Bhutan is one of the smallest countries in the world, it has one of the richest concentration off biodiversity. Around 6000 plants, 670 birds and 180 mammal species have been recorded in Bhutan, all in an area of around 38000 sq.km. This is one of there highest species richness per unit area for any country.
The reason such high diversity is found in Bhutan is a result of its biogeography and conservation policies. Located in the eastern Himalayas, Bhutan's landscape is extremely varied and influenced by the monsoons. Biogeographically, the country lies in a global ecotone, in between the warm Indo-malayan ecozone in the south and the temparate palearctic ecozone in the north. In a distantce of less then 115 KM running north to south, the altitude ranges from subtropical low lands at 150 metres near the border with India to snow capped peaks over 7000 metres at its northern borders with Tibet and China. The country is also divided into major valleys and mountain systems by seven major rivers.
Physically, the country can be divided into three zones:
1. Alpine Zone (4000m and above) with no forest cover;
2. Temperate Zone (2000 to 4000m) with conifer or broadleaf forests;
3. Subtropical Zone (150m to 2000m) with Tropical or Subtropical vegetation.
Forest types in Bhutan are fir forests, mixed conifer forest, blue pine forest, chirpine forest, broadleaf mixed with conifer, upland hardwood forest, lowland hardwood forest, and tropical lowland forests. Almost 60% of the plant species found in the eastern Himalayan region are present in Bhutan.
Bhutan boasts of about 300 species of medicinal plants and about 46 species of rhododendrons. Some common sights for the visitors are the magnolias, junipers, orchids of varied hues, gentian, medicinal plants, Daphne, giant rhubarb, the blue and trees such as fir, pine and oaks.
This tour focusses in the south central region of Bhutan where you can see the Great Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Rufous Necked Hornbill and Oriental pied hornbill apart from scores of other exotic bird species. Also we will see the majestic golden langurs and have chance to photograph them.
We will process your pre-approved visa for travel to Bhutan and for India you can get a visa from your home country or even avail of the visa on arrival in India (Please check with us which all countries are allowed for visa on arrival in India.
November till April are the best month to travel for this tour.
Dates and Prices
Several departures are available from November till march. Please write to us for the dates that suit you. Please write to us for prices and more details.
Please write to us for your plans before and after tour. Good walking shoes and pair of binoculars are highly recommended. Bhutan is a country of very friendly people and has fabulous landscape. It is the only country in the world which gives more important to Gross National Happiness than Gross Domestic product.
Day 01 - Arrive Guwahati
Please arrange your flight to arrive in Guwahati in the morning OR we can arrange your arrival into a major International Airport in India and then provide internal flight to arrive in Guwahati in the morning hours.
Upon arrival in Guwahati our ground staff will receive you and take you to the Gelephu border in Bhutan. This will take most of the day and upon arrival at Gelephu carry out the border formalities on both India and Bhutan side. Our Bhutan nature guide will assist you with the formalities and take you to your hotel on the Bhutan side. Overnight at the hotel in Gelephu.
Day 02 - Birding at Gelephu
An early start to the day and birding in the surroundings of Gelephu. Most of the day will be spent birding in and around Gelephu with our nature guide.
Overnight at the hotel in Gelephu.
Gelephu has sub-tropical broadleaf forest and some of the species of birds you can see here are , Orange-bellied Leafbird, Grey Heron, Little Heron, Steppe Eagle, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Red-headed Vulture, Black Eagle, Red-wattled Lapwing, Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Oreng-breasted Green Pigeon, Spotted Dove, Crested Treeswift, Red-breasted Parakeet, Indian Cuckoo, Blyth’s Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Yellow-rumped Hornbill, Great Barbet, Lineated Barbet, Blue-throated Barbet, Golden-throated Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Rufous Woodpecker, Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Ruddy Shelduck, Indian Peafowl., Black Kite, House Sparrow, Jungle Babbler, Silver-eared Mesia, Oriental White-eye, Red-vented Bulbul, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, Wallcreeper, Hill Myana, Common Myana, Chenut-tailed starling, Grey Bushchat, Plumbeous Water Redstart, White-capped Water Redstart, Verditer Flycatcher, Slaty-blue Flycatcher, Scaly Thrush, Blue Whistling Thrush, Brown Dipper, Asian Paradise-flycatcher, Grey-chinned Minivet, Rosy Minivet, Ashy Woodswallow, House Crow, Common Green Magpie, Grey Treepie, Long-tailed Shrike, Grey-backed Shrike, Hooded Pitta,
Day 03 - Gelephu to Tingtibe
An early start and leave for Tingtibe. Start at a low level of 250 Metres and today you will climb upto 2500 metres and drive thru beautiful green forests with rich bird life....We will be seeing the beautiful Golden Langurs and various Hornbills today as well as the following birds can also be seen.. Blyth’s, Grey-hooded and Black-faced Warbler, Striated and Rufous-necked and Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Streak-breasted and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Chestnut-tailed and Blue-winged Minla, White-breasted Parrotbill and Maroon-backed Accentor, Barred Cuckoo Dove, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Black and Crested Serpent Eagle, Indian Pond Heron, Long-tailed Broadbill, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Maroon Oriole, White-throated and Yellow-bellied Fantail, Ashy, Black and Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Blue Whistling Thrush, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Yellow-cheeked and Sultan Tit and more.
Overnight at a hotel in Tingtibe.
Day 04 - Tingtibe to Panbang
An early start and leave for Panbang with birding on the way. Hornbills and Golden langurs will be seen today. Also these bird species will be seen.. Pygmy Blue and Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Common and Hill myna, White-tailed and Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Brown-throated Treecreeper Chestnut-crowned, Grey-hooded, Yellow-vented, Yellow-bellied and Black-faced Warbler, Rufous-necked and White-crested Laughingthrush and Spot-winged Grosbeak, Pale-billed Parrotbill, Pale headed and Bay Woodpecker, White-browed and Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Great and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Wedge-tailed and Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Crested Serpent and Black Eagle, Scarlet and Grey-chinned Minivet and Ashy Drongo.
Overnight at the hotel at Panbang.
Day 05 - At Panbang
Hornbills and Golden Langurs, capped Langurs will be our main focus today but also these birds can be seen...Species found here include the four species of Hornbills, Collared Falconet, Long-tailed Broadbill, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Orange-bellied and Golden-fronted Leafbird, Common Green Magpie, Black-naped Monarch, Hair-crested, Lesser and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Large and Small Niltava, Verditer and Pale Blue Flycatcher, Spot-winged Starling Ashy, White-throated and Red-whiskered Bulbul, Pallas fishing Eagle, Red-headed Trogon, Crested, White-throated Kingfisher, rare and little known Blyth’s Kingfisher. Collared and Asian-barred Owlet, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Wedge-tailed and Pin-tailed Green Pigeon and more.
We will visit the Royal Manas National park which is the Bhutan side of Mans Tiger Reserve of India. This region is rich with birds and langurs and is very scenic and beautiful.
Overnight at hotel in Panbang.
Day 06 - Panbang to Zhemgang
Beautiful drive all along and we will stop often for photographs. Birds that can be seen today are Cutia, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Coral-billed and Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-chinned and Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, Red-faced Liocichla, Black-chinned, Whiskered and Striated Yuhina, Blue-winged Minla. Also good chances of spotting the most beautiful "the "Beautiful Nuthatch" along the way.
Upon arrival at Zhemgang we will transfer to the hotel for the night stay.
Day 07 - Zhemgang to Trongsa
We will leave for the beautiful Dzong town of Trongsa and on the way often stop for brined and taking pictures of the landscape.
The birds that we can encounter today are Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel, Rufous-necked and Bhutan Laughingthrush. Silver-eared Mesia, Black-throated and Green-tailed Sunbird, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, Crested Buntings, Long-tailed Shrikes, Rufescent and Striated Prinias, Rufous and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, , Oriental Turtle and Spotted Dove, Grey Treepie and many more. We will try and look for the rare and little known Yellow-rumped Honeyguide.
Upon arrival at Trongsa transfer to the hotel and if time permitting visit the beautiful Tronsa Dzong or this can be done first thing next morning. Also it is good to walk in the trongsa town and meet the locals. It is a very small town.
Day 8 Trongs to Phobjikha
Today we drive to the famous Phobjikha valley in Gangtey....this valley is famous for its special winter visitor "The Black neck Cranes" and they come in large numbers to this small valley. The valley residents treat the coming of the black neck crane as good luck and look after them year after year. The Bhutanese government has set up a Crane Information centre which keeps a record of how many birds have come in and trains the locals to co-exist with the cranes and lot more.
If you book this tour in Late December and in January and February then you will get to see these beautiful birds. Apart from this beauty you can also see the Himalayan Monal (very shy bird) and Satyr Tragopan as well.
Apart from these we will see a lot of other bird species as well.
Day 09 - Phobjikha to Paro
Today we leave for Paro and do birding on the way. We will cross the Pele La Pass which has fantastic views of the Himalayas. Also this spot is great for Birding and often Red Pandas are spotted here.
Birds we can see today are Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, White-winged and Collared Grosbeak, Blood Pheasent, Spotted and Black-faced Laughingthrush, Himalayan Griffon, Brown and Great Parrotbill, Blue-fronted and White-throated Redstart, , White-browed and Plain mountain finch and Dark-rumped Rosefinch and more.
Upon arrival in Paro transfer to the hotel.
Day 10 - In Paro
Today visit the holiest place in Bhutan "The Tigers Nest"
This will take most part of the day up and down the hill and requires some training before you attempt to climb this (Please do some brisk walking for 45 minutes for at least 20 days to train your leg muscles). All ages in Bhutan do it on regular basis and you will be very content once you have accomplished climbing this beautiful monastery.
We will see some bird life on the walking path and once we are back in Paro and if time permits then visit the Paro Dzong and the main street to meet the locals or for dinner or souvenir hunting.
Day 11 - Paro to Chele La
Another night stay in Paro and visit to Chele La will enrich your bird score by big numbers. Some species you can target today are colorful Himalayan Monal flocks of Blood Pheasants and Kalij Pheasant. White-browed, Dark-rumped and Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Alpine and Rufous-breasted Accentor, Snow Pigeon, Hodgson’s Treecreeper, Spotted Nutcracker, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-crested, Coal, Rufous-vented and Rufous-fronted Tits, Plain Mountain Finch, White winged and Collared Grosbeaks and Black-faced and Spotted laughing-thrushes.
Later return to Paro for lunch and later in the day explore the river bed and look for Ibisbill and other species.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 12 - Leave Pray , Fly
Transfer to the Paro International Airport for flight to onward destination.
We would recommend you to visit Kaziranga National Park after this tour and the itinerary would be like this. Please write to us for prices and details.
Day 01 - Fly from Paro to Guwahati
At present there is only one flight a week but we can fly you to other airports in the region and then provide a connecting flight to Guwahati. Upon arrival in Guwahati transfer to Kaziranga National Park , drive of about 05 Hours.
However this tour can also be done before the main tour, So visit Kaziranga before and return to Guwahati and then start the Bhutan tour.
Upon arrival at Kaziranga transfer to the resort.
Day 02 - AT Kaziranga
Morning and afternoon park visit in open Jeeps with our driver and jungle guide. Explore central zone.
Kaziranga is UNESCO world heritage site and is often called as the Serengeti of India.
Day 03 - At Kaziranga
Explore eastern Zone
Day 04 - At Kaziranga
Explore western Zone
Day 05 - Kaziranga to Guwahati and transfer to airport for flight to onward destination.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
This tour is best run from October to March or even April and we can arrange for individual departures as well. It is recommended to book as much in advance if possible so we can reserves all services in good time and take all necessary permissions for your visit in Bhutan.
Our experienced guide and driver will accompany you throughout the tour and part with their knowledge of the region every step of the way.
Please write to us with your query and we will get back to you with all the details you need. We are happy to serve you and guide you on your trip in this region.