Rufous-necked Hornbill

Into the Valley of Hornbills

16 DAYS
FROM $3,850

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

Maximum 6PAX

Moderate

Space Available

Tour Overview

This 16-days bird watching tour will take you on an exciting journey covering about nine different districts in Bhutan. These districts are home to some of the rarest birds in the world thriving in the most diverse, rich and least explored forest ranging in elevation from 150m up to 3890m
Each day you will travel to a new place that will offer spectacular views, different weather conditions, different vegetation, and wildlife but most of all a rare bird each day.
On this tour, you will likely see two species of Hornbills, Great and Rufous-necked Hornbill, some of the other specialty included rare and most sought-after species like Ward’ Trogon, Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Ibisbill, Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, these birds are some of the rarest and endemic to the  Eastern Himalayan. All in all, we will show you 250 – 270 birds and 10 – 15 species of mammals in 16 days. Other highlights include the visit to some of the beautiful ancient fortresses and the temples.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Paro,

Meet by our representative. Transfer to the hotel. Afternoon visits the historic Paro Rimpung Dzong (fortress) and the late afternoon birding along the Paro Chu (River): (Overnight: Paro)

Day 2: Paro – Chelila – Thimphu
Very early in the morning, drive to the cool and stunning alpine meadow of Chelila pass (3890m). 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, birding along the sewage pond in Thimphu. (Overnight: Thimphu)
Day 3: Thimphu – Punakha
Early morning drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150). Birding in the Lamperi Botanical Gardens. Drive to Punakha with lunch en route and a visit to the Dzong in the late afternoon. (Overnight: Punakha)
Day 4: Punakha – Tsirang
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. Evening birding along Tsirang and Darachu area. (Overnight: Tsirang)
Day 5: Tsirang – Gelephu
After early breakfast, we’ll spend lots of birding in the forest along Tsirang and Darachu, Later we’ll be heading to a lower elevation We’ll target the varieties of low elevation specialties: (Overnight: Gelephu)
Day 6: Gelephu
Today in the morning we’ll explore the sewage pond and surrounding field around Gelephu. After lunch, we’ll drive further north of Gelephu town and explore the lowland forest around here. This forest is remarkably rich and diverse. (Overnight: Gelephu)
Day 7: Gelephu – Tamala - Tingitbe
Early in the morning, we start climbing from the foothills experience lots of changes in the elevation. Starting from the 150m to the 2500m. Later in the evening crossing Tamala we’ll enter into Zhemgang region. (Overnight: Tingtibe)
Day 8: Zhemgang – Tingtibe – Gomphu Road
We’ll explore the entire stretch of Dakphel – Tingtibe road in the morning. Later in the afternoon, we’ll explore the Gomphu road, the road that leads to the Manas National Park. (Overnight: Tingtibe)
Day 9: Zhemgang – Trongsa – Bumthang
After our final morning birding in this wonderful habitat we wind up our way to Bumthang, Basically it is transit day and a fairly long drive, we’ll reach to the Bumthang valley. (Overnight: Bumthang)
Day 10: Bumthang – Sengor
We drive from Bumthang to Sengor going over Phrumshingla(3800m). Later in the evening, we will be birding around Sengor. (Overnight: Sengor)
Day 11: 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
Day 12 & 13: 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 14: Yoongkala – Trongsa
We will be re-tracing our way back. So basically we will be looking and listening to the flocks. Overnight: Trongsa
Day 15: Trongsa – Paro
Drive should take us about 6hrs. Re-tracing journey back; we will stop whenever we run into the flocks. Overnight: Paro
Day 16: 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 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. From the past many years Tshering has been guiding both private and group tours independently. he also started leading groups for our oversea counterpart.

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 back in 2017. Among the many presenters during the event, his presentation was very well received by many audiences including the minister of agriculture and forestry. 

 

Hear from our Guests

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
Dear Norbu, My husband and I and our 12 yr. old grandson spent 23 days on a mixed birding and cultural tour through Bhutan. We couldn’t have had a better trip! Our guide Tshering Dorji knew all the birds by sight and sound, and he knew where to find them. Also, he was well educated in his country’s history and contemporary issues. We were so impressed by his level of knowledge and his competency as a guide (and teacher). He also spoke excellent English and was always able to answer our questions to our satisfaction, which made the trip so much more exciting for our grandson. Our driver Tshewang was an excellent driver and we never felt worried, even when traversing some really dicey roads or squeezing by other vehicles on narrow, steep roads. Both of these two men were a pleasure to spend time with (and always there to help). Last, but not least, Mr. Norbu who owns the company spent a lot of time with us on email helping us customize our trip and make everything run smoothly. I can’t say enough positive things about “Off to Bhutan”.
Bridget McCoy
USA
We enjoyed our birding trip to Bhutan a lot. Thanks for your perfect organization and well-considered itinerary of our customized tour. We would like to compliment Tshering very much for letting us see the beautiful birds of Bhutan and providing deep insight into country and culture. Tshering is a very open-minded and pleasant person with a lot of humor and organizational talent. We really enjoyed birding and spending time with him. Although travelling in autumn we were able to see a lot of the key bird species one would like to see during a birding trip in Bhutan. Moreover, we would like to thank also Tshewang and Karma for safe driving on the sometimes adventurous Bhutanese roads and always being very attentive and helpful. All the time we felt in very good hands. We will recommend Off to Bhutan further.
Carsten and Simone
Düsseldorf, Germany

Prices & Dates

Date3 or More PeopleLes than 3 People
10th May to 25th May 2021$3,850
per person
$4,580
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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