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Last weekend on 3rd and 4th September Bustards attended the first edition of the African Bird Fair, which has evolved from the BirdLife fairs held in previous years.

Black Betty and an African Pitta in attendance!

Mark Anderson was marching around snapping some candid shots of the fair. Malcolm Wilson who we do ringing trips with had just popped in for a chat.

The fair was very well attended, with the Bustards receiving interest from loads of visitors.There was a lot of interest in the various trips that Bustards are planning. These ranged from shorter local trips right through to two week trips in Peru. Thank you to everyone that came to see us.

Some examples of the trips that grabbed people's attention were:

Northern Cape - a trip through the remote reaches of South Africa's largest province looking for those hard to find larks and other arid country birds, such as Stark's, Red, Sclater's and Cape Long-billed Lark. Burchell's Courser, Rosy-faced Lovebird and Cinnamon-breasted Warbler are just a few of the other attractions. See http://bustardsbirding.co.za/northern-cape-larks-endemic/ for the itinerary.

African Pitta

Central Mozambique and Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. The allure of an African Pitta for one's list is enough to get a person yearning for a trip to Mozambique. Add on Swynnerton's Robin in Zimbabwe, Böhm's Bee-eater in Mozambique, akalats, alethes, apalises, greenbuls as well as a whole host of others, the tiny Suni of the forests, swarms of migrating Snouted Butterflies, and you have a trip of your dreams.

Ethiopia: This is the country with the most endemic bird species of any country in Africa. Our trips travel around the country seeking out these as well as several wonderful mammals, including highly endangered Ethiopian Wolf in the high altitude Bale Mountains. See details on the trip on http://bustardsbirding.co.za/ethiopia-2017/

Uganda: The Pearl of Africa. High on anyone's bucket list have to be wonderful creatures like the prehistoric looking Shoebill, Mountain Gorilla, Chimpanzee, not to mention the diminutive Grauer's Broadbill. Our short itinerary trips, coming in at around $1000 and promising Shoebill, Great Blue Turaco, Grey Parrot and several other forest species drew a lot of interest, as did the longer trip

Nambia drew a lot of interest too, with our scheduled trip from Windhoek up to the Kunene River in July 2017 getting several enquiries, as did the October trip through the Caprivi Strip, helped along of course by another bucket list bird, Pel's Fishing Owl, which happened to be on the cover of our brochure.

We take tours to just about anywhere in the world, and do not limit our trips to bird watching, we have a diverse range of offerings, whether it be mammals, reptiles, an interest in improving your photographic skills, observing or being involved in bird ringing trips - the Bustards will get you achieving your desires. Other trips currently on offer include Morroco in the first quarter of 2018, Pantanal mid 2018, Manu Road in Peru in November 2017, Northern Kruger in November 2017, hunting down those elusive wonders like Racket-tailed Roller and Pennant-winged Nightjar for your South African bird lists.

Last minute bookings! Some of the Madagascar trips have got a few last minute empty spaces in November - if there is any interest, please pop me an email and I'll get you booked on. The trips are as follows:

• 15 Day best of Madagascar Birds and Wildlife, price: €4,960pps (5-19 November 2016)

• 6 Day Berenty Reserve extension, price: €2,013pps (19-24 November 2016)

• 6 Day Masoala extension, price: €2,008pps (24-29 November 2016)

• 7 Day North West extension, price €2,599pps (29 November-5 December 2016)