Himalays 20 Days
Weather & climate
Assam & Namdhapa
The weather will be pleasant with temperatures ranging between 17-30 C in Assam and 15-22 C at Namdhapa. We expect clear or partially clouded skies. Some showers may occur in late afternoon.
- Day 01: – Guwahati- Shillong
Arrive Guwahati Airport Drive 103 kms in 3.30 hrs. Overnight in Shillong.
Shillong 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 name.
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 02: Shillong.
Full days birding around Shillong “hot spots “. Overnight at Shillong.
- Day 03: Shillong-Cherapunjee-Shillong
Full days birding trip to Cherapunjee ( round trip of 112 Kms- 04 hrs travelling time). Return to Shillong for overnight .
- Day 04: – Shillong -Nameri National Park
In the morning, after birding in the surrounding areas, we will drive 06-07 hours to Nameri National Park. Upon arrival check in at Nameri Anglers Camp.
The sanctuary lies astride a 25 kms stretch of river Jai – Bhoroli, on the edge of a huge wilderness area. It is a treasure house of sub-tropical flora, on the border of Arunachal Pradesh. It preserves, Leopard, Tiger, Bison, Elephant, Wild Boar, Himalayan Bear, capped Langur, Giant Squirrel, and the endangered Hispid Hare.
To get to the sanctuary one has to cross the fast flowing snow-fed Bhorelli river The habitat is diverse. It has 350 species of birds. Known to be a good place to sight the rare white-winged.woodduck ( out of a world population of around 700, 50 are residents here), Ibisbill, Ruddy. Kingfisher, wreathed hornbill, Blue-eared kingfisher and green cochoa(very rare). Other species in abundance are Mainas, Bee eaters, Barbets, Babblers, Bulbuls, and Plovers, You can also see King Vultures, Fishing Eagles, Black necked storks and other migratory birds. Birding is on foot .
Day 05:- Nameri National Park
Birding or rafting down the river. Overnight in Nameri Anglers Camp.
- Day 06:- Nameri to Kaziranga National Park
Drive 125 Kms in 03 hrs to Kaziranga National Park and check in hotel.
Afternoon Birding in surrounding tea gardens.
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 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 and many more Other birds recorded by us: 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 Spider – hunter, Forest Wagtail, Blyth’s Pipit, and Yellow-breasted Bunting.
- Day 7-8-9 : 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 10: Kaziranga National Park – Tinsukhia
In the morning, after birding in the Panbari Forest 270 Kms to Tinsukhia ( 05 hrs) along the Brahmaputra Valley, passing through the Tea growing town of Jorhart.Overnight in Tinsukhia.
Day 11: Dibru Saikhowa Biosphere reserve
Drive 10 Kms to Gujan to the entry point to Dibru-Saikhowa. The driving time is 20 mnts. Full days birding by boat and on foot. We will be birding in grasslands, swamps and forest habitat. Overnight at Tinsukhia.
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 Debang, 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 Jerdons Bushcat. 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 12 : 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 Namchich 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.
Namdapha 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 kilometres range in altitude from just 200 metres above sea-level right up to the summit of Mount Dapha-Bum at an altitude of 4575 metres! 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 definatly see is the localized Hoolock Gibbon.
Namdhapas 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 Namdapha, 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 Drongos call from tree tops, whilst Blue whistling thrushes hop about the lawns. Hoolok Gibbons provide a chattering chorus at dawn. Red headed Trogans sit quietly on the edges of the track, and in the undergrowth there are colourful Silver eared Mesias and tiny almost tail-less Tesias. Crested kingfishers and White-tailed Sea Eagles sortie over the river, whilst Walcreepers, 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 Langurs, 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 colourful 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 Wood pecker, White-browed Piculet, Rusty-fronted Barwing and White –hooded Babbler, whilst diverse babblers, fulvettas and laughing thrushes, 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 Parrot-bills 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.
Day 13 :Birding walk on North Bank of Noa-Dihang River to HornBill
Day 14: Birding walk to Ranijheel
Birding walk to Bulbulia (3 Kms) and Ranijheel, altitude 800 m (04 Kms) Overnight in camp 2 (Possible site for White-winged wood duck)
- Day 15: 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 16: 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 17: Birding walk from Firm Base back to Hornbill
Walk back to Hornbill through Ranijheel and Bulbulia 07 kms. Return to Camp 1 for overnight.
- Day 18: Birding walk Hornbill to Deban
Return to Deban 11 kms, through Haldibari. Overnight at Forest Lodge/ camp.
- Day 19: Transfer Namdhapa NP to Dibrugarh
After morning birding drive 225 Kms to Dibrugarh. Overnight at Hotel.
- Day 20: Transfer to Dibrugarh Airport.
Today we begin our fascinating 06 days birding with 05 nights 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
What is included in your price?
- Reception at Airport 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 08 seater to be shared by 04 plus guide.
- Park Entry fees
- Birding guide
Price does not include:
- Air fare
- Personal expenses, bar, Mineral water, laundry, telephone, and medical expenses
- Camera fees at National Parks – where applicable
- Single room supplement if required.
- Travel insurance of any sort.
- Goverment Service Taxes