Don’t take it from us, hear what other people are saying about us:
I loved, loved, loved the 5 days I spent birding with Simon & Niki in Andalucia during the fall migration. We saw thousands of Griffon vultures prepping for their epic migration across the Straits, perched on cliffs in the mist, and soaring gracefully above Tarifa. We saw red-billed choughs pew-pewing in a canyon while Iberian ibex climbed nearby on rocky peaks. We watched hundreds of white storks feeding in the rice fields while black-winged kites hovered above. We found critically endangered Northern bald ibis foraging among cows while juvenile flamingos waded nearby. I learned many dozens of new songbirds and met 3 new species of dolphins.
Niki & Simon have a special knack for knowing when and where to find the birds, and they were full of fascinating info, well equipped with vehicles and scopes, and provided a beautiful locally sourced picnic lunch every day. The food was delicious, the lodging super cozy and the company always good fun.
I especially appreciated their serious focus on local food, sustainable travel and minimizing our impact on the environment.
I highly recommend this great team and hope to be able to travel with them again. – willowstcat, NYC, U.S.A
Wow. Niki and Simon are tremendous birders, laid back hosts, and incredibly generous people. I can not say enough good things about how welcome we felt into the group and how accommodating Niki and Simon were in squeezing my friend and I into the trip. I had my hopes set on seeing a Northern Bald Ibis . . . and we saw 13 of them up close. Amazing. And the food is as good as everyone says! I recommend Inglorious Bustards to birders of any level. The trip was so much more than I imagined it would be! – Trip814052, U.S.A
We came across this company at Birdfair 2019. We met up with Nicky and Simon at the border with Gib- they’re both resident and based in Spain. Two former RSPB wardens they’re well used to dealing with the public and were really considerate both to our capabilities and knowledge. Neither of us are great birders, but we didn’t miss so much as a sparrow- they were happy to point out the distinguishing features of every creature we saw from the rare to the dramatic, without a hint of being patronising. We were lucky enough to be in Gib for the great migration of Griffon vultures and we saw over 2,000 mixed in with the occasional lost African species (Ruppells), White Storks and even a Black Stork. We were in Gib for my 60th and Nicky (I hope I’m spelling her name right) laid on a rather nice bottle of Cava to mark the occasion- the picnic provided was lavish with plenty of other wine. It really was like going out for the day with two, really good, talented friends. They are gourmet cheese eaters and will introduce you to some unusual Spanish cheeses and even some extraordinary salt! We visited four different ecosystem locations with varied birdlife- rare tern colonies to the highly endangered Northern Bald Ibis. We even saw Cape Trafalgar! A wonderful, very full, day. Highly recommended and superb VFM. – NCLPride, U.K.
Nicky and Simon live in the Straits of Gibraltar so have excellent knowledge of the local wildlife and flora. They have a number of regular trips throughout the year but they are also happy to organise bespoke itineraries. They have access to sites not available to the public so during your trips you may get the chance to visit and see something very special. They always do their best to accommodate their client’s needs and requests whether you are a birdwatcher or photographer. They can even help get you out on a boat to see dolphins and whales in the Straits. Their lunches are legendary and they have their own modern, air-conditioned minibus to take clients to the sites. They work in close collaboration with Spanish wildlife conservation organisations and also with Huerta Grande, an eco lodge on the Straits providing accommodation in wooden cabins in the beautiful cork oak forest. – Karen B, U.K.
A full day out to see some of the birds that can be hard to connect with. The local knowledge and years of experience in the area paid off big time for us. Very good value and you also know that not only are you supporting a small local business you are also helping fund and support some great wildlife conservation in the area. Inglorious Bustards also have a great commitment to green tourism and are a rare example of where this is ‘baked in’ to all they do. They are also great company and supply some fine local food and wine.
Highlights of the day were Little Swift, Rufous Bushchat, Gull-Billed Tern, Slender-billed Gulls and many more. – Ivan Nethercoat, U.K.
Simon and Niki are clearly award-winning experts in the birding world, with hard-earned local knowledge and practical experience to boot, but all this is delivered with such joy, great storytelling and contagious passion for the wildlife that everyone from seasoned birders to first-time rookies can’t fail to have a fantastic day out!
I will never forget first seeing a griffon vulture so close that I could see the wind in her feathers.
Thanks guys! What an unforgettable experience! – E. Pitcher, Spain
Just go if you can. Everything is done to make your birding dreams come true. Variety, colloquial knowledge, scientific knowledge… Niki and Simon are your guides. Beautiful part of the world, with coffee stops, delicious picnics, all show casing the wonderful food of the area. Feels right to support the locals and give something back and these guys make sure you do that. True eco tourism where it’s a win win all round – A. Fishwick, U.K.
Where to start. Firstly I cannot recommend ‘bustards’ highly enough. I have not long been back from my 3rd trip, which was supposed to be a weekend but I ended up staying an extra 2 days it was that good, and it certainly won’t be my last. Both Simon and Niki are excellent guides, knowledgeable, fun, passionate about their work including commendable efforts towards conservation. Each trip is ‘fluid’, Simon uses the day’s weather conditions to make sure full use will be made as far as sightings are concerned. Nothing is rushed and very much geared towards the guests requirements, whether ylu are, like myself as a photographer, I like time to get those photo ‘keepers’, or a keen birder. Accommodation is excellent as is the food which is all home grown and non GM wherever possible, and there’s always a ready supply of beers etc at the end of a long hot day. Their knowledge of the area is also second to none so there’s always a surprise in store on each trip.
Until next time guys….🍺🦅🦅👍 Alan J. Derby, U.K.
I was one of a party of 18 Leeds RSPB Group members who have just returned from this trip. This was an amazing mix of seriously good birding with incredible views; lots of information about the culture, history and conservation issues of the areas we visited; superb meals with locally sourced foods; and an abundance of laughter and fun. Both main venues were located in prime bird areas and it was a joy to be woken by a dawn chorus including Nightingale and Western Bonelli’s Warbler! Migration was incredible and the massive deal it is for huge raptors was really obvious watching them struggle to reach land. We had 4 vastly different boat rides (including 2 ferries) and sightings of birds and cetaceans were epic. The food was top quality and all locally sourced and the picnics were varied and delicious. Simon and Niki’s birding skills and knowledge of the history, culture and conservation issues of the areas they took us to were second to none and we all came away having not only had stunning views of lots of unusual and different birds, but also having learned a lot. We will be back for more! – Pauline Hogg, U.K.
“We had an amazing time with Simon and Niki – they are so knowledgeable and never tire of answering questions. Although they cram so much into one day it never seems rushed, there is time available to see not only the wildlife but also the fabulous landscapes. Picnics are great fun – a variety of food to suit everyone, the only problem is, when birds are soaring overhead do you eat or just stare at the sky in awe ? Looking forward to doing it all over again next year – we loved being Inglorious Bustards xx” – Joan & John Hart
“A fantastic Wildlife experience led by enthusiastic, knowledgeable leaders Simon and Niki. The pace of the holiday was relaxed but we missed nothing. Simon and Niki knew exactly where the birds were and were extremely adaptable reacting to changes in the weather as necessary. Accommodation and food were excellent enhancing the experience of birding on two Continents” – Lynne Dale
“Absolutely brilliant. Simon and Niki were great in every department – very knowledgeable guides both for the wildlife and the best places too see it, great hosts and excellent company. The accommodation on the trip was well up to standard and the food, particularly the picnics was excellent. A great trip where we had some memorable experiences, saw some great birds and cetaceans and made some good friends” – Peter Dale
“Being guided by Niki and Simon aka Inglorious Bustards is like taking a leisurely stroll to watch wildlife with a couple of great mates who really care about you. They love what they do and love who they do it for. After my tour of Tarifa and Morocco, in which I witnessed the most amazing migration of raptors and storks heading south over the Straits, I wanted to move in with them…” – David Lindo – Wildlife television presenter, writer and tour operator.
This tour, led by Nicky and Simon to the coastal region of mid Morocco was not only successful for birds but also very enjoyable. The atmosphere was relaxed, hotels super, (two of which were ‘riads’ with ancient towns walls) and easy walking. The highlight for me were the Eleanora’s Falcons. Seeing 20+ preening in a dead tree just after bathing in the river was amazing. Other special birds included Moussier’s Redstarts, Pratincoles, Coursers, Barbary Partridges and a Royal Tern. I would highly recommend touring with Inglorious Bustards. – Tony Mills, Photographer and Artist.
“Don’t be fooled by the relaxed approach. Inglorious Bustards know exactly how to get the best from every destination, while giving their clients stress free, but well organised days. Simon and Niki’s passion for birding, conservation, and for Southern Spain and The Straits is the driving force, while at the same time having fun. As a wildlife tour leader myself of some thirty years experience, I have been fortunate to work with Simon on many occasions as joint tour leaders in several locations across Spain and France. I have always been impressed by how committed he is in sharing his wide wealth of knowledge, not only of birds, but of local wildlife and of the area’s culture and history, while never losing sight of ensuring everyone has a good time” – Tom McJanet experienced tour leader, U.K.
“Some of the best birding I’ve had. I honestly mean it when I say I had some of the most enjoyable birding with the bustards. The guides are not only fantastic birders but also fantastic people. Saw all the birds I wanted to see but also really enjoyed myself. All round a fantastic place and would throughly recommend them to anyone” – Jake Gearty, U.K.
“Birds and fun touring together! The best tour I’ve ever had! Experienced leaders, stunning places, wonderful picnic and an overwhelming amount of birds I could never forget. They probably have the best combination of knowledge and people skills to show you one of the most beautiful and biodiverse places in Spain” – Maria Aguilar, Spain.
They are!!! That means to say they’re the complete package; the 5-stars says it all…..passionate, knowledgeable and above all FUN – Mr Mitchell, France.
“Amazing birds, people, location, food and atmosphere. Well worth going on any tour with these folk; can’t express in words how good they are” – Daniel McGibbon, U.K.
“I strongly endorse the service Simon and Niki provide, further I shall not just be an anonymous name on a web site they have my permission in the very unlikely event you will require further assurance that this service is the best I have ever experienced on a birding trip they can supply my email to you – Be prepared for some excellent days birding with these great hosts” – David U.K.
“Simon and Niki have made my birding experiences memorable delivering on all I asked of them. They provided a bespoke trip, that far exceeded expectations. I was wearing a smile that swallowed my ears!”
“They provided outstanding accommodation, I was meet at the airport, taken for lunch,, settled in, briefed on the anticipated plans for the next few days all making me feel relaxed and most welcome”
“Both guides’ enthusiasm was infectious and I found myself having a wider appreciation of things in which I previously only had a passing interest, such as wild flowers and invertebrates. Both were very approachable and knowledgeable, and took time to ensure no one missed a thing”
“They were superb with their knowledge of species and patience with our many questions. They showed enthusiasm and good humour throughout the holiday”
“Our tour leaders performed beyond the call of duty to ensure the smooth running of the trip. Driving skills ensured a safe comfortable journey. Picnic preparation was excellent and then led a birdwatching excursion with no break! Their enthusiasm and knowledge was greatly appreciated as a very inexperienced birdwatcher whilst also working long hours, always with a smile”
“Simon is an exceptionally good trip leader. His encyclopaedic knowledge and relaxed style made the trip really enjoyable and memorable”
“Being an apprentice bird watcher your tour leaders were very helpful and very patient. Nothing was too much trouble when asking a question. It was a fantastic bird watching trip and the picnics superb!”
“Simon (leader) was second to none. Superb. Amazingly knowledgeable about birds and had great local knowledge. Also very sociable, amusing and good company. The flexibility and local knowledge of the leader meant that we saw so many birds AND had a great time”
“I enjoyed the variety of birds/animals and locations. Huerta Grande lodge was excellent with superb food. The “quirky” hotels in Morocco were fabulous! The enthusiasm and knowledge of our guides Simon Tonkin and Alejandro Onrubio was excellent”