Tale Of White-Bellied Heron 13 Days / 12 Nights

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13 Days / 12 Nights


TRIP END : Gelephu

GRADE : Easy

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In search of the critically endangered white-bellied heron is one of the life changing birding trip in our list for Bhutan and the trip is timed to coincide with the end of autumn months. This trip will take you in the right time and right location to begin your search of this critically endangered bird. The thriving areas on this tour are Punakha, Wangduephodrang, Tsirang, Sarbang and Zhemgang, the only regions in the country that harbors this critical endangered species in abundance. These regions are well known area for white-bellied heron, though the bird also presents in other district as well. White-bellied Heron Tour with many other great birds, mammals (big or small), and iconic places, as well as the rich Bhutanese culture will be the most memorable and enriching trip of Bhutan. The pace is slow and most of our day birding is done spending much of your time along the river side whilst walking the most productive section with the aim of spotting and photographing the critically endangered white-bellied heron, one of the most endangered bird species in the world.  You will also be entertained by other exciting and mouth-watering river birds. Do not miss this epic adventure.

What to Expect: This epic photographic adventure is designed for both beginners, interested in learning and knowing more about the habits and habitats of this critically endemic bird, and to more experienced photographers.  On this trip we do not obtain much snaps of a long lost of forest bird species but rather we opt and concentrate on obtaining images of white-bellied heron and other river birds. This may often mean we spend long periods with just a few subjects.

Local Leader: On this adventure you will have our passionate and energetic local tour leaders, who are absolutely committed to provide you with every resource necessary to help you understand your subject and get the shot of a lifetime. They will offer you with knowledge base information and excellent service to deliver the ultimate photographic expedition and help you realize your dream holiday.

Sustainable Photography: Whatever approach you take, it must be sustainable. Your photographic journey through Bhutan should be a positive experience for both you, the photographer and for Bhutan – its natural environment, people, culture and tradition. You need to be socially responsible in behaving ethically and sensitive towards social, cultural, economic and environment of the place that you travel. Make a significant contribution towards sustainability.

Be Patient: Wildlife photography is not just simply taking a pictures, it is all about creating a moment. It is mostly a waiting game where you might spend hours together scanning the horizon for your intended subject. The natural setting and the wildlife that lives in these natural setting are unpredictable. It is 98% patience, 01% luck and 01% skills. Anything can happen at any time and most things happen only rarely. Birds are wild animals and although some can be confiding, most do not tolerate the inevitable extra noise. To get to know you’re targeted subject and their behavioral patterns, it is imperative that you need to have a great deal of patience, allowing yourself enough time at a location.

Tailor-Made Itinerary: If you are not happy with this tour or unable to find the perfect tour itinerary on our website or have your own date schedule, you are free to customize your Bhutan tour according to your need and interest. With years of experience in organizing different tour itineraries, we can work together to design a itinerary that fit your fancy, by selecting appealing destination and tailor a tour program that fits you.

Bird Highlights: White-bellied Heron, Great Cormorant, Palla’s Fish Eagle, Blue-throated Barbet, Great Barbet, Great Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Hill Partridge, Ward’s Trogon, Hume’s Warbler, Ibisbill, Northern Pintail, Ruddy Shelduck, River Lapwing, Common Kingfisher, Common Merganser, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wagon, Mallard, Bar-headed Geese, Great Barbet, Grey-hooded Warbler, Eurasian Teal, Ferruginous Duck, Crested Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Red-crested Pochard and Tufted Duck etc.

January February March October November December

At your arrival at Poro, meet with your guide and transfer to your hotel. After the break your introductory sightseeing in Paro begins with a visit to Paro Dzong towered over Paro Chu and the valley below. The date of the dzong goes back to 1646 and was built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. After the daong a short 5 minute drive takes you to Ta Dzong, later established as National Museum in 1967 and holds a fascinating collection of arts, relics, religious painting and armor of the ancient warriors. After the museum drive to visit the Jangsa Dumtse Lhakhang before you enter the town. This temple was built in the shape of a chorten and was built by Tibetan saint Thongtong Gyelpo in 1421. Later in the evening stroll around the tiny town of Paro.

At your early morning breakfast, drive to a cool crisp Chelela Pass for your first day introductory birding in Bhutan. The pass is surrounded by lovely forest of oaks, fir, pine, juniper and rhododendron that are ablaze with blood red and pink blooms during April and May. Chelela is considered home to many great birds including some of the most spectacular in the Himalayas like satyr tragopan, blood pheasant, Himalayan monal, chestnut-breasted partridge and kalij pheasant. The site is renowned among many great birdwatchers and photographers. Other species you are likely to spot are Darjeeling woodpecker, Himalayan white-browed rosefinch, redheaded bullfinch, white-winged grosbeaks, plain mountain finch, long-tailed thrush, rufous-breasted accentor and spotted laughingthrush.

After your early morning breakfast drive to Punakha, the drive takes you through crossing the bustling capital Thimphu. In Thimphu make a short drive to the newly build Buddha statue with great view of the capital city. Later a 45 minute drive takes you to Dochula Pass at 3100m. Along with the great view of the eastern Himalayan mountain range, the eastern side of the pass, along the packed horse trail forest of fir, rhododendron, and oak and bamboo offers great birds. Some of the common species found are spotted-laughingthrush, fire-capped tit, yellow-bellied flower picker, rufous-breasted bush robin, slender-billed scimitar babbler, kalij pheasant and satyr tragopan etc. In the evening drive to Punakha.

Bhutan Government uphold a strategy of “High Value-Low Impact” tourism policy, which serves as the purpose of creating an image of exclusive and high-yield destination among travelers.  Therefore, Wild Mountain Adventure has initiated its tourism policy – to maintain its environment, ecological friendly, preservation of social-cultural and economically viable, prevent from overrun mass tourism and while at the same time to ensure visitors get the most out of their trips. The minimum cost outlined by Wild Mountain Adventure offers the charm of the isolated Himalayan kingdom, which was founded on the principle of sustainability.

Single Individual
USD 3,160/-
Group of 02 Members
USD 3,040/-
Group of 03 Members and Above
USD 3,040/-

One Time Bank Transfer Charges 

USD 45/-

The best and more convenient way to transfer your Bhutan tour payment is to wire through bank transaction.  Wild Mountain Adventure will provide the detail of the bank once you are fully conformed to your trip. We also accept credit cards, visa card or other means of transaction, however these form of transaction creates lots of problem both for clients and us as a company. Therefore, the better way is to wire through bank. Once after the arrival of your tour payment to Bhutan, we will send you the copy of the receipt. Your tour payment will remain with Tourism Council of Bhutan until your trip is over. Make sure a full payment should be made in advance along with your flight cost prior 3/4 months in advance to ensure a smooth planning of your trip. After receiving the payment, we will work out for your tour formalities and sent you the necessary copy of your trip including your visa and conformed flight.

Remember, when you transfer your tour payment to Bhutan other than USD, it is common that there will be a small shortfall on receipt of the payment. So make sure that your bank work out your currency equivalent of USD amount while sending.

Travel Insurance - We strongly recommend that you take out a holiday insurance policy. Please ask your travel agent or speak to your own insurance broker.

Please Note - Wild Mountain Adventure cannot guarantee accommodation in a particular hotel and reserves the right to substitute a hotel of similar standard should the situation requires it. In a large city and major towns, the quality of every aspect of Bhutan’s hotels and resorts is up to the highest international standards, but in more remote and adventure destinations, the first class hotels and resorts offering the fullest range of facilities do not always exist.

01 Rate inclusive of all three meals both local and continental healthy cuisine
02 Rate inclusive of all accommodation [three star hotels with double/twin sharing basis]
03 Rate inclusive of air-conditioned tourist standard transportation
04 Rate inclusive of local tour English-speaking licensed guide on all your sightseeing tours
05 Rate inclusive of extensive choices of flexible comprehensive tour itineraries
06 Rate inclusive of Bhutan Government Royalty fees of $ 65 per person per nights
07 Rate inclusive of all entry fees, museum fees and historical attraction fees
08 Rate inclusive of all applicable taxes – BST 10%, Service Charge 10%
09 Rate inclusive of one time visa fee of USD 40
10 Rate inclusive of airport arrival and departure transfer in Bhutan

01 Rate inclusive of support team consists of qualified guide, cook, and a number of assistants
02 Rate inclusive of dinning tent, toilet tent, dome or A-frame sleeping tent (twin-sharing), mattress, fold-able tables & chairs, plates & washing bowl
03 Rate inclusive of basic First Aid kit box
04 Rate inclusive of drinks including local wine

01 Arrival Refreshment
02 One bottle mineral water each a day
03 A small farewell gifts on the day of departure
04 One time cultural program for group exceeding above 7 members
05 One time farewell dinner for group above 7 members at local farmhouse to give an insight into the traditional Bhutanese cuisine

01 Rate does not include incoming & outgoing Bhutan airfares and airport taxes
02 Rate does not include drinks and alcohols and non- alcoholic beverage
03 Rate does not include guides speaking language other than English
04 Rate does not include any service outside Bhutan
05 Rate does not include one time bank transfer charge of USD 45
06 Rate does not include tipping to guide, driver etc.
07 Rate does not include extra expenses or loss due to nature and un-foreseen events beyond the control of our management
08 Rate does not include expenses of personal nature like tipping, laundry, potter, telephone/fax calls, camera/video camera fee at monuments, medical expenses, any insurance etc

Hot Spring Therapy

We see fewer tourists giving value in discovering the natural hot spring, though it is common among the local Bhutanese people. There are numerous hot spring found in Bhutan and has been used by the Bhutanese people for centuries with a belief that water has miraculous healing power and medicinal properties to cure certain diseases, like arthritis, joint pain, and sinus.  Whatever your travel style may be, we will be happy to arrange 1 or 2 night hot spring program in your itinerary to make you experience great outdoor. 

Rafting Down the Untamed Waterways

Put a twist to your Bhutan adventure by adding one or two hours river rafting and kayaking program for your trip in Bhutan. The untamed fast flowing glacier fed rivers of Bhutan truly offers a kind of experience for those seeking adventure in an unspoiled and unexplored water ways of Bhutan. Regardless of your age and experience, beginner or professionally trained, just grab the paddle, get your feet wet with laughing and screaming and raft down the monstrous rivers with horrendous rapid and roaring current in a guided rubber raft. As you raft down the wide, strong and infinitely more challenging rivers, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences. 

Horse Riding (day excursion)

When you are in Bumthang, experience a day excursion on going horse riding in the scenic Tang village. We offer three different options of riding suitable for all skill level with ride duration approximately between 4-5 hours with longer ride suitable for more advanced riders.  The horses are small and has weight limit of 100kgs for the excursion. They are in good condition, obedient, well trained and capable of handling the itinerary planned.  Bridles and bits are appropriate with properly fit saddles similar to what we call English and comfortable for the riders. The trails are well maintained making it easier and enjoyable for the rider to experience and explore the hidden side of the kingdom.

Bhutan Hotel Upgrade

Choices of luxury international boutique and spa hotels are mushrooming across the country. Upgrade your accommodation for your trip in Bhutan. We have vast network of selected and preferred tourist standard hotels and lodges throughout the country. However, you can escape to an oasis where you can just let go and savor every relaxing moment that is unique to a higher level in a luxurious five star boutique hotels. All you do is pick up your choices boutique hotels for upgrade on your Bhutan trip, and it’ll be waiting when you get there.

Deluxe Classic Camping

Bhutan is all about great outdoors. The best way to experience this enchanting kingdom is by staying and spending one or two nights next to the community village, rivers, mountain lakes, imposing glaciers and unspoiled nature. It offers a certain intimacy with the environment that is seldom experienced by many. It is a journey of natural discovery with self-contemplation. The freshness of mountain breeze, the smell of spring flowers, the changing landscape of Himalayas, the sights and sounds of nature, all comes together to make you see the world with new eyes. 

Ride the Kingdom on Two Wheels

For the adventure lovers and keen cyclist, there is no better way to seek adventure in an unspoiled and unexplored environment than on two wheels. While you are here in Bhutan taste a bit of riding the kingdom on bike and unearth an amazing array of personal experience, which is seldom experienced in vehicle. The flat and almost traffic free roads make for excellent outings with some camping through in. For the experienced bikers there are challenging off-road dirt trails that winds through rough terrain. Whether you are into 1-2 days leisurely cultural ride or full biking tour simply select and add the components that is right for you. We have available biking trip to suit different levels of ability and interest. 

Hot Stone Bath

Besides hot spring there are traditional hot stone bath which is of heating up stones and then soaking in the water that is in turn heated by the stones. This creative hot stone bath method has been an important part of Bhutanese family life and traditional medicine for centuries. It is commonly used by Bhutanese people, believing that the heat of the water or the mineral released from the rock and the local herb all come together to producing medicinal benefits or cure certain diseases like joint pains, hypertension, stomach disorders and arthritis. 

A game of Archery

Archery plays a significant role in the everyday life of the Bhutanese people. The game is played differently from the international game and is seen as a way of celebration, social gathering, communication and developing relationship with people. Archery tournament and competitions are held throughout the country amongst the people, departments, and villages and between regional districts and is played during religious and public holidays. It is a love that is shared by all Bhutanese people that has been manifested in the local lore, art, myths, legends and deities. The targets are placed at long distance as 140 meters where archer shoots one pair of arrow each way. 

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