Nepal Bird Watching Tour – 15 Days

Arrival City

Kathmandu

Departure City

Kathmandu

Lodging level

Meals

Breakfast

Trip Grade

Easy

Maximun Altitude

Attractions

Activity

Sightseeing, Jungle Safari, Bird Watching, Photography

Overview

Bird Watching And Photography Tour with Andy Teasdale

This trip offers you a wonderful opportunity to explore the rich bird life in Nepal. You begin your birding journey from Phulchowki Hill that lies on the outskirts of Kathmandu. With some 288 bird species recorded to date, Phulchowki is the most popular bird watching spot in the valley. The hike to verdant Shivapuri National Park will offer you glimpses of the Spiny Babbler and Hoary-throated Barwing. Taudaha Lake located in the southern part of the valley is a favorite nesting site for migratory birds and water fowls. 

You take a drive to the scenic lakeside town of Pokhara and enjoy myriad activities including bird-watching. You further proceed to Chitwan National Park & Hetauda and spot many of the endangered winged creatures while indulging in exciting jungle activities. A total of 540 species of birds has been recorded at Chitwan National Park till date. The park is especially important for grassland species like the Bengal Florican, Grey-Crowned Prinis, Slender-billed Babbler and Lesser Adjutant. Hetauda situated at an altitude of 474m is a stopover point for high altitude birds like the Ibisbill, seeking a warm site in winter. Cattle egrets, swallows, mynah and bulbuls are resident birds. 

Further you drive to the next destination, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which covers an area of 175 sq km and is in the eastern Terai region of Nepal. It is a beautiful and fascinating aquatic environment and is home to an astonishing variety of water birds that flock to its ponds full of flowering plants. The reserve provides an important habitat for a variety of wildlife but, in particular, water birds, including several migratory species such as the sarus crane from Siberia. In all, a total of 280 different species of birds have been recorded and these include many varieties of ducks, ibis, storks, egrets and herons, as well as the endangered swamp partridges and Bengal floricans. Koshi Tappu is also home to the last surviving population of wild water buffalo and its other inhabitants include blue cows, various species of deer, Gangetic dolphins and gharial crocodiles.

Itinerary

It is a panoramic thrill flying into Kathmandu on a clear day. The views of snow-capped mountain peaks sprawling down below you are almost ecstatic, beginning a whole chain of memorable experiences that stay with you for a long time. A representative and driver from our office will meet you at the airport and escort you to your hotel. The representative will help you check into your designated hotel. At the hotel you will be briefed about your daily activities.

Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park is about 12 km north from the main city hub. The national park covers 159 sq. km, providing the appropriate habitat to plenty of wild-lives within its dense vegetation. Ornithologists have recorded more than 300 species of birds in the area which includes spiny Babbler, scarlet Finch, yellow-bellied Bush warbler, Eurasian eagle-owl, white gorgeted fly catcher, barred cuckoo-dove, Golden-throated barbet any many more. After a day’s bird watching tour in the conserved woods of Shivpuri, you will drive back to your hotel in the city. Shivapuri is the closest destination from the city center of Kathmandu for Bird spotting and birding Photography.

Phulchowki lies 18 km southeast of Kathmandu. The highest mountain encircling Kathmandu valley is Phulchowki 2760m. The place is a paradise for birds. The lower region of this hill is covered on the first day. After the early morning breakfast, you will be driven in a car towards the lower Phulchowki. Phulchowki is an ideal bird’s habitat. Regularly found species of birds include Besra, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Kalij Pheasant, Common Hill Partridge, Ashy Woodpigeon, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Scops Owl, Collared Owlet, Golden-throated Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Crimson-breasted Pied and Rufous-bellied Pied Woodpeckers and Grey-chinned Minivet among others. More than 50 species of migratory birds have recorded to visit the place as the seasonal visitors. After, the long day watching birds at Lower Phulchowki, you will be escorted back to your hotel in the city in a company’s car .

Early morning, after the breakfast, you will again drive back to Phulchowki foothills. Your bird spotting tour on the densely vegetated mountain continues towards the higher altitude. During the tour you will get an opportunity to spot the above mentioned species of birds or you are lucky you may encounter with the very rare species of birds which normally visit the place. After the remaining bird watching tour at Phulchowki, you will once again drive towards the hustle and bustle of the city then to your hotel.

Enjoy the feast on the breakfast table at your hotel in the city and then board a private vehicle. Today you will be traveling just for a while. On the way to the Dakshinkali Temple, Taudaha lies 10 kilometers southeast to the Kathmandu valley. Taudaha- a wetland of Kathmandu valley covers up the area of 4.7 hectares out of which 4.2 hectares is a structural area where as the remaining 0.5 hectare is the peripheral land around the lake. Taudaha is one of the chief habitats for waterfowl. It is also a significant passage for migratory birds on their way from Siberia to India, whose species count during the winters exceeds two hundreds. They often rest over here for a couple of days before they restart their flight to India. The cyclic arrival of migrants has served to boost the biodiversity of this particular wetland. The full day you will be involved in birdwatching, fish feeding and exploring the vicinity around. At the end of the day you will drive back to your hotel in the city.

Today after the breakfast as per your flight schedule, you will be driven to the airport where you will be boarding the flight to Pokhara. After the 30 minutes of flight, upon reaching Pokhara a company representative who will escort you to your designated hotel will cordially receive you. After the lunch, you will enter the woods in the Raniban just above the lake in search of birds. You will climb to the Peace Stupa at the top of Raniban spotting varieties of species of birds. The full day excursion of bird watching in the woods at the lake shore comes to an end at the cozy hotel room of Lakeside Pokhara.

Today we drive to Dhampus, a traditional Gurung village. The Gurungs are an ethnic community who inhabit the hills surrounding Annapurna region. From the village you take some stunning and spectacular shots of the snowy Annapurna Range, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. Plus, the forested region around Dhampus is a great birding destination, where you can spot species that prefer to dwell in the low alpine regions. Birds like white collared blackbird, Red headed bullfinch, Pied Bushchat, different species of Pheasants and Scaly Thrush among others are birds that could possibly be spotted in Dhampus. After the cultural and bird watching tour in Dhampus, you drive back to Pokhara for the overnight stay.

Early morning, after the breakfast in your hotel, a car will drive you along the Prithivi Highway towards Chitwan. The highway itself offers abundant opportunity to spot different species of birds at the river shores and roadside woods. Chitwan is the home of Chitwan National Park, situated 116 km south-west from Pokhara. The drive along the Highway brings you to the comfy hotel near the national park at Chitwan.

Early breakfast in the resort will follow your bird watching tour in the national park. More than 70% of the land in the park is covered by the wild grass lands and a river. The place is a home for many endangered species like one-horned rhino and royal Bengal tiger. Above 450 species of birds have been spotted within the park. The huge park covering 932 sq. km is the home of Nepal’s two third globally threatened species of birds. Apart, from the regular habitats several endangered species of birds visit the park during spring and autumn. Flocks of Common and Demoiselle Cranes appear here during March and May and October/November. Along the marshlands and small ponds you may spot Cormorants, Darter, Cinnamon Bittern, Black-crowned Night and Purple Herons, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked and Lesser Adjutant Storks, Lesser Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Balloons Ruddy-breasted and Brown Crakes, Purple Gallinule, Bronze-winged Jacana etc. After the long tiring day of attempting to spot different species of birds, you will enjoy the hospitality at the resort.

Early morning breakfast amidst the woods at Chitwan National Park will be followed by a short drive on an easy Mahendra Highway towards Hetauda. Hetauda is just 90 minutes drive from Chitwan. Hetauda with vicinity at the base of the Mahabharata range elevated at 474 m is a suitable stopover point for high altitude birds seeking a warm spot to winter. Upon reaching at Hetauda your bird watching tour will instantly begin. In Hetauda, the bird watching sites are Rapti River, Fish Farming Area and Forestry Campus. Hetauda's location is attached to the Dun Hill comprising sal woodland, which feeds water in rivers and fish farm offering an environment favorable to satisfying bird watching. Ibisbill, one of the high altitude birds, the over present minah and the cheery red vented bulbuls feasting in the mulberry trees are the major birds spotted at Hetauda and its neighborhood. After the through exploration of birds in Hetauda and its vicinity, you will drive to the lodge for the well-earned rest and dinner.

At a lodge, you will receive an early morning wakeup call before 6AM for the morning activities. Then by 7AM, you will be having the scrumptious breakfast at the resort. By 7:30 am you will begin the Canoe ride for 30 minutes along the government authorized jungle trial. The canoe ride involves the River and the Jungle walk. During the canoe ride, you will have opportunities to see many kinds of birds. For example White breasted kingfisher, Paradise flycatcher, large racquet-tailed drongo, Golden backed woodpecker, etc are some of the common sights. Giant hornbill, one of the endangered bird species is found in some forest patches. Reptiles including python, common cobra, banded krait and king cobra, mammals including Rhinoceros, Deer, and Bengal Tiger can also be spotted in the jungle during the ride. By 1pm you will be served the lunch and by 3pm you will begin the Safari through open grassland & forest on back and lookout for Rhino; other wild animal closely but safely. By five or six in the evening your jungle activities comes to an end. Then you will drive back to your hotel in Hetauda.

KoshiTappu is 6-7 hours drive from Hetauda. After the morning breakfast, you will hit the road on Mahendra Highway towards KoshiTappu wildlife reserve. Upon reaching at KoshiTappu first you will check-in into your designated forest lodge and then you will begin your brief bird watching session in the nearest areas of the park. In the evening, you will return to your hotel for the dinner and go for the well-earned rest.

Today you will wake with dawn and begin your fresh morning nature walk in the close by neighborhood. Then after the breakfast, you will begin your rafting session at Saptakoshi River to witness the various marine and jungle wildlife including the water birds. At some point you will enjoy the picnic lunch at the bank of river. Post lunch, you will drive to Koshi Barrage to view the bird life and fresh water dolphins. Koshi Tappu is the home of more than 485 species of birds including Water-cock, Indian nightjar, Dusky Eagle-owl and critically endangered species like Bengal florican. After the long bird-watching trip for a full day you will return back to your hotel.

With the early morning wakeup call, you will wake to begin the birding tour in the nearby woods. After the couple of hours bird watching tour, you will return to your hotel for the breakfast and then drive to Biratnagar Airport. From Biratnagar you will board a plane to Kathmandu. After an hour flight, as you land at the domestic section of Kathmandu Airport you will be cordially received by the company representative who will escort you back to your hotel room in the city. Rest of the day is on your own.

Three and half-hours prior to your departure your tour officer and a driver will be at your hotel reception to pick you up. You will be transferred to the airport in a private vehicle. Our tour officer and driver will see you off. Have a safe flight!

General Information

    The Trip Cost Includes
    • 3 nights Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu on twin sharing with breakfast
    • 1 night Hotel accommodation in Shivapuri on twin sharing with breakfast
    • 2 nights Hotel accommodation in Godawari on twin sharing with breakfast
    • 2 nights Hotel accommodation in Pokhara on twin sharing with breakfast
    • 2 nighst Hotel accommodation in Heatada on twin sharing with breakfast
    • 2 nights 3 Days in Chitwan on twin sharing with Full board plan and jungle activities
    • 2 nights 3 Days in Chitwan on twin sharing with Full board plan and jungle activities
    • English speaking local Birding guide as per the itinerary
    • Entrance fees to the monuments and National Park
    • Airport transfers and tour transfers in private vehicle
    • Domestic Airfare: Kathmandu/Pokhara
    • Domestic Airfare: Biratnagar/ Kathmandu

    The Trip Cost Excludes
    • Nepal Visa
    • Any other airfare and airport tax
    • All Lunch and Dinner (except during the stay in Chitwan and Koshi Tappu)
    • Any expenses of personal nature such as bar bills, laundry, telephone calls, internet, etc.
    • Personal gratuities as tips to guide, drivers or local staff etc.
    • Any cost incurred in emergency evacuation due to any unforeseen reasons
    • Personal Insurance and Medical expenses
    • Any other tour, transfers and services other than mentioned above

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BOOKING PROCEDURE

Your booking of this Cultural tour will be confirmed by email once we receive your deposit of $500 and the signed copy of booking form and contract. The balance is due no later than two months prior to departure. If you book a tour less than 2 months prior to departure, you must send the full payment within 7 days of confirmation by us.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel your booking, the following scale of charges will apply: • 2 months before departure – Loss of deposit (US$ 500) • 29 days to 2 months before departure – 30% of total trip cost • 10 to 28 days before departure – 60% of total trip cost • Less than 10 days before departure – 100% of total trip cost

DISCLAIMER

It is fundamental to acknowledge that trip is an adventure tour in mountains. This requires some flexibility. The itinerary is taken only as a guideline. We cannot be held responsible for any delays caused by International or domestic flights, strikes, Government regulations, weather or natural casualties etc. In such cases, Explore Himalaya shall provide suitable alternatives which will be decided upon mutual agreement. If you have any questions regarding this trip, please feel free to contact us at enquiry@explorehimalaya.com or directly by phone: +977-1-4518100. We answer all enquiries within 24 hours.

TALK WITH EXPERT

Sudip Thapa

+977-1-4518100

sales@explorehimalaya.com

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