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Birdwatching in North East India

Over 1200 of the world’s 8650 species are found in India. India's bird check- list is twice the size of Europe and North America. This abundance is attributable to the extraordinary variety of habitat and climate, which include; coastal mangrove forests, tropical deciduous forests, coniferous & Sub-Alpine Forests, dense evergreen forests, scrubland, grassland, open cultivated land and desert - both hot and ice cold. The habitat ranges in altitude from sea level to the highest mountain ranges – We can take you birding up to altitudes of 5000 meters. The climate varies between extreme hot to the alpine cold of the snowy regions. Our rainfall spans from minimal in the desert region to the wettest in the World - 1150 cams.

"Eaglesnest Arunachal"

By the mid-20th century, the hobby of bird-watching in India was developing into an tourist industry. People have always enjoyed looking at and listening to birds, but an increasing number have taken an interest in identifying birds and in traveling to new areas to see them. Books and magazines about birds, recordings of birdsong, and binoculars and telescopes for bird-watching are sold in tremendous numbers. Amateurs as well as professionals photograph birds and record their song. Many dozens of travel agencies and individual tour guides specialize in leading bird-watching trips.

"Not just birds - Indian Rhino"

In common with other forms of tourism, such trips are valuable to the economies of the visited areas and countries as well as to the manufacturers of the bird-watching equipment. Moreover, this enormous popular interest in birds seems to bode well for public support of wildlife conservation measures and for ecological awareness in general. Many amateurs have gone well beyond the “bird-listing” stage and, either on their own or under professional direction, have made important contributions to ornithology (the study of birds). A lot of birdwatchers from all over the world visit India every year and it is increasing in number.

"Trip map"


Electronic map of India


Tour I

24 Day tour to North East India. Nagaland, Assam and West Arunachal Pradesh (Eaglesnest).


The northeast Indian hill country and adjacent Himalayas is an important center of endemism and biodiversity in general, full of charismatic wildlife species so as to excite almost any imagination. Nagaland-Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary setup in 1998 by the ecolocigically conscious people of Khonoma Village to protect the endangered Blyth’s Tragopan and other wildlife in their natural Habitat, it is a 96 sq km area of forest as a sanctuary.
Eaglesnest wildlife sanctuary, West Kameng, is located in Western Arunachal Pradesh and are the highest in elevation. Named after the Kameng river which drains the basin of Gori Chen and Kangto peaks, this region is spread below the Himalayan watershed on the borders with Tibet in the North and Bhutan in the West. The topography is truly amazing rising from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam through tangled ridges at elevations of around 1500 meters to 7080 meters on the watershed of the Himalayas. The biggest advantage of Eaglesnest (expected to provide the bulk of the star species) over other montane forests of Arunachal is a jeep track which cuts right through its heart from the pass at 2800m down to the flood plains of Assam at 100m - its easy access, excellent forest and wide altitudinal range is a unique combination for Arunachal.
The contiguous forests, Eaglesnest wildlife sanctuary, Nameri National Park (in Assam) and the surrounding blocks of reserve forests, encompassing over 2500 sq.km and 3400m in altitude, form one of the largest protected regions of Arunachal. This east Himalayan area is located close to the Bhutan border in western Arunachal. We will be visiting the d Eaglesnest wildlife sanctuary(mid altitude : 800-2800m) and some higher altitude (3000-4000m) localities further north below the Tsela pass. This visit to a really high altitude area and we look forward to augmenting the species list with birds of fir, rhododendron scrub and alpine meadows.
Some of the specialty birds which can be seen are: Rufous-bellied Hawk-Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Pied Falconet, Common Hill-Partridge, Temminck's Tragopan, Ashy Wood-Pigeon, Tawny Wood-Owl, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Ward's Trogon, Golden-throated Barbet, Crimson-breasted Pied-Woodpecker, Bay Woodpecker, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Grey-chinned Minivet, Rufous-bellied Bulbul, Maroon-backed Accentor, Eye-browed Thrush, Fea's Thrush, Gould’s Shortwing, White-browed Shortwing, Blue-fronted Robin, Little Forktail, Golden Bush-Robin, Rufous-breasted Bush-Robin, Purple Cochoa, Grey-sided Laughing-thrush, Scaly Laughing-Thrush, Black-faced Laughing-Thrush, Red-faced Liocichla, Coral-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Various wren-babblers (wedge-billed, bar-winged, pygmy, spotted, Rufous-throated and scaly-breasted), gold-headed babbler, cutia, Rufous-bellied Shrike-Babbler, Green Shrike-Babbler, White-hooded Babbler, Red-tailed Minla, Various Tit-Babblers, Fulvetta (Golden-breasted, Brown-throated, and Yellow-throated), Three Sibias (Beautiful and Rufous-backed), Various Yuhina (Black-chinned, Rufous-vented and White-naped), Fire-tailed Myzornis, Six parrot bills (Greater and Lesser Rufous-headed, Brown, Grey-headed and Fulvous-fronted), Mountain Tailorbird, three Tesias (Chestnut-headed, Grey-bellied and Slaty-bellied), Various flycatcher-warblers (broad-billed, white-spectacled, chestnut-crowned and black-faced), four niltavas (including vivid and large), Thirteen Flycatchers (including. White-gorgeted), Rufous-bellied and Grey-crested Tits, Sultan Tit, Beautiful Nuthatch, Wallcreeper, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Mrs Gould’s and Fire-tailed Sunbird, Gold-naped Black-Finch, Bevan’s Bullfinch, Brown Bullfinch.

Itinerary
Expect 400+ birds.

Day 1: Calcutta/Delhi to Dimapur –Khonoma(Nagaland)2200 mtrs.
Fly from Calcutta to Dimapur airport and transfer to Khonoma Village in 03.30 hours overnight in fully serviced camps.
Day 2: Khonoma.
Full days birding around Khonoma up 2500 meters-overnight fully serviced camps.
Key species likely to be seen are: Blyth’s Tragopan, Kaleej Pheasants, Hill Partridges, Rufous-throated Partridge, Mountain Bamboo Partridges, Grey-sided Thrush, Black-breasted Thrush, Eye-browed Thrush, Solitary Snipe, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Vivid Niltava, Golden Bush Robin Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Striped Laughingthrush, Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Red-faced Liocichla, Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Naga Wren-Babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Fire-tailed Sunbird.

"Blood Pheasants"



Day 3: Khonoma.
Full days birding around Khonoma-overnight fully serviced camps. Bird species same as above.
Day 4: Khonoma to Kaziranga(Assam).
Morning birding and drive 05 hrs to Kaziranga National Park overnight at Bon Habi Resort
Day 5, 6 and 7: 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.
Overnight at Bon Habi Resort.

"Himalayan Monal"



Day 8: Kaziranga to Nameri.
After morning birding at the tea gardens we will drive to Nameri National Park Eco Camp for overnight stay.
Day 9: Nameri.
Full days birding at Nameri National Park specially for the White-winged Wood Duck, Ibisbill, Broadbills, Collared Falconet, Pin-tailed Green and Pompadour Pigeon, Wreathed and Great Hornbill, Dollarbird, Chestnut-headed and Blue-bearded Bee-eater and Daurian Redstart, Prantincoles, and various barbets.
Day 10: Nameri to Bhalukpong( Arunachal Pradesh).
Morning birding around Nameri and afternoon drive to Bhalukpong for overnight stay at Elephant Retreat.

"Birdwatching at Nameri Eco Camp"



Day 11: Bhalukpong to Sessa and back.
Birding at Bhalukpong and Tippi, 160 meters Tipi (46 Kms from Bhalukpong offers birding along the road and on the banks of the Bhareli River.) This highway which is the entry route to the sanctuary passes along the eastern borders of the Eagles Nest and provides an interesting birding transect from 300-1600m altitude.
Key species: Kaleej Pheasants, Rufous-necked Horbills, Ibisbills, Red-faced Liocichla, Greater and Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Corral and Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Scarlet Finch.
Overnight at Elephant Retreat.
Day 12: Bhalukpong to Dirang.
Birding drive to Dirang, 1500 meters (164 Kms) in 05 hrs.Overnight at Hotel Pemaling Key species: Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Long-billed Thrush, Lemon-rumped Honeyguide, Crested Kingfisher, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Grey-headed Bullfinches.
Day 13: Dirang to Sangti Valley 1600 meters and back.
Early morning full day birding in Sangti Valley.
Key Species: Black-tailed Crake, Slender-Billed Oriole, Long-billed Plover, Ibisbill, Sapphire Flycatcher, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Wallcreeper, Daurian Redstart, Little Forktail, Rufous-breasted Accentor. Rosy Pipits.
Overnight at Hotel Pemaling.

"Rufous-breasted Accentor"



Days 14: Dirang to Sela Pass 4500 Meters.
AM: Drive to Sela Pass 02.30 Hours for full days birding, Evening back to Dirang for overnight stay.
Key species: Himalayan Monal, Scatlers Monal, Blood Pheasants, White-browed Tit Warbler, Beautiful Rose Finch, Grandala. White-bellied Redstart.
Day 15 and 16: Dirang to Lama Camp Eaglesnest 2350m.
Birding drive to Lama camp, Eaglesnest for overnight at Fully serviced camps.
Key Species: Kaleej Pheasants, Hill Partridges, Crimson Woodpecker, Bhutan Laughing-Thrush, Rusty-fronted Barwings, New Liocichla, Gould’s Shortwing, Rusty-throated Wren Babbler, Spotted Wren Babbler, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler. Lesser and Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbills.
Day 17: Lama Camp to Sunderview 2465m.
Birding trek to Top Ridge and overnight stay at fully serviced Camps.
Key Species: Temminck’s Tragopan, Kaleej Pheasants, Rufous-throated Partridge, Hill Partridge, Red-faced Liocichla, Spotted Laughingthrush, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Wards Trogon, Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Brown and Fulvous Parrotbill, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird.
Day 18: Sunderview to Eaglesnest pass.
Full day birding trek to around Top Ridge.
Key Species: Temminck’s Tragopan, Kaleej Pheasants, Rufous-throated Partridge, Hill Partridge, Red-faced Liocichla, Spotted Laughingthrush, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Wards Trogon, Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Brown and Fulvous Parrotbill, Rusty-capped Fulvetta, Brown-throated Fulvetta, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Mrs Gould’s Sunbird. Alpine Accentors, Maroon-backed Accentor, Rufous-Breasted Accentor.
Day 19: Sunderview to Bompu 1940m.
Full day birding trek to Sunderview, overnight at fully serviced camps.
Key Species: Blyth’s Tragopan, Kaleej Pheasants, Rufous-throated Partridge, Hill Partridge, Red-faced Liocichla, Spotted Laughingthrush, Black-headed Shrike Babbler, Wards Trogon, Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Rusty-throated Wren Babbler, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Lesser Shortwing, White-tailed Robin, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Yellow-browed Fulvetta, Brown and Fulvous Parrotbill, Alpine Accentors, Maroon-backed Accentor, Rufous-Breasted Accentor.
Day 20: Bompu to Sessni.
Full day birding trek to Bompu, overnight at fully serviced camps.
Key Species: Blyth’s Tragopan Kaleej, Pheasants, Wards Trogon, Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Rusty-throated Wren Babbler, Long-billed Wren Babbler, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Green and Purple Cochoa, Beautiful Nuthatch, Cutias, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Lesser Shortwing, White-tailed Robin, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Yellow-browed Fulvetta, Red-faced Liocichla.
Day 21 and 22: Sessni 1250m.
Full day birding trek to Sessni, overnight at fully serviced camps.
Key Species: Kaleej Pheasants, Wards Trogon, Bar-winged Wren Babbler, Rusty-throated Wren Babbler, Long-billed Wren Babbler, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Scaly Wren Babbler, Eye-browed Wren Babbler, Green and Purple Cochoa, Beautiful Nuthatch, Cutias, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Lesser Shortwing, White-tailed Robin, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Yellow-browed Fulvetta, Lesser and Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Red-faced Liocichla.
Day 23: Sessni to Guwahati.
Drive to Guwahati and overnight at Dynasty Hotel,Guwhati.
Morning birding around Sessni and Drive to Guwahati in 07 Hours.
Day 24: Guwahati.
Guwahati airport to Delhi/Calcutta. Tour Ends.

Note: 4 Day Extension can be done to Shillong & Cherrapunji. Ask for special quote.


24 Day tour price is: 2 pax Rupee(INR)231,000 per person. 4 pax Rupee(INR)178,500 per person.
Single Supplement Rupee(INR)39,700

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.


Tour II

17 Day tour to North Bengal & Sikkim.

Mahananda, Lava, Rangit Valley, Vershay, Pemayanste, Khechepheri, Yuksom, Ravbangla and Darjeeling.


Important Information: Entry to Sikkim is restricted. Tourist are permitted 15 days stay in Sikkim, and must apply for permission at the time of application for an India visa. The permit is issued by imprinting a stamp on the India visa.

Sikkim, and the adjoining mountains of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, together forms a homogenous mountain mass astride the valleys of the Teesta and Rangit Rivers. Wedged between the Himalayan Kingdoms of Nepal, Bhutan, and the Tibetan uplands, this region has the most magnificent range of snow clad mountains in the world, comprising of two enormous spurs of the Great Himalayas - the Singalila and Chola Ranges, which rise to a maximum elevation of 8859 Meters.
The Himalayan barriers of this arc enclose three sides of a gigantic amphitheater; hewn as it were out of the Himalayas, and sloping down on its Southern side towards the plains of North Bengal. This region was first surveyed by Dr J. Hooker, during the middle of the last century. His "Himalayan Journal", is still the best reference manual.
In this small area of less than 10000 sq. Kms, there is an unbelievable richness of flora, fauna, and cultural heritage. With rainfall averaging 348 cams, it is the most humid region of the Himalayas. Dry season is from November to April. Because of altitude variation from near sea level to over 8000 Meters, the flora varies from subtropical to arctic. This region, boasts of an awe- inspiring botanical richness, found nowhere else in the world, in such a compact region. There are 4000 species of plants. Orchids and Rhododendrons, are the pride of Sikkim. There are 600 species of orchids in the lower regions, whilst. Rhododendrons, of 30 species are found in this region. They grow in profusion above 3000 Meters elevation. In the higher regions above 3500 Meters, flowers bloom out of the earth, as if by magic, during the brief summer months ( May-Aug). Wild daisies, Primulas, Impatience, and many more. Even the rocks and stones are covered by lichen and moss, presenting many hues.
The Altitudinal variation is responsible for the great variety and abundance of the resident bird life, making this area arguably one of the richest areas of its size anywhere in the world. Dr Salim Ali - one of India's foremost ornithologists has recorded 527 species of resident birds. In addition there are vagrants, and transients on migration. It is estimated that more than 30 percent of the species of the Indian Sub continent can be spotted in this region.
This birding tour is designed to present participants with an opportunity to visit the various altitudinal zones from 100m to 3050 m to experience first hand the amazing bio-diversity, and maximize birding opportunities. We will be visiting chosen “hot spots” These include Mahananda WLS ( 100-300 m), Lava Reserved Forests and fringes of Neora National Park ( 2000- 2700 m), The Rangit River Valley ( 300 –1200 m), Hilley forests and Varshey Rhododendron Sanctuary (2300-3050 m), Pemayanste Ridge (2200 m), Khechepheri Lake (1700 m). There will be time for some sightseeing at Pamayangtse, Yuksom, Rabangla and Darjeeling, and a chance to explore the exotic bazaars of Kalimpong and Darjeeling.

Itinerary
Expect 400+ birds.

Day 1: Arrive Delhi.
Received at International arrivals and transferred to hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Delhi – Baghdogra - Siliguri.
Transfer to Delhi airport and fly to Baghdogra airport in North Bengal by Jet Air Flt 9W 601/9W 602. Departure at 1010 and arrival at 12.05/1400. Upon arrival, at Baghdogra airport, around mid day, you will be met by your birding guide/escort. From the airport we will transfer to Hotel Sinclair’s.- one of the best hotels in Siliguri.
In the afternoon, day light permitting, drive to Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary for birding.
Located just outside Siliguri astride the Mahananda river, the Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary is well known for its large population of Elephants. As a result it has yet to be fully explored by birders. The deciduous forests and riverine belt provides habitat for a rich variety of birds in the sanctuary. The bird list comprises 326 species.
Day 3: Siliguri_ Mahananda WLS - Siliguri.
Full days birding at Mahananda WLS core area. Overnight at Sinclair’s Hotel.
Day 4: Siliguri - Mahananda WLS – Lava.
Birding drive through Mahananda WLS and lava Forests. Overnight in Forest Log Houses.
Day 5: Lava.
Bird along an isolated forest trail for 05-06 hrs. Return back to Lava overnight.

"Tusker"



Day 6: Lava- Neora-Lava.
Driving past Lava we will bird in the remote Rushet Reserve Forests. Latter a birding drive up to 2400 m along the forest road to the fringes of the Neora National Park. Back to Lava for overnight.
Day 7: Lava - Hilley (2700 m).
From Lava we will descend for 50 Kms to the Teesta Valley through forests and homesteads. After a short journey of just 04 Kms, cross the river to register at the Sikkim entry Check Post at Malli at elevation of 228 m. Here we have to carry out entry formalities. Thereafter drive along the Rangit River Valley birding in the mixed broad –leaved forests for a stretch of 24 Kms to the market town of Jorthang. Continue the drive to Hilley,(2700 m) through the Ramnam River Valley. This is a scenic drive of 29 Kms to the tiny township of Sombaria. Enjoy the flora, picture post card villages and views of the river. Now the road climbs rapidly through a series of switch- backs through pristine forests to Hilley, a tiny village. We will spend the afternoon birding in this forest at an elevation of 2300 to 2700 m. Overnight at our fully serviced camp at Hilley, 2700 m
Day 8: Varshey (Also called Barsey), 3050 m.
Early morning birding trek for 04 Kms to the Forest Hut at Bershay Rhododendron Sanctuary at 3060 m. Even though we will be climbing about 300 m, the track is well laid with a gentle gradient. As you look for birds, enjoy the lovely walk through forests of Silver Fir, hemlocks, magnolia, and Rhododendrons. As you climb higher it is the Rhododendrons, which reign supreme. Continue birding on foot using the net work of forest trails. Return to our camp at Hilley for overnight.
Day 9: Hilley- Pelling.
Early morning birding around Hilley. In the late morning drive to Pelling in 04 hrs. Check in at Hotel Phamrong. Evening visit the famous Pemayanste Monastery. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 10: Pemayanste - Sangacholing, 2200 m.
Today we will visit hot spots around Pemayanste Monastery, and on Sangacholing Ridge. Overnight at Hotel Phamrong.
Day 11: Pelling – Khechepheri, 1700 m – Yuksom(West Sikkim).
Drive 24 Kms for birding walk in areas around the holy Khechepheri Lake. Return to Yuksom for overnight at hotel Tashigang.

"Bar-winged Wren Babbler"



Days 12: Yuksom.
Birding around Yuksom Forest.
Day 13: Yuksom to Ravbangla(South Sikkim).
Morning birding around Yuksom. After lunch birding drive 03 hrs to Ravbangla. Overnight at Ravbangla.
Day 14: Ravbangla-Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary-Ravbangla.
Full days birding at Maenam wildlife Sanctuary (Specially for Satyr Tragopan).
Day 15: Ravbangla – Darjeeling, 2143 m.
Drive 05 hrs to Darjeeling. The route is along the scenic Rangit Valley till Teesta Bazaar. Thereafter we climb through scenic tea gardens to the Darjeeling Ridge. Overnight at hotel New Elgin or equivalent.
Day 16: Darjeeling with birding options.
A day to relax and explore Darjeeling, ride the toy train and shop. Option of birding around Darjeeling available. Farewell dinner and overnight at the hotel New Elgin or equivalent.
Day 17: Darjeeling-Baghdogra-Delhi.
Drive to Baghdogra in 03 hrs to board your flight to Delhi Jet Air 9W 601/602. Departure 1240/1430. Arrive Delhi at 1635. Tour ends.

Note: 10 Day extension can be done to North Sikkim a newly opened area in Sikkim. Ask for special quote.


17 Day tour price is: 2 pax is Rupee(INR)123,900 per person. 4 pax is Rupee(INR)84,340 per person.
Single Supplement Rupee(INR)25,000

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.


Tour III

16 Day tour to Arunachal Pradesh & Assam.

Dibru-Saikhowa,Namdhapa, Kaziranga (extension for Shillong, Meghalaya possible).


Important Information: It is mandatory to get a special Restricted Area Permit ( RAP) to enter Namdhapa ( Arunachal Pradesh). This will be arranged by us.

Namdhapa lies on the Burmese border, in the very eastern most part of the state, and offers as great a variety of habitats as it is possible to find within one protected area. Its 1,985 square kilometers range in altitude from just 200 meters above sea-level right up to the summit of Mount Dapha-Bum at an altitude of 4575 meters! Thus the snow-covered Himalayan peaks look down upon a great range of habitats, from alpine to temperate, to subtropical and tropical rainforests. However as of now, it is only approachable up to altitudes of 850 m.
The opportunities for pioneering bird watching are breathtaking! Its avifauna is a unique blend of Indo-Burmese, Sino-Tibetan and Himalayan forms, which thrives in the bio-diverse habitat. Largely unexplored 665 species of birds have been recorded, of which some are exotic - Wards Trogon, White- Winged Wood Duck, Rufus necked hornbill, Blue napped Pitta, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, snow throated Babbler, and Beautiful Nuthatch. Brown Hornbills may occur here, together with a fabulous list of pheasants, babblers and laughing-thrushes, which include the Arunachal endemic - Austen's Spotted Babbler.
This is also the only sanctuary in the world that offers protection to Asia's four great cats: Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard. It was declared a Tiger Reserve as part of Project Tiger in 1983. Other Indian mammals, inhabiting the park are the Asiatic Elephant, Gaur (the magnificent Asian bison), Himalayan Black Bear, Dhole (Indian wild dog), Wolf, Wild Boar, Nilgai (or Blue Bull - the largest of India's antelopes), Grey Langur, and an excellent variety of deer and smaller mammals. Naturally, many of these forest-dwelling animals are hard to see, but we will hope to see some of them at least. But what we will defiantly see is the localized Hollock Gibbon.
Namdhapa has some outstanding wet tropical forest. Through the park flows the Noa-Dehing, a river that spans the park from east to west, fed by numerous tributaries that tumble from the more mountainous regions of the park and form the catchments area of the great Brahmaputra. The remote and inaccessible nature of the park has preserved its pristine forests, and much of the area remains unexplored. It is as close to true wilderness as any of the many national parks and sanctuaries in India. Over 150 species of tree are found in Namdhapa, including such tropical giants as Hollock, Mekai, Hollong, Jutuli, Dhuna, Mechelia champaka and others. Amongst the temperate and subtropical zones a wide variety of rhododendrons and oaks, birch and magnolias are found. Species of particular note are Pinus merkusi and Abies dalavavi, which are not found elsewhere in India; whilst one of the rarest and most endangered orchids, the Blue Vanda, occurs here, together with the Mishmi Teeta a well-known local medicinal plant, used by endemic tribal people to treat a host of illnesses.
Your birding tour to this park is tailored to provide full opportunity to glimpse the rich bird and animal-life - as rich as any other region of comparable size worldwide. Add to this the excitement of being in a largely unexplored area. Because this is truly a journey into the unknown - made even more exciting by the unpredictable factors. The park is a restricted zone, and the routes to it are also controlled due to security reasons. Roads and tracks are subject to seasonal disruptions. Whilst we are determined to make your trip run on schedule and provide you with good logistic support - you must be prepared for the unexpected.
Deban, the starting point is an introduction to the birding feast that awaits you across the river Nao-Dihang. Racket-tailed Drongo call from tree tops, whilst Blue Whistling Thrushes hop about the lawns. Hollock Gibbons provide a chattering chorus at dawn. Red headed Trogons sit quietly on the edges of the track, and in the undergrowth there are colorful Silver eared Mesias and tiny almost tail-less Tesias. Crested Kingfishers and White-tailed Sea Eagles sortie over the river, whilst Wallcreeper, White-capped Water Redstarts, and at least five species of Fork Tails frequent the stony banks. Birding in the park is along a wide man-made track, which meanders gently through the pristine wilderness. Capped Langur, Assamese Macaques, enjoy fruiting trees, as do some fantastic hornbills. The Great Hornbill is a truly magnificent bird, the swan like whoosh of their wings warning of their approach from afar. Brown and Rufus-necked Hornbills also come to feed. At fig trees we will encounter a multitude of colorful birds ranging from Fairy Bluebirds to Beautiful Sibias, and from Yellow and Black Sultan Tits to Streaked Spider Hunters. Stands of bamboo are home to specialist, such as Bay Woodpecker, White-browed Piculet, Rusty-fronted Barwing and White–hooded Babbler, whilst diverse babblers, Fulvetta and Laughingthrushes, frequent the undergrowth. On the forest floor are Grey Peacock Pheasants, and several species of Wren Babblers. In the forests you will find the aptly named Beautiful Nuthatch, as well as the rare Black-throated Parrotbills and flocks of gorgeous Long-tailed Broadbills. At dawn awake to the sensational vocalizations of Large Scimitar Babblers, whilst at night you will be serenaded by Mountain Scops Owls and Collared Owlets. You are likely to spot more than 200 species during your trip.

Itinerary
Expect 200+ birds.

Day 1: Delhi to Dibrugarh.
Your aircraft will be flying parallel to the southern edge of the great Himalayan Range. Look out for fabulous views of the Mountains including Mount Everest and Mount Khangchendzonga, from the left hand side windows. Overnight at the hotel at Dibrugarh.
Day 2: Dibrugarh – Deban (Namdhapa National Park).
Early morning drive to Deban – 166 Kms in 05 hrs, via Digboi and Miao, entering the State of Arunachal Pradesh at Namchick Check post. The landscape is exotic. We will drive through lush green countryside comprising Tea gardens, forests, rivers, agriculture fields and the Digboi Oilfields – the oldest in India. On the way we will be making stops for birding between Miao and Deban. Upon arrival at Deban we will spend the remaining day birding on foot around the Forest Lodge. Overnight at Forest Lodge, in rooms or tents.

"Namdhapha Forest"



Day 3: Birding walk on North Bank of Noa-Dihang River to Hornbill.
Today we begin our fascinating 6 days of birding with 5 nights of camping in the pristine forests. Crossing the Noa-Dihang River by boat, we will bird along the North bank to Horn Bill (Altitude 520 m), via Haldibari.( 11 Kms/05 hrs) Overnight in camp 1
Day 4: Birding walk to Rani Jheel.
Birding walk to Bulbulia (3 Kms) and Rani Jheel, altitude 800 m (04 Kms). Overnight in camp 2 (Possible site for White-winged Wood Duck)
Day 5: Birding walk Ranjheel to Firm Base.
Birding walk from Rajajheel to Raja Jheel and on to Firm Base. Distance 05 Kms Overnight in camp 3.
Day 6: Birding walk Firm Base to Embeong and back.
Birding walk from Firm Base to Embeong and return 06 Kms). Back to Camp 3 for overnight.
Day 7: Birding walk from Firm Base back to Hornbill.
Walk back to Hornbill through Rani Jheel and Bulbulia 07 Kms. Return to Camp 1 for overnight.
Day 8: Birding walk Hornbill to Deban.
Return to Deban 11 Kms, through Haldibari. Overnight at Forest Lodge/camp.

"Red-faced Liochicla"



Day 9: Transfer Namdhapa NP to Dibru Saikhowa Biosphere reserve.
Drive 131 Kms to Guijan to the entry point to Dibru-Saikhowa. The driving time is 03-04 hrs. We will spend the afternoon birding around Guijan. Overnight at Hotel.
Dibru-Saikhowa is a biosphere reserve. This little known site, is one of the biodiversity hot spots situated on the south bank of the river Brahmaputra. It is located in the alluvial flood plains of the Brahmaputra. Fashioned by nature - earthquakes and ever changing water courses it has numerous island pockets and water bodies providing an unusual habitat for varied wildlife, aqua fauna and avifauna. Contained between the Dibang, Lohit & the Great Brahmaputra rivers, the 340 sq Kms reserve was set up with a view to protecting the grass land and swamp habitat. Its internal water channels & bodies, seasonally flooded forests, "beels", and grassy pockets, makes it an interesting birding destination for rare specialized grass land and swamp forest birds such as the threatened Marsh Babbler, Jerdon's Babbler, Black-throated Parrotbill, Rufous-vented (swamp) Prinia, and Jerdon’s Bushchat. You can also spot altitudinal migrants such as Pale-capped Pigeon, White-tailed Ruby-throat and Black-breasted Thrush, and various warblers. More than 300 species have been recorded. Birding here involves several ferry crossings in country boats, and wading through shallow waterways. No transport is available in the park.
On this tour we will be taken by boat to various hot spots from where birding walks will start. Some of the birds you are likely to spot: White-browed Piculet, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Lineated Barbet, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Green-billed Malkoha, Grey-headed Lapwing, Pallas's Gull, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Oriental Hobby, Lesser Adjutant, Common Green Magpie, White-tailed Rubythroat, Jerdon’s Bushchat, Spot-winged Starling, Hill Myna, Sultan Tit, Plain Martin, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Pale-footed Bush Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Bush Warbler, Spotted Bush Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Smoky Warbler, Rufous-fronted Babbler, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Jerdon's Babbler, Sand Lark, Scarlet-backed Flower-pecker, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Crimson Sunbird, Rosy Pipit, and Black-faced Bunting.
Day 10: Dibru Saikhowa.
Full days birding by boat and on foot. We will be birding in grasslands, swamps and forest habitat. Overnight, stay at hotel.
Day 11: Transfer Dibru Saikhowa to Kaziranga National Park.
Drive 281 Kms in 4.30 hrs to Kaziranga National Park. The journey is along the Brahmaputra Valley, passing through the tea growing towns of Tinsukhia, Dibrugarh and Jorhat. Check in at Wild Grass Resort. Spend the afternoon birding through tea gardens. Overnight at hotel.
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 and 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 Elephant. The Eastern Range 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. Many more birds recorded by us are: Lineated Barbet, Blue-eared Barbet, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Spotted 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 Spiderhunter, Forest Wagtail, Blyth's Pipit, and Yellow-breasted Bunting.

"King Cobra Kaziranga"



Days 11, 13 and 14: 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 15: Kaziranga National Park - Guwahati.
In the morning, after birding in the surrounding areas, we will drive 220 Kms in 4.30 hrs to Guwahati. Upon arrival visit the Greater & Lesser Adjutant Stork site. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 16: Guwahati-Baghdogra-Delhi.
In the morning another visit to Adjutant Stork site. Transfer to Guwahati airport to Fly to Delhi.

Note: 12 Day extention can be done to Mishmi Hills, Shillong and Meghalaya. Ask for special quote.


16 Day tour price is: 2 pax is Rupee(INR)154,600 per person. 4 pax is Rupee(INR)119,100 per person.
Single Supplement Rupee(INR)30,150

Due to currency fluctuations and fuel cost we reserve the right to adjust any pricing prior to departure.

Convert your tour cost into your currency of choice.

Included:
Reception at Airports on arrival and send off. Accommodation on twin share with all meals, as given in the itinerary. On birding treks, all camping arrangements to include all meals, 3-4 man tent shared by 02 persons, sleeping mats, dining tent, toilet tents, camp staff, porters and local guide. Please bring your sleeping bags (we can provide on request). Exclusive transport for all transfers and birding trips as per itinerary: Hard top jeep 8 seater to be shared by 4 plus guide. Park Entry fees. Peter's or his guides services as birding guide.
Excluded:
Air train fare. Personal expenses, bar, mineral water, laundry, telephone, and medical expenses and insurance. Restricted Area Permit for Arunachal Pradesh USD 50 per person. One time payment. Camera fees at National Parks - where applicable. Single room supplement if required.
Notes.
Best season is from October to May.
Minimum lead time depends on the season. In the Spring season at least 2-3 months. At other times about 3 weeks.
To check availability for tours on short notice, fill out “Request for Quote” form with desirable dates.
Suggested List of clothing and equipment:
Footwear
1. Trekking or running shoes (trainers)
2. Camp shoes or throngs (flip-flops)
3. Socks – Cotton, woolen or polypropylene
Clothing
1. Sweater and light jacket
2. Hiking shorts or skirts – 02 prs
3. Waterproof jacket, poncho or umbrella
4. Hiking pants: 02 prs
5. T-shirts or Blouses - 02
6. Underwear - 03
7. Sunhat (wide brim preferable)
8. Swimwear (optional)
Equipment
1. Rucksack
2. Sleeping bag (light)
3. air pillow (if desired)
4. Water bottle (hard cover with unbreakable mug-cap)
5. Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb (head light preferred)
Other items
1. Toilet articles
2. Lighter
3. Swiss knife
4. Sun block (SPF-15 plus)
5. Towel
6. Laundry soap
7. Personal medical kit
8. Pre-moistened towelets
9. Sewing kit
10. Bandana/sweatband
11. Sun glasses
12. Duffel bag with padlock.
How to pack?
Daypack: is a small backpack carried personally through out.
We suggest you pack in it –
1. Spare pair of socks, hankie and hand towel
2. Camera & film
3. Binoculars, and bird book
4. Bandana/scarf, and sun hat
5. Flash light/head light with spare cells
6. Sun block lotion
7. Chocolates, candy, dry fruit as per choice
8. Personal medication
9. Sweater or light jacket
10. Personal documents
Pack items into smaller plastic bags, sealed with Velcro. Separate. wet–proof bag for money & passport.
Rucksack/hold all/Duffel bag: is carried by porters or Elephants. What you need for overnight and subsequent days goes into it.
Items you are likely to need –
1. Set of spare clothing,
2. Trainers and camp slippers
3. Spare underwear and hankies
4. Personal toilet bag
5. Wet-bag for carrying wet clothing
6. Sleeping bag
7. Air-pillow if considered necessary
8. Pack items in smaller plastic bags as per need, and seal with Velcro
Water Bottle: Must carry on person either in day pack or on belt.
Logistics staff: The logistics staff for the trek will comprise of Trek Boss. Logistics assistant, Cook, Assistant cook, camp attendant, forest guide and porters.
Your Personal baggage: We will provide porters/elephants, to carry your personal rucksack/hold-all (25 Kgs). You do not have to carry anything except your day pack.
Tripods/telescopes & allied equipment.
If you need to carry additional heavy equipment like tripod, telescope etc, we will arrange a personal porter at extra cost @ US$12 per day.
Walking is easy to moderate. Altitude 350 m to 4500 m.
Vehicle: Travel will be in 10 seater Hard Top jeep, shared by 04 persons Guide plus driver, Your baggage will be carried in the rear compartment and on the roof rack.
At Kaziranga, open jeeps will be provided within the park.
Accommodation: On the treks, we will provide two tents for the four of you. Each tent will be provided with camp cots and sleeping mats. Bring your own sleeping bags.
We will provide 01 Field toilet tent (bore hole) and 01 wash tent. Bathing will be by bucket and mug. Toilet paper, soap and towels will be provided.
Two dbl hotel rooms with attached toilet and bath, are catered for at Tinsukhia, and Kaziranga, Nameri and Kaziranga.
Meals, Drinking water and Beverages.
Meals: We will provide all meals. There will be a separate dining tent for dining and multipurpose use. If you have any diet restrictions or are a vegetarian, do inform us.
Early morning in camp: Bed Tea or Coffee on waking.
Breakfast in camp.
Mid morning tea break on the trek.
Lunch on the trek.
Afternoon tea on arrival in camp.
Dinner in camp.
Drinking water: Drinking water provided, will be from local springs, after boiling. If you are fussy about using only bottled water. If requested, we will carry bottled mineral water at extra cost. Inform us in advance and budget for USD 35 for the entire trek.
Hard Liquor: Hard drinks are not permitted within National Parks. We provide tea, coffee, and juices as part of the service. At all other places bars will be open.
Health concerns.
General India is located in south-central Asia. Its climate is mostly tropical or sub-tropical and subject to seasonal monsoon winds, especially the southwest rain during summer. India is an economically developing democratic republic and has worked very hard to control diseases. Adequate medical care is available in the major population centers, but is usually limited in the rural areas of the country. Many developed countries like Britain are utilizing the state-of-the-art medical services available in India. The cost of treatment is much cheaper here in comparison to the same facilities available in advanced countries.
The most important cause of illness of travelers in India is food and waterborne diseases. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites can cause diarrhea. Infections may cause simple diarrhea and vomiting, fever, or, in extreme cases, liver damage (hepatitis). Malaria is a preventable infection that can create trouble if left untreated. One can prevent infection by taking prescribed anti-malarial drugs and protecting against mosquito bites. Malaria risk in this region exists in some urban and rural areas, depending on the elevation. Make sure that your insurance company covers illnesses and accidents abroad.
During this birding trip you need not worry about your fitness if you take simple precautions.
Peter Lobo is trained by the Wilderness medicine Institute of USA, and will be carrying a first aid kit, and medicines for common problems.

Should you only need a guide for a day please send a message to Peter.   

Birding guide Peter Lobo, your local Birdingpal guide

I am expert birding guide and photographer. I personally operate all our premium birding tours. For the last 10 years, I have been guiding high altitude treks, wildlife safaris, tribal tours and a lot of other "off the beaten track" adventures to all parts of India and Bhutan. During treks through various habitats, I developed an interest in birding, which became a passion. The ability to spot and identify birds, expert knowledge about "hot spots", and habitat, and rapport with local people and guides are my greatest assets. I have explored and located many new "hot spots" and trained local guides in the Kalimpong-Darjeeling, Sikkim, Assame, Mehgalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal, Pradesh, Himachaln Pradesh and Bhutan.

Testimonials.

Firstly a big thank you for your excellent logistics and guiding in NE India. Everyone has genuinely gone away with very positive feelings about the trip and most of us are looking forward to the opportunity to return.
Chris Bradshaw, United Kingdom, 2006 - chris(AT)northkentbirding.freeserve.co.uk
First of all, we thank you so much for your kind cooperation during our birding shooting in North Bengal. It was really so nice of you that you have spared your precious time for us.. It was also a great experience for all of us. We are really impressed to know how you distinguish the sound of different birds, and your large knowledge about wild lives...!
Toko Miyasato, Japan, 2007 - toko-m(AT)gf6.so-net.ne.jp
Thanks for organizing a great trip again. I thought Nagaland was a fantastic place with good habitat that would generate further exploration. Thanks also for the generous hospitality in your home, I liked Kalimpong very much.
Nick Senior, United Kingdom, 2007 - ncksnr(AT)yahoo.co.uk
Peter Lobo is a long time Birdingpal guide, well known in his own country and by myself or birders from around the world.
Knud Rasmussen
Birdingpal

Some facts about India.

India may be divided into four main regions: the Himalaya, the northern river-plains, the Deccan Plateau, and the Eastern and Western Ghats.
The Himalaya mountain system is about 160 to 320 km (100 to 200 mi) wide and extends about 2,410 km (1,498 mi) along the northern and eastern margins of the Indian subcontinent, separating it from the rest of Asia. It is the highest, youngest, and one of the most active mountain systems in the world. Notable peaks wholly or partly within India include Kanchenjunga (8,598 m/28,209 ft), the third-highest peak in the world, after Mount Everest and K2 (Mount Godwin-Austen), Nanga Parbat (8,125 m/26,657 ft), Nanda Devi (7,817 m/25,645 ft), Rakaposhi (7,788 m/25,550 ft), and Kamet (7,756 m/25,447 ft).
Lying south of and parallel to the Himalaya is the northern plains region, a vast belt of flat lands about 280 to 400 km (175 to 250 mi) in width. The region is the world’s largest alluvial plain and comprises the major part of the area watered by the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra rivers. Because of the abundance of water and the rich alluvial soil, the northern plains are the most fertile and densely populated part of India and were the cradle of its civilization. They extend west-east from the Pakistan border to the Bangladesh border, continuing east into north-east India via the narrow corridor of land near Darjiling.
The central and western portions of the Indian plains region are watered by the River Ganges and its tributaries, which drain the southern slopes of the Himalaya; the region is known consequently as the Gangetic plain. The north-eastern states of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh are watered by the River Brahmaputra and its affluents, which rise in the northern ranges of the Himalaya. The Brahmaputra crosses into Bangladesh north of the Khasi Hills. The River Indus rises in Tibet, flows west through Jammu and Kashmir State, and crosses into Pakistan. On the south-western border with Pakistan the plains give way to the Great Indian Desert and the salt marshes known as the Rann of Kachchh.
South of the plains lies the Deccan Plateau, a vast, triangular tableland occupying most of peninsular India. Generally rocky, the Deccan is an uneven plateau divided into natural regions by low mountain ranges and deep valleys. Elevations range from about 305 to 915 m (1,000 to 3,000 ft), although outcroppings as high as 1,524 m (5,000 ft) occur. The Deccan is bordered by the mountain systems known as the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats.
The Western Ghats, a steep escarpment overlooking the Arabian Sea, have a general elevation of about 915 m (3,000 ft). The fertile Malabar Coast lies between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. The Eastern Ghats average about 460 m (1,500 ft) in height. Between them and the Bay of Bengal is a narrow coastal plain, the Coromandel Coast. The two ranges meet at the southernmost point of the Deccan (near Bangalore) in the Nilgiri Hills.

More facts about India.

Guide books and CD’s recommended:

A field Guide to the birds of India by Krys Kazmierczak.
Birds of South East Asia- The Ripley Guide by Pamela C. Rasmussen.
A Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Sub Continent by Richard Grimmett.


Find lowest prices here

Bird Recordings from India

Bird Songs of Tropical Asia 2.0 and 3.0 by Jelle Scharringa

www.wildsounds.com


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Last update 20/02/2014