Wildlife watching tours - bird watching holidays -
culture tours for independent travellers and groups
Marshall's Iora, near Nakhatrana © T Lawson
Painted Sandgrouse © J S BridgesGrey Hypocolius Fulay © R F PorterDemoiselle Crane © T LawsonModhva Beach, near Bhuj © T Lawson

Gujarat’s Iconic Birds (7 days) B407

Tour ref. no. B407
Duration: 5 nights (7 days taking into account flights which are payable directly)
Mumbai/Delhi – Ahmedabad – Little Rann of Kutch – Great Rann of Kutch – Bhuj - Mumbai/Delhi
  • Scan Little Rann’s wide vistas for Macqueen’s Bustard and Asiatic Wild Ass
  • Wait expectantly as dawn stirs the first Grey Hypocolius from its roost at Fulay
  • Seek out Marshall’s Iora, White-naped Tit and Painted Sandgrouse around the Great Rann
  • A chance of Great Indian Bustard in the golden grasslands at Lala
  • Head for Mandvi shore in search of Crab Plover, Pallas’s and Heuglin’s Gulls

Introduction

This far western corner of India has a wealth of very special birds.  Vast open spaces, some dry and cracked yet dotted with wetland or marsh, others covered in golden grasses – target species include Stoliczka’s Bushchat, Macqueen’s and Great Indian Bustards and the chance of Sociable Lapwings moving through, flamingos, cranes, raptors, chats and larks as well as Asiatic Wild Ass and much, much more.  Sparse scrub and bushes hold such delights as Grey Hypocolius, Sirkeer Malkoha, Rufous-fronted Prinia and Painted Sandgrouse.  Miles and miles of sandy beaches are great for gulls, terns and waders – including the amazing Crab Plover.  Join us on this tour for fantastic experiences that will stay in your memory forever.

See B 408 for longer tour including Gir and Velavadar.  Both can follow B 405 or B 406.

Contact us for full details and we can send you a link or post them to you.

Itinerary and price

Day 1: Flight to be organised by you

For help with your flight arrangements and to receive a no obligation quote, you can complete the enquiry form on our website or call 0800 280 8947 to speak to a flight advisor at StudentUniverse (in partnership with Gapyear.com), part of the Flight Centre Travel Group, a leading retailer of airfares and worldwide flights.

Your International flight could arrive in to either Mumbai or Delhi with a connecting flight to Ahmedabad.

Day 2: Mumbai/Delhi - Ahmedabad - Little Rann of Kutch

Meals: Dinner

Your International flight is likely to arrive into Mumbai or Delhi and you’ll take your internal flight to Ahmedabad (all booked by you). Arrive in the morning at Ahmedabad airport where you will find your guide and driver waiting for you outside the airport building with your name on a placard. From here you’ll be transferred to the Little Rann of Kutch.  The journey should take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Check in at a comfortable safari lodge and if time allows you’ll explore locally with your guide.  Species seen around the lodge have included Pallid Scops Owl, Sarus Crane, Sykes’s Nightjar and many other species.

This afternoon we have included a jeep safari to the Little Rann.  On your return you can relax for the evening.

Day 3: Little Rann of Kutch

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Today enjoy morning and afternoon jeep safaris into the Little Rann for birding and to see the rare Asiatic Wild Ass (Onager).  You may well be rewarded with views of Macqueen’s Bustard, Lesser and Greater Flamingos Common and Demoiselle Cranes, Small and Oriental Pratincoles, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers. The endangered Sociable Lapwing is sometimes seen in nearby fields outside of the sanctuary and, if they have been located, it should be possible to take a drive in the afternoon to look for them – it seems the most reliable time to see them is the end of the afternoon.  Depending on the time of year, Rosy Starlings may have congregated around the villages.  We will look for crepuscular and nocturnal species this evening, too.  Night at your safari lodge.  Note: Expect the jeep safaris to be extremely cold first thing in the morning, wrap up warm and wear a jacket to keep out the wind.  The drive to the far side of the Rann for Macqueen’s Bustard could take about an hour.

Day 4: Little Rann of Kutch - Great Rann (Nakhatrana)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch enroute and dinner

After an early breakfast (and with packed lunch from your lodge or lunch at a local restaurant) you will drive (approx. 6 ½ – 7 hours) to the Nakhatrana area for a three night stay.  If time permits, in the afternoon search thorn scrub for key species including Marshall’s Iora and White-naped Tit.  Over the next couple of days you should have another opportunity to see Stoliczka’s Bushchat, if you didn’t come across it at the Little Rann.     Night at camp in air-conditioned tent with attached bathroom.

Day 5: Fulay/Chhari Dhandh/Banni Grasslands

Meals: Packed breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Depart for Fulay very early (at first light) after tea and biscuits and with a packed breakfast and packed lunch. The drive to the only known regular wintering site in India for Grey Hypocolius will take about 35 minutes.  Locally you should see at least six species of raptor and many more birds around Chhari Dhandh wetland in the Banni grasslands.  Locally today you may see Indian Eagle Owl, Sykes’s Nightjar, Sirkeer Malkoha, Rufous-fronted Prinia, Asian Desert Warbler, Grey-necked Bunting, Red-tailed Wheatear and perhaps Painted Sandgrouse towards the end of the day.   Discuss with your guide what you would like to do tomorrow, confirm the likely drive times and arrange meals – decide if you require packed lunch and if so pre-order it with staff.  Night at resort in air-conditioned tent with attached bathroom.

Day 6: Naliya Grasslands and Lala Bustard Sanctuary and/or Modhva Beach, near Mandvi

Meals: Breakfast or packed breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Today you could visit Naliya grasslands and the Lala Bustard Sanctuary (approx. 2 ¼ hours drive each way).  It is becoming increasingly difficult to see Great Indian Bustards in Gujarat.  Naliya grasslands and Lala Bustard Sanctuary is probably one of the best places to look for them locally and the area holds other typical species including Bimaculated Lark, Long-legged Buzzard, Fan-tailed Warbler and many others as well as Indian Gazelle (Chinkara).   If you were to drive on from Lala to Modhva Beach, near Mandvi the drive would be approx. 2 hours.

Alternatively, explore Modhva Beach (near Mandvi) early tomorrow morning.  Target species include Crab Plover, Terek and Broad-billed Sandpipers, Slender-billed, Pallas’s, Brown-headed and Heuglin’s Gulls.   Other species not previously mentioned and often seen include Lesser-crested and Caspian Terns, Kentish Plover and Great Knot.  Return to your resort.  The journey time from Modhva to the resort will take around 2 ¼ hours.

Day 7: Nakhatrana area - Bhuj - Mumbai/Delhi

Meals: Breakfast

Depending on the day of the week, there are morning or late afternoon flights departing from Bhuj to Mumbai.  An evening flight from Bhuj will allow a final few hours exploring locally this morning. Your guide will advise on the drive times to Bhuj depending on which birding sites you visit to ensure you arrive at Bhuj Airport in good time to check in for your flight to Mumbai (or on to Delhi – there are no direct flights from Bhuj to Delhi).  We can help you identify an internal flight to connect with international flights which are easy to book.  Your guide will say farewell at the airport.

Tour ends –  See price with inclusions/exclusions below.

Extensions are available.  For example you could extend this tour with a night or two based at Mandvi Beach Resort, near Bhuj or alternatively with two nights at Jamnagar and from here you could visit Khijadiya coastal wetland and Narara.  This tour can be preceded with Bustards and Bushchats Tour reference no. B405 (7 nights) or B406 (9 nights).

Alternatively you can further extend to include Gir and/or Velavadar National Parks – see B408 for details.

Price per person using local guides:

2 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £565
3 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £530
4 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £465
Single room supplement £160

Price per person with accompanying guide for duration till Bhuj airport:

2 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £695
3 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £615
4 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £530
Single room supplement £160

Price is based on the following hotels:

Place Hotel name No. of nights
Little Rann Rann Riders, Air conditioned Cottage or Hut 2
Great Rann Infinity Resort, Air conditioned Tent or Hut with attached bathroom 3

Price includes

  • Accommodation in the above mentioned lodge/resort with meals as listed
  • All mentioned transfers by air-conditioned vehicle (a/c saloon car for 2, Innova for 3 and Tempo for 4)
  • Prices above give you an option to use local guides (English can be very limited but they know the birding sites) or opt for having a guide with good English accompany from Day 2 till drop at Bhuj Airport
  • Three jeep safaris in the Little Rann
  • All National Park and Sanctuary entrance fees
  • All currently applicable taxes

Price excludes

  • Any International airfare to/from India including International airport tax.
  • Any internal airfare within India
  • Tourist visa and travel insurance
  • Meals not specified
  • Camera fee wherever levied.
  • Entrances and monument guide for any sightseeing (if chosen)
  • Any additional taxes levied by the Government of India on the tourism sector in future.
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as hard/soft drinks, laundry, phone/fax calls, tips etc.
  • Any item not mentioned in the price includes section.
  • Any increase in the entrance fee to the National Park in the future. The price is based on the presently applicable entrance fee.
  • Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.

 

How to book

The booking of this itinerary is with Wild About Travel Limited and our booking terms and conditions apply. In order to protect your payments we operate a trust account in accordance with the requirements of the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992.

Please contact Jo Thomas at Wild About Travel (jo@wildabouttravel.co.uk) / 01480-370593 to register your interest and request a booking form.

To confirm your booking please complete the booking form and send a 25% deposit by £ sterling cheque * payable to Wild About Travel Trust to the Wild About Travel Office, 25 Sapley Road, Hartford, Huntingdon, Cambs PE29 1YG. The balance payment would be due 40 - 60 days (to be confirmed at the time of booking) prior to your travel dates.

* Note: Where a price is given in another currency you can pay in £ sterling. We will use the Lloyds Bank exchange rate at the time of making the deposit payment and the balance payment to convert the figure to £. If you would prefer to make a payment by internet banking please let us know and we can supply you with the bank details.

Flights

We can advise on appropriate flights and timings that you may wish to book, but we do not organise or arrange flights on our customers’ behalf. You will need to make your own flight arrangements directly with a flight retailer or the airline concerned; we recommend StudentUniverse (in partnership with Gapyear.com), part of Flight Centre Travel Group. They can be contacted by completing the online enquiry form or you can call 0800 280 8947 to speak to one of their flight advisors.

For any help or advice please call or email Wild About Travel and we would be happy to assist.
Tel: +44 (0)1480 370593 Mobile: +44 (0)7817 574235
Email: jo@wildabouttravel.co.uk
Wild About Travel Limited is a company registered in England and Wales.
Reg. no. 5522066. Registered Office: 25 Sapley Road, Hartford, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE29 1YG, UK

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