Bob Gibbons/Natural History Travel,

24 Newborough Road, Wimborne

Dorset BH21 1RD. UK. Tel 0044-(0)1202 849142

bobgibbons@btinternet.com 

    NATURAL HISTORY TRAVEL was set up 25 years ago by Bob Gibbons to offer high quality natural history and photography tours at sensible prices, without the high costs associated with glossy brochures, extensive advertising, and plush offices. The aim is to offer tours where we look at all the aspects of natural life that the region has to offer - flowers, birds, butterflies, dragonflies etc. - though we may concentrate on one or other according to the interests of the group and the type of location. Bob has a very wide range of interests within natural history and photography, and all the other leaders are selected for their special knowledge of an area or subject. We set out to make all tours enjoyable, allowing for learning and discovery, whatever your level of interest or expertise, in a relaxed and usually entertaining atmosphere.

    Many people enjoy taking photographs on such trips, and advice is always available if required. We also prepare advance guidance sheets on photographic equipment if required. Unless specifically described otherwise, tours are normally restricted to a maximum of 12 participants with one leader, and 18-20 when there are two or three leaders. 

    HOW DIFFICULT?  We are often asked whether the tours are suitable for people who cannot walk far. This is difficult to answer without knowing an individual’s capabilities, but in general – unless otherwise indicated – the tours are suitable for most people. We don’t rush about, there are few long walks, and we try to be flexible, sometimes hiring an additional vehicle or splitting the group temporarily to allow everyone to enjoy themselves at their own pace. Tours marked with  ∆ may include walks of 5 miles or over, though it is nearly always possible to avoid doing these without missing out on too much. Feel free to get in touch if there are any concerns.

     As far as level of knowledge goes, no-one need feel excluded. Although we aim to identify as much as possible, and take an extensive library, there is no pressure to be involved with anything you are not interested in.

     

    GOING GREEN. We’re trying to make the tours as environmentally friendly as possible, by minimising the amount of travel, minimising the number of vehicles, and choosing hotels with a good environmental record, where possible. We’re also offering ex-flight prices for those who prefer to travel by other means {but please let us know at the time of booking}.

     

    YOUR GUARANTEE

    All the foreign tours are run through fully-bonded operators, and meet all current UK and EU regulations.

     

    INSURANCE

    Insurance for foreign tours is essential. Sunvil no longer offers insurance, though they recommend Holiday Extras (there is a link through on their website, or see Booking Form) or we need to know that you have made other arrangements.  In 2007, we had to cancel a tour because of an airline strike, and discovered as a result that some people’s insurers do not cover refunds due to cancellation by strike action, and 2010 was even more complicated with ash clouds and strikes! Please check what your insurer covers, unless you’re prepared to take the risk of not having the money refunded.

    COSTS. All our tours are probably best described as mid-range in terms of the facilities and luxuries offered, but towards the lower range in price. We avoid very expensive hotels and costly routes, and pass on the benefits of our low office and administration costs. Our travel arrangements are handled by Sunvil Holidays, though we are not part of Sunvil.

     

    Individual details of what is included in the holiday price are shown under the entry for each tour. All foreign tours include flights or other transport to the destination – unless specified otherwise; transfer and transport within the country of destination; accommodation, meals as described, the services of leaders, airport charges, park entry fees, pre-travel information, and post-trip report. Insurance is not included (see booking form  and insurance page for details).  We apologise for having to charge single room supplements in most cases - these are no more than the cost charged to us by the hotels or centres. The tour descriptions try to give an accurate idea of what to expect, but they are not a guarantee that we will see specific things. The weather, state of the season, and the wildlife itself, can all behave unexpectedly.

    We would normally expect to absorb the cost of any currency fluctuations, but we have to reserve the right to make a surcharge at no more than the increased cost to us. We would automatically absorb fluctuations up to 5% of the total costs of the holiday.

     

    BOOKING

    Early booking is advisable, as the tours can fill up quickly. The last 5 years’ tours were almost all full within 1 week of the brochure being issued. 

     

    All bookings should be made on the booking form enclosed with the brochure, or downloaded from the website, directly to Sunvil (address here and on the form), with the appropriate deposit.

    Please note that Sunvil do not accept credit cards - clients can pay by Debit card, cheque, or by bank transfer. Clients from outside the UK can pay by BACS to the following account: Sunvil International, National Westminster Bank, London Road, Isleworth, Middlesex. Sterling account  

    IBAN   GB87NWBK60201836560804

    SWIFT NWBKGB2L. Could you please pay in sterling and include the bank charges.

     

    All bookings should be made on the loose booking form (here - note there are 2 pages) or the one enclosed with the posted brochure, directly to Sunvil (address here and on the form), with the appropriate deposit and insurance cost.

     

    Please let us know if you have any special dietary or other requirements, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

     

    POST-TOUR REPORTS

    After each trip, we produce detailed reports on all that we saw during the trip, arranged chronologically. These prove very useful as aide-memoires and to help in identifying photographs, or re-learning species. Unless there are several consecutive tours keeping the leader out of the office, these are produced and sent out within a few days of the end of the tour, as we realise that they are much more useful if they come while the trip is still fresh in the memory.

    Testimonials

    "Your arrangements were - as ever - superb"

     

    "So relaxed, and at the same time giving such attention to detail, and care to each person. And you know the scientific name of  every flower! { Editor's note:  'I wish!'}"

     

    "Such weather, such plants, and what timing. Many thanks for another wonderful trip."

     

    "Thank you so much for such a lovely holiday … by the end of the week, I had seen and heard things in the natural world that I hadn't known existed. It was as if my senses were coming alive…"

     

    "I, for one, particularly appreciate the careful reconnaissance you do before we arrive, to make sure you know what is flowering and where; it brings an immediacy and freshness, and of course breadth of knowledge, to your trips, which is exciting for us who are with you as we get the maximum out of the habitats that we are going to see."

     

    "And the lists, which bear witness to all the exciting things we saw…"