Bhutan: Bird Watching Tour

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  • Trip Duration: 24 Nights 25 Days
  • Trip Type: Special Trips
  • Seasons: Throughout the year
  • Elevation: 1100 m (3608 ft)- 4050 m (13287 ft)

Detail

Bhutan is eco-friendly, and the world’s first carbon negative, striving to preserve its natural environment and successfully preserving 70% of its total land area under forest coverage.  Though Bhutan is a tiny kingdom, it boasts of being a home to about 770 known species of birds and around 19 endangered species (such as the Rufous-necked Hornbill, Black-necked crane, White-bellied Heron, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, etc.)

Bhutan has also been identified as one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity hotspots. Take a journey through the subtropical warm broad-leaved forests and coniferous forests as you observe the sights and sounds of the wildlife.

Highlights of the tour:

  • Explore many gorgeous valleys from the Western to the Eastern regions
  • Gain a comprehensive view of the living habitation of birds
  • Can witness the beauty of birds and their nature
  • Observe the birds by camping near the birding sites
  • Short Hike to Tiger’s Nest Monastery

Trip Cost

The minimum daily tour package covers the following services.

$ 11710 (Single Traveler)
$ 10890 (Couple-per person)
$ 10305 (3 – 6 Travelers -per person)
$ 9719 (7- 9 Travelers -per person)
$ 9134 (10 Travelers & above – per person)

Price Includes

  • A minimum of 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars can be upgraded at an additional fee)
  • All meals / Tea & snacks
  • All internal transport (excluding Domestic flights)
  • Sightseeing with entrance fees
  • An experienced English speaking tour leader
  • Bottled water in the vehicle
  • SDF (Sustainable Development Fees/Government Fees) & Visa Fees

Price Excludes

  • Flights
  • Travel & Health Insurance
  • Additional personal expenses such as souvenirs, meals, snacks, alcohol, laundry, tips, and gratuities for the tour leader and staff.

Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Paro- Drive on to Thimphu

Driving Duration: 65km/1.5hrs
Elevation:   2200m/ 7218ft

Drive to Thimphu, Thimphu sightseeing & Birding

Attractions: 
– National Memorial Chorten
– Tashichhoe Dzong

Overnight at hotel in Thimphu

Day 02: Thimphu Sightseeing

Elevation:  2350m / 7710ft

After an early breakfast, drive to Dolamkencho (way to Lingshi) for birding.
A picnic lunch will be provided near Cheri bridge.
Early evening starts birding at the base of Tango & Cheri Monastery and birding along the Wangchu River.

Attractions: 
– Takin Preservation Center
– Centenary Farmers Markets
– National Library
– Zilukha Nunnery
– Buddha Point

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu

Day 03: Thimphu to Dochula Pass

Driving Duration: 1hr/ 40km
Elevation:   3100m / 10200ft

Attractions:
– Dochula Pass
– Druk Wangyel chorten(108 stupa)
– Enjoy the view of the towering mountains
– Birding at Lampelri Botanical Park

Overnight at the hotel in Dochula pass

Day 04: Dochula to Punakha

Driving duration: 2.5 hrs/77 km
Elevation:  1310m / 4300ft

After an early breakfast, drive to Punakha and birding along the Lumitsawa & Thinleygang village.

Attractions: 
– Hike to Chimmi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple)
– Punakha Dzong

Overnight at Hotel in Punakha

Day 05: Punakha sightseeing

Elevation:  1310m / 4300ft

Today we will spend the whole day birding inside the Jigme Dorji National Park and along the Mo Chu River.

Overnight at Hotel in Punakha

Day 06: Punakha to Gangtey

Diving Distance: 78km/3hrs
Elevation: 2900m / 9510ft

Drive on to Phobjikha/ Gangtey, and birding along the Nobding highway and Phobjikha Valley.

Attractions: 
– A sacred wintering ground for the Black-necked Crane.
– Hike to the Gangtey Nature Trial
– Black Necked Crane Information Center

Overnight at hotel in Phobjikha

Day 07: Gangtey to Trongsa

Driving Duration: 65km/2hrs
Elevation: 2800m / 9185ft

After an early breakfast, we drive to the Pele la pass (4000 m) and spend the morning hours birding along the old road at Pele la for high-altitude species.

Later drive to Trongsa, traveling through the valley of Longtey & Longmey.

Attractions: 
– Trongsa Dzong
– Trongsa Museum

Overnight at hotel in Trongsa

Day 08: Trongsa to Bumthang

Driving Duration: 68km-2hrs
Elevation: 2300m / 7500ft

After having an early breakfast, drive towards Trongsa- Zhemgang highway for birding.

Attractions
– En route birding along the Yontongla Pass and Chummy Valleys.
– Yontongla pass

Overnight at the hotel in Chumey

Day 09: Bumthang

Driving Duration: 40 km-1hrs.
Elevation: 2800m / 9185ft

Early in the morning, we will drive towards Tharpaling monastery (3,800m) for morning birding. Bird highlights in this area are Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, Snow Pigeon, Altai Accentor, Red-billed Chough etc…

After lunch drive to Bumthang and visit the following places.
– Jampa Lhakhang
– Kurjey Temple
– Tamzhing Temple
– Jakar Dzong

Overnight at hotel in Bumthang

Day 10: Bumthang to Ura/Sengor

Driving Duration: 114 km-4hrs.
Elevation: 3042m / 9980ft

After an early breakfast, drive towards eastern Bhutan through a dense conifer of the Ura Valley hold gems like Mrs. Gould ‘s Sunbirds, Orange-gorgeted Flycatchers, Bar-winged Wren-babblers, and Red-headed Bullfinches. Thrumshing la is prime country for Blood Pheasants, and holds Red-flanked Bluetail, Spotted Nutcrackers, and ghostly Snow Pigeons.

Overnight camp at Sengor

Day 11: Sengor to Yongkola

Driving Duration: 35 km-1hrs.
Elevation: 3042m / 9980ft

Spend a full day birding along the Sengor and Latongla passes.

Overnight at the Camp

Day 12: Yongkola

Elevation: 3042m / 9980ft

– Birding along the incredible broad-leaved forest in eastern Bhutan, and it is considered as “Birding Capital of The World”.

– We will stop along the way scouring the roadsides for mixed flocks of warblers, parrotbills, babblers, and sunbirds.

– We will check carefully around the camp for Long-billed and Plain-backed Thrushes.

Overnight at Camp in Yongkola

Day 13: Yongkola to Mongar

Driving Duration: 20 km-1hrs.
Elevation: 1660m/ 2070ft

Today we hit Bhutan‘s wet subtropical forests to track down awesome Rufous-necked Hornbills, shy Blue-nape Pittas, Golden-throated Barbets, mixed parrotbill flocks, Collared Treepies, strange Slender-billed Scimitar-babblers, Black-headed Shrike-babblers, gorgeous Golden-breasted Fulvettas, and vermillion Scarlet Finches, to name just a few of the varied and staggering possibilities in this wonderfully rich area.

Overnight at the camp in Lingmithang

Day 14: Mongar - Panbang via Nganglam

Driving Duration: 80 km-4hrs.
Elevation: 660m/ 2070ft

Stop along the roadsides for birding and in the evening drive towards Pemagatshel highway for birding.

Attractions: 
– Gyelposhing town
– Dam of Kuri Chu Hydro Power
– Breath-stopping journey along the Kuri Gongri River
– Nganglam Town

Overnight at the camp in Yangbari

Day 15: Panbang

Driving Duration: 80 km/4hrs.
Elevation: 260m/ 855ft

Starts your journey to Panbang via Nganglam town and stops along the highway for Birding.

Attractions
– Norbugang School
– Travelling through warm broad-leaved and Sub Tropical Forest
– Panbang town

Overnight at Panbang Eco Lodge

Day 16: Panbang to Royal Manas National Park

Elevation: 260m/ 855ft

The Royal Manas National Park is one of the old, protected area which is home for more than 426 species of birds, including the Great Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Beautiful Nuthatch, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Black Francolin, and Blyth’s Kingfisher located in the warm broad-leaved and subtropical forests. It is also a home for fifty-eight species of mammals, such as the Golden Langur, Capped Langur, Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Swamp Deer, Elephant, Water Buffalo, and Guar.

Attractions
– Rafting
– Spot of Birding

Overnight in Eco Lodge

Day 17: Zhemgang to Tingtibi

Driving Duration: 75 km-3hrs.
Elevation: 552m/ 1811ft

Birding several forested valleys on the way, searching for the impressive Rufous-necked Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Rusty-fronted Barwing, and Yellow- throated Fulvetta.we will base ourselves at Tingbiti and target the low elevation forests for tiny Speckled Piculets, and a whole host of cool laughingthrushes such as Rufous-chinned and Blue-winged.

Overnight at hotel in Tingtibi

Day 18: Tingtibi

Elevation: 552m/ 1811ft

As Tingtibi is in the temperate forest with bamboo under-growths, we will look for bamboo specialists’ species, especially White-hooded Babbler, Pale-billed Parrotbill, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Warbler and Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler.

Overnight at the hotel in Tingtibi

Day 19: Tingtibi to Gelephu

Driving Duration: 75 km-3hrs.
Elevation: 221m/ 725ft

Early in the morning, we drive towards Gelephu and stop at Tamala to look for Red-faced Liocichla, Laughingthrushes (Blue-winged and Grey-sided), Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, and many more.

Attractions:
– Gelephu hot spring
– Gelephu town
– Tamala Birding

Overnight at hotel in Gelephu

Day 20: Gelephu to Tsirang

Driving Duration: 97 km-3hrs.
Elevation: 1410m/ 4659ft

On the way to Darachu, our focus on the specialty birds is vulnerable Rufous-necked Hornbill, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Forest Wagtail (rarity), Warblers (White-spectacled, Chestnut-crowned), White-crested Laughingthrush, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, White-naped Yuhina, and Golden Babbler.

Attractions:
– Sarpang town
– Darachu Birding
– Damphu town

Overnight at hotel Tsirang

Day 21: Tsirang to Thimphu

Driving Duration: 100 km-3hrs.
Elevation: 1273m/ 4176ft

Passing through chir pine and warm broad-leaved forests early in the morning, we will explore for vulnerable Great Hornbill, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, Barbets (Blue-eared, Golden-throated, Great, & Blue-throated), Sunbirds (Black-throated, Crimson, Purple), Orange-bellied Leafbird, Woodpeckers (Grey-capped Pygmy, Fulvous-breasted, Rufous, Bay)

Overnight at hotel Wangdue

Day 22: Thimphu to Haa

Driving Duration: 142km/4hrs
Elevation: 2,350m / 7,710ft

Drive on to Haa.

Attractions:
– Lhakhang Karpo
– Explore Haa Town

Overnight at hotel Haa

Day 23: Haa to Chelela - Paro

Driving Duration: 36km/1.5hrs
Elevation: 2350m / 7710ft

Morning sees us on the cool alpine meadows of Cheli la searching for the iridescent Himalayan Monal, a bird so colorful that the Nepalese have nicknamed it the “bird of nine colors”. We also sift through flocks of pink rose finches and chunky grosbeaks. In the thicker forests below, we hope to track down Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes.

Attraction:
-Ta Dzong(National Museum)
-Rinpung/ Paro Dzong
-Paro Town

Overnight at hotel Paro

Day 24: Paro- Hike to the Tiger’s nest

Duration: 5-6hrs/ 6.5km
Elevation: 2280m/ 7480ft

After breakfast, drive for a short distance and birding tour along with Tiger’s Nest hike

Attractions: 
– Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Paro Taktsang)
– Drukgyel Dzong
– Visit Traditional farmhouse for hot stone bath if you interested (extra cost)

Overnight at hotel in Paro

Day 25: Departure

Elevation: 2350m / 7710ft

After breakfast, drive to Paro Airport for Departure

Price
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