18 Days -Birding and Wildlife Trip in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan

18 days travel through Bhutan on a most popular birding and wildlife route
Detailed Itinerary

Synopsis

Bhutan has been protected by both its isolation within the Himalayas and the topography of its mountainous land, resulting in over 70% of the land remaining forested with 60% protected by 10 National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries. The diverse range of habitat varies from sub-tropical jungles at 150m to alpine meadows at over 4,500m, supporting an extraordinary range birds and wildlife. Today, Bhutan is considered to be one of the top ten bio-diversity hot spots in the world with over 780 recorded species of birds and lies within one of the 221 Global Endemic Bird Areas with 28 species of birds endemic to Eastern Himalayas.

Our Winter birding tour will take you through the most amazingly beautiful landscape, full of birding excellence in tropical and temperate forests, alpine meadows and along untamed rivers, where we should encounter some 350 species of birds including the country’s star attractions like the critically endangered White-bellied Heron, Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Fire-tailed Myzornis, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Beautiful Nuthatch and Ward’s Trogon. In addition to the great number of birds, we should also find over 15 species of mammals and an amazing variety of butterflies.

There will also be time to see the amazing architecture, visit dzong’s and meet the friendly Bhutanese people. Overall, experience the unique culture of Bhutan, expanding your interests but not compromising your main objectives!


This morning you will take the flight from Kolkata or Delhi into Guwahati where Langur Eco Travels, Indian representative will receive you at the Guwahati airport and travel 110 km to Samdrup Jongkhar, en-route we will stop at the rubbish dumpsite near Guwahati and Dipor Bil wetland, looking for plains birds like, Greater and Lesser Adjutants, Purple Heron, Purple Swamphen, Paddyfield Pipit, Black Kite, Little Cormorant, Pied Kingfisher, Asian Openbill and Bronzed-winged Jacana.
Arriving at the border town of Samdrup Jongkhar in Bhutan, your Bhutanese guide will welcome you and process your Bhutan visa after which we will drive to our hotel.
Our hotel is situated in a good birding location where we may find, Red Junglefowl, Asian Koel, the localized Pale-chinned Flycatcher, White-rumped Shama (little songster) and Yellow-vented Flowerpecker to name a few.
As nightfall we can scan the hotel area for Oriental Scops Owl and the localized Large-tailed Nightjar (rare),
Overnight Tashi Gasel Guesthouse or similar, Samdrup Jongkhar, 400m. (Meals: B, L, D).

Today we will explore the varied tropical forest of Samdrup Jongkhar and Deothang which is one of the finest birding areas in the Himalayas and so we hope to encounter the incredible Wreathed Hornbill (often seen in pairs), the scarce Blyth’s Kingfisher and the localized Golden-fronted Leafbird, Blue-eared Barbet (rare), Black-hooded Oriole, Black-backed Forktail, Thick-billed Warbler, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Little Spiderhunter, Puff-throated Babbler, the stunningly iridescent Asian Fairy Bluebird, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Great Tit and Pin-striped Tit Babbler,

Other regular species in the area include Plaintive Cuckoo, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Aberrant Bush Warbler, Siberian Rubythroat (adult males have jewel like red throat-stunning!), Little Pied Flycatcher, Common Iora, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Oriental White-eye, Jungle Myna, flocks of Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush and perhaps with a bit of luck the rare vagrant Rosy Starling (our first Bhutan record was in March 2020 from this area).

In addition to the astonishing number of birdlife, Samdrup Jongkhar also holds many varieties of Orchids and butterflies.
Overnight Dungsam Trashiling Resort or similar, Deothang, 800m. (Meals: B, L, D).

Our adventure continues as we travel to Trashigang, an area little visited by tourists. Leaving the little town of Deothang, the road climbs quite steeply through dense sub-tropical broad-leafed forest – a wildlife paradise where we look in particular for the impressive Rufous-necked Hornbill (globally vulnerable but fairly uncommon and widely distributed in Bhutan), Lesser Cuckoo, Red-rumped Swallow (fairly common in the town of Deothang), Pied Harrier (our first Bhutan’s record in 2015 birding tour), Long-tailed Broadbill, Scaly-breasted Munia and the elusive Blue-winged Laughingthrush.
Arriving in Morong valley we will scan the warm broad-leafed forests looking for one of the top targets for Bhutan the Beautiful Nuthatch (another globally vulnerable species), Black Eagle, Mountain Tailorbird, White-browed Shrike Babbler, White-throated Bulbul, White-throated Fantail, Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler often seen together with Greater Rufous-headed (White-breasted) Parrotbill, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Alpine Thrush, Small Niltava (a view of a glowing male is not to be missed), and flocks of Striated Yuhina, Silver-eared Mesia and the localized Long-tailed Sibia,
After a hot picnic breakfast set up by our catering crew we will drive through the road, known as Melong Brak which is hewn out of a solid cliff face, to the market town of Narphung. We cross-mountain passes where there are panoramic views of mountain ranges, rolling into the distant valleys before reaching the high pass at Kharung La at 2,350m, stopping along this section should produce, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Short-billed Minivet, the photogenic Bar-throated Siva, Common Tailorbird, Ultramarine Flycatcher, Golden Babbler, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch and the attractive Gold-naped Finch.
Our journey continues through more valleys and over mountain passes to Yonphu La at 2,570m and our final descend to Sherubtse College before winding its way through terraced fields to Trashigang, once the centre of important trade with Tibet.
Overnight Druk Deothjung Resort or similar, Trashigang, 1,100m. (Meals: B, L, D).

We will leave the hotel at the early hour, which will take us through Sheri Chhu valley from where the road climbs by means of 10 hairpin bends, known as the Yadi Loops, in just 10 km!
From here we continue to the little village of Yadi where the road then passes through cool broad-leafed forests to Kore La, 2,450m along which we will look for birds such as, Hill Partridge, Asian Barred Owlet, the superb Grey-sided Laughingthrush, the dazzling Scarlet Finch, White-collard Blackbird, Fire-capped Tit, Black-chinned Yuhina, Rufous-winged Fulvetta, the secretive Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Dark-sided and Grey-headed Canary Flycatchers.
Crossing the pass we descend through cool broad-leafed forests, with rhododendron undergrowth to the eastern town of Mongar. Here we will stop briefly to walk around this beautiful town before driving to Yongkola stopping along Lingmethang road to look for the rare and globally vulnerable Steppe Eagle, the rare Blue-naped Pitta (rare), Rufous and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, the impressive Speckled Piculet, the only near endemic bird in for the country Bhutan Laughingthrush, Hair-crested (Spangled) Drongo, the localized Himalayan Bulbul and Crested Bunting, Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Barn Swallow (in Mongar town), Black-throated Prinia, Grey-throated Babbler, Common Stonechat and the beautifully plumaged Orange-headed Thrush and Blue-capped Rock Thrush.
Overnight Trogon Villa or Chengala Farmhouse, Yongkola, 1,800m.
(Meals: B, L, D).

The areas of Yongkola, Namling, Tshamang and Lingmethang are considered to be one of the finest birding locations in the world.
Therefore we have two full days to explore the pristine forests of Thrumshing La national park using a paved yet rarely used road and it is in this birding hotspot that we look for some of Bhutan’s most sought-after birds such as the globally vulnerable Chestnut-breasted Partridge, the handsome Ward’s Trogon (another top attraction for Bhutan), the strange Long-billed Thrush (rare), the amazing Yellow-throated and Golden-breasted Fulvettas, the weird looking Sikkim Wedge-billed Babbler, Long-billed and Rufous-throated Wren Babblers (all three are very rare in the world), the localized Black-headed Shrike-babbler, the exquisite Himalayan Cutia (another top bird), Spotted Elachura (formally known as Spotted Wren Babbler), Broad-billed, Grey-cheeked and Black-faced Warbler, Nepal House Martin (big nests on a overhanging cliff near Namling waterfall), Scaly Laughingthrush, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Scaly (White’s) Thrush, Gould’s Sunbird, Yellow-bellied fantail, Lesser Shortwing, White-gorgeted and Pygmy Blue Flycatchers.
After birding in the upper region of Yongkola, we have time to explore the wonderfully rich, warm broad-leafed forests of Lingmethang road where we hope to find the near threatened Rufous-bellied Eagle, the colourful Asian Emerald Cuckoo, the secretive Red-faced Liocichla, Rufous-chinned Laughingthrush, Maroon Oriole, Grey-bellied Tesia, Striated Prinia, White-bellied Erpornis, Rufous-capped Babbler, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Mountain Bulbul, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Common Rosefinch (on Tshamang road), Spot-winged Grosbeak and the restless flocks of Rusty-fronted Barwing.
On one evening, we will take a short night drive hoping to find Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel (which has been regularly seen on our birding tours to Yongkola), Owls and frogmouth we will look for include very localized Hodgson’s Frogmouth, Brown Wood Owl (rare), and the common but difficult to find Mountain Scops Owl.
Overnight Trogon Villa or Chengala Farmhouse, Yongkola, 1,800m. (Meals: B, L, D).

This morning we will bird along the cool broad-leafed forests of Namling region, here we can look for the rare altitudinal migrant species Gould’s Shortwing (mega species for Bhutan), Black-eared Shrike Babbler, the much wanted Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Chestnut-bellied Rock Thrush and Black-throated Parrotbill amongst many other regular birds.
After breakfast we will continue our birding along Sengor valley, looking for special birds from this higher mid temperate forest, such as the attractive Satyr Tragopan often seen feeding by the roadside providing us with excellent close-up views, Solitary Snipe (rare), the exquisite Fire-tailed Myzornis, Tickell’s Thrush, Fire-tailed Sunbird (no doubt it is one of the most special sunbirds in the world) and we will take our only chance to see the localized Bar-winged Wren Babbler.
From Sengor we will drive up to the high pass of Thrumshing La at 3,799m, where on clear days, we have breathtaking views of the eastern Himalayas.

From the pass we descend through forests of towering hemlocks, spruce, Silver fir and larch where we have good chance for the fantastic Blood Pheasants, often seen in flocks feeding my the roadside, the altitudinal migrant White-throated Redstart, Black-throated Thrush, the scarce Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Hoary-throated Barwing (fairly uncommon along here but very range restricted to Eastern Himalayas), the attractive Himalayan Bluetail, Himalayan Vulture, Winter Wren, Goldcrest, Whistler’s Warbler, Black Bulbul, the noisy Spotted Nutcracker, Oriental Skylark, Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Brown Bullfinch, Little Bunting and flocks of Stripe-throated Yuhina, Coal, Grey-crested and Rufous-vented Tits,
We travel through the picturesque village of Ura and gradually descend to Bumthang valley for the night.
As night falls we can listen out for Himalayan Owl which is a species previously thought to be Tawny Owl.
Overnight Kailas Guesthouse similar, Bumthang, 2,800m. (Meals: B, L, D).

This morning we make an early start to be at Tharpaling Monastery in the early hours as we hope to witness the monks feeding the spectacular Himalayan Monals, where the birds have become accustomed to this practice.
Other species we will look in the area include the rarely seen White-bellied Redstart, Alpine Accentor, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch, flocks of Red-billed Chough, Black-billed Magpie (endemic to Bumthang valley in Bhutan), Black-faced Laughingthrush and Plain Mountain Finch. With luck on our side we should also find the rare vagrant Godlewski Bunting.

After breakfast we will descend to Gattsa valley and continue to Yotong La (3450m) for some high altitude birds such as the chunky White-winged Grosbeak, the little known Great Parrotbill, Red-headed Bullfinch, Red Crossbill, Crimson-browed Finch, Whiskered Yuhina and the bamboo specialist Hume’s Bush Warbler.

Arriving in Trongsa we have the option to visit the historic Trongsa Dzong (fortress) built in 1637, and the Ta Dzong or Watch Tower, which is now the National Museum.
Overnight Yangkhil Resort or similar, Trongsa, 2,000m. (Meals: B, L, D).

Today we drive along the quiet, forest road towards Tingtibi. Blue Whistling Thrushes fly off the road at regular intervals, and we keep a sharp lookout for Spotted Forktail at the beautiful mossy waterfalls that are a feature of the journey.
The whole section of todays journey is spectacular as we look for an amazing variety of rare and special birds in the mixed broad-leafed forests that stretches from 2000m down to 700m. This is also home to the Endangered Golden Langur, which can be seen in small groups along the roadside forests.
In the early part of the morning we will look for top attractions like, Lesser Yellownape, the incredible Bay Woodpecker, the scarce Eurasian Woodcock, dazzling Scarlet Minivet, the localized Spot-winged Starling, Sapphire and Ferruginous Flycatchers, Large Niltava, Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Large Hawk Cuckoo, the noisy Great Barbet, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Blyth’s Leaf Warbler, White-tailed Nuthatch, Rusty-flanked Treecreeper, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Blue Rock Thrush, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Tibetan Siskin and several flocks of White-throated Laughingthrush. The forest also holds raptors like Mountain Hawk Eagle and Crested Goshawk.

Arriving in the warmer sub-tropical areas of Tingtibi, we will look for Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Peregrine Falcon, Common Cuckoo, Crested Kingfisher, the rare vagrant Daurian Redstart, the colourful Emerald Dove, Streaked Spiderhunter, Ashy Bulbul and Rufous-necked Laughingthrush.
Overnight Hotel Twang or similar, Tingtibi, 700m. (Meals: B, L, D).

After a quick tea/coffee at our hotel, we will drive along the Tingtibi – Panbang road, exploring the rich bamboo forests, looking for the areas top birds such as the little known White-browed Piculet, White-hooded Babbler (the only known site in Bhutan), Rufous-faced Warbler (rare), the secretive Pale-headed Woodpecker, White-browed Scimitar Babbler often seen together with Lesser Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Blyth’s Paradise Flycatcher (previously thought to be Asian Paradise Flycatcher which has been split into three separate species), Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, White-rumped Munia, the rare Smoky Warbler, and along the Mangde chhu (river) we will look for perhaps the rarest bird seen in Bhutan the critically endangered White-bellied Heron, the population of this birds is estimated at only 60 individuals left in the wild.
After a hot picnic breakfast, we will continue to the much warmer area of the core Royal Manas National Park where the area is considered to be one of the best birding locations in Bhutan for top attractions such as the amazing Great Hornbill (globally vulnerable but fairly uncommon in Bhutan), the rarely seen Barred Buttonquail, Banded Bay Cuckoo, the strange Green-billed Malkoha, the stunning Blue-bearded Bee-eater, the spectacular Sultan Tit, Nepal Fulvetta, White-naped Yuhina (undoubtedly the most beautiful yuhinas in Bhutan), Blue-throated Barbet, Grey-chinned Minivet, Bronzed Drongo, the very colourful Common Green Magpie, Rufescent Prinia, Black-crested Bulbul, Black Redstart, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, the rare Forest Wagtail and with a bit of luck, we could also find one or more of the tougher near-threatened species like Rufous-throated Partridge and Rufous-bellied Eagle.
Our hotel in Panbang is situated in the tropical teak forests, which is rich in birdlife. Here we have the possibility of seeing all 4 species of hornbills found in Bhutan and as night falls we can lookout for owls such as Spot-bellied Eagle Owl and Collared Scops Owl.
Overnight Ugyen Zilion Guesthouse or similar, Panbang, 400m. (Meals: B, L, D).

After tea/coffee in our hotel, we will bird along the tropical forest between Panbang and Nganglam looking for some of Bhutan’s rare and sought-after species such as Grey Peacock Pheasant (very rare in the world), Buff-breasted Babbler (recorded for the first time in Bhutan in 2019 on our birding tour), Eye-browed Wren babbler (Panbang is the only known site for this species in Bhutan), Rufous-vented Laughingthrush (another species that is found only in this region), Collared Treepie (another rare species), Silver-breasted Broadbill, Green Cochoa, Rufous-backed Sibia, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and Hooded Pitta seeing any of the above brings an excitement to the experience.

Other regularly birds include Crested Serpent Eagle, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Lineated Barbet, Eurasian Wryneck, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Greater (Flameback) Goldenback, Red-breasted Parakeet, Plaintive and Grey-bellied Cuckoos, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Great Myna, Red-headed Trogon (surely one of the prettiest trogons in the world), Black-naped Monarch, Grey Bushchat, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Asian House Martin, Yellow Wagtail and White-throated Bulbul.

Overnight Ugyen Zilion Guesthouse or similar, Panbang, 400m. (Meals: B, L, D).

This morning we will explore the forest road towards Manas National Park office in Panbang looking for the areas top attractions such as Large Woodshrike, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Jerdon’s Baza (rare), Thick-billed Green Pigeon, Indian Cuckoo, Greater Coucal, Savanna Nightjar, Dollarbird, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush and the rare Citrine Wagtail.
Other relatively common birds include Grey-hooded Warbler, Bank Myna, Eurasian Collared Dove, Blue-winged (Siva) Minla, Cattle Egret, Striated Yuhina, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Plain Flowerpecker and House Sparrow.
The forests along here also holds mammals such as Asian Elephant, Wild Water Buffalo, Clouded Leopard, Wild Boar, Jungle Cat, Sambar, Golden Langur and Indian Palm Civet encounters of any of which can be a big highlight of the trip.

After breakfast we will retrace our journey back to Tingtibi, stopping along the areas we missed on our way in.
Overnight Hotel Twang or similar, Tingtibi, 700m. (Meals: B, L, D).

Our first wonderful birding area is at Tama La (pass), 1,660m, where we hope to see new birds such as, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Fork-tailed Swift, Greater Yellownape, Long-tailed Minivet, Red-billed Leiothrix, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Lemon-rumped Warbler, Pale Blue Flycatcher, and White-tailed Robin. Raptors may well include Oriental Honey Buzzard and Shikra.

Other commoner species in the area include Common Pigeon, Red-vented Bulbul, Golden-throated Barbet, Long-tailed Shrike, Black Drongo, Grey Treepie and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler,
Crossing Tama La, we will look for a pair of the near-threatened Yellow-rumped Honeyguide installed near nests of Giant Rock Bees that hang from a cliff.

From here we continue our journey with ever-changing landscape views down to the Himalayan foothills of Gelephu. Interesting species along this section may well include the rare Oriental Hobby, Osprey, Changeable Hawk Eagle, the near-threatened Alexandrine Parakeet, Squire-tailed Drongo Cuckoo, Blue-throated Blue Flycatcher, Green Bee-eater, the restless Black-throated Sunbird, Striated Heron, Intermediate Egret, Red-wattled Lapwing, Common Kingfisher, Little Ringed Plover and the very localized Green Imperial Pigeon.
Gelephu is well known for few species of owls, so we will take a short night drive with searchlights, where we hope to see the Brown Hawk Owl, Spotted Owlet, Indian Scops Owl and if luck favors, the rare and elusive Oriental Bay Owl.
Overnight Hotel Kuku Grand or similar, Gelephu, 250m. (Meals: B, L, D).

Today we will visit the Gelephu sewage pond for our morning birding, here we can look for the very localized species such as Cinnamon Bittern, Great Thick-knee (rare), Pin-tailed Snipe (rare), Sand Lark, Black Baza (rare), Black Stork (rare), Lesser Whistling Duck and Red-naped Ibis (rare), including regular species such as Indian Pond Heron, Little Egret, White-breasted Waterhen, Yellow-wattled and River Lapwings, Common and Green Sandpipers.
After breakfast we will drive along Tsirang road, where we can track-down Indian Peafowl, the superb Oriental Pied Hornbill, Red-collared Dove, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, another near-threatened Rose-ringed Parakeet, Hodgson’s Hawk Cuckoo, Bonelli’s Eagle, Lesser Coucal, the brightly coloured Indian Roller, Coppersmith Barbet, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Ashy Woodswallow, Brown Shrike, Rufous Treepie, the very shy and secretive Large Scimitar Babbler, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush, the attractive Common Hill Myna, Taiga Flycatcher, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Grey Wagtail and the colourful Crimson Sunbird. Abundant species in the area include House Crow, Jungle Babbler, Asian Pied Starling and Oriental Magpie Robin.
Overnight Hotel Kuku Grand or similar, Gelephu, 250m.
(Meals: B, L, D).

This morning we will take the 25 minutes flight to Paro, from your flight there are breathtaking views of Himalayan Mountains. Arriving in Paro we will visit Paro Dzong, the Fortress of the Heap of Jewels, which was featured in some scenes of the film ‘Little Buddha’ (1993). Built in1644, this 5 storey building has white-washed walls, magnificently carved and painted wooden doors and windows, which add to the sense of power and wealth required to build this fortress. Walking through the two guard houses we enter the courtyard where we can see the intricately carved central tower, considered to be one of the finest and most beautiful in Bhutan.
From here we will follow the stone path down to the Paro Chhu (river) and cross the Nyamai Zam – the wooden cantilevered bridge festooned with prayer flags.
Next we will head on Chele La road, searching for the stunning Kalij Pheasant, hopefully feeding by the roadsides. On this route we can also track-down the last remaining wintering Wallcreeper.
Other species that frequent the area include, Northern Goshawk, Grey-backed Shrike, Ashy Drongo, Large-billed Crow, Black-throated Tit, Grey-sided Bush Warbler, Ashy-throated Warbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Striated Laughingthrush and Dark-breasted Rosefinch.
Overnight Hotel Olathang or similar, Paro, 2,300m. (Meals: B, L, D).

Today we will have a fabulous day in Bhutan with 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 Taksang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery.  The monastery is perched some 600m up on a cliff overlooking the valley and was said to be where the legendary Guru Padma Sambhava, flew from East Bhutan on the back of a tiger to defeat demons who were opposing the spread of Buddhism in Bhutan.
It is a steep uphill walk through woods, of about 1½-2hrs, to reach a cafeteria (an ascent of 340m). Apart from offering welcome refreshment, at the cafeteria, this is one of the principle viewpoints of the monastery, and those who prefer not to climb any further can relax here whilst others continue their trek.
Birds we may encounter on this route may well include Himalayan Buzzard, Eurasian Jay, the attractive Darjeeling Woodpecker, White Wagtail, Green-tailed Sunbird and Eurasian Tree Sparrow.
From the cafeteria it is a further half hour’s ascent, which brings you to another viewpoint directly across from the monastery. The final section of the walk takes you from this viewpoint steeply down 100m into the gorge that separates you from the monastery and then climbs back up again to reach the monastery.
The rocky ledges near the monastery holds gems like Snow Pigeon and Altai Accentor, both of which are found in small flocks, while the waterfall next to the monastery should produce Little Forktail and White-capped Water Redstart.
After visiting the monastery we will then descend to the valley floor by your outward route back to where our vehicle will be waiting. The full walk to the monastery and back involves approximately 740m of ascent.
Overnight Hotel Olathang or similar, Paro, 2,300m. (Meals: B, L, D).

An early morning departure for our journey up through ancient high boreal forests to Chele La at 3,780m, the highest point we will reach on this tour. Along this route we can look out for Grey Nightjar, often seen on the roadside at dawn. Arriving at the pass there are breathtaking views of the high Himalayan peaks of Jhomolhari (7,219m), Jichu Drake (6,989m) and down into the Paro and Ha valleys.
By now we would have seen many of our target birds for Bhutan, but this gives us further opportunities to see and photograph such sought-after species as Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Wood Snipe (very rare), Himalayan Cuckoo, Rufous-fronted Tit, Greenish Warbler, the incredible Spotted Laughingthrush, Red-tailed Minla, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, the scarce Red-throated Thrush, Blanford’s Rosefinch, Collared Grosbeak, White-browed Bush Robin, Himalayan White-browed Rosefinch, the fairly common Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, and flocks of Olive-backed Pipit, White-browed Fulvetta and Rufous-vented Yuhina,
Raptors on todays list include Bearded (Lammergeier) Vulture, Hen Harrier, and Long-legged Buzzard. Brown Parrotbill,

After breakfast we will continue birding the beautiful areas of Chele La before gradually making our way back to Paro where we will stop by the Pa Chhu looking for one of the mega species of the Himalayas, the enigmatic Ibisbill and we hope to obtain some amazing photos! Other birds in the area include, Black-tailed Crake (seen in the nearby marshes), Mandarin Duck (rare), Rosy Pipit and the rare Common Snipe including widespread and common species such as Oriental Turtle Dove, Brown Dipper, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Hodgson’s Redstart and Russet Sparrow.
Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Hotel Olathang or similar, Paro, 2,300m. (Meals: B, L, D).

After breakfast we will drive to Paro airport and fly to Delhi or Kolkata for your onward connections. If you wish to travel via Kathmandu or Bangkok please let us know and we can arrange that for you.
(Meals: B & L).


Included in Bhutan Land Cost:

✓ Bhutan Visa and Tax
✓ Tour Guide who is a birding and cultural expert
✓ 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
✓ Some non alcoholic drinks
✓ Tips/gratuity for guide, driver and porters
✓ A printed bird checklist to keep track of sightings
✓ All entrance fees for museums and parks

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
✖ Flights

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

Walking and Terrain
Easy to moderate. There will be some long drives and short walks at altitudes of up to nearly 4000 m. Most birding is done close to our vehicle, and walks are comfortable with majority of birding done on roadside. The walk to Tiger’s Nest (Taksang) Monastery is on uneven forest trails, with 740m of ascent.

Climate
The climate will vary from cold in the mornings at altitude to quite warm during the day (mostly 0°-30°C). Some rain is possible but usually not enough to impede birding, and snowfall is possible at the high mountains passes.

Accommodation
The accommodation in Deothang, Tingtibi and Panbang are a little basic but rooms are clean and comfortable with private facilities.
All the rest of the hotel accommodations are of medium to good quality and is normally the best available in the areas visited and in good locations with great views and delicious food. No camping is involved with this tour.

Transport

By 18 seater minibus or SUVs for private journeys

Food
For group size of 3 and above will have a catering team who will cook and serve hot breakfasts and lunches as picnic style, taken in the field. Dinners are mostly buffets served at the hotels where we stay, with continental, Indian and Bhutanese.

Photography on birding tour
This is a birding tour, but photographers will have great opportunities to photograph birds throughout the tour. Bhutan is a Buddhist country where killing is considered sinful, therefore birds and mammals appear to be much tamer than in other parts of the world, allowing you to take stunning photos.

Health
Although no mandatory vaccinations are required for entry into Bhutan, health requirements change frequently so please consult with your GP.

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.

Passports
A valid passport is required; the passport must be valid for at least six months past your intend stay in Bhutan. There must be clear pages available for your visa and entry stamps; we recommend at least 3 blank pages.

Visa requirements
Bhutan and Indian (if you are traveling via India) visas are required, Bhutan visa will be arranged for you at cost price of $40 (included in your ground cost) but you will need to apply online for an Indian multi-entry visa. Please visit the following website for more details: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html


Tour Photo Gallery

Reviews

Overview

Dates: 24th Apr – 11 May 2022
Length: 18 days
Starting city: Guwahati, NE India
Ending city: Paro, Bhutan
Pace: Moderate
Physical difficulty: Easy
Focus: Birds, Mammals and Butterflies
Max group size: 3-11* + local leaders from Langur Eco Travels
*We can also run this tour as private journey for 1 or 2 guests.

Please read the General Information before booking.

Tour Cost

No of Guest Price Per Guest
1 US $ 4,600
2 US $ 4,260
3-12 US $ 3,750 (twin sharing cost)

Single Occupancy (Optional) - US $ 425

Flights are not included in the tour cost.
You can choose one of the options below for your Bhutan connection.
Option 1. Delhi-Guwahati = US$ 200
Option 2. Kolkata-Guwahati = US$ 200
Option 3. Paro-Kolkata = US$ 240
Option 4. Paro-Delhi = US$ 375
Option 4. Paro-Bangkok = US$ 399

TOUR MAP - Click map for larger version

Got questions? Please ask!

CALL: +975 1716 0228
EMAIL: [email protected]

Birding in Bhutan with Langur Eco Travels

Reading list