|Highlights:||A 11-day mammal observation tour of Chitwan National Park, the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, and the wooded hills of the Kathmandu Valley with an alternate extension to Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.|
|Departure:||Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec|
Nepal is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and on this tour we take you through the country’s three foremost wildlife reserves – Chitwan National Park, Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and the alpine hills of the Kathmandu Valley. Beginning in Kathmandu we’ll take in some of the valley’s cultural and architectural sites as well as do some birding, before proceeding to Chitwan National Park where we’ll look for such prized varieties as Red-headed Trogon, Lesser Racquet-tailed Drongo and White-tailed Rubythroat. We then move onto Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, one of Asia’s most diverse wetlands, where birds we’ll be on the look out for include Swamp Francolin and Striated Marsh Warbler, and mammals like wild Water Buffalo and Nilgai. We’ll explore on foot and by boat before unwillingly starting our journey home.
- An excellent opportunity to view about 300 bird species during the holiday
- Pay a visit to Nepal’s premium bird watching sites.
- Unmatched Himalayan birding & excellent value!
- Bird watching on Phulchowki Mountain, a paradise for bird watching in the Kathmandu Valley
- Scout for Himalayan Pied Kingfisher, Ibisbill & Brown Dipper
- 480+ bird species in Chitwan National Park
- Indian Rhino, langurs, Sambar & Hog Deer, Chitwan
- Bird Nepal’s terai (lowland) habitat for species such as White-rumped Needletail Swift
- Be guided by expert local naturalist leaders
Included in the price, except for lunches and dinners in Kathmandu. Allow £35.
Basic but comfortable hotel and jungle lodge, with private amenities; a comfortable tented camp at Koshi with shared amenities.
Nepal should not to be missed. It is one of the most stunning countries on earth, populated by the most warm and hospitable people, and shelters an incredible 840 species of birds within a land-locked area only the size of England and Wales! This holiday is tailored to introduce you to the most spectacular bird-watching areas of this Himalayan kingdom, at a moderate cost. In this region, we should able to see 300 bird species, together with a good selection of larger mammals, bird-watching at altitudes up to 2,740 metres in the Kathmandu Valley, and down to nearly sea level in Chitwan and Koshi Tappu. We will kick off our holiday in Kathmandu, Nepal’s vibrant capital that is a mix of medieval and contemporary in extraordinary fashion. Our three nights here will give us an opportunity to enjoy some of the valley’s cultural and architectural wonders. Mystical pagoda-style Hindu temples, Buddhist stupas (shrines), and intricate royal palaces that adorn Kathmandu, and provide urban habitat for the Barn Owls that may be seen soaring over the city at dusk, along with Night Herons and flocks of ghostly Indian Flying Foxes. We may also have time to scout for the numerous wetland birds that flock to the rivers and paddy fields that encircle the city, whilst overhead it is hard to miss the Black Kites and Steppe Eagles that glide above the valley. However, Phulchowki Mountain will be the highlight of our stay in the Kathmandu Valley. Driving as close to the summit’s proximity as weather conditions allow, we will enjoy our first views of the stunning snowclad Himalayas. From the summit we will spend a full day descending from Phulchowki’s 2,740-metre crown, where frost and snow cling to a temperate forest of spruce, fir, oak and rhododendron, to the subtropical woodlands around the mountain’s base at 1,520 metres. The bird populace on this wooded mountain is the most diverse in the valley, every visit produces a different long list of bird species.
Here we will relish our first Himalayan woodpeckers, minivets, warblers, flycatchers, laughingthrushes, yuhinas, sunbirds, flowerpeckers, rosefinches, and possibly some of the mountain’s more unique species such as Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Nepal Parrotbill and Cutia. The long drive from Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park, along the Trisuli and Narayani Rivers, is not only very picturesque, but may allow us to glimpse roadside views of Brown Dipper and Himalayan Pied Kingfisher. The Royal Chitwan National Park is a World Heritage Site that shelters 932 square kilometres of dry deciduous forest, tropical evergreen forest and riverine grasslands. A wide array of bird species (over 480) has been documented here; more than than any other region of Nepal due to Chitwan’s varied habitats and tropical lowland climate. We can anticiapte a third of these during our two-night stay. The park houses a similar variety of mammals, including the endangered Indian Rhinoceros, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac, Spotted and Hog Deer, and Rhesus and Common Langur Monkeys. Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears, and Gaur (the Asiatic bison) may also be periodically seen, as well as the Marsh Mugger and fish-eating Gharial Crocodiles. We will explore the park on foot, on elephant back, in canoes and by jeep. The long drive eastwards, across Nepal’s terai (lowlands), that comes before our three night stay at Koshi Tappu will give us a further sampling of the birds of Nepal’s expansive dry deciduous forests. Red Jungle Fowl, Black-headed Orioles, and maybe even the uncommon White-rumped Needletail Swift are likely to be seen; whilst, on the Rapti River, we have an opportunity to locate Ibisbills and Long-billed Plovers. Koshi Camp, our comfortable tented camp, is located in an otherwise secluded area on the edge of Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, part of a vast expanse of open water, marshes, lagoons, sandbanks, mudflats and dry woodlands that lie to the north of the great Koshi barrage. This is one of Asia’s richest wetlands and a superb birdwatching area. Almost all of Nepal’s long list of wildfowl, waders, storks, ibises, herons, egrets, terns and gulls are found here, plus a wide variety of landbirds, especially warblers and birds of prey. Over a hundred species of birds may be seen daily in this fascinating area, including such unique local species like Swamp Francolin, Red-necked Falcon, and Striated Marsh Warbler. This region is also the last refuge of the Wild Water Buffalo in Nepal, and other mammals occurring here include Leopard, Fishing Cat, Jungle Cat, Asiatic Jackal, Spotted Deer, Nilgai (or ?Blue Bull?— the subcontinent’s largest antelope), and the rare Ganges River Dolphin. We will explore the area on foot and in inflatable boats. With our introduction to Nepal’s birds behind us, we will now depart from Koshi Tappu and drive to Biratnagar, a town on the Indian border in the far south-east of the country. Here we have to grudgingly board a flight back to Kathmandu, carrying with us wonderful memories of this bird-rich mountain kingdom, as we fly past the Himalayan giants — Mounts Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga and Makalu.