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Lowland Nepal

Tour Code: NPL01

A comprehensive, 17-day mammal and birdwatching tour of lowland Nepal, visiting the country's three finest lowland sanctuaries, Chitwan and Bardia National Parks, and the remote Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, and the forested hills of the Kathmandu Valley.

17 days from £4695(inc flights) Land Only Price: £4095 SRS: £595 + an optional 4-day extension


We begin our tour in Kathmandu, where we’ll bird on Phulchowki, the highest peak in the Kathmandu Valley. From there we’ll fly to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, one of Asia’s finest wetlands where almost all of Nepal’s wildfowl, waders, storks, ibises, herons, egrets, terns and gulls occur. Next we’ll drive to Chitwan National Park which has over 480 bird species as well as a wealth of mammals including langurs, and elusive species such as Tiger and Sloth Bear, though we’d be very fortunate to spot either of the latter. We then travel west to Bardia National Park where we’ll stay by the Karnali River and explore the park’s many habitats before returning to Kathmandu for our flights home.

  • Nepal has 840 bird species & 164 mammal species
  • Look for minivets, flowerpeckers, yuhinas, laughing-thrushes & rosefinches, Phulchowki
  • Swamp Francolin, Red-necked Falcon & Striated Marsh Warbler, Koshi Tappu
  • Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is the last refuge of wild Water Buffalo in Nepal
  • Look for Ibisbill & White-rumped Needletail Swifts en route to Chitwan
  • Indian Rhino & Sambar, plus Spotted & Hog Deer, Chitwan
  • Raft trip on Karnali River in search of Smooth Otter, Ganges River Dolphin & waterbirds
  • Chance of Tiger & Nilgai, Bardia National Park
  • Enjoy wildlife & culture in unspoilt areas of Nepal
  • Led by expert local naturalist guides

Food

Included in the price, except for dinners in Kathmandu. Allow £35.

Accommodation

Comfortable hotels, lodges and permanent tented camps, most with private facilities.

Tiger (unknown)

Tiger (unknown)

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2/3 Kathmandu

Day 4/7 Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve

Day 8/11 Chitwan National Park

Day 12/15 Bardia National Park

Day 16 Kathmandu

Day 17 Fly London

On this holiday we will make a most thorough tour of Nepal’s finest lowland habitats, thereby maximising our chances of seeing many species from the country’s long list of 840 birds and 164 mammals. In January, numbers of wintering wetland birds are at their peak, as are wintering passerines from Siberia and the high Himalayan breeders down for the winter. The mammals, too, descend; not only to escape the winter cold, but more importantly to take advantage of the new growth of grass, the result of the annual January cut — the only time when local people are allowed into the parks to cut the grass and burn the stubble. We should therefore have a rewarding time as we move from park to park across Nepal’s well-forested lowlands, enjoying a pleasant climate as well as splendid views of the foothills and high peaks of the Himalaya, which are often visible from the lowlands. The weather and views are better still in November, but the numbers of birds and mammals to see, whilst good, are perhaps not quite at their peak.

We begin our holiday at higher altitudes, in Kathmandu (1,370 metres). Here we will drive as close as conditions allow to the 2,740-metre summit of Phulchowki, the highest peak in the Kathmandu Valley, where we will have magnificent views over the Himalaya as well as seeing a large number of bird species, including woodpeckers, minivets, warblers, flycatchers, laughing-thrushes, yuhinas, sunbirds, flowerpeckers and rosefinches.

Our first lowland destination, a short flight from Kathmandu, (past Mounts Everest, Makalu and Kanchenjunga!) is Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, part of a vast expanse of open water, marshes, lagoons, sandbanks, mudflats and dry woodlands that lie to the north of a huge barrage. This is one of Asia’s finest wetlands and a fabulous birdwatching area. Almost all of Nepal’s long list of wildfowl, waders, storks, ibises, herons, egrets, terns and gulls occur here, plus a great variety of landbirds that include such specialities as Swamp Francolin, Red-necked Falcon and Striated Marsh Warbler. This reserve is also the last refuge of the wild Water Buffalo in Nepal, and home to the rare Ganges River Dolphin amongst other mammals. We will explore the area on foot and in inflatable boats.

Our next stop is Chitwan National Park, a long drive from Koshi Tappu but a chance to look for White-rumped Needletail Swifts and Ibisbills en route! The Chitwan National Park is a World Heritage Site that protects 932 square kilometres of dry deciduous forest, tropical evergreen forest and riverine grasslands. A larger number of bird species (over 480) has been recorded here than in any other part of Nepal, and we can expect to see a third of these during our 4-night stay. The park holds a similar wealth of mammals, including the endangered Indian Rhinoceros, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac, Spotted and Hog Deer, and Rhesus and Common Langur Monkeys. Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears and Gaur may also occasionally be seen, as well as Nepal’s two species of crocodile. We will explore the park on foot, on elephant back, in canoes and by jeep.

We next journey westwards, to Bardia National Park, the largest lowland sanctuary and seldom visited by Western ornithologists. We will stay in simple but comfortable accommodation close to the great Karnali River, the largest in Nepal, and spend four days exploring the park’s Sal and riverine forests and grasslands, and the Karnali River itself — which we will view from rafts, allowing close approach of the river’s waterbirds, and occasionally Smooth Otter and Ganges River Dolphin. As well as excellent birding — enabling us to see some of the rarer and more local of Nepal’s western specialities, we will also encounter a similarly exciting range of mammals, with Tiger and Nilgai generally being easier to see here than in Chitwan. Above all this is a delightfully quiet and unspoilt part of Nepal, the beautifully dressed indigenous Tharu and Rana Tharu tribespeople being amongst the most interesting and traditional in Nepal.

Finally, we must return to Kathmandu, flying from the western town of Nepalganj back to the capital for our last night in Nepal. For those wishing to extend their holiday, the grasslands of Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve offer a different and very special range of birds and mammals.

Kathmandu (John Keighley)KathmanduSwyambunath Stupa, KathmanduWalking on Phulchowki, Kathmandu (Paul Stanbury)Rhododendron arboreum, Kathmandu Valley (Paul Stanbury)Koshi Camp, Koshi Tappu Wildlife ReserveKoshi Camp dining hallKoshi river rafting (John Keighley)Fishing boats on the Koshi river (Paul Stanbury)Ganges River Dolphin (Paul Stanbury)Ganges River Dolphin (Adrian Hopkins)Jungle Babbler (Ron Brown)Pied Harrier (Wendy Ball)Blue-throated Barbet (Liz Talmadge)Jungle Cats, Koshi Tappu (Allan Hale)Indian One-horned Rhino (Cliff Garratt)Giant Hornbills, Chitwan National Park (Cliff Garratt)LeopardElephant safari at sunrise, Chitwan (Cliff Garratt)Crested Serpent Eagle (Anne Woodhouse)Black-hooded Oriole (Ron Brown)Rhinos in Chitwan National Park (Cliff Garratt)Spotted Deer, Chitwan (John Keighley)Wild Indian Elephant (Cliff Garratt)Chitwan (John Keighley)Terai Langur (Paul Stanbury)Elephant safari, Chitwan (Paul Stanbury)Morning mist in Chitwan (Paul Stanbury)Rhino crossing the track! (Paul Stanbury)Gaur, Chitwan National Park  (Paul Stanbury)Yak and Yeti Hotel, KathmanduYak and Yeti restaurant, KathmanduFishing CatFishing CatGangetic River Dolphin (copyright Stephen Fryer)Tiger (copyright Margaret Coull)

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sat 11th November 2017 - Mon 27th November 2017

YES

£4695

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £4095 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve ExtensionMore info

Sat 13th January 2018 - Mon 29th January 2018

YES

£4695

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £4095 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve ExtensionMore info

Sat 10th November 2018 - Mon 26th November 2018

YES

£4695

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £4095 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Tour extension: Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve ExtensionMore info

Visiting: Nepal

Detailed tour map

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Tour Extensions

If you wish to prolong your holiday we offer the following extensions.

Suklaphanta Wildlife Reserve Extension

Can I help You?

Rajan Jolly
Operations Manager

Email Rajan

01962 733051

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