Norbu is the founder of Off to Bhutan. He has been leading birding tours and exploring the country’s varied ecosystems for over 10 years. With a long-time avid interest in birding, he has spent many weeks traveling the country, surveying and discovering all of the best places to find the most sought-after rarities, including all of the difficult wren-babblers, pheasants, trogons and all of the important species of Bhutan. During these explorations, he has contributed to the knowledge of the status and distribution of many species that were previously poorly known.
With the help of his birding friend Tom Stephenson, co author of The Warbler Guide, he is done an extensive recording in Bhutan and has a very large library of local songs. Many of these songs and calls he has generously donated both to Cornell University’s Macaulay Library and to the public site, xeno-canto.
Over the years he has led many birding groups and has long years of experience finding and helping birders see even the rarest target species. Norbu also has in-depth knowledge of local culture, which adds an exciting dimension for any clients wishing to know and experience more of the unique and colorful culture of Bhutan.
After completing his high school education, Sherab Dorji was chosen to be an archer for the Bhutan Olympic committee. As an archer, he traveled to many different countries representing Bhutan in both regional and international competitions. This great opportunity gave him the chance to become very familiar with other cultures.
His love for nature started when he began to takes some trips into the wilder areas of Bhutan with Norbu. He was then chosen as one of several guides to receive special, an extensive bird watching training course, given by the well-known American birder Tom Stephenson.
Sherab is known for his sharp eyesight and great patience. He has guided many birding groups as a co-tour guide with Norbu and on his own. In the past few years, he has also been asked to guide several bird and wildlife photography tours.
With over 15 years of experience in trekking and cooking, Darjay is one of the most experienced cooks in the country. Due to his reputation, he was one of the first Bhutanese cooks to be trained by the tourism council of Bhutan in a rigorous course focusing on cooking for foreign tourists.
Apart from being kind and helpful, he has a great rapport with his team and also has strong connections and gets along very well with the local communities in the region.
Be it camping along the road or trekking in the mountains, he can create mouth-watering dishes even with limited stocks and ingredients. He has a wide knowledge of wild herbs, which has contributed his reputation for making unique and great-tasting dishes.
If you have the opportunity to travel with him, be sure to ask him to prepare momos, one of his most famous specialties. You will never forget the taste!