Winter birding in Bhutan

Winter Birding in Bhutan

Tour Pace & Walking: Moderate pace, undemanding walks & some long drives.

Average temperature: Temperate & cold to warm tropical with some rain expected.

Number of species expected: 300 – 350

Photographic Opportunities: Excellent

Duration : 16 nights
Local Leader :  Sonam Tshering
Group Size : Maximum 12
Accommodation : 12 nights in hotels and 4 nights in camp.
Altitudes : 150m/492ft – 3,822m/12,539ft.
US$5000/person

Day 1: Fly to Guwahati, drive to Samdrup Jongkhar, 110kms.

Day 2: Samdrup Jongkhar to Bangtar road birding and back to Samdrup

Day 3: Samdrup Jongkhar to Morong. Birding en-route. Camp

Day 4: Morong to Narphung. Birding en-route. Camp

Day 5: Narphung to Trashigang via Womrong and Khaling.

Day 6: Trashigang to Lingmethang, birding at Kore La. Camp

Day 7: Am around the upper Lingmethang and continue to Yongkola.

Day 8: Yongkola region. Explore the Thrumshing La National Park.

Day 9: Yongkola to Bumthang, bird along Thrumshing La (3,780m).

Day 10: Bumthang to Trongsa, bird along Yotong La (3,425m).

Day 11: Trongsa to Phobjikha. Birding at Pele La (3,390m).

Day 12: Phobjikha to Rimchhu (Jigme Dorji National Park). Camp

Day 13: Birding at Tashithang (JDN Park) and visit the Magnificent Punakha Dzong.

Day 14: Punakha to Paro. Birding at Lampelri Botanical Park and Dochula (3,116m).

Day 15: Paro – Chelela – Paro. Birding at Chele La (3,822m).

Day 16: Paro, hike/ride a mule to Tigers Nest Monastery (4 hrs walk).

Day 17: Paro – Depart to Delhi/Calcutta/Bangkok for onward connection.

Day 1: Flight from Calcutta/Delhi to Guwahati and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar (110kms, 3.5 hrs).
At the airport you will be met by Langur Eco Travels, Indian representatives who will drive you to Samdrup Jongkhar (approx 3 hrs drive). Along this drive please keep an eye out in the fields for the rare Lesserand Greater Adjutants; Little cormorant; White-throated Kingfisher. The Bhutanese hosts will greet you at the Bhutan gate in Samdrup Jongkhar and take you to our hotel for your first night in Bhutan. After Checking into the hotel, as time allows we will bird in the surrounding area; Indian and Chinese pond herons; Little Heron; Black-crowned Night Heron; Little and Cattle egrets;Asian Pied Starling; Common Myna; Rose-ringed and Alexandrine parakeets; Common Tailorbird; Oriental Magpie Robin; Yellow-footed Green Pigeon; Common Iora; Chestnut-headed Bee-eater and with a bit of luck the very rarely seen Blyth’s Kingfisher; Dark-rumped Swift and Black-backed Forktail.

NIGHT: Hotel Tashi Gasel, Samdrup Jongkhar (250m).

Day 2: Samdrup Jongkhar forest walk and drive to Deothang and back to Samdrup Jongkhar.
Today we will spend time exploring the tropical forest between Samdrup Jongkhar and Deothang. Here we will look for species such as Ruby-cheeked Sunbird; Little Spiderhunter; Golden-fronted Leafbird; Coppersmith and Lineated barbets; Long-tailed Sibia; Thick-billed Warbler; Asian Fairy Bluebird; Dollarbird; Oriental-pied, Wreathed and Great hornbills; Puff-throated Babbler and Pale-headed Woodpecker (rare).In the evening we will return back to our hotel in Samdrup Jongkhar.

NIGHT: Hotel Tashi Gasel, Samdrup Jongkhar (250m).

Day 3: Samdrup Jongkhar to Morong, (45kms, 2 hrs). Birding enroute.
An early start so that we can spend the morning exploring the sub-tropical forest above Samdrup Jongkhar looking for species such as:Chestnut-breasted Partridge (rare); Beautiful Nuthatch (rare) any of which represent a very special experience; Red-faced Liocichla; Blue-winged, Bhutan and Rufous-necked laughingthrushes; Greater Coucal; Rufous-necked Hornbill (good population in Bhutan but rare elsewhere); the spectacular Greater Flameback (woodpecker); Crimson Sunbird; Silver-eared Mesia; White-throated Needletail; Brown Shrike; Slender-billed Oriole; White-throated Fantail; Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike; Hair-crested Drongo; Ferruginous, Blue-throated and Grey-headed Canary flycatchers; Small Niltava; Green Cochoa (rare); Brown-throated Treecreeper; Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch; Yellow-cheeked and Sultan tits; Himalayan and Black bulbuls; Striated and Hill prinias; Hume’s, and Greenish warblers; Grey-cheeked, Grey-hooded and Broad-billed warblers; Chestnut-crowned and White-crested laughingthrushes; Rufous-capped, Grey-throated and Golden babblers; Striated, White-naped and White-bellied yuhinas; Greater Rufous-headed and Lesser Rufous-headed parrotbills; Streaked Spiderhunter; Grey and White wagtails; Grey-headed Bullfinch; Spot-winged Grosbeak and Gold-naped Finch.

NIGHT: Camping at Morong, (1,500m).

Day 4: Morong to Narphung, (20kms). Birding along Orong farm road.
We will begin the day with birding around our lovely campsite returning to have breakfast in these beautiful surroundings before we continue our drive to Narphung. The rest of the day is spent birding along the Morong – Narphung road (approx 30km stretch). These superb forests in this area, will provide us with opportunities to study the birds such as: White-browed Shrike Babbler; Cutia; Red-headed Trogon; Rusty-fronted Barwing; Red-tailed and Blue-winged minlas; Hill Partridge; Kalij Pheasant; Bay and Crimson-breasted woodpeckers; Greater and Lesser yellownapes; Golden-throated and Great barbets; Himalayan Swiftlet; Fork-tailed and House swifts; Collard and Asian Barred owlets; Spot-bellied Eagle Owl (rare); Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon; Eurasian Sparrowhawk; Besra; Northern Goshawk; Steppe and Bonelli’s eagles; Orange-bellied Leafbird; Long-tailed and Grey-backed shrikes.

NIGHT: Camping at Narphung, (2,000m).

Day 5: Narphung to Trashigang, (120kms, 5 hrs).
Birding at Moshi and Kharung La.This morning we will take a farm road for the morning birding and come back for breakfast at our campsite. After breakfast we will continue our birding along the Trashigang road. We will stop briefly at Womrong, a small little town for some culture before continuing to Kharung La. From here we will decent down to the town of Khaling before climbing to Yonphu La at 2,500m. From the pass we will drive down through Kanglung college to Trashigang for the night.

Some of the species we may see today include: Yellow-billed Blue Magpie; Grey Treepie; Eurasian Jay; Large-billed Crow; Maroon Oriole; Long-tailed Minivet; Yellow-bellied and White-throated fantails; Ashy and Black drongos; Blue Whistling Thrush; Long-billed Thrush (rare); little Pied and White-gorgeted flycatchers (the later is rare); Large and Rufous-bellied niltavas; Spotted Forktail; Common Stonechat; White-tailed Nuthatch; Fire-capped, Green-backed, Black-throated and Rufous-fronted tits; Striated, Mountain, Black and Red-vented bulbuls; Mountain Tailorbird; Ashy-throated, Chestnut-crowned and Lemon-rumped warblers; Blyth’s Leaf Warbler; Striated, White-throated and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes; Rusty-cheeked and Streak-breasted scimitar babblers; Spotted Wren Babbler; Red-billed Leiothrix; Green-tailed and Mrs Gould’s sunbirds; Russet and Eurasian Tree sparrows; White Wagtail; Olive-backed Pipit; Maroon Accentor (rare); Yellow-breasted Greenfinch and Tibetan Siskin.

NIGHT: Druk Deojung, Trashigang, (1,100m).

Day 6: Trashigang to Lingmethang, stopping atKore La for birding.
We will leave Trashigang after and early breakfast as there are no productive birding areas in the immediate vicinity and driving down to Chazam. The journey continues through Sheri Chhu from where the road climbs by means of 10 hairpin bends, known as the Yadi Loops, in just 10 Kms! From here we continue to the little village of Yadi. The road passes fields of corn and broad-leaf forests where we will stop and bird before our final ascent to Kore La 2,298m. Here amongst other species we may find: Brown Bullfinch; Scarlet Finch; Brown-throated Treecreeper;and Grey-sided Laughingthrush.

Crossing the pass we descend through cool broadleaved trees, dripping with exotic orchids, fern-lined forests of rhododendrons, where again we will stop to bird hoping to see in these pristine environs: Maroon Oriole; Common Rosefinch; Hill Prinia; Fire-capped Tit; Bhutan Laughingthrush; Rufous-bellied Woodpecker; Asian Barred Owlet; Gold-naped Finch; Kalij Pheasant and Barn Swallow.

Climbing back into our vehicles, we continue our descent to the town of Mongar and on to the sub-tropical forests of Lingmethang at 700m and our camp.

NIGHT: Camping at Lingmethang, (700m).

Day 7 & 8: Yongkola region. Explore the birding hotspots.
This morning we will begin our birding around our campsite. Here we will look for the rare Spot-bellied Eagle Owl and the Tawny Fish Owl.
From here superlatives continue to describe the journey as we begin our climb to the broad leaf forests at Yongkola 1,800m.

The warm broadleaf forests provide the perfect environment for many avian species including many of Bhutan’s sought-after birds. And so today is spent birding in the upper Yongkola region. In this breathtaking landscape we will bird in a protected area of pristine forests using a paved yet rarely used road, providing the ultimate beneficiary birding opportunities. It is here in this birding hotspot that we can look for some of Bhutan’s most prized bird species: Ward’s Trogon; Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler and Rufous-throated Wren Babbler (a little known and endangered species).

After birding the upper elevations above Yongkola, acknowledged being one of the great birding roads of the world, we will slowly descend to our Yongkola camp. We have time to explore the wonderfully rich, subtropical, warm and cool, broad- leaved forests along the lower section of this road where ancient trees are festooned with orchids adding a riot of colour to this verdant land.

Trails criss-cross the forests, but few birders venture far into their depth consequently, exactly what avian delights may be around the corner may be a complete surprise. Here we should encounter: Hill, Rufous-throated and Chestnut-breasted partridges; Rufous-bellied and Crested Serpent eagles; The rare Rufous-necked Hornbill (the forests of Bhutan are the stronghold for this impressive species); Speckled Wood-Pigeon (another rare bird); Blue-bearded Bee-eater and two of the Himalayas’ rarest birds, the cobalt Blue-fronted Robin and the elusive and strange Wedge-billed Wren Babbler; Bay and Lesser Yellownape;Golden-throated and Blue-throated barbets; Large and Oriental hawk-cuckoos; Collared Owlet; Himalayan Treepie; Gray-chinned, Short-billed and Long-tailed Minivets; Yellow-bellied Fantail; Blue-headed Rock Thrush; Large Niltava; Hodgson’s Redstart (in farmland at the edge of the forest); Plumbeous Redstart (males can be seen vigorously defending streamside territories); White-capped Redstart; Slaty-backed Forktail; Rusty-flanked Treecreeper; Sultan, Black-throated, Rufous-fronted, Yellow-browed and Yellow-cheeked tits; Mountain and Ashy bulbuls; Hill and Striated prinias; and Chestnut-headed, Slaty-bellied and Gray-bellied tesias; Gray-sided Bush Warbler; Gray-hooded, White-spectacled, Chestnut-crowned, Broad-billed and Black-faced warblers; White-crested, Striated, Rufous- necked, Gray-sided, and Blue-winged laughingthrushes; Streak-breasted, Coral-billed and Slender-billed scimitar-babblers; Rufous-capped and Golden babblers; Red-billed Leiothrix; Cutia; Rufous-bellied, Black-headed (rare), White-browed and Black-eared shrike babblers; Rufous-fronted Barwing; Chestnut-tailed and Red-tailed minlas; White-naped, Whiskered, and Black-chinned yuhinas; and the exquisite Golden-breasted and Yellow-throated fulvettas (virtually unknown elsewhere); Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill (rarely seen); Fire-breasted Flowerpecker; Crimson-browed Finch; Spot-winged Grosbeak; Scarlet Finch (again, incredibly beautiful males).

NIGHTS: Trogon Villa, Yongkola, (1,800m).

Day 9: Yongkola to Bumthang, bird along Thrumshing La (3,780m).
This morning we will bird along the upper Namling Road, giving priority to look for Satyr Tragopan (rare); Broad-billed Warbler; Black-throated Parrotbill; Crimson-breasted Woodpecker; Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler.
Apart from the rich birdlife, the journey is stunningly beautiful, as the road is lined with philodendrons, sheer cliff-faces and more thundering waterfalls.

We continue our drive up through pristine forests with Spanish Moss hanging in long trails from the branches, to the high pass at Thrumshing La 3,780m, where we have breathtaking views of the eastern Himalayas. As we descend through forests of towering hemlocks, spruce, Silver fir and larch we will stop to bird and look for flocks of Gray-crested, Coal, Green-backed, Yellow-browed, Black-throated and Black-browed tits; Mrs Gould’s and Green-tailed and Fire-tailed sunbirds; Rufous-gorgeted and Ultramarine flycatchers; Ashy-throated, Lemon-rumped, Large-billed and Blyth’s Leaf-warblers; White-browed and Rufous-winged fulvettas; Stripe-throated Yuhina; and Green Shrike Babbler. Other species we may encounter include: Eurasian Sparrowhawk; Upland Buzzard; Mountain Hawk-Eagle; Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush; Plain-backed Thrush; White-collard Blackbird; Orange-flanked and White-browed bush-robins; Blue-fronted Redstart; Rufous-bellied Niltava; Eurasian, Rusty-flanked and Brown-throated Treecreepers; Black-faced, Chestnut-crowned and Spotted laughingthrushes; Red Crossbill; Red-headed Bullfinch; White-winged and Collared grosbeaks; Eye-browed, Dusky and Dark-throated thrushes.

Continuing our journey we descend to the valleys of Bumthang, passing through the picturesque village of Ura to Jakar and our hotel for the night, stopping occasionally to bird along the route: Himalayan Monal; Blood Pheasant; Great Parrotbill and White-throated Redstart.

NIGHT: Kailas Guesthouse, Bumthang, (2,800m).

Day 10: Bumthang to Trongsa, 70kms.Bird along Yotong La at 3,425m.
After a hot drink we will leave early in order to drive through the pine forests, cross the Chumme Valley and reach Yotong La at 3, 425m for optimum birding. No doubt as we drive through this area regarded as the religious heartland, we will see the Black-billed Magpie, the only place it is found in Bhutan and Red-billed Chough feeding in the fields of buckwheat. Reaching the pass we will begin birding, have breakfast and lunch in this amazing environment. Some of species that are regularly seen here are: Chestnut-headed Tesia; Rufous-vented Yuhina; Black-faced Laughingthrush; Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker; Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and White-winged Grosbeak; Brown Parrotbill, Fulvous Parrotbill, Red-headed Bullfinch; Stripe-throated and Whiskered yuhinas.

This afternoon we will drive towards Shemgang Road for more birding before checking into our hotel in Trongsa for the night. Along this stretch we should encounter: Cutia; Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler; Barred Cuckoo Dove; Greater Yellownape; Steppe Eagle; Tibetan Siskin; Large Niltava and Black-eared Shrike Babbler.

NIGHT: Yangkhil Resort, Trongsa, (2,200m).

Day 11: Trongsa to Phobjikha, the valley of the Black-necked Cranes, (85kms). Birding at Pele La (3,390m).
First part of the morning is spent birding along the Trongsa-Chendibji stretch. After a hot picnic breakfast the road will take us through the village of Chendibji where we will stop near the Nepalese styled Chorten, picturesquely situated alongside the river where we may encounter: Brown Dipper; Crested Kingfisher; Fire-tailed Myzornis and Yellow-browed Tit.

Continuing our journey to Phobjikha, with a climb to Lawa La at (3,390m) with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and views across to snow topped Jhomolhari (7,314m), marking the border between central and western Bhutan. A short break to enjoy the spectacular view before continuing down through oak and rhododendron forests to the wide, glaciated valley of Phobjikha, which is home to the globally endangered Black-necked Cranes. The valley, situated on the western slopes of the Black Mountain National Park, is a marshland, rich in faunal bio-diversity home for several other globally endangered species. Covering an area of approximately 163 sqkm, it is a designated conservation area, managed by the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN). Today there will be ample opportunity to watch some of the 200 Black-necked Cranes as they feed on the new shoots of bamboo that carpet much of the valley floor and walk under their flight path, a truly memorably event. The people of the valley believe that these magnificent birds are an auspicious sign and await their arrival each November from Tibet, China.

Along today’s drive we will also look for: Golden Eagle;Grey-sided Bush Warbler; White-capped Water Redstart; Bhutan Laughingthrush and Gold-billed Magpie.

NIGHT: Gakling Guesthouse, Phobjikha, (2,700m).

Day 12: Phobjikha to Rimchhu via Punakha, 104kms. Birding along Nobding road.
Early morning rise where we climb through pristine, mixed broad-leafed and evergreen forests with dense bamboo undergrowth, here we will stop for birds such as: Spotted Laughingthrush; Rufous-vented, Whiskered and Stripe-throated yuhinas; Himalayan Griffon; Beautiful Rosefinch; Brown, and Red-headed bullfinches and Lammergeier.

As we reach Lawa La at 3,390m with prayer flags fluttering in the breeze and views across to snow topped Jhomolhari (7,314m), marking the border between central and western Bhutan. A short break whilst we soak up the view, before descending through forests of rhododendron and fir, to the forested valley below where we should find the Spotted Forktail; Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush; Cutia; White-browed Shrike Babbler; Black-eared Shrike Babbler; Grey-headed Woodpecker; Greater Yellownape and the Speckled Piculet. The final part of this journey takes us to Rimchhu (Jigme Dorji National Park) where we will camp.

NIGHT: Camping at Rimchhu, (1,300m).

Day 13: Rimchhu to Punakha, 40kms. AM birding in JDN Park and PM visit Punakha Dzong.
We will rise early in this beautiful pristine forest area of Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park, at an elevation of 1,300m. In this magnificent forest we should encounter Golden Eagle; Tawny Fish-owl (rare); Red-headed Trogon; Greater Yellownape; Asian Martin; Red-vented, Striated and Mountain bulbuls; Orange-bellied Leafbird; Plain-backed Thrush; Large and Small niltavas; Little and Slaty-backed forktails; Spotted Wren-babbler; Rufous-capped Babbler; Blue-winged Minla; Rufous-winged and Nepal fulvettas; Whiskered Yuhina; Slaty-bellied Tesia; Ashy and Hair-crested drongos; Tibetan Siskin; Spot-winged Grosbeak and Scarlet Finch. In the afternoon we will drive along the Pho Chhu to look for White-bellied Heron (perhaps the rarest birds of Bhutan); Pallas’s Fish-eagle; Great Black-headed Gull; White-throated and Crested kingfishers; Oriental Magpie-robin; Chestnut-tailed Starling and Scaly-breasted Munia.

In the afternoon we visit the majestic 17th century Punakha Dzong – Its position at the confluence of the Mo and Pho Chhu is quite spectacular. It is the winter residence of the Je Khenpo, the spiritual leader of Bhutan and home to around 400 monks, who are often seen wandering the courtyards, where the towering walls have many detailed frescos and magnificent carvings. Of particular note is the Assembly Hall, which houses large golden statues of the Buddha Sakyamuni, Guru Rinpoche and the Zhabdrung. The walls of the hall have magnificent murals showing the life of Buddha, the doors with pillars covered with intricately carved copper. But perhaps the most striking of all are the hundreds of beautifully painted dragons that adorn the high ceiling. This is a magnificent dzong that truly befits the translation of its name “the palace of great happiness or bliss” and one that clearly shows the spiritual, culture and heritage of Bhutan. We feel that by visiting in the afternoon when the sunlight glistens on the ornately painted, carved wood deepening the colours and emphasising the shadows while scarlet cloaked monks silently walk in the shadows; you will be entranced. Truly a photographers dream!

NIGHT: Meri Puensum Resort, Punakha, (1,300m).

Day 14: Punakha to Paro (130kms). Birding at Lampleri Botanical Park and Dochu La (3,116m).
This morning we leave the terraced fields and sub-tropical forests around Punakha and travel to Dochu La 3,116m, stopping at Lampelri Botanical Park. Here we will look for: Rufous-bellied Woodpecker; Eurasian Jay; Hoary-throated Barwing; Brown Parrotbill; Chestnut-crowned Warbler; Speckled Wood Pigeon; Mountain Hawk and Black eagles and Eurasian Treecreeper.

After a hot picnic breakfast we will continue to the Royal Botanical Park at Lampelri, which forms one of the critical biological corridors connecting the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and the Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park. It has cool broad leaf forests, mixed conifer forests, fir and sub-alpine forests and a temperate rain forest with hundred of species of flora and fauna. Here we will look for: Dark-rumped and Dark-breasted rosefinches. With a bit of luck, we may also encounter rare species of mammals that the park supports;Musk Deer, Tiger, Leopard, Red Panda and the Leopard Cat.
Returning to our vehicles we will continue to Dochu La, an awe-inspiring sight with the road festooned with prayer flags and 108 chortens.

From here on a clear day, there are magnificent panoramic views of the high Himalayas, including Masagang 7,158m, Tsendagang 6,960m, Terigang 7,060m, Jejegangphug 7,158m, Kangphugang 7,170m, Zongphugang 7,060m and Gangkar Puensum – the highest peak in Bhutan at 7,497m. We hope a rewarding day’s birding, as we descend from the high pass to Paro and our hotel for your last two nights in Bhutan.

NIGHT: Hotel Olathang, Paro, (2,300m).

Day 15: Paro to Chele La (3,822m) and back to Paro.
Looking for high altitude species such as pheasants, rosefinches and grosbeaks. An early morning departure for our journey up through ancient pine and fir forests to Chele La Pass (3,822m), where there are fantastic views of the high Himalayan peaks of Jhomolhari (7,219m), Jichu Drake (6,989m) and down into the Paro and Ha valleys. Chele La gives us the opportunity to ascend above the tree line into alpine meadows and dwarf rhododendron scrub, here we have the possibility of finding the beautiful Himalayan Monal; Blood Pheasant; Himalayan Griffon; Kalij Pheasant; Spotted, Black-faced and Chestnut-crowned laughingthrushes; Common Kestrel; White-collared Blackbird; Grey-backed Shrike; Blue-fronted Redstart; Snow Pigeon; Spotted Nutcracker; Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Rufous-breasted, Robin (rare), Altai (rare)and Alpine accentors and the beautifully coloured White-browed Rosefinch.

After a hot breakfast cooked by our chefs we will continue birding in this beautiful area before gradually making our way back to Paro.

Paro valley lies beneath Jhomolhari one of the highest of Bhutan’s Himalayan peaks and has many impressive cultural sites. In the afternoon we return to Paro where we will stop by the Pa Chhu, where camouflaged amongst the glacial stones, Himalayan riverine species such as the Ibisbill can be seen as it dips in the snowmelt, searching for food. In this area we should also find: Pied Wagtail; Rosy Pipit; White-capped and Plumbeous water redstarts; Blue Whistling Thrush; Oriental Turtle Dove; Common Hoopoe; Black-tailed Crake; Crested Goshawk and Brown Dipper.

NIGHT: Hotel Olathang, Paro, (2,300m).

Day 16: Hike/ride a mule to Taksang Monastery and back to Paro.
An accent of 750m and approx 5 hrs return walk.Today you will have a great mix of birding and some of the Paro Valley’s cultural treasures. The cultural highlight will be the walk up to the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery. The monastery is perched on a cliff-face, some 600m over looking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Indian saint, Guru Rinpoche, flew from Eastern Bhutan on the back of a tiger to defeat a demon who was opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan. It is a steep uphill walk through mix coniferous, of about 1½-2hrs, to reach a tea house, an ascent of 340m. Apart from offering welcome refreshment, this tea house is one of the best viewpoints of the monastery, and those who prefer not to climb any further can relax here whilst others continue on.  A further half hour’s climb above the tea house is well worth it, as it brings you to another viewpoint directly across from the monastery. From here the final section of the walk takes you steeply down 100m into the gorge that separates you from the monastery and then climbs back up again to reach the monastery. Along today’s route we will look for birds such as; Snow Pigeon; Alpine Accentor; Little Forktail; White-throated, Chestnut-crowned, Black-faced and Spotted laughingthrushes; Rufous-vented, coal and Green-backed tits.
After the visit to the monastery we retrace our path to the valley floor where our vehicle will meet us. From here we will continue birding along the Paro river. Here we will look for species such as;Rosy Pipit; White Wagtail; Grey-backed Shrike; Hodgson’s Redstartand Common Snipe.

NIGHT: Hotel Olathang, Paro, (2,300m).

Day 17:Drive to Paro Airport and depart to Delhi, Calcutta or Bangkok for your onward connection.

Included in Bhutan Land Cost:

  • Visa and Tax
  • Tour Guide who is expert in the field
  • All activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All accommodation based on sharing twin room
  • All meals
  • Tea/coffee and snacks
  • Bottled water throughout the trip
  • Ground transportation
  • All necessary camping equipment
  • All entrance fees for museums

Not Included in Bhutan Land Cost:

  • Travel insurance (essential)
  • Laundry, phone calls and alcoholic drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Charges incurred as a result of circumstances beyond the control of Langur Eco Travels
  • International flights

Note Regarding Single Supplements:
Single occupancy US $25 per night.


Trip Grade: Gentle to Moderate Hikes:
You should prepare for certain factors of travel in Bhutan. A few of the most important are: elevation, windy mountain roads. Average elevation on this trip is 2,400m. Pass crossings may be up to 4,000m (by vehicle).

Insurance:
We strongly advise that your travel insurance policies include medical assistance and (helicopter) evacuation – we believe that it is ‘better to be safe than sorry!’ Should you decline to do so, we must state that we will in no way, accept responsibility for expenses incurred, should you require medical attention/evacuation whilst on holiday with us.

Accommodation:
It is our policy to use the best available accommodation in each location. All hotels and lodges we use are government approved and registered with the Tourism Council of Bhutan. We have our own camping crew who will set up camps, prepare hot meals and provide hot showers.

Clothing:
It is advised that you have layers of light clothing, perhaps some thermal underwear, a warm jumper, fleece or jacket for the evenings when the temperature can suddenly drop. Generally speaking, casual clothing is suitable throughout your stay and that the main requirement is that you are comfortable.

Laundry facilities are available at all hotels. Waterproofs and/or umbrellas – just in case! Sunglasses and sun-cream or blocks are essential. Hand wipes (wet wipes/ anti-bacterial) and tissues are useful.

Habitats Covered: High altitude up to 3,822m to low at 150m (India). Coniferous, mix broad-leafed and sub-tropical forests including bamboo and banana undergrowth, alpine pastures, wetlands, rocky slopes and rivers beds.


Top Birds: Black-backed and White-crowned forktails; Beautiful Nuthatch; Dark-rumped Swift; Rufous-necked and Wreathed hornbills; Siberian Rubythroat; Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill; Golden-breasted and Yellow-throated fulvettas; White-gorgeted Flycatcher; Crimson Sunbird; Spotted, Grey-sided and White-crested laughingthrushes; Long-tailed Sibia;Snow Pigeon; White-throated Redstart; Satyr Tragopan; Himalayan Monal; Blood Pheasant; Ibisbill; Wallcreeper; White-browed Rosefinch; Himalayan Wood Owl; White-bellied Heron; Palla’s Fish Eagle and Black-necked Crane.


Top Mammals: Capped and Common Grey langurs; Large-eared Pika; Assamese Macaque; Muntjac; Himalayan Striped Squirrel; Hoary-bellied Squirrel; Malayan Giant Squirrel and Hodgson’s Giant Flying Squirrel.


Other attractions: Strong Buddhist culture, temples and fortresses, spectacular mountain views and magnificent pristine forests.

Number of Pax Price Per Pax
1 US $
2 US $
3-12 US $