Bird Watching Tour – 11 days
Nepal is a paradise for bird lovers with over 848 species (almost 8% of the world total) of birds and among them almost 500 species are found in the Kathmandu valley alone. The most popular bird watching sport in Kathmandu is Phulchoki, Godavari, Nagarjun, Bagmati river, Taudaha and so on. Get your binoculars and look forward to rewarding experience.
Major Bird Watching Places of Nepal
Kathmandu has four major bird watching areas, and one can start on the banks of the Bagmati and Manohara rivers. Birds sighted along there rivers are the Egrets, herons, Kingfishers, Ibis bill, Wood Sandpipers and Plovers. The Chovar Gorge is particularly recommended as an area for birds as its isolation from human habitation has encouraged their presence.
Phulchowki is another ideal site, with a Redheaded Trogan, a very rate bird sighted there in April 2002 (it was last seen n Nepal 44 years ago). Phulchowki is 2760 meters and 18kms southeast of Kathmandu and is reached via Godawari and the Botanical Gardens. Walking can start from behind the gardens, with a combination of trails and roads. The hillside is covered with forest featuring outstanding flora as well as diverse birds. About 90 species have been recorded in this area including the endemic spring babbler, as well as the Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers and the Black-throated Parrot bill, to name a few.
Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve, & Nagarjun:
Two other areas of the valley are the Shivapuri Watershed Reserve, 12kms north of the city, and Nagarjun in the North West . Shivapuri can be reached two ways either from Sundarijal or from Budhanilkantha. The reserve is managed by Nepalese Army and it costs Rs 250 for foreigners to enter. (Rs 1000/- is charged for a movie or video camera). Some of the birds in the area are the Laughing Thrush, Crested Serpent Eagle, little Pied Fly Catchers, Rupy-throats, and Babblers. At Nagarjun at 2105 meters pheasants, magpies, sunbirds, and ruby throats are found.
In Pokhara, the two well known lakes Phewa and Begnas and the surrounding areas are highly recommended. Of particular interest are the areas with minimum disturbances, away from human inhabitation the forests around the south shore of Phewa lake. Look out in the fields and pools especially in the winter for Egrets, Herons, Pipits, and Buntings etc. other birds are occurring are Gulls, Terns, Ducks, and Falcons etc.
Begnas lake is 15Km away from Pokhara and it easily reached by taxi or bicycle. Terraced hills and light forests surround the lake. One should spend time on the slopes and wet fields. Birds sighted here are Ducks, pheasant-tailed jacana; Hoppie Grey bellied Tesias, common pintail snipe, bulbuls etc. Pokhara lakeside is basically a tourist town, which caters to all the needs f visitors. From cheap lodges to very expensive star hotels are available in and around Pokhara. Lakeside is full of restaurants of all kinds. Pokhara can be reached by air or by road. Bird watching is best in October and April.
Koshi Barrage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve: are in the eastern Terai to the Far East of Nepal. The Koshi is great for waterfowl and waders, with about 26 varieties of ducks alone. Here the method of viewing birds is by boat, gliding through the waters in the stillness of the early morning and evenings. Over 450 species have been sighted hare, including Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges, and Storks.
Chitwan National Park :
Chitwan is in the lowlands of Nepal , known as the Terai. The Royal Chitwan National park is the best-known site in Nepal for bird watching. Bird watching need to be done from the safely of a chair, the back of an elephant or in a jeep (by far the last choice). And if you wish to walk, accompanied by a guide or a naturalist, or preferably an ornithologist. The area consists of Sal Forest , River Rhine forest, and grasslands, with three rivers forming the boundaries of the park. Some 500 species have been recorded in Chitwan and some of them are Blue Indian Roller, Stork-billed Kingfishers, Bengal Florican, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Bee-eaters, and Cormorants.
One of the best ways of viewing birds in Nepal is a leisurely trek through the foothills of the Kingdom. There are three main trekking areas in Nepal: the Langtang region six hours by road North of Kathmandu, the Solu Khumbu region eight hours by road East of Kathmandu and the Annapurna region, six hours by road or a 30 minute flight West of Kathmandu. Of the three trekking regions, the Annapurna region offers the widest variety of species. The region is also easily accessible
Meet at Kathmandu Airport and transfer to hotel
Sight-seeing tour of Kathmandu: Full day’s sightseeing in Kathmandu valley includes the Hindu temple complex at Pashupatinath (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) & the biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhanath. Also visit Monkey Temple the Swyambhunath (2000 years old temple) and visit Patan city of fine arts. Return to the hotel.
Start Bird Watching: you can start a bird Watching from Godavari Botanical Garden . You can have a city tour in the afternoon and in the evening time, bird watching trip in Godavari Botanical Garden . Overnight in a Hotel.
Day 4 : Godavari-Phulchoki Hill-Kathmandu
After breakfast, leave with lunch pack and hike up the Phulchoki Hill. Full day birding in the Phulchoki Hill, about 90 species have been recorded in this area including the endemic spring babbler, as well as the Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers and the Black-throated Parrot bill, to name a few. In the evening return back to Kathmandu.
Birding in Nagarjuna Forest and Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve: Some of the birds can found in the Shivapuri area are Laughing Thrush, Crested Serpent Eagle, little Pied Fly Catchers, Rupy-throats, and Babblers. And in the Nagarjun we can found pheasants, magpies, sunbirds, and ruby throats. Return to hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 6 : Kathmandu to Chitwan (160km, 4 hrs)
Drive to Chitwan National Park and check in the resort. In the afternoon you can do a village tour or can visit an Elephant Breeding Centre.
Day 7: Birding at Chitwan
Full day birding trip in different vegetations of the park, from wetlands to grasslands to Sal forest, we can found more than 500 species, including, Blue Indian Roller, Stork-billed Kingfishers, Bengal Florican, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Bee-eaters, and Cormorants.
Day 8: Chitwan to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
A full day birding trip in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. We can found more than 450 species here, including Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges, and Storks. Full board with hotel accommodation at Koshi Tappu.
Drive back or Flight back to Kathmandu. Check in at hotel in Kathmandu Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu.
Day 10: Free day in Kathmandu.
Evening culture show with Nepali dinner, Overnight at hotel in Kathmandu
Final departure, transfer to airport.