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Your Northeast India wildlife and birdwatching tour begins 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.
Today after breakfast we drive to the airport to board our flight to Guwahati. You will be met at Guwahati by our representative, who will help you get to your first wildlife destination on this tour- Manas National Park (approx 5 hours drive). We will check in to the lodge and end the day with dinner.
Manas National Park and Sanctuary is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage site in Assam, India. It is also a Project Tiger reserve, an elephant reserve and a biosphere reserve. Located in the Himalayan foothills, it covers an area of 950 sq km (square kilometres) and is continuous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.
Manas is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife, such as the Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.
This day begins early in the morning with an Elephant safari in Manas. This is followed by a game drive in the central range (between Basbari and Mothanguri) of Manas National Park. The sanctuary has diverse fauna consisting of Asian Elephants, Indian Rhinoceroses, Gaurs, Asian Water Buffaloes, Barasingha, Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Asian Golden Cats, Capped Langurs, Golden Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Slow Lorises, Hoolock Gibbons, Smooth-coated Otters, Sloth Bears, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Sambar Deer and Chital.
After lunch, we will go on a Manas game drive to sight more of the amazing wildlife of the sanctuary. We return at dusk when the park closes for the day.
The whole day will be spent birding in Manas. We will visit eastern Manas, where we will attempt to spot the elusive Bengal Florican in the abundant seed farm of Kokilabari.
The ecosystem of the park offers diverse habitats to a number of birds, including the endangered Bengal Florican and the Great Hornbill. It is a birdwatcher's paradise because it shares its boundary with the Royal Manas Park in Bhutan. Some of the other birds that can be seen here are the Greater Adjutant, Black-tailed Crake, Rufous-rumped and Bristled Grassbirds, Hodgson's Bushchat, Rufous-vented Laughing Thrush, Finn's Weaver, Red-headed Trogon, Swamp Francolin, Wreathed and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Marsh and Jerdon's Babblers and Pied Harrier.
We return to the lodge at dusk after an eventful day of birding and the wonderful experience of getting close to nature.
Today we drive to Orang National Park (approx 5 hours drive), where we will be staying for the next two days. We will go on an excursion into the forest after lunch and return to the lodge at dusk.
Orang National Park, located on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River in the Darrang and Sonitpur districts of Assam, India, covers an area of 78.81 square kilometres (30.43 square miles). It was established as a sanctuary in 1985 and declared a National Park on 13th of April 1999.
It is also known as the mini Kaziranga National Park (IUCN site) since the two parks have a similar landscape made up of marshes, streams and grasslands and are inhabited by the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros. The park has rich flora and fauna, including Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceroses, Pygmy Hogs, Elephants, Water Buffaloes and Tigers. It is the only stronghold of Rhinoceros on the north bank of the Brahmaputra River.
Today we begin the day with an early morning safari in Orang National Park. The park has a significant mammal population , apart from the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros, which is the dominant species of the national park, the other key species sharing the habitat are the Royal Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Elephant, Pygmy Hog, Hog Deer and Wild Boar. Other mammals in the park are the Blind Gangetic Dolphin, Indian Pangolin, Rhesus Macaque, Bengal Porcupine, Indian Fox, Small Indian Civet, Otter, Leopard Cat, Fishing Cat and Jungle Cat. The park is also home to several reptiles and snakes like Indian Rock Python, Black Krait, King Cobra, Cobra and Monitor Lizard.
We return to the lodge for breakfast. You can relax till after lunch, when we will head into Orang once again for a game drive. Orang is a popular destination for birding; it is home to a variety of migratory birds, water birds, predators, scavengers and game birds. More than 222 species of birds have so far been recorded, some of which are: Spot-billed Pelican, White Pelican, Black-necked Stork, Greater Adjutant Stork, Lesser Adjutant Stork, Ruddy Shelduck, Gadwall, Brahminy Duck, Mallard, Pintail, Hornbills, Pallas's Fishing Eagle, King Fisher and Woodpecker, in addition to forest and grassland birds.
Return to the lodge after a packed day of game drives in the park.
After breakfast, we drive to Nameri National Park (approx 3 hours drive). On reaching the Eco Camp, you are free to relax or explore your surroundings for the rest of the day.
Nameri is regarded as one of the most scenic national parks of Assam. It is located at the foothills of the eastern Himalayas in the Sonitpur district of Assam, India. It is famous for the high density of its Elephant population. The park covers an area of 213 sq km (square kilometres) and stretches along the banks of the Himalayan River, Jia Bhoroli.
Nameri shares its northern boundary with the Pakhui Wildlife Sanctuary of Arunachal Pradesh. Together they constitute an area of over 1,000 sq km of semi-evergreen, moist deciduous forests with cane and bamboo brakes, and narrow strips of open grassland along the rivers.
We have one full day at Nameri. You will have the opportunity to go on a Nameri jungle walk, take a boat ride, or even go rafting on the Jia Bhoroli River which runs through Nameri Park.
The park, in addition to being Elephant country, is an ideal habitat for a host of other animals including the Tiger. Nameri is also home to the Leopard, Bison, Sambar, Asiatic Wild Dog, Hog Deer, Muntjac, Wild Boar, Sloth Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Capped Langur, Indian Giant Squirrel and many other mammals.
Nameri is a bird watcher's paradise. The birds found in the park include the White Winged Wood Duck, four distinct species of Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Babbler and Plover. It is also renowned for its insect species.
(Please note that these activities are subject to availability and weather condition)
Today we leave Nameri and drive for 3 hours to Kaziranga National Park. We will begin our exploration of Kaziranga after lunch.
Kaziranga National Park, home to two-thirds of the world's great One-horned Rhinoceroses is situated in the Golaghat and Nagaon districts of Assam in eastern India. Kaziranga was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 1985 for its unique natural environment. Located at the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, the park has both a high degree of species diversity as well as visibility. It was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006 and boasts of the highest density of Tigers among protected areas of the world. The park also has large breeding populations of Elephants, Wild Water Buffaloes and Swamp Deer.
In addition, Kaziranga is recognised as an 'Important Bird Area' by Birdlife International, for the conservation of avifaunal species.
The next two days will be spent on Kaziranga safaris. They will begin with an early morning Elephant safari, which will then be followed by a jeep drive that will cover one of Kaziranga’s ranges.
The park is divided into four ranges. The Agoratoli range covers the eastern part. The Kohora range covers the central region. It is easily accessible from the range office at Kohora. The Baguri range covers the western part of the park and has the highest density of Rhinoceroses. The fourth range, Burhapar, covers the first additional area attached to Kaziranga.
We will return to the lodge for breakfast. You can relax until after lunch, when we will set out once again to explore Kaziranga on game drives until dusk.
Today we head for Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary after breakfast (approx 2 hours drive). Our accommodation for the night is at Jorhat. You are free to relax until after lunch, when we set out to explore the Gibbon Park about 15 km away. Look out for the Hoolock Gibbon, the only species of ape that is found in India. We will return to our accommodation in the evening to rest.
Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary is home to seven species of primates. This includes the Western Hoolock Gibbon, Capped Langur, Bengal Slow Loris, Stump-tailed Macaque, Northern Pig-Tailed Macaque, Rhesus Macaque and Assamese Macaque.
After breakfast, we drive for 3 hours to reach Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. You are free to spend the day relaxing or exploring your surroundings.
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park is a combination of swamp, semi-evergreen and deciduous forests. It is home to several rare and endangered wildlife species. The park was primarily established for the conservation of the Whitewinged Wood Duck. It is now also famous for its brightly colored Wild Horses, known as Feral Horses. One might also spot the Tiger, Capped Langur and Water Buffalo.
The entire day will be spent birdwatching in Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. Dibru-Saikhowa has an amazing bird population of over 350 species and is, perhaps, the best place to see three Indian specialties: Marsh and Jerdon's Babblers, and Rufous-vented (Swamp) Prinia. Several other rarely observed species include Baer's Pochard, White-winged Wood Duck, Bengal Florican, Jerdon's Bushchat, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Pale-capped Pigeon, and Rufous-rumped Grassbird. We will go on a boat ride followed by a grassland trekking excursion until dusk.
Today we drive for 2 hours to Soikhowaghat to board a ferry cruise (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 leave for Dibrugarh Town, a journey that includes a 4 hour drive and a 1 hour ferry ride. We will visit Jokai Reserve Forest and enjoy a boating and fishing expedition on the Dihing river. A traditional Assamese lunch will be arranged at our Dihing River Camp. In the evening, we will get to enjoy an Assamese cultural programme at the village.
Alternatively, one may opt to drive to Digboi instead of Dibrugarh, stay there at the Tourist Lodge and spend the whole day birdwatching.
You are free to relax until it is time to leave for Dibrugarh Airport to board an afternoon flight to Kolkata.
You will be met by our representative upon arrival at Kolkata airport, who will help you get to your hotel.
This is the last day of your offbeat Northeast India wildlife holiday and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
For Advanced level tours, we recommend previous experience of the activity involved. These are our most challenging and advanced expeditions. They include long walks, cycling, trekking, hiking or rafting in variable weather conditions for more than ten hours a day. These trips may often be over three weeks in duration. Ascents and descents are over 1000m at altitudes up to 6000m and the climate can be rigorous and challenging. Excellent physical condition and previous mountain trekking experience or appropriate preparation is essential.
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