"Wenfei is great. She completely transformed a hike I thought I knew well by opening my eyes to beautiful birds that were hiding in plain sight just off the trail." A.M., Professor of Physics, NYU
Planning a holiday, wishing for beautiful scenery and tranquillity? Visit Montana and let Wenfei guide you :)
Breathtaking landscape and wildlife. We loved the vast sense of SPACE. Singapore don't have lah! The vast beauty of Big Sky Country indeed! Not a single tall building for miles as we headed out to the Rockies. Hours of unblocked views of rolling hills and the blue sky. It's a place where my soul and heart smiled for hours uninterrupted.
What was really unique were the unexpected wildlife sightings. Wenfei spotted a pronghorn (deer-like) far away on the hills, resting just after birth! We peered through binoculars and telescopes, watching Baby take its first shaky steps.
As any wildlife lover knows, unless you're visiting with a guide, good luck finding wildlife on your own! Even if you do see an animal or bird, it's really tough to spot and identify what it is.
Wenfei is one cool unique evolutionary biologist who *hearts* Montana and will make you fall in love with Montana too :)
— J.Y. from Singapore
Wenfei organized a full day trip for us to the Flathead Wilderness Area. We went driving on bumpy mountain roads, hiking up the side of a mountain alongside a picturesque babbling brook and picnicked next to a sparkling lake with a view of the mountains. Our focus was photography, and our route did not disappoint on that score. We also stopped for fresh baked goods and coffee on our way out of Missoula which made the ride that much more pleasant.
We are generally outdoor people but we chose to use a tour company because we were traveling with a baby and didn't know how to find routes that would be child friendly and not overly demanding. We would definitely recommend Wenfei's guiding services and have referred several friends to her Big Sky Safaris for Montana travel. In particular her being a biologist makes an outstanding enhancement to hiking - we are not very knowledgeable about birds and animal droppings, and Wenfei pointed out all sorts of interesting things for us as well as small details worth photographing that we wouldn't have noticed on our own.
Wenfei made us very comfortable, gave us excellent gear advice, and spared us many hours of poring over maps to identify good areas to visit. She also was really knowledgeable about the local plants and birds during our early autumn MT trip. This was a great splurge during our MT trip and one we'd do again in a heart beat.
— A.N. from New York, N.Y.
Our pack trip into the North Chinese Wall region of the Bob Marshall Wilderness was spectacular. The Crary family out of Choteau on the Teton River provided a safe and uniquely educational experience as the Crary clan included an incredible naturalist as a key component of the trip. Dr Wenfei Tong provided amazing perspectives on the ecology of the region consistently but unobtrusively. I heard sounds in the wilderness I’d never heard. I learned so much about the “Bob’s” ecology. We had intense discussions about environmental issues at the nightly campfire. What an amazing mashup of the most amazing vistas and naturalist learnings! Insist on a naturalist like Dr Tong on your next wilderness adventure—you’ll never see or experience the wilderness the same again.
— D.A.I. from Bozeman, Montana
Every year we organize a trip for the members of our executive team to different places here within the states and sometimes to far away destinations like the Caribbean or Tahiti . A big part of these week long retreats are the various activities offered from day to day and this year there was without question one of best that we've ever had....
Dr. Wenfei Tong was our guide and she is an absolute ROCKSTAR!!!!!!! Within a matter of seconds we all felt like we had known her forever and that we were best friends for life. Her charming demeanor was so graceful and elegant just as I would imagine it to be with the members of the Royal Family. Yet she was sooooooo humble and sincere and treated us all like we were the most important people in her life.
She was also quite brilliant. There was not a question asked that she could not answer. And even though it was not the best time of the year to see many of the animals, Wenfei filled every minute of the drive with so much color and beauty with exciting details of what happens throughout the year. As she spoke and as we gazed out of the bus windows we could actually see in our minds all of the different birds flying in the sky, and the deer, bears, elk and bison roaming across the wide open fields that surrounded us on all sides. Through her mesmerizing and poetic narratives Wenfei took us to a place where we had never been before...it was like heaven on earth with a comforting hug from Mother Nature.
Now on a different but related note, Wenfei introduced us to a place where this charming local couple were making donuts from a closely guarded family recipe and these donuts were world-class. Nothing fancy mind you but absolutely and memorably delicious. Later that day she took us to a place for lunch where one of their specialties was in-house smoked trout. It was so good it almost made me cry. I bring these two experiences up only to showcase the wide range of knowledge that Wenfei has of all points of interest in the area.
Wenfei is one of the nicest...if not THE NICEST...person that you will ever meet in this lifetime and she is also the best of the best in her field of expertise.
-- R.O. from Newport Beach, C.A.
Wonderful tour and time!
We feel so lucky to have found Dr. Wenfei Tong! From the moment I reached out to check her availability, I knew this was going to be a great experience. Wenfei was such a joy to coordinate with, learn from and talk to and be with for an afternoon that we left her feeling as if we now have a new good friend. She has the rare combination of deep knowledge and expertise about the area and nature and wildlife broadly, along with a natural love for people and ease at communicating and connecting with anyone (even people like us with very little prior knowledge about wildlife and wildflowers, etc.).
Rather than push any particular itinerary, before we even booked, Wenfei went out of her way and took the time to talk with us in detail before coming up with two fantastic options with lots of specified detail and stops for how we could spend our time with her. She considered the weather for the day in question, our backgrounds, interests and past travel experience, and was entirely flexible before we booked and even during the afternoon with her - her goal being making our time with her the most positive and interesting experience possible for us. We ended up going on a hike next to a mountain creek's gorgeous cascades waterfalls and tons of wildflowers, and seeing and learning lots about birds. We also drove out to a spot we never would have found on our own, to get to see the most adorable burrowing owl keeping watch nearby her eggs soon to hatch any day now. We loved talking with Wenfei, whether it was about what was in front of us, or Montana at large, and so much more! It was a real treat having her as a guide and being with her for several hours. She then again reached out after our tour to send a beautiful photo of our time together, and type up some of the information she shared with us live (e.g., book recommendations). I plan to come back to the area with my kids next time and take her tours again and again! She can do all kinds of activities (hiking, river floats, etc.), but also tours by car if the weather isn't going to be great. Don't hesitate -- just reach out and she will definitely come up with the perfect experience for you too. Thanks so much again, Wenfei!
— R.W. from New York
“Spending the day with a resident expert in her field was so extra special I can't even say enough!”
Wenfei answered our myriad of questions perfectly and made our trip wildlife spotting trip memorable!
In addition to knowing all things (and I do mean all) about the local birds, including their sounds and habitats, she could also share information perfectly about the bison, the pronghorn antelopes (that we saw that day) and the native grizzlies.
The local donuts were amazing as well as our lunch out with some local Montana fare.
All in all a superb day, chock full of information that will have your feeling like an expert too! Don't miss this opportunity!
— O.L. from Lewisville, TX. and part of a Corporate Retreat organised for the Cheesecake Factory
Wenfei took me on an expedition to Bury St Edmunds to see the starling murmurations. She came with a telescope, binoculars and a wide knowledge of the many birds we came across before it was time to witness the starlings.
She set up the telescope every time she spotted a must-see bird for me to get a close-up view and really appreciate the beauty and elegance of the varied species of water birds. When we went into the different hides other twitchers would immediately turn their attention to her clear and informed descriptions of the bird or birds we were looking at. She was so clear and precise about their habits, lineage and rarity. Everyone listened attentively.
Later on the sun began to set and we witnessed the starlings fly in large groups together through the air, she explained the various different theories describing this strange ritual and so encouraging and polite when I attempted to contribute some random thoughts. Wenfei had come prepared with a hip-flask and some dark chocolate which she shared with me. Wenfei’s enthusiasm and knowledge is rejuvenating and I came away with a new interest in bird-watching. I hope we will go on another trip when she is next in the UK.
— L.H. from Cambridge. U.K.