White-tailed Robin

Birding Far East

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 winter birding tour especially targeting the species that winter in Bhutan such as Thrushes, Wallcreeper, and Finches. This time of year, offer have good chances for sighting critically endangered species White-bellied Heron, with the population of 60 individual worldwide.

The tour starts from southeast of Bhutan entering from the Indian state of Assam covering east, central and eventually finish in central south of Bhutan covering wide ranges of habitats from the lowland subtropical forest to semi alpine at the very comfortable pace. you can experience the elevation from 150m to 3890m.

We’ll likely see most of the key species of Bhutan including three species of Pheasants, rare and critically endangered White-bellied Heron, Ward’s Trogon, Ibisbill, Beautiful Nuthatch, one of the most sought after specialities of the Bhutan avifauna. All in all, we will be able to show you over 250 species of birds and 10-15 species of mammals including rare and near endemic Golden Langur.  

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Outline 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 – Dewathang – 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 – Dewathang - 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’ll spend two entire days birding Yongkala, Namling and Limithang Road, one of the finest birding site in the Himalayas. (Overnight: Yongkala)

Day 8: Yongkala - Namling - Sengor

After breakfast, we’ll start moving uphill in search of high altitude species. En route we will make several stops for any interesting species that comes along. Evening birding around Sengor. (Overnight: Sengor)

Day 9: Sengor - Phrumshingla - Bumthang

Today we cross one of the highest pass, the Phrumshingla 3800m. Phrumshingla is the prime habitat for many high altitudes species including Blood Pheasant. We’ll spend the morning hours birding around the pass and continue our journye to Bumthang (Overnight: Bumthang)

Day 10: Bumthang - Yotongla - Trongsa

After early breakfast we start our journey to Trongsa, En route birding at Yotongla pass. After lunch we will have the chance to visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong. (Overnight: Trongsa)

Day 11: Trongsa - Zhemgang - Tingtibe

Our drive to Tingitbe, we will have lots of stops at several forested valleys. This is our best chance to sight Golden Langur, a rare monkey near endemic to Bhutan and only discovered in 1950s. (Overnight: Tingitbe)

Day 12 & 13: Tingtibe - Gomphu - Dakphel Road

We”ll explore the entire stretch of Zhemgang, Tingtibe and Gomphu road covering wide range of habitats. (Overnight: Tingitbe)

Day 14: Tingtibe - Tamala - Gelephu

After breakfast, we will wind up our way to Gelephu. En route birding at Tamala. In evening we will explore around Gelephu targeting lowland specialities. (Overnight: Gelephu)

Day 15: Around Gelephu

We will have one full day to explore in and around Gelephu looking for the lowland species. (Overnight: Gelephu)

Day 16: Gelephu - Guwahati

After breakfast, transfer to Guwahati airport. Our journey takes us  about 4 hours through the Indian plain of Assam 

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
9th – 24th Feb 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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