|Date||16th April to 4th May 2018|
|Guide||Sherab Dorji & Pema Dawa|
|Space Available||spaces available|
|Group size||Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients or larger groups possible|
|Accommodation||From basic lodge to the comfortable hotel. Luxury camping.|
|Climate||Wide varieties of weather are expected, hot and sunny to cold at the high elevation. Occasionally rain is expected in some places|
Day 1: Arrive Guwahati – Transfer to Samdrup Jongkhar
Day 2: Samdrup Jongkhar – Dewathang – Morong
Day 3: Morong – Wamrong – Trashigang
Day 4: Trashigang – Korila – Limithang – Yongkala
Day 5: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road
Day 6: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road
Day 7: Yongkala – Namling – Sengor
Day 8: Sengor – Phrumshingla – Bumthang
Day 9: Bumthang – Yotongla – Trongsa
Day 10: Trongsa – Zhemgang – Tingtibe
Day 11: Tingtibe – Dakphel – Gomphu Road
Day 12: Tingtibe – Dakphel – Gomphu Road
Day 13: Tingtibe – Trongsa – Phobjekha
Day 14: Phobkekha – Pelela – Nobding – Punakha
Day 15: Full day Jigme Dorji National Park
Day 16: Punakha – Dochula – Thimphu
Day 17: Thimphu – Paro – Tiger’s Nest
Day 18: Paro – Chelela Birding
Day 19: Departure
DAY 1. ARRIVE GUWAHATI – TRANSFER TO SAMDRUP JONGKHAR
You’ll take a morning flight from any parts of India to Guwahati, the largest city in the state of Assam, located on the south shore of the Brahmaputra River. We leave Guwahati along busy roads packed with cars, street hawkers and rickshaws, cross the Brahmaputra River, and continue across the Indian plain of Assam. We look out for Little Cormorant, egrets, Indian Pond Heron, Ashy Drongo and Red-wattled Lapwing in roadside wetlands, we’ll also make our effort to find lesser and Greater Adjutants, both highly endangered species. We enter Bhutan, complete the immigration process at the border, and enter the town of Samdrup Jongkhar where we spend the night.
In the evening birding around Samdrup Jongkhar looking for the species like Great and Wreathed Hornbill, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Indian Roller, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon and many more…
Overnight: Samdrup Jongkhar.
DAY 2. SAMDRUP JONGKHAR – DEWATHANG – MORONG
We will spend the morning exploring the foothills surrounding Samdrup Jongkhar. The forest patches and small stands of bamboo around the Samdrup Jongkhar hosts a number of lowland species. Like Wreathed, Oriental Pied and Great Hornbills, Mountain Hawk- Eagle, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Rufescent Prinia, Black-naped Monarch, Scarlet Minivet, Black-crested, Ashy and Black Bulbuls, Golden-fronted Leafbird, White-rumped Shama, Sultan Tit, Asian Fairy-bluebird and Long-tailed Broadbill we’ll also be looking for the Black-backed Forktail along the rocky streams, If we are fortunate we may encounter rare birds such as Dark-rumped Swift.
Later in the afternoon: you will head further north towards through the forested foothills towards the Morong. The remainder of the afternoon will be spent birding a stretch of mossy, mid-altitude broad-leaved forest. Our main target here is the extremely special, Beautiful Nuthatch. Other interesting species we may encounter this afternoon while searching for the highly-sought nuthatch include Black-faced Warbler, Grey-headed Canary-Flycatcher, Striated Laughingthrush, Long-tailed Sibia, Silver-eared Mesia and Rufous-necked Hornbill to name a few.
DAY 3. MORONG – WAMRONG – TRASHIGANG
We will have a before-breakfast outing back to the location of the Beautiful Nuthatch if we didn’t find it yesterday. After breakfast at the campsite, we continue our journey to Trashigang the main hub of eastern Bhutan, passing through lush forests and valley filled with rhododendron with several birding stops along the way. Some of the species we will be looking for along our drive include the much sought-after Ward’s Trogon, Golden-naped Finch, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Blue-winged and White-throated Laughingthrushes. Chestnut-tailed Minla, White-browed Fulvetta, Grey Treepie and Black-tailed Crake.
In the late morning, you’ll pass through the place called Khaling where we have National Handloom Development Project, supported by the National Women Association of Bhutan to train the young girls from different parts of the country. Here you will see the woven kiras, table runners, and scarves.
DAY 4. TRASHIGANG – KORILA – LIMITHANG – YONGKALA
En route to Yongkala, we stop at Kori La. The forest here is rich in mosses and lichens, and we search these mountain forests for Steak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-winged Blackbird, Hoary-throated Barwing, Long-tailed and Short-billed Minivets, Bhutan Laughingthrush, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Brownish-flanked Bush-Warbler and Spotted Wren-Babbler.
In the afternoon we will reach Bhutan’s wet subtropical forest and one of the finest birding areas in the Himalayas, at Campsite Yongkala, for next two days you’ll bird these lush forested valleys searching for shortwings, Black-headed Shrike-Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Slender-billed Scimitar-Babbler, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Barbets, Hair-crested and Brooze Drongo, Little Pied, Ultramarine, White-gorgeted Flycatchers, and many more….
DAY 5 & 6. YONGKALA – NAMLING – LIMITHANG ROAD
We spend the two full days birding the upper and lower Limithang road. This Yongkala-Limithang road has been touted as one of the best birding sites in Asia road as it allows the birder an opportunity to access the wide varieties of Habitats from the pristine broad-leaved to the coniferous forest that spans across a vast alti¬tudinal range. All this is protected within the Phrumsing La National Park.
Some of the species you’ll be searching for the here include flocks of White-breasted and Black-throated Parrotbills, Golden-breasted, Yellow-throated, Rufous-winged and Nepal Fulvettas; very shy Rufous-throated, Long-billed, Pygmy and Sikkim Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Red-headed Trogon, Rusty-throated Barwing, Great and Golden-throated Barbet, Blue-winged, Grey-sided, Rufous-necked, Black-faced, Blue-winged and Grey-sided Laugh¬ingthrushes, Grey-hooded, Ashy-throated, Yel¬low-vented and Chestnut-crowned Warblers,
DAY 7. YONGKALA – NAMLING – SENGOR
After early breakfast at the camp, you’ll be moving uphill in search of high altitude species that include Blood Pheasant and Satyr Tragopan, the bird that draws many birders to Bhutan
Along you drive to Sengor, you’ll also be looking for the species like Streaked-breasted and Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Ward’s Trogon, Black-headed, and Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, one of the only two species of honeyguide occur in Asia.
Later in the evening, you’ll be birding around Sengor searching for Satyr Tragopan, the bird that draws many birders to the Himalayas, other additional species you might encounter here are Red-headed Bullfinch, Bar-throated Minla, Hoary-throated Barwing Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhinas.Bar-winged and Scaly-breasted Wren Babbler, Scaly and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrushes, and White-collared Blackbird.
DAY 8. SENGOR – PHRUMSHINGLA – BUMTHANG
Today we cross one of the high passes, the Thrumshing La, at 3800m. Thrumshing La is the prime habitat for Blood Pheasant and also holds other high altitude species such as Snow Pigeon, Orange-flanked Bush-Robin, Spotted Nutcracker, Red-billed Chough, Fire-tailed Sunbird, Great Parrotbill, Stripe-throated Yuhina, Grey-crested and Coal Tits and White-browed Fulvetta. We may be lucky and have our first encounter with one of the most colorful pheasants of them all, the Himalayan Monal. We continue through the valley of Bumthang, one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan, one of the most scenic drives to Bumthang goes through the beautiful valley or Ura valley, on a clear day we will be able to see Bhutan’s highest peak, Mt Gangkar Puensum. 7550m and it is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world.
DAY 9. BUMTHANG – YOTONGLA – TRONGSA
Our journey this morning passes the Chume valley, one of the four main valleys of Bumthang region, this valley is famous for its distinctive woolen weaves, known as yathra. At the village of Zugney you will see the fine samples of yathra hanging by the roadside. The weavers all women can be seen at their looms beside the road. Continuing our journey the road climb up to Yotongla pass, (3500m) the birds we’ll searching along the way include the Brown Parrotbill, Himalayan Beautiful Rosefinch., White-browed and Golden Bush Robins, Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrushes, Alpine Accentor, White-winged Grosbeak, Grey-sided Bush Warbler.
The remainder of the afternoon will be spent exploring the nearby broad-leaved evergreen forest in search of specialties like Spotted Forktail, Grey-bellied Tesia, and Spotted Wren-Babbler.
DAY 10. TRONGSA – ZHEMGANG – TINGTIBE
Today on our drive to Zhemgang, we will have lots of stops at several forested valleys. We have chances for Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-Babbler, White-browed Scimitar- Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-bellied Tesia, Crested Bunting, Long-tailed Shrike, Prinias, Rufous Woodpecker, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Spot-winged Starling, Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel, Blue-bearded Bee-Eater and various minivets. This is also our best chance for the Golden Langur, a rare monkey endemic to Bhutan and only discovered in the 1950s.
In the evening birding along Zhemgang – Dakphel road searching for the species like Cutia, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Sultan Tit and many more….
DAY 11 & 12. TINGTIBE – DAKPHEL – GOMPHU ROAD
We’ll explore the entire stretch of Zhemgang – Tingtibe road in the morning. We drop in elevation as we head towards Tingtibe targeting the low elevation birds like, Great and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Green Pigeons, Cutia, White-browed Shrike Babblers, Minlas, White-tailed Nuthatch, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, and whole host of cool Laughingthrushs such as Red-faced Liocichla, Rufous-chinned, Blue-winged and Grey-sided Laughingtrushes, Ashy and Bronze Drongo, Grey-headed Canary, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Our main target bird for the day will be Beautiful Nuthatch.
Later in the afternoon, we’ll explore the Gomphu road, the road that leads to the Manas National Park, Here we’ll for looking for the species like White-hooded Babbler, Greater and Lesser Yellownape, Crimson-breasted, Grey-capped and Pale-headed woodpecker, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, White-browed Scimitar Babbler,
DAY 13. TINGTIBE – TRONGSA – PHOBJEKHA
We head back to Trongsa today, birding many sites on the way; looking for species we might have missed earlier on our way to Zhemgang. After crossing Trongsa, we’ll make stop along the way to search for the Black-throated Parrotbill, Golden-breasted Fulvata, Black-faced, and Chestnut-crown Laughinghtrushes, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, sometimes we can also come across the big flock of Himalayan Griffon flying overhead. After a fairly long drive, we reach the Phobjekha valley, sacred wintering ground for the Black-necked Crane.
DAY 14. PHOBJEKHA – PELELA – NOBDING – PUNAKHA
After an early breakfast, we drive to the Pele la pass (4000 m) and spend the morning hours birding along the old road at Pele la for high altitude species such as Himalayan Monal, Spotted Laughingthrush, Himalayan Griffon, Brown and Great Parrotbill, Grey-sided Bush Warbler, White-winged Grosbeak, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, various Tits,
ater we drive to Punakha, traveling through the valley of Wangdiphodrang; along the way we look for Ward’s Trogon, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide and mixed-species flocks consists of Red-tailed and Bar-throated Minla, Cutia,
In the evening we bird along the Pho Chu valley looking for one of our main target birds, White-bellied Heron, one of the rarest birds in the world with a population of fewer then 200 worldwide. Other birds we might see include Common and Crested Kingfisher and the enigmatic Ibisbill.
DAY 15. BIRDING INSIDE JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
You will spend the whole day birding inside the Jigme Dorji National park and along Mo Chu River. We have the possibilities of seeing Red-headed Trogon, Wallcreeper, Slaty-bellied Tesia, Small and Large Niltava, Black-chinned Yuhinas, a trio of forktails, Pygmy and Spotted Wren-babblers, Woodpeckers, Laughingthrushes, and with luck White-bellied Heron and Pallas’s Fish Eagle.
Other species you’ll be looking for include Oriental Turtle Dove, Great Cormorant, Blue Whistling Thrush, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher,Green-backed Tit, Brown Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, White-throated Laughingthrush, Crested Kingfisher, Grey Treepie, Verditer Flycatcher, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Black-throated Tit, Black Bulbul, River Lapwing, Grey Wagtail, Gadwall, and Large-billed Crow.
In the afternoon, we visit the impressive Punakha’ s Punthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Bliss) standing on the confluence of the two rivers, the Phochu and Mochu, this Dzong has special significance in Bhutanese history. It was the place where the first king of Bhutan, Ugyen Wangchuk, was crowned in 1907. At present, it is also used as the winter residence for Je Khenpo (chief Abbot) and the entire central monk body.
DAY 16. PUNAKHA – DOCHULA – THIMPHU
After early breakfast at the hotel, you will drive to Thimphu. you are drive takes you through Dochula pass one of the most beautiful pass in the country decorated with 108 Druk Wangyel Chortens. Built in the year 2004 to “celebrate the stability and progress that His Majesty has brought to the nation,” this hill of 108 religious monuments in the middle of the pass reflects Bhutan’s spiritual and artistic traditions. On a clear day, you can see all the eastern Himalayan ranges including the highest mountain of Bhutan.
En route stop at the Lamperi botanical garden and take walk around the botanical garden, here you should be looking for the species like Rufous-bellied and Darjeeling Woodpecker, Brown Parrotbill, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Spotted Nutcracker, White Collared Blackbird, Grey-winged Blackbird..
Continue your drive to Thimphu and evening free time to stroll around Thimphu town.
DAY 17. THIMPHU – PARO – TIGER’S NEST MONASTERY
After breakfast at the hotel in Thimphu, Take two hrs drives to the parking lot at the base of the Tiger’s Nest monastery, from here you can hike to one of the most beautiful and holiest temples in Bhutan.
As Bhutan’s most scenic icon and most important destination for pilgrimages and reflection for over 1200 years, Takshang (or the “Tiger’s Nest”) clings to the side of a steep cliff some 200 meters above the Paro valley.
The place was first visited by Guru Rimpoche, founder of the tantric form of Buddhism in Himalayan countries, in the 8th century. It was said that he meditated there for about three months. The original temple was built in the 17th century, but tragically, it was consumed by fire in 1998. Like a phoenix, the temple was rebuilt to its fullest glory in 2003.
The total hike will take the average person about four hours. From the parking area, it will take about one hour to the tea house (rest and refreshment provided) then another one and a half hours to the temple.
DAY 18. PARO – CHELELA PASS BIRDING
Very early in the morning drive to the cool alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). This is the highest pass on the car road. Here we should be reward with the three different species of Pheasants, Colorful Himalayan Monals, flocks of Blood Pheasants and Kalij Pheasants. Beside this, you’ll also see other birds like Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Eurasian Nutcracker, Coal, Rufous-vented and Grey-crested Tits.Himalayan Bluetail, White-browed Rosefinch Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler
Drive back to Paro for lunch
After lunch, you’ll take free time to explore the Paro town and nearby place. Later in the evening birding along Paro river searching for Ibisbill, other species you’ll be looking here include Brown Dipper, White Wagtail, Rufous Sibia, Russet and Eurasian Tree Sparrow and Black-tailed Crake
Visit a farmhouse to experience local hospitality and hot stone bath, traditional Bhutanese way of taking bath.
DAY 19. DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport for departure. Off to Bhutan staff will bid you farewell and safe journeys until we meet again.
2 people: USD 4840 per person
3 or more: USD 4330 per person
- All internal taxes and charges (including royalties)
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis
- All meals, tea, snack and bottled water
- All travel with a licensed local birding guide
- All surface transfers by a private vehicle
- Camping equipment and haulage for camping and trekking tours
- All entry fees to monuments, Museum and National Parks
- Bhutan Visa Fee
- Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
- Tips, laundry, phone calls, and bars.
- International and domestic air fare, and insurance