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

To: robert morris <>
Subject: Feedback on Rockjumpers PNG birding Tour July-August 2011 - Between a rock and a hard place so think before you jump!
From: Dave Torr <>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2012 10:01:45 +1100
I think there are two issues to consider on birding trips:

Firstly the number of people and the type of terrain - if it is mainly
rainforest birding then obviously the smaller the group the better -
although this tends to increase the cost of course. Open country birding is
fine with a group of this size - I did NW India with Rockjumper and a group
of this size and there were no problems as it was all desert, wetlands and
fairly open forest.

Secondly is the degree of difficulty - many operators indicate if the
birding/terrain is easy, moderate or hard. I would certainly not go with an
operator who did not specify this - of course not much an operator can do
if they say it is hard and unfit people come I guess


On 1 January 2012 20:01, robert morris <> wrote:

> 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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