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“Keltin the bird man”

Tobago Forest Reserve
Ranked #8 of 98 things to do in Tobago
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Established in 1763 to combat European deforestation of the island, this was the Western Hemisphere's first forest reserve.
Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Keltin the bird man”
Reviewed 9 May 2014

We visited the rain forest last year with Keltin who runs a sanctuary on the island for birds of prey and has among other birds a truly spectacular Eagle Owl called Lakshmi who lives in his house ! We went to the rain forest with him which is obviously more expensive than going as part of an organised official tour group but worth every cent. Keltin's passion for and knowledge of birds is extraordinary and we also liked him immensely.He attracts humming birds out of the forest to him by imitating their calls. Extraordinary ! He is well known on the island so just ask at your hotel for his contact details. We expect to return next year and will try to arrange for him to take the two of us either to Little Tobago for the sea birds or to Trinidad for the scarlet ibises and other exotica.For various reasons we couldn't arrange that this year.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank AidanandAlexa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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202 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Hartford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
88 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“A "must do" while in Tobago, especially with Newton George”
Reviewed 29 April 2014

We hired Mr. Newton George, a local authority with an international ornithology reputation (and acknowledged in our Tobago & Trinidad birding book) to guide us through the Tobago Forest Reserve. It was an INCREDIBLE day and a wonderful experience for us and our small children.

Armed with years of experience and outstanding equipment (including a scope on a tripod), Mr. George would hear, see and using his equipment locate (for us to see) an array of amazing birds, including some of the most elusive, beautiful and marvelous birds. We frequently watched Mr. George point out birds to other guides (that they were overlooking).

We similarly hired Mr. George to guide us to Little Tobago, although the Tobago Forest Reserve trip was our family favorite. We were the first ones on the trail that day, obtaining the early start needed (at that time of the year) to optimize birding. The Tobago Forest Reserve is a great, amazing natural resource of Tobago.

Visited April 2014
2 Thank CJG_WH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Paradise forest”
Reviewed 11 April 2014

After some research on the Internet I decided to contact the recommended guide Peter Cox to enquire about a bird watching tour. He was quick to respond and suggested he could pick me up from our rented villa at 6am the following day. I was a bit reluctant to start so early, but decided to be brave. He arrived punctually and cheerfully informed me that I was the only person today. We drove up along the west coast to the forest reserve. Along the way he pointed out interesting trees and general information about the island. We stopped to pick up Wellington boots for me to wear as it had rained during the night. He supplied me with breakfast too, all included in the price of the tour. Then we entered the forest to follow the Gilpin trace. The forest itself is wonderful. Ancient tall trees full of atmosphere. We were alone for at least 2 hours because of our early start. We spotted a trogon, several hummingbirds, a large bird of prey, mud crabs, parrots and many more birds I can't remember their names. I should have brought binoculars and a note book. Peter Cox is most knowledgeable. He knows all the species with their Latin names. His passion is preservation of all the island's eco system. Turtles, water, coastline, forest. He writes articles in the local paper and lobbies government. I felt very lucky to meet such a committed and knowledgeable guide.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Catherine C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
United Kingdom
Level Contributor
158 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“Rainforest Bird Trail”
Reviewed 6 April 2014

Gilpin Trace is an easily accessible trail in the Forest Reserve. Guides are available - and even a chap who hires out gumboots - but it's easy to do it on your own if you prefer. The main reason for visiting will be for bird watching. Many interesting species are there including the collared trogon, blue backed mannekin, red-legged honeyeater, cocoa wood creeper and sabre-wing hummingbird.
The Niplig Trace ( 'Gilpin' backwards!) nearby is similar but not quite so easy to walk. Also nearby is the Spring Trace, which I have not walked.

Visited April 2014
1 Thank Layces
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
Level Contributor
688 reviews
327 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 308 helpful votes
“Wonderful Tour of Tobago”
Reviewed 5 April 2014

This was a beautiful tour of Tobago with Junior Thomas of Unique Tours. We had an interesting walking tour of the Gilpin Trace that was with just another couple. Junior provided comfortable tranportation and rubber boots for the mud. He was knowlegable about the plants, trees, history, insects and birds.At his home, we viewed hummingbirds. It was a memorable first visit to Tobago. We stopped for lunch at a beautiful hillside overlooking a spectacular beach.

Visited March 2014
4 Thank travelingrm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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