Just a couple of decades ago, the words “bird watching” may have conjured up images of a curious Dr. Doolittle or keen nature scientists, but bird-watching is big business. These days, approximately 14.82 million people participate in bird watching in the US in a given year – and no, they’re not all seniors! In fact, birdwatchers who go birding ‘away from home’ have an average age of 49 with 47% being under the age of 45. Bird-watching is often undertaken as part of wildlife experiences, which has always been a significant niche in the luxury travel sector. If you are an avid avian follower and you are planning your next experience abroad, you will find a select list of trending destinations below.
Snapping Pics in Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is home to pristine landscapes, where the majestic mountain ranges of Tien Shan and Pamir tower above lush green valleys. Luxury tours of Kyrgyzstan often feature a blend of visits to its famous ancient petroglyphs and mountain sceneries, featuring interactions with eagles and moments to catch the beauty of local avian species. Over 350 species of migratory, rare wild birds fly to Kyrgyzstan annually, with top bird-watching sites including Bishkek, Chong-Kemin, Kochkor, Song-Kul, Naryn, and Lake Kel-Suu. Just a few of the beauties you will find include the dark grey tit, yellow-billed chough, tit warbler, and brown dipper. Because some birds are audience-shy, it is vital to bring the right equipment if you want to spot them silently resting in the trees or hopping amidst the foliage. Get your hands on a lightweight monocular if you will be hiking all day. When selecting your viewing gear, both your monocular and camera, prioritize high-resolution capacity, close focus from at least 2m, and water- and fog-proof features.
Falling in Love with the Colors of Costa Rica
Costa Rich is arguably best-known among the wildlife-loving community for its capuchin monkeys, crocodiles, sloths, and sea turtles, but this stunning, forest-filled country is also home to some of the most colorful birds in the world. Luxury itineraries usually include visits to volcanoes, forests, mangroves, and beaches. As you are hiking through the thick forest canopy, look out for birds like the resplendent quetzal (which is a birth turquoise), the keel-billed toucan (boasting neon-yellow and black plumage), and the great green macaw (a parrot boasting various colors of the rainbow, including yellow, turquoise, red, and pink).
A Luxurious Safari in Sri Lanka
If nothing spells romance more than a luxury safari, then consider heading to the beautiful tea hills area of Sri Lanka, where you can go on 4×4 safari tours in the Yala National Park and take a boat safari across Sri Lanka’s largest lake, located in the Gal Oya National Park. Guided visits typically include meetings with the island’s indigenous people (the Vedda), as well as walking tours with local guides – who are knowledgeable on local bird species and able to point out the typical resting spots of Sri Lanka’s beautiful birds. Yala National Park alone has around 215 bird species, some of the most photographed of which are the Sri Lanka grey hornbill, the Sri Lanka junglefowl, the Sri Lanka wood pigeon, the crimson-fronted barbet, and the black-capped bulbul.
High-end travelers are increasingly demanding trips that allow them to benefit from nature’s many wonders. From exciting safaris to majestic mountain escapades, these trips often include interaction with the local wildlife. They also provide a myriad of opportunities for those with a curiosity about local species and an interest in photography.
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