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North India - Bharatpur Wetlands to the Pre-Himalayan Forest
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North India - Bharatpur Wetlands to the Pre-Himalayan Forest

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 14 day(s)
Group Size: 8 people
Destination(s): India  
Specialty Categories: Birdwatching   Railway Trips  
Season: December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2600 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2600 US Dollar (USD)

For 8 Participants (+ Leader, Local guides where required and Driver). Expect: 300 birds and 15 mammal species.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Upon our arrival in Delhi we will transfer to a local hotel. Night at Local Hotel (Dinner, Breakfast, included).

Day 2: Travel via private van to Bharatpur. Lodging at Bharatpur Forest Lodge. Bharatpur Forest Lodge is a government run 3 star hotel in Bharatpur. The Bharatpur Forest Lodge stands within the area of the Bharatpur Sanctuary making you feel heavenly amidst the green forest stretches. The forest lodge offers luxury in real sense making our stay memorable at Bharatpur. Bharatpur Forest Lodge offers 18 rooms that offer all the modern facilities. The rooms at the Bharatpur Forest Lodge include 10 air-conditioned and eight non-air-conditioned rooms. The rooms at the hotel Bharatpur Forest Lodge have attached bathrooms with the option of hot and cold water. All rooms have balconies, from which we may see a variety of birds as well as other wildlife including Spotted Deer. The restaurant at the hotel Bharatpur Forest Lodge serves Indian and Continental cuisine.

Days 3-6: Bharatpur (3 days).Lodging at Bharatpur Forest Lodge. Superb wetlands in the south of Delhi, where mammals and birds are particularly tame. We will observe under incredible conditions, Steppe and Imperial Eagle, Red-wattled and White-tailed Lapwing, Dusky Eagle-owl, Spotted Owlet, White-throated Kingfisher and Citrine Wagtail. We will also have good chance to observe Black Bittern, Indian Spotted Eagle, Sarus Crane, Indian Courser (relatively common during winter 2004/05), the critically endangered Sociable Lapwing (9 wintered in the park in 2004/05), Grey-headed Lapwing, Brown Hawk-owl and Siberian Rubythroat. Apart from birds, we will have good views of Nilgai, Sambar Deer, Rhesus Macaque and Golden Jackal… and perhaps a 5-meter long python!

Day 7: Bund Barata and Taj Mahal (1 day). Leaving the park of Bharatpur, we will pass by the huge reservoir of Bund Barata. It's here that we will have our only chance to see the endangered Indian Skimmer. This area is also home to Cotton Pygmy-goose, Great Thick-knee, Brown-headed and Coppersmith Barbet, Olive-backed Pipit and Rock Bunting. En route we will stop for a great colony of Indian Flying Fox. In Agra, before boarding a train for the Himalayas, we will spend the late afternoon in the famous Taj Mahal, where it will also be possible to see River Lapwing and Egyptian Vulture. Overnight on the train

Days 8-9: Naini Tal (2 days). Lodging at Claridges Naini Retreat. Once the residence of the Maharajas of Philibhit, the Claridges Naini Retreat is a majestic building exuding an old world charm, that houses the most modern luxuries you could ask for. Just 1 km from the mall, The Claridges Naini Retreat is situated on the picturesque Ayarpatta Slopes overlooking the Naini lake. Naini, a word that almost brings the cool air with it is a secret hide out of the tourists each year. Situated at an altitude of 1,938 mtrs, this dreamland town with its beauteous splendor is one of the most popular tourist resorts of the country. The nucleus of Naini Tal's exquisite beauty is her lake which is a haven for water sports like Yachting, Kayaking, Canoeing and Boating.

To explore the western Himalayan avifauna, the picturesque hill station of Nainital in the Kumaon hills is the perfect base. The broadleaf forest that blankets the hills has an altitudinal variation of 400 m to 2600 m, giving the whole region a diverse bird life. Nainital and the adjoining hills forested with oak and rhododendron yield Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Spotted Forktail, Chestnut-crowned Laughing Thrush, Red-billed Blue Magpie and Black-headed Jay. On the first slope of the Himalayan chain, it will be possible to see many mountain specialties. Best birds will be Himalayan Griffon, and the rare Indian Black Eagle. The Oriental Turtle-dove is possible here, as is the Asian Barred Owlet, Himalayan Woodpecker, Red-flanked Bluetail, Blue-capped Redstart, White-collared Blackbird, Striated, Streaked and Chestnut-crowned Laughingthrush, 5 species of Tit, 2 species of nuthatch, and the wonderful Pink-browed Rosefinch. The Sacred Langur, our second primate species, is quite common here.

Days 10-13: The Corbett National Park (4 days). Lodging at Corbett Riverside Resort, Corbett. Corbett Riverside Resort is a resort situated in a picturesque setting, 10-km north of Ramnagar, looking across the River Kosi to forest covered cliffs. The rustic looking huts are luxurious inside and equipped with excellent facilities. Established in 1936, Corbett has the glory of being India's oldest established National Park. Named after the legendary hunter-turned-naturalist, Jim Corbett, the park has often been described as the land of the 'Roar, Trumpet and Song'.

The park is situated in the central foothills of the Himalayas, between the Himalayan and Sivalik ranges, which accounts for its rich bio-diversity. Corbett is the northernmost extend of the Asian Elephant and the tiger and boasts of a high tiger density and quite a few leopards. On its steep slopes you'll find Goral and the Retiring Serow (both goat antelope), while the Ramganga River is home to the endemic Gharial (fish eating crocodile). Corbett and its adjoining areas host as many as 650 known species of resident and migratory birds. The best birding is from high banks, machans and forest observation towers. The rich Ramganga Valley has a staggering fifty birds of prey including the greatly endangered White-tailed & Pallas's Fish Eagle. Hikes around the vast buffer forests may yield the Brown Dipper, Wall-creeper, Ibisbill, several varieties of forktails and hornbills, the endangered Tawny Fish-Owl, and the Collared Falconet, one of the smallest birds of prey in the world.

Home of the Tiger and the Asian Elephant (we have good chance to see both of them), this park is also wonderful for it’s bird list. Black and Woolly-necked Stork, Pallas's Fish Eagle (fairly common), Lesser Fishing Eagle, the now critically endangered Long-billed Vulture and the more common Eurasian Black Vulture, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Brown Fish-owl, Stork-billed and Crested Kingfisher, Isabelline Shrike, White-tailed Rubythroat, White-capped Water Redstart, and the common Hume's Yellow-browed Warbler. We will have daily observations of Golden Jackal, Spotted, Sambar and Barking Deer. And with luck, we could meet a Tiger, perhaps during a ride on the back of an elephant.

Days 14-15: Return to Delhi. Return travel to Delhi. We will stop for roosting Indian Scops-owl and also Tawny Fish-owl, and we will follow the Ramnagar River searching the Brown Dipper and the scarce Ibisbill.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodations
- All meals
- Private transportation
- Bilingual naturalist guide (specialized on birdwatching)
- All entrance fees.

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