Day 01: Arrival Guwahati (India) – Drive to Samdrup Jongkhar (Bhutan)
Today at your arrival at Guwahati airport, our representative from India will pick you from the air port and drive to Samdrup Jongkhar the eastern end bordering town of Bhutan. Reaching the border complete the immigration and custom formalities you will bid adieu to your one-day helpful guide from India, you then finally get into Bhutan. At your early arrival in Samdrup Jongkhar, we will lead you around for your introductory birding through the dominating tropical jungles of broad-leaf evergreen forest with some fertile terraced fields and through the town areas. The locally common bird like Blue-throated (Luscinia svecica), Chestnut-tailed Starling (Sturnus malabaricus), which is a locally common breeding, habiting open woodlands, cultivation with trees and village groves. Indian Pond Heron (Ardeola arayii), the common breeding throughout the region, which habits along the water including temporary puddles. Ashy Woodswallow or (Ashy Swallow-shrike)(Atramus fuscus), locally common breeding habiting open ground trees, particularly palms. Lineated Barbet (Megalaima Lineata)which is usually finds in the foothill forest, parks and gardens. Blue-bearded Bee- Eater (Nyctyornis athertoni), which habits in the wet forest edges. There are other species you will find in the region like – hill Mynah, Tit and Copper smith etc. Overnight in hotel Samdrup Jongkhar.
Day 02: Samdrup Jongkhar – Morang (Camp)
Today after your breakfast your drive takes you uphill from the lowly of 2000ft/610m all the way through thick vegetation of teak forest, tall bamboos and swaying ferns and then finally to Morang village at an elevation of 4650ft/1418m. You drive takes you with several stops on the way spotting several birds with some low land species and others which you are likely to see are: Wreathed And Great Hornbills, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Tiny Grey-Capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Common Iora, Rufescent Prinia, Bright Blue Black-Naped Monarch, Beautiful Red-And-Black Scarlet Minivet, Black-Crested, Ashy And Black Bulbuls, Pin-Striped Titbabbler, Golden-Fronted Leafbird, Bamboodwelling Yellow-Bellied Warbler, Whiterumped Shama, Outrageous Sultan Tit, Brilliant Asian Fairy-Bluebird, Stunning Long-Tailed Broadbill, Black-Backed Forktail, Slaty-Backed Forktail, White-Capped And Plumbeous Water Redstarts, Grey Wagtail, Brown Dipper and Crested Kingfisher, Hornbills, Barbets and Green Pigeon. . With fewer chances, you will also get to spot the rare encountered birds like Dark-Rumped Swift and Pied Falconet. As your drive continues through forested foothills towards your campsite at Morang, the surrounding broad-leaved forest provides you with different species of birds like Beautiful Nuthatch, Black_Faced Warbler, Grey-Headed Canary-Fly Catcher, Black-Throated Bushtit, Striated Laughing Thrust, Long-Tailed Sibia, Silver-Earned Leiothrix and Refous-Necked Hornbill and so on. In the evening, you will finally arrive at your campsite at Morang at an elevation of 4650ft/1418m.
Day 03: Surrounding Morong Areas
Today you will spend whole day birding through the surrounding area of this small village of Morong (4650ft/1418m) filled with subtropical forest of evergreen broad-leaf forest along with terrace cultivation fields. The region of Morong provides you with many bird species that inhabits the surrounding forest. A number of birds can be seen in the surrounding area like Blue Whistling Thrushes, Green Back Tits, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Little Buting, Chestnut-tailed Minlas, Orange-billed Leaf bird, Yuhinas, Rusty-fronted Barwings, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Bush Wablers and many more.
Day 04: Morang (Camp) – Tashi Gang
Today your drive takes you to the heart of eastern region Tashi Gang (3725ft/1136m). Tashigang is one of the densely populated district in the country with a mild climate. Your drive takes you through lofty forest and rhododendron filled valley. Several stops will be made along the way to spot for birding and some species you are likely to encounter are Ward’s Trogon, Highly Nomadic Golden-Naped Finch, Scarce White-Spectacled Warbler, Rufouswinged Fulvetta, Exquisite Green-Tailed Sunbird, Yellow-Cheeked And Yellow-Browed Tits, Yellow- Rumped Honey Guide, Wall Creeper, White-Tailed Nuthatch and Fire-Breasted Flower Pecker, Himalayan Vulture, Migratory White-Throated Needle Tail and White Throated Laughing Thrush are the species that can be seen. Reaching Trashigang stroll around the small town before you check into your hotel. People here speaks Sharchopa, a dialect spoken in the eastern region.
Day 05: Tashi Gang – Mongar
After your early morning check out, drive to Mongar on your way you will encounter some of the birds like Himalayan Bulbul, Striated Prinia, Blue-Capped Rock Thrush, Hodgson’s Red Start and White-Crested Laughing Thrush. Your drive takes you through some of the breathtaking landscapes and stunning vistas. The road hugs the tight contours of steep tree-covered mountain slopes and ascends sharply to Kori La Pass at 7800ft/2378m. The pass is marked by gaily fluttering prayer flags and a prayer wheel. Pass through the lofty Kori La you then enter through the forest of rhododendron and several other altitude species plants. There are chances of spotting Darjeeling Woodpecker, Chestnut-Crowned Laughing Thrush, Dazzling Green-Tailed Sun Bird, migrant Blue Rock Thrush, Grey-Winged Black Bird, Striking Yellow-Billed Blue Magpie, Slaty-Blue Fly Catcher, Black-Faced Warbler, Rufous-Winged Fulvetta, Rufous-Breasted Accentor and the Flame-Throated Red-Billed Leiothrix, you will also get a chance to spot Ward’s Trogon, Golden Napped Finch and Black Headed Shrike-Babbler, Nomadic Seed-Eater, Crimson-Browed Finch and Yellow-Breasted Green Finch. Your drive finally reaches to Mongar. Overnight in hotel Mongar.
Day 06: Mongar – Lingmithang
Today after your breakfast in the hotel, your drive takes you through fair-sized village of Mongar and then finally you will drop for almost 600m downhill till you reached the open field where you will stop for lunch. The stop has some Rufous-Necked Laughing Thrushes and Crested Buntings. After having your lunch you are given a measurable time for birdinn around the lowland forest patches above the beautiful town of Lingmithang. In the vicinity the chances of birds you can encounter is the lime-colored Common Green Magpie, Chestnut-Winged Cuckoo, Slaty-Backed Forktail, Yellow-Vented Warbler, Blue-and-White Ultramarine Flycatcher, Black-Chinned and Striated Yuhinas. In the late evening you will reach the small guest house where you will spent night.
Day 07, 08, 09 – Lingmethang and Surrounding (Yongkhola & Upper Sengor)
Lingmethang surrounding is rightfully known for birding and today it is considered one of the best birding sites in all of Asia, since the area offers an endless tracts of pristine broadleaved and coniferous forest that spans across a vast altitude ranges which provides a fascinating spots for birds habitats and opportunity for birders. All the three days birding will fall under the protected Thrumshingla National Park where we will go and search for the birds and their habitats in this splendid avian diversity. You will also encounter several mammals. You are likely to see several of Asia’s most sought-after birds and two of our main targets, the beautiful but rare Ward’s Trogon (the male an unbelievable pink and the female an unusual lemon yellow!) and the incomparable and endangered Rufous-necked Hornbill. The additional bird species you can further search and find is like - flocks of busy Greater Rufousheaded and Black-Throated Parrotbills, Golden-Breasted and Yellow-Throated Fulvettas, the Shy Rufousthroated Wren-Babbler, Lesser Yellownape, Crimson-Breasted Woodpecker, the Vivid Asian Emerald Cuckoo, Grey-Cheeked and often-elusive Broad-Billed Warblers, radiant Large Niltava, White-Naped Yuhina, Whitetailed Robin, the much-desired Coralbilled Scimitar Babbler, unobtrusive Mountain Tailorbird, outrageous Himalayan Cutia, Little Forktail, resplendent Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, secretive Blue-winged and Grey-sided Laughingthrushes and one of Asia’s most difficult Laughing Thrushes, the elusive Scaly Laughing Thrush. Two of the rarest birds that we might come across with some luck are the bizarre and once near-mythical Sikkim Wedge Billed Babbler and Long-Billed Wren-Babbler. In your final day along the road to Lingmithang, the surrounding forest covered area provides with some of the bird species like Black-faced, Chestnut-Crowned and Spotted Laughing Thrushes, the Secretive, Rusty-Flanked Treecreeper, shy and reticent Plain-Backed Thrush, Tibetan Serin that flock in large groups, the widespread but Bizarre-Billed Red Crossbill, Slender-Billed Scimitar Babbler, Green Shrike-Babbler, noisy Spotted Nut-Cracker, striking Golden-naped Finch, skulking Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler and White-Browed Short Wing, tiny Chestnut-headed Tesia, Bar-winged Wren-Babbler, Satyr Tragopan – and Regal Pheasant. Finally, we will set down for our night halt camp at Sengor. In the evening you will set down for your camp.
Day 10: Sengor Camp – Bumthang
After your morning breakfast in the camp, we then head to Bumthang which is our today’s destination and on the way as you traverse through the surrounding slope of Thrumsing La National Park through diverse ecosystem you will get a chance to encounter Great Parrot Bill and Fulvous Parrot Bill. As you continue your journey you will also get to encounter with Red-Billed Chough, Russet Sparrow, Plain Mountain Finch, Fird-Tailed Sun Bird, Fire-Tailed Myzornis, Gray-Crested and Rufous-Vented Tits. Additional species you are likely to encounter is Himalayan Blue Tail, White Browned Bush Robin, nomadic Rusous-Breasted Bush Robin, White-Colared Black Bird, Rufouse-Gorgeted Fly Catcher, Eurasian Wren, Dark-Rumped, Dark-Breasted, Common Rose Finches, Olive-Backed Pipit and Snow Pigeon. Finally, you will reach Bumthang, the drive takes you through some of the stunning landscapes, settlements and if the weather is clear, the panoramic view of the highest unclimbed peak Mt. Gangkar Punsum will be seen at a height of 24735ft/7541m. Reaching Bumthang check in to your hotel.
Day 11: Bumthang – Trongsa
Today after having taken the sights of Bumthang your journey leads you to Trongsa lassing through numerous small villages of Chumey valley. En route you will encounter several birds inhabits montane forest undergrowths and reaching the high point at Yotong La at (11000ft/3345m) spend valuable time is search of different species that habits the region. Birds that you will encounter along the way until you reach Trongsa are the Brown Parrot-bill, Himalayan Rosefinch, Eurosian Sparrow hawk, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Bush Robis, Bizza, Spotted Black-faced Laughing Thrush, Alpine Accentor, and White-winged Grosbeak. Trongsa lies at an altitude of 6800ft/2074m. At your arrival check in to your hotel and after short break drive to visit the impressive Trongsa Dzong. It was built in 1647 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel and in the recent past years it played an pivotal role in the history of the country. After the dzong you can also visit the Ta Dzong or watch tower. It was built in 1652 to watch over the massive Trongsa dzong. Today it was turned into a museum, which displays Buddhist art and history of the Bhutan monarchy. In the evening stroll around the tiny and compact town of Trongsa.
Day 12: Trongsa – Tingtibi
Today your drive takes you further south of Trongsa to Tingtibi, which pass via Zhemgang, another southern bordering province of Trongsa. The drive takes you through deep vegetation crossing several tropical broad-leaf forest, impressive valley, and farmland and rolling landscape en-route. The southern lowland forest en-route provides you with several opportunities to spot several bird species, which inhabits the surrounding forest. Commonly encountered seasonal birds en-route are Little Forktail, Hair-crested Dragon, Oriental Magpie-robin, Blue-capped Rock-Thrush, Speckled, White-browed Piculats, Chestnut Crested Bunting, and Spot-winged Starling. As you continue your drive lower down the valley, the dense tropical broad-leaf forest of surrounding Zhemgang region, you will encounter some of the special bird species like – Nuthatch, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Himalayan Cutia, Red-faced Liocichla, Blue-winged Laughing Thrush and Hodgson’s Hawk-Cuckoo. Your driving distance is quite long but the mother nature will never disappoint you. Reaching Tingtibi, stroll around the surrounding village and in the late evening turn to your camp.
Day 13: Tingtibi sightseeing & Birding
Tingtibi is one of the less visited tourist site in Bhutan. It is visited by very few tourist. The region is one of the another birding paradise along with Lingmithang. It has much beautiful and undisturbed natural forest offering much kind of bird species for bird enthusiasts. The surrounding valley provides wide array of bird habitats because of it pristine evergreen forest. The valley stretches between the streamside lowland forest and deciduous thick valley that grows rich bamboos. It has got extremely rich wildlife species including the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, one horned Rhino, clouded Leopard, Himalayan black Bear, gangetic Dolphin, Pangolin and golden Languor. It is also home for more than 365 species of birds which has been officially recorded with additional 200 species believed to be in residence. To name few – Rufous-Throated Patridge, Long-tailed Broadbill, Blue-winged Laughingthrush, Square-tailed Drongo-Cuckoo, Lesser Necklaced, secretive Spotted Elachura, Nepal Fulvetta, giant black and yellow Sultan Tit, Speckled Piculet, noisy Bay Woodpecker, Pale-billed Parrotbill, Whitehooded Babbler, nomadic Pin-tailed and Wedge-tailed Green Pigeons, Grey-throated Babbler, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Banded Bay Cuckoo, Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Red-headed Trogon, Rufous-faced and Yellow-bellied Warblers.
Day 14: Tingtibi – Trongsa
Today after your breakfast, a leisurely drive takes you back to Trongsa. En-route you can stop to for birding along the way which you might have missed before. Reaching Trongsa check in to your hotel and rest day at leisure. You can also walk around the valley to spot some birds available in the region.
Day 15: Trongsa – Punakha
Your drive takes you pass several groves of evergreen and broadleaved varieties, then take you passing through fir, juniper and dwarf bamboo meadows, and finally reached down to Punakha at 4400ft/1342m. This long and pleasant journey takes you through several villages and farmland and through dense forest of broadleaved after crossing the black mountain. Along the way there are many chances for you stop and spot some of the bird species like – Great Parrotbill, Black-throated Parrotbill, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Wall-creeper Minivet, Green-tailed Sunbird, Bush-warbler, Golden-bush Robin, Long-tailed Menivet, Snow Pigeon etc.. As you traverse the road, finally descent downhill from Pele La Pass which stands at an altitude of 11070ft/3375m which is marked by chorten and prayer flags. The descent is mainly through virgin forest with the magnolia tree blossoming in April and then through several settlement and terrace of rice field. You will then finally drop down to an altitude of 4400ft/1342m. Reaching Punakha, check in to your hotel and rest day at leisure.
Day 16: Punakha surrounding & Tashithang Valley
Today at your early breakfast in the hotel drive to Tashithang which lies at the northern end of Punakha. In the morning we will do the birding in the surrounding valley and then slowly turn back to Punakha via following the Mo Chhu river. It is one of the most biologically rich areas in Punakha with warm broad-leaf and sub-tropical forest, the surrounding area inhabits several endangered and existing wild animal species along with many other bird species. It is substantially situated within the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park and you will be more inside the park searching for your favorite birds available in the surrounding. The most importantly the globally threatened White-billed Heron can be encountered in this valley. There are several bird that you can spot and here are some list - Bar-winged Flycatcher Shrike, Small Niltava, Pale-blue, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Slaty-backed and Ferruginous Flycatchers, Crested Kingfisher, Tawny Fish Owl, , Himalayan Swiftlet, Great and Golden-throated Barbets, Short-billed Minivet, Rufous Woodpecker, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, migratory Hodgson’s Redstart, miniscule Slaty-bellied Tesia, Chestnuttailed Starling, skulking Lesser Shortwing and many other. Reaching Punakha before 6:00pm, you can make a short visit to this impressive Punakha Dzong which is the second largest dzong built by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel in the year 1637. It served as the capital until 1955 and continually served as the winter capital of the monastic body. After the dzong, drive down to the newly founded Khuruthang Town, en-route stop to see the river birds along the Puna Tsang Chhu river.
Day 17: Punakha – Thimphu
Today your drive takes you crossing Dochula Pass at an elevation of 10150ft/3100m. We suggest you making an early start as on a clear day the top provide you with un –surpassing view of the eastern Himalayan mountain range. Moreover, these pass is unlike any of the pass that you will encounter in Bhutan. The pass also offers 108 chortens built in 2004. Beside this amazing chortens the settings of the eastern Himalayan range that you will get to see are Mt. Masagang (23501ft/7165m), Mt. Tsenden Gang(23288ft/7100m), Mt. Teri Gang (23944ft/7300m), Mt. Jejegangphu Gang (23288ft/7100m), Mt. Kangphu Gang (23288ft/7100m), Mt. Gangkar Puensum (24735ft/7541m). The drive takes you ascend through mixed evergreen broad-leaved forest and various settlement en-route stop to spot some of the species like Rufous-chined Laughing Thrush, Pygmy Wren-Babbler, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon. Spending valuable time at the surrounding slop of the pass you will encounter fabulous birds like , Blackwinged Cuckooshrike, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Snowybrowed Flycatcher, Fire-capped Tit, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Whitecollared Blackbirds, Ultramarine Flycatcher, radiant-green Fire-tailed Myzornis, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Whitebrowed Fulvetta and Spotted Nutcracker, Hill Partridge, Fulvous Parrotbill and scarce Spot-winged Grosbeak can be seen along the slope. After having lunch at the pass the drive takes you all the way downhill until you reach Thimphu. Reaching the capital check in to your hotel and after short break walk down the downtown of Thimphu.
Day 18: Thimphu – Paro – Chele La Pass
Today at your early morning breakfast in the hotel drive to Paro that can be negotiable at 1:00 hour and reaching the town of Bondey following the ascending road that leads to Haa you will finally stop at the cool crispy Chele La Pass (12,200ft/3720m), the birding destination. As you begin your drive en-route, you will encounter some bird species, which are locally common. As traversing uphill drive towards Chele La your road takes you through a spectacularly lovely forest of pine, oak, and rhododendron that are in bloom in the month of May and April. Pnec you reached the tree line you will unbelievably see the birds like Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasants, Kalij, Satrys Tragopan, Red-headed Bluefinch, Collared & white-winged Grosbeaks, Darjeeling Woodpecker, Mountain-finch, Goldcrest Wabler, Rufouse Breasted Accentor, Spotted Laughing-thrush, Eurosian Woodcock and so on. In the evening, return back to Paro for night halt.
Day 19: Paro – Hike to the famous Tiger’s Nest
Today at your early start, we embark on a somewhat adventurous journey of the day – ascending 3000ft/915m cliff to reach the most spectacularly located goemba in the Himalaya the Taktsang Goemba. You need to keep in mind that the uphill walk takes you around 3-4 hours at an average speed. The path is well laid and the site is the place where Ugyen Rinpoche concealed many profound treasures. Ugyen Rinpoche also manifested in the terrifying form of Dorji Drolo here in order to subdue malevolent spirits and demons. Because of this, the place is one of the supreme sacred places and its name, Taksang Senge Samdrup, became renowned throughout the world. Returning back drive to the town for lunch and after lunch we will spot some of the available birds along the Pa Chhu river. You will encounter Black-tailed Crake, Pin-tailed Snipe, Rosy Pipit, Ibisbill and along the valley you will also encounter Red-crested Pochard, Eurosian Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Ruddy Shelduck, Bulbul, Green-billed Malkoha, Orange-billed Leafbird, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Brown Dipper and striking White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstarts. In the late evening stroll around the tiny town of Paro for your last night shopping and buying gifts for your family and friends back home.
Day 20: Depart
A sensational take off