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Brazil: Uei Tepui & Roraima

This unprecedented Brazil tour comes with an amazing new option for the much-desired Tepui endemics. For that, a remote camping adventure takes place in northern Roraima state with the Ingarikó people on the foothills of Serra do Sol (Uei-Tepui), the southernmost member of the Eastern Tepuis chain. Together with the Roraima lowlands around Boa Vista and south at Viruá National Park in Caracaraí, this tour will offer one of the most-wanted birding experiences in the world: the Tepui endemics and the rich Amazonian lowlands (Guiana Shield specialties). The stupendous list of highlights includes Grey-winged Trumpeter, Tepui Toucanet, Roraiman Barbtail, Hoary-throated Spinetail, Yapacana and Caura Antbirds, Tepui Antpitta, Bearded and White Bellbirds, Rose-collared Piha, Red-banded Fruiteater, Greater Flowerpiercer and White-naped Seedeater.

Next dates

18 March - 1 April 2024

Tour length: 15 days

Group size limit: 7

Leaders:

Eduardo Patrial

Guaranteed departure

Only one space remaining! No Venezuelan visa required for this Tepui Tour, which makes it a great choice for citizens of the United States.

Day 1: Arrival in Boa Vista, capital of Roraima state. Introductory birding in Boa Vista outskirts if time permits. Overnight in Boa Vista.

Day 2: Full day of birding around  Boa Vista. The surroundings of the Branco and Uraricoera Rivers should offer good forest and savanna habitats to look in particular for the Critically Endangered Hoary-throated Spinetail and Rio Branco Antbird, plus many more including Double-striped Thick-knee, Crested Bobwhite, Sharp-tailed Ibis, Brown-throated Parakeet, Green-tailed Jacamar, White-bellied Piculet, Streak-headed Woodcreeper, Black-crested Antshrike, Pale-tipped Inezia, Tropical Gnatcatcher, Bicolored Wren, Ruddy-breasted and Grey Seedeaters, Black-striped Sparrow and with luck, the rare Sun Parakeet, though this is far from guaranteed. Overnight in Boa Vista.

Day 3: Morning flight from Boa Vista north to the Ingarikó community (Karumanpaktëi) in Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land and the Monte Roraima National Park. Here with the impressive Monte Roraima in the background, begins this unprecedented birdwatching expedition to the Uei-Tepui foothills. Thanks to a partnership between the Conselho do Povo Indígena Ingarikó, Kraioapa Assessoria, ICMBio, and sponsored by the Fundação Grupo Boticário, we are very excited to bring the first birdwatching group (and in fact one of the first ever foreign tour groups!) to this new amazing destination in Brazil, with focus on the Tepui endemics, an avifauna still with limited access elsewhere.

This rewarding opportunity at Serra do Sol brings up birding to the pristine Uei-Tepui foothill, with forest ranging from 1000m to 1900m of altitude for the next six days, where we will be camping to explore a fantastic 10km forest trail. This true expedition should require fitness and willingness of participants, once dealing with humid climate, some long walks in rough terrain and camping for six nights (all organized by the Ingarikó team). After our arrival at Serra do Sol region, the Ingarikó people should introduce us to the community and later to our campsite. If time permits, we shall bird savanna and forest edges before sunset in search of beauties like Peacock and Tufted Coquettes, Copper-tailed Hummingbird, Tepui Swift, White-tailed Nightjar, Blue-cheeked Amazon, Fiery-shouldered Parakeet, Rufous-crowned Elaenia, Scarlet-horned Manakin, the fascinating Bearded and White Bellbirds and Pantepui Thrush. Overnight at campsite.

Day 4: On this day, we will cover dense forest in the surroundings of the first campsite (altitudes from 1000m to 1300m). We should have a busy day looking for several regional specialties plus some other interesting birds, including Black Curassow, Blue-fronted Lancebill, Brown Violetear, Velvet-browed Brilliant, Rufous-breasted Sabrewing, Foothill Screech Owl (ssp. roraimae), Masked Trogon, Waved Woodpecker, Fiery-shouldered Parakeet, Caica Parrot, Ruddy Foliage-gleaner, Plain-winged Antwren, Roraiman Antwren, Roraiman Antbird, the smart White-plumed and Rufous-throated Antbirds; Orange-bellied and Scarlet-horned Manakins, more chances for Bearded and White Bellbirds, Purple-breasted and Pompadour Cotingas, the odd Capuchinbird, Sharpbill, Sierra de Lema Flycatcher, Roraiman Flycatcher, Rufous-brown Solitaire, Two-banded Warbler, Plumbeous Euphonia and if we got extremely lucky, the elusive Rufous-winged Ground Cuckoo. Overnight at campsite.

Day 5-6: The possibility of moving to a tougher makeshift campsite at higher elevation (1550m) for two nights will require an early start for a long but rewarding hike. The pristine forest trail ahead of us should offer chances for Grey-chinned and Sooty-capped Hermits, Velvet-browed Brilliant, Red-rumped Woodpecker, Tepui Toucanet, Tepui Parrotlet, Roraiman Antwren, Streak-backed Antshrike, Roraiman Antbird, Short-tailed Antthrush, Olive Manakin, the stunning Red-banded Fruiteater; Chapman’s Bristle-Tyrant, Black-fronted Tyrannulet, Tepui Vireo, Flutist Wren, Pale-eyed, Yellow-legged and Black-hooded Thrushes, Golden-tufted Grackle, Tepui Redstart, Olive-backed Tanager, Speckled and Yellow-bellied Tanagers and others. A considerable time of birding in the humid montane forest between 1550m and 1900m will increase our chances to find more of the many Tepui specialties and most-wanted beauties like Tepui Toucanet, Tepui Parrotlet, Tepui, Scaled and Slate-crowned Antpittas, White-throated Foliage-gleaner, Roraiman Barbtail, Tepui Spinetail, McConnell’s Spinetail, Rose-collared Piha, the mega Red-banded Fruiteater, Ruddy Tody-Flycatcher, the large Greater Flowerpiercer and the beautiful Black-headed Tanager.

Day 7: More chances for the several Tepui endemics already mentionned before we start the way back to the main campsite. Birding on route and overnight at the main campsite.

Day 8: Final day of birding at Serra do Sol. Back to birding around the main campsite, we hope to maximize our chances with Black Curassow, Tufted and Peacock Coquettes, Blue-cheeked Amazon, Fiery-shouldered Parakeet, Purple-breasted Cotinga, Capuchinbird, White and Bearded Bellbirds, Scarlet-horned and Orange-bellied Manakins and any other possible missing target from the area. We will are also privileged to have been invited to take part in a Ingarikó ceremonial activity, which is something that almost no foreigners have ever experienced! Overnight at campsite.

Day 9: Flight back to Boa Vista. Overnight in Boa Vista.

Day 10: Day transfer south to Caracaraí. Early departure to bird the morning at Serra do Apiaú, about a hundred and twenty kms southwest of Boa Vista. Main target bird at Apiaú is the localized Caura Antbird. The area also includes chances for Brown Jacamar, Painted Parakeet, Red-fan and Black-headed Parrots, Black-throated Antshrike, Guianan Cock-of-the-rock, Dusky Purpletuft, Wing-banded Wren, Finsch’s Euphonia and others. Afternoon transfer south to Caracaraí. Birding in the outskirts if time permits, overnight at hotel in Caracaraí.

Day 11-13: This will give us a good time in the field to enjoy the amazing habitats present at Viruá National Park and at the surroundings of Caracaraí, where we’ll be covering terra firme forest, white-sand campina and some varzea (flooded) habitats too. We are looking forward to having three productive days of birding, and to add to our list birds such as Crestless and Black Curassows, Marail Guan, Maguari Stork, Jabiru, Streak-throated Hermit, Green-tailed Goldenthroat, Hoatzin, Grey-winged Trumpeter, Sharp-tailed Ibis, Slate-colored Hawk, Guianan Trogon, Guianan, Spotted and Collared Puffbirds, Black-spotted Barbet, Brown, Bronzy, Yellow-billed and Green-tailed Jacamars, Green and Many-banded Aracaris, Guianan Toucanet, Golden-collared Woodpecker, Scarlet-shouldered Parrolet, Dusky, Caica, Red-fan and Black-headed Parrots, Cinnamon-rumped and Olive-backed Foliage-gleaners, Chestnut-rumped, Guianan and Zimmer’s Woodcreeper, the illusive Black-throated Antshrike; Blackish-grey Antshrike, Spot-backed and Cherrie’s Antwrens, Black-headed, Ferruginous-backed and Willis’s Antbirds, the rare Yapacana Antbird;  Golden-headed, Black, White-throated, Wire-tailed and Yellow-crowned Manakins, Painted Tody-Flycatcher, Pale-bellied Mourner, Cayenne Jay, Campina Thrush, Plumbeous Euphonia, Red-shouldered and Burnished-buff Tanagers, Lesson’s and Grey Seedeaters, the rare White-naped Seedeater and more. Overnights at hotel in Caracaraí.

Day 14: Final morning around Caracaraí and transfer back to Boa Vista with final birding in the afternoon. A nice celebrating dinner and overnight in Boa Vista.

Day 15: Tour ends at Boa Vista airport with early connecting flights.

Tour details

Cost: $ 6,100 $ 6,900
Deposit: $ 750
Single room supplement: $ 350

Accommodation: Six nights of camping (tents provided, but participants will need their own lightweight sleeping mat and sleeping bag). Comfortable hotel in Boa Vista, basic hotel (but still with hot water and air conditioning) in Caracaraí.

Walking difficulty: Getting to the Uei Tepui second camp involves a 10km hike on a forest trail, which can be taken slowly at any difficult part. Local porters will be used to carry our luggage and supplies, so participants only need to carry their daypack with water and birding gear. Otherwise, mostly easy lowland walking.

Tour cost includes: All accommodation, main meals, drinking water, internal flights (as stated in itinerary), overland transport, tips to local drivers and guides, travel permits, entrance fees, and guide fees.

Tour cost excludes: Flights before and after the tour start/end, visa, travel insurance, tips to tour leaders, laundry, drinks and other items of a personal nature.