“My experience with Salva Fauna was a guided hike in the Vercors massif with Luca, to see the alpine ibex up close. I was already a great admirer of his photography work and so I had the opportunity to learn from his craft. We hiked through a forest trail and up one of Vercors' most beautiful mountains, where we encountered the ibex and spent a few hours with them, photographing and observing them (which I advise everyone to do as it is a very calming experience). As well as technical and artistic advice, Luca offered me his experience as a Vercors-born nature lover, which sparked some very interesting conversations. I learned a lot about some aspects of nature and the wild animals he is so obviously fascinated with. Although this was a tour focused on wildlife, he arranged for me to get incredible scenery to shoot, as I am more experienced in landscape photography.
Luca even went out of his way to get amazing local food for lunch, which I imagine was not an easy task as he kindly moved the tour date a day earlier at the last minute for me.
I left Vercors exhausted and fulfilled. A great experience and a uniquely enriching day with someone who seems to have no other pretention other than contemplating nature every day, and who anyone can learn something from.”
“First of all, I would like to highlight Johnathan's ability to make everyone feel comfortable from the very first moment. He's a very knowledgeable guide and he always puts his customers first. He's very attentive to people. In fact, during the tour, he always made sure we could see the spotted animals before he could take a picture for himself. The tour itself was fantastic and we managed to see many deers rutting in different situations and landscapes. One other thing that I highly appreciated is Salva Fauna's ethical values which you can discover on their website. As a conclusion, I would highly recommend Salva Fauna !!”
“Such an amazing trip to La Dole to photograph chamois, other wildlife and stunning scenery. Jonathan our guide was incredible. He was so so knowledgable about the local area and all of the wildlife we saw. He very quickly made us feel right at home and it just felt like being with a friend. He genuinely wanted us to get the best out of the experience - and we did! We wouldn’t hesitate in booking another trip with Salva Fauna - loving editing my snaps!”
“Johnathan took my partner and me on a beautiful tour along the Creux du Van to try to spot some Ibex. I was especially impressed by Johnathans very respectful manner of looking for the animals and approaching them. Thanks to that we got to enjoy an amazing experience in this beautiful piece of nature - we were able to observe 6 females and one baby Ibex in their natural habitat up close, to follow them on their search for food and watch their fascinating descent down the steep rocks of Creux du Van. Thank you Johnathan for your kind, down-to-earth and conscious approach and for taking us on a wonderful tour!”
“My partner and I arrived to the Creux Du Van parking area where Jonathan was already waiting for us. After a short introduction we started the tour trying to spot some grassing Ibex. Jonathan is very conscious about wild life tours, in fact it was because of his ethical approach that we got to enjoy the company of up to seven or eight Ibex up close. We experienced a magnificent tour, got super instructions about photography and how to behave while in proximity of wild life and enjoyed a beautiful sunset amongst fascinating creatures. Again, thank you for an amazing experience, Jonathan!”
“One of the best birding trips. My husband Mikkel is a senior bird watcher and nature lover. One of his big dreams is to see Wall Creeper, then he would have seen all the European mountain birds. We had a business trip to Lausanne and decided that it was the best chance to see it. Luckily we found Jonathan to guide us for this amazingly nature trip. He drove us through the beautiful mountain road and ended up at the exactly perfect spot for Wall Creeper. These mysterious little ones are shy and difficult to find, but they finally did it, even with nice pictures.
After authentic local mountain lunch Jonathan took us to eat, we saw the Bearded Vulture and Golden Eagles during our lovely hiking. What a memorable day.
If you were a serious bird watcher, Jonathan can take you to these secret places only local experts would know. If you were a just a beginner of nature lover like me, you will enjoy the warmth reception and nice explanation by Jonathan.
We love this trip so much and will definitely plan to travel with Jonathan again. Highly recommended.”
“I spent a memorable private trip with Salva Fauna and my guide Corentin. Second time I book a trip with Salva Fauna and a third one is planned this Summer. As always, the organisation was great and it helped me to focus only on what I came for: photography and wildlife. During 2 extraordinary full days, I still don't realize how many different species we saw: Deers, Roe deers, Tetra, Foxes, Boars, and so on. Corentin also shared with me a lot of very useful tips to find the animals always in the respect of wildlife. Thanks a lot !”
“We absolutely LOVED our family tour with Jonathan, we learned a lot and it was such a brilliant experience that we wrote a full review on our blog https://www.thefamilyof5.com/blog/salva-fauna-ethical-wildlife-tours-l-en”
“Johathan worked very hard to provide us with a stay and bird guide. We began emailing each other two months before our arrival and changed dates at least twice and number of days and length of days we wanted a bird guide. We stayed in a great place -- breakfast was fantastic and Isabell was kind enough to fix my wife eggs every morning. Frederic, our bird guide, was absolutely great. He knew his birds but also knew so much about the landscape, history and culture of the area. Highly recommend!”
“I booked the red deer rut with Salva Fauna in mid-September this year, and highly recommend the experience. Although I am more interested in birds than wildlife, I like animals and being outdoors and this tour seemed like a good way to combine those interests, in addition to absorbing even more photography knowledge and tips from Jonathan, whose work I admire and with whom I have already done a couple of photo walks.
There were just three of us on the tour, which was a great small size and ensured that we were well attended to by the guides, Jonathan and Corentin. It was my first time being in Briançon and in the French/Italian alps, and the scenery was absolutely spectacular. Even better were the sightings - I tried not to have high expectations going in, and the guides were also careful not to over-promise, but we saw everything we had wanted to and more.
The first day we were treated to a picnic near the nesting site of a short-toed snake eagle, which swooped down close to us and provided a fantastic photo opportunity. We also spotted crag martins, a grey heron, and chamois in the neighbouring mountains. The second day featured an all-day hike on challenging terrain, not always on marked trails and quite steep, but at a considerate pace for all experience levels and the guides checked on us frequently to make sure we were keeping up and maneuvering the mountainside safely. This day featured many excellent sightings, from herds of red deer, a couple of chamois, and then many birds - griffon vultures, golden eagles, kestrels, Alpine choughs, etc. The mountain was alive with grasshoppers, crickets, butterflies, marmots, foxes, and ibex, and we all had many splendid opportunities to photograph all of these frequently, from different angles and with different camera settings as coached by the guides. The landscape featured on the last day was my favourite - a theatre shaped clearing with magnificent vistas all around, and, after a short walk, opportunities to photograph from a relatively close distance: alpine ibex, chamois, marmots, and red deer - including a mature stag that galloped across the hillside in plain view, giving us many chances to take spectacular photos. It was breathtaking.
This was my first multi-day tour with Salva Fauna and I hope it won’t be my last; I am very impressed by the quality of Jonathan’s outings and the attention to detail, as well as the care he takes of his clients before, during, and after the excursion. The accommodation he selected was excellent - not a cold hotel but a rustic individual chalet, fully equipped, with warm and attentive hosts. It was my first time meeting Corentin but I found him as passionate about wildlife and wildlife photography as Jonathan is, and he knew the area like the back of his hand, guiding us to the best spots and generously sharing his knowledge (and extensive wardrobe of camouflage clothing and accessories!). All in all, it was an experience I will not quickly forget and we had difficulty parting ways on the last day, as we had shared and learned so much in such a short time. Fortunately, I have lots of fantastic photos to help me relive the trip over and over again.”
“I highly recommend Salva Fauna for wildlife/travel photography trips. From the beginning to the end, the organization was great and I honestly couldn't expect a better experience. Our teacher and guide were very professional, respectful of us and nature, took us in amazing places I couldn't imagine and gave us a lot of precious tips and trips during our weekend. I'll sign up again soon !”
“Jonathan took me to the Marais de Sionnet - the best birdwatching spot in the canton of Geneva . We met at dawn and within a few meters he was already identifying birdsong. Although the marsh is exceptionally dry this year we still managed to see 41 different species in our 4 hours together, including peregrine falcon and great white egrets. Johnathan is a complete expert with an easy manner and knows all the background info in both English and French. The day started cool and damp but ended hot. It's worthwhile bringing different layers of clothes and a snack. The total distance walked was maybe 5km. If you live in Geneva and have even a passing interest in birds then I recommend this tour.”
"This activity has the great advantage of combining 2 of my hobbies: nature and photography. Led by Jonathan - a great, professional and passionate photographer - I learned to admire small and hidden details in trees, plants, flowers, birds. On top of that, he explains practical issues of photography, which can be put in practice during the hike. His love and respect for nature makes this trip worthwhile and very appealing!!"
“I booked a weekend with Jonathan to see the deers in the Alps in October. We left Geneva very early on Saturday in order to be on time for lunch in the Alps. We were a little group of 8 people. Everything was meticulously organised. We met Corentin (the local guide) at the house where we were supposed to sleep on Saturday night (lovely little house with very good quality of food, very nice people and very clean bedrooms), dropped our stuffs and we went for our excursion.
The weather was not very nice on Saturday, very cloudy. We started our excursion with a little walk and then we stopped to be lying in wait for deers. Bad luck, we did not see one. We decided to turn round and we saw a huge group with one deer and several does. It was very nice !
On Sunday, we went in an other location. We went very early in the morning and the weather was very nice. We heard the red deer stags all around us, it was magic. And I will not tell you more because I do not want to spoil you.
I really would like to thank Jonathan for this amazing excursion, I have wonderful memories for the rest of my life. I want to thank Corentin and all the group for the good time we had.
If you have to remember one thing about this review : just book your weekend for this excursion, this is amazing and you will not be disappointed. I'm more than happy and I made wonderful photos.
Thank you Salva Fauna and see you soon on the next excursion !”
“As a beginner in wildlife photography, I wanted personal attention on a two day tour. After research I selected Jonathan at Salva Fauna due to the quality of recommendation and reviews and the art of Jonathan's photography. I was delighted with the result and amazed by the skill and knowledge that Jonathan has. His field craft ensured I was presented with the best possible opportunity to get pictures and experience amazing wildlife encounters. I learned more than I could ever have imagined and came back with an incredible set of photographs. I can not recommend Salva Fauna highly enough.”
"Let me preface this by saying that although I live in Geneva, I seek out experiences like this in other places when I travel and would definitely want to know about Salva Fauna if I was visiting as a tourist.
As a newcomer to birdwatching, I wanted to find a guide in Geneva who would introduce me to the beautiful species we see and hear around us everyday but are not able to identify. I treated myself to the tour with Jonathan as a birthday present and we spent four amazing hours together at the Marais de Sionnet. With 45 species sighted, including the rare purple heron, needless to say I got far more out of this than I had bargained for! The price of the private tour is an absolute steal for the boundless enthusiasm and knowledge Jonathan shares, and his expertise on birds and photography as well as his passion for nature is a joy to experience. I am looking forward to booking further excursions with him and would highly recommend the experience to all!"
“Ten days ago, I had the pleasure to go for my first bird watching experience. When you learn with someone passionate, it is always easier. We arrived at Marais de Sionnet with my guide Jonathan at 6am, with an initial introduction of the environment. At dawn, you don´t see much yet, but it was very interesting to listen first before recognizing any species. There was clearly three types of birds: the common ones I could spot couple of meters from us, the second part, where my guide was pointing 200-300 meters from us and the mythic ones. :-)
We were hopping to see a bittern in the marsh, but instead we manged to observe a Sparrowhawk and a Kestrel in stationary hunting mode... this was very impressive. and also, I got almost speechless when the Egret arrived as a Big White Lady. And suddenly, hours later, only my hunger pushed us to retreat to a nearby café in the village of Choulex.
Thank you Jonathan for this initiation, I would recommend to anyone. My senses are more attentive now when i go running in the forest, or by the Rhone river.
Remark: we spotted 31 different species during this immersion!”
"We went on Sunday to "La Dôle" in order to see and photograph some Chamois. We saw at first 5 or 6 chamois. They were a bit far but we managed to take some photos. Later, we managed to get very close to 15 of them, thanks to all the knowledge and experience of Jonathan. The chamois were at 15 meters from us, it was amazing. This experience was incredible and I would recommend Jonathan and his courses 1000 times if I could.
Thank you very much and I hope we will meet again.
“Amazing weekend! We shared magic moments in the mountains. Nature spoiled us! The photography lessons were adapted to our level! I highly recommend this experience.”
"I had a great experience going on a friday evening to follow a photography course with Jonathan. We started with some interesting explanations and then went for a walk to find subjects. We had the chance to see more than 12 chamois and also a baby one. By teaching me how and where to stay, I could make a lot of beautiful pictures of those wonderful animals. This was a wonderful way to start the week-end, I really recommend experiences like this one."
“Thanks to Jonathan for sharing his passion with incredible sweetness and enthusiasm! A very nice meeting and beautiful photos.”
“I spent a whole day with Salva Fauna in a very nice area called Marais de Sionnet in the Geneva area. Jon the guide was very professional and helped me both improving my photos skills and learn more about local wildlife. He spotted a lot of birds and took the time to explain me how to take the best photographs of them. It was a great sharing and enjoying experience and I look forward to spending another journey like this with Salva Fauna!”
“Jonathan is super knowledgeable and willing to share. It was a great walk, I improved my photography skills thanks to his advice. I would recommend this experience.”
“I had the most wonderful afternoon with Jonathan in the mountains of the Creux du van. We had fantastic photo opportunities with the Ibex, as well as a few birds and a Weasel! Sunset and the beautiful golden light made for some lovely landscapes as well. Jonathan was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife. He had many photography tips for some great captures as well. I loved it, thanks Jonathan, you are very lucky to be able to do what you love so much. I hope to return for another trip another day.”
“After several birdwatching tours with Jonathan in Geneva and a red deer excursion in France/Italy, I was excited to repeat the experience with a trip to Catalonia, Spain, to see Spanish ibex and various birds. The trip was impeccably planned and an unforgettable experience, from the pick-up at the airport in Barcelona to a first outing (despite the rain) to the Llobregat Delta, before we headed to Girona for two nights where we had several occasions to watch birds in the Aiguamolls de l'Emporda reserve. The sightings were magnificent, and Jonathan and Carles were careful to give us ample time to photograph each species and point out their distinguishing features. From storks, flamingoes, grey herons, three types of egret (great, cattle, little), ibis, black-crowned night herons, an astonishing number of stilts, terns, and other waders, to pied flycatchers, warblers, European bee-eaters, a number of birds of prey, and even two types of parakeets as well as a hoopoe, we saw more birds than I could have expected for the three day trip, a total of 138 species. And that is even before the splendid landscape all around us, including the mountains where we were able to spend an afternoon with several young ibex and their mothers. As always, Jonathan was attentive to point out photography opportunities, even lending me his lens for a day so I could take better pictures. If I could subtract half a point for anything, it would be the hotel - I did not find my room all that comfortable (bedding and room temperature), but appreciated having it to myself without needing to pay a single supplement as on other tours. The restaurant at the hotel more than made up for it with excellent food, and even my special diet (vegan) was very well catered for both at the hotel and with picnics. In short, I do not expect this to be my last Salva Fauna tour and look forward to many others in the future!”