Testimonials

Testimonials

Birding Tour in Greece and Macedonia Apr 2017

Many thanks for such an interesting and enjoyable holiday. We were very lucky to have had such a variable wildlife – birds, flowers, butterflies etc; good company, weather, accommodation and a very careful chauffeur. The holiday lived up to all my expectations and hopes.
As someone who doesn't take a camera on the bird trips your CD is a wonderful souvenir. My thanks to you and Istvan for all the splendid photos.

Diane Timney, UK

Wildlife Holiday in Slovenia and Croatia May 2016

"We had a fantastic time on our vacation in Slovenia and Croatia! Milan was prompt, professional, flexible, polite and answered all our questions. He found us a multitude of wildlife to observe and photograph. He worked very hard to make sure we got good views of the wildlife. When the weather didn't cooperate, he was willing to take us to another location so that we had a better chance of seeing things and not wasting the day. He drove us safely to each location. He helped David keep an accurate list each day of all his pictures. We can not say enough good things about him as a guide and ambassador to your company.
Thank you for providing us with such a wonderful trip. We are very grateful for the opportunity."

Martha & David Goldstein, US

Small mammal holiday in Hungary and Slovakia August 2015

Dear Sandor, Thank you for looking after us so well and for showing us this lovely part of Hungary and its wildlife. The bats were amazing and such close views of two dormouse species and a Ural Owl were a fantastic bonus. Last night's Particoloured Bat and your enthusiasm will stay in our memories – bats need ambassadors like you!
Vicky Graham and David Holberton-Jones, UK

Bird Photography tours 2015

The service on site and the knowledge of my guide Istvan was awesome. I spent five very interesting and diversified days and was very pleased with my pictures.
Peter Raimann, Switzerland

Birding in Montenegro 2015 April

A great birding break. Habitats ranging from snowy mountains to Adriatic coastline. Birds seen reflect this variety. A very beautiful country and very friendly people made this a fantastic week. A well planned Eco-tour.
Ruth Day, UK

Attila is a real credit to your company – sensitive, knowledgeable, and with a sense of humour. His patience to explain workings of the optical equipment is superb. Thank you for a great trip!
Tim Hickling, UK

Montenegro is an underrated destination with dramatically different environments ranging from coastal to mountainous with a wide range of target species.
Martin Moore, UK

Birding tour in Ethiopia November 2014

I have wanted to visit Ethiopia since watching Jeffrey Boswall's Safari to Ethiopia on TV in a black & white as a small boy. I have previously been lucky enough to go birding in South Africa, Namibia & Kenya but Ethiopia was quite different. We had a great, trouble free trip, racking up nearly 500 species in 16 days including all of the possible endemics and all but one of the near endemics along with some great mammals including Ethiopian Wolf. This was down to the excellent ground arrangements and the hard work of both the Ecotours Wildlife Holidays guide & the local Ethiopian guide. Ethiopia is not Kenya so do not expect high quality hotels, restaurants, good roads or lots of big game. Do however expect friendly people, stunning views and lots of fantastic close views of the birds which after all is why I went.
Mike Powell, UK

I don’t think we ever got bored of the diverse range of habitats and breath-taking scenery as we travelled around Ethiopia and on balance, we all agreed that it was up there in one of the top couple of trips we had undertaken. Whilst the standards of a lot of the roads was poor, there appeared to be quite a bit of infra-structure work on-going, that may improve the routes to some sites over the next few years.
That said, some of the unpaved roads we travelled on offered a great opportunity to get amongst the birds and mammals. Even in the countryside, Ethiopia is very populous and we attracted people pretty much whenever we stopped. Trying to creep up on a Stresemann’s Bush-crow with 6 children in tow is definitely an acquired skill!
For the long drives, along some challenging roads, we are greatly indebted to the skill of our two main drivers, Cisse and Samson and towards the end of the trip, Samson’s replacement Ibrahim.
Our local guide Measho worked tirelessly throughout the trip constantly spotting birds whether on foot or in a moving vehicle. We are very grateful for his efforts. He also engaged in many hours of interesting discussion in the lead vehicle with AB and MCP about the culture and history of this fabulous country.
Finally, we would like to offer a huge thanks to Attila from Ecotours for pulling together an itinerary that did just as we had asked and maximised endemic and near-endemic opportunities, in a tight 16 day time frame. Attila worked very hard to ensure everyone saw all the birds. This in itself was a challenge, given our tendency to wander off in 4 different directions upon exiting the vehicles. The fact that no-one missed any of the key birds is testimony to both Attila’s patience and skills as a tour leader. Thanks Attila!
Richard Andrews, Alex Bevan, Phil Bristow & Mike Powell

Autumn bird watching in Hungary October 2014

We would like to thank you once again for a very enjoyable and, may we say from our point of view, a very successful trip. All accommodation, travel, your company and of course the birds seen were all first class. We would really have liked it to have lasted a bit longer. One thing we have enjoyed since arriving home is viewing your CD; it certainly stirred a few memories, particularly the Dotterels. Once again, many thanks
Pam and John Smallwood, UK

Bird watching in Turkey September 2014

Thank you so much for a superb trip it was really interesting seeing all the birds of prey over the Bosphorus that I had heard about for so many years. As usual with Ecotours Wildlife Holidays you were kind and considerate and pleasure to be with. Thank you again, do hope we will share another experience with you in the future!
Mary Abbot, UK

Autumn birding tours in Hungary September 2014

Bela is very enthusiastic and makes sure that everyone has the opportunity to see each bird he finds. Balazs is a master birder with fantastic ID skills and astonishing ability to emulate bird calls. This was an excellent birding trip and a most enjoyable experience. The end-of-trip DVD is an inspired idea and a really good way to remember a great holiday.
Rex Beckett, UK

My husband and I had a wondrous and very enjoyable birding trip to the Hortobagy National Park and will treasure many memories of our experience. Starting with the moment we got to Lake Tisza and seeing the bright jewel blue iridescent flash of a Kingfisher, to having several minutes of a close-up view of the large Green Woodpecker hammering on a pole his territorial rights to the world, the incredible display of two White Eagles as they flew upside down with talons in the air fending off several bombarding Buzzards; watching a young Squacco Heron valiantly trying to gulp down a fish twice it's size; hearing the trill of the elusive Water Rail; watching the sun set from atop one of the "hides" over the lovely puszta; seeing the fierce, chilling glare of a Red-backed Shrike; and a thrill for any birder is spotting a rare and unusual species – the Whooper Swan. Our expert guide Bela had an almost psychic sixth sense for finding and identifying the birds and truly showed us what a complex skill the art of birdwatching is. He knew the exact habitats that would host specific species, how to walk quietly and slowly, listening and scanning the skies, or sometimes to just sit and wait for the birds to come to us, and even knowing the time of day when birding would be at it's peak. The Hortobagy region was exciting to us for the number of different specifies we saw – 77 in all which of course were brand new for us! Again, a fabulous trip and thanks so much to Balazs Szigeti and the folks and Ecotours Wildlife Holidays for making this a trip to remember!
Georgette and Marty Parrish

99 of the 165 bird species I saw in Hungary were new for me.I very much enjoyed birding Hungary with you. What a great country with fantastic food!
Guy Luneau, US

Thanks for the great birding and sharing your knowledge and your country with us! Your great ability to find the birds and patience in making sure everyone saw them was appreciated – as was your continuous good humor.
Rick & Lori Spillane US

Thanks so much for your expert and patient guidance! It made the trip special. I agree with Brian’s opening statement that "VENT’s first Hungary tour in a decade was a great success." Both Brian and Attila were superb guides, and we had a good group of birders, most of them much more experienced than I, so I learned from them, too.
Harvey Leifert, US

Small mammal holiday in Hungary and Slovakia August 2014

Just a quick line to say thank you to you all for our brilliant visit to Hungary. Gill and myself enjoyed the whole experience very much and the bats were outstanding. The Lesser Mole-rat was also a huge highlight.
David Walker, UK

I just like to say had a great time on the bat tour with Sandor, David and Gill. The roost visits were excellent standard, I much admired the enthusiasm of our guides Sandor and Peter. David and Gill also assisted me in learning about birds and butterflies – think I have greater birdwatching skill now than before attending tour. Budapest was lovely as well and I managed to get to the Natural History Museum as well as walking many miles of the streets – I liked looking at the buildings in relation to each other and surroundings. The City Park was also an excellent place to walk.
Donald Kernott, UK

Birding tour in Hungary June 2014

Birdwatching from the hides was a fantastic experience! I am always excited to see birds like Red-footed Falcon and Roller but to see birds of this quality at such close range is just unforgettable. You can see every tiny detail of their plumage and get to see all kinds of interesting behaviour. The drinking pool hide was astonishing with so many species appearing in such a short time – and how else can you get views of Hawfinch just feet away! I cannot recommend this experience highly enough.
Roy Atkins,
tour leader of Speyside Wildlife

Bird Photography Tour Hungary, June 2014

Thanks for a memorable visit. It was so good to see Istvan again and to experience the wildlife in this wonderful country. Thank you for working hard to make our visit so special and to provide us with so much information about the region and its bird and animal life. I hope I might be able to return in the not too distant future and have a chance to practise my photographic skills still further.
Vivian Nicholas, UK
See Vivian's photos in our bird photo galleries!

Birding Tour Belarus, May 2014

Amazing country, beautiful birds and wonderful birding guide, extremely knowledgeable, great sense of humour and awesome personality and view of the world. Unique ear and eye to find birds.
Claude Vogel, UK

An outstanding trip in all respects: top class leadership; guiding and organization. All the top target birds achieved. Wonderful spirit instilled in group.
Philip Thomas, UK

Balazs links with local experts mean that sites and species areexcellent as well as access to local information and specialists which add additional dimension to the trip. Fantastic!
Lesley Anne Harrison, UK


Superb trip! Packed itinerary necessitated a fast pace at times. Brilliant views of birds, beautiful country. A very patient, knowledgeable and skilful leader A thoroughly enjoyable holiday! Look forward to reading your e-newsletter and hopefully meet you again on another trip!
Adrian Mills, UK

Birding Tour Danube Delta, August 2013

We had a wonderful trip seeing many birds of Eastern Europe and making new friends. Our guide and driver did everything possible to make this a memorable holiday for us all.
Caroline Edge, US
Read more about the birding in Romania in Caroline's Trip Report

Birding Tour Ukraine, August 2013

Both my wife, Maria, and I enjoyed the trip immensely. Atilla was very familiar with the birds, culture and day-to-day details of the Ukraine. He made our time there very easy and stress free. He quickly and pleasantly adapted to our needs and requests. Quite quickly, we felt as if we were birding with a friend — not a guide who was hired to "herd" us. We felt very comfortable with Atilla and he handled all the arrangements very professionally. Although we have travelled extensively, he allowed us to see a part of the world that we could never have seen this in-depth on our own. We would be happy to bird again with him or your company anytime.
Jim Kennedy, US

Birding Tour Mongolia, June 2013

Mongolia’s abundant wildlife is diverse and accessible, set in a vast world where man has left little mark outside the capital, but is that all about to change? Where else could you see a herder in full traditional Mongolian dress roar up from nowhere on a motorcycle to round up his Steppe goat herd, with a mobile phone clamped to his ear?! The pristine Gobi night sky was breathtaking too.
Ruth Dow, UK

Birding Tour Mongolia, June 2013

I much preferred the Ger camps to hotels for a number of reasons. Hotels can be experienced in any country but not yurts: they are a significant part of Mongolian culture. Staying in a tourist Ger camp offers a flavour of Mongolian life but at the same time providing a comfortable bed, traditional decor, electricity and lots of space. There may not always be en suite facilities but they are clean and all part of the adventure of being in a remote and beautiful place.
Hilary Rolton, UK

Hide Photography Tour, June 2013

The first morning of the trip brought a taste of things to come; Hoopoes, Red-backed Shrikes, Black Redstarts, Nightingales and a Wryneck – and that was just in the hotel grounds! Our guides Istvan and Imre were enthusiastic, patient and courteous at all times and clearly possessed the detailed local knowledge which is essential to make a bird photography tour a success. They were also very flexible, and could accommodate changes of plan and requests for revised itineraries even at short notice. All of this maximised our chances of connecting with the birds we came to Hungary to photograph. Using a combination of fixed and mobile hides gave us the flexibility either to “stake out” or “seek out” the target birds, and we succeeded in seeing and photographing all the key species – and most of them in beautiful weather conditions.
Mark Curley, UK

Birding Tour in Belarus, April-May 2013

Hide Photography Tour, April 2013

Thanks Istvan for a great week of photography despite all kinds of weather. The raptor hide was a wonderful experience and the drinking station hides were very well designed and built. I must come in summer when I am sure they will be teeming with thirsty birds but there was plenty of variety of birds visiting the adjacent feeders on my visits in March. The snow actually added interest and helped with light. Getting so close to long eared owls was also very special. Your efforts on my behalf, including loan of wellies and offering to carry gear, were greatly appreciated and the photographic opportunities were only matched by the warmth of hospitality. I shall be coming back sometime, hopefully in the not too distant future.
Liz Cutting, UK

Birding tour Hungary, Slovakia April 2013

Words can not tell you how much we enjoyed the birding tour that you put together for us. It all came together beautifully. Your enthusiasm, the knowledge of the local guides, the diverse habitats, the hotels, the food and a lovely group of fellow birders made it all very enjoyable. But the birds! My gosh, they were incredible! Their abundance far exceeded our expectations. And the views of the rarities that we saw were spectacular. We can not thank you enough for the energy that you put in to make it all possible.
Mary & George, UK

Birding tour Hungary, March 2013

Anne and I arrived back home yesterday evening from our highly successful birding tour to Hungary and just wanted to say a huge thank you to you both for making the birdwatching tour so enjoyable. We have so many great memories! Over 100 bird species, many of them new to us; the huge flocks of geese including the great views of the Red-breasted; 6 species of woodpecker; great sightings of raptors – Saker Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, and common Buzzards everywhere!! Then there were the ducks, egrets and all the other water birds, plus the Long-eared Owls in the middle of town!! Of the smaller birds the Great Grey Shrike, the Penduline Tit and the Kingfisher were brilliant sightings!! All in all a truly great trip, which was made even more memorable by the company of you both and the faultless organisation of the whole trip – the really comfortable accomodation, the huge and delicious meals, and not forgetting Balazs's magical mystery tour, cross country, followed by the real goulash soup for lunch!!! Such great memories!!!
Helen Baker, UK

Birding tour Hungary, November 2012

Thank you very much for a most excellent birdwatching holiday and for the CD which I enjoyed looking at and which will bring back so many memories. It is lovely being able to look again at the Alpine Accentors, the great flocks of geese and of course the Tawny Owl. There is something particularly attractive about sleepy owls! I like the sequence you did in the hide with the Great Spotted Woodpecker and the Great Tits. It was a privilege to be able to sit there so close to the birds.
Dave&Anne Blount, UK

Birding tour Romania, September 2012

I greatly wanted to thank you once again for your care, attention, excellent humour and all round brilliance during the last ten days looking after our party of which I count myself lucky enough to have been a part of! Thank you for the excellent birding, superb guiding, and genuinely catering for every possible need each of may have had. All with calm precision and nothing at all being too much trouble at any time. I had the most superb ten days and memories of the trip will live long, I am quite certain.
Stephen Day, UK

Birding tour Belarus, May 2012

Our birding tour to Belarus was most enjoyable. The whole support crew of guides and drivers were friendly, competent and knowledgeable. The areas chosen for birdwatching were such that we had good views of all species. The guides had excellent and up-to-date knowledge of the prime locations for birding. The woodlands were rich in Woodpeckers, and we were delighted by our views of four species of Owls. Likewise, the wetland areas were rich in bird-life. We particularly enjoyed the experience of the floating hotel, both its accommodation and the cruising it provided. Your method of taking photographs completely unobtrusively, and then sharing them later with the group is a definite enhancement. We would certainly be very happy to travel with Ecotours again, with either you or Attila. The whole trip was a very enjoyable experience. Thank you all for looking after us so well.
Peter & Dorothy Webster, UK

Birding tour Belarus, May 2012

We both have to say how much we enjoyed ourselves on the trip. We found it very productive with such a wide range of species including birds, mammals, reptiles, butterflies and moths. A big, big thank you to yourself, as well as to Barrie, for what turned out to be a far more enjoyable and fruitful tour than we had thought it might be. While it was very nice indeed to get the target birds; Azure Tit, Aquatic Warbler, Great Snipe etc, it was great to get our first decent sightings of wolf, bison and wild boar.
John & Pam Smallwood, UK

Birding tour Belarus, May 2012

We have just returned from having a wonderful birding tour and experience in Belarus and Poland with Istvan Bartol and Belarus guide Dimitri. Istvan turned out to have a vast knowledge of birds, their calls and their habitats, and went to great lengths to ensure that everybody had good views of all the birds and in particular individuals target birds. The accommodations sourced by Ecotours were of the highest quality and the food interesting and wholesome. We particularly liked the way Istvan and Dimitri prepared food for our packed lunches. Its a great idea to be able to construct your own lunch. In short Istvan is a great asset for Ecotours. And we thank you for providing us with such a good guide and Service from Ecotours.
George & Mary Fricker, UK

Birding tour Hungary, Spring 2011

A very big 'Thank You' for the wonderful tour to Bükk and Tiszafüred and Budapest. It was fantastic seeing so many birds and such lovely places. Nomad scores gold star rating in every way. It was a huge pleasure to meet you both and share so many activities. You are superb birders and it was good to find that Istvan also knew so much about butterflies, insects and plants. It really enhances the experience. I appreciated his kindness and patience! Loved the terns, Bustards and Penduline tits.
Sue Farrington, UK

Birding tour Hungary, Spring 2011

Attila – Rosemary and I would like to thank you for a wonderful holiday in Hungary. We enjoyed the complete trip and you were marvellous in the way you handled the party and also in your exceptional knowledge. It was a birding tour which we will remember for years to come. I hope that before long we will be able to join a trip which you are guiding to another country. We will keep up to date with your website.
Stuart Gorman, UK

Birding tour Hungary, Autumn 2010

I had checked the "Excellent" column almost all the way down the page in the birding tour evaluation form; especially pleased with the pace of the trip, your ability to lighten the day with good humor and stories. The birding was excellent, even the ones we didn't see. But there were enough new things to keep me on my toes.
Carol Dahlstrom, USA

Birding tour Hungary, Autumn 2010

Thanks for your kindness in my slowness in seeing birds and my sister's slowness period. You really made the tour for us as you tirelessly looked for birds and pointed them out. It was a fun time and a great group. We Americans saw lots of "life birds" that the British knew and see regularly.
Caroline Edge, USA

Birding tour Hungary – Romania, Autumn 2010

Just a quick note to say a big thank you for a great tour to Hungary and Romania. Wonderful wildlife, stunning countryside and excellent and knowledgeable guides!
Rosy Groves, UK

Birding tour Romania, Spring 2010

Balázs, just a word of appreciation for your wonderful company and guidance on the recent birding tour to Romania. I loved your optimistic enthusiasm and positive attitude – to say nothing of your deep knowledge. You seemed to always be able to find something interesting to observe! I also appreciated the detail with which the trip was organised and the readiness to be flexible and change things when circumstances permitted. As for your DVD – it is wonderful to have been able to print off your beautiful photographs and to savour them at my leisure. They have added hugely to the experience. Many, many thanks. I hope we'll meet again one day.
Elizabeth Garsten, UK

bird photography and birding tours Hungary and Eastern Europe - Bee-eater on a branch

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