A grand tour breathtaking in its sweep.
20 days in Bhutan: Birding
all the hot spots in a
setting of pristine forests, ancient Dzongs and Buddhist Gumpas.
08 days in India: Kaziranga National Park, Shillong, and
Cherapunji. Habitat includes sub tropical and warm broadleaved forests,
savannah, and grasslands cool broadleaved forests, dry alpine scrub
land, and wet lands, with altitude variation from near sea level to
3810. Bird list of 462 species recorded in 2005. Includes 07 days
camping in Bhutan. Tour starts at Paro airfield ( Bhutan) and ends at
Guwahati Airport (Assam, India)
Altitude: 3810 m by car
Nameri & Kaziranga:
Day 01: Delhi / Kolkota – Paro,
Fly in to
Paro, 2280m, from Delhi / Kolkota. Transfer to hotel.
Afternoon::sightseeing tour of Paro Valley. Overnight at hotel
Birding Cheli la, 3810 and Paro Valley
Drive 34 Kms for birding around Cheli la, 3810 – the highest point of
this tour. Afternoon birding along Paro Valley. Overnight at Hotel
Day 03: Paro-Thimpu
Drive to Thimpu. 65 Kms in 02 hrs. Check in at hotel. Afternoon;
sightseeing tour of Thimpu. Overnight at your hotel
Thimpu -. Birding Cheri Valley
Birding drive cum walk to Cheri Valley, 2711m. Return to Thimpu.
Birding drive Thimpu – Dochu la, 2250
m – Punakha, 1550 m – Shaten Camp, 1800m
Birding drive to Dochu la, 2250m. followed by birding walk
cum drive to Punakha, 1550m.. Continue to Shaten Camp, 1800 m, in the
Jigme Dorjee National Park. Overnight at fully serviced camp at Shaten.
Shaten camp- Birding Mo Chhu Valley
Birding along Mo Chhu Valley, 1600 to 1800m in the subtropical forests
of the Jigme Doirje National Park. Return to camp at Shaten for
Shaten- Punakha – Gangtey la, 3140m –
Birding drive along Mo Chhu Valley to Punakha. Sighseeing
Punakha Dzong. Continue birding drive via the Gangtey la pass, 3140 m,
to the Probjikha Valley. Visit Gangtey Gompa. Overnight at guesthouse.
Probjikha Valley – Trongsa, 2120m
Birding Probjikha Valley, followed by birding drive cum walk to Trongsa,
2120m via Pele la pass, 3420 m. Sightseeing Trongsa Dzong. - the
ancestral home of the royal family. Overnight at tourist lodge.
Trongsa – Shembang road –Tingbiti, 880 m
Birding drive along Shembang road, to Tingbiti, passing through variety
of habitat and altitude range from 2120m to 880m. Overnight in fully
serviced camp at Tingbiti.
Tingbiti – birding Shembang road
Two full days birding on Shemgang Area, 880 m. Forest
birding drive astride Tam la pass, 2070 m between Tingbiti and Korsu la
pass. Overnight in Tingbiti camp.
Tingbiti - Trongsa
Birding drive back to Trongsa. Overnight at Tourist Lodge.
Trongsa – Yotung la pass 3425m – Jakar, 2580m
Birding drive over the Yotung la pass, 3425m, to Jakar ( Bumthang),
2580m. Visit Yathra (textile) weaving cottage industry. Sightseeing
tour of Jakar Dzong, (1646 A.D), and ancient and sacred monasteries -
the Jambay Lhakhang, and Kurjey Lhakhang. Overnight at Lodge.
Jakar – Thrumsing la, 3750 – Sengor, 3000m
Birding drive to Sengor, through the
Shertang la, 3573 m, Ura
Valley, 3100m, and Thrumsing la, 3750 m, followed by spectacular spiral
descent on cliff hanging highway to Sengor, 3000m. High altitude habitat
between 2500 to 3700m.
Sengor – Yonkola, 1855m
Birding drive down through Namling, 2460m to
Yonkola, 1855m. Rich semitropical rainforest hosts many of Bhutan's most
sought-after birds. Overnight in fully serviced camp at Yongkala.
Yongkola – Birding Upper Lingmethang road
Drive back up to Namling, 2460 m and bird back down the road
to Yongkola Camp along the fabulous lush primary forests, in search of
the area's specialties. Back to camp for overnight
Yongkola – birding lower Lingmethang road
Birding along lower Lingmethang road down to
an altitude of 850 m, through the fabulous
lush primary forests, in search of the area's specialties. Back to camp
at Yongkola, for overnight
Day 19: Yongkola- Mongar,
1500m- Trashigang – Kori la, 2450m – Narphung la 1920m
Drive Yongkola to Trashigang ( 117 Kms in 04 hrs) with birding across
the Kori La pass (2450 m). in temperate broadleaf forests. Contine 101
Kms (03 hrs), to the Narphung la ridge (1698m -1920m). Overnight in camp
Narphung la – Deothang, 850m - Samdrup Jongkhar , 250 m
Birding drive Narphung la to Deothang ( 55 kms ), followed by drive to
the Indian border. Birding
in Semitropical forests At 300 meters elevation close to Samdrup
Jhonkar bridge, detour along a dirt road for good birding along a
walking trail. Overnight at hotel at Samdrup Jongkhar
Samdrupjongkhar - Guwahati - Kaziranga
After breakfast cross the border into India. After entry
formalities at thr Indian border, you will be transferred 100 kms to
Guwahati in 2.30 hrs. Visit Adjutant Stork site. After lunch continue
drive east 220 Kms ( 4.30 hrs) to Kaziranga National Park Check in at
Bon Habi Forest Lodge. In the late afternoon day light permitting take a
birding walk in the dry scrub on the edge of the nearby tea estate.
Overnight at your Forest lodge.
The World Heritage
Kaziranga National Park
is a highly reputed wild life protected area, located in Assam. A
fabulous mosaic of grasslands, forests, and pools backed by misty hills.
The Park has more than 70% of the world's one-horned rhino population,
70% of the world population of the Eastern Swamp Deer and 75% of the
world's wild Asiatic water buffalo. It has a significant population of
the Asian Elephant. Close encounters with the Great Indian one horned
Rhino, and wild Indian Elephants Swamp Deer, Asiatic Water buffalo, and
a host of animals are assured. There are plenty of Tigers around – but
there is only a 25 percent chance of spotting one.
The Park also
has more than 450 species of birds, 18 of them are globally threatened
species. Because of the varied habitat types that the Park comprises of,
as also of the strict protection accorded to them, birding in Kaziranga
is very special. The varied terrain provides habitat for wetland,
grassland, and woodland species The Bengal Florican is the main
attraction. You should also be able to see a good variety of raptors.
You are not allowed to walk inside the reserve. Birding is by jeep and
of the park is good for water birds such as Falcated Teal, White-eyed
Pochard and spot-billed pelican (a colony of 200 pairs is located in
this range). For grassland birds the Western Range is ideal. The Bengal
Florican can be seen during the elephant ride in the Central Range. The
nearby Panbari Reserved Forest is good for woodland birds such as
yellow-vented Warbler, great Hornbill, and redheaded Trogon. Other
interesting birds include Green-backed Heron, White bellied Heron
(rare), Lesser and greater Adjutants, Black-necked Storks, Spoonbill,
Grey-headed and Pallas's Fish-eagle (common), Swamp Francolin (common),
Grey-headed Lapwing, Black-bellied tern, Marsh Babbler, Jordan's
Bushchat (rare) White-throated Bushchat and many more Other birds
recorded by us: Lineated Barbet, Blue-eared Barbet, Blue-bearded
Redshank, River Lapwing, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Pied Harrier,
Spot-billed Pelican, Black-necked Stork, Rosy Minivet, Spot-winged
Starling, Dark-necked Tailorbird, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Streaked Spider
- hunter, Forest Wagtail, Blyth's Pipit, and Yellow-breasted Bunting.
Day 22-24 Apr: Kaziranga
We will spend our three full days in
Kaziranga exploring the park as best we can by jeep and on elephant
back. There are several watch points scattered throughout Kaziranga, and
we are allowed out on foot at these. We will make daily forays, twice a
day into various ranges of the park and the nearby Panbari Reserve
Forest by jeep. One morning we will take an elephant safari.
Day 25: Kaziranga National Park -
In the morning, after birding in the surrounding areas, we will drive
212 Kms in 06-07 to Shillong. Upon arrival check in at Hotel Polo Towers
the capital of Meghalaya State is a set amongst rolling lush green
hills, located at an altitude of 1500 meters. It has Pine forested
hills, terraced fields, serene river vales, lovely waterfalls,
incredible range of flora, exotic plants, and a warm and friendly
people.This " land of the rain clouds" is the wettest place on earth.
The climate is pleasant all year around with cold winters in Dec – Jan.
The Khasi, Garo, and Jaintia tribes, people Meghalaya. Until the arrival
of the British missionaries, they were animists, who practiced human
sacrifice. Christianity is now the dominant religion of the three
tribes. An interesting feature is that the society is matrilineal, and
is believed to have originated from the mythological "mother of the
root". Women therefore dominate the society. Children take the mother's
Due to deforestation, birding is confined to
few pockets of good habitat. There are several “sacred” groves, which
are pristine due to local customs. Specialties such as Long-tailed Wren
Babbler, Grey Sibia, and Dark-rumped swift ( at Cherrapunji cliffs)
are the main attraction along with several other species.
Day 26: Shillong
Full days birding around Shillong “hot spots”.
Overnight at Polo Towers.
Full days birding trip to Cherapunjee (
round trip of 112 Kms- 04 hrs travelling time). Return to Shillong for
overnight at Polo Towers.
Shillong - Guwahati
After early breakfast drive to Guwahati Airport 103 kms in 3.30 hrs,
to board your departure flight END OF SERVICES.