|Date||10th May to 25th May 2018|
|Duration||15 nights / 16 days|
|Group size||Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients or larger groups possible|
|Accommodation||From basic lodge to a comfortable hotel. Luxury camping.|
|Climate||Wide varieties of whether are expected, hot and sunny to cold at the high elevation. Occasionally rain is expected in some places|
Day 1: Arrive Paro
Day 2: Paro – Chelila – Thimphu
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
Day 4: Punakha – Tsirang
Day 5: Tsirang – Gelephu
Day 6: Gelephu
Day 7: Gelephu – Zhemgang
Day 8: Zhemgang – Tingtibe Road
Day 9: Zhemgang – Trongsa
Day 10: Trongsa – Bumthang
Day 11: Bumthang – Sengor
Day 12: Sengor – Namling – Yongkala
Day 13: Yongkala – Limithang Road
Day 14: Yoongkala – Trongsa
Day 15: Trongsa – Paro
Day 16: Departure
You’ll arrive at Paro’s unique and beautifully decorated International Airport and be met by our representative. Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visit the historic Paro Rimpung Dzong (fortress) and then late afternoon birding along the Paro River searching for one key target bird, Ibisbill. We will also see other birds with chances for River Lapwing; Black- tailed Crake, olive-backed Pipit. Dark-throated Thrush and Common Sandpiper just to name few.
Day 2: Paro – Thimphu
Very early in the morning, drive to the cool and stunning alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). This is the highest pass accessible by car in Bhutan. Here we should be rewarded with three different species of Pheasants: the colorful Himalayan Monal, flocks of Blood Pheasants and Kalij Pheasant. Beside this, we’ll also see other birds like various Rose-finches, Grosbeaks, and Laughingthrushes. Drive back to Paro for lunch.
After lunch drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan. The drive will take about an hour and a half.
In the evening, free time to stroll around the Thimphu city
Day 3: Thimphu-Punakha (3hrs)
Early morning drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150). Our day starts from this pass with breathtaking views of the eastern Himalayan ranges. The mixed forests of hemlock, fir, oaks, and rhododendron here are great habitat for many good species including Fire-tailed Myzornis, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Rufous-breasted Bush Robin, Black-eared Shrike Babblers, and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Grey-winged Blackbird, Spotted Nutcracker, Gold-billed Magpie Later we descend to the Punakha valley stopping at Lobesa for lunch.
After lunch, visit Punakha’s Punthang Dechen Phodrang (the name means palace of Great Bliss.) residence for the Je Khenpo, Bhutan’s spiritual leader and the entire central monk community. Standing on the tongue of land where two rivers, Phochu and Mochu, meet, Punakha Dzong has special significance in Bhutan history. Punakha Dzong is the place where Bhutan’s first king, Ugyen Wangchuck was crowned in 1907. It is the winter Later in the evening birding along the Pho Chu valley looking for one of the main target bird, White-bellied Heron. One of the rarest birds in the world with a population of less than 200 worldwide. Other birds we might see Common and Crested Kingfisher, and Ibisbill.
Day 4: Punakha – Tsirang (5hrs)
After early breakfast drive toward the south of Punakha, the drive will take you through some of the best least explored forests of the country. This section of the country was very recently open for the visitors. You’ll have lots of stop for the birding. Some of the key birds you might be able to see are Rufous-necked Hornbill, Great Hornbill and many more since this part have never been explored.
Day 5: Tsirang – Galephu (5hrs)
After early breakfast at the camp we’ll spend lots of birding in the forest that have been never explore. The habitats here are good for some of the rare birds like Beautiful Nuthatch.
Later we’ll be heading to a lower elevation We’ll target the varieties of low elevation specialties including Pied Falconet, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Sultan Tit, Black-backed Forktail, Red- headed Trogon, Black Eagle, House Sparrow (rare in Bhutan…), Jungle Babbler, Grey-sided Laughingthrush and many more.
Day 6: Full day birding Galephu
You will spend full day birding exploring low land forest around Gelephu. The forest here is remarkably rich and diverse. Here we may find the species like Pied Falconet, Jungle Babbler, Large Hawk Cuckoo, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Wreathed and Great Hornbill, Puff-throated Babbler, Indian Roller, most of the lowland birds you will not see on the trip. In the afternoon as we start climbing from the foothill we might also find the species like Long-tailed Sibia, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Common Green Magpie, Silver eared Mesia, Indian Peafowl, and many more…
Overnight: Hotel Gelephu
Day 7: Galeyphu – Zhemgang (7hrs)
After breakfast we slowly start heading toward Zhemgang, today you will experience lots of changes in the elevation. Starting from the 150m to the 2500m. Drive goes through some of the best forest in the country. Birds we might see are few species of Laughingthrushs, Tesias, couple of Wren Babbler. Parrotbills and many more.
Day 8: Zhemgang Halt
We’ll explore the entire stretch of Shemgang – Tingtibe road. 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 Laughingtrush. Our main target bird for the day will be Beautiful Nuthatch.
Day 9: Zhemgang – Trongsa (7hrs)
Today on our drive to Trongsa we have lots stop at the several-forested valleys on the way, we may see the following birds, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, White-browed Scimitar Babblers, Steak-breasted Scimitar Babblers, Grey-bellied Tesia,
Crested Buntings, Long-tailed Shrikes, Prinias, Rufous Woodpeckers, Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel and minivets. This is also our best chance for the Golden Langur, Leaf monkeys endemic to Bhutan. If we have missed earlier on our trip.
Day: 10 Trongsa to Bumthang (3hrs)
This day, we will make an early start to the Yongtola pass (3500m), which is about an hour and a half drive from your hotel. Here, we should see the Hill Partridge, Chestnut-tailed Minla, Brown Parrotbill, Chestnut-crown Laughing Thrush, Black-faced Laughing Thrush, Darjeeling Woodpecker, and Gold-naped Finch.
In the afternoon, visit Kurjey Monastery, the temple built over the cave where Guru Rimpoche left his body print in the 8th century. Also see Jambay Lhakhang, one of the two oldest monasteries in Bhutan, which dates back to the 7th century.
Day 11: Bumthang – Sengor (5hrs)
In the morning, we drive from Bumthang to Sengor, going over the Thrumshingla pass (3800m). Thrumshingla is the prime habitat for Blood Pheasants, and it also holds other high-altitude species, such as Snow Pigeons, Orange-flanked Bush Robins, Spotted Nutcrackers, Red-billed Choughs, Fire-tailed Sunbirds, Greats Parrotbills, Stripe-throated Yuhinas, Grey-crested and Coals Tits, and White-browed Fulvatas. Later in the evening, we will be birding around Sengor looking for Satyr Tragopans. Sengor is known as a hotspot for Satyr Tragopans.
Day 12: Sengor – Namling- Yongkala (4hrs)
Today, we will hit Bhutan’s wet subtropical forest, which is one of the finest birding areas in the Himalayas. For the next day, we will be birding in the lush forested valley, searching for Short Wings, Bar-winged Wren Babblers, Black-headed Shrike Babblers, Ward’s Trogons, Slender-billed Scimitar Babblers, Yellow-rumped Honeyguides, Barbets, Golden Bush Robins, and Chestnut-breasted Partridges.
Day 13: Yongkala – Limithang Road
We spend two full days birding near the upper and lower Limithang road. This Yongkala-Limithang road is graded as one of the best birding sites in the world. In this area, we may see following birds: Wedge-billed Wren Babblers, Rufous-throated Wren Babblers, Spotted Wren Babblers, Rufous-necked Hornbills, Coral-billed Scimitar Babblers, Slender-billed Scimitar Babblers, flocks of Parrotbills, Golden-breasted Fulvettas, Scarlet Finches, and many more.
Day 14: Yongkala – Trongsa
After early breakfast at the campsite you’ll retracing your way back to Trongsa passing though the Sengor, after crossing 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 continue through the valley of Bumthang, one of the most beautiful valleys in Bhutan. After crossing the Bumthang valley it is another 3hrs drive to Trongsa crossing the Yotongla pass (3400m)
Day 15, Trongsa – Paro (8hrs)
After early breakfast at the hotel, your 8hrs journey start driving back on the same road you came earlier, along the way you’ll keep your eyes for the species you have missed earlier.
Day 16: Departure
After breakfast, transfer to airport for departure. Off to Bhutan staff will bid you farewell and safe journeys until we meet again.
3 or more: USD 3830 per person
- All internal taxes and charges (including royalties)
- Accommodation on twin sharing basis
- All meals, tea, snack and bottle 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.