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Field Trips & Travel

Victor Emanuel Nature Tours

Panama: Fall at El Valle's Canopy Lodge: Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2018

offered by Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and Houston Audubon

Panama is where Central America meets South America; the result is a stunning mix of biodiversity. Nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano and surrounded by jagged ridges and hills, the fabulous Canopy Lodge offers great birding and luxury accommodations. Situated approximately 60 miles west of Panama City in the picturesque El Valle de Antón, this lodge has it all. The forested peaks of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument loom over the valley and impart a deep sense of tranquility. The lodge grounds are teeming with birds. Feeders visible from the dining area play host to a parade of colorful and exciting species such as Rufous Motmot, Collared Aracari, Red-crowned Woodpecker, Flame-rumped, Crimson-backed, White-lined, Blue-gray, and Palm Tanagers, Red-legged Honeycreeper, Buff-throated and Streaked Saltators, Orange-billed and Black-striped Sparrows, and Chestnut-headed Oropendola to name a few. Our lovely accommodations will be complemented by wonderful cuisine. We will travel by comfortable bus, with one or two days in 4×4 vehicles. Walking will be easy to moderate on good roads and trails. Climate conditions will be cool and breezy with some overcast and rain expected in the highlands, and warm and dry in the lowlands.

Price: $2,795

India: Birds & Culture on the Maharajas' Express: Feb 6-22, 2019

offered by Victor Emanuel Nature Tours

A delightful trip back in time across the entire breadth of India’s Rajasthan State, as well as parts of Central India, by luxury train. Spectacular palaces, imposing fortified cities, and great wildlife. In 2001, VENT inaugurated its fabulous Palace on Wheels tour, which succeeded beyond everyone’s dreams. Our 2004 and 2006 train tours were even better! We are therefore delighted to announce a completely new train trip aboard the Maharajas’ Express. We shall travel in comfort while visiting the great princely cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. This journey on the Maharajas’ Express is like no other. We will travel in great luxury, as in the days of the British Raj. We will also enjoy a fine cross section of the Rajasthan-Indian landscape, as well as visits to some of its architectural marvels. Among the many highlights will be visits to the Taj Mahal, the Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary, and Ranthambore National Park.This will truly be the trip of a lifetime. If you let them know when you reserve, a special donation will be made to Houston Audubon. For more information about the arrangement with Houston Audubon, please contact Richard Gibbons at

Spain & Portugal Aboard the Sea Cloud: Apr 14-24, 2019

offered by Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and Houston Audubon

For this voyage—VENT’s first-ever cruise to the western Mediterranean—we have chartered the peerless Sea Cloud, a four-masted barque widely regarded as the world’s most beautiful sailing vessel, for a trip that combines the lustrous history and architectural wonders of the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, and the Andalusia region of Spain, with emphasis on the region’s natural history highlights, particularly birds and botany. With historical and natural history interpretation throughout the trip, there simply is no better way to experience the charm of Portugal and Spain. Joining VENT leaders Victor Emanuel and Barry Lyon for this special departure are Larry Wolff, the Silver Professor of European History at New York University and Director of the NYU Center for European and Mediterranean Studies; and Peter Zika, a superb field biologist and botanist at the herbarium of the University of Washington. If you let them know when you reserve, a special donation will be made to Houston Audubon. For more information about the arrangement with Houston Audubon, please contact Richard Gibbons at

Chestnut-eared Aracari

Houston Audubon's long-time travel partner, Victor Emanuel Nature Tours (VENT), is the largest company in the world specializing in birding tours. This year they will offer 140 tours to more than 100 destinations ranging from the Texas coast to the forest-clad Himalayan highlands of tiny Bhutan, to the huge expanses of Brazil's bird-rich Pantanal, and to Antarctica, Africa, and many places in-between.

Victor Emanuel Nature Tours offers departures for Houston Audubon members. The camaraderie shared among chapter members strengthens the chapter and provides an excellent opportunity to brainstorm program ideas and challenges. A more direct partnership benefit is a $500 donation to Houston Audubon's habitat conservation, education, and advocacy programs when an HA member signs up for designated tours.

On a personal level, Victor is a native Houstonian and calls the Upper Texas Coast his favorite birding place. He started birding the region when he was just eight years old. Victor is an Houston Audubon Advisory Board Member and has championed many Houston Audubon conservation projects.

For more information about upcoming trips, please visit their website at, contact VENT at
or call 512-328-5221 or 1-800-328-8368. Don't forget, please tell them you are a member of Houston Audubon. Happy birding

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