Venezuela wildlife holiday

Description of Venezuela wildlife holiday

Join experts and go in search of huge Green Anacondas of the wonderful Los Llanos as well as exploring some of Venezuela's best herpetological destinations in search of reptiles and amphibians.

Introduction:

We are specialists in tailoring wildlife watching and especially herpetology tours all over the world. To develop our range of fantastic herping holidays we offer we have spent years searching the world’s best wildlife watching locations as well as visiting some seldom visited areas. As a result we have created some great itineraries with the combined help of our zoologist guides, local experts and scientists studying various rare and unusual reptiles and amphibians. When it comes to herping there are very few better destinations that Venezuela, and on this tour we will be visiting a variety of wonderful and diverse habitats. The Merida Cloud Forests are one of the most diverse habitats for reptiles and amphibians in the world and is home to some of the least understood frogs and toads. They make the most of this habitat as the cloud forest is perpetually damp and perfect for amphibians. We also travel to the Los Frailes region, here you will ascend past the cloud forests and into the moorlands in search of more frogs and reptiles before finishing in the wonderful and reptile paradise that is Los Llanos. Los Llanos is an unforgettable location, huge expanses of swamp and grassland as far as the eye can see. This really is one of the best places in the world for reptiles and as well as the green anaconda (which lives here in higher concentrations than anywhere else in the world) there are iguanas, anoles, boas, turtles, caimans and this is the last stronghold of the impressive Orinoco crocodile. All of our tours are guided by our professional zoologist or naturalist so you are sure to be in the best hands possible for the best sightings. We also have a great network of local guides in South America who have developed a great range of wildlife watching locations where the rarest species are commonly seen. To make the most of this tour and the reptiles & amphibians that are here we will spend many hours during the early morning and late afternoon on jeep safaris, boat tours and guided walks around the area but also after dark we will continue our search with high powered spotlights as the night is the real realm of herpetologists and their quarry. One of the reasons why our wildlife watching tours are unique is that our background (as a company) is from a scientific and zoological standpoint and so have a great network of colleagues and contacts all over the world who are the people on the front line in search of the best new locations for wildlife watching (particularly reptiles and amphibians). All of these reasons and many more make us experts in arranging safaris and are able to tailor a safari to any location to try to find your targeted species. All you have to do is to get in touch with your budget and your group size and where you would like to go to try and find rare and elusive reptiles and amphibians.

Price Includes:

Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) where mentioned in the below itinerary. There will be bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private air conditioned 4x4 vehicles with an excellent local driver for all transfers. We use two brilliant guides where available; first a professional zoologist or local naturalist will escort you on all your excursions and also a very knowledgeable English speaking local herpetology guide who decades of experience working and guiding through Venezuela he will also act as driver for all transfers. Your zoologist escort or naturalist is an expert in herpetological biology and behaviour and will be able to help you identify the different species as well as interpret you what behaviours you are seeing. The local guides have spent years searching out the best reptile and amphibian watching locations and have an unrivalled knowledge of where some of the most elusive reptiles and amphibians are such as green anacondas, mata matas and Orinoco crocodiles. We also include all vehicle safaris, guided walks, spotlighting drives, night walks, park entrance fees and sightseeing entrance fees. We include more time spent in the field searching for reptiles and amphibians per day than any other tour operator around; only if you request to have a rest day will we not arrange a safari into the swamps, rainforests, cloud forests etc to search for reptiles, amphibians and other wildlife. A comprehensive species list (which states the relative chances of seeing animals based on past tours) is included in the pre-departure pack. There is also a reference book library available for your use throughout the trip as well as some documentaries on anacondas which are available to watch throughout the tour.

Seasons:

Between November – April is the best time to visit Los Llanos for wildlife as it is the dry season. As the Los Llanos is the main focus of this tour as this is where we should find the giant green anacondas and the best time to visit these wetlands is during the long dry season (from November – April), the later you can go in the dry season the better really as water levels will be at their lowest and wildlife aggregates in the dwindling remnants of water. This is also the green anaconda breeding season so they are more active during this period and the low water means they have fewer places to hide.

Why Choose this Tour:

• All of our wildlife watching holidays are guided by a zoologist or specialist naturalist as well as local guides, drivers and also scientists or researchers where possible, this not only gives you numerous sets of trained eyes to find the animals but also gives you the chance to understand the behaviours and habits of the wildlife your watching.
• Our zoologist (please check the availability of this tours zoologist when enquiring) that escorts all our herpetology tours has great experience working with and studying wild animals all over the world and has experience in working on Neo-Tropical reptile & amphibian conservation and research projects.
• We can offer you spotlighting trips of Venezuela so that you can search for the rarer species and other nocturnal wildlife when they are more active, as most reptiles and amphibians are more active at night this is key in searching out particular species.
• We can also bring thermal imaging and night vision equipment (on request) to also aid in finding the nocturnal reptiles & amphibians after dark.
• We use camera traps (where available) which will increase the chances of getting close up pictures and movies of rare animals and other rare nocturnal wildlife.
• Most of the accommodation that we use here is privately owned lodges that only have small capacities and are seldom visited by anyone. Many of these ranches have resident animals which are very hard to see elsewhere (such as rare species of frogs and snakes).
• Where possible we enlist the help of local researchers who are studying some of the species here to help us find them. In the past we have used anaconda researchers which have increased our chances of seeing some of these incredible species.
• All the above reasons give this our wildlife watching tours of South and Central America a great success rate of seeing rare and targeted species. We have an unrivalled network of experts and guides throughout Venezuela so that we can try and find and observe animals such as green anacondas, boa constrictors, lanceheads, poison-dart frogs, rain frogs, spectacled caiman, Orinoco crocodiles, dairy frogs, iguanas and hundreds other endangered, rare or endemic species throughout South and Central America. Whether it is the Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Belize or any of the other many wildlife watching locations you want to visit we can arrange it. Please inform us if you wish to receive more information about any of these locations and booking a herpetology tour or any wildlife watching safari.
• Unlike many tour operators we are willing to run this tour for a single person (on request).

Locations:

On our quest to find as many species of reptiles and amphibians we will be travelling to cloud forests, high altitude moorland as well as the incredible lowland grasslands and wetlands of Los Llanos.

Fitness Level:

There is a fair amount of walking on this tour, however it is not considered trekking and is all done at a slow pace. Other than these walks most of the wildlife watching will be done from vehicles and boats. So no special fitness level is required as long as you are comfortable walking for a couple of hours at a time.

Equipment:

When you book onto the tour we will send you a comprehensive pre-departure pack which will include a full packing list of recommended equipment; the equipment list will vary from tour to tour and from location to location so it is best to contact us or wait until you receive the pre-departure pack after booking.

Minimum Age: 18 Years Old

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Venezuela wildlife holiday

Environment

In Venezuela we (as with everywhere we go) we carefully choose accommodation, supplies and transportation that either minimises its effect on the environment or helps to contribute to its sustainable development. By choosing small, privately owned accommodation where possible we also look to only stay in truly eco-lodges that abide by basic and also pioneering methods of ecological sustainability. Where possible, we make sure that the lodges, camps and ranches that we use support local projects for the protection of the wildlife and local communities which rely on tourism as the principal source of income. In fact the Hato Cedral that we use in Los Llanos is world renowned and has played host to many National Geographic documentary film crews as well as numerous studies on the wildlife and ecosystem here. Hato Cedral as with many of the places that we stay whilst in Venezuela are small privately owned places that are more concerned with quality than quantity and as a result they are very ethical in their approach. Most use solar power electricity and water recycling pumps as well as making sure that all the food consumed is produced locally. We also contribute and participate in as many studies that the local researchers are conducting as possible. By enlisting the help of anaconda and crocodile researchers we are able to directly contribute to their continued studies and help to establish long term research.
At the end of each we offset our carbon footprint (based on the number of tours we have completed and the number of passengers we have taken with us), with the Carbon Trust.

Wildlife Promise:

The conservation history of most of Venezuela is chequered a lot of the wildlife was hunted extensively; especially around Los Llanos for many years. But thanks to the patient work of a couple of ranches (including Hato Cedral) the local wildlife is being protected. Hato Cedral is the ranch that we use in Los Llanos and they have been protecting its wildlife for over 25 years and as a result the area is full of animals and birds. All of this is means that there are good numbers of iguanas, red howler monkeys, caimans, crocodiles, capybaras and the illusive anaconda close by. By bringing people here with a professional zoologist as well as professional local guides we aim to showcase the environment in full but also to allow you to learn about the problems facing the ecosystems here and highlight the ways that continued development and human exploitation are affect the species and how cutting edge research is countering the problems as well as showing you examples of success stories. We also keep a record of all the great sightings we see on each tour and record the environmental factors, this data is used by ourselves but also given to the researchers who are working on many of these species. All the information collected in invaluable as the knowledge of some of the animals that live here are little understood. We also donate our pictures to the researchers to aid in their photo identification studies.

Community

As with any of our tours of South America and elsewhere in the world we always employ local guides and drivers. They have a much better local knowledge and also helps to bring in revenue sources to the local community. All of the accommodations that we stay in whilst in Venezuela we make sure that all our resources such as food, drink and equipment is locally sourced and we are always looking for ways to introduce local people into a guiding career. South America has been doing this very well for the last decade or so and it is quite common to have local guides taking you into the reserves. We think that by employing local guides we have encouraging a future generation to follow this career. Many of the accommodations that we use are involved in community based projects and schools in particular. Many of the projects that are funded by people staying here are geared towards helping the local people of the Los Llanos (and other areas we visit) deal with an increasingly developed world and how they can continue to live in harmony with the wildlife and environment into this technological age. Where possible we also employ the services of local researchers and scientists who are studying species like green anacondas and Orinoco crocodiles. This increases their funding for much needed studies. Where ever possible we also hire the services of indigenous guides to take our groups as this helps to stop them becoming marginalised and also provides an income in return for them maintaining traditional and sustainable ways of life. We also encourage the purchasing of local handicrafts which are all created in a sustainable way and provide great unique souvenirs.

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