Bhutan Botanical Tour

18 DAYS
FROM $3,600

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 2 clients or larger groups possible

Maximum 6PAX

Moderate

Space Available

Tour Overview

Bhutan is a privileged region for the butterflies watching. It is estimated that Bhutan will have about 800-900 species, including the few species such as Bhutan Glory and the Kaiser-I-Hind are internationally protected by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Bhutan is excellent representation to find both the Indo-Malayan and Palaearctic species.

The incredible range of habitats present in Bhutan, from subtropical in the south to alpine in the north presents vast array of habitat niches for butterflies.

We at Off to Bhutan offer new opportunity for the nature lovers: we have enriched our service with the butterflies watching tours. Our tours allow butterfly-watching enthusiasts to observe marvelous species all around Bhutan. Together with you, we are looking forward to exploring and enjoying these colorful creatures amidst Bhutan’s fascinating landscape.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro – Paro Sightseeing

The flight into the Himalayas is one of the most scenic and breathtaking ones with the views of some of the tallest mountains of the world. On your arrival at the Paro international airport,

You will be received by Off to Bhutan representative and transferred to your hotel in the enchanting valley of Paro. After some time to rest and refresh after your journey and lunch, local cultural sightseeing in Paro (Overnight; Paro)

Day 2: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion

We start early to hike Paro Taktsang, the Tiger nest, located at the height of 900m above valley below. 

The hiking trail takes you through the forest with flowers and lichen draped, which makes your effort worthwhile. During our hike we come across forest of Blue pine Pinus wallichiana, Quercus semecarpifolia, Rhododendron arboreum, R. triflorum, Cotoneaster microphyllus, Pieris Formosa, Piptanthus nepalensis, Ainsliaea aptera, Primula smithiana, Gentiana pedicellata, Viburnum cotinifolium. (Overnight: Paro)

Day 3: Punakha – Phobjekha

Early morning you’ll wind up your way to the Phobjekha Valley. En route we’ll spend couple of hours birding the entire stretch of Nobding and continue our journey to Phobjekha. (Overnight: Phobjekha)

Day 4: Phobjekha – Trongsa

Morning we’ll drive to the Pelela pass (3400) and spend our morning hours birding along the old road searching for the high altitude species. Continue your drive to Trongsa; the remainder of the afternoon will be spent exploring the nearby broad-leaved evergreen forest nearby Trongsa. (Overnight: Trongsa)

Day 5: Trongsa – Zhemgang

Today on our drive to Zhemgang, we will have lots of stops at several forested valleys. This is also our best chance for the Golden Langur, a rare monkey near endemic to Bhutan and only discovered in the 1950s.
In the evening birding along Zhemgang – Dakphel road. (Overnight: Tingtibe)

Day 6: Zhemgang – Tingtibe – Gomphu Road

We’ll explore the entire stretch of Zhemgang – Tingtibe and Gomphu road, the road that lead to the Manas National Park. (Overnight: Tingtibe)

Day 7: Tingtibe – Trongsa – Bumthang

We head back to Trongsa today, birding many sites on the way looking for any species we might have missed earlier. Crossing Trongsa, Continue our journey to Bumthang. After a fairly long drive, we reach the Bumthang valley. (Overnight: Bumthang)

Day 8: Bumthang – Phrumshingla – Sengor

We drive from Bumthang to Sengor going over Phrumshingla (3800m). Later in the evening, we will be birding around Sengor. (Overnight: Sengor)

Day 9: Sengor – Namling – Yongkala

In the morning before we hit our road to Yongkala, we’ll bird around Sengor and Phrumshingla area. Then we will wind up our way to Yongkala en route birding along the forest of Namling and Yongkala. (Overnight: Yongkala)

Day 10 & 11: Yongkala – Namling – Limithang Road

We’ll spend two entire day birding Namling, upper and lower Limithang road, one of the finest birding areas in the Himalayas: (Overnight: Yongkala)

Day 12: Yongkala – Trongsa

We will be re-tracing our way back. So basically we will be looking and listening to the flocks. Overnight: Trongsa

Day 13: Trongsa – Paro

Drive should take us about 6hrs. Re-tracing journey back; we will stop whenever we run into the flocks. Overnight: Paro

Day 14: Paro – Chelela Birding

Very early in the morning, drive to the cool and stunning alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). Drive back to Paro for lunch. Afternoon freetime to stroll around Paro town

Day 15: Departure

After breakfast transfer to airport for departure.

What to Expect

  • This birding tour will be on selected sites that do not pose any threats such as steep slopes. During these trips, you should expect yourself to walk at least 6-7 kilometers on average per day
  • Like elsewhere, the best time for watching birds is in the morning. You can expect an early start in the morning most of the time. However, a couple of very early mornings are required to look for high elevation dwelling Pheasant that comes out to the roadside early in the morning.
  • Accommodation on this tour is generally simple but comfortable. The hotels are generally spacious, clean and comfortable, built-in westernized Bhutanese style, and all rooms have private facilities. However, due to the limited availability of good lodges and hotels in some remote part of the country, you will spend a couple of nights in basic hotels or tented camp.

Bhutan Birding Experts

Tshering Dorji

After graduating from high school, Tshering Dorji traveled in and around Bhutan’ as far as the countries wideness go. Exploring and studying about birds in particular and Nature in general. For four and a half years’ Tshering was guided and trained by Mr. Norbu. As a young and enthusiastic birder, Tshering is now familiar with calls, behavior, distribution, and habitats of Bhutan birds.

Tshering has also represented the guide association of Bhutan (GAB) to make the presentation on the birds of Bhutan during the first meeting of the Citizen Birders of Bhutan.

Bhutan Birding Experts

Judy and I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our "Off To Bhutan" trip. Tshering was a great bird guide; very Knowledgeable about the birds and excellent spotter .His information on the history of Bhutan was remarkable and for a young man he is quite mature. We enjoyed being with Karma, he is an excellent driver (on many not so good roads) and he is also a great bird spotter. He was looking out for us the day he yelled "RUN" when the tree was about to fall down the cliff onto the road where Judy and I were walking. Both the guys have a great sense of humor and we enjoyed spending the 18 days with them. We thought the balance between birding and "cultural activities" was good. We liked learning about your country, some of the history, seeing the three temples/dzongs, and meeting some of the local people. The climb to Tiger's Nest was harder than I thought it would be, but it was worth it. And of course the birds were great!! (all 241 of them)
Bruce and Judy Kronmiller
(bkron244@gmail.com) USA
In March/April 2015 we made a birding trip of three weeks to the Kingdom of Bhutan. We want to thanks Norbu of Off to Bhutan for organizing this tour. We started our journey in Paro, in the western part of the country, and ended in Samdrup Jongkhar in the southeast at the border of Bhutan and India (Assam). Two young people accompanied us on this trip: Tshering, our guide and Phurba Dorji, the driver. Tshering was very helpful in finding the birds and succeeded in showing us most of the local specialties. Among them the Ibisbill, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Rufous-necked Hornbill and many more… Our driver Phurba did a great job in driving us carefully along the many curves on the road, sometime very narrow roads. Nine out twenty-two two nights we camped and were accompanied by a crew of another 3 young men who cared for the tents and meals, many thanks to Norbu, Sa, gay and Sonam for their support.
Wim de Groot and Jeanette den Herder
Schelgeest 53 1901HC Castricum. The Netherlands
Thanks, Norbu and Tshering my guide for the great trip, I enjoyed it thoroughly, your ears, and knowledge of the local birds were fantastic, also your knowledge of many other parts of your beautiful country was very much appreciated. Despite a few difficulties, you manage the tour with the skill of the much older person. All the very best for your future where ever it takes you. if you ever come to Australia, don’t forget to look me up, just don’t leave it to long.
Dick
THE JUNCTION 2291 Australia

Prices & Dates

Date3 People or moreLess than 3 people
22nd April – 7th May 2020$3,600
per person
$4,020
per person

What is Included

  • 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

What is not Included

  • Optional tours/excursions, personal & incidental expenses.
  • Tips, laundry, phone calls, and bars.
  • International and domestic airfare, and insurance.

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