Assam, Arunachal Pradesh & Meghalaya in North East India
Namdapha, Kaziranga, Nameri, Guwahati, Cherrapunjee
17 Days/16 Nights tour by road and air
November to March
Endemics and globally threatened species like Bengal Florican, White-winged Duck, Slender-billed Babbler, Finn's Baya, Greater Adjutant, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Dark-rumped Swift, 6 hornbill species, among others
The less-explored North East is home to some of the rarest, least known and most sought after birds of the Oriental region. Its position, an overlap between three bio-geographical provinces, offers a unique blend of Himalayan, Sino-Tibetan and Indo-Burmese species. Nearly 70% of the world's population of the Dark-rumped or Khasi Hills Swift can be found at Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya. In the northeastern region of Assam, the flood plains of the Brahmaputra support 45 globally threatened species of birds that include Manipur Bush Quail, Swamp Francolin, Nordmann's Green Shank, Blyth's Kingfisher, Goliath Heron, Bristled Grassbird and the White-tailed Eagle. Guwahati, the bustling capital of Assam is one of the best places in the world to see the highly endangered Greater Adjutant at close range.
rich avifauna is overshadowed by the One-horned rhinoceros for which the park is known. The marshes support many species of waterfowl and an elephant ride reveals grassland species such as Bengal Florican, Swamp Francolin and Chestnut-capped Babbler. The adjoining Panbari forests are home to Fairy Bluebird, Puff-throated Babblers, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Grey Peacock Pheasant and flocks of the much sought after Spot-winged Starling in winters. Tea plantations and adjoining scrub and cultivation can be explored for the Siberian Rubythroat, Rufous-necked Laughing Thrush and Thick-billed Warbler. Nameri tiger reserve has 370 species of birds and is home to the most secure population of the White-winged Wood Duck. In winters, the uncommon Ibisbill can be seen along the banks of the Jia Bhoroli river, which runs through the park.
Arunachal Pradesh, in the extreme northeast of India, is one of the most biologically diverse parts of the subcontinent. Though less explored, about 665 species of birds have been recorded within the state. Many northeastern birds, uncommon or rarely seen elsewhere, are fairly common in Namdapha
for eg. the extremely vocal Grey Peacock Pheasant and Wreathed Hornbill. A few rarities of this remote region include the Beautiful Nuthatch, Rufous-necked Hornbill and Pied Falconet - the tiniest and rarest of the Indian raptors. Endemics include Blyth's Tragopan, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Snowy-throated Babbler, Austin's Barwing, Ward's Trogon, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, Brown-throated Fulvetta, Grey Sibia, Beautiful Sibia, White-naped Yuhina, Yellow-vented Warbler and Broad-billed Warbler, among others. The higher reaches of the sanctuary give you a chance to see species such as Mountain Bamboo Partridge, Brown-throated Fulvetta and Long-billed Wren Babblers.
From Dibrugarh you can do a 2-day extension to Dibru Saikhowa. Tall reeds will be probed for Finn's Weaver, Jerdon's Babbler, Marsh Babbler, Rufous-vented Prinia and Black-breasted Parrotbill. Numerous streams reveal spot-billed pelicans, Lesser Adjutant, Greater Adjutant, Spotted Greenshank, Blyth's Kingfisher and the Black-bellied tern.
Day 01: ARRIVE DELHI
Arrive Delhi airport and transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel
Day 02: DELHI
Early morning visit to Okhla bird sanctuary on the banks of the Yamuna followed by a city tour to see the important sites of Old & New Delhi. Overnight at hotel
Day 03: DELHI - DIBRUGARH - MIAO
In time transfer to airport to board the flight for Dibrugarh. Arrive at Dibrugarh and drive to Miao, the base town for Namdapha national park
where the field director's office is located. En-route stop by at Digboi (India's oldest oil fields) for the Nutmeg Mannikin. Overnight at government rest house
Day 04: MIAO to HALDIBARI via DEBAN
Drive from Miao to Deban forest rest house, which offers great views of the Namdapha forest across the Noa Dihing river. You can explore the surroundings for Mrs Gould's Sunbird and Streaked Spiderhunter. Cross the Noa Dihing river and stay overnight at the Haldibari campsite.
Day 05: HALDIBARI to HORNBILL GLADE
Trek from Haldibari to Hornbill Glade, a wonderful place to see almost all the hornbill species. Overnight in tents.
Day 06: HORNBILL to BULBULIA
Morning continue trek to Bulbulia. The campsite overlooks the bubbling sulphur springs after which the place gets its name. Bulbulia is good for all the forktail species and large owls. Overnight in tents.
Day 07: BULBULIA - RANI JHEEL - BULBULIA
From Bulbulia, you trek through tall dense forests and huge patches of bamboo to reach Rani Jheel for the Green Cochoa and Beautiful Nuthatch.
Day 08: BULBULIA to DEBAN
Morning do the return trek to Deban, en-route spotting species like Red-headed Trogon, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and the omnipresent Sultan Tit. Overnight at forest bungalow.
Day 09: DEBAN to DIBRUGARH
Early morning we probe the Noa Dihing riverbed for Long-billed Plover and flocks of Ibisbill. Continue birding from Deban till Gibbons Land and depart for Dibrugarh by surface. Overnight at hotel.
Day 10: DIBRUGARH to KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
Morning depart Dibrugarh by surface for Kaziranga (150 km). Arrive Kaziranga and check in at jungle lodge. Afternoon game drive in Kaziranga National Park. Overnight at lodge.
Day 11: KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
Early morning explore the park on elephant back for Bengal Florican, Swamp Francolin and Chestnut-capped Babbler followed by game drives. Overnight at lodge.
Day 12: KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK
Morning and evening game drives. Overnight at jungle lodge.
Day 13: KAZIRANGA to NAMERI
Early morning birding in Panbari forests to see species like Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker and Asian Fairy Bluebird and depart for Nameri. Arrive Nameri and check in at jungle camp. Overnight in camp
Day 14: NAMERI
Full day birding in Nameri National Park whose chief highlight is the White-winged Duck and the Wreathed Hornbill. Overnight at camp.
Day 15: NAMERI to SHILLONG
Birding en-route the 8-hour drive from Nameri to Shillong, stopping by to see the Greater Adjutant.
Day 16: SHILLONG to CHERRAPUNJEE to SHILLONG
This extension from Shillong to Cherrapunjee (known earlier as the Wettest Place on Earth) is primarily to see one species - the Dark-rumped Swift
Day 17: SHILLONG to GUWAHATI
Morning depart Shillong by road to reach Guwahati by noon. Arrive Guwahati airport in time to board the flight for onward destination.