ABA Colombia

20th to 29th July 2019 (10 Days)

Colombia is the ultimate paradise for birders. Harboring almost 2,000 species, about of 1/5 of all those known on the planet, and with more hummingbird species (168 and counting!) than any other country, it is the hottest birding destination around right now. Here, we present to you the latest in our ABA Safari series, with Rockjumper and the American Birding Association teaming up, once again, for the grandest of birding events: the ABA Colombia Birding Safari in 2019.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet by Jonathan Russouw

There are two legs of this trip, the first in the bustling capital of Bogotá, and the second in the country’s third largest city of Cali. Based out of these two lovely cities, we’ll enjoy nice accommodations with great access to tremendous birding sites. And if you wish to add to your trip, we offer extensions to a number of Colombia’s other top birding destinations (there are many!). If you are looking to dip your toes into birding South America for the first time, this trip offers a wonderful opportunity to sample colorful new families of birds. At the same time, many well-traveled birders will note a great many endemic and regional specialty species possible on this unique offering.

Regardless of why you might want to see Colombia – whether the birds, the country, the people, the cuisine, or the coffee (!) – this trip provides you with a chance to support the mission of the American Birding Association, and also local businesses and conservation groups. Join your friends at ABA and Rockjumper for a fresh adventure to Colombia, the most bird-rich country on the continent!

Tour Summary

Dates and Price
Tour Dates 20th to 29th July 2019 (10 Days)
Tour Price US$ 3,900
Safari Size This safari is limited to 96 participants; field trips in groups of 12 plus a Rockjumper leader, and local guide(s)
Day 1 Arrival in Bogotá
Days 2 – 5 Birding Bogotá
Day 6 Fly to Cali
Days 7 – 9 Birding Cali
Day 10 Departure

Tour Map

The Tour in Detail

20 July, Day 1: Arrival

Masked Flowerpiercer by Dubi Shapiro

Upon arriving in the city of Bogotá, you will be met and transferred to a comfortable hotel in the city. Social hour, welcome dinner and orientation.

21-24 July, Day 2-5: Birding Bogotá

Located amidst a high plateau within the Cordillera Oriental, Bogotá is the commercial and financial hub of Colombia, with all anyone could want of a modern, cosmopolitan city. The span that is the East Cordillera of the Andes (a.k.a. the Cordillera Oriental) provides perhaps more paramo habitat than any other place. And the stretch around Bogotá features pleasant temperatures, a subtropical highland climate, and at 8,600 feet above sea level, offers a remarkable array of birding sites to explore.

As always in the montane areas of Colombia, hummingbirds are a major feature.

This country is home to some 160 species of hummingbird, which is more than any other country. The Bogotá area also sports many gorgeous tanagers, and many endemics and regional specialties. Here at the edge of the marvelous Magdalena Valley, the city provides a superb gateway to exploring this bird-rich area.

Over the course of four full days, we will familiarize ourselves with bustling Bogotá, its people, birds and countryside, and each participant will cycle through visits to Bogotá’s best birding sites. Participants will enjoy visits to the following fantastic birding sites:

Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager by Dubi Shapiro
Chicaque Natural Park
Indigo-capped Hummingbird by Dušan Brinkhuizen

Just an hour outside of Bogotá rests one of the few easily accessible patches of Andean Cloud Forest in Colombia. Chicaque Natural Park offers a nice network of trails, some strategically placed hummingbird feeders, and a spectacular array of snazzy birds.

Exploring this biodiverse hotspot, we’ll aim to find the dapper Rufous Spinetail, the Black-crested Warbler, Pale-naped Brush Finch, Blue-capped Tanager, and Golden-fronted Whitestart. Capped Conebill and Blackish Tapaculo will feature among the birds we seek too, not to mention a species with one of the best bird names in the world, the Superciliaried Hemispingus!

Keeping our eyes glued to the feeding stations, we’ll enjoy hummingbirds whose names are as flavorful as their appearance, including Green and Sparkling Violetears, Buff-tailed Coronet, Collared Inca, Tourmaline Sunangel and Glowing Puffleg.

And if chance smiles upon us, one of Colombia’s star endemics is possible here, the always tricky but always stunning Golden-bellied Starfrontlet.

Chingaza National Natural Park

With a pre-dawn departure to maximize time in this incredible treasure of a national park, we will ascend into the high Paramo of Chingaza. Here the stunning variety of flowers and orchids forms an endless mosaic of moss-laden elfin stunted forest that is nothing short of amazing! Beginning in the lower subtropical forest, we will gradually work our way up to above 11,500 feet. The trill of the endemic Rufous-browed Conebill may be among the first sounds we hear, as we hope for the skulking Pale-bellied Tapaculo to make an appearance. The endemic Silvery-throated Spinetail is also a target, as is the white-faced form of Golden-fronted Whitestart. The many flowers are likely to attract hummingbirds such as the near-endemic Coppery-bellied and Glowing Pufflegs, Purple-backed Thornbill, the apparently nomadic Amethyst-throated Sunangel, and with luck, perhaps even the near-endemic Blue-throated Starfrontlet. The endemic Flame-winged Parakeet makes occasional appearances here, usually seen flying in noisy flocks over the remnant forest patches, and at times the oversized Undulated Antpitta is heard. Making our way higher, we’ll take in spectacular views as we search for Tyrian Metaltail, Masked and Glossy Flowerpiercers, the brilliant Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager, Black-capped Hemispingus, Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, Black-capped Tyrannulet, and sometimes the localized Bronze-tailed Thornbill.

Not far away are the Siecha Lakes, and this is perhaps the easiest site in South America for the normally difficult Noble Snipe. Often Brown-bellied Swallows whip about overhead; while other rewarding sightings could include Spot-flanked Gallinule, secretive Masked Duck and localized Merida Speckled Teal (a potential split from Andean Teal). We will finish the day at a nearby lake with a good population of Andean Duck.

Spectacled Parrotlet by Adam Riley
Enchanted Garden
Amethyst-throated Sunangel by Forrest Rowland

One of the most remarkable hummingbird hotspots in the world, this private garden has been attracting hummingbirds for over 30 years. Today it sports an array of no less than 40 hummingbird feeders, which have attracted 27 different species, including two impossibly tiny and nimble woodstars, the White-bellied and the Gorgeted, along with the endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird.

This is one of the few places in the world where the Indigo-capped is relatively easily found, and along with it we may see Brown Violetear, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Lazuline Sabrewing, Short-tailed and Red-billed Emeralds, as well as the Scrub Tanager. The incredible action at the Enchanted Garden is not only a feast for the eyes, but also the ears.

At any one moment there may be dozens or even hundreds of hummingbirds present, whizzing about in constant dizzying fashion, calling and fussing incessantly!

Laguna Tabacal

Located just upslope above the magically bird-rich Magdalena River, lies this little lagoon which has proven a wonderful haven for birds. Named for the large stands of tobacco that once fringed its shores, today Laguna Tabacal is managed by the community of La Vega and hosts more birders than farmers. It is a great place to see birds like Spectacled Parrotlet, Scrub Tanager, Grey-throated Warbler, Bar-crested Antshrike, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Velvet-fronted Euphonia, and many others.

Observatorio de Colibries (The Hummingbird Observatory)

With its vast mountain ranges and slopes, Colombia is the world epicenter of hummingbird diversity, hosting more species of hummingbird than any other country in the world. We’ll visit several feeding stations, where we’ll rack up a great species total while also enjoying staggering views of special and endemic species.

Opening in 2013, the Observatorio de Colibri is a private hummingbird garden on the outskirts of Bogotá, that routinely offers 14 species or more. Highlights often include White-bellied Woodstar, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Mountain Velvetbreast, and the magnificent Sword-billed Hummingbird.

Torrent Duck by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Sumapaz National Park
Andean Cock-of-the-Rock by Dušan Brinkhuizen

Climbing high into the Andes at Sumapaz, we’ll work the wet grassland and Espletia zone of these humid, misty mountaintops. This iconic high-elevation birding hotspot often yields some of Colombia’s best-known endemics, including Bogotá Rail and Apolinar´s Wren.

Reaching heights of 11,000 feet above sea level, we will move deliberately while discovering the unique Paramo habitat here, and hope for special hummingbirds such as the Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Great Sapphirewing and Bronze-tailed Thornbill.

Other dramatic personae could include Torrent Duck, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Noble Snipe, Black-collared Jay, Pale-bellied Tapaculo and Rufous-browed Conebill.

25 July, Day 6: Fly to Cali

With our flight from Bogotá to Cali this morning, we’ll offer some optional birding at sites to be determined in Cali, as we settle into our home for the next three nights.

26-28 July, Days 7-9: Birding Cali

Santiago de Cali, (3,300 ft.) or just “Cali”, as it is usually known, is well situated for birders. Not as large and metropolitan as Bogotá, Cali still owns a large population, with over two million people. And being the only city with reasonable access to the Pacific coast, it’s growing and prospering.

Just like Bogotá, it offers incredible birding in town, and especially on its outskirts. Perched along the Cordillera Occidental, the Western Slope of the Andes, above the Cauca Valley, it exhibits a tropical savanna climate with temperatures usually in the mid-70s (F) in July.

Here again, hummingbirds and tanagers, will be a major feature, and the area also offers chances at specialties such as the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, or the Toucan Barbet – the latter of which is one of just two members of the Semnornithidae family.

Also, the dazzling Orange-breasted Fruiteater is a target, as is the retina-burning Multicolored Tanager, and the striking Golden-headed Quetzal, among many others. During our time in Cali, we shall focus on the following birding hotspots:

Toucan Barbet by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Anchicaya
Orange-breasted Fruiteater by Dušan Brinkhuizen

On the west slope of the Cordillera Occidental, we will bird the various trails and forested stretches of the fabulous Old Buenaventura Road. The habitats range from lower subtropical to Choco foothill forests and secondary forest, from 4,200-1,500 feet in elevation. This is the heartland of the Choco-Pacific regions, where more than 400 species have been recorded.

A majority of the birds we will search for today are highly sought-after, and stunning birds from Baudo Guan, to Semicollared Hawk, to Indigo-crowned Quail-Dove, to Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Spot-crowned Barbet, Rose-faced Parrot, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Lanceolated Monklet, and so much more can be recorded through this insanely bird-rich area. Extra sharp eyes may reveal some fancy reptiles and amphibians, in which a proportionate level of endemism is displayed.

Laguna de Sonso

Birding this fabulous lagoon along the Cauca River is an incredible treat, as this is the only remaining large expanse of the natural wetland here, and it teems with birds. To reach this amazing area, we will depart pre-dawn, arriving in time to see the birds become active amid the network of marshes and lagoons.

Declared a nature reserve in 1978, the area was set aside for its rich animal and birdlife. Here it is possible to see the largest rodent in the world, the odd and endearing Capybara, along with a bevy of birds. Routine birds like the Cocoi Heron, Bare-faced Ibis, Yellow-headed Caracara, and Amazon Kingfisher are all on display, and if the birding gods smile upon us we might also locate Dwarf and Striped Cuckoos, Yellow Oriole, Jet Antbird, and many more.

Golden-headed Quetzal by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Km 18 & Finca Alejandría

West of the metropolis, perhaps Cali’s most famous birding area, Bosque San Antonio (also known as the KM 18 Trail), brims with bright and colorful birds, and most of them are available up-close and personal! A fabulous feeding station is well maintained, in an area still sporting superb forest, and we will spend the day birding the choicest sites. The list of possible species is huge, and we will focus on specialties that include Colombian Chachalaca, Crimson-rumped and White-throated Toucanets, and the mind-blowing Multicolored Tanager, among many other tanagers and some 15 species of hummingbirds! It was here in this region, that many now well-known Choco endemic bird species were first described to science, so the area is not only rich with birds but also in ornithological history.

29 July, Day 10: Departures

Flights home or Add to Your Adventure on one of our ABA Colombia extensions!

After a final farewell dinner, where we’ll share memories and enjoy one last meal with our ABA Friends, we will close off on the ABA Colombia Safari.

Adam Riley

Adam qualified as a chartered accountant, but his lifelong passion for birding, wildlife and travel led to him co-founding Rockjumper Birding Tours in 1998. Adam has traveled extensively throughout the world, leading birding tours to more than 60 countries and in the process racking up a bird list of over 2,000 species on the African continent and 8,000 worldwide. Adam is the Founder of Rockjumper Birding Tours.

Chris Sharpe

Chris is a conservation biologist who has spent much of his 30-year career in the field, carrying out bird censuses and rapid assessment programmes, taking part in expeditions to search for little-known species, working on community conservation projects, and teaching training workshops.

Forrest Rowland

Forrest took his first international birding trip at the age of 9 and this has blossomed into a lifelong love affair with the planet’s birds and wildlife. He has spent many years in the field, honing his birding skills throughout the world. Forrest heads up Rockjumper’s New World division and is our primary tour leader in this exciting region.

George Armistead

George is a lifelong birder and was the events coordinator for the ABA. George spent 2002-2012 organizing and leading birding tours for Field Guides Inc., guiding trips on all seven continents. He enjoys vast open-country habitats and seabirds most of all. Based in Philadelphia, he is an associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and spends much of his free time birding the coast between Cape May, New Jersey and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Jeffrey A. Gordon

Is the President of the American Birding Association. Jeff’s special areas of interest include how we build a bigger, more inclusive tent of birders, and how we can come together to have the greatest possible positive impact on the future of birding and the birds that have meant so much to us all. Prior to coming aboard at the ABA, Jeff spent several decades leading birding tours, working as an interpretive naturalist, and learning about the birding industry as a freelance writer, speaker, video editor, and trip leader.

Liz Deluna Gordon

Liz Deluna Gordon has been birding for more than 30 years. She got her start in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where she first discovered Plain Chachalacas, the previously-unknown source of the ear-splitting noises that had awakened her on many a spring morning. A member of the team that founded the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, her passion for birds and their habitats, birding and the birding community drives her every day. Liz is ABA Events Coordinator and truly enjoys keeping track of all the details of running a successful and fun event. Just like you, she’d rather be birding!

IMPORTANT NOTES:

a) Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration (a minimum of 20 paying participants) a small party supplement may have to be charged.

b) Furthermore, these costs are subject to unforeseen increases in tour related costs and may have to be adjusted as a result.

c) Lastly, we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary and/or the designated Rockjumper leader(s) at short or no notice due to unforeseen circumstances; please be aware that we will adhere as close to the original program as possible.

Tipping:

As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc.) are included on this tour. However, this does NOT include your Rockjumper leaders. If, therefore, you feel that they have provided excellent service, tipping them is appropriate and appreciated.

Preparations and considerations:

  • To ensure your comfort and that of your companions, please limit yourself to one medium-sized suitcase or duffel bag (48 lb) and one carry-on bag (20 lb), as space in the vehicles is limited. Note the weight restrictions as imposed by the airline.
  • Pace & Fitness: Generally, nearly all of our time in the field is spent at feeding stations, or walking along roadsides or trails. When walking, we will maintain a slow pace to enjoy our surroundings, and help us find the birds we seek. Note that Bogotá sits at 8,600 feet above sea level, and that a couple of field trips will reach altitudes of over 11,000 feet in elevation. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to departure for recommendations and treatment for avoiding health issues related to high altitude.
  • Accommodations: Hotels are of a high standard during the ABA Colombia Safari, and we spend our nights in 4-star hotels.
  • Group Dynamics: For field trips and birding, we place each Safari attendee into one of several smaller groups. Though we will enjoy evening festivities together, with all Safari attendees gathered, in the field smaller groups are obviously preferred. In the field, you will be in groups of 12 attendees, and in some locations two groups of 12 attendees may end up birding together if the location and the birding there allows that. Each group will feature one or two leaders. Each vehicle will seat 12 participants, plus guides/leaders.

Flights:

The 2019 ABA Colombia Safari begins in Bogotá and ends in Cali. Both cities have international airports with flights in/out of the United States. Arriving flights should be booked to El Dorado International Airport (BOG), the international airport serving Bogotá, Colombia, and its surrounding areas. The Safari ends in Cali, where Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (also known as Palmaseca International Airport) is the international airport. If you opt to participate in one of the extension trips pre/post Safari, that can affect the recommended airport for your flights.

In any case, please DO NOT book your international flights until you have consulted the Rockjumper office for confirmation on the status of the safari.

 

1) Reservations

Reservations for the ABA COLOMBIA SAFARI require a completed booking form (see below), passport copy and a deposit equal to US$1,900 per person. If the booking is made within 4 months of the ABA Colombia Safari start date (after March 20th, 2019), then full payment of US$3900 is required. US$500 per person of the deposit is non-refundable.

The booking form below may be filled in online or electronically and emailed to the RBL office, or a hard copy printed out and mailed or faxed to us. A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when RBL has confirmed acceptance in writing. At this point, a contract between RBL and the participant comes into existence.

Booking requests with deposits will be considered in order of their receipt. Telephonic or email requests will be treated as bookings from the date received, provided they are followed by receipt of the appropriate booking form and deposit within 14 days.

Payment of the booking should be made as follows:

Mailed checks in US$ only (made out to Rockjumper Birding Tours):
(Please note that this address has a secure mailbox, so DO NOT send by registered or certified mail as there is no-one to sign at this locked box and it will delay collection by several days!)
Attention: Eric V. Pozzo
Rockjumper Bird Tours
14785 SW Bell Road
Sherwood, OR 97140-9052
USA

Direct wire:
Bank: US Bank, 60 Livingstone Avenue St. Paul, Minnesota, 55107
ABA Routing #: 123000220
SWIFT Code: USBKUS44IMT
Account: Rockjumper Bird Tours
Account #: 153690907644

Please do not use Western Union as a money transfer agent for your payment to Rockjumper.

If paying by direct wire, please instruct your bank that all bank charges are charged to you.

Credit card payment via PayPal:
If electing to pay by credit card or directly via PayPal, please ask us to send you a PayPal payment request. Once you receive this, click the “Pay Now” button and this will take you straight to the PayPal website. Once you login to or register for your PayPal account, all the payment details will already have been entered automatically and you will just be required to authorize the transaction.
Please note that there is a 4% surcharge on PayPal payments and this will be added to your deposit or invoice total.

 

2) Tour Fees and Payment

The Colombia ABA Safari participation fee is US$3,900 per person sharing with a single supplement fee of US$575. Payment of the balance of the ABA Colombia Safari is due 3 months before departure and to be made as per the above details. An RBL invoice will be issued to you before full payment is due.

ABA Colombia Safari inclusions are:

  • all accommodations on a sharing basis, from the first to final night of the ABA Colombia Safari (20th July to 29th July 2019);
  • domestic/internal flight from Bogotá to Cali on Day 6 of the Safari;
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from dinner on the first day (20th July) to breakfast the final day (29th July);
  • drinking water at meals and during day activities;
  • all ground transportation (20th July) to final day (29th July) of the safari;
  • all costs of specialist bird guides and local guides;
  • activities as outlined in the itinerary;
  • all reserve and park entrance fees;
  • A couple evenings feature presentations
  • All tips related to tour services (excluding tour leaders). Any tipping by participants is entirely voluntary.

Exclusions:

  • international flights and any airport taxes related to these flights;
  • any visa, passport and vaccination costs;
  • travel and medical insurance;
  • costs incurred before the official start of the ABA Colombia Safari and after the official end;
  • all beverages other than water;
  • national park camera fees;
  • all personal costs including laundry, snacks, meals taken in the absence of the official activities, telephone calls and any service charges related to these costs.

The ABA Colombia Safari cost is subject to major currency fluctuations and other significant events beyond the control of RBL (e.g. major increases in park fees, government charges, fuel costs and hotel charges) and we reserve the right to modify the tour cost, within reason, at any time until full payment has been received. Furthermore, if total subscription for the ABA Colombia Safari is below 20 participants, there may be an additional surcharge.

The single supplement will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. This single supplement is based on the cost of a single room for the duration of the ABA Colombia Safari. If Rockjumper cannot provide you with a rooming partner although you choose to share, the single supplement will become applicable. We will, however, make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a rooming partner is found if you do wish to share. Rooming partners will be allocated in order of booking, unless a participant requests a specific rooming partner who has not been matched. If your allocated rooming partner cancels before the start of the safari, the single room supplement will become applicable to you unless RBL finds another rooming partner for you. If you choose to share a room, and during the course of the safari you or your rooming partner decide to no longer share a room, any additional costs as a result of this decision will not be incurred by RBL.

 

3) Tour Alterations

The ABA Colombia Safari activities have been planned many months in advance and although unlikely, modifications may become necessary. Alterations due to circumstances beyond our control, made either before or after departure date, are not grounds for cancellation without incurring cancellation fees as outlined above. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure all activities adhere to the published program as closely as possible.

The birding leaders may be substituted for other experienced leaders at the discretion of RBL, but we will make every attempt to ensure the leaders, as advertised, will be the tour leaders.

 

4) Travel Conditions

All travel arrangements such as flight bookings, hotel accommodation, catering and ground transport made by RBL are subject to booking and service conditions of the supplier of the services. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure the ABA Colombia Safari operates as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. RBL is not liable for any damage, losses and expenses suffered by any participant as a result of any circumstance beyond our control, please refer to further liability clauses below.

The participant is responsible for obtaining necessary visas and health certificates required by the countries visited during the course of the tour, as well as ensuring their passports are in order. RBL will supply the relevant information in our pre-departure information pack and will assist in any way possible in obtaining visas and we are happy to offer advice. RBL will not be liable for losses or extra costs incurred if you do not have the valid documentation. Although we strive to keep the information in our pre-departure information pack up-to-date and accurate, we will not be held responsible for any innocent errors or inaccuracies or if regulations change and we are not aware of such changes. Please note that RBL guides carry a limited supply of First Aid equipment and are not permitted to dispense medication. Please bring any medication that you feel you may need for the trip.

RBL reserves the right to remove any participant from the ABA Colombia Safari during the course of the event, if the participant is deemed by RBL senior management to be unfit to continue with the safari, or if the participant causes serious disruption to the event or the enjoyment thereof for the other participants. In such an unlikely event, RBL will not make any refund or be liable for any losses or additional costs incurred by the affected person.

 

5) Liability

RBL will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the ABA Colombia Safari is properly arranged and professionally conducted. We will also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the airlines, vehicle operators, travel agents, hotels, restaurants, guides and other agents and suppliers that are used during the tour are reputable. These locations and the pursuit of rare sightings and experiences may give rise to potentially hazardous and unpredictable circumstances. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure that you are aware of the inherent risk of traveling to these destinations, but accepts no liability.

RBL accepts no liability in respect of death, injury, loss or damage to person or property arising out of any act, omission or negligence of any of the suppliers, or the suppliers’ servants that are used during the tour. RBL shall, in no circumstances, be deemed to be the agent of the participant or of the supplier of any service.

RBL shall not be liable for any damage, losses and expenses suffered by any participant as a result of sickness, quarantine, weather conditions, war, strikes, riots or any other cause beyond RBL’s control. RBL shall not be liable for any loss or expense arising from the loss of property, cancellation or curtailment of the ABA Colombia Safari, however caused, save only to the extent that such loss of baggage, cancellation or curtailment was caused by RBL’s negligence. If sickness or accident interrupts the ABA Colombia Safari, RBL shall not be liable for any loss or expense arising therefrom, save only to the extent that such sickness or accident was caused by RBL’s willful act or gross negligence.

RBL strongly recommends that participants take out travel and medical insurance to protect against any losses or expenses incurred due to cancellation or curtailment of the ABA Colombia Safari or any damages, expenses or losses that might be incurred during the duration of the event.

Any information contained in RBL’s brochure/itineraries/website is, to the best of RBL’s belief, true and correct, and RBL accepts no liability for any innocent inaccuracies contained therein. The birds mentioned in ABA Colombia Safari itineraries are intended as a guide to species that we expect to encounter during the event. Although the large majority of these will be observed by active participants with reasonable vision, participants should not expect to see everything mentioned.

 

6) Representation, Term, Warranty and Conditions

The entire contract between RBL and the participant is contained within these conditions. No representation, term, warranty or condition expressed or applied shall be considered to be, or have been made or agreed or applied by reference to any other writing, advertisement or conversation. These conditions may only be varied with the written consent of RBL, signed by a director of RBL.

The contract is deemed to have been made at the RBL offices in Mauritius, and is subject to Mauritian law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Mauritian courts.

 

7) General

Reference or mention of “RBL” means Rockjumper Birding Limited. The transport, meals, entrance fees, accommodation or other facilities or services, which are to be supplied in respect of any tour, are those specifically stated in the tour brochure or itinerary, in which the tour contracted for, by any person, is described and no other. Each tour requires the organization of transport, meals, entrance fees, accommodation or other facilities or services. RBL makes arrangements with suppliers of such services and facilities and those suppliers contract with RBL as independent contractors. Save for RBL’s contractual rights against the suppliers to any tour, RBL has no direct day to day control over its suppliers and, accordingly, RBL accepts no responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, irregularity or inconvenience, which may be occasioned by any defect in any object (including a vehicle) utilized by any supplier for the supply of any contracted service or by an act of omission of any supplier or its servants. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the services supplied during the tour are of the highest standard, as per the itinerary.

 

8) Complaints

Should you be dissatisfied with any aspect of your tour, please inform an RBL direct employee or ABA representative immediately. If the RBL or ABA representative is unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction, please inform the RBL office during the course of the event or in writing within one month of your return.

 

9) Tour Materials

Pre-trip information for the ABA Colombia Safari will be sent to you upon registration. This contains all necessary information concerning passport, visa and health requirements, as well as details of climate, what to bring, recommended reading etc. A potential bird checklist will be sent before the tour, if requested. A bound daily checklist will be given to you on the first day of the event. Should you wish to receive any of these documents prior to booking, please contact the RBL office.

Final tour information, meeting instructions, flight details, emergency contact details and any additional material will be sent to you approximately a month prior to your departure.

Bogota 1 day Pre- Extension: Cultural and Sightseeing

July 19th
$195 (min 6 pax)

 

 

Magdalena Valley Pre-Tour

July 15th – 20th
$2100 (min 6 pax)
Single supplement $125

The mighty Magdalena River, Colombia’s largest watershed, carves out a huge portion of central Colombia from the high Central and Eastern Andes North to the Caribbean. In its wake, the Magdalena has created a series of important habitats ranging from dry rain-shadow scrub in the southern part of its reach, near the headwaters, all the way down to tropical rainforest farther North. Our Magdalena Valley Pre-Tour will give participants exposure to most of the special Magdalena habitats, and the important species that can be found within. From the subtropical cloud forests around Ibague, to the lush rainforests of Rio Claro, we will have the opportunity to search for such exciting species as Torrent Duck, Northern Screamer, Crested Bobwhite, Tolima Blossomcrown, Tolima Dove, Crested Quetzal, Beautiful Woodpecker, White-mantled Barbet, Oilbird, Western Striped and White-bibbed Manakins, Sooty Ant-Tanager, and Velvet-fronted Euphonia among more than 500 possible species!

 

 

Tangaras and Jardín Pre-Tour

July 16th – 20th
$1800 (min 6 pax)
Single supplement $130

The Western Andes of Colombia are, apart from the Santa Marta range, the famous birding region of this country. While the main tour will allow for some good field time in the lower elevations of the Western Andes, this pre-tour focuses on the cloud forests and temperate forests of this iconic region. Scenic beauty, cultural heritage, fine accommodations and great food aside, this tour offers some of the most spectacularly productive birding on Earth, as well as some of the most prized species in South America. Ranging from the dry forests of the Cauca Valley near Medellin, up to the bamboo and alder forests above Jardin, we will seek out the likes of Chestnut Wood-Quail, Cloud Forest Pygmy-Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Violet-tailed Sylph, Velvet-Purple Coronet, Golden-headed Quetzal, Tatama and Narino Tapaculos, Orange-breasted, Green-and-Black, and Barred Fruiteaters, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Black Solitaire, Tanager Finch, and the namesakes of each of the two special reserves we will be visiting: Yellow-eared Parrot Preserve, and “The Tanagers” Preserve. Our first locale, Las Tangaras, hosts some three dozen species of tanagers, including Black-and-Gold, Gold-ringed, Purplish-mantled, and Glistening-green amongst them! The second destination is more self-explanatory: the Loro orejiamarillo Reserve is the best place on Earth to see the endangered, but increasing, Yellow-eared Parrot!

 

 

“Spectacular Santa Martha mountains” Post-Tour

July 29th to August 3rd
$2250 (min 6 pax)
Single supplement $290

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range of Colombia is the most famous birding area in the country. It has become, in the past 10 years, one of the most famous on Earth, and with good cause! Recently declared a UNESCO Biodiversity site for it’s unparalleled endemism and incredible diversity, this ancient mountain range reaches its peak height of nearly 19,000 feet just 26 miles from the Caribbean Coast. The result of such a drastic and impressive geological feature is a myriad of habitats ranging from the driest scrub in Colombia, along the Guajira peninsula, to some of the wettest temperate forest on the continent! Given that the Sierra Nevadas outdate the main Andes in terms of their evolution, the highest degree of endemism for any non-island geological feature on Earth is found here. As exciting as the endemics are, the overall number of species likely in a week in the region exceeds 350! And this astonishing variety of habitats can be visited from fabulous accommodations with some of the best feeder set-ups ever conceived, and fantastic cuisine enjoyed, to boot. A few of the star species on this Post-Tour include Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Northern Screamer, Military Macaw, Golden-winged Sparrow, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Black-and-White Owl, White-tipped Quetzal, Vermilion Cardinal, Lance-tailed Manakin, American Flamingo, and more than 30 Santa Marta regional endemics!

 

 

Cali 1 day Post- Extension: Cultural and Sightseeing

July 29th
$175 (min 6 pax)

+ Tour Details

Colombia is the ultimate paradise for birders. Harboring almost 2,000 species, about of 1/5 of all those known on the planet, and with more hummingbird species (168 and counting!) than any other country, it is the hottest birding destination around right now. Here, we present to you the latest in our ABA Safari series, with Rockjumper and the American Birding Association teaming up, once again, for the grandest of birding events: the ABA Colombia Birding Safari in 2019.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet by Jonathan Russouw

There are two legs of this trip, the first in the bustling capital of Bogotá, and the second in the country’s third largest city of Cali. Based out of these two lovely cities, we’ll enjoy nice accommodations with great access to tremendous birding sites. And if you wish to add to your trip, we offer extensions to a number of Colombia’s other top birding destinations (there are many!). If you are looking to dip your toes into birding South America for the first time, this trip offers a wonderful opportunity to sample colorful new families of birds. At the same time, many well-traveled birders will note a great many endemic and regional specialty species possible on this unique offering.

Regardless of why you might want to see Colombia – whether the birds, the country, the people, the cuisine, or the coffee (!) – this trip provides you with a chance to support the mission of the American Birding Association, and also local businesses and conservation groups. Join your friends at ABA and Rockjumper for a fresh adventure to Colombia, the most bird-rich country on the continent!

Tour Summary

Dates and Price
Tour Dates 20th to 29th July 2019 (10 Days)
Tour Price US$ 3,900
Safari Size This safari is limited to 96 participants; field trips in groups of 12 plus a Rockjumper leader, and local guide(s)
Day 1 Arrival in Bogotá
Days 2 – 5 Birding Bogotá
Day 6 Fly to Cali
Days 7 – 9 Birding Cali
Day 10 Departure

Tour Map

The Tour in Detail

20 July, Day 1: Arrival

Masked Flowerpiercer by Dubi Shapiro

Upon arriving in the city of Bogotá, you will be met and transferred to a comfortable hotel in the city. Social hour, welcome dinner and orientation.

21-24 July, Day 2-5: Birding Bogotá

Located amidst a high plateau within the Cordillera Oriental, Bogotá is the commercial and financial hub of Colombia, with all anyone could want of a modern, cosmopolitan city. The span that is the East Cordillera of the Andes (a.k.a. the Cordillera Oriental) provides perhaps more paramo habitat than any other place. And the stretch around Bogotá features pleasant temperatures, a subtropical highland climate, and at 8,600 feet above sea level, offers a remarkable array of birding sites to explore.

As always in the montane areas of Colombia, hummingbirds are a major feature.

This country is home to some 160 species of hummingbird, which is more than any other country. The Bogotá area also sports many gorgeous tanagers, and many endemics and regional specialties. Here at the edge of the marvelous Magdalena Valley, the city provides a superb gateway to exploring this bird-rich area.

Over the course of four full days, we will familiarize ourselves with bustling Bogotá, its people, birds and countryside, and each participant will cycle through visits to Bogotá’s best birding sites. Participants will enjoy visits to the following fantastic birding sites:

Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager by Dubi Shapiro
Chicaque Natural Park
Indigo-capped Hummingbird by Dušan Brinkhuizen

Just an hour outside of Bogotá rests one of the few easily accessible patches of Andean Cloud Forest in Colombia. Chicaque Natural Park offers a nice network of trails, some strategically placed hummingbird feeders, and a spectacular array of snazzy birds.

Exploring this biodiverse hotspot, we’ll aim to find the dapper Rufous Spinetail, the Black-crested Warbler, Pale-naped Brush Finch, Blue-capped Tanager, and Golden-fronted Whitestart. Capped Conebill and Blackish Tapaculo will feature among the birds we seek too, not to mention a species with one of the best bird names in the world, the Superciliaried Hemispingus!

Keeping our eyes glued to the feeding stations, we’ll enjoy hummingbirds whose names are as flavorful as their appearance, including Green and Sparkling Violetears, Buff-tailed Coronet, Collared Inca, Tourmaline Sunangel and Glowing Puffleg.

And if chance smiles upon us, one of Colombia’s star endemics is possible here, the always tricky but always stunning Golden-bellied Starfrontlet.

Chingaza National Natural Park

With a pre-dawn departure to maximize time in this incredible treasure of a national park, we will ascend into the high Paramo of Chingaza. Here the stunning variety of flowers and orchids forms an endless mosaic of moss-laden elfin stunted forest that is nothing short of amazing! Beginning in the lower subtropical forest, we will gradually work our way up to above 11,500 feet. The trill of the endemic Rufous-browed Conebill may be among the first sounds we hear, as we hope for the skulking Pale-bellied Tapaculo to make an appearance. The endemic Silvery-throated Spinetail is also a target, as is the white-faced form of Golden-fronted Whitestart. The many flowers are likely to attract hummingbirds such as the near-endemic Coppery-bellied and Glowing Pufflegs, Purple-backed Thornbill, the apparently nomadic Amethyst-throated Sunangel, and with luck, perhaps even the near-endemic Blue-throated Starfrontlet. The endemic Flame-winged Parakeet makes occasional appearances here, usually seen flying in noisy flocks over the remnant forest patches, and at times the oversized Undulated Antpitta is heard. Making our way higher, we’ll take in spectacular views as we search for Tyrian Metaltail, Masked and Glossy Flowerpiercers, the brilliant Scarlet-bellied Mountain Tanager, Black-capped Hemispingus, Streak-throated Bush Tyrant, Black-capped Tyrannulet, and sometimes the localized Bronze-tailed Thornbill.

Not far away are the Siecha Lakes, and this is perhaps the easiest site in South America for the normally difficult Noble Snipe. Often Brown-bellied Swallows whip about overhead; while other rewarding sightings could include Spot-flanked Gallinule, secretive Masked Duck and localized Merida Speckled Teal (a potential split from Andean Teal). We will finish the day at a nearby lake with a good population of Andean Duck.

Spectacled Parrotlet by Adam Riley
Enchanted Garden
Amethyst-throated Sunangel by Forrest Rowland

One of the most remarkable hummingbird hotspots in the world, this private garden has been attracting hummingbirds for over 30 years. Today it sports an array of no less than 40 hummingbird feeders, which have attracted 27 different species, including two impossibly tiny and nimble woodstars, the White-bellied and the Gorgeted, along with the endemic Indigo-capped Hummingbird.

This is one of the few places in the world where the Indigo-capped is relatively easily found, and along with it we may see Brown Violetear, Ruby-topaz Hummingbird, Lazuline Sabrewing, Short-tailed and Red-billed Emeralds, as well as the Scrub Tanager. The incredible action at the Enchanted Garden is not only a feast for the eyes, but also the ears.

At any one moment there may be dozens or even hundreds of hummingbirds present, whizzing about in constant dizzying fashion, calling and fussing incessantly!

Laguna Tabacal

Located just upslope above the magically bird-rich Magdalena River, lies this little lagoon which has proven a wonderful haven for birds. Named for the large stands of tobacco that once fringed its shores, today Laguna Tabacal is managed by the community of La Vega and hosts more birders than farmers. It is a great place to see birds like Spectacled Parrotlet, Scrub Tanager, Grey-throated Warbler, Bar-crested Antshrike, Rusty-breasted Antpitta, Velvet-fronted Euphonia, and many others.

Observatorio de Colibries (The Hummingbird Observatory)

With its vast mountain ranges and slopes, Colombia is the world epicenter of hummingbird diversity, hosting more species of hummingbird than any other country in the world. We’ll visit several feeding stations, where we’ll rack up a great species total while also enjoying staggering views of special and endemic species.

Opening in 2013, the Observatorio de Colibri is a private hummingbird garden on the outskirts of Bogotá, that routinely offers 14 species or more. Highlights often include White-bellied Woodstar, Amethyst-throated Sunangel, Black-tailed Trainbearer, Mountain Velvetbreast, and the magnificent Sword-billed Hummingbird.

Torrent Duck by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Sumapaz National Park
Andean Cock-of-the-Rock by Dušan Brinkhuizen

Climbing high into the Andes at Sumapaz, we’ll work the wet grassland and Espletia zone of these humid, misty mountaintops. This iconic high-elevation birding hotspot often yields some of Colombia’s best-known endemics, including Bogotá Rail and Apolinar´s Wren.

Reaching heights of 11,000 feet above sea level, we will move deliberately while discovering the unique Paramo habitat here, and hope for special hummingbirds such as the Green-bearded Helmetcrest, Great Sapphirewing and Bronze-tailed Thornbill.

Other dramatic personae could include Torrent Duck, Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, Noble Snipe, Black-collared Jay, Pale-bellied Tapaculo and Rufous-browed Conebill.

25 July, Day 6: Fly to Cali

With our flight from Bogotá to Cali this morning, we’ll offer some optional birding at sites to be determined in Cali, as we settle into our home for the next three nights.

26-28 July, Days 7-9: Birding Cali

Santiago de Cali, (3,300 ft.) or just “Cali”, as it is usually known, is well situated for birders. Not as large and metropolitan as Bogotá, Cali still owns a large population, with over two million people. And being the only city with reasonable access to the Pacific coast, it’s growing and prospering.

Just like Bogotá, it offers incredible birding in town, and especially on its outskirts. Perched along the Cordillera Occidental, the Western Slope of the Andes, above the Cauca Valley, it exhibits a tropical savanna climate with temperatures usually in the mid-70s (F) in July.

Here again, hummingbirds and tanagers, will be a major feature, and the area also offers chances at specialties such as the Andean Cock-of-the-Rock, or the Toucan Barbet – the latter of which is one of just two members of the Semnornithidae family.

Also, the dazzling Orange-breasted Fruiteater is a target, as is the retina-burning Multicolored Tanager, and the striking Golden-headed Quetzal, among many others. During our time in Cali, we shall focus on the following birding hotspots:

Toucan Barbet by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Anchicaya
Orange-breasted Fruiteater by Dušan Brinkhuizen

On the west slope of the Cordillera Occidental, we will bird the various trails and forested stretches of the fabulous Old Buenaventura Road. The habitats range from lower subtropical to Choco foothill forests and secondary forest, from 4,200-1,500 feet in elevation. This is the heartland of the Choco-Pacific regions, where more than 400 species have been recorded.

A majority of the birds we will search for today are highly sought-after, and stunning birds from Baudo Guan, to Semicollared Hawk, to Indigo-crowned Quail-Dove, to Tooth-billed Hummingbird, Spot-crowned Barbet, Rose-faced Parrot, Long-wattled Umbrellabird, Lanceolated Monklet, and so much more can be recorded through this insanely bird-rich area. Extra sharp eyes may reveal some fancy reptiles and amphibians, in which a proportionate level of endemism is displayed.

Laguna de Sonso

Birding this fabulous lagoon along the Cauca River is an incredible treat, as this is the only remaining large expanse of the natural wetland here, and it teems with birds. To reach this amazing area, we will depart pre-dawn, arriving in time to see the birds become active amid the network of marshes and lagoons.

Declared a nature reserve in 1978, the area was set aside for its rich animal and birdlife. Here it is possible to see the largest rodent in the world, the odd and endearing Capybara, along with a bevy of birds. Routine birds like the Cocoi Heron, Bare-faced Ibis, Yellow-headed Caracara, and Amazon Kingfisher are all on display, and if the birding gods smile upon us we might also locate Dwarf and Striped Cuckoos, Yellow Oriole, Jet Antbird, and many more.

Golden-headed Quetzal by Dušan Brinkhuizen
Km 18 & Finca Alejandría

West of the metropolis, perhaps Cali’s most famous birding area, Bosque San Antonio (also known as the KM 18 Trail), brims with bright and colorful birds, and most of them are available up-close and personal! A fabulous feeding station is well maintained, in an area still sporting superb forest, and we will spend the day birding the choicest sites. The list of possible species is huge, and we will focus on specialties that include Colombian Chachalaca, Crimson-rumped and White-throated Toucanets, and the mind-blowing Multicolored Tanager, among many other tanagers and some 15 species of hummingbirds! It was here in this region, that many now well-known Choco endemic bird species were first described to science, so the area is not only rich with birds but also in ornithological history.

29 July, Day 10: Departures

Flights home or Add to Your Adventure on one of our ABA Colombia extensions!

After a final farewell dinner, where we’ll share memories and enjoy one last meal with our ABA Friends, we will close off on the ABA Colombia Safari.

+ Rockjumper Tour leaders

Adam Riley

Adam qualified as a chartered accountant, but his lifelong passion for birding, wildlife and travel led to him co-founding Rockjumper Birding Tours in 1998. Adam has traveled extensively throughout the world, leading birding tours to more than 60 countries and in the process racking up a bird list of over 2,000 species on the African continent and 8,000 worldwide. Adam is the Founder of Rockjumper Birding Tours.

Chris Sharpe

Chris is a conservation biologist who has spent much of his 30-year career in the field, carrying out bird censuses and rapid assessment programmes, taking part in expeditions to search for little-known species, working on community conservation projects, and teaching training workshops.

Forrest Rowland

Forrest took his first international birding trip at the age of 9 and this has blossomed into a lifelong love affair with the planet’s birds and wildlife. He has spent many years in the field, honing his birding skills throughout the world. Forrest heads up Rockjumper’s New World division and is our primary tour leader in this exciting region.

George Armistead

George is a lifelong birder and was the events coordinator for the ABA. George spent 2002-2012 organizing and leading birding tours for Field Guides Inc., guiding trips on all seven continents. He enjoys vast open-country habitats and seabirds most of all. Based in Philadelphia, he is an associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, and spends much of his free time birding the coast between Cape May, New Jersey and Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

+ ABA Staff

Jeffrey A. Gordon

Is the President of the American Birding Association. Jeff’s special areas of interest include how we build a bigger, more inclusive tent of birders, and how we can come together to have the greatest possible positive impact on the future of birding and the birds that have meant so much to us all. Prior to coming aboard at the ABA, Jeff spent several decades leading birding tours, working as an interpretive naturalist, and learning about the birding industry as a freelance writer, speaker, video editor, and trip leader.

Liz Deluna Gordon

Liz Deluna Gordon has been birding for more than 30 years. She got her start in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where she first discovered Plain Chachalacas, the previously-unknown source of the ear-splitting noises that had awakened her on many a spring morning. A member of the team that founded the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival, her passion for birds and their habitats, birding and the birding community drives her every day. Liz is ABA Events Coordinator and truly enjoys keeping track of all the details of running a successful and fun event. Just like you, she’d rather be birding!

+ Terms and Conditions
IMPORTANT NOTES:

a) Rates are based upon group tariffs; if the tour does not have sufficient registration (a minimum of 20 paying participants) a small party supplement may have to be charged.

b) Furthermore, these costs are subject to unforeseen increases in tour related costs and may have to be adjusted as a result.

c) Lastly, we may be forced to change or alter the itinerary and/or the designated Rockjumper leader(s) at short or no notice due to unforeseen circumstances; please be aware that we will adhere as close to the original program as possible.

Tipping:

As noted above, gratuities (drivers, hotel staff, restaurants etc.) are included on this tour. However, this does NOT include your Rockjumper leaders. If, therefore, you feel that they have provided excellent service, tipping them is appropriate and appreciated.

Preparations and considerations:

  • To ensure your comfort and that of your companions, please limit yourself to one medium-sized suitcase or duffel bag (48 lb) and one carry-on bag (20 lb), as space in the vehicles is limited. Note the weight restrictions as imposed by the airline.
  • Pace & Fitness: Generally, nearly all of our time in the field is spent at feeding stations, or walking along roadsides or trails. When walking, we will maintain a slow pace to enjoy our surroundings, and help us find the birds we seek. Note that Bogotá sits at 8,600 feet above sea level, and that a couple of field trips will reach altitudes of over 11,000 feet in elevation. We recommend you consult your doctor prior to departure for recommendations and treatment for avoiding health issues related to high altitude.
  • Accommodations: Hotels are of a high standard during the ABA Colombia Safari, and we spend our nights in 4-star hotels.
  • Group Dynamics: For field trips and birding, we place each Safari attendee into one of several smaller groups. Though we will enjoy evening festivities together, with all Safari attendees gathered, in the field smaller groups are obviously preferred. In the field, you will be in groups of 12 attendees, and in some locations two groups of 12 attendees may end up birding together if the location and the birding there allows that. Each group will feature one or two leaders. Each vehicle will seat 12 participants, plus guides/leaders.

Flights:

The 2019 ABA Colombia Safari begins in Bogotá and ends in Cali. Both cities have international airports with flights in/out of the United States. Arriving flights should be booked to El Dorado International Airport (BOG), the international airport serving Bogotá, Colombia, and its surrounding areas. The Safari ends in Cali, where Alfonso Bonilla Aragón International Airport (also known as Palmaseca International Airport) is the international airport. If you opt to participate in one of the extension trips pre/post Safari, that can affect the recommended airport for your flights.

In any case, please DO NOT book your international flights until you have consulted the Rockjumper office for confirmation on the status of the safari.

 

1) Reservations

Reservations for the ABA COLOMBIA SAFARI require a completed booking form (see below), passport copy and a deposit equal to US$1,900 per person. If the booking is made within 4 months of the ABA Colombia Safari start date (after March 20th, 2019), then full payment of US$3900 is required. US$500 per person of the deposit is non-refundable.

The booking form below may be filled in online or electronically and emailed to the RBL office, or a hard copy printed out and mailed or faxed to us. A booking is accepted and becomes definite only from the date when RBL has confirmed acceptance in writing. At this point, a contract between RBL and the participant comes into existence.

Booking requests with deposits will be considered in order of their receipt. Telephonic or email requests will be treated as bookings from the date received, provided they are followed by receipt of the appropriate booking form and deposit within 14 days.

Payment of the booking should be made as follows:

Mailed checks in US$ only (made out to Rockjumper Birding Tours):
(Please note that this address has a secure mailbox, so DO NOT send by registered or certified mail as there is no-one to sign at this locked box and it will delay collection by several days!)
Attention: Eric V. Pozzo
Rockjumper Bird Tours
14785 SW Bell Road
Sherwood, OR 97140-9052
USA

Direct wire:
Bank: US Bank, 60 Livingstone Avenue St. Paul, Minnesota, 55107
ABA Routing #: 123000220
SWIFT Code: USBKUS44IMT
Account: Rockjumper Bird Tours
Account #: 153690907644

Please do not use Western Union as a money transfer agent for your payment to Rockjumper.

If paying by direct wire, please instruct your bank that all bank charges are charged to you.

Credit card payment via PayPal:
If electing to pay by credit card or directly via PayPal, please ask us to send you a PayPal payment request. Once you receive this, click the “Pay Now” button and this will take you straight to the PayPal website. Once you login to or register for your PayPal account, all the payment details will already have been entered automatically and you will just be required to authorize the transaction.
Please note that there is a 4% surcharge on PayPal payments and this will be added to your deposit or invoice total.

 

2) Tour Fees and Payment

The Colombia ABA Safari participation fee is US$3,900 per person sharing with a single supplement fee of US$575. Payment of the balance of the ABA Colombia Safari is due 3 months before departure and to be made as per the above details. An RBL invoice will be issued to you before full payment is due.

ABA Colombia Safari inclusions are:

  • all accommodations on a sharing basis, from the first to final night of the ABA Colombia Safari (20th July to 29th July 2019);
  • domestic/internal flight from Bogotá to Cali on Day 6 of the Safari;
  • all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) from dinner on the first day (20th July) to breakfast the final day (29th July);
  • drinking water at meals and during day activities;
  • all ground transportation (20th July) to final day (29th July) of the safari;
  • all costs of specialist bird guides and local guides;
  • activities as outlined in the itinerary;
  • all reserve and park entrance fees;
  • A couple evenings feature presentations
  • All tips related to tour services (excluding tour leaders). Any tipping by participants is entirely voluntary.

Exclusions:

  • international flights and any airport taxes related to these flights;
  • any visa, passport and vaccination costs;
  • travel and medical insurance;
  • costs incurred before the official start of the ABA Colombia Safari and after the official end;
  • all beverages other than water;
  • national park camera fees;
  • all personal costs including laundry, snacks, meals taken in the absence of the official activities, telephone calls and any service charges related to these costs.

The ABA Colombia Safari cost is subject to major currency fluctuations and other significant events beyond the control of RBL (e.g. major increases in park fees, government charges, fuel costs and hotel charges) and we reserve the right to modify the tour cost, within reason, at any time until full payment has been received. Furthermore, if total subscription for the ABA Colombia Safari is below 20 participants, there may be an additional surcharge.

The single supplement will be charged if you wish to have single accommodation. This single supplement is based on the cost of a single room for the duration of the ABA Colombia Safari. If Rockjumper cannot provide you with a rooming partner although you choose to share, the single supplement will become applicable. We will, however, make all reasonable efforts to ensure that a rooming partner is found if you do wish to share. Rooming partners will be allocated in order of booking, unless a participant requests a specific rooming partner who has not been matched. If your allocated rooming partner cancels before the start of the safari, the single room supplement will become applicable to you unless RBL finds another rooming partner for you. If you choose to share a room, and during the course of the safari you or your rooming partner decide to no longer share a room, any additional costs as a result of this decision will not be incurred by RBL.

 

3) Tour Alterations

The ABA Colombia Safari activities have been planned many months in advance and although unlikely, modifications may become necessary. Alterations due to circumstances beyond our control, made either before or after departure date, are not grounds for cancellation without incurring cancellation fees as outlined above. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure all activities adhere to the published program as closely as possible.

The birding leaders may be substituted for other experienced leaders at the discretion of RBL, but we will make every attempt to ensure the leaders, as advertised, will be the tour leaders.

 

4) Travel Conditions

All travel arrangements such as flight bookings, hotel accommodation, catering and ground transport made by RBL are subject to booking and service conditions of the supplier of the services. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure the ABA Colombia Safari operates as smoothly and seamlessly as possible. RBL is not liable for any damage, losses and expenses suffered by any participant as a result of any circumstance beyond our control, please refer to further liability clauses below.

The participant is responsible for obtaining necessary visas and health certificates required by the countries visited during the course of the tour, as well as ensuring their passports are in order. RBL will supply the relevant information in our pre-departure information pack and will assist in any way possible in obtaining visas and we are happy to offer advice. RBL will not be liable for losses or extra costs incurred if you do not have the valid documentation. Although we strive to keep the information in our pre-departure information pack up-to-date and accurate, we will not be held responsible for any innocent errors or inaccuracies or if regulations change and we are not aware of such changes. Please note that RBL guides carry a limited supply of First Aid equipment and are not permitted to dispense medication. Please bring any medication that you feel you may need for the trip.

RBL reserves the right to remove any participant from the ABA Colombia Safari during the course of the event, if the participant is deemed by RBL senior management to be unfit to continue with the safari, or if the participant causes serious disruption to the event or the enjoyment thereof for the other participants. In such an unlikely event, RBL will not make any refund or be liable for any losses or additional costs incurred by the affected person.

 

5) Liability

RBL will take all reasonable steps to ensure that the ABA Colombia Safari is properly arranged and professionally conducted. We will also take all reasonable steps to ensure that the airlines, vehicle operators, travel agents, hotels, restaurants, guides and other agents and suppliers that are used during the tour are reputable. These locations and the pursuit of rare sightings and experiences may give rise to potentially hazardous and unpredictable circumstances. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure that you are aware of the inherent risk of traveling to these destinations, but accepts no liability.

RBL accepts no liability in respect of death, injury, loss or damage to person or property arising out of any act, omission or negligence of any of the suppliers, or the suppliers’ servants that are used during the tour. RBL shall, in no circumstances, be deemed to be the agent of the participant or of the supplier of any service.

RBL shall not be liable for any damage, losses and expenses suffered by any participant as a result of sickness, quarantine, weather conditions, war, strikes, riots or any other cause beyond RBL’s control. RBL shall not be liable for any loss or expense arising from the loss of property, cancellation or curtailment of the ABA Colombia Safari, however caused, save only to the extent that such loss of baggage, cancellation or curtailment was caused by RBL’s negligence. If sickness or accident interrupts the ABA Colombia Safari, RBL shall not be liable for any loss or expense arising therefrom, save only to the extent that such sickness or accident was caused by RBL’s willful act or gross negligence.

RBL strongly recommends that participants take out travel and medical insurance to protect against any losses or expenses incurred due to cancellation or curtailment of the ABA Colombia Safari or any damages, expenses or losses that might be incurred during the duration of the event.

Any information contained in RBL’s brochure/itineraries/website is, to the best of RBL’s belief, true and correct, and RBL accepts no liability for any innocent inaccuracies contained therein. The birds mentioned in ABA Colombia Safari itineraries are intended as a guide to species that we expect to encounter during the event. Although the large majority of these will be observed by active participants with reasonable vision, participants should not expect to see everything mentioned.

 

6) Representation, Term, Warranty and Conditions

The entire contract between RBL and the participant is contained within these conditions. No representation, term, warranty or condition expressed or applied shall be considered to be, or have been made or agreed or applied by reference to any other writing, advertisement or conversation. These conditions may only be varied with the written consent of RBL, signed by a director of RBL.

The contract is deemed to have been made at the RBL offices in Mauritius, and is subject to Mauritian law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the Mauritian courts.

 

7) General

Reference or mention of “RBL” means Rockjumper Birding Limited. The transport, meals, entrance fees, accommodation or other facilities or services, which are to be supplied in respect of any tour, are those specifically stated in the tour brochure or itinerary, in which the tour contracted for, by any person, is described and no other. Each tour requires the organization of transport, meals, entrance fees, accommodation or other facilities or services. RBL makes arrangements with suppliers of such services and facilities and those suppliers contract with RBL as independent contractors. Save for RBL’s contractual rights against the suppliers to any tour, RBL has no direct day to day control over its suppliers and, accordingly, RBL accepts no responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay, irregularity or inconvenience, which may be occasioned by any defect in any object (including a vehicle) utilized by any supplier for the supply of any contracted service or by an act of omission of any supplier or its servants. RBL undertakes to make every reasonable effort to ensure that the services supplied during the tour are of the highest standard, as per the itinerary.

 

8) Complaints

Should you be dissatisfied with any aspect of your tour, please inform an RBL direct employee or ABA representative immediately. If the RBL or ABA representative is unable to resolve the problem to your satisfaction, please inform the RBL office during the course of the event or in writing within one month of your return.

 

9) Tour Materials

Pre-trip information for the ABA Colombia Safari will be sent to you upon registration. This contains all necessary information concerning passport, visa and health requirements, as well as details of climate, what to bring, recommended reading etc. A potential bird checklist will be sent before the tour, if requested. A bound daily checklist will be given to you on the first day of the event. Should you wish to receive any of these documents prior to booking, please contact the RBL office.

Final tour information, meeting instructions, flight details, emergency contact details and any additional material will be sent to you approximately a month prior to your departure.

+ Pre/Post Tours

Bogota 1 day Pre- Extension: Cultural and Sightseeing

July 19th
$195 (min 6 pax)

 

 

Magdalena Valley Pre-Tour

July 15th – 20th
$2100 (min 6 pax)
Single supplement $125

The mighty Magdalena River, Colombia’s largest watershed, carves out a huge portion of central Colombia from the high Central and Eastern Andes North to the Caribbean. In its wake, the Magdalena has created a series of important habitats ranging from dry rain-shadow scrub in the southern part of its reach, near the headwaters, all the way down to tropical rainforest farther North. Our Magdalena Valley Pre-Tour will give participants exposure to most of the special Magdalena habitats, and the important species that can be found within. From the subtropical cloud forests around Ibague, to the lush rainforests of Rio Claro, we will have the opportunity to search for such exciting species as Torrent Duck, Northern Screamer, Crested Bobwhite, Tolima Blossomcrown, Tolima Dove, Crested Quetzal, Beautiful Woodpecker, White-mantled Barbet, Oilbird, Western Striped and White-bibbed Manakins, Sooty Ant-Tanager, and Velvet-fronted Euphonia among more than 500 possible species!

 

 

Tangaras and Jardín Pre-Tour

July 16th – 20th
$1800 (min 6 pax)
Single supplement $130

The Western Andes of Colombia are, apart from the Santa Marta range, the famous birding region of this country. While the main tour will allow for some good field time in the lower elevations of the Western Andes, this pre-tour focuses on the cloud forests and temperate forests of this iconic region. Scenic beauty, cultural heritage, fine accommodations and great food aside, this tour offers some of the most spectacularly productive birding on Earth, as well as some of the most prized species in South America. Ranging from the dry forests of the Cauca Valley near Medellin, up to the bamboo and alder forests above Jardin, we will seek out the likes of Chestnut Wood-Quail, Cloud Forest Pygmy-Owl, Lyre-tailed Nightjar, Violet-tailed Sylph, Velvet-Purple Coronet, Golden-headed Quetzal, Tatama and Narino Tapaculos, Orange-breasted, Green-and-Black, and Barred Fruiteaters, Chestnut-crested Cotinga, Black Solitaire, Tanager Finch, and the namesakes of each of the two special reserves we will be visiting: Yellow-eared Parrot Preserve, and “The Tanagers” Preserve. Our first locale, Las Tangaras, hosts some three dozen species of tanagers, including Black-and-Gold, Gold-ringed, Purplish-mantled, and Glistening-green amongst them! The second destination is more self-explanatory: the Loro orejiamarillo Reserve is the best place on Earth to see the endangered, but increasing, Yellow-eared Parrot!

 

 

“Spectacular Santa Martha mountains” Post-Tour

July 29th to August 3rd
$2250 (min 6 pax)
Single supplement $290

The Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta range of Colombia is the most famous birding area in the country. It has become, in the past 10 years, one of the most famous on Earth, and with good cause! Recently declared a UNESCO Biodiversity site for it’s unparalleled endemism and incredible diversity, this ancient mountain range reaches its peak height of nearly 19,000 feet just 26 miles from the Caribbean Coast. The result of such a drastic and impressive geological feature is a myriad of habitats ranging from the driest scrub in Colombia, along the Guajira peninsula, to some of the wettest temperate forest on the continent! Given that the Sierra Nevadas outdate the main Andes in terms of their evolution, the highest degree of endemism for any non-island geological feature on Earth is found here. As exciting as the endemics are, the overall number of species likely in a week in the region exceeds 350! And this astonishing variety of habitats can be visited from fabulous accommodations with some of the best feeder set-ups ever conceived, and fantastic cuisine enjoyed, to boot. A few of the star species on this Post-Tour include Chestnut-winged Chachalaca, Sapphire-bellied Hummingbird, Northern Screamer, Military Macaw, Golden-winged Sparrow, Rosy Thrush-Tanager, Black-and-White Owl, White-tipped Quetzal, Vermilion Cardinal, Lance-tailed Manakin, American Flamingo, and more than 30 Santa Marta regional endemics!

 

 

Cali 1 day Post- Extension: Cultural and Sightseeing

July 29th
$175 (min 6 pax)

+ Booking Form