Nestling in the heart of the Himalayas and protected by a complex geography of high mountains and deep valleys, Bhutan is certainly one of the most mysterious countries in the world (Dompnier, 1999). The intriguing yet profound tale of the transformation of this traditional kingdom, without losing out on its traditional norms and values while embarking on a modern course of development.
Chestnut-tailed Minla in the last half a century has been both a story of sustainable and progressive development in harmony with its natural environment. Small and landlocked, to the north lies the great Tibetan plateau and to the south, the tropical Indian plains and jungles.
Today, the proportion of land under forest cover is 72.5%, including shrub forest (2008). The need to live in harmony with rather than against nature has never been illustrated better. When Global Warming is now an accepted universal “Inconvenient Truth,” the need to preserve, conserve and respect the air we breathe. Bhutan is considered a Birding paradise for BIRD Lovers.
|Day 01-Arrival at Paro||Paro Birding||Gangatey Goenpa Palace|
|Day 02-Paro to Thimphu||Thimphu Birding||Hotel Phuntshopelri|
|Day 03-Thimphu Tour||Thimphu Tango Monastery Birding|
|Day 04-Thimphu to Punakha||Punakha,Lamperi Birding||Hotel Punatsangchu Cottage|
|Day 05-Punakha Tour||Punakha to Gasa,Jungle fowl hunting||Camping|
|Day 06-Punakha to Gasa||Gasa Hotspring||Camping|
|Day 07-Gasa to Gangtey||Gasa to Gangtey-Black necked crane festival||Hotel Dewachen or similar|
|Day 08-Gangtye Valley Tour||Gangtey and Phobjikha valley exploration||Hotel Dewachen or similar|
|Day 09-Gangtye to Trongsa||Gangtey to Trongsa||Yangkhil Resort|
|Day 10-Trongsa to Bumthang||Trongsa to Bumthang||Swiss Guest House|
|Day 11-Bumthang Tour||Bumthang Valley exploration||Swiss Guest House|
|Day 12-Bumthang to Paro||Bumthang to Paro via flight||Hotel Drukyul|
|Day 13-Thimphu tour||Thimphu day exploration||Hotel Drukyul|
|Day 14-See Off||Departure from BHUTAN|
Day 01. Arrive at Paro International Airport
Your Guide from Excursion to the Himalayas will receive you at the airport and brief you about the program.
Day 02. Thimphu Sightseeing
The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honor of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).
After lunch, we drive to the Traditional Medicine Institute where medicines are prepared according to ancient practices, and to Lungtenzampa to observe the Royal silver smiths and Bhutanese paper factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, the seat of the national government, and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We drive to Simtokha Dzong; the oldest Dzong of Bhutan built by Shabdrung in 1627 and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 03: Thimphu Birdwatching Tour
Bhutan Birding Tour will start from the capital Thimphu. The forests above Dodina (2575m) below Cheri Lhakhang on the trail towards Shodu, Thimphu Valley (Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park) A 45-minute ride from Thimphu and you have Oak forests where Spotted Laughing thrush, Fire-capped Tit, and Yellow-bellied Flower picker thrive.
Day 04 Bhutan Birding Tour in Punakha: (72 Kms, 3 hours drive).
Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “ Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”. Lunch at Punakha.
Mo Chhu Valley and Rimchu to the Jigme Dorji National Park:
Here warm broadleaf forests are the habitat of the rare White-bellied Heron, White-gorgoted Flycatcher and the Yellow-vented Warbler. The best times are November to early May.
Day 05: Wangdiphodrang : Mo Chhu Valley to Wangduephodrang (1300m):
The river just north of Wangduephodrang is an excellent area for waterfowl and migratory birds like the Bar-headed Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, and the rare White Bellied Heron.
Day 06: Wangdi to Damji : Damji to Gasa (1700m / 2430m – 1-day trek):
A drive through warm broadleaf forests, home to the Black-tailed Crake and the Grey-sided Laughing Thrush.
Day 07. Punakha – Gangtey – Trongsa: Phobjikha Valley (3050m)
Home to the endangered Black Necked Crane. The ideal time for viewing is mid to late November during the Thrung Thrung Karma festival celebrated on 11th November every year which honors the revered birds.
Forested Road over the Pele La Pass (3390m)Habitat Fir, Rhododendron, and Bamboo forests come full bloom in April to May where Brown and Green Parrotbills, Marron-backed Accentor reside visibly.
Day 10. Trongsa – Bumthang: Bumthang Valley (2600m)
Isisbills and migrant birds flock home to the broad fields and river areas during March-May and October – November.
Day 11. Bumthang – Paro via domestic flight:
After breakfast, fly to Paro via domestic flights. The flight time is approximately 25 minutes from Bumthang to Paro. After lunch, Excursion to Tango Monastery. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Day 12. Thimphu –Paro Taktsang Hike
Enough of Bird watching and now we want our guests to go for a little adventure to the famous Tiger nest temple.
A very special day, with an excursion, to view the spectacular Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) monastery. The trail climbs through a beautiful pine forest, many of the trees festooned with Spanish moss, and an occasional grove of fluttering prayer flags. This incredible monastery clings to the edge of a sheer rock cliff that plunges 900 meters into the valley below.
Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favorite consort.
After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built-in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the center of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered, covered bridge. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.
Early Morning, drive to Chelela highest Roadpoint in Bhutan.
Day 13: Paro Leisure tour
Day 14: See off
What to Bring for Bird watching in Bhutan?
You should, however, have the proper gear and observe a few basic rules.
- Binoculars, preferably light-strong ones (e.g. 10 x 50 = Optics x Diameter). Fellow bird watchers will not mind letting you have a look through their binoculars, if necessary.
- A bird classification book, which contains names, characteristics, and information on the seasons or areas preferred by the birds. It will also state plenty of additional facts about the world of birds. You can find in the library the book called “Birds of Bhutan”.
- Solitude and patience. Birds are sensitive and cautious creatures. Noise such as loud chatter, and gesticulations, will keep them away. They will soon come into view if you sit quietly for a while and wait for them in an unobtrusive manner and if you are more or less out of sight.
- Before you leave for another area, take a short look around the place to make sure you left none of your belongings and gear behind.
Please keep in mind that before you take this trip. Few things to remember are your Birding equipments that you think is important.
Being a responsible company, we are always available for 24 hours a day, in case if you need any emergency help. It is best to first call your designated travel coordinator or salesperson (whose contact numbers are will be listed on your tour agreement), for any reason if you are not able to reach to him/her then please ring us on the below numbers:
Thimphu Head Office: (00975)-331423
Mobile number: (00975)-17140505(Available 24/7)
Note: office working time is 9am – 5pm from Monday to Friday.
Mr. Sagar (Sales Manager) 00975 17140505 (Available for 24 hours a day)
Guide to Help you Plan this Tour
Visa is mandatory for all travelers coming to Bhutan. Once you confirm the tour we shall advise you for Bhutan Visa. You can also check on “How to apply for Bhutan Visa”?
Getting flights to Bhutan can be challenging if your tour falls during peak season. Its always good to book your flight ticket as early as 6months ahead of your travel date. Check the flights schedule and fare at Flights to Bhutan.
Tour Cost for this Tour:
The tour cost for this trip will depend on the groups. For single, the cost will be $3810.
2 pax the cost will be $ 3680
2pax and above the cost will be $ 3290
Best time for Bird Watching in Bhutan
The best time to travel for Birding in Bhutan will depend on the types of Bird you are interested in. I have given the information on Bird type and the best season you see the Bird.
Appropriate attire for Bhutan Birding Tour
It’s very important to wear comfortable attire while on the tour as this involves a visit to the deep forest. Sturdy shoes, a windbreaker, and depending on the length of your excursion some provisions and drinking water.
Bhutan Birding Tour Itinerary Disclaimer
Generally, we adhere to the original itinerary that we described but sometimes little alterations can be born due to situations that are beyond our control. On the other hand, in order to make our trip for your personal experiences and flexible, we allowed our clients to make minor changes by discussing with us (office staff) and guide (field staff).
The trip detail itinerary for Bhutan Birding Tour is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destination or activities is by no means of guarantee that they will be encountered or carried due to sudden change in time and the local circumstances and climate.
Meals are usually provided in buffet system and most of the tourist food is blend and if you need to change the foods varieties we are very open to change and you need to discuss with a guide. We have Indian, Chinese, and authentic Bhutanese restaurants where you can have very spicy food.
Destination Guide for Birding
Bhutan is a unique travel destination with some special considerations. It is highly recommended that you undertake some background reading before traveling to Bhutan. The more you learn about your destination, the more rewarding your travel experience will be. Read more about Birds of Bhutan
To have good experience you need to have excellent local Birding Guide in Bhutan. We carefully select professional Birding Guide with good recommendation from our past clients who shall explore the most unbeaten roads to explore the areas for Bird watching. Bhutan have 464 species of Birds and many more to yet discovered.