I thought I’d just write a few short notes about our recent trip to Nicaragua (February 2016). The trip was a fantastic success producing a monster list of mammals, birds and reptiles. Highlights for me were Northern Tamandua, Mexican Porcupine, Zeledon’s Mouse Opossum, Smoky Bat and the legendary Spectral Bat. We had a hugely enjoyable adventure in a country where eco-tourism is still in its infancy and where a lot of the time we had wild places all to ourselves.
The trip was led superbly by Fiona Reid, an acknowledged expert on the mammals of Central America and a brilliant artist. I have traveled the world for some twenty-five years looking at mammals and in that time I have used many guides. But Fiona is without question the most knowledgeable guide I have ever traveled with. Her ability to find and accurately identify bats and small mammals in the field is quite remarkable. At the same time I don’t think I have ever met someone so modest or matter-of-fact about it. On Fiona’s trips the animals are the stars of the show not the people gawping at them!
On a practical note, the trip was very well organised. The local guides who assisted us were quite fantastic and a lot of fun. The accommodation and food were generally pretty good, considering that we were often in very remote areas and that our propensity to be out at all hours of the day and night often demanded a lot of local services. On one occasion, while out late looking for Yapok deep in the forest, we had a sumptuous dinner ferried upstream to us!
So, for those interested in seeing the more interesting and elusive mammals of Central America, I could not recommend this trip highly enough. Steve M., U.K.
My recent trip to Nicaragua (Feb 2016) with Fiona Reid was another fantastic feast of wildlife sightings.
As usual, Fiona put considerable effort into catching and identifying a vast array of bats and small mammals – in other words, the groups that most ‘wildlife trips’ avoid ! This is without doubt, a key component in the success of her trips from my perspective…
Fiona is a delight to travel with – informative without being patronising, and yet still considerate to the interests and day to day need of her clients.
I’m already looking forward to my next trip ! Karen B., UK
“Fiona led a wonderful trip to Nicaragua this past March (2014). Everything was perfect. I added 12 new mammal species to my list and 15 new birds. I have not been on a tour that focused mostly on mammals but was hoping to see several species that we ended up getting great looks at. I was looking forward to doing the bat netting at night and it was so cool to see all the different bats so close. Having been a fan of her field guides for years it was a real treat to meet and go on a tour with her. I hope in the near future I can go on one of her tours and repeat the success we had on this trip. I highly recommend anyone, especially people into mammals, going on her tours. You won’t be let down.”
Andrew B., New York
“My husband and I took a trip that Fiona Reid was leading this past June to Southern Brazil that was one of the very best of many nature tours that I have taken. We saw a remarkably wide variety of birds and mammals, some of which were so unlikely I didn’t even really hope to see them, such as the Tapir, Ocelot, and the Maned Wolf. But it was not only the quantity and variety of species seen, it was also the quality of the looks at them, all engaged in the undisturbed behaviours typical of their species. In very many instances after the vehicle had come to a halt, we could just sit and gaze and gaze and then sigh with consummate satisfaction. It is such a privilege to be able to visit nature in such a way, but it adds greatly to the success of such a trip to have a proficient leader, one who is knowledgeable, and also one who is so friendly.”
K.W., New York
Dear Fiona …a big thank you for giving us such a wonderful holiday. Our friends and family are amazed at the knowledge we have acquired from your trip! Lets hope we can still remember it by next year! It was truly one of the best trips we have been on and would love to come with you again.
We thought you were brilliant, not only in your profound knowledge of the Amazonian flora and fauna, but the organization was superbly run. We loved the way we were quickly herded through the fish market in Manaus! We would also like to say a few words of praise for Sophie and Sandra: good companions and very knowledgeable. Lastly (ladies first) Junior, our captain, was fantastic, he worked so hard for us. His knowledge of the Amazon, it’s wild life, the people, his energy, enthusiasm and good humor were much appreciated. He not only ran the everyday functioning of the boat, he has also managed to acquire loyalty from hard working staff which was noticed and admired. The staff were kind, friendly, helpful and a pleasure to be with, we loved them all.
Peter and Val, London
Feb 2009 Amazon River Adventure