On the peaceful hillside above the village of Pokhara, Annapurna area offers a magnificent vista: from beyond Everest in the east to the snowy heights of Dhaulagiri in the west, the giants of the Himalaya in all their glory—encompassing over 400 km of unbroken mountain chain with 8 of the world's 10 highest mountains. It’s the perfect place to unwind and enjoy activities such as mountain biking and pony tours, hiking, fishing, and bird watching. The tranquil forest is lush with rhododendrons, orchids, and a wonderful variety of birds.
During a recent visit 84 species of birds were counted in 2 days.
DAY 1: KATHMANDU 1350M
Prior to your landing in Kathmandu, you should have some excellent views of the Himalayas eastwards of Dhaulagiri. After checking into your hotel you will be briefed by your Tour leader on your programme.
DAY 02: PULCHOWKI 1520-2760 M.
After a very early breakfast we depart for Phulchowki 18km Southeast of Kathmandu. Phulchowki at 2760m is the highest of the mountains encircling the Kathmandu valley and provides an ideal introduction to the birds of Nepal. Regularly recorded resident species include Besra, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Kalij Pheasant, Common Hill Partridge, Ashy Woodpigeon, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Scops Owl, Collared Owlet, Golden-throated Barbet, Speckled Piculet, Crimson-breasted Pied and Rufous-bellied Pied Woodpeckers, Grey-chinned Minivet, Striated Bulbul, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Spotted Forktail, Chestnut-headed and grey-bellied Tesias, Chestnut-crowned and black faced Warblers, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Lesser Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Streak-breasted Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-throated and Spiny Babblers, White-crested, striated, Rufous-chinned and grey-sided Laughing thrushes, Red-billed Leiothrix, Cuttia, White-browed Green and Black-eared Shrike-Babblers, Hoary Barwing, Blue-winged Minla, Nepal Fulvetta, Yellow-browed Tit, Brown-throated Treecreeper, Black-throated Sunbird, Maroon Oriole, Eurasian and Lancelated Jays, Red-billed Blue Magpie and Brown Bullfinch. A further 55 species have been known to visit the area as migratory or occasional visitors. Phulchowki’s forests are also very rich in flora and butterflies. Mammals include Leopard, Yellow-throated Marten and Orange-bellied Squirrel. After this fine introduction to Nepali Birds, we will return to our hotel in Kathmandu.
DAY 03: BY ROAD TO POKHARA
A scenic drive of approximately 7 hours plus a stop for lunch at Mugling beside the Trisuli River. The southern side of the lake is covered in extensive forest with rich bird life and excellent views of the Annapurna range, Phewa Lake and Pokhara. We will have plenty of time for a late afternoon exploration of this forest.
DAY 04: POKHARA 915 M
Today we explore in detail the forest along the southern shore of the lake. Apart from the many birds found here, you will also be rewarded with some of the best views of the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare, Pokhara has to offer. Species regularly seen in this forest and along the shore of the lake include Besra, Red-thighed Falconet, Pallid and Pied Harriers, Eurasian Griffon, Red-headed and Eurasian Black Vultures, Kalij Pheasant, Ducks, Gulls, Terns, Waders, Bulbul, Black-backed Forktail, Puff-throated Babbler, White-crested, Lesser Necklaced and Rufous-chinned Laughing Thrushes, Red-billed Leiothrix, Minivetts, Crimson Sunbird, Maroon Oriole, Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Red-billed and Green Magpies, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed and Grey-bellied Tesias, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Small and Rufous-bellied Niltavas and Snowy-brown Flycatcher, Long-tailed Broadbill, Pale Blue Flycatcher, White-tailed Robin, Spiny Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Striated Munia, Lesser Whitethroat and Thick-billed Warbler.
DAY 05:P0THANA 2035 M
Walking approx. 6 hrs.
We start with a short drive to Hengja. The starting point for our trek. The trail first runs through thin forest and terraced fields to Dhampus (1600m). From here we climb through secondary forest for about l.5 hours to Pothana (2035m), which lies on an oak-forested ridge top with good views of Machhapuchhare and Annapurna South and plenty of Birds.
DAY 06: RIVERSIDE 1390 M
Walking approx. 4 hours
After an early morning bird watching excursion we start with a walk along the ridge before descending steeply to Thorka 1820m and Landrung 1715m above the Modi Khola. From here the trail descends further to our campsite beside the Modi Khola. Some of the species likely to be seen along this route are: Red-headed and Eurasian Black Vultures, Black and Bonelli’s Eagles, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Common Hill Partridge, Speckled and Ashy Woodpigeons, Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Collared Owlet, Upland Pipit, Striated Bulbul, Golden-throated Barbet, Bay and Crimson-breasted Pied Woodpeckers, Slaty-backed and Spotted Forktails, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Chestnut-crowned and Black-faced Warblers, Rufous-bellied Niltava, Greater and Lesser Scaly-breasted Wren-Babblers, White-crested and Striated Laughing-thrushes, Red-billed Leiothrix, Cuttia, Hoary Barwing, Nepal Fulvetta, Yellow-browned Tit, Black-throated Sunbird, Yellow-billed Blue, Red-billed Blue and Green Magpies, Cinnamon Sparrow, Jungle Nightjar, Pacific Swift, Blue-capped Rock-Thrush, Tickell’s Thrush, Ferruginous, Asian Sooty and Little Pied Flycatchers.
DAY 07: PHINISI KHARKA 2300
Walking 5 hrs. approx.
We will start with a couple hours’ climb to Ghandruk 1950m which is also the seat of the headquarters of the Annapurna conservation area. Above Ghandruk the trail continues through thick forest of oak and rhododendron to our next camp site at Phainsi Kharka. Again, the area is very rich in birds and we will have plenty of time to look out for them.
DAY 08: BANTHANTI 2650 M
Walking approx. 4 hours
We continue our climb through thick forests to Tadapani and its magnificent views of Annapurna South, Himchuli and Machhapuchhare. After a brief descent we have another short climb before the trail levels out. Our camp site is situated beside a lodge approximately five minutes walk before Banthanti. The lodge is surrounded by thick forest and a large population of birds.
DAY 09: CHITRA 2450 M
Walking approx. 5 hours
We continue our climb following a small river which becomes a narrow gorge to Deorali, a pass of 3080m with awesome views of the Annapurna Range, the Kali Gadanki Gorge and Dhaulagiri. From the pass we descend through forest (look out for monkeys) to a forest clearing campsite besides a small stream (weather permitting), otherwise we will continue for another 45 minutes to the Dhaulagiri Lodge. Birds found here include Eurasian Black Vulture, Northern Goshawk, Black Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Hill Partridge, Koklas and Kalij Pheasant, Eurasian Woodcock, Ashy Woodpigeon, Collared Owlet, Tawny Owl, Orange-rumped Honey Guide, Scaly-bellied Green, Crimson-breasted Pied and Rufous-bellied Pied Woodpecker, Maroon-backed and Altai Accentors, Orange-flanked, Golden, White-browed and Rufous-breasted Bush Robins, Blue-capped Redstart, Plain-backed and Long-tailed Mountain Thrushes, Long-billed Thrush, White-collared and Grey-winged Blackbirds, Chestnut and Mistle Thrushes, Chestnut-headed Tesia, Black-faced Warbler, Greater Scaly-breasted Wren-Babbler, Great, Brown and Black-throated Parrotbills, Striated, Spotted and Black-faced Laughing-Thrushes, White-browed and Green Shrike-Babblers, Hoary Barwing, Black-browed, Yellow-browed and Grey-crested Tits, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Lancelot Jay, Yellow-billed Blue Magpie, Eurasian Nutcracker, Red-browed Finch, Eurasian Goldfinch, Common Crossbill, Plain Mountain-Finch, Collared Crossbeak, Rosefinches and Bullfinches. Other wildlife along the route include Rhesus Macaque, Grey Langur, Red Fox, Lesser Panda, Yellow-throated Marten, Himalayan Tahr, Bharal and Orange-bellied Squirrel.
DAY 10: FOREST CAMP OR DHAULAGIRI LODGE
We spend today Birdwatching in this great forest, alive with birds.
DAY 11: GHOREPANI
Walking approx. 3 hours.
We start with an climb to Gorepani again the trail passes through forests of oak and rhododendron. The rest of the day is spent birding around Gorepani.
DAY 12: NAGI VIA POON HILL
Walking approx. 6 hours.
We start with a climb to Poon Hill (3193m) which can be reward with excellent mountain views from Dhaulagiri to Annapurna. Higher up the the oak and rhododendron forest are replaced by conifers with open grass and scrub covered slopes. Look out for Altai Accentor and Plain-Mountain Finch in open grassy areas near Poon Hill. After Poon Hill we start descending for Nagi (2600m) through Oak and Rhododendron forest with a rich population of birds.
DAY 13: PURANO GOAN
Walking approx. 6 hours.
We continue descending to Purano Goan. With plenty of birds,
DAY 14: POKHARA
Walking approx. 4 hours
A steep descent to the Rhurungbi Khola brings us to the confluence with the Modi Khola and Birthanti 1200m and drive to Pokhara.
DAY 15: BY ROAD TO CHITWAN
Transfer by road from Pokhara to Chitwan. A drive of approx. 4 hours. After checking in, you will have time for a late afternoon Nature Walk or Elephant Safari. The Chitwan National Park covers 932 sq. km. and supports some 450 species of birds.
Flocks of Common and Demoiselle Cranes occur on passage between March and May and October/November. Along the marshes and small lakes there are Cormorants, Darter, Cinnamon Bittern, Black-crowned Night and Purple Herons, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked and Lesser Adjutant Storks, Lesser Whistling Duck, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Balloons Ruddy-breasted and Brown Crakes, Purple Gallinule, Bronze-winged Jacana, Painted Snipe and Stork-billed Kingfisher, Chestnut-crowned and Spotted Bush Warblers, Yellow bellied Prinia, Clamorous Reed, dusky and Smoky Warblers, and Red-capped Babbler. Forest species regular seen are Lesser Fishing and Grey headed Eagle, Brown Fish Owl, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Kalij Pheasant, Emerald Dove, Orange-breasted Green and Pompadour Green Pigeon, Moustached Parakeet, Green-billed Malkoha, Brown Hawk Owl, Crested Treeswift, Pied and Great Hornbills, Streak-throated Green, Rufous, Himalayan Golden-backed and Greater Golden- backed Woodpeckers, Large Woodshrike Rosy Minivet, Black- crested Bulbul, Golden fronted Leafbird, Pale-chinned Flycatcher, Black-napped Monarch, Puff-throated Babbler, White-browed Scimitar-Babbler, Grey-throated Babbler, Crimson Sunbird, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Hill Mynah, Black-hooded Oriole, White-rumped Shama, Lesser Necklaced, Greater Necklaced and Rufous-necked Laughing-thrushes, Nepal Fulvetta, Streaked Spiderhunter, yellow-bellied Warbler, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Forest Eagle, Tawny Fish Owls, Red-headed Trogon, White-browed Piculet, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Long-tailed Broadbill, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird and Little Spiderhunter
DAY 16: POKHARA- CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
Evening Cultural programme and welcome dinner Overnight at hotel.
DAY 17: DAY IN CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK
Full day jungle activities including Bird watching, canoeing, jungle walk, Elephant ride, and view sunset from the bank of Rapti River.Overnight at hotel in Chitwan National Park.
DAY 18: CHITWAN NATIONAL PARK- KATHMANDU
Full day Bird watching including visit of Twenty-Thousand Lake, one of the famous lake in Chitwan National Park,. Overnight stay at the hotel In Kathmandu.
DAY 19: DEPARTURE