Information about Tanager Tours
David Geale is a life-long Canadian birdwatcher, spent his time with birdwatching in Peru since 2001. In that year he led tours to many areas in Peru for other companies and in 2002 he became the principal bird guide for Tanager Tours.
Now- 8 years later - David is one of the best bird guides in Peru and in other South American countries. His knowledge of birds and bird sounds is remarkable and our customers write us always about his amazing skills. Since 2010 David has become involved in planning tours with prospective clients. From 2011 on David will lead the company and will guide only a limited number of tours, mostly fixed departures.
Miguel Lezama is a licensed Peruvian tour guide who has been studying the birds at Pantiacolla Lodge since 2007. In 2009 he accompanied David on trips in Manu. In 2010 he will go on with his preparation as a bird guide also in areas outside Manu. In 2011 he will be the main guide for our Manu Tours.
Eduardo Ormaeche is a free lance bird guide. He has already 10 years experience in different parts of Peru: Tambopata, Central-Peru and Nothern Peru. He will be our main guide for N-Peru, the area that he knows best
Jan Kelchtermans is a 35 year old teacher from Belgium. After have seen 600 species in Europe, he expanded his horizon mainly into world birding and large carnivores. After his first meeting in Costa Rica with the phenomenon called bird flock, the Neotropics became his favorite birding destination. He visited Venezuela (2x), Ecuador, Peru (2x) and Colombia. He visited also Thailand, California, Australia & Uganda and has now a world list of more than 4000 species. After his succesful and independent trip to Nothern Peru last year, Jan guides the same trip for Tanager Tours in December 2010, in an adapted and improved version too see as much endemics as possible.
Ccahuana (Juve) began work as a driver for bird watching groups
a long time ago. Since 2002 he forms -with Wim and David- the heart of Tanager Tours. Nowadays he has an unrivalled knowledge of nearly
all the established birding sites in Peru. He functions as a driver as well
as a second guide. Juve is able to find the real skulkers and hidden birds, even better than most of the bird guides. For trips in Central - and North Peru we send him often
without a guide. His knowledge of english is really basic , so this is only an option for customers that speak some spanish or/and accept a lower level of communication.
Juve is a very safe driver and also an outstanding mechanic - an essential requirement on trips on Perus rough back-country roads.
Lucho Nuñez is our driver in Lima. He knows the birding sites near Lima and Nothern Peru very well. Lucho speaks english and is also able to do tours without guide.
Raul Zapata lives in Chiclayo and will be the driver for a part of our Nothern-Peru trips
Ral Cuela is the driver for the Arequipa area. His knowledge about the birds and the birding sites here makes an extra bird guide superfluous. The last years Raul has his own transport company with 4 buses and drivers, offering services to tourists also in other parts of Peru. But -being a real birder - he prefers to do the bird tours (as a driver) by himself.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do I have to take with me?
Aside from binoculars and photo-equipment (the important bird watcher stuff) we advise:
- flashlight with spare bulb and batteries,
- extra battery packs if using video-camera or digital camera
- sleeping bag (for the mountain area),
- day pack and water bottle,
- plastic bags (to keep everything dry),
- insect repellent and sunblock,
- a small medical kit,
- water resistant shoes, not necessarily boots,
- rain gear (the best is a simple poncho),
- sweater or jacket (for the higher altitude),
- long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
On the flight Cusco-Boca Manu there is a baggage limit of 10 kg. Please keep this in mind as excess baggage can be expensive.
What are the weather conditions?
In general the weather is fine with the exception of the period January till April. That is the mean rainy season in the mountain area as well as in the rain forest. It seldom rains the whole day and the bird activity can be very good but the major problem is that the unpaved roads are in bad condition.
The temperatures are comfortable. At higher altitudes it is pleasant in the daytime and cool at night. In the rainforest, the reverse is true. Generally speaking, it is not as hot as one might expect. Amazonia Lodge and Pantiacolla Lodge lie at an altitude of 450 m. and dont experience the heat of true lowland rainforest. When cold winds called "friajes" blow from the mountains it can feel strangely cold.
Is it dangerous in Peru?
No. The terrorist activity has virtually ended. The country has stabilised and is now a safe place in which to travel. Despite the problems with the elections in the year 2000 Perú continues in his process to be a recently started democracy. The cities, like all other cities in the world have problems with robbery, but it is not commonplace and seldom violent. Outside the cities, crime doesn't exist.
Is the trip dangerous, diseases etc.?
The boats and cars that we use are well maintained, the drivers are experienced. . The journey -however- is the most dangerous part of a trip, much more so than seldom encountered venemous snakes or the strange tropical diseases you could catch.
The incidence of Malaria is extremely low and there are few mosquitos at 450 m anyway. Mosquito nets are still provided in all the lodges. There is a far greater risk of being bitten by other insects such as the 2cm izula ant.
On the trails it is advisable to carry insect repellent (at least with 25 % DEET) even though it may not be necessary. The real problems are mainly irritations like the chiggers on the trails and the sand flies on the beach. They cause itching, but, you problems can avoided by covering exposed parts. Long pants, long sleeved shirts and socks are advised at all times.
And what about high-altitude sickness?
When you are going to the Junin area near Lima, the Colca Valley near Arequipa or the Abra Malaga pass near Cusco you are coming above the altitude of 4000 m. above sea level. The best is to acclimatise some days at an altitude of 3000 m. or more (for instance in Cusco) before going on a trip. The road to Manu is not a really big problem.
Send an e-mail to email@example.com
Markus Lagerqvist from Sweden:
Tanager Tours excellently arranged the first part of the trip. We never had any incidents and Wim ten Have turned out to be a good birder and very caring guide. Apart from Wim guiding us we also had our own driver and a good cook. See also his report.
Jay Lamb from the U.S.
I very much enjoyed my trip to Peru and wanted to say that you are an excellent guide. I have no reservations at all about recommending you to others.
Bernard van Elegem from Belgium
Mijn laatste zeven dagen waren net als de rest van de reis uitstekend. Juve is inderdaad een fantastische kerel.
Jan Vermeulen from the Netherlands
I think we all agreed that the trip was a success. This was due for the most of the part in a good group to travel, but also due to the professionalism and caring attitude of our guide Wim ten Have. He is the expert at Pantiacolla, knew every call and song and with his help we identied many species there. See also his report.
Ole Frederiksen from Denmark wrote to Wim
First of all we would like to thank you for an excellently planned tour of Southern Peru.
We were very impressed that everything was going so well. We are sure that we all had one of the best holidays that we have ever had - if not the best!
It was also because of your "staff" that everything went so well. From Juve to the two boatsmen and the people at the lodges. And coming to Arequipa and Lima we found that Raoul, Pilar ,and Lucho were very kind and clever guides, too. We really enjoyed being with them. Finally we want to say that we very much enjoyed your company during the fortnight we spent in the rainforest. We will recommend Tanager Tours to everyone who is planning to go on a birdwatching-trip to Peru.
Judy Lehmberg from the U.S.
I am the Lima airport waiting for my flight home and found an internet connection so I wanted to thank you again for a wonderful time. I have had a lot of experience with teachers and guides and it is very rare to find someone as talented as you and as nice. I will never forget this trip and the patience, enthusiasm and honesty you have displayed.
Diane Luck from the U.S.
We had a great trip and David is an excellent guide. His ability to identify bird songs and calls is amazing.
Rob Goldbach from the Netherlands
Wat mij betreft was het een zeer geslaagde onderneming! Hartelijk dank voor al je inzet voor ons. Dave deed het prima, al komt hij bescheiden over. Doordat je meteen goed contact met hem kunt hebben volgt er een soort kameraadschap wat voor ons, vogelaars, erg belangrijk is; liefst wil je dat de gids "one of us" is, en dat lukt hem goed.
Alan Brown from the U.K.
Thank you again for a great trip. Well organised (and particularly when you had to put in place the emergency contingency arrangements at the last minute), good company, brilliant driver/birder and most of all fantastic birding.
Helge Kvam from Norway
and thanks a lot for making our holidays to such a great experience!!! Everything was nice and without trouble, mainly because you and Juve organised it so well.
Dave Pearson from the U.S
Charlie, Rob and I thank you and Juvenal VERY much for the exciting bird trip and the excellent logistics and planning. It was independent enough so we felt like we were having to learn the birds well, but organized enough so we never felt over whelmed. Great job.
Alan Drewitt from the U.K.
Just a note to say thanks for organising our trip. We had a great time And saw nearly all of the target birds. Juve and Frank did a tremendous job and we were very impressed by their diligence, tenacity, patience and knowledge. Apart from a few vehicle problems (eventually overcome by Juve) we had A smooth trip and I will certainly recommend Tanager Tours to others intending a visit to Peru.
Jan van de Leur and Puc Relou from the Netherlands
Nu we weer terug thuis zijn en bijgekomen van de toch redelijk enerverende reis willen we je laten weten dat wij ontzettend hebben genoten en dat wij heel veel vogels hebben gezien die wij anders zeker zouden hebben gemist.
Stuart White from the U.K
We got back safe and sound after our 3 weeks in Peru, just to let you know we all had a fantastic time, and would have no hesitation in recommending your company to others hopefully we will get a trip report on the net soon and recommend your services.
I am sure you know, but we all think David is a brilliant guide, his knowledge of calls and general birding skills were first rate. The four of us have birded all over the world and used quite a few guides. Without a doubt he is the best any of us have met. He and Juve added a lot to our peruvian experience, and they were both very professional, helpful and friendly at all times.
Keith Shepherd from the U.K
You have an excellent guide in David, his enthusiasm was and helpfulness, not to mention his phenomenal birding skills, was great, and I was pleased that most of the group were able to keep up with his early morning starts and see a vast array of birds.
Henk Hendriks from the Netherlands
Ik wil je zeggen dat ik terugkijkend op mijn (onze) trip er in feite alleen maar goede herinneringen aan heb overgehouden. Niet alleen hebben we veel soorten gezien maar ook zeer veel "goede"soorten en dat alles in een goede sfeer zowel onder elkaar als met Juve.
Lauri Hanninen from Finland
Especially I'd like to mention David who was a superb guide. He was exceptional in finding birds, indentifying them, pointing them out to us and telling about their identification.
Furthermore Lucho was the most interesting person we met on the trip. We had a brilliant time with him.
Vicki and Jim King from the U.S.
After staring at a blank calendar for May and our wish list for a scarily long time, without knowing how to fit it altogether, we discovered Tanager Tours, owned by Wim ten-Have. Wim helped us figure out a way to organize our time so we could get to all of our birding destinations and the Inca Trail/Machu Picchu. Tanager Tours arranged all of our domestic flights and hotels, which very comfortable, reasonably-priced and well located. Tanager Tours also provided very competent driver-guides for two shorter trips: Lucho took us from Lima to the Paracas Peninsula and Raul picked us up in Puno and drove us to Chivay/Colca Canyon and then on to Arequippa. Both were helpful and knowledgeable guides and their vehicles were spacious and comfortable. Thanks to them, we were spared the trauma of renting a car and trying our survival skills in the crowded and chaotic traffic and on the difficult roads we often traveled.
Perhaps best of all, Tanager Tours organized our 13-day trip to the Manu Reserve area, which its website refers to as Manu Complete (Cusco to Puerto Maldonado, with a return flight to Cusco). Our guide was David Geale, who has lived in Peru for seven years and is very involved in conservation. David is only 25, but we were the 21st group he has guided in the Manu area. His comprehensive knowledge of the birds, excellent birding by ear skills, ability to spot the birds in the dense, often dimly lit forests, ability to describe where the birds were, and commitment to helping us see them – all made him an outstanding guide. Our driver for the five days we traveled down the Manu Road was Juvenal Ccahuana (Juve), who was utterly unflappable and an ace-birder as well. At the time of our trip, David's Peruvian list was over 1450 and Juve's was over 1400. After leaving the Manu Road, Tanager Tours provided us with a river boat and two boatmen for the rest of the trip. One ran the motor and steered from the stern while the second was stationed at the bow, with a 12' bamboo pole to use to help guide the boat in the shallows.
Fred Wickens from the U.K.
Just a short e-mail to let you know that we very much enjoyed our tours from Lima and Arequipa. All of the arrangements worked out fine and we were very happy with all of the help and support from Lucho, Edgardo, Raul and Miguel.
John Wells from Canada
I would like to thank you very much for the chance to join the north Peru tour at the last minute. The three British chaps and I made a good team and we had great looks at most of the target species. Many thanks go to Juve, Edgardo and Javier for their excellent guiding and driving and good company.
Niels Bomholt from Denmark
After 3 unforgettable weeks in Peru , we are now home in the cold Denmark.
We want to thank you. Everything went on very fine and according to plan. The accommodations were excellent. We will recommend Tanager Tours to everybody, and in our report, which we will write in Danish and set on the internet; we will of course also mention your company, the good guides, the good drivers and the fine logistic.
Luna Meng from Taiwan
All the members in the group felt very happy in the birding trip of Peru in 2009.
Thanks for your help. Let our birding trip in Manu without a single hitch. David and Juve both are very excellent and helpful. Therefore, I plan to arrange another group to do birding trip in the South-eastern Peru in 2010.
Jaap Eerdmans from the Netherlands
Wij zijn zeer tevreden over de trip, zeker nu het gelukt is om die fuut te pakken te krijgen. Anyway, dank David voor zijn uitstekende begeleiding. je mag trots zijn op zo´n medewerker, altijd paraat, scherp en bescheiden. We hebben dankzij hem veel endemen kunnen oprollen. Ook Juve did a great job!
Laura Matson from the U.S.
I wanted to add my praise and gratitude for everything about our trip. Wim, you did a great job working with us to plan a trip that included lots of birding and some great cultural experiences.
I think it is a huge advantage that David speaks English and is also fluent in Spanish. Juve's guiding skills have lots of potential but he needs to learn to speak English well enough to show clients how to find the birds which he is soooooo good at spotting!
Garry Bakker from the Netherlands
We hebben een geweldig drie weken achter de rug, de meeste dingen zijn soepel verlopen en onze totale soortenlijst (inclusief heard only) overstijgt de 700! Zowel met David en Juve als met Lucho hebben we een erg fijne tijd gehad. Ik heb het gevoel dat het ons aan niets ontbrak en we hebben erg efficient alle bezochte gebieden kunnen bevogelen. Complimenten verder voor de goede organisatie!
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