Botanical and Birding Tour
Botanical and Birding
vacation for the Naturalist
There are many places to enjoy bird watching tours in North East India. From lush broad-leaved forests of Manas National Park near the Bhutanese border to vast wetlands along the Brahmaputra River floodplain at Dibru-Saikhowa. From mixed woodlands, grasslands and lower altitude forest in Kaziranga National Park and Nameri Tiger Reserve to a number of seldom-visited and remote destinations in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
Your private guided vacation will be tailored made for you so that you can choose the exact dates you plan to travel and areas you wish to visit - giving you greater flexibility in your tour.
Focusing on Plants and Birds but not ignoring the culture and other wildlife we encounter along the way, this tour will take you to some of the most interesting places around the Himalayan foothills where you will find all the above in abundance.
SIKKIM AND DARJEELING
Covering the key birding and wild flower destinations of Darjeeling and Sikkim over a period of 10 to 1.
Tumling - Located in the buffer zone of the Singhalila National Park at an elevation of 3000m is a small hamlet. It offers a panoramic view of the Mt. Kanchenjunga. The habitat varies from bamboos, oaks, to hundred year old huge rhododendron and magnolia trees. It is a spectacular birding and botanizing area.
North Sikkim - Following in the footsteps of renowned 19th century botanist and plant-hunter Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, into the higher hills of the Himalaya, explore the Rhododendron forests, valleys and alpine meadows for birds and alpine flora. One can have numerous walks to the alpine meadows and valleys that offers excellent birding and botanizing opportunities.
Kalimpong - Original trade route between India and Tibet in the earlier days, and it is better known as the Silk Route. Nearby areas of Lava and the Neora Valley National Park are birders’ paradise, some of India most sought after birds are found here. The semi-evergreen forests between 1600m and 2700m is the home of several rare birds and many orchids can also be found in the wild.
ASSAM AND ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Covering the key birding and wild flower destinations of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh over a period of 10 to 15 days.
Dirang – Sangti valley which is 9kms away is famous for the Siberian Black Necked Storks that visit the place during winters. Mandala situated at 3000 meters is a birders paradise with alpine vegetation and forest including Rhododendron and fir trees in the higher reaches and thick evergreen forests in the lower areas.
Tawang and Sella - Sela Pass is a great birding destination for specially high-altitude species where the altitude ranges from 3,500 to 4,500 meters. The key species of Sela Pass are Blood Pheasant, Snow Partridge, Himalayan Monal, Gould’s Shortwing, Grandala, Tibetan Blackbird, White-browed Tit Babbler, 3 species of Grosbeaks, 3 species of Rosefinches etc.
Eagels Nest is located in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh and stretches across 218 square kilometers. This beautiful Sanctuary is home to some newly discovered and rare species of birds. The picturesque hills and the mountainous wildlife are immensely captivating.
Nameri National Park – Is situated on the left bank of Jia-Bhoraeli River in Assam bordering with Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary & Tiger Reserve of Arunachal Pradesh. The national park is located in the foothills eastern Himalayas and is famous for its wild elephants, barking deer, langur monkeys and wild cats. Birdlife is varied and abundant, with nearly 400 species finding their way onto an ever-expanding checklist. Arguably, Nameri’s most important avian residents are its White-winged Ducks.
Kaziranga National Park - is one the best places in the world to see the very rare Great Indian One-horned Rhino, Indian Elephants are plentiful, as are herds of wild Water Buffalo, Grazing Sambar, Hog Deer and Swamp Deer which all live here. Kaziranga boasts a tremendously varied bird list which includes many rare and local species.
Additional Key Destinations To Consider For Combined Birding and Botanical Tours
Discover New Destinations
Mishmi Hills in Arunachal Pradesh
The Mishmi Hills is a southward extension of the Great Himalayan Mountain Range - its northern and eastern reaches touching China. Mishmi Hills area can be divided into two broad sections: the flood plains of the tributaries of the Brahmaputra River and the Arunachal Himalayas consisting of snow-capped mountains and the lower Himalayan ranges. The area characterize by heavy rainfall, nowhere else in the Himalayas can one find so much pristine forest and intact mega-biodiversity.
There are about 6000 plant species, 100 mammal species, 500 species of orchids, 52 species of Rhododendron and about 700 bird species.
Khonoma Village in Nagaland
Small yet beautiful, Khonoma is a picturesque village, situated 20 km from the
capital Kohima. It is known as a hotspot of birding activity as a direct result of a hunting ban over a 70 sq. km area imposed by the Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary which was set up in 1998. The ban was initially imposed to conserve the Blyth's Tragopan in its natural habitat.
Nestled among green hills, the village is famous for its conversational ventures undertaken by the village council of Khonoma. It is also known for the fallow management of its Alder trees and for its beautiful terraces which are carved out of the hill slopes surrounding the village. The village was awarded with the title of the first green village of the country.
Being an integrated part of the Naga culture, Khonoma is known for its past heritage of fighting and warfare. The village also boasts of a pool of master craftsmen, who are proficient in the art of weaving with bamboo and cane.
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam
A part of the 765 sq. km. Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve, this 340 sq. km. National Park is one of the biodiversity hot spots. It is situated on the floodplains of the Brahmaputra and Lohit rivers near Tinsukia in the state of Assam.
Dibru-Saikhowa is popular among bird watchers as it is an abode to over 300 avifauna and welcomes several extremely rare and endangered endemic and migratory birds. Bird life consists of Spot billed pelican, White bellied heron, Pallah’s fishing eagle, Pale capped pigeon, Swamp francolin etc. Some rare and endangered animals of this park are Hoolock gibbon, capped langur, slow loris, water buffalo, tiger, elephant, gangetic river dolphin etc.
Talley Wildlife Sanctuary, Ziro in Arunachal Pradesh
Located in the Central part of Arunachal Pradesh lies the picturesque valley of Ziro. This place is inhabited by the Apatani tribe, known for their highly evolved agriculture and pisciculture.
Spread over a region of 337 sq. km, Talley Valley is a wildlife sanctuary as well as a bio-diversity hotspot located at a distance of 32 kms from Ziro. Talley Valley is a bird watcher’s paradise with a wide variety of birds hovering and fluttering from amidst rainforest, pines and bamboos. Comprising sub-tropical and alpine forests it has a variety of flora and fauna,place offers great trekking opportunities.