Ibisbill

Birding Across Bhutan

21 DAYS
FROM $5,100

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

Maximum 8PAX

Moderate

Space Available

Tour Overview

Our most comprehensive 20 nights and 21 days birding tours guided by our senior birding guide with the long years of experience in guiding international birding clients for the past many years. This tour starts from southeast of Bhutan entering from the Indian state of Assam working our way to a central, bit of south and eventually finish in the western part of Bhutan.

On this tour, we’ll cover different wide varieties of habitats and all the main birding sites in the country at a very comfortable pace. You can experience the elevation from 150m up to 3890m
You will likely see all the key species of Bhutan including four species of Pheasants, Ward’s Trogon, Ibisbill, five species of Parrotbills, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide and Beautiful Nuthatch, one of the most sought-after specialties of the Bhutan avifauna. We will also focus on the super skulker species like Tesias, Shortwings, and Wren Babbler. All in all, we will show you over 320 birds and 10 – 15 species of mammals such as three species of langurs, including the nearly endemic Golden Langur. Himalayan Giant Squirrel, Yellow-throated Marten and Himalayan Goral.

Other highlight include visit to Bhutan’s most scenic icon and most important destination for pilgrimages Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest), most beautiful and impressive Punakha Dzong and visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse to experience the local hospitality.

Itinerary

Day 1: Guwahati – Samdrup Jongkhar
We’ll meet at Guwahati airport in the Indian state of Assam. Transfer to Bhutan through the plain of Assam. In the evening birding around Samdrup Jongkha. (Overnight: Samdrup Jongkhar)
Day 2: Samdrup – Deothang – Samdrup Jongkhar
Exploring the forest patches and small stands of bamboo around the Samdrup Jongkhar and Dewatahgn we’ll also be looking along the rocky streams: Overnight: Samdrup Jongkhar
Day 3: Samdrup Jongkhar – Morong
After our final morning exploring lowland forest between Samdrup Jongkhar and Deothang. We will head further north Morong. The remainder of the afternoon will be spent birding a stretch of mossy, mid-altitude broad-leaved forest around morong. (Overnight: Morong)
Day 4: Morong – Trashigang
We will have a before-breakfast outing. After breakfast at the campsite, we make our way to Trashigang stopping along the way for birding. (Overnight: Trashigang.)
Day 5: Trashigang – Mongar – Yongkala
En route to Yongkala, we stop at Kori La for birding. In the afternoon we will reach lower Limithang road. (Overnight: Yongkala)
Day 6 & 7: Yongkala – Namling - Limithang Road
We spend two full days birding along this incredible 80 km long road, ranked amongst the ten top birding sites in Asia. (Overnight: Yongkala)
Day 8: Yongkala – Namling – Sengor
After early breakfast, we’ll be moving uphill in search of high altitude species. En route to Sengor, we’ll make several stop for any missing species. Evening birding around Sengor. (Overnight: Sengor)
Day 9: Sengor – Thrumshingla – Bumthang
we’ll be birding around Sengor – Phrumshingla stretch searching for the high altitude species that are particular confine to this area. (Overnight: Sengor)
Day 10: Sengor – Phrumshingla – Bumthang
Today we cross one of the high passes, the Phrumshing La, at 3800m. Phrumshing La is the prime habitat for many high altitude species; we’ll spend morning time around the pass. Continue our drive to Bumthang. (Overnight: Bumthang)
Day 11: Bumthang - Trongsa
After early breakfast we hit our road to Trongsa, en route birding at Yotongla, after lunch, we will have the opportunity to visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong. (Overnight Trongsa)
Day 12: 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 13 & 14: Zhemgang – Tingtibe Road

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

Day 15: Zhemgang – Trongsa – Phobjekha
We head back to Trongsa today, birding many sites on the way looking for any species we might have missed earlier. Crossing Trongsa, we’ll make stops along the way to search for any interesting species that comes along our drive. After a fairly long drive, we reach the Phobjekha valley, sacred wintering ground for the Black-necked Crane. (Overnight: Phobjekha)
Day 16: Phobjekha – Pelela – 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. Later we drive to Punakha, traveling through the valley of Wangdiphodrang; Afternoon. Visit the impressive Punakha’ s Punthang Dechen Phodrang (Palace of Great Bliss) standing on the confluence of the two rivers, the Phochu and Mochu. (Overnight: Punakha)
Day 17: Punakha – Jigme Dorji National Park
We will spend the whole day birding inside the Jigme Dorji National Park and along Mo Chu River. (Overnight: Punakha)
Day 18: Punakha – Thimphu
Today after early breakfast we will make our way to Dochu La. Leaving the almost tropical Punakha Valley, we ascend through mixed evergreen and broad-leaved forests to the pass at 3140 meters stopping en route at Lamperi Botanical Park and take nature walk. (Overnight: Thimphu)
Day 19: Thimphu – Paro
In the early morning before breakfast we visit the local sewage pond and along the Wang Chu, back to the hotel for breakfast, then 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. (Overnight: Paro)
Day 20: Paro – Chelila Birding
Very early in the morning drive to the cool alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m) for the high altitude species. This is the highest pass on the car road. Evening: visit the typical Bhutanese farmhouse to experience the local hospitality. (Overnight: Paro)
Day 21: 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

Sherab Dorji

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 the 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.

Hear from our guest

Thank you so much for your kind arrangement for our trip. Professional birding, nice view of Bhutan, perfect and unique hotel… Nick and I, we enjoyed a lot. We would like to come back again. We found many new species birds, nice valley, and spectacular festival. People are hospitable. I love the religion and culture in Bhutan. You are so so so so lucky that you were born and live in such a mazing and magic country. Our guide Mr. Sherab and our driver Mr. Dorji, they were so excellent. I really wanna say, both of them are professional and dedicated. If possible, next time we might organize a family trip to Bhutan again, we would like to meet you and Sherab and Dorji again. I have many many words to say, but just don’t know where to start, it’s an impressive and memorable trip. Many thanks again for your careful and considerate arrangement and Mr. Sherab and Mr. Dorji ‘s service.
Sissi Wang (BD Director)
BLANC Trading and Consulting Beijing, China
We have just returned from a superb 17 days tailored bird watching / culture trip. Off to Bhutan did a fabulous job tailoring our trip to include many top birding locations, cultural places and rafting (our special request). Norbu helped us plan our trip with recommendations, special arrangements and advice. We were met in Guwahati (India) by our guide, Sherab and commenced our trip from the east travelling west to Paro. Sherab is a very experienced birding guide, allowing us to see over 250 birds including the endemic target species, a Himalayan black bear and the 3 langur species, making sure we always got the best view and photography opportunity. Sherab generously shared Buddhist and Bhutanese insights, explaining many cultural aspects during our trip, and we always felt he went out of his way to make our trip as effortless and comfortable as possible. Our driver was also excellent, we always felt safe given the roads were under construction – narrow, unpaved in sections and with larger drops next to the road. In every single hotel we have stayed, Off to Bhutan reserved the best room for us. If you are considering if or if not you should travel to Bhutan – GO. It is a gem in the Himalayas, rich in culture and history, with spectacular scenery (in higher altitudes literally breathtaking) and rich flora and fauna. We would definitely recommend Off to Bhutan to anyone who considers travelling to Bhutan.
Philippa Curran & Kai Geisselhart
(philippa.curran@gmail.com) Australia
We are all back home. I just wanted to let you know that our trip with Sherab was GREAT !!! We recorded 315+ species of birds including 45 lifers for me, more than I expected!! For the rest of the group, most species were actually new. Everything went very well, smoothly indeed, with nothing wrong to report. Sherab is a very good guide knowing his birds always ready to find more and never reluctant to help. The cooking team always prepared great meals in sometimes in difficult conditions. The car was very good too as well as our driver Suba! At last, I was amazed by the high standard of hotels that you provided with hot water and electricity everywhere!!!! You and your team did a tremendously good job from A to Z. I can only recommend you to other birders and I will try to visit again with another group probably in 2017 (I’ll send you less e-mails with questions by then…). Just keep on doing such a good work in your fascinating country!! May God or Buddha or whatever divinity and your smiling and friendly Bhutanese people maintain it as pristine as it still is today!! I wish there were many more such intelligent and wisely nature conservation-minded people as you … Thanks a lot again!!
Hugues DUFOURNY
20, rue du Raimbaix – 7387 Honnelles BELGIQUE (hdufournyornitho@yahoo.fr)

Prices & Dates

Date3 or more PeopleLess than 3 People
1st – 21st March 2021$5,100
per person
$5,700
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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