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Sikkim Birding Tour

0
  • Whole Day Tour
  • Max People : 16
  • Wifi Available
  • 6 Nights 7 Days
  • Min Age : 12+
  • Pickup: Bagdugra Airport

Despite its small size, Sikkim is one of India’s most diverse states due to its location in the Himalayas. With a total area of 7,096 square kilometres, Sikkim is the country’s second-least populous state after Goa. Due to its rich biodiversity, Sikkim is now a favourite destination for birdwatchers and photographers.

Sikkim is sandwiched on all sides by mountains. The elevation ranges from 225m to 8600m in a small area. Sikkim is also home to Kanchendzonga, India’s highest mountain, and the world’s third-highest peak. Separated by the Singhalila Range from Nepal in the west and the Tibetan Dongkya Range to the east, Sikkim, is like a “bird catchment area.” Nowhere in the world can one find flora and fauna in such a small area, with such a variety of habitats, from tropical to alpine.

This Northern Sikkim winter birding tour will offer you the opportunity to see Grandala. During winter, a sight of 900 to 1,500 Grandala at one time is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Cold temperatures and high elevations may make this area difficult, but there are many Grandala. From mid-December to the first week of March, Grandalas descend to the lower valleys when there is a lot of snow at their home ground. We may reach them by car and see them feeding on wild berries.

Furthermore, this is also the best time to see Blood Pheasants in flocks of 60 to 70 at a time. This winter birding highlights some of the winter visitors including White-throated Redstart and Red-throated Thrush.

Departure & Return Location

Bagdugra Airport.

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Sikkim Birding Tour Highlight

  • Highlights of Birding Tour
  • Magnificent views of eastern Himalayan landscapes and panoramas.
  • Opportunity to get a glimpse into Sikkim’s beautiful Buddhist culture.
  • A unique blend of traditional and modern architecture.
  • Delicious Sikkimese cuisine.
  • A rich variety of birds in beautiful habitats

Trip Advisory for Sikkim Birding Tour

  • Climatic conditions in high altitudes vary from the plains; takes adequate time to get acclimatized to high altitudes.
  • Pay heed to tour leaders or instructors in order to enjoy a safe and sound experience.

  • Do not consume alcohol or any other intoxicants during the tour.

  • Avoid roaming during the night.

  • Carry basic medications and a first-aid kit during the tour.

Price Includes

  • Birding equipment including Binoculars and Guide.
  • Professional English speaking Birding Guide throughout the Trip
  • All meals and beverages during the tour
  • All meals as per the Itinerary
  • Services such as Birding permit, Sikkim royalty and other services
  • Guide and porter fares and taxes.

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Bills of Personal Nature
  • International airfare/Domestic
  • Himalayan toy train ride in Darjeeling, tips etc. 
  • Emergency rescue evacuation if needed
  • Extra expenses due to unforeseen circumstances such as landslide/strike/accidents/natural calamities, Ropeway

Complementaries for Birding Tour

  • Welcome Drinks and Dinner at Hotel
  • Bottled water and local cultural events
  • One time massage after the Birding tour gets over.
  • Visit to Birding heritage sights
Photos
Detail Tour Program for Sikkim Birding Tour

Day 1Arrive at Bagdogra airport or Pakyong airport and drive to Gangtok

You will be met by our representative and driven to Gangtok (4-5 hours), Sikkim’s capital and largest city, where you will be transferred to your accommodation. Overnight stay.

Day 2Morning drive to Lachen in North Sikkim. Birding En-route

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Delight Lachen Heritage

Be prepared to drive to Lachen, our main destination for this trip. Lachen is in northern Sikkim, a restricted area. We must line up at the permit office early the next morning to obtain the necessary permissions. Once everything is ready, we’ll head to Lachen. It will take us almost a day to get to Lachen because we’ll stop frequently to see birds as we travel as well as to see some of the valley and waterfalls. We will arrive at Lachen, a bird watcher’s paradise in Sikkim, where we will stay for the next three nights, in the evening. Overnight stay.

Key species: Black-throated Parrotbill , Slender-billed Scimitar Babbler, Bay Woodpecker, Greater Yellownape, Crimson-breasted Woodpecker, Scaly, Black-faced, Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, Blyth’s Leaf , Ashy-throated, Chestnut-crowned, Buff-barred Warbler

Day 3Birding around Lachen and Thangu valley

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Delight Lachen Heritage

In the morning, we will begin our exploration of Lachen, with a birding visit to Thangu. Depending on our permit, we may also be able to visit Gurdongmar Lake and also drive further for some birding in Thangu Valley. We will spend the whole day birding in this area, of which our entire morning can be dedicated to watching our prime bird, the Grandala. Overnight stay.

Key species: Grandala, Blood Pheasant, White-throated Dipper, Northern Raven, Red-throated Thrush, Alpine Accentor.

Day 4Birding around Lachen and Thangu valley

Birding around Lachen and Thangu valley

Day 5Birding around Lachen and Thangu valley

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Delight Lachen Heritage

Another full day of birding in and around Lachen and Thangu. Today, we can spend more time around Lachen where there are several resident birds that are worth seeing. 

Key species: Altai and Rufous-breasted Accentor (R), Black-throated Parrotbill, Golden-breasted and White-browed Fulvettas, Little Owl, Bearded Vulture

Day 6Morning bird around Lachen and later move to Gangtok

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: Delight The Fortuna

As it is our last day in North Sikkim today, we can look for Grandala once again, or else we do forest birding on the way back. There are some bamboo habitats where we try for Parrotbills and Fulvettas. Overnight stay.

Key species: Fire-tailed Myzornis , Himalayan Cutia, White-browed Fulvetta, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Stripe-throated Yuhina, and Rufous-vented Yuhina, Scaly-breasted Cupwing

Day 7Morning drive to Bagdogra airport 4 to 5 hrs or Pakyong airport

Meals: Breakfast
Accommodation: None

Today, on our last day of the trip, we shall decide our departure from Gangtok depending on our flight timing. You will need to report at Bagdogra airport 2 hours prior to your flight departure. Tour Ends.

Sikkim Birding Tour Map
FAQ About Sikkim Birding Tour

What makes Sikkim a prime destination for birding?

Sikkim boasts diverse ecosystems, including lush forests, alpine meadows, and pristine lakes, providing a habitat for a wide range of bird species, including many rare and endemic ones.

When is the best time for a birding tour in Sikkim?

The prime birding seasons in Sikkim are during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when migratory birds join the resident species, offering a diverse birdwatching experience.

What types of birds can be spotted in Sikkim?

Sikkim is home to a variety of bird species, including the colorful Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, various pheasants, laughing thrushes, and a plethora of other Himalayan and sub-Himalayan birds.

Do I need prior birding experience to join the tour?

The birding tours are designed for all levels of enthusiasts, from beginners to experienced birders. Knowledgeable guides provide insights and assistance based on individual preferences and expertise.

How are the birding tours structured?

Our tours typically include carefully planned itineraries covering diverse habitats, guided walks, and expert-led birding sessions. Additionally, there might be optional activities like photography workshops and cultural excursions.

Are birdwatching guides provided, and what is their expertise?

Yes, experienced and knowledgeable birding guides familiar with the local avian species accompany the tours. They offer valuable insights into bird behavior, habitats, and identification.

What is the accommodation like during the birding tour?

Accommodations are selected to provide comfort and proximity to birding hotspots. Options may include eco-friendly lodges, resorts, or guesthouses, ensuring a pleasant stay amidst nature.

What should participants bring on a Sikkim Birding Tour?

Recommended items include comfortable clothing, sturdy footwear, binoculars, a field guide, a camera, and any personal essentials. A detailed packing list may be provided upon booking.

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