Bespoke Tours Itineraries

Nepal

A mix of birds, mammals and culture in the magical Kingdom of Nepal, this country has become one of our favorite destinations. Our itineraries are mostly in the Nepalese lowlands with the backdrop of the snow-capped Himalaya. We stay in superb camps and chalets that provide a high standard of creature comfort with wildlife literally on the doorstep. Without rushing we recorded 368 species of birds on our visit in January/February 2003, including Ibisbill, Pied Harrier, Wallcreeper and the rare and much sought-after Long-billed Plover, which we have now seen on two out of our three trips to Nepal. Other mouth-watering species included Brown Fish Owl, Great Thick-knee, 33 species of raptor, beautiful niltavas, Red-flanked Bluetail, the fantastic Golden Bush Robin, four species of forktail and many many others.

We will visit the forested mountain Phulchowki on the outskirts of Kathmandu which we will ascend in four-wheel drive vehicles. In February we will see the beautiful show of rhododendron flowers which grow in profusion on the mountain slopes while the moss covered oaks are always a good place to find small birds including the rare Cutia. At the bottom of the mountain are the Godavari Botanical Gardens in which we will see a host of beautifully coloured redstarts, niltavas, thrushes, warblers amongst others.

 We will visit the world famous lowland National Park at Chitwan where an Elephant ride is likely to result in superb sightings of the rare Indian One-horned Rhino and there is always a chance of a Tiger. Here we will also have a canoe ride down the river looking for Mugger and the prehistoric Gharial crocodiles while a jeep safari will result in many birds and mammals. We have seen Sloth Bears, Gaur (the Asiatic Bison) and Leopard on these safaris and we will be concentrating at  least part of our time on the mammals.

 The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in the far east is a huge riverine area where many species of bird of most families can be found. We will stay at Koshi Camp which is a very comfortable tented camp where Jungle Cats breed within the boundaries. Wild Water Buffalo are present along the great Koshi River which we will drift down in inflatables taking in the peace that is eastern Nepal and being watched by the ever attentive eyes of large Eagles perched on dead tree trunks in the middle of the river.

Bardia National Park in the far west is infrequently visited by British birders but where we have had great success. The area comprises sal and riverine forest alongside the great Karnali river and in addition to several bird species, absent or difficult to find elsewhere in the country, such as Great Slaty Woodpecker,  it has a superb list of mammals. It is probably the best place in Nepal for Blackbuck, Nilgai and Tiger, the latter of which we saw on our last visit. Gangetic Dolphin and Smooth Otter are both possible. Accommodation is the comfortable Rhino Lodge.

The third itinerary includes the spectacularly scenic area of Pokhara in the Annapurna foothills. Here we will also bird the area round Lumbini which is the birth place of Lord Buddha. More of an upland area where species such the brightly coloured minivets, flycatchers, yuhinas and woodpeckers vie for attention with laughing thrushes and the like.

Nepal has it all. A wonderful country with ever friendly people, superb food and scenery which equals anywhere on earth. It is a country that once experienced demands return visits.

The political situation has been a little unstable of late, but in our experience this has not really been a problem. Tourists are welcome and not the target of the anti government rebels although care has to be taken. Our agents are aware of potential problems and avoid them at all costs and we will take no risks.

ITINERARIES

NEPAL LOWLANDS

  • Day 1               Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to Hotel and overnight
  • Day 2               Full day birding Phulchowki Mountain and Godavari Botanical Gardens.
  • Day 3               Drive to Chitwan and overnight
  • Day 4               Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 5               Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 6               Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 7               Drive to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and overnight at Koshi Camp
  • Day  8              Full day birding excursion at Koshi
  • Day 9               Full day birding excursion at Koshi
  • Day 10             Full day birding excursion at Koshi
  • Day 11             Full day birding excursion at Koshi
  • Day 12             Fly back to Kathmandu and overnight
  • Day 13             City sight seeing/shopping around Kathmandu. Extra birding day can be arranged
  • Day 14             Final departure

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel, quality lodge and or camp all with private facilities.  Very comfortable tented camp at Koshi with clean shared  facilities.

Food

All meals included apart from those in Kathmandu but they are very reasonably priced.

Grading

Easy walking on the level

Focus

Birds and mammals

Leaders

Depending upon availability.

Suchit Basnet, Tika Ram Giri plus local guides

 NEPAL EAST -WEST

  • Day 1               Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel and overnight.
  • Day 2               Full day birding Phulchowki Mountain and Godavari Botanical Gardens.
  • Day 3               Fly to Bardia National Park and overnight at Rhino Lodge
  • Day 4               Full day wildlife excursion at Bardia
  • Day 5               Full day wildlife excursion at Bardia
  • Day 6               Full day wildlife excursion at Bardia
  • Day 7               Drive to Chitwan National Park and overnight
  • Day 8               Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 9               Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 10             Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 11             Drive to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and overnight at Koshi Camp
  • Day 12             Full day wildlife excursion at Koshi
  • Day 13             Full day wildlife excursion at Koshi
  • Day 14             Full day wildlife excursion at Koshi
  • Day 15             Fly back to Kathmandu and overnight
  • Day 16             City sight seeing/shopping Kathmandu. Extra birding day can be arranged
  • Day 17             Final departure

Details as previous itinerary

NEPAL CENTRAL

  • Day 1               Arrive Kathmandu. Transfer to hotel and overnight.
  • Day 2               Full day birding Phulchowki Mountain and Godavari Botanical Gardens
  • Day 3               Drive to Pokhara and overnight
  • Day 4               Full day birding around Pokhara
  • Day 5               Full day birding around Pokhara
  • Day 6               Drive to Lumbini (Birth place of Lord Buddha) and overnight Lumbini Garden
  • Day 7               Full day birding excursion at Lumbini
  • Day 8               Drive to Chitwan National Park and overnight
  • Day 9               Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 10             Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 11             Full day wildlife excursion at Chitwan
  • Day 12             Drive back to Kathmandu
  • Day 13             City sight seeing/shopping Kathmandu. Extra birding day can be arranged
  • Day 14             Final departure

Details as previous itineries

Best time to visit October to May

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