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Tuition - Tours

This is where you will find my latest photographic and wildlife watching tours that I lead for Naturetrek.

Naturetrek Day Trips - 2024

I will be leading day trips with a maximum of six participants to the following locations through 2024 with corresponding dates.

Somerset Levels

• 24th April 2024 (5 spaces available)
• 30th April 2024 (fully booked)
• 16th May 2024 (spaces available)
• 21st May 2024 (spaces available)

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Steart Marshes

• 1st May 2024 (3 spaces available)
• 17th May 2024 (spaces available)
• 22nd May 2024 (spaces available)

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Forest of Dean

• More dates coming soon.

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Exmoor National Park

• 23rd May 2024 (fully booked)

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Naturetrek 3-Night Trips - May 2024

I will be leading overnight trips to the following locations with corresponding dates.

Exmoor National Park - 24th to 27th May 2024

This short spring tour will explore areas in the north of Exmoor as we look for breeding birds, butterflies and other wildlife that inhabit the ancient woodlands, combes and moorland. Spring is an excellent time to visit when migrant birds, including warblers and flycatchers, return to swell the song of our resident species, nesting is in full swing and young mammals emerge into the world.

The tour will also focus on some overnight wildlife too, including moth trapping and bat walks along with an evening looking for Nightjar and Tawny Owl.

Images all taken on Oliver's 2023 tour.

Key Information
• Location - Exmoor National Park, Somerset
• Dates - 24th to 27th May 2024 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 7 (6 spaces available)
• Cost - from £795
• Single Supplement - from £120
• Booking - call Barney Jones at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - breakfast & dinner but lunches & snacks to be paid separately

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Naturetrek 2-Night Trips - May 2024

I will be leading overnight trips to the following locations with corresponding dates.

Forest of Dean in Spring - 29th-31st May 2024 (2 spaces available)

To book please visit Naturetrek.

The Best of the Cotswolds - June 2024

The Best of the Cotswolds

Dates - 3rd to 6th June 2024

The Cotswolds was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in 1966 and is the second largest protected landscape in England after the Lake District. The boundaries of the Cotswolds are around 25 miles across and 90 miles long and the area includes several counties. Most of the area is within Gloucestershire (the county on which we will be focusing the majority of our time) and Oxfordshire with smaller parts in Wiltshire, Somerset, Worcestershire and Warwickshire.

The Cotswolds' varied habitats will provide views of a host of special butterflies, including the rare Duke of Burgundy, Pearl-bordered and Marsh Fritillary, Green Hairstreak, Brown Argus, Adonis Blue and the very special Large Blue amongst others.

Orchids proliferate in the limestone grasslands, abandoned quarries, Beech woodlands and sheltered valleys here, and across our three full days we hope to find a superb array of species and we will know the locations of everything possible and try to see them all during the tour. Such delights as Bee Orchid, Fly Orchid, Greater and Lesser Butterfly Orchid and later in the season, Broad-leaved, Green-flowered, Narrow-lipped and possibly even Violet Helleborine may be found, amongst others. Whenever you chose to visit it is sure to be a most rewarding short break.

Key Information
• Location - Frampton Mansell, Cotswolds
• Dates - 3rd to 6th June 2024 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 7 (1 space available)
• Cost - from £655
• Single Supplement - from £195
• Booking - call Tom Mabbett at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, transportation and guiding

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

St Kilda & the Hebrides - June 2024

St Kilda & the Hebrides - Islands on the Edge of the Atlantic

Dates - 17th to 25th June 2024

This exciting cruise will take you from Oban on the west coast of Scotland out amongst the Inner and Outer Hebrides as far as St Kilda, the most famous of Scotland’s remote islands. Our exact itinerary will be kept flexible, but we aim to chart a course that will encompass Mull, Canna, the Monach Islands and Mingulay as well as St Kilda. Along the coastline of Mull we’ll be looking out for Otter and White-tailed Eagle and on the Treshnish Islands we’ll enjoy the large numbers of breeding Puffins and other seabirds, all the while being watched by curious Grey Seals. As we sail around Rum and Canna we’ll keep a close eye on the water for cetaceans — this is a very good area for Minke Whale sightings, and we may be lucky enough to see Risso’s or White-beaked Dolphin or even Orca at this time of year. One of the highlights of our cruise will be reaching the remote islands of the St Kilda group, which lie 64 kilometres off North Uist! We’ll land if weather permits, and enjoy the breathtaking spectacle of hundreds of thousands of seabirds before making our way back via the Monach Islands and Mingulay to Oban where our cruise ends.

Key Information
• Location - aboard the Hjalmar Bjorge exploring St. Kilda & the Hebrides
• Dates - 17th to 25th June 2024 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 10 (4 spaces available)
• Cost - from £3395
• Single Supplement - from £3395
• Booking - call Alison Steel at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, transportation and guiding (excluding food in Oban)

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Cornwall: Beavers, Choughs and Cetaceans - July 2024

Cornwall: Beavers, Choughs and Cetaceans Wildlife Tour

Dates - 16th to 20th July 2024

The beautiful county of Cornwall, with its majestic coastal cliffs, quaint seaside towns and rolling countryside delivers some of the finest wildlife sightings in the UK. During this holiday we will have a wonderful opportunity to not only learn about but hopefully to witness, European Beavers on a private reserve. Beavers were released on this site in June 2017, and after just two nights, had already started to build a dam. When on site, the owner will show us the fine structures that the Beavers have created, and with some luck, we hope to view these mammals at dusk. In addition, we will take a privately chartered vessel off the Cornish coastline to search for a variety of seabirds and cetaceans, with sightings perhaps comprising both Minke Whales and Ocean Sunfish (if weather permits a longer trip). We will also walk the spectacular coastline of The Lizard in search of Cornwall's most famed bird - the Chough. Gentle walks elsewhere will enable us to view a number of birds, butterflies and wildflowers, making this the perfect wildlife getaway.

Images all taken on Oliver's summer 2021 tour.

Key Information
• Location - The Lizard, Cornwall
• Dates - 16th to 20th July 2024
• Places - maximum of 7 (1 space available)
• Cost - from £1295
• Single supplement - from £295
• Booking - call Matt Eade at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - breakfast & dinner but lunches & snacks to be paid separately

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Mongolia's Snow Leopards

Mongolia's Snow Leopards

Dates - 31st July to 13th August 2024

This holiday is based in a remote site in Mongolia that offers an excellent chance of seeing Snow Leopard – and without having to brave the harsh physical and climatic conditions so often associated with viewing this secretive and much sought-after species. After a night in Ulaanbaatar we fly to the city of Khovd, then drive west to our ‘ger' camp for a 7-night stay in the foothills of the Altai Mountains. Our focus will be on finding Snow Leopards and enjoying the other wildlife of this remote and beautiful region which we hope will include Pallas’s Cat. We will visit nearby steppes in search of Saiga Antelope and Goitered Gazelles, as well as special Asian birds including Mongolian Ground Jay and Pallas’s Sandgrouse. Flying back to Ulaanbaatar we then have a 3-night stay at Hustai National Park, home of Przewalski’s Horse, Wolf and Pallas’s Cat before our final night in the capital.

Grading
Grade A/B. This is a relatively straightforward wildlife holiday with no trekking or demanding walks involved. However, it is likely that over the course of each day, we will cover several miles in total and sometimes over rough ground. A reasonable level of fitness is therefore required. We will travel into the mountains each day using 4 x 4 vehicles, and are likely to have some bumpy journeys to get to our target destination. It should also be noted that whilst we will sleeping at lower altitude, much of our time in the field will be spent at an altitude of 2000 – 3000 metres.

Key Information
• Location - Mongolia
• Dates - 31st July to 13th August 2024
• Places - maximum of 12 (fully booked)
• Cost - from £6995
• Single supplement - from £450
• Booking - call Tom Mabbett at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Cornwall: Beavers, Choughs and Cetaceans - September 2024

Cornwall: Beavers, Choughs and Cetaceans Wildlife Tour

Dates - 9th to 13th September 2024

The beautiful county of Cornwall, with its majestic coastal cliffs, quaint seaside towns and rolling countryside delivers some of the finest wildlife sightings in the UK. During this holiday we will have a wonderful opportunity to not only learn about but hopefully to witness, European Beavers on a private reserve. Beavers were released on this site in June 2017, and after just two nights, had already started to build a dam. When on site, the owner will show us the fine structures that the Beavers have created, and with some luck, we hope to view these mammals at dusk. In addition, we will take a privately chartered vessel off the Cornish coastline to search for a variety of seabirds and cetaceans, with sightings perhaps comprising both Minke Whales and Ocean Sunfish (if weather permits a longer trip). We will also walk the spectacular coastline of The Lizard in search of Cornwall's most famed bird - the Chough. Gentle walks elsewhere will enable us to view a number of birds, butterflies and wildflowers, making this the perfect wildlife getaway.

Images all taken on Oliver's summer 2021 tour.

Key Information
• Location - The Lizard, Cornwall
• Dates - 9th to 13th September 2024
• Places - maximum of 7 (6 spaces available)
• Cost - from £1295
• Single supplement - from £295
• Booking - call Matt Eade at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - breakfast & dinner but lunches & snacks to be paid separately

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Uganda Photo Tour - September 2024

Uganda - A Photography Tour

Dates - 16th to 29th September 2024

Uganda is a beautiful country and boasts over 340 mammal species and 1090 bird species have been recorded. Beginning our holiday at Lake Victoria, we'll then head west to Lake Mburo National Park where we'll look for avian rarities such as African Finfoot, as well as mammals that we are unlikely to encounter elsewhere. From here we'll travel south on a bumpy, scenic road to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, home to over 300 Mountain Gorillas, many other primates such as the attractive L'Hoest's Monkey, and an assortment of unusual birds. Queen Elizabeth National Park is our next stop; 'QE', as it is affectionately known, offers Uganda's best game viewing and a host of waterbirds. Our final stop is Kibale Forest, where we'll look for up to 11 species of primate, including Chimpanzees.

This will be Oliver's second visit to the country, following the inaugural tour in 2022. Oliver will be on hand with all you need for your photographic tour along with expert local wildlife guiding. Oliver has travelled many times to Africa so knows wildlife groups well and is excellent at finding and spotting species. With a keen eye for a photographic opportunity and no shortcuts on this epic adventure, we will aim to capture some of Africa's finest wildlife.

Please note this is not a hide-based wildlife photography holiday. We approach wildlife on foot and via boat, canoe and a nine-seater safari land cruiser, giving an intimate and flexible approach to our wildlife observation and photography.

The images here were all taken during the 2022 inaugural photographic tour.

Key Information
• Location - Uganda
• Dates - 16th to 29th September 2024 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 5 (fully booked)
• Cost - from £6995 (or from £6295 land cost only)
• Single Supplement - from £925
• Booking - call Alison Steel at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, transportation (see pricing) and guiding
• Extensions - can also be arranged by Naturetrek so please ask for details

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Scottish Highlands Photography Tour - October 2024

Autumn Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Tour

Dates - 26th October to 1st November 2024

This week long autumn tour focuses on some of the iconic species that can be found year round in the Scottish Highlands, from the Red Squirrels that bound around the forest floors to the montane species such as Mountain Hare and Red Deer.

We'll also take time to photograph woodland birds, visit a rookery where it's possible to capture some stunning black and white images, as well as seek out the graceful Whooper Swans that have returned to overwinter, not forgetting the stunning landscapes that we can find around us. Evening excursions will include a Pine Marten hide and possibly some astrophotography.

Images all taken on Oliver's autumn 2021 tour.

Key Information
• Location - Scottish Highlands
• Dates - 26th October to 1st November 2024 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 6 (4 spaces available)
• Cost - from £2195
• Single Supplement - check
• Booking - call Alison Steel at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, local transportation and guiding

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Naturetrek 6-Night Trips - November 2024

I will be leading overnight trips to the following locations with corresponding dates.

The Forest of Dean and Somerset Levels - 23rd to 29th November 2024 (7 spaces available)

To book please visit Naturetrek.

The Gambia in Style - January 2025

The Gambia in Style - Photography Special

Dates - 24th to 31st January 2025

For this leisurely wildlife photography holiday we will be based for seven nights at the superb Mandina Lodges, set within 1,000 acres of the Makasutu Cultural Forest and bordering the secluded mangrove-lined tributary of the River Gambia. From here we will have plenty of time to explore the surrounding habitats on foot and by boat, taking advantage of the fabulous photographic opportunities on offer. During our stay we are likely to encounter a wide variety of herons, egrets, waders, kingfishers, bush-shrikes, raptors and glossy starlings, plus a stunning kaleidoscope of sunbirds, rollers, bee-eaters and turacos. On two days we will travel out of Makasutu to nearby reserves, including the coastal habitats of Tanji.

Images all taken on Oliver's winter 2022 tour. For further images visit my Diary page.

Key Information
• Location - Mandina Lodges, Banjul, The Gambia
• Dates - 24th to 31st January 2025 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 8 (5 spaces available)
• Flights - included in the cost of the tour
• Cost - from £3195
• Single Supplement - from £1050
• Booking - call Barney Jones at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all breakfast & dinner, accommodation, transportation and guiding; lunches are not included

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Scotland Winter Photo Tour - February 2025

Scotland's Winter Wildlife Photography Tour

Dates - 11th to 17th February 2025

Some of the finest opportunities for photography in Britain are to be found in the Scottish Highlands and during this holiday we aim to photograph several charismatic mammal species that are rare or absent south of the Scottish border. In specific locations or from specialist hides we will photograph Red Squirrels, Crested Tit and Red Deer. On Dava Moor our target will be Red Grouse with its wonderfully colourful plumage which can look especially good photographed against a background of snow, and we'll journey to the Findhorn Valley to photograph another Scottish specialty, the Mountain Hare. We'll also visit the Moray Coast in search of wintering sea ducks and waders as well as ascend the slopes of Cairngorm in search of Ptarmigan and Snow Bunting.

Oliver will be your guide throughout the trip, collecting and returning you to Inverness and leading your tour to the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains. We will also be exploring other opportunities throughout the trip including the fabulous Findhorn Valley.

Images all taken on Oliver's winter 2022 tour.

Key Information
• Location - Scottish Highlands
• Dates - 11th to 17th February 2025 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 6 (spaces available)
• Cost - from £2395
• Single Supplement - from £345
• Booking - call Alison Steel at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, local transportation and guiding

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Thailand's Birds & Mammals - A Photographer's Paradise

Thailand's Birds & Mammals - A Photographer's Paradise

Dates - 24th February to 9th March 2025 (dates confirmed)

East Asia is a superb destination for the wildlife photographer, as countries in this region are catering for the rising demand of wildlife photography from their locals. The use of blinds, in often well-lit areas, are ideal to capture the perfect shot for a whole host of brightly-coloured birds and seldom-seen mammals. Thailand, with its myriad national parks and plethora of bird blinds is a stunning destination to patiently seek out species such as Blue Pitta, Kalij Pheasant, White-throated Rock Thrush and a variety of laughingthrushes and babblers coming to feed. These areas also attract the likes of Lesser Mouse Deer, while Asian Elephants are often encountered roaming the open fields. However, time will also be spent along tracks where many birds show particularly well. This tour will incorporate the finest national parks in the country, as well as giving a possibility of viewing one of the rarest birds in the world - the Spoon-billed Sandpiper.

This will be a slow-paced holiday with no level of fitness required. An expert UK-based wildlife photographer will also be joining you on this tour, along with a local Thai expert photographer, ensuring this tour is perfect for beginners or experienced photographers alike.

Key Information
• Location - Thailand
• Dates - 24th February to 9th March 2025 (dates confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 5 (3 spaces available)
• Cost - from £5995 (or from £5395 land based only)
• Single Supplement - from £285
• Booking - call Matt Eade at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, transportation and guiding

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Western Pacific Odyssey - March 2025

Western Pacific Odyssey

Dates - 10th March to 7th April 2025

Known in birding circles simply as the 'WPO', this expedition incorporates many of the key birding areas in the Southwest Pacific. This expedition offers the opportunity to see some of the rarest pelagic seabirds in the world, plus many island endemics and an outstanding list of cetaceans, while there is also so much more to enjoy for anyone interested in taking a leisurely expedition cruise through a transect of the Pacific Ocean. Remote beaches, glowing tropical sunsets (with maybe a green flash or two!), flying fish, towering tropical rainforests and wild and remote oceans are just a few of the treats in store.

This is a unique and very special tour and one that will leave you breathless after an epic voyage and some incredible wildlife. Oliver has sailed to the Antarctic and Arctic as well as travelled to over 50 countries in pursuit of wildlife, so he is well placed to lead you on this Pacific adventure.

Key Information
• Location - Sailing from New Zealand to Japan & visiting numerous islands including Norfolk Island, New Caledonia, The Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea & Japan's Bonin Islands.
• Dates - 10th March to 7th April 2025 (confirmed)
• Places - minimum 10 spaces available (spaces available)
• Flights - included in the cost of the tour
• Cost - from £11,595 (land cost only £10,495)
• Single Supplement - call Matt Eade to discuss cabin options
• Booking - call Matt Eade at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food included onboard, accommodation, transportation and guiding

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Mull's Otters & Eagles Tour - April 2025

Mull's Otters & Eagles - A Photography Tour

Dates - 14th to 19th April 2025

The Hebridean island of Mull boasts nearly 300 miles of coastline, and just about every inch offers a scenic photographic opportunity. In April the tussle between winter and spring is in full swing, adding the full gamut of light and shade, and every kind of weather to this inspiring landscape. Not only that, Mull is also home to some of Britain's most iconic wildlife, from the magnificent White-tailed Eagles that are easy to see from a boat trip plunge-diving into the water, to the herds of Red Deer that haunt the glens, to the playful Otters that forage just offshore.

We will also be visiting Staffa, the Treshnish Isles and Iona to capture the magic of seabirds and other wildlife.

Expert photographer Oliver will help you get the best out of this thrilling week of photographic adventure!

Images all taken on Oliver's two spring 2022 tours.

Key Information
• Location - Mull, Scotland
• Dates - 14th to 19th April 2025 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 6 (3 spaces available)
• Cost - from £1995 (inclusive of ferry crossing)
• Single Supplement - from £495
• Booking - call Alison Steel at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, transportation and guiding

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

Naturetrek 3-Night Trips - May 2025

I will be leading overnight trips to the following locations with corresponding dates.

Exmoor National Park - 23rd to 26th May 2025

This short spring tour will explore areas in the north of Exmoor as we look for breeding birds, butterflies and other wildlife that inhabit the ancient woodlands, combes and moorland. Spring is an excellent time to visit when migrant birds, including warblers and flycatchers, return to swell the song of our resident species, nesting is in full swing and young mammals emerge into the world.

The tour will also focus on some overnight wildlife too, including moth trapping and bat walks along with an evening looking for Nightjar and Tawny Owl.

Images all taken on Oliver's 2023 tour.

Key Information
• Location - Exmoor National Park, Somerset
• Dates - 24th to 27th May 2024 (confirmed)
• Places - maximum of 7 (6 spaces available)
• Cost - from £795
• Single Supplement - from £120
• Booking - call Barney Jones at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - breakfast & dinner but lunches & snacks to be paid separately

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Madagascar - September 2025

Madagascar: A Wildlife Photography Tour

Dates - 8th to 27th September 2025

By any measure, Madagascar ranks amongst the most extraordinary countries on Earth. The fourth largest island in the world, it has been isolated from all other landmasses for some 80 million years. During that time, a dazzling array of endemic birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and plants have evolved, almost all of which are found nowhere else in the world. Madagascar has all of the world's species of lemurs (of which there are over 100, and still more being discovered!), half of the world's chameleon species and six out of eight baobab species. The entire native terrestrial mammal fauna has evolved from just four colonists (one primate, one rodent, one insectivore and one carnivore) that are thought to have completed the perilous journey to Madagascar, by chance, on rafts of vegetation. Then, over tens of millions of years, these early pioneers evolved into over 100 living species, filling all manner of ecological niches across the island, and all are found nowhere else on Earth.

This tour has been specifically designed to maximise photographic opportunities, and we will explore and photograph several of the most spectacular locations and endemic species by both day and night. It will be led by an expert wildlife photographer, and our carefully constructed programme will be complemented by detailed guidance on locations and photographic settings to use for each subject.

The images here were all taken during my 2023 visit for Naturetrek.

Key Information
• Location - Madagascar
• Dates - 8th to 27th September 2025
• Places - maximum of 5 (2 spaces available)
• Cost - from £9595 (land cost only £8695)
• Single Supplement - from £950
• Booking - call Barney Jones at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included - all food, accommodation, transportation (see pricing) and guiding
• Extensions - can also be arranged by Naturetrek so please ask for details

For the full itinerary, prices and further details on the running of the trip please visit Naturetrek.

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