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Your Northeast India wildlife holiday starts on arrival in Kolkata where you will be received by our representative at Dum Dum Airport and transferred to your hotel. You can spend the day relaxing or exploring this Indian metropolitan city.
Kolkata, a bustling city on the banks of Hooghly River is a cultural hotspot. The city of poets and artists also boasts of wonderful architecture like Victoria Memorial, St.Paul's Cathedral, Hooghly Bridge and Vidyasagar Setu Bridge. Soak in the culture of the 'City of Joy' by hopping on to a tram and explore the treasures of the historic city.
Manas Wildife Sanctuary is a lovely UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to a rich variety of wildlife that includes the Tiger, Pygmy Hog, Indian Rhinoceros, Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Indian Elephant. Manas is also famous for birds such as the Bengal Florican.
Our accommodation here is Manas Jungle Camp. It is run by the Manas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society that was formed by the local Bodo conservators who are instrumental in Manas’ conservation. We will be greeted by our hosts with a short traditional ceremony, after which our local guide will brief us about the tour.
We leave in the morning on a day-long wildlife safari in Manas National Park with a conservation team. Today we will explore the Eastern Core of Manas and also visit the park’s patrolling camps and conservation centers. We return to our camp in the evening, where we will be served tea and have an ‘infotainment’ session with one of the conservation project coordinators. For dinner, we might get to enjoy local cooking that uses ingredients from the village’s unique organic farm.
Today we will set out in the morning once again on a day-long wildlife tour of Manas National Park. A local conservator and naturalist will lead this exploration. Picnic lunch will be served. In the afternoon, we may get to participate in a plantation drive that aims to expand the buffer forests of the area. We return to our camp in the evening, where we will get to enjoy a local cultural program (Bagrumba) performed by the villagers. Through the medium of dance and song, we will be told the interesting story of the local Bodos and their long association with Manas and its wilderness.
After breakfast, we head back to Guwahati, from where we will be catching an overnight train to Dibrugarh.
You will be met by our representative on arrival at Dibrugarh. From here, it is a 2 hour drive to Soikhowaghat to board a ferry (1 hour) on the headwaters of the Brahamputra river to reach Sadiya Ghat. From Sadiya Ghat, we drive for 2 hours through the rural areas of Assam and Arunachal to reach Dibang Valley Jungle Camp. It is located at the 12th mile marker, inside a lush farm house that commands a breathtaking view of the Dibang river basin, the contiguous forests and the enigmatic Mishmi hills. It is a southern extension of the Great Himalayan Mountain Range that is famous for birding.
During our stay in the Mishmi Hills area, we will visit the Mishmi villages and get a glimpse of the region’s local culture- traditions, farming, weaving, house-building and more. You might want to try your hand at trout-fishing, rafting on the nearby river or go on a birdwatching hike in the mountain. Some of the birds include Sclater’s Monal, Blyth’s and Temmink’s Tragopan, Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Pale-capped Pigeon, Ward’s Trogon, Dark-sided Thrush, Green and Purple Cochoa, Rusty-bellied and Gould’s Shortwing, Beautiful Nuthatch, Rusty-throated and Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Fire-tailed Myzornis, at least four of the Parrotbill species, Black-headed Greenfinch, Scarlet Finch, and Grey-headed Bullfinch. In the evening, we may be able to conduct a cooking session where you will get a taste of authentic Mishmi cuisine.
Depending on the weather conditions, we might go on a bird walk, a short hike and a jeep expedition to Mayodia Pass – a snow point.
Today we drive for 4 hours to the picturesque villages of Chongkham near the Lohit river. The Lohit is one of the main tributaries of the Brahmaputra. Our hosts here will be the local Khampti families. We will enjoy a freshly cooked Khampti lunch, after which our local guide will take us around the village and tell us about the Khampti way of life.
On our second day in Chongkham, we visit a monastery and Buddhist Pagoda, follow jungle trails and go on a boat expedition on the Lohit river. In the evening, we will get another glimpse of the local culture in the form of a Khampti cultural dance performance.
After breakfast, we return to Dibrugarh and head for Dihing River Camp. Dihing River Camp is situated on the banks of the Buri Dihing river. The camp has two Chang cottages (traditional Bamboo huts on stilts) with attached western bathrooms.
We can enjoy a boating and fishing expedition on the Dihing River and explore the wilderness of Jokai Reserve Forest. A traditional Assamese lunch will be served at Dihing River Camp. In the evening, the local villagers will perform a Bihu cultural program.
Today we do community work and help out in a number of community initiatives being carried out in the Jokai Reserve Forest and Jaypur Rainforest areas. One of them, for example involves the distribution (by boat) of medical supplies to the local fishing communities.
Today, after lunch, we head for Dibrugarh station to board an overnight train to Guwahati (usually the Rajdhani Express).
On reaching Guwahati, we will drive to the airport to catch a flight to Kolkata. You will be welcomed by our representative upon arrival at Kolkata airport, who will help you get to your hotel. You can spend the day relaxing or explore the city if there is time.
This is the last day of your Indian wildlife and community service tour and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
Fitness is vital for this level of activity, as the environment traversed may be remote and challenging. These rugged experiences include long walks, trekking, cycling or rafting in isolated areas through variable weather conditions for up to eight to ten hours a day. These trips are usually 13 to 19 days in duration. Maximum altitude reached will be 4000m and you need to be very fit in order to withstand the weather conditions. Good physical condition is essential and previous hill-walking experience or preparation is advisable.
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