockjumpers about a tour I went on to PNG in 
August 2011. If you are a serious birder, I would not recommend travelling on 
their tour with 9 or 10 others. be warned or at least prepared.... I did not 
receive an evaluation form before departing from the leaders - and I am happy 
to give constructive feedback.  It won't be pretty but the leaders will be 
perfectly aware of all the major issues: 1. the people on the tour were too 
old, unfit and had virtually no birding skills or knowledge2. because of 1 
they:            a) needed long rests ( I would go and bird alone most days in 
the breaks of up to 4 hours!).            b) were more interested in eating 
than birding.            c) could not walk far and struggled to walk up hill. 
Some trails were not even attempted.            d) took a huge amount of time 
to see the birds. This was mainly because there was 1 scope between the 10 
people and most had poor eye-sight.            e) there were 12-14 pe
 ople going down narrow trails looking for shy birds which is a joke. I left 
the group to bird independently at every opportunity.            f) they made 
night birding a complete nightmare and I felt guilty for continuously raising 
the issue. I actually had to be left alone in remote locations in PNG jungles 
for many hours on end to see difficult species - such as Papuan hawk Owl. I did 
not in any way dislike the group  or any individuals - but birding wise it 
ranged from a joke to a nightmare. These trips are NOT for real birders. They 
are for OLD people who are generally happy to spend 1 second looking down a 
telescope to tick something. If they glimpse a bird, a shadow etc. most of them 
count what they are told they've seen. I had my own Leica 77 for the whole trip 
and I was completely independent from the queue at one leader's scope (the 
other leader rarely took his because it wasn't working properly). Add to the 
above the amount of time we stood around waiting for buses
  to show up because the agent didn't have control of what was going on (we 
lost many, many hours of birding time), descriptions in the published 
itineraries which are at best 'economical with the truth' and good local bird 
guides that Rockjumpers booked and paid for who were 'unavailable' e.g. Daniel 
Wakra was guiding others when he should have been with us, and I spent most of 
the very trip frustrated. The leaders did help try me to bird alone where 
possible which I really appreciated and I did see a lot more birds than the 
general group - but overall I was bitterly disappointed with the whole 
experience. I actually feel really sorry for the leaders in a situation like 
this.  Cheers
Rob Morris
Rob Morris 


Brisbane, Australia 

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