10 Days Birding Tour North Bengal & Sikkim
Mahananda, Lava, Rangit Valley, Varshey ,Ravbangla , Darjeeling and Sandakphu.
Entry to Sikkim is restricted. Tourists 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 cms, it is the most humid region of the Himalayas. Dry season is from November to Apri.
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, Iimpatience, 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 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 Vershay Rhododendron Sanctuary ( 2300-3050 m), Sandakphu Ridge of 3600 mtrs.
- Day 01: – Bagdogra- SiliguriTransfer to Delhi airport and fly to Bagdogra airport in North Upon arrival, at Bagdogra airport, around mid day, you will be met by your birding guide / escort. From the airport we will transfer to Hotel Sinclairs.- one of the best hotels in Siliguri. In the afternoon, day light permitting, drive to Mahananda Wild Life Sanctuary for birding. Overnight at hotel Cinderella/Sinclairs
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. T he deciduous forests and riverine belt provides habitat for a rich variety of birds in the sanctuary. The bird list comprises 326+ species.
- Day 02: Siliguri_ Mahananda WLS – SiliguriFull days birding at Mahananda WLS core area and noon travel to Lava and overnight at Local Guest house
- Day 03: Lava
Birding drive through Neora National Park. Overnight At Lava,(specially for Satyr Tragopan) Local guest house.
- Day 04: LavaBird along an isolated forest trail for 05-06 hrs. Overnight at Lava local guest house.
- Day 05: LavaBird along an isolated forest trail for 05-06 hrs. Overnight at Lava local guest house.
- Day 06: Lava – Ravbangla(South Sikkim)Morning birding around Lava. After lunch birding drive 06 hrs to Ravbangla. Overnight at Ravbangla. Kewzing Home stay.
- Day 07: Ravbangla-Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary-RavbanglaFull days birding at Maenam wildlife Sanctuary(Specially for Satyr Tragopan) Overnight at Ravbangla. Kewzing Home stay
- Day 08: Ravbangla- DarjeelingDrive 06 hrs to Darjeeling. The route is along the scenic Rangit Valley till Teesta Bazar. Therafter we climb through scenic tea gardens to the Darjeeling Ridge. Overnight at Hotel.
- Day 09: Morning Visit Tiger Hill for birding and after that at leisure for sightseeing around Darjeeling. Overnight at hotel.
- Day 10: Darjeeling-Bagdogra-Delhi
Drive to Bagdogra in 03 hrs to board your flight to Delhi or Kolkata. TOUR ENDS.
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