NEST Birding Tours is a tour operator specialized in bird watching holidays with elements of wildlife and cultural activities. The company provides a unique local experience in the country in which it operates by utilizing local expertise only to lead its tours, ensuring its clients get the best experience possible.
Member since: 18 Apr 2016
How the minimum criteria of the responsible travel standard was met...
- We only hire local guides only and all services utilized during the tours are local. These include (but not limited to) use of transportation providers, local chefs and cooks producing local/traditional food where applicable and stays are at local lodges (rather than international chains) where applicable.
- Additionally, tours go through areas where clients have the opportunity to “buy local”. These are built naturally into the tours. Our clients will never be asked to make a purchase, however, the tours are deliberately designed to take clients through these areas and expose them to opportunities to make purchases in support of local merchants if they so desire. A few examples are below:
- In India, tours go through local weaving and pottery communities where locals produce rugs and other customary/traditional items for sale.
- In Panama, tours pass through Cerro Punta for viewing of the Resplendent Quetzal. Cerro Punta was selected as the base for this as this tiny village is comprised of small markets where locals ply their trade. Our clients will have the opportunity to make purchases in these areas.
- ? In Ecuador our tours pass through Mindo, and near small markets in the Andes where clients are either taken for lunch or as a break during the quiet birding hours between 11 am and 3 pm. In Mindo, clients are taken to the traditional/local chocolate factory where the cost of a tour of the factory is included in our tour price.
- ? Examine all routes and operations and ensure the tours is utilizing vehicles only where necessary.
- ? Adhere and communicate all local environmental standards applicable to the business and ensure all Tour Leaders/Guides and individuals under contract are familiar with such standards where applicable.
- ? Ensure that reusable coolers are used to transport water for tour participants and reusable glasses and glass bottles are utilized during tours. Plastic/single use bottles are never to be used. The exception to this policy will be in India where purchased bottled water safe for drinking will be used only.
- ? Ensure that Tour Leaders/Guides are trained and/or familiar with local culture, customs, food, local conservation issues and efforts in their local communities. Ensure that Tour Leaders/Guides are capable of highlighting these aspects where appropriate and possess sufficient knowledge to be able to educate tour participants on the issues impacting bird and wildlife habitat and the role individuals can play in reducing any negative impact. Provide training where necessary.
- ? Tour Leaders/Guides must ensure that at no time our route, daily activities, participant’s activities or anything under our control during a tour have a negative impact on bird and wildlife habitat. Ensure that tour participants are informed about the company's No Flash Policy when photographing birds and wildlife.
- Our Hiring policy requires the use of local guides with in-depth knowledge of local culture and small local projects. Ours tours pass through large well known reserves established for preservation of birds and wildlife, however, we are also focused on supporting and bringing attention to the smaller reserves and conservation efforts established by local guides and native individuals.
- ? All tours take clients through reserves which have been built for preservation of birds and wildlife.
? All tours include an element of local/traditional food where possible. For example in Gujarat, India, the last day includes a “bush dinner” which is comprised of traditional Gujarati food and passes through the “Salt Flats” where locals have been mining salt and weaving as a tradition and livelihood.
- ? Guides are selected based on their knowledge of local birding spots as well as their knowledge of local culture so that they can transfer information about local culture and speak intelligently about these topics during the tour.
- ? Tours include visits to small preservation projects such as coffee farms which have been built specifically for traditional mountain grown coffee and for growing specific trees for birds and wildlife. Finca Hartmann is an example of this in Panama where our clients will visit. In Ecuador there is a local chocolate factory growing cocoa in the traditional way and carrying on the traditional chocolate making process. In India, our clients pass through the Himalayan Nature Society which includes reforestation of trees that produce fruits that the Pied Hornbill feeds on.