Skill Level

You don’t have to be an expert as there are a wide variety of tours available that cater from beginners to the advanced. It’s just as important to enjoy traveling, wildlife, landscapes and varied cultures.


If you have not traveled much, don’t select a tour in a remote area like the polar regions or tropics first. Consider destinations close to home and those that are accessible by conventional means eg. a car as opposed to a three-day canoe trip. You should also consider the level of comfort you can handle. In general most traveling conditions are very reasonable and a lot of tour operators can provide access to good lodges even in developing countries.

The Right Tour

If you are concerned about how much your interest will be engaged on a birdwatching tour, do consider that many also provide the chance to see mammals, flowers, butterflies and even historic ruins. For example Alaska offers fantastic polar wildlife-viewing opportunities, African trips are good for mammals, a trip to India is always culturally fascinating and in South America there are usually options to visit pre-Columbian ruins or Inca remains. If you are taking a spouse who is not a birder consider these varied trips.


Some tours involve very little walking others will require substantial physical effort. Check the itinerary carefully for activities that might be challenging and choose wisely. Remember these activities might need to be sustained for some time or over consecutive days.


Some tour companies have age specifications for day or overnight trips. Others might consider children on a case-by-case basis. Families particularly enjoy cruises and trips that offer a lot of variety and activity. Older people should look carefully at the tour itinerary to determine if their health and fitness is up to par with what is required.


Weather rarely interferes with tours as rain can actually aid in finding birds. It can make for choppy seas on cruises and yachts but the tour operators will usually adjust the itinerary slightly so you aren’t riding the open swell.