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Our Story

It all began when our founder, Askar Isabekov, a mathematician by training and an avid bird-lover by nature, decided in 2008 to create a website for Kazakh birdwatchers and ornithologists to share their observations and photographs. The site proved invaluable in linking people from various regions of the country, who had until then done their birdwatching and research in isolation. The community that Askar created lives on and not only in Kazakhstan: he created similar websites for birdwatchers in all the post-Soviet countries, with many of them still very actively used. We are very lucky to benefit from the constant stream of observations from these communities in designing our trips.

On the back of this community, Askar and his wife, Anar, began running birdwatching trips. Their small business was going very well (Central Asia is, after all, a fantastic place!) until Askar sadly passed away from Covid in early 2021.

Difficult as it was, Anar decided to continue showcasing her country’s birdlife and partnered with Louis-Philippe Campeau, a Canadian birding guide based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Together, they are continuing Askar’s work in promoting birdwatching locally in Kazakhstan and introducing birders from around the world to the rich avian diversity of Central Asia.

Anar Isabekova

Anar is our logistical goddess! After years organising Askar’s never-ending birding trips and reminding him not to forget to eat, she knows exactly how to take care of birdwatchers. A keen birder herself (and a retired mathematician, like her late husband), she is committed to helping people, locally as well as from abroad, discover her country and the natural places that she is passionate about. She feels most at home on the road, especially in the deserts that she loves!

”Our nice and friendly guides were Askar and Anar Isabekova. They took care of transport, food, accommodation and guiding. We can warmly recommend their services.” Raimo Heinonen, 2018

Louis-Philippe Campeau

Louis’ first forays into Central Asia were on a bicycle ride from Kyiv over 12 years ago. Exploring the region on two wheels, he fell in love with it and finally decided to call it home while completing his Masters in Central Asian studies in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, writing his thesis on the city’s green spaces. His childhood passion for nature took over and he has been sharing his ornithological knowledge of the region with others since 2019. A founding member of the Ornithological Society KG and its director for three years, he hopes to put Central Asia in general and Kyrgyzstan in particular on the international birding map, as well as develop our ornithological understanding of the area. He has a particular fondness for bustard species, little bustards in particular, as has conducted research in the birds returning to breed in Northern Kyrgyzstan. Louis speaks French, English and Russian.

”Louis-Philippe is an outstanding ornithologist and I could totally relate to his experience. With him we go beyond just the satisfaction of ticking off seeing a new species to spending time really enjoying observing the bird in question. I really bonded to Louis and experienced our relationship as not one of client and guide, but more of a friendship.” [translated from French] Jean-Paul Roux, 2022

English (UK)