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September 2021

Shetland: Autumn Bird Migration

Dates - 22nd to 30th September & 30th September to 10th October 2021

Autumn is an exciting season in which to be birdwatching. Shetland is arguably one of the best archipelagos in the UK for an abundance of passing migrants and rare vagrants that have tracked westwards from Scandinavia. Amongst the more common species which we hope to see on this tour, there is quite often a scarcity or two to be found, making this an enthralling time to be on these spectacular islands! Being perfectly positioned at the island's 'capital' of Lerwick throughout this tour, we will also aim to visit a handful of the many outer islands, possibly including Bressay, Fetlar, Unst and Yell. Of course, we will be keeping a close eye on the local bird news services in case a rarity is found and, if within striking distance, we will attempt to see the bird in question, although arguably part of the fun of birding these islands in September is to find our own species! It's not just birds we will be hoping to see, however; these islands support a healthy population of Otters, two species of seal and a number of passing cetaceans, including the possibility of a pod of Orca or Risso's Dolphin!

Daily walks, amongst incredible scenery, will aim to be around five or six miles, but please be prepared for occasional longer walks.

There are bound to be plentiful highlights during this trip as we casually cover a number of key sites across this wonderful archipelago and, with chances of rarities, even the seasoned birder might be in for a surprise or two.

Key Information
• Location – Shetland Isles
• Dates – 22nd to 30th September 2021 & 30th September to 10th October (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 8 (one space available on both trips)
• Cost – £1495
• Single Supplement – £250
• Booking – call Matt Eade at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included – breakfast & dinner but lunches to be paid separately

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

Scottish Highlands Photography Tour - November 2021

Autumn Wildlife of the Scottish Highlands Photography Tour

Dates - 30th October to 5th November 2021

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 some astrophotography.

Key Information
• Location – Scottish Highlands
• Dates – 30th October to 5th November 2021 (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 5 (fully booked)
• Cost – £1895
• 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 3-Night Trips - November 2021

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

Somerset's Winter Wildlife - 23rd-26th November 2021

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Naturetrek 3-Night Trips - February 2022

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

Somerset's Winter Wildlife - 7th-10th February 2022

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Scotland Winter Photo Tour - February 2022

Scotland's Winter Wildlife Photography Tour

Dates - 19th to 25th February 2022

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.

Key Information
• Location – Scottish Highlands
• Dates –19th to 25th February 2022 (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 6 (spaces available)
• Cost – £1795
• Single Supplement – £250
• Booking – call Kerrie Porteous 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.

Mull's Otters & Eagles Tour - April 2022

Mull's Otters & Eagles - A Photography Tour

Dates - 5th to 10th April 2022

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!

Key Information
• Location – Mull, Scotland
• Dates – 5th to 10th April 2022 (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 6 (one space available)
• Cost – £1695 (including ferry)
• Single Supplement – £100
• 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 2-Night Trips - May 2022

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

Exmoor National Park - 27th-29th May 2022

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Hungary Wildlife Tour - June 2022

Hungary's Great Mayfly Emergence

Dates - 15th to 22nd June 2022

Hungary still preserves some of the best natural areas in Europe due to less intensive farming practices and relatively little industrial development. Mayflies used to be abundant all over Europe, but river pollution and habitat destruction depleted them. Hungary however, still preserves a good population and the mass emergence which takes place along Tisza River in the second half of June is one of the most wonderful spectacles of nature. Hungary also offers an abundance of other wildlife including butterflies in large numbers, dragonflies, amphibians and reptiles. The birdlife in the visited areas is also extremely rich and we are likely to see such enigmatic birds as European Bee-eater, European Roller, Great Bustard, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Saker and Red-footed Falcon, Black Woodpecker among many others.

This two centre, 7-night tour is timed to witness a truly spectacular emergence of millions of the mayflies and other abundant wildlife along the Tisza River before driving to the Bükk Hills to explore the woodlands and meadows that are home to a wealth of nesting birds and butterflies on the wing. The opportunity to enjoy flower meadows and conduct small mammal and moth traps makes this a great tour for the all-round naturalist.

Oliver will be your guide throughout the trip, collecting and returning you to Budapest Airport and leading your tour to the wonderfully rich habitats near Lakitelek and the Bükk Hills.

Key Information
• Location – Lakitelek & Bükk Hills, Hungary
• Dates –15th to 22nd June 2022 (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 12 (spaces available)
• Cost – £2095 (or £1895 land based only)
• Single Supplement – £225
• Booking – call David Phillips 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.

Northumberland Photo Tour - June/July 2022

Northumberland & the Farne Islands Photography Tour

Dates - 29th June to 3th July and 4th to 8th July 2022

The Northumberland coast is photogenic — with mile upon mile of long sandy beaches and big skies, its broad vistas and moody, changeable cloud formations are pleasing to the eye … and the photographer’s lens! We’ll make daily excursions from our comfortable hotel base in search of the region’s wildlife, landscapes and castles. Our visits to the Farne Islands will provide excellent opportunities to photograph a tantalising array of seabirds at close range, from exquisite Arctic Terns to the ever-photogenic Puffins. Back on the mainland, our time will be spent photographing some of the county’s iconic castles, including Bamburgh, making the best use of light and tides to capture atmospheric images.

Oliver will be your guide throughout the trip, collecting and returning you to Newcastle and leading your tour to the famous Farne Islands for seabirds and Lindesfarne and Holy Island for landscapes. We will also be exploring other opportunities throughout the trip as time will be on our side with long daylight hours.

We will be saying in Bamburgh and Oliver will also help with additional post-processing if time permits and be on hand to assist in your image taking throughout the five day tour.

Key Information
• Location – Lindisfarne & Holy Island & Farne Islands
• Dates – 29th June to 3th July and 4th to 8th July 2022 (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 5 - 29th June (4 spaces available) & 4th (4 spaces available)
• Cost – £995
• Single Supplement – £60
• Booking – call Kerrie at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included – breakfast & dinner but lunches to be paid separately

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

Naturetrek 3-Night Trips - July 2022

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

Somerset's Summer Wildlife - 18th-21st July 2021

To book please visit Naturetrek.

Madagascar Photo Tour - September 2022

Wildlife Photographic Tour of Madagascar

Due to COVID-19 the tour has now been postponed until 2022. The details below are subject to change, however are correct as of 15th June 2021.

Working with Devon-based specialist wildlife tour company Reef & Rainforest, I will be joint leading an exciting photographic tour to Madagascar in 2021.


Dates - 1st to 15th September 2022

Guides - The tour will be led by Oliver along with wildlife expert Daniel Razafimandimby, who has over a decade of tourism & guiding experience in Madagascar. Daniel’s profound knowledge of Madagascar’s wildlife and Malagasy culture combined with his natural charm and excellent spoken English will greatly enhance your knowledge of your surroundings and enjoyment of the tour.

Tutor - Photographic tuition by professional wildlife photographer & naturalist Oliver Smart. Oliver will give full photographic guidance throughout the trip and also offer Adobe Lightroom tuition for those who wish to learn the best ways to process your images taken on the trip.

Daily itinerary - Bizarre & extraordinary is what differentiates Madagascar from anywhere else on the planet. This tour takes in many key habitats to find and photograph some of the unique and wonderful wildlife, dramatic landscapes and intriguing culture.

Key Locations - We will be visiting some of the most beautiful and productive wildlife sites in the country including Berenty, Kirindy, Perinet (Vohimana), Mantadia National Park and Le Palmarium Reserve.

Key Information
• Location – Various (see above)
• Dates – 1st to 15th September 2022 (confirmed)
• Flights – international flights are not included in the tour price however Reef & Rainforest can help you with booking these as required. All internal flights are included
• Places – maximum of 8 (4 spaces available)
• Cost – see Reef & Rainforest's website
• Single Supplement – see Reef & Rainforest's website. Please also advise if you are willing to room-share
• Booking – call Reef & Rainforest on +44 1803 866965 to book your place
• Extensions – additional options are available if you wish to extend the tour and take in other locations (e.g. Nozy Be, Ifaty etc.)
• Included – all internal flights, accommodation and food, airport transfers, ground transportation, guiding and photographic tuition
• Not Included – alcoholic beverages (except selected drinks at some lodges), travel insurance, tipping & any other items of a personal nature
• Medical - please speak with Reef & Rainforest to discuss your personal medical background, vaccinations & high altitude travel
• Internet Access – WiFi available in the majority of locations

Trip Details - The full itinerary is now available. For more information on this specific tour please view the itinerary at Reef & Rainforest or by phone on +44 1803 866965 and speak to Ian Loyd.

If interested in future tours with Oliver or would like to be added to a reserve list then please call +44 7802 417810 or email Oliver Smart for more information.

This slideshow selection shows images taken from Oliver's last visit to the country.

Uganda Photo Tour - September 2022

Uganda - Mammals & Mountains Photography Special

Dates - 26th September to 9th October 2022

Uganda is a beautiful country and boasts over 340 mammal species. 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.

Although this will be Oliver's first time to the country, he 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.

Key Information
• Location – Uganda
• Dates –26th September to 9th October 2022 (confirmed)
• Places – maximum of 5 (4 spaces available)
• Cost – £5995 (land cost only £5395)
• Single Supplement – £925
• Booking – call Alison Steel at Naturetrek on +44 1962 733051 to book your place
• Included – all food, accommodation, transportation (see pricing) and guiding

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

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