News in Brief: India, Romania, Scotland and Spain

Read about highlights from recent tours to India, Romania, Scotland and Spain …

In India ...

‘In February 2019 we had an incredibly successful Wildlife Festival tour’, writes tour leader Anand Sinha. ‘As usual, the game-rich national park of Ranthambore, the pre-tour extension, didn’t disappoint, with several Tiger sightings over the three days. One afternoon, we encountered a fine tigress who sat for 15 minutes at the edge of a waterbody before crossing over to our side, snarling, passing just a few metres away from us, and spray-marking a fallen tree. She then started growling loudly and the jungle, which till then seemed unaware of her presence, came alive; herds of Spotted Deer quickly gathered and started their sharp alarm calls, and soon the Sambar Deer joined in. We got some wonderful photos, but the sights and sounds of that sighting will probably never be forgotten.

The main festival week, at Satpura, gave us several sightings of two Tiger brothers; having left their mother, they were looking for new territory. But what topped the sighting charts there were the Leopard and Sloth Bears. One afternoon, having seen the Tigers, we had a glimpse of a Leopard, a small female, disappearing. We rushed to a parallel road where we guessed she might appear. Nothing stirred for a good 15 minutes, but then a troop of monkeys woke the jungle up again with their loud alarms; she appeared right in front of our jeep and quietly crossed the track, vanishing in the tall grass again. Amazing!

The Sloth Bears were also seen multiple times on the trip, the best sighting being on the very last day when we located a female bear with a tiny cub clinging on to the fur of her back. We watched them for a long time, as she dug for termites. There was a very good Wild Dog sighting as well, after a kill by the river.

For the post-tour guests going to Kanha, the incredible Tiger sightings continued there, with a grand finale of four different animals!

Overall, the whole Festival trip was a very memorable one, packed with brilliant sightings everywhere.’ 

Our next ‘Wildlife of Satpura – Best of Central India’ holiday departs on 24th January 2020, prices start at £2,995. For more information please click on the link above, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Tigress (Anand Sinha)


Sloth Bear (Anand Sinha)

In Romania ...

‘Starting in the Carpathian Mountains we enjoyed a series of walks in superb scenery’, writes tour leader Andy Smith. ‘We saw a wide variety of butterflies, a range of endemic plants including the attractive Carpathian Bellflower and had lovely views of some great birds including Lesser Spotted Eagles, Honey Buzzards, both Red-backed and Great Grey Shrikes and some huge flocks of White Storks. Perhaps best of all though were the eight Brown Bears (six together at one stage!) that we were able to observe at length at the bear hide we visited on one of the evenings.

Our three days boating on the Danube Delta were all we could have expected and gave us a clear impression and understanding of this vast and hugely impressive wetland. We saw a superb range of birds, often in big numbers, including both White and Dalmatian Pelicans, White-tailed Eagle, all three marsh terns, masses of Purple, Squacco and Black-crowned Night Herons, Little Bittern and Little Crake, Penduline Tit and lots more. A supporting cast of Freyer’s Purple Emperor, Dice Snake, innumerable Marsh Frogs and even an Otter ensured that it was a very memorable time.

A day inland of the delta in the woodlands and steppes of the hinterland produced Sousliks and Isabelline Wheatears, Lesser Grey Shrikes and Rollers, a range of Woodpeckers, masses of Bee-eaters and a surprisingly sprightly Spur-thighed Tortoise. On the final day we explored the fringes of the vast brackish lagoons to the south of the delta and concluded the trip with an exciting range of wetland birds that included Collared Pratincole, Gull-billed Tern, Little Gull, Temminck’s Stint and Paddyfield Warbler.

All in all it was a great trip; good company, lovely weather, great scenery and wonderful wildlife!’

Our next ‘Romania’s Danube Delta & Carpathian Mountains’ holiday departs on 27th April 2020, prices start at £1,795. For more information please click on the link above, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Brown Bear (Dennis Dallow)


Dalmatian Pelican (Dennis Dallow)

In Scotland ...

‘The last of our four 8-day August tours centred around the Ardnamurchan Peninsula in the West Highlands of Scotland enjoyed an excellent variety of mammals and birds, and when the sun appeared we encountered plenty of late season butterflies and other insects too’, writes tour leader Neil McMahon. ‘Boat trips to both the islands of Carna and Muck were memorable; the trip to Muck did experience some choppy conditions but the wonderful café on the island made the grins broaden! Over the years the eagle sightings in this wonderful part of Scotland just keep increasing and these big raptors put in regular appearances during our 8-day stint, with both species showing very well. We managed to see four species of deer against the backdrop of purple blooming heather and the speciality mammals in the shape of Otter and Pine Marten didn't disappoint. On one special evening we found two or three Minke Whales lunge-feeding off the north coast. We saw 18 species of mammal and identified over 100 species of birds on our travels along the shores of Loch Sunart and in the Sunart Oak Rainforest.’

Our next ‘Scotland's Mammals & Highlights of the Highlands’ holiday departs on 1st August 2020, prices start at £1,395. For more information please click on the link above, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


White-tailed Eagle

In Spain ...

‘This year's “Picos & Plains” tour started off in the best possible way, with an extraordinary Bay of Biscay ferry journey to Santander’, writes co-leader Chris Griffin. ‘The hope was to observe cetaceans, including the second largest animal to have ever lived on the planet, the Fin Whale. With over 30 sightings of Fin, multiple sightings of Cuvier's and Sowerby's Beaked, Pilot and Minke Whales and a single Sei Whale alongside Common, Bottlenose and Striped Dolphins and breaching Atlantic Bluefin Tuna, our group were overawed before even setting foot on dry land!

A few days spent exploring the Picos de Europa were well rewarded, with most of the target species encountered and often seen extremely well including Lammergeier, Alpine and Red-billed Chough, Alpine Accentor and of course the star bird for many on the trip – the sought-after Wallcreeper, which we watched dispatch a rather large Eggar moth at near enough eye level!

After the spectacular scenery of the mountains, we spent the remaining days of the tour in the plains around Zamora. Wonderful views of Great Bustard, Western Orphean Warbler, Red-rumped Swallow and a stunning melanistic Montagu's Harrier were some of the highlights, but perhaps the most memorable moment of the trip was watching the drama of a Booted Eagle stooping down to catch a Little Owl roosting on the ground! Difficult viewing for some, but an incredible moment to witness.

The return journey on the ferry had an impossible job of living up to the crossing earlier in the trip, but we still managed to catch up with Fin Whale, Ocean Sunfish and a very brief Blue Shark! All in all, a wonderful week, filled with stunning scenery and spectacular wildlife, shared with a brilliant group.’

Join Chris and Byron Palacios on our next ‘Picos & Plains – The Best of Northern Spain’ holiday departing on 2nd August 2020, prices start at £1,695. For more information click on the link above, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


White-throated Dipper (Andy Griffith)


False Heath (Andy Griffith)

We’ve been nominated ‘Best Safari, Wildlife & Nature Holiday Company’ in the prestigious 2020 British Travel Awards. All voters will be entered into an official prize draw to win a Rhine or Danube cruise! Please click here to vote.