North East India is a vast area comprising several states. Currently we are organizing birding tours in the states of Assam & Arunachal Pradesh. Both these areas have a great variety and abundance of resident bird life. Some of the rarest, least known, and the most sought after birds of the oriental region are found here. To see the Bengal Florican, Dark rumped Swift, White-Winged Duck, and the Marsh Babbler - come to North East India.
Based on source material from Krys Kazmierczak & Raj Singh's book, A Bird Watchers Guide To India, we have researched on the ground, suitable birding sites with a host of local guides, to create tours for bird watchers. Keeping in mind constraints of movement, infrastructure, time, and local conditions, we have evolved exciting itineraries. These cover some of the best birding sites in the North East.
Your Birding itinerary depends upon your interests, the duration of the planned trip, and other matters such as your budget. We feel the best way to finalize your itinerary is to first survey the birding sites described on this site, have a look at our standard itineraries and then decide what you want. Thereafter together, via e-mail, we can formulate your trip plan.
The best time for birding in the North East is November to mid March.
The duration of your tour can be as long as you like. You will find our suggestions of days required for each birding site. We have two itineraries, for ready reference. These can be tailored to your requirements.
For first timers it will help to do some home work and come prepared with the under mentioned birding basics. Once you are at the site, our landscape and avifauna is a natural classroom
||Names and classification - common names and scientific names
||Knowledge of how to use binoculars, and maintain records.
BIRDING SITES in ASSAM & ARUNACHAL PRADESH
Kaziranga National Park and Panbari Reserve Forest
For bird photographers Guwahati's attraction is that the Greater Adjutant is visible throughout the day at a small ground within the town.Deepor Beel is a wetland 13 kms from town, hosting wintering water birds.
These include greater and lesser Adjutant, Fulvous Whistling-duck, and Greater Painted Snipe. Water cock, Cinnamon Bittern, and Sarus crane. If in luck you may even spot the Solitary snipe.
Guwahati is connected by daily flights to Delhi, Kolkata, and Bagdogra. and by a 28 hrs train journey to Delhi, as also to Kolkata ( 22 hours) It is the hub of communications to all the states of North East India.
There are several good hotels at Guwahati. Our choice is the Brahmaputra Ashok
You need One night transit halt, at Guwahati with half a day for birding.
The World Heritage Kaziranga National Park is a highly reputed wild life protected area, located in Assam. The Park has more than 70% of the world's one-horned rhino. Population, 70% of the world population of the Eastern Swamp Deer and 75% of the world's wild Asiatic water buffalo. It has a significant population of the Asian Elephant.
The Park also has more than 450 species of birds, 18 of them are globally threatened species. Because of the varied habitat-types that the Park comprises of, as also of the strict protection accorded to them, birding in Kaziranga is very special.
The Eastern Range is good for water birds such as Falcated Teal, White-eyed Pochard and spot-billed pelican (a colony of 200 pairs is located in this range).For grassland birds the Western Range is ideal. The Bengal Florican can be seen during the elephant ride in the Central Range.The nearby Panbari Reserved Forest is good for woodland birds such as yellow-vented Warbler, great Hornbill, and redheaded Trogon. .Other interesting birds include Green-backed Heron, White bellied Heron (rare), Lesser and greater Adjutants, Black-necked Storks, Spoonbill, Grey-headed and Pallas's Fish-eagle (common), Swamp Francolin (common), Grey-headed Lapwing, Black-bellied tern, Marsh Babbler, Jordan's Bushchat (rare) White-throated Bushchat and many more.
The best time to visit is Nov to Mar.
To get to Kaziranga, you have to fly in from Delhi, Bagdogra or Kolkotta to Guwahati. . Kaziranga is 220 Kms East of Guwahati and can be reached by car from Guwahati in 4.30 hours. You get to the birding sites by jeep, on elephant and by walking.
At Kaziranga Wild Grass Resort, where we will be staying, is a luxury resort at the foot of the Karbi Hills, endorsed by the World Wild Life Fund and project Tiger. It provides all facilities for exploring the National Park. There are 40 species of trees, and 200 species of shrubs, creepers and climbers on the grounds.
A minimum of 04 days is suggested for birding.
Nameri National Park
Also in the State of Assam, it is located 238 Kms from Kaziranga in a 200 sq km area and adjacent to the Pakhui National Park (810 sq km). Nameri is really on the edge of a huge wilderness area. To get to the park one has to cross the fast flowing snow-fed Bhorelli river The habitat is diverse. It has 350 species of birds. Known to be a good place to sight the rare white-winged woodduck, Ibisbill (uncommon), Ruddy Kingfisher, wreathed hornbill, Blue-eared kingfisher and green cochoa(very rare). The best time for birding is Nov to Mar. You have to walk or go by boat for birding.
You can reach the park by car from Kaziranga in 02 hrs and from Guwahati in 4.30 hrs.
Accommodation is in tented camp with modern toilets
Suggested duration of stay is two days for birding
Namdapa National Park
Located in Arunachal Pradesh, Namdapa lies in the extreme North East of India. Spread over 1985 sq Kms, Its altitude varies from 200 m to 4578 m. Its avifauna is a unique blend of Indo-Burmese, Sino-Tibetan and Himalayan forms, which thrives in the bio-diverse habitat encompassing tropical, temperate and alpine.Largely unexplored 665 species of birds have been recorded, of which some are exotic - Blyth's Tragopan, Wards Tragopan White- Winged Wood Duck, Rufus necked hornbill, Blue napped Pitta, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, snow throated Babbler, and Beautiful Nuthatch. Brown Hornbills may occur here, together with a fabulous list of pheasants, babblers and laughing-thrushes, which include the Arunachal endemic - Austen's Spotted Babbler. Whilst such truly rare and elusive species occur, you should treat a sighting of any of them as a real bonus. It will be years before sites for such species are sufficiently well known for them to be found more easily, but yours should nonetheless be a rewarding and pioneering stay!
You should also know that this is also the only sanctuary in the world that offers protection to Asia's four great cats: Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard - not to mention most of the other classic Indian mammals, such as Asiatic Elephant, Gaur (the magnificent Asian bison), Himalayan Black Bear, Sun Bear, Dhole (Indian wild dog), Wolf, Wild Boar, Nilgai (or Blue Bull - the largest of India's antelopes), Grey Langur, and an excellent variety of deer and smaller mammals. The park is also home to the localised Hoolock Gibbon. It is a Tiger reserve
The park is home to outstanding wet tropical forest. Through it all flows the Noadehing, a river that spans the park from east to west, fed by numerous tributaries that tumble from the more mountainous regions of the park and form the catchment area of the great Brahmaputra. Over 150 species of tree are found in Namdapha, including such tropical giants as Hollock, Mekai, Hollong, Jutuli, Dhuna, Mechelia champaka and others. Amongst the temperate and subtropical zones a wide variety of rhododendrons and oaks, birch and magnolias are found. Species of particular note are Pinus merkusi and Abies dalavavi, which are not found elsewhere in India; whilst one of the rarest and most endangered orchids, the Blue Vanda, occurs here, together with the Mishmi Teeta a well-known local medicinal plant, used by endemic tribal people to treat a host of illnesses.
The remote and inaccessible nature of the park has preserved its pristine forests, and much of the area remains unexplored. It is as close to true wilderness as any of the many national parks and sanctuaries in India, though this does of course mean that your access will be restricted, as the network of trails and tracks that allow exploration of most national parks and wildlife reserves simply does not exist here.
Your birding tour to this park is tailored to provide full opportunity to glimpse the rich bird and animal-life - as rich as any other region of comparable size worldwide. Add to this the excitement of being in a largely unexplored area. Because this is truly a journey into the unknown - made even more exciting by the unpredictable factors - local officials, terrain, communication and political constraints. Be prepared for a to live and travel hard, and expect changes and disruptions. Whilst we will do everything possible to arrange your birding excursions in the park, we cannot guarantee arrangements. Elephants for example, belong to the Forest Department, and whilst we will book them in advance, ultimately a lot depends upon local officials and their last minute commitments. However we will do our utmost to ensure that you are provided the means to explore the park, both on elephant back and, as much as is allowed, on foot.
The park is a restricted zone, with premium rates charged to a limited number of tourists. Hence the cost of this holiday to Arunachal Pradesh is disproportionately high, especially when compared to costs of holidays elsewhere in India.A special permit is required for entry into Arunachal, and in order to guarantee its grant, we need at least 06 weeks notice.
We offer Namdapa as an extension tour to birding at Kaziranga National Park in Assam- so as to give you a mix of assured sightings and excitement of the unknown. From Kaziranga to the park is a 10 hours drive - but you will be refreshed by the rich and varied flora, and village life that you see, as you traverse this fascinating area. On the return journey it is possible to fly out from Dibrugarh airport to Delhi or Kolkota. Driving time from the park to the airport is 6-7 hours.
Deban Forest Rest House, close to the park headquarters and the only accommodation in the park, offers limited accommodation. This will be your base during our stay in Namdapha National Park. Facilities here are basic; however, we always carry camping equipment and will make your stay as comfortable as possible. In case rooms are not available we will set up a fully serviced camp.
We suggest a minimum of 06 nights stay, to give you 04 full days in which to explore the park, .and one days birding around Miao Tourist Bungalow outside Namdapha Here you can go birding amongst paddy fields, along the rivers, around the villages and in nearby forested areas. This should allow you to find a selection of open country birds not generally seen in the national park.
B/05: 08 days Birding at Nameri & Kaziranga
||Arrive Guwahati. Drive to Kaziranga National Park
|Day 02- 04
||Drive to Nameri and birding
||Drive to Guwahati
||Guwahati birding and departure
B/06: 14 days Birding at Kaziranga and Namdapha
||Drive to Kaziranga National Park
||Drive to Namdapha National Park
||drive to Miao
||Drive to Dibrugarh for departure.
Prices & conditions : on request
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