Alex grew up in Copan Ruinas on the western part of Honduras. He first became interested in birds when working for the Hotel Posada Real de Copan but his passion was really sparked by a spell working closely with wild and rehabilitated birds at Macaw Mountain, a bird park and nature reserve outside of Copan. Over the years Alex took part in guiding and tourism training courses and began leading groups all over the country. He is now among the top guides recommended by the Honduras Institute of Tourism, thanks to his pursuit of excellence and his vast experience of leading birding groups. Alex is a past President of the Honduran Ornithological Association and co-organiser of the Honduras Birding for Conservation Tour. He is currently the co-owner of Natural Selections Nature Tours and leads birding groups to Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Colombia and Nicaragua.
Dr Svetlana Ashby
Svetlana was born in Russia but lived in Kazakhstan for many years where she led scientific research in wildlife biology and was a lecturer in environmental studies at the State Agricultural University in Almaty. She has birded widely around the world including Russia and other former Soviet Union countries. She is founder of and principal tour leader for Kazakhstan Bird Tours having extensive knowledge of all aspects of Kazakhstan’s natural history and culture.
Vaughan became interested in birds in the early 1960s and started birding seriously in the mid 1970s. He founded Birdfinders in 1993 running tours for local RSPB groups and in 1996, after 24 years working as an assistant bank manager, turned it into a full time occupation. He has since travelled extensively around the world and has led over 200 tours to every continent on earth. He is former treasurer of Portland Bird Observatory and former Dorset Bird Report editor.
Suchit was born in the eastern Terai of Nepal and worked as a full time naturalist in the Royal Chitwan National Park for five years during which time he accumulated an invaluable knowledge of its flora and fauna. He started work as a full time wildlife leader in 1994 and his great enthusiasm, cheerful and friendly disposition, together with exceptional ornithological knowledge has made him a very popular leader of our Nepal tours.
Gustavo was born and raised in Lima but has been living in Cusco since 2010. His interest in birds began at the age of thirteen when he travelled for the first time to the Peruvian Amazon, where he was amazed by the extraordinary beauty of nature in the Tambopata National Park, Peru. From that moment his interest in nature and birding grew and he decided to study ecotourism. He started birding at the age of nineteen at the Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge in Lima, where he carried out his first research into nocturnal bird vocalizations. After finishing his studies he moved to Tambopata, where he started leading bird tours. He also began to undertake volunteer fieldwork for several studies including macaw research, the Bird Census in Lima and Cusco and a project about nocturnal bird behaviour according to the moon phase. Gustavo has worked in Colombia for the NGO Proaves and leads bird tours in Colombia and Peru.
Solomon has been interested in birds since childhood in Tigray province. After gaining a Natural Science degree at Addis Ababa University, he developed experience of Ethiopia’s birds and habitats as he travelled to various parts of the country with his work in the coffee industry. He then began working as a birdguide and 10 years ago, started his own ground agency.
Originally from south London where he studied and trained as an Industrial Chemist, Bill started birding in his early teens and soon developed a fascination for bird migration. His travels have taken him to every continent, except Antarctica, and to some of the best migration hot-spots in the world. He has travelled extensively on the Indian sub-continent, in Asia and in Africa and has led tours to these areas as well as to Europe and North America.
Tudor is a forest engineer by profession in Romania but now leads birdwatching and wildlife tours on a full-time basis. He is an enthusiastic ornithologist with a keen eye and all-round wildlife ability and has a great love for all aspects of natural history. The Carpathian Mountains are his ‘local patch’. It is an area he knows better than anyone, making him the perfect guide on our tours.
Ricardo Viegas Casarin
Ricardo was born in Dourados, South Mato Grosso state and has been involved in tourism since 1998. As a bird guide, Ricardo has been leading tours in the Cerrado and Pantanal since late 1990s but nowadays his areas have extended to other Mato Grosso’s destinations such as South of Amazon in Alta Floresta. Ricardo is a Brazilian Tourism Board (Embratur) Certified Guide and one of the best birdwatching and natural history guides in Brazil. To achieve that, he is always improving his knowledge and techniques, by taking courses and participating of meetings and conferences on the subject. In 2010 Ricardo was invited to teach a course for the state environmental office of Tocantins state (NATURATINS), to teach natural history guiding, bird watching guiding and wild life photography guiding for the technical workers as a biologists, zoologists and guides. Always giving lectures at the tour guide courses and to the technical federal school in Cuiabá, also at the UEMS, The stadual university of Mato Grosso do Sul state. He has a great experience guiding wild life photographers bringing the best spots and angles. He is coauthor of the book, MANUAL DO GUIA DE TURISMO EM AREA NATURAL ((Editora entrelinhas, 2011) with Leila Cunha. Ricardo lives in Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso state, with his wife and two children.
Born and raised in Taiwan, Richard has been a nature lover since he was a child. After receiving his Master of Science degree from RPI, New York, he returned to Taiwan, where, in 2000, he joined the Wild Bird Society of Taipei as a volunteer interpreter to lead birding trips and to introduce more people to birdwatching. He has run many scheduled tours for overseas birding companies and tailor-made custom tours for individuals.
Lee Kok Chung
Lee Kok Chung has travelled extensively within Malaysia, including Borneo and the surrounding regions in search of birds and has turned birdwatching from a hobby when he was young into being a professional bird guide for the past 10 years. He is multi lingual speaking fluent English, Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese and has led groups from many countries. Lee has a nature guide license from the Ministry of Tourism and is a member of Malaysia Nature Society.
Chris has visited over sixty countries and territories around the world in search of birds including multiple visits to all the continents and has seen well over 5,000 species of birds on his travels. In 2003 he decided to become a full time birder and wildlife guide and now guides trips all over the world. He has been on the managing Committee of the Neotropical Bird Club since the mid-1990s and has recently retired from the Editorial Committee of the widely acclaimed Neotropical Birding magazine.
Leio De Souza
Leio is from Goa and is a founding partner of Backwoods Camp, a birding lodge in Goa’s Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary. A self-taught naturalist and keen bird photographer, Leio is a professional bird tour leader with extensive knowledge of India’s natural history having guided bird tours for individuals, groups and tour companies in Goa and throughout India for almost 20 years. Together with his English wife Jennifer, Leio is founder of and principal tour leader for India Nature Tours which handles the ground arrangements for Birdfinders' tours.
Nara is the senior bird guide of our ground agents. He started in conservation work in 2007 and since then, has led many birding groups for all the major worldwide bird tour companies as well as many individual ‘target-birders’. He loves exploring new places, meeting people and taking them to see his nature and culture and enjoys finding all the birds that his groups want to see. Nara is excellent at birdsong identification and, can identify almost all the species by their call. He strongly believes that the only way to change the behaviour of villagers towards wildlife and the habitat is by providing them with an alternative livelihood and actively pursues this way forward.
Silverio was born in the rainforests of Peru and comes from the Ese-Eja indigenous community on the Tambopata River where he has spent most of his life. He has worked for many years as a rainforest natural history guide in the Tambopata-Candamo National Park and has specialized in leading bird tours for the last few years. He has the eyes and ears of a true native of the rainforests and is incredibly adept at spotting quietly sitting birds. He has broadened his horizons and is now one of our top bird tour leaders in Manu and Machu Picchu and North Peru. He is reknowned for his fieldcraft and knowledge of all aspects of rainforest ecology.
Elmer was born in Honduras and raised in the countryside. It was there, at the edge of the Honduran rain forest, that his intimate knowledge of nature and birds was born. He began working at The Lodge at Pico Bonito in 1999, constructing trails and clearing vegetation. Within a few years, his enthusiasm, patience, natural teaching abilities, and love of nature saw him promoted to The Lodge’s guide staff. Elmer applied himself, learned to speak English and eagerly began to devour every birding and nature field guide he could find. Along the way, he received extensive guiding and interpretive training from a number of organizations and The Lodge itself. Today, with nearly 10 years’ experience leading international birding clients over much of Honduras, Elmer is perhaps The Lodge’s most well-known and requested birding guide.
Andy Foster owns and manages Serra dos Tucanos, a birders lodge based in the Atlantic rainforest of southeast Brazil. Now in its 11th year, Andy set up the lodge together with his wife Cristina back in 2002 in this endemic-rich area! Andy previously worked at a nature reserve on the south coast of England and was responsible for bird and botanical surveys. In 1995 he made his first visit to Brazil, after which he was hooked on the Neotropics! He was responsible for helping with the establishment of a local wetland reserve and conservation NGO based in the State of Rio de Janeiro. From there he went on to establish Serra dos Tucanos lodge and begun to guide birding tours within the local area. Having now spent over 10 years birding within the Tres Picos State Park where Serra dos Tucanos Lodge is located, Andy knows the local area extremely well, and has spent numerous hours in the field guiding birding trips and sharing his knowledge of the local birds with many guests!
Sid's background ranges from being a shepherd on the Falkland Islands to eight years as a Red Cross worker in a refugee centre. Several years ago however, he decided to retrace some of his early birdwatching adventures but after meeting his wife to be, Meggie, he never got further than the birding hotspot of Sichuan and is now based in Chengdu. Sid and Meggie have for the last 3 years made ornithology their full-time profession; both with helping organise and leading bird tours into Sichuan and through Sichuan bird surveying work.
Neil worked in the conservation field for 23 years – National Trust (Farne Islands), Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology (Sub-Antarctic Prince Edward Islands) and the RSPB (including 15 years at Arne in Dorset). Freelance since 2006, he carries out ecological survey work, leads bird watching trips, runs Calluna Books (specialising in second hand natural history titles) and is now the editor and publisher of The Birdwatcher’s Yearbook. He is a former Dorset County Bird Recorder/Chairman of the Dorset Bird Club and has travelled regularly on birding trips, particularly to Spain, Lesvos, South Africa and Japan.
Dimiter has been working on conservation projects for over 25 years, 18 of which have been spent monitoring wintering geese around the Black Sea. Dimiter has been interested in birds since 1975 and has led birdwatching and natural history tours in Bulgaria since 1992.
English by birth, Gerard has lived abroad for many years and is regarded as an expert on birds in Eastern Europe, where he has led over 500 tours. He is the author of several books, including Where to Watch Birds in Eastern Europe, The Birds of Hungary and Central & Eastern European Wildlife. His main interest is in woodpeckers and is also author of Woodpeckers of Europe, the monograph The Black Woodpecker and the acclaimed Woodpeckers of the World – The Complete Guide.
Joe grew up in northern South Africa and since a very young age showed a great passion for the natural environment around him. He is qualified in conservation and wildlife management and has a Masters in ornithology. However, he is most famous in the birding world for beating the 300 species in a day record in South Africa! Joe has been involved in a vast array of wildlife related activities ranging from field research in the Kruger National Park, game capture and translocation, field guide training, management of large private game reserves and environmental management for local government. Joe is based in the Limpopo Province, were he has been instrumental in establishing birding routes, bird clubs and bird watching sites. He has designed organized and conducted birding and other eco-safaris across southern Africa for over twenty years and still enjoys every excursion as much as his clients do.
Nicky is Birding Adventure Philippines’ President and lead bird guide. Nicky has had extensive experience leading birding trips for private individuals and groups as well as for tour operators. A veteran birder himself, Nicky knows his birds. He is recognized for his talent for spotting birds and patience in calling in elusive endemics such as pittas, shamas and tailorbirds. His experience in leading tours, his keenness as a birder and his easy-going nature has made Nicky very popular with both his local and foreign clients.
Solomon is a Gambian national who has an extensive knowledge of the birds, sites and people of his country. He is president of the West African Bird Study Association and organises Habitat Africa, a group of the best birdguides in The Gambia. Solomon’s enthusiasm for birds and his easy-going nature cannot fail to make an impression on you.
Le Quy Minh
Minh is one of the most experienced birding guides in Vietnam and one of the country’s top birders. He is a well-known figure among the international birding community especially for those who have visited Central Vietnam, and Bach Ma National Park in particular, where he headed up the ecotourism department for many years. Since 2007 Minh has been guiding full time with Vietnam Birding, which allows him more time to follow his love of birding and pass on his guiding skills to our other guides.
Luis was born in Yucatan and studied in the University of Yucatan. He worked for 17 years in the Botanical Garden,” Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin” of Puerto Morelos and is a specialist birding guide, the most experienced and qualified in the Yucatan Peninsula. Luis has spent the last 20 years searching for the best places to find birds around the Yucatan Peninsula and regularly guides birders in the field.
Saman is a very hard working naturalist and always has a smile on his face. He has been working as a wildlife guide since 1999 at Udawalawe, Yala and Bundala National Parks and has many years of experience. This experience in the national parks and rainforests has made him excellent in spotting and finding the difficult and rare species in all terrains. Saman has actively participated and contributed on many research programmes and has also assisted BBC for a documentary programme on Elephants.
Przemysław works in the Polish Forestry Department and has been involved in many conservation schemes including those for Ural Owls and Wolves. Przemek’s knowledge of the sites and birds of Poland is excellent. He has led Birdfinders tours to Poland for the past ten years.
Peter has been bird recorder and report editor for Glamorgan, a member of the British Ornithologists Union Records Committee and chairman of the British Birds Rarities Committee. His main interests are bird identification, migration and recording. He has written many published papers and is co-author of Birds of Glamorgan. Peter is a regular Birdfinders tour leader.
Jorge has been guiding for 9 years in his native region of Pichincha, the capital of which of course is Quito, also the capital of the country. Jorge’s started guiding soon after leaving school, encouraged by his family and he speaks fluent English. As well as birding, his other passion is painting.
Neil is rated as one of the top wildlife guides in Namibia. Neil has expanded his phenomenal birding knowledge to include wildlife, plants and almost everything else to do with nature. Working with people is second nature to him and he sets high standards for birding and wildlife tours to create memories that are never to be forgotten. Neil’s intimate local knowledge ensures that his groups always find the birds and other wildlife. He is also the author of An expert’s guide to finding the animals in Etosha.
Paul is an excellent birding and wildlife tour leader and has led many tours for international companies and private groups. He has an amazing ability to spot species in the most difficult habitat and also knows all birds by song/call. A very popular leader with clients, his professional attitude, logistical excellence and personable and social character are complemented by his calm leading style, enthusiasm and love of his work. Paul lives near Kakum National Park and is always in the field researching species and new locations to find them.
Xavier is a conservationist by heart and is Neblina Forests founder, owner and guide by profession. He has been working as Board Member and been mentor for both AVES & CONSERVACION (previously known as CECIA) and the Jocotoco Foundation. Guiding Ecuador since 1997, Xavier nowadays also guides birding trips to Bolivia, Brazil, Guyana and Peru and is always looking for new destinations in the neotropics.
Ko Pan is a very well-known conservationist and ornithologist and from Kalaw in Myanmar and has taken part in various research projects together with international conservation agencies since the early 2000s. He worked on the Birdlife International Gurney’s Pitta rediscovery project in 2003 and after that started working as a freelance bird guide. He is the major contributor for the preservation of the Cold Water Reservoir (which is the main birding site in Kalaw) by raising concerns with the authority and is also passionately promoting bird watching activities by training locals to become bird guides.
Wichyanan L. Patthanakij
Wichyanan (Jay) is a member of Thailand’s Bird Records Committee, as well as a regional hotspot and data quality editor of eBird. He has co-led Wings’ Thailand tours in 2008–2009 before pursuing a master’s degree in Biology at Mahidol University. Apart from involving with many conservation projects he has also been leading many birding tours.
Hugo is a licensed guide in ecotourism with a graduate degrees in sustainable development and photography. He has worked in many different jobs and projects in ecotourism and conservation since 2004, working with National Parks and protected areas in Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Ecuador. He is highly knowledgeable about protected areas, ecology, conservation strategies and Bolivia's different ecosystems, he has also held jobs directly involved in bird conservation with the Asociación Armonía. Hugo has much field experience guiding specialised bird and mammal watching tours. He is also an experienced wildlife and nature photographer with his photos having been published in various local media, publications specialising in environmental matters and governmental as well as non-governmental institutions. He is also the founder of the Photo Club Bolivia Salvaje and Fundación Yaguareté.
Ismael “Nando” Quiroz
Nando is one the most experienced birders in Panama, and has excellent knowledge of Soberanía, Chagres, and Metropolitan National Parks, as well as Darien province. After many years in the field he is familiar no less than 400 bird calls/songs in the country. Nando started birding in 2001 working in Cerro Azul, and for eleven years he guided in a private property owned by the Audubon Society. In 2012 he was hired by Canopy Tower Lodges as one of their senior birding guides and has worked for four years as Hotel Manager of Canopy Camp in the Darien area.
Lalaina (known as Lala) has been a birding and wildlife guide in Madagascar since 2000 and has closely worked with our ground agents since 2005 so knows all the requirements of birders. He has been visited all the major sites in Madagascar and has worked with a number of different international tour operator both on general wildlife tours and specialist birding. He initially trained in the field of tourism in Antanarivo then trained in the field of wildlife in the Botanical and Zoological garden of Tsimbazaza and is now acknowledged as one of the best birdwatching guides in Madagascar. He speaks fluent English, French and Malagasy.
Anthony one of Tanzania's top bird guides and has extensively studied the birds of the country's main birding sites with the emphasis on Tanzanian endemics. He graduated from one of Africa's top wildlife colleges (based on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro) with a degree in wildlife management. Combined with his field experience, not only of birds but also all other forms of wildlife, and his love for nature, he has attained a reputation as one of the leading wildlife guides and photographers of the region. In addition to guiding ornithological tours throughout Tanzania and its isles, Anthony also has experience in birding sites in neighboring Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia where he guides bird and general wildlife tours. As a local ornithologist, Anthony's guiding experience ranges from international biology students and researchers, casual tourists, to top bird field guide authors and avian photographers not forgetting world class listers and birders. When not guiding, Anthony is an assistant at the National Natural History Museum of Arusha, participates in training upcoming local bird guides in Arusha, where he lives and updating bird lists for several national parks in Tanzania. He particularly loves the ID challenge of cisticolas and resident warblers.
Neil spent his early years on his parents’ farm in Kent, and has had a keen interest in wildlife and birds for as long as he can remember. While studying at Nottingham University in the early to mid-seventies, he became involved with the Wash Wader Ringing Group and the next few years found him mist-netting and cannon-netting a wide variety of waders along the Lincolnshire and Norfolk coast. The late 1980s saw the twitching bug take hold and soon Neil was combining work trips with birding in many parts of the UK. Overseas birding took Neil to Florida, Australia, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago during the 1990s, and he has since travelled and birded extensively in Europe, North America, South America, South Africa, India, China, Australia and South-east Asia. Neil left the UK to move to New Zealand in 2005 and has spent his time since then guiding in Fiordland, a huge national park in the far south west of New Zealand’s South Island, showing his guests the amazing scenery and wildlife in this very special area.
Raphael was born in Curitiba, South Brazil and showed interest in wild animals at an early age. In 2001 he commenced studies on bird communities at university and since then has spent nearly 10 years dedicating his time to bird study and conservation. His experience provides him with the knowledge to guide birding groups around many parts of Brazil, including the Amazon Forest, Pantanal, Cerrado, Atlantic Forest, Araucaria Forest, Southern Wetlands and Pampas. Last year he co-ordinated the study group and wrote the book Action Plans for Threatened Species in Paraná State and he has also published several scientific articles in specialised magazines in South America and is the co-author of the book Birds of Curitiba: a Records Collection. Raphael has also led groups to other parts of South America including Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Uruguay. He is also an environmental consultant and has developed studies for many important companies including Petrobrás, ALL, Renault do Brasil, Eletrosul and Furnas Centrais Elétricas. Rafael also has a good knowledge of neotropical bird songs and has an important collection of rare bird recordings.
Alfredo has a masters degree in Tropical Biology and Ecotourism and has worked in numerous teaching and research projects, including some with The British Natural History Museum. As a professional birding guide, he is member of the Association of Ornithologists of Costa Rica, Union of Ornithologists of Costa Rica and American Birding Association. He has been guiding for 25 years in Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Tropical nature is his passion and his birding trips have included much of North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Islands.
Of Spanish and Scottish ancestors, Luis’ home land is Patagonia, where he spent most of his life. Luis started to work as a naturalist guide in 1982. Based in Buenos Aires at that time, he joined the Argentine Ornithological Society (AOP) and the Argentine Wildlife Foundation (FVSA), taking several courses on birds, bird watching, marine mammals, flora and geology and he soon started guiding some groups of Argentine birders and naturalists in a variety of National Parks and Nature Reserves within the country. At age 20 Luis led his first group of foreign birders throughout Argentina and ever since he has been working as a tour leader for these kinds of groups. In 1985, Luis was hired by a tour company in Buenos Aires to develop and manage their educational tours department, and this became the first tour companies ever to run scheduled tours to Costanera Sur, the famous wildlife reserve located in the heart of Buenos Aires City; this happened even before it became a reserve! In 1987, Luis decided to move back to his home town Puerto Madryn. Based here, he continued working as an independent tour leader and locally as tour guide specialising in birding and nature tours. In 1997 he started Seebirds, a birding tour company focused on Patagonia. In 2000, together with Miguel Castelino, he founded Birding Argentina/Trogon Tours. Luis has also been involved in many wildlife conservation projects, mainly on shorebirds and seabirds. He has been worked as a volunteer with the Magellanic Penguin project in Punta Tombo for four seasons and was in charge of a rescue station for penguins affected by the off-shore oil spilling in Puerto Madryn in 1991. That same year, Luis helped founding the Austral Ornithological Society, of which he became the first president. Ever since, he has been organising and leading birdwatching tours in Patagonia, encouraging other tour guides and general public to start birding, and so helping to create in the local community a bird-sensitive atmosphere.
James P. Smith
James is a staff leader and has led many tours for us over the past 5 years. James was originally from Yorkshire but now lives in the northeastern US. He leads all of our US tours as well as tours to Gambia, India and Israel, where he still retains his position on the rare birds committee.
Chubzang was born and brought up in Trongsa, Central Bhutan. He strongly believes in his country’s environmental protection and has extensive knowledge of his country, its culture, traditions and people. Chubzang began leading birding tours in 2000 and has worked with the International Crane Foundation. Chubzang is now acknowledged as one of Bhutan's top birders. He has travelled widely in the USA, India, Thailand and the UK but returns to Bhutan to lead birding groups and to research for documentary films, photography and editorials. He is a passionate photographer and has exhibited his work in Nature Reserves and Art Centres.
Yeo Siew Tek
Yeo was born in the Malaysian state of Sarawak so it was little surprise that he grew up influenced by the natural world. He has been involved in numerous expeditions to remote areas of this bird-rich island which includes Sabah, Kalimantan and Brunei as well as Sarawak and includes the rediscovery of Black Oriole amongst his achievements. Yeo is one of the most experienced licensed bird guides in Malaysia and has been leading birdwatching tours for all the best worldwide birdwatching tour companies since the beginning of the century. He is also a keen conservationist, heavily involved with the Malaysia Nature Society and the Sarawak Forest Department, for whom he surveys the state's National Parks. A Borneo birding tour with Yeo will not only be productive bird-wise, but an all-round nature experience as he enjoys sharing his knowledge with participants.
Luis Eduardo Urueña
Luis is a biologist from the Universidad del Tolima with over 14 years’ experience of birding and conducting scientific research on endangered species in Colombia. For the past four years Luis has worked as a birding guide for a number of international birding companies, an opportunity that has given him valuable experience both in birding and tour logistics and now runs his own ground agency, Manakin Nature Tours. Luis Eduardo won a “Watcher Prize” from the British Petroleum Company Conservation Programme when he worked with the enigmatic Blue-billed Curassow for ProAves Fundation and has also worked with the Smithsonian Institute in the USA.
Toni lives on the west coast of Finland where he works as an environmental engineer. He started birdwatching in the late 1980s and over the past few years has led a number of birdwatching tours in Finland and Norway including for Birdfinders. The combination of Toni’s knowledge, energy and enthusiasm makes him a very popular leader.
Vince is a life-long birder, having grown up in Cape Town (but also lived and birded a while in California). Vince has a degree in biology, and has worked as a seabird scientist and in nature conservation. He leads tours across South Africa, has led over 100 pelagic trips, and his Southern African list is fast approaching 850 species. He’s passionate about sharing his birding knowledge with others, and is involved with the Cape Bird Club youth birding.
Nigel works for In Focus and is a well-known figure in the south-west birding scene. His extensive birding experience in the Western Palearctic, North America and Asia, combined with his sense of humour, makes him a popular leader.