Are you an avid birdwatcher? Do you travel to remote locales in search of that elusive bird that flew in for the winter? Do you enjoy roughing it out for a week or two, trekking in forests by day and camping out in tents at night? If your answer to all three questions is an emphatic ‘Yes!’ then this Tour is just the thing for you. Ahom’s intensive 14-day Namdhapa- Saikhaowa- Kaziranga Birding Tour takes you on a journey into the three national forests of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. Over the course of two weeks we explore the forests on foot, by jeep, by boat and even on elephant-back to find as many species of birds as we can. Our tour begins in Dibrugarh from where we drive to Namdhapa National Park in Arunachal Pradesh. After spending the first six days here, our tour continues to Dibru- Saikhaowa and finally to Kaziranga. Our guides are experienced bird watchers determined to get you the maximum number of sightings. The White-cheeked Hill Partridge, Pale- headed Woodpecker, Blue- Naped Pitta, Snowy- throated Babbler, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Crested Kingfisher, Beautiful Nuthatch, Northern Lapwing, Black-hooded Oriole, Great Egret, Smoky Warbler, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Spot-billed Duck are just some of the feathered friends you will be meeting on this tour. So pack your bags and let’s go birding!
Best time to visit: November to March
What is included in the tour
- Hotel accommodation as specified in itinerary
- Tent accommodation (twin share basis) as specified
- All meals as specified in itinerary
- Airport transfers and all local transport in luxury SUV
- All local permits
What is NOT included in the tour
- Any meal not specified in itinerary
- Air travel and/or transport beyond pick-up/drop- off
- Any personal snacks and beverages like alcohol
- Any personal medication
- Travel Insurance
- Experience the thrill of life in the wild by staying in tents inside Namdhapa
- Enjoy a thrilling elephant safari in Kaziranga
- Spot several species of exotic birds while boating in Saikhaowa Biosphere Reserve
- Enjoy exciting birding treks inside the forests of Namdhapa, Saikhaowa and Kaziranga
- Get a fully guided tour to the best viewing spots in the forests
- Arrive at Dibrugarh where our staff will meet you at the airport. From here, it’s a long six- hour drive to Namdhapa National Park. A premier sedan/SUV will be your ride for the duration of the tour. Complimentary hot towels and mineral water bottles are provided en route to help you freshen up after your journey. A hot packed lunch will also be served on the way. The drive takes us through a scenic route across tea gardens, rivers, forests and over the oilfields of Digboi. You can see the topography change as we leave the plains of Assam to enter Arunachal Pradesh at Namchich check post. We will stop for birding between Miao and Deban before checking into the Forest Lodge for the night.
- Today we begin our intensive birding tour in Namdhapa National Park. Over the next 5 days we will trek across various zones of the forest in search of some elusive bird species and spend the nights in camps. After an early breakfast at the forest lodge in Deban, we cross the Noa Dihing River by boat and then trek along the north bank towards Hornbill. This is an 11 kilometre trek via Haldibari and we complete it in about 5 hours. In this part of the forest you can expect to spot species like the White-cheeked Hill Partridge, Pale- headed Woodpecker, Blue- Naped Pitta, Snowy- throated Babbler etc. The Hornbill camp is located in the middle of an evergreen forest at an altitude of 520 metres. This is our first camp stay of the tour. Experience the thrill of spending a night in the forest surrounded by the nocturnal cries of birds and beasts.
- Rise early today for the second day of the birding tour. Have breakfast at the camp and then trek for 3 kilometers to Bulbulia. Hornbill as the name suggests is home to several species of the bird including the Great Hornbill and White- throated Brown Hornbill. From Bulbulia we trek for a further 4 kilometres to Ranijheel (800m). This region is good for spotting several varieties of Flycatchers, Large Scimitar Babblers, Streaked Wren Babblers, Pied Falconets etc. Reach Ranijheel in the early evening and spend the night in tents. There is a possibility of sighting the White- winged Wood Duck at Ranijheel so keep your eyes peeled!
- Today we trek for 5 kilometers to Firm Base. We leave our Ranijheel camp after breakfast, stopping at several viewing points along the way. The beauty of Namdhapa lies in its remoteness. One of the least explored national parks in India, Namdhapa has the true feeling of the wilderness. Each trek comes with its own thrill as you never know what surprise awaits you at the next turn. Our experienced guides take you to the best spots for maximum chance of sightings. However, as with any adventure it all comes down to luck. In this route we will try and spot species like Pale-headed Woodpecker, Grey Peacock Pheasant, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, Crested Kingfisher, Beautiful Nuthatch, etc. Tonight we spend our third night in tents at the Firm Base camp.
- Today we trek for 6 kilometers to Embong and back. This is another zone in Namdhapa where we can spot birds like Collared Treepie, Black-winged Cuckooshrike, Green Cochoa, Coral- billed Scimitar Babbler, Barred Buttonquail etc. Return to Firm Base in the evening and spend the night in tents.
- Today we make our way back to Hornbill. Have an early breakfast at Firm Base Camp and then trek for 7 kilometers over the same route that we took earlier. We will stop for birding at Ranijheel and Bulbulia on the way before reaching Hornbill. This is the chance for you to spot any species that you may have missed on your first stop here. We will be on the lookout for Red-billed Scimitar Babbler, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Rufous-headed Parrotbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, White- wined Wood duck etc. Tonight we spend our last night in tents at the Hornbill campsite.
- After an intensive 5 days of birding and trekking in the forest, we make our way back to Deban crossing Haldibari on the way. This is the last leg of the trek at Namdhapa, and we try and get as many sightings as possible. Try and spot the Red-headed Trogon, White-tailed Robin, Brown Fulvetta, Pale-capped Pigeon etc. At the end of an 11- kilometre trek, we reach Deban and check into the Forest Lodge for the night. Have an early dinner and then retire to your rooms for a well-deserved night of sleep.
- Rise and shine! We get an early start today and after breakfast, go for a birding trek along Vijay Nagar Track. This is a great spot for early morning sightings of the Blue-bearded Bee Eater, Asian Fairy Bluebird, White-tailed Rubythroat etc. After this, we check out of the Forest Lodge and drive 121 kilometers to Tinsuhia. This is where we halt for lunch. Post lunch, its back on the road for a 10 kilometer drive to Dibru-Saikhaowa Entry Point. We stop for a bit of birding in the vicinity of the park and then return to Tinsukia where we check into a hotel for the night.
- Have an early breakfast at the hotel and then set off for a full day’s birding in Saikhaowa. Located on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River, Saikhaowa is a biodiversity hotspot spread over 340 sq. km. There are several internal water bodies inside Saikhaowa that are ideal for boating. Today we will explore the Saikhaowa by boat as well as on foot. Boating gives us a great vantage point for spotting several species of birds that flock to the water for a drink or a quick swim. Keep your binoculars and long lens cameras ready as this region has a large population of the Black-faced Bunting, Bar-headed Goose, Bristled Grass bird, Tufted Duck, Northern Lapwing, Feringous Pochard, Black-hooded Oriole etc. After spending the whole day in Saikhaowa, we return to our hotel in Tinsukia for the night.
- Have breakfast at the hotel and then leave for Kaziranga National Park. This is a 281 kilometer drive that we complete in four and a half hours. The route takes us along the Brahmaputra Valley and across the towns of Tinsukia, Dibrugarh and Jorhat. We reach our hotel in Kaziranga and have a late lunch. We will spend the afternoon birding in nearby tea gardens. This region is rich in species like Great Egret, Smoky Warbler, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Spot-billed Duck etc. Retire early and get a good night’s sleep before the next day’s adventures.
- Over the next 3 days, we explore various zones inside Kaziranga National Park in search of some of the rare bird species that live in the forest. We will make two daily trips into the park either by jeep or on elephant back. Our experienced guides know the best viewing points and will accompany you for on-foot birding in each range. The elephant safari begins at 5:30 in the morning. In addition to birds, you can spot a variety of exotic wildlife like the Indian elephant, swamp deer, Asiatic wild water buffalo, sloth bear, Indian and Chinese pangolin, nine different species of primates, Golden jackal, Bengal fox etc. The bird species you can see in Kaziranga include the White- Rumped Vulture, Brahminy Kite, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Grey- headed Lapwing, Baya Weaver, Spotted Redshank, Wood Sandpiper, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Long- tailed Minivet etc. In the course of these three days, we will also visit the neighbouring Panbari Reserve Forest
- On the final day of the tour, we have a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before departing for Guwahati. We drive for 220 kilometers and stop for some more sightings on the way. The drive takes 4 and a half hours and our car drops you at Guwahati Airport where our tour ends and you can continue your onward journey.