Focusing on mammals, birds and other wildlife, this tour, set amongst some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, explores the finest wildlife sites in India and Nepal. Beginning in Kathmandu we travel to Chitwan National Park where we’ll spend three days exploring its terai, Sal forest, swamps and riverine jungle in search of a wonderful diversity of flora, birds and mammals. Next we head to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, one of Asia’s most important wetlands, and a key resting place for migratory birds – many new birds for Nepal have been recorded here. Next we travel to Kaziranga National Park in Assam, via Darjeeling. Kaziranga is the best place in India to see One-horned Rhinos and we’ll go in search of gibbons, Indian Elephant and other mammals and birds before returning to Delhi for our flights home.
- Look for the elusive Ibisbill, Trisuli River, plus Indian One-horned Rhino & Tiger, Chitwan
- 500 bird species, & rarities such as Jerdon’s Babbler & Red-headed Trogon, Chitwan
- Enjoy stunning scenery of snowy Himalayan summits & Kathmandu Valley
- Last population of wild Water Buffalo in Nepal at Koshi Tappu
- Nilgai & Jungle Cat, plus Spotted & Hog Deer among many mammals
- Swamp Partridge, Red-necked Falcon & Striated Marsh Warbler, Koshi
- Gharial, Marsh Mugger Crocodiles & Gangetic River Dolphin possible
- Enjoy woodland birds, tea plantations, magnificent views & a train ride in Darjeeling
- Hoolock Gibbon, Indian Elephant, Gaur, Sloth Bear & Swamp Deer, Kaziranga
- Led by expert local naturalist guides
All included in the price, except for main meals in Kathmandu and Delhi. Allow £20.
Comfortable tourist hotels in Kathmandu, Darjeeling and Delhi; simple but comfortable lodges or tented camps elsewhere. All rooms/tents have private facilities.
Great Hornbill (Rachael Anderson)
Day 3/5 Chitwan National Park
Day 6/8 Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Day 12/15 Kaziranga National Park
The mighty peaks of the Himalaya, the greatest mountain range on Earth, provide an awesome backdrop during this holiday which combines the very best of Nepal’s ‘terai’s (lowland forests and wetlands) with the scenic splendours of Darjeeling — with its surrounding hills and temperate forests — and Kaziranga National Park in Assam, home of the endangered Indian One-horned Rhinoceros.
Our tour begins in Kathmandu, capital of the magical mountain kingdom of Nepal, where we overnight before journeying by road through the delightful terraced foothills above the Trisuli River to the Chitwan National Park. This magnificent reserve is one of the few remaining undisturbed vestiges of the terai, a region of riverine jungle, Sal forest and swamps which once extended throughout the lowlands of Nepal and northern India. This wonderful habitat, formerly mosquitoridden and inhabited only by the indigenous and malaria-tolerant Tharu people, has a particularly rich flora and fauna, including large populations of both Indian One-horned Rhinoceros and Bengal Tiger, as well as many other mammals and a stunning variety of birdlife. Chitwan’s diversity of riverine and forest habitats, interspersed with open grasslands, ensures that there are always new areas to explore during our stay and ever present in the distance are the snowy summits of the Himalayan giants which stretch across Nepal in an unbroken line from east to west.
After spending three nights in Chitwan, we drive east to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve which lies close to the border with India, on the floodplain of the Sapta-Koshi, one of the three main tributaries of the Ganges. The reserve comprises endless riverside and wetland habitats, together with tall grassland with patches of scrub forest and deciduous mixed riverine woodland, set against the backdrop of the eastern Himalaya, which includes Mount Makalu (8,475 metres), the world’s fifth highest mountain. Koshi Tappu offers prime habitat for a variety of wildlife, and in particular supports the last surviving population of wild Water Buffalo in Nepal. Nilgai (Blue Bull), Wild Boar, Jungle Cat and both Spotted and Hog Deer are amongst other mammal species finding sanctuary in the reserve, whilst nearly 400 species of birds have been recorded, including the endangered Swamp Partridge, Rednecked Falcon and Striated Marsh Warbler. Koshi is also an important staging ground and resting place for migratory birds and many new species for Nepal have been found here. The endangered Gharial and the Marsh Mugger crocodile may be observed in (or beside) the Koshi River, and the fortunate may even encounter the rare Ganges River Dolphin.
Our next destination is Darjeeling, well known as a popular hill-station during the days of the British Raj and centre of a renowned tea-growing region. Situated at 1,980 metres, the town is charming, if rather ramshackle, but a fine base from which to soak in the magnificent views of Mount Kanchenjunga and the Himalaya, and from which to enjoy the birds of the region’s temperate oak and rhododendron forests, amongst which are many eastern Himalayan specialities. There may also be an opportunity to sample the world famous narrow-gauge railway which loops its way uphill to the town from the plains, affording views from many vantage points of the magical Himalaya on clear days.
A short flight from Bagdogra will take us into Assam for the final phase of our tour. Kaziranga National Park is one of the most picturesque wildlife parks in India and lies on the southern banks of the Brahmaputra River, to the north of the Mikir Hills which rise to an elevation of over 1,000 metres. The predominant vegetation is a mixture of tall grassland and riverine forest intersected by marshes, streams and ox-bow lakes known locally as ‘jheels’s or ‘jils’s. Kaziranga is famous for its population of Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, estimated to be in the region of 1,500 animals, and the park is by far the best place in India to see them. Other special large mammals to be found here include wild Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer and Indian Elephant. We have three full days to explore Kaziranga by both jeep and, perhaps, on elephant back, and to enjoy the profusion of its wildlife. There is always plenty to see here and, if we are very lucky, we may even encounter one or two of the more secretive residents such as Gaur, Leopard Cat, Sloth Bear or even the ever-elusive Tiger!
Returning to Guwahati, we fly to Delhi where hotel rooms have been reserved prior to an early morning transfer to the airport to catch the international flight back to London. Back in the city, there will be time to reflect on the many wonderful wildlife encounters of the preceding fortnight or perhaps to investigate the city shops in search of a few bargains!
Mr & Mrs W.
Our tour leader, Suchit was excellent - personable with great guiding skills. Kaziranga National Park was excellent for wildlife viewing and delivered all we could have hoped for. Both Chitwan and Koshi were also good.
This was a fantastic experience - excellent locations with lots of birds and other wildlife. The tour leader, Manoj, was highly expert and very helpful. We were both impressed by the trip and will travel with Naturetrek again.
Mr & Mrs. M
Suchit had not only excellent ornithological knowledge but his wider understanding of a range of issues was amazing. His English was excellent and he was great company! He worked very hard to ensure that all of the elements of the holiday were meeting our expectations.
Thank you for a super holiday.
This was a trip which gave us wonderful wildlife sightings and spectacular scenery, and also an interesting insight into the everyday lives of the people of nepal and India. Tika is an outstanding leader, combining a sense of humour with endless knowledge on every related subject, and the ability to assess the group and tailor each days activities to suit varying interests.