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Notes on the WorldTwitch Travel Pages

The Worldtwitch Bird Tour Companies & Lodges pages are compilations of links to the websites of birding tour companies (liberally construed) and lodges and other accommodations that may be appealing to world birders. There are separate pages for

Central & South America (minus Brazil, Belize and Costa Rica) & the Caribbean

Brazil

Belize

Costa Rica

Asia (minus Thailand and Malaysia), the Pacific & the Middle East

Thailand

Malaysia

Africa

Relatively few tour companies and lodges cater specifically to birders. Indeed, if you are an experienced birder and prepare for your trip, you will arrive knowing more about the local birds than any of the staff at most "ecolodges" or the leaders of most general, "natural history" tours. In contrast, the top bird tour leaders are extremely knowledgeable and capable in the field, and some lodges have resident bird experts. (Example: in 1992 at La Selva Lodge, Ecuador, Giovanni Rivandeniera (no longer there) absorbed our want lists and methodically took us from bird to needed bird over the course of a week.)

While most of the websites unfortunately are virtually useless, some include bird checklists, detailed itineraries, photo galleries, maps, and other useful information. Even the basic sites that aren't totally unintelligible usually enable one to identify accommodations mentioned in trip reports. I have in many cases deep linked to bypass the all too prevalent and counterproductive graphical splash screens on lodge index pages.

Link rot is especially common on these pages. It is impossible to keep up with all the URL changes, so if a link doesn't work, try backspacing the URL to the pure domain, then add various combinations of /index, default, and main plus .htm and .html. If a site on a third-party domain has gone dead, try the name of the company or lodge as the domain name. When pages have gone down, you can sometimes retrieve a cached copy out of Google or Archive.org.

I have given up attempting to maintain detailed links to some incompetently maintained websites. For example, I once posted direct links to the most interesting nature reserves in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. However, KwaZulu Wildlife overhauled their website, making it much worse and obliterating all the deep links. Their new site is frustratingly inept, with disappearing JavaScript menus that fail to display properly on high res setups. Rebuilding the links simply wasn't worth the effort, particularly since the website probably will be rewritten again if anyone in authority ever looks at it.

Most links are to first-party websites, if they are known to exist. If a third-party site offers significant useful information not found on the company's own site, I have linked to the alternative site or to both sites.

Webmasters should avoid using "ad" or "ads" in their URLs, since ad blocking software will blank out the links. For example, see (or rather don't see) the Musungwa Lodge page on Africa InSites.

A lodge's environmental practices are irrelevant to listing here. Twitchers are unlikely to be interested in an accommodation simply because it recycles the garbage. Indeed, places with environmentally questionable practices sometimes offer better birding opportunities. (E.g., the Temerloh Bungalow at Fraser's Hill, Malaysia, where I saw Rusty-naped Pittas, Malay Whistling-Thrush and other forest skulkers feeding on the rubbish tip downslope from the kitchen.) In any event, most birders would have no interest in staying at the ultra-destructive mega-resorts, such as Club Med.

Unlike any commercial directory, I will post links next to the main lodge listing to articles about environmental damages caused by the lodge. See, e.g., the listing for the Copamarina Beach Resort in Guánica, Puerto Rico, a convicted polluter, where most birders stay when visiting the Guánica Reserve, an excellent site for Puerto Rican Whippoorwill.


Copyright © 2000 - 2004 John Wall


Copyright © 1992-2012 John Wall