Nepal has a scenic and altitudinal variety that’s quite unrivalled, and the focus of this tour is the fabulous range of birds and mammals that they support. We begin with a 3-night stay in Kathmandu then drive to Pokhara where we’ll begin our trek through oak forests, rhododendrons and over high ridges. Pheasants, tits, minivets, warblers, sunbirds, rosefinches and laughing-thrushes will be among the special Himalayan bird life we may encounter as we walk. At the end of our trek we’ll raft downstream to our next destination, Chiwan National Park, where we’ll spend three nights. Over 480 bird species have been recorded in the park and we can expect to see nearly half of these during our stay, as well as some of its special mammals! Our final stop on this holiday is Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, one of Asia’s most outstanding wetlands.
- Our least strenuous Nepalese trekking tour
- Explore the cities of Kathmandu, Bhaktapur & Patan
- Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Rufous-bellied Shrike-babbler & Great Parrotbill
- Red Panda & Yellow-throated Marten occasionally seen
- A day’s rafting on the tranquil Seti River takes us downstream, to the lowlands
- Forktails, redstarts, whistling thrushes, kingfishers & birds of prey
- Indian Rhino, Sambar, Chital & Hog Deer, Chitwan National Park
- Elusive mammals such as Tiger, Gaur, Sloth Bear & Leopard possible at Chitwan
- Look for Water Buffalo, Smooth Otter, River Dolphin, Jungle Cat & Gharial, Koshi Tappu
- Led by expert local naturalist guides
Included in the price, except for lunches and dinners in Kathmandu. Allow £35.
A variety of good hotels, lodges and permanent tented camps, most with private facilities. Fully serviced camping whilst trekking and rafting.
Indian Rhinoceros (Paul Stanbury)
Day 14 Rafting, Seti River
Day 15/17 Chitwan National Park
Day 18/20 Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
The highest mountains on earth, thundering rivers, magical montane forests and dense lowland jungles filled with colourful birds and the most exciting of large mammals. For a country that lies 800 kilometres from the sea, Nepal has a scenic and altitudinal variety that is quite unrivalled. It will be our aim on this holiday to explore its many facets, focusing on the fabulous range of birds and mammals that they support. This will be a less strenuous adventure than our other Himalayan journeys so as to allow as wide a range of people as possible to sample Nepal’s delights with us.
We begin this holiday in the Kathmandu Valley. Once the bed of a large and ancient lake, the valley is now a colourful mosaic of rice paddies and quaint red-brick farmhouses, surrounded by high forested hills that support a fine variety of bird and mammal species, including monkeys, Muntjac, Jungle Cat, Leopard and even Tiger! We will explore the best of these forests during our 3-night stay in Kathmandu ... and we will find time to visit the unique array of temples, palaces and narrow alleyways of this fascinating capital, and the neighbouring cities of Bhaktapur and Patan.
A long but beautiful drive through the hills, with tantalising glimpses of the snowbound peaks of Ganesh Himal and Langtang, brings us to the busy town of Pokhara, the starting point of our trek. This 9-day circuit takes us along high ridges into the hills north of Pokhara, where pretty Gurung and Chhetri villages, and magnificent forests of oak and rhododendron decorate the hillsides beneath the towering white summits of Annapurna South and Machhapuchare — the Fish Tail Mountain. Here live numerous bird species; amongst them some of Nepal’s brilliantly coloured pheasants, and a variety of tits, minivets, warblers, laughing-thrushes, rosefinches, sunbirds and woodpeckers. The highlight of our walk is the high ridge between Ghandrung and Ghorepani. Here, some of the best of Nepal’s high forest — now thankfully afforded protection by the Annapurna Conservation Area Project — provides a refuge for some of the rarest Himalayan species. We will be looking in particular for such forest gems as Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Rufous-bellied Shrike-babbler, Vinaceous Rosefinch and Great Parrotbill. Two attractive mammals, the Red Panda and the Yellow-throated Marten, are also occasionally seen here.
On completion of our trek, we will drive from Pokhara to the Seti River for a day’s rafting journey down the beautiful and tranquil Seti Valley. Moving slowly downriver through the forested foothills and into the lowlands of Nepal, we have an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery and birdlife of the river. We will see forktails, redstarts, whistling thrushes, kingfishers and many birds of prey.
As the river slows and broadens into the lowlands of Nepal, we once again take to the land, driving to Chitwan National Park for a stay of three nights in a comfortable jungle lodge. Comprising 932 square kilometres of Sal and riverine forest and grassland, Chitwan has a greater diversity of wildlife than any other area of Nepal. Over 480 species of birds have been recorded in the park and we can expect to see nearly half of these, as well as many mammals and reptiles that may include Indian Rhinoceros, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac, Chital and Hog Deer, Rhesus and Hanuman Monkeys, and crocodiles. Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears and Gaur also occur but are more difficult to see. We search for them all on foot, elephant back and by dugout canoe.
A long journey by road now takes us to our comfortable tented camp at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Three nights at the camp will allow you to enjoy this outstanding Asian wetland by raft, Land Rover and on foot. So rich in birdlife is this remote reserve that over 160 species are likely to be seen, together with such rare animals as Wild Water Buffalo, Ganges River Dolphin, Smooth Otter, Jungle Cat, and Gharial and Marsh Mugger Crocodiles. We are in no doubt that this peaceful and rewarding spot, followed by a spectacular flight back to Kathmandu, past the snowy summits of Mounts Everest, Lhotse, Makalu and Kanchenjunga, will provide a fitting end to this varied and exciting holiday.
The variety of activities from trekking to whitewater rafting to elephant-back safari combined with the wealth of wildlife encountered made this a truly outstanding trip. From the spectacular panorama of 8000 metre peaks to the peaceful river at Koshi, we enjoyed such diverse habitats with our leader always keen to search out the best birds and animals in each area we visited. The title 'Wildlife Adventure' is no overstatement.
It was a wonderfully varied holiday with the opportunity to experience different things. The birdwatching and wildlife experiences were great. We also loved the rafting and the site that we camped on overnight on that part of the trip, although had no experience of doing anything like this before. Hathan was an excellent tour leader and his knowledge of birds extensive and the ability to spot them was little short of amazing.
I can’t emphasise enough how outstanding our guide Som GC was – a brilliant birder who charmed the most elusive birds out of the bushes for us, but also a fantastic ambassador for his country and people who we found so welcoming and friendly – we shall miss him. Our trekking crew was also superbly organised and friendly and added much to the overall enjoyment of our trek.
A most enjoyable holiday. The local agent/guide, Suchit Basnet, performed his role in a faultless manner, always seeking to satisfy the needs of the clients. His knowledge of birds, wildlife and culture of the areas visited were excellent.
M. & F.P.
Looking at our photos and reflecting on the wonderful time we had, we feel we must write to say how impressed we were with our leader Suchit Basnet. He contributed so much to our enjoyment of the tour...we will always have very fond memories of our time.
R. & C.M.
We would like to add that no praise can be too high for Suchit Basnets leadership. His efficiency, helpfulness, expertise, tolerance...and above all his constant irrepressible good humour made an interesting trip into a wonderful holiday.