Wildlife watching tours - bird watching holidays -
culture tours for independent travellers and groups
Red-billed Blue Magpie © J Bridges
Spot-winged Grosbeak © G SinghKalij Pheasant © P VashisthaBlue-winged Siva © J BridgesHimalayan Bulbul © J Bridges

Himalayan Birding: monals, minlas & mesias (15 days) B510

Tour ref. no. B510
Duration: 13 nights (15 days taking into account flights which are payable directly)
Delhi - Corbett - Dhikala - Pangot (nr Nainital) - Sattal - Chopta - Delhi
  • Stunning scenery with Himalayan Monal, Grosbeaks and Satyr Tragopan all possible
  • Explore rich forests and open hillsides around Pangot for Koklass and Cheer Pheasants
  • Siberian Rubythroat, Laughingthrushes and Red-billed Leiothrix by Sattal lakes
  • Exciting birding in the Himalayan foothill rivers – watch for Forktails and Ibisbill 
  • Many woodpeckers are possible, including Great Slaty Woodpecker and Speckled Piculet
  • Brown and Tawny Fish Owls, Pallas’s and Lesser Fish Eagles at Corbett

Introduction

Search for stunning pheasants with our experienced guides – Kalij Pheasants are easy to see in the lower foothill forests of Corbett.  Despite iridescent rainbow-coloured plumage the male Himalayan Monal can be tricky to observe in lichen-draped oak-conifer forest with rhododendron and bamboo, but once seen it’s never forgotten!  We will look for Cheer and Koklass Pheasants near Pangot, where a wealth of other birds occur, from brightly coloured Red-billed Blue Magpie to the very desirable Siberian Rubythroat and several tit species including Rufous-vented and Black-throated.  Sattal (“seven lakes”) also offers productive birding – Golden Bush Robin, various laughingthrushes, warblers and flycatchers are all possible.  At higher altitude around Chopta/Kedarnath WLS we’ll focus on Satyr Tragopan,   Pink-browed and Beautiful Rosefinches.  Birders love grosbeaks and we have a chance of both Black and Yellow and Spot-winged.  This tour includes some great birding in truly stunning scenery.

There are many ways to extend this tour, so please contact us for details

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.

Day 2: Delhi

Meals: Payable directly today

Arrive at New Delhi airport where you will be welcomed by your guide and driver who will stay with you for the duration of the tour. Depending on your arrival time you could visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary for a few hours to search for Brooks’s Leaf Warbler, Indian Courser and a wealth of waterbirds. Sind Sparrow is recorded here and occurs locally. Night at hotel in Delhi

Day 3: Delhi – Corbett

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

After breakfast (served from 0700 hours) you will drive to Corbett National Park. Wherever you are around Corbett you will be impressed by the abundant bird life and wonderful scenery. The Park is in a huge valley, with thickly forested ridges and open grasslands intersected by the Ramganga and Kosi rivers and their tributaries, all set against a stunning backdrop of the Himalayan foothills. Diverse habitats attract all kinds of bird. Without even entering the Park you have an excellent chance of seeing River Lapwing, Crested Treeswift, Plumbeous Water Redstart, White-capped Redstart, Wallcreeper and the magnificent Crested Kingfisher. Sometimes Tawny Fish Owl and Pallas’s Fish Eagle are spotted and your guide will try hard to locate the cryptic Ibisbill along the Kosi River. With luck you could see Great Slaty Woodpecker. Check in at your lodge and enjoy the remainder of the day birding along the Kosi River. Relax for the evening at your lodge.

Day 4: Corbett

Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

Full day birding in the buffer zone of Corbett National Park by open jeep and on foot. Watch for Red Junglefowl and Kalij Pheasant along the tracks and perhaps a Lesser Fish Eagle overhead. Also listen out for woodpeckers as there are several to see locally in these forested hills ranging from Brown-capped and Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpeckers and perhaps a Speckled Piculet, to the larger and brightly-coloured Grey-headed Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape and Black-rumped Flameback, to name just a few. Night at same lodge

Day 5: Corbett (Dhikala)

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This morning after breakfast you will drive to Dhikala zone of Corbett National Park. The drive to Dhikala is a safari in itself and you may see Asian Elephant, Great Hornbill and even Bengal Tiger if you are lucky!  Target species to look for here include Tawny Fish Owl, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Hawk Eagle, Blue-bearded Bee Eater, Rosy Minivet, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Crimson Sunbird, White-rumped Shama, Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler, Ashy, Black and Himalayan Bulbuls.

During the afternoon jeep safari in Dhikala zone you have a reasonable chance of encountering a Tiger, though this depends on luck also.

Night at Dhikala Forest Lodge.

Note: A night here is quite expensive due to the remote location, so if budget is an issue please speak to us and we can change this to a cheaper  night outside of the park, but this would reduce your chance of seeing one or two species of birds and potentially the chance of a Tiger sighting.  Around Dhikala is usually good for Tiger.

Day 6: Corbett (Dhikala) - Pangot, nr Nainital

Meals: Breakfast at Dhikala, lunch en-route and dinner at Pangot

This morning you will have an Elephant safari in Dhikala Zone.  This is a great experience which increases your chance of seeing Tiger, with luck,  but birding from elephant back is a little tricky. The Elephant safari is subject to availability and very occasionally they need the Elephants for survey purposes.  If this were the case (unlikely), you would be offered a jeep safari instead.   After this you will start the journey back through Corbett and on to Pangot, higher up in the Himalayan foothills. Expect this journey to take 4 – 5 hours, birding a little on the way. Check in at your lodge and if time permits enjoy birding down the valley from your lodge were you may add Red-billed Blue Magpie and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch to your list. Relax for the evening.

Day 7: Pangot

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

This is another bird-rich area and today you’ll search for Koklass Pheasant as well as the more difficult Cheer Pheasant, and there will be plenty more to see in these beautiful wooded Kumaon hills. Great Hill Barbet and Black-headed Jay are often seen and others include Rufous-bellied and Himalayan Woodpeckers, Altai Accentor, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Yellow-browed Tit, White-tailed Nuthatch, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Upland Pipit, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker and Whiskered Yuhina.

Day 8: Pangot - Sattal, Bhowali and Kainchi areas

Breakfast at Pangot, lunch and dinner at Kainchi

After a couple of hours of early morning birding drive to the Sattal area to enjoy some lake and mountain birds. Check in and have lunch at your hotel, then in the afternoon head off to explore – typical species may include Siberian Rubythroat, Red-billed Leiothrix, White-throated and Streaked Laughingthrushes, Grey Treepie, White-capped Bunting, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Mountain Chiffchaff, Sulphur-bellied and Hume’s Warblers and so many others. One lucky client even spotted a Himalayan Civet sleeping on a branch.  Night at local hotel

Day 9: Sattal, Bhowali and Kainchi area

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

You’ll spend the whole day birding locally around the lakes and forests, returning for lunch, and then heading out again. Arrive back at your hotel and relax for the evening.

Day 10: Sattal - Baijnath

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

There will be time for some early morning birding before starting your journey (approx. 6 hours) to Baijnath, with a short birding stop at Binsar on the way. Arrive Baijnath and check in at your lodge. Rest of the day birding around Baijnath

Day 11: Baiinath - Chopta and Triyuginarayan area and Kdearnath Wildlife Sanctuary

Meals: Breakfast, lunch en-route and dinner

After breakfast drive to Chopta and Triyuginarayan area (Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary area). Stopping for lunch & birding en-route. Arrive at Narayankoti and check in at your resort / hotel. Rest of the day birding around your hotel / lodge

Days 12 and 13: Chopta and Triyuginarayan area including Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary

Meals: Breakfast, packed lunch and dinner

You will enjoy full day birding around Chopta and Triyuginarayan area (Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary area) and search for many target species which include Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, Green Shrike-babbler, Black and Yellow Grosbeak, Spot-winged Grosbeak, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Silver-eared Mesia, Red-tailed Minla, Pink-browed Rosefinch, Beautiful Rosefinch, Red-fronted Serin, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Bush Warbler and many more. Night at your hotel

Day 14: Triyuginarayan area - Rishikesh

Meals: Breakfast, lunch en-route and dinner

Morning birding around your hotel. Drive to Rishikesh (6 hours) stopping for lunch and occasional short birding breaks en-route. Arrive Rishikesh and check in at your hotel. If time permits enjoy rest of the day birding on the banks of the Ganges.

Day 15: Rishikesh - Delhi

Meals: Breakfast only

Morning at leisure.  After breakfast drive to Delhi (05-06 hours). Arrive Delhi International airport and connect with your flight home.

Tour ends

Tour extensions available. Please contact us for details

Price per person:

2 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1660
3 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1415
4 people travelling together (on a twin share basis) £1260
Single room supplement £470

Price is based on the following hotels:

Place Hotel name No. of nights
Delhi Hotel Lohmod, Executive Room 1
Corbett Camp Riverwild, Deluxe Cottage 2
Dhikala Dhikala Forest Lodge, Standard Room  1
Pangot Nest Cottages, Cottage  2
Sattal/Kainchi V Resort, Deluxe Room  2
Baijnath KMVN Guest House, Executive Room  1
Narayankoti Kailash Residency, Deluxe Room  3
Rishikesh Hotel Ganga Kinare, Deluxe Room 1

Price includes

  • Accommodation in the above mentioned hotels with meals as listed
  • All mentioned transfers by air-conditioned vehicle (saloon car for 2 and Innova for 3 & 4)
  • One full day use of jeep for birding outside Corbett National Park
  • 2  jeep safaris inside Dhikala Zone of Corbett National Park on an exclusive basis with mandatory park guide inclusive of entrance fee
  • 1 elephant safari at Dhikala Zone of Corbett National Park
  • Accompanying bird guide from Day 2 to Day 15
  • All National Park and Sanctuary entrance fees
  • All currently applicable taxes

Price excludes

  • Any international airfare to/from India including International airport tax
  • Meals not specified
  • Tourist visa and travel insurance
  • Camera fee
  • 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 National Parks or Sanctuaries in the future. The price is based on the current 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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