Our Upper Guinea Special tour is one of several African tours that we have pioneered, and puts the comfort back into birding this little-known region. Gone are the tough hikes and rough camping required on other tours to Sierra Leone, without compromising on the birds.
Our tour, uniquely, combines the best of Liberia and Sierra Leone (separate, back-to-back tours), in reasonable comfort. Sturdy 4x4s are used throughout and all nights are accommodated in hotels or guest houses, with no camping required. It will be only the second-ever birding tour to Liberia following our successful first tour in 2020.
In Liberia our entire focus will be on the rich forests of the Mount Nimba area. Highlights here may include Sierra Leone Prinia, Black-headed Rufous Warbler, Nimba Flycatcher, Gola Malimbe and Yellow-bearded Greenbul, among many other forest species.
This is complemented by our abbreviated Sierra Leone tour that cuts out all camping and tough hikes. Birding in Sierra Leone will be more mixed with gallery habitats accessed at Tiwai Island, lowland rainforest at Tiwai and Gola, and moist savanna at Bumbuna. Top birds we will be searching for include Rufous Fishing Owl, White-crested Tiger Heron, African Pitta, Yellow-headed Picathartes, Emerald Starling, Crimson Seedcracker, Turati's Boubou and Togo Paradise Whydah.
Leader: Michael Mills
Michael Mills grew up "in the bush" in the Kalahari and Kruger National Parks where his parents were carnivore researchers. His incredible focus, dedication and ability to locate and show people Africa's toughest birds is probably unequalled on the continent.
Michael has led dozens of tours in Southern, East, Central, West and North Africa and his experience in locating birds on just the softest of calls or briefest of views impresses those who have travelled with him.
There is seldom a tour where Michael doesn't make an interesting discovery such as finding a new species for a country or record an undescribed bird call (and he has published these in the scientific literature).
Not only is Michael one of our principal leaders, but he also helps extensively with scouting and planning our most challenging itineraries.
For keen birders and world listers. Designed to see a high proportion of Upper Guinea Endemics.
Many participants on our trips are amateur wildlife photographers. And when we get excellent views of a bird or mammal, some time is usually spent watching and photographing it. However, this is not a photographic tour and once the majority of the people have felt that they have absorbed the animal or bird to their satisfaction, then we move on in search of the next encounter. Thus, while the photographic opportunities are fairly good, the group will only occasionally wait for somebody who wants to spend even longer getting better photos.
A moderate level of fitness is required. Most walks will be done at a steady pace and last less than half a day. The walks are generally on relatively terrain.
We run our tour during the dry season when access to sites is easy. We will visit during the tail-end of the main breeding season.
Warm and not too humid at Mount Nimba. Warm and humid in Sierra Leone.
All nights are accommodated (no camping). Poor roads are avoided.
Your booking can be secured with a booking form and deposit. You will receive confirmation and our tour information pack with practical information on what to expect and how to prepare for the tour. The balance is due 150 days before the tour. Contact us to enquire about availability.
About Birding Africa
Birding Africa is a specialist birding tour
company customising tours for both world listers and more relaxed
holiday birders. We combine interests in mammals, butterflies, dragonflies,
botany and other natural history aspects and will guide you to Africa's
and Madagascar's most diverse birding destinations. Our guides'
knowledge of African birds and birding areas is our greatest strength
and together we have rediscovered species, shared exciting observations
with the birding community and had a fun time exploring our home
continent. We've even written two acclaimed guide
books on where to find Southern Africa's and Madagascar's best
birds. Birding is more than our passion, it's our lifestyle, and
we are dedicated to making professional, best value trips filled
with endemic species and unique wildlife experiences. Since 1997,
we've run bird watching tours
in South Africa and further into Africa for individual birders,
small birding groups and top international tour companies. We've
run Conservation Tours
in association with the African Bird Club and work with and consult
for a number of other top international tour companies and the BBC
Natural History Unit.