Overseas birding

To: <>
Subject: Overseas birding
From: "Greg Roberts" <>
Date: Sun, 1 Jan 2012 21:00:07 +1000

I sympathise with what Rob is saying here, though point out that his
experience is by no means unique to Rockjumpers. My own experience with
Rockjumpers - in Cameroon - left much to be desired and indeed was quite
scary. I was supposed to have been met at the airport but nobody was there;
alone, I was seriously harassed by some very shady characters. The bottom
line is that it is much better to get something organised with like-minded
folk or friends.


robert morris < >


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
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
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
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
Some trails were not even attempted.            d) took a huge amount of
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
night birding a complete nightmare and I felt guilty for continuously
the issue. I actually had to be left alone in remote locations in PNG
for many hours on end to see difficult species - such as Papuan hawk Owl. I
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.
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
count what they are told they've seen. I had my own Leica 77 for the whole
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
guides that Rockjumpers booked and paid for who were 'unavailable' e.g.
Wakra was guiding others when he should have been with us, and I spent most
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 



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