Cover The Eurasian blue tit bird seen in reed in the Dutch countryside in Grootmeer en Kleinmeer lakes (Photo: Inglof Jablonski / Getty Images)

Whether you’re a backyard birdwatcher or an aspiring ornithologist, here are some exceptional birdwatching experiences worth the flight

Safaris with AndBeyond

Located in countries famed for their rich biodiversity, AndBeyond’s lodges in Asia, Africa and South America connect travellers with the natural world and endeavour to protect and conserve the surrounding wildlife. The sustainable travel pioneer, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, offers guided excursions and plenty of resources, including top-of-the-range Swarovski Optik binoculars, across their properties for birders of all stripes.

For dedicated ornithologists, they recommend South Africa’s Phinda Reserve, set within a high diversity zone that sees a massive confluence of species. The area is teeming with 450 bird species—from tropical to classic Savannah species—more than enough to engage novices and experts alike.

See Also: Birdwatching in Asia: Here's Why This Hobby Is Taking Flight

First Light Walks with Belmond

Nature plays an important role in Belmond’s stable of 40 hotels, especially when it comes to their properties in some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations, such as Hotel das Cataratas inside Brazil’s Iguassu Park, and Sanctuary Lodge, A Belmond Hotel, Machu Picchu, adjacent to the Incan citadel.

The brand launched “First Light Walks” in partnership with Leica Sport Optics—a series of dawn experiences in which guests can use Leica’s high-end binoculars to better enjoy the hotels’ natural surroundings during a heritage walk, wildlife excursion, or self-guided wander. Belmond Cap Juluca is a choice pick for birders: it’s just moments away from the 100-acre Cove Pond, one of Anguilla’s birdwatching jewels that’s home to species including terrestrial, water and seabirds, making it a year-round birdwatching destination.

See Also: Birdwatching In Hong Kong: 5 Rare Birds And Where To Find Them

Polar Sailing with Quark Expeditions

A leader in Arctic and Antarctic exploration, a trip with Quark Expeditions is a once-in-a-lifetime voyage. For in-house ornithologist Adrian Boyle, every bird species is worth observing but no trip to the southernmost continent is complete without seeing the penguins.

Even the journeys to the destinations are captivating: as you sail through the Southern Ocean, you’ll be accompanied by albatross and petrels at the stern of the ship, while on arrival in the Arctic regions, be mesmerised by the flocks of auks visiting their nesting cliffs and of Ivory Gulls feeding alongside polar bears.

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