AndBeyond launches itineraries for the birds

Conservation-led luxury travel company AndBeyond has partnered with high-quality optics manufacturer Swarovski Optik to create a selection of specialized itineraries catering to birding fanatics and their nonbirding companions.

Specially curated for couples where one is an avid bird-watcher and the other is not, the limited-edition, set-departure journeys explore some of the best birding and scenic destinations in South Africa and Botswana. Travelers are accompanied by birding guides who will provide keen bird-watchers with the opportunity to expand their knowledge. At the same time, nonbirders can delve deep into each destination with a variety of experiences that immerse them in local culture, spectacular wildlife and unforgettable natural wonders.

Something for nonbirders, too

Beyond Average Birding in South Africa combines the cosmopolitan and scenic attractions of Cape Town with Big Five safari in KwaZulu-Natal, all while exploring some of the country’s best known birding destinations. In Cape Town, avid birders can set out in search of pelagic species, explore the birdlife of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and scour the coastline in search of a variety of birds. Nonbirders can choose between whale-watching and shark cage diving, explore historical sites such as Robben Island and enjoy the city’s many other attractions. At the AndBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, birding fans can combine thrilling game drives with specialized birding trips that target the reserve’s diverse landscapes in search of some of its 411 species. Partners have the option to go scuba diving or snorkeling at nearby Sodwana Bay, set out in search of nesting turtles on the beach, explore the local Zulu community or find out more about the reserve’s exciting conservation work on a rhino, elephant or pangolin experience. Departing in November 2022, this nine-night adventure starts from approximately $8,380.

Bird-watching in Botswana

Another experience that combines birding and safari is the Beyond Average Birding in Botswana journey, which ventures from the Chobe River to the famed Okavango Delta. A paradise for bird-watchers, guests can immerse themselves in these two watery destinations, both of which attract a wealth of both resident and migrant bird species. Their traveling companions can enjoy a selection of wildlife safaris from many different vantage points, including photographic safari on a specially adapted riverboat, walking trails, dugout canoe trips in the Delta and a scenic helicopter flight over the waterways. Scheduled for May 2023, this eight-night adventure begins from $11,900.

Each of these set-departure itineraries travels in groups of 10 to 12 people and is accompanied by a specialist birding guide. In addition, guests benefit from the opportunity to choose their favorite Swarovski Optik binoculars from a selection of three of their latest models. These will be sent to their home prior to departure so they can familiarize themselves with the equipment ahead of time. Travelers will use the binoculars throughout their trip and will have the option to purchase them at the end of the journey. A special edition “Guides’ Journal” created by AndBeyond and featuring destination information, maps and wildlife illustrations will also arrive before the journey, allowing plenty of time for anticipation to build ahead of the trip.

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