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Mid-November to Early April

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Wildlife Enthusiasts, Birdwatchers, Birds & Wildlife Photographers.

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Megafauna & Primates: Manas, Kaziranga, Hoollongapar 8 Nights / 9 Days

Summary

If you want to experience some of India’s greatest wildlife areas and see some of its (and the world’s) rarest animals, this trip is for you. Traversing the lowlands of Assam, we first explore the Terai of the Manas and Kaziranga Tiger Reserves, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, known for their incredible density of megafauna and rare animals. We also visit a small patch of evergreen forest at the Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary, where an impressive seven species of primates are found. On the way, we are guaranteed to see among the last populations of the Indian Rhino, Swamp Deer and Asiatic Water Buffalo as well as Asiatic Elephant. We are likely to see Hoolock Gibbon, India’s only Ape, Golden Langur, among the rarest primates in the world and Gangetic Dolphin, an endangered dolphin of Himalayan rivers. With luck, we might also see superb species like Slow Loris, Clouded Leopard, Pygmy Hog and Tiger as we explore these fascinating parks of the Assam Plains. If you are interested in birds there are over 600 species to be found, including several regional endemics, in an ecoregion known for its incredibly rich biodiversity.

Itinerary Outline

  • Day 1, 2 & 3: Manas Tiger Reserve (AM transfer from Guwahati, Assam).
  • Day 4, 5 & 6: Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
  • Day 7 & 8: Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary.
  • Day 9: PM Arrival in Guwahati, Assam.

Facilities

Accommodation: : Comfortable accommodation in plantation bungalows and quaint jungle resorts particularly noted for their close-to-nature location and set-up to host keen nature enthusiasts
Food: : Largely local/pan-Indian with a few international dishes.
Transport: : Road transfers in MUV’s.
Difficulty level: : Easy, with a few easy paced walks in evergreen forests.
Dates : TBA
Please note that we can customise schedule for independent or small group travel.
Costs : TBC
Price inclusions : Transfers and Transport, ex-Guwahati / Accommodation / Food / Naturalist cum Tour Leader / Local Guide / Safaris / Activity Charges / Entrance Fees & Taxes

Terms & Conditions

  1. Maximum group size for this tour is 6.
  2. Tour costs are per person based on twin sharing basis ex-Guwahati and is all inclusive (transport, accommodation, food, personnel and all taxes and fees). Personnel includes an experienced naturalist/tour leader and resource persons locally. Alcoholic beverages, porter charges, laundry and ala carte snacks are extra. Please check with us on specific items are included in the published tour costs.
  3. Bookings are confirmed only upon full payment of the tour cost and at least 15 days in advance from the proposed departure date.
  4. Our preferred mode of payment is through electronic transfers into our bank account. Relevant details will be provided to you once you are ready to make the payment. Alternatively we accept demand drafts/cheques in the currency of your choice.
  5. If you are paying in foreign currency, we might have apply a currency surcharge on the published rates, if the INR appreciates against your currency at the time of payment.
  6. In the unlikely event in which we are forced to cancel the tour we will refund you the entire booking amount. In case we are unable to conduct the tour due to circumstances beyond our control (for e.g. forces of nature, political conditions), we will make every effort to refund as much of the booking amount as possible.
  7. In case you to cancel your booking more than one month in advance from the tour date, we will refund at least 50% of the tour cost (assuming tour costs are fully paid). The precise refund beyond this will be dependent on the refund policies of our travel partners that we use on tour. In case you cancel your booking less than 1 month from the start of the tour, we will refund 10% of your booking amount

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, 2 & 3, Manas Tiger Reserve:

We leave Guwahati at 8 AM on Day 1 and reach Manas for a late lunch. We spend the next 3 days exploring grasslands and foothill forests of this enigmatic park for a number of the India’s rarest animals.

Located on the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya on the Assam-Bhutan border, Manas is very much a park on the rebound, recovering from years of insurgency that had plundered its wildlife in the 1990’s. Now its grasslands and forests are recovering, One-horned Rhino have been recently reintroduced, Tiger are thriving, Asiatic Elephant are back, and the park hosts among the last pure strains of Asiatic Water Buffalo. The park also hosts among the last known populations (globally) of Golden Langur, Hispid Hare and Pygmy Hog along with normally elusive species like the Clouded Leopard and Asian Golden Cat. There are excellent birds here as well, typical of the Terai in Assam, among them a large population of Bengal Florican. Add to the park’s faunal riches its fantastic scenery of the majestic Manas river on the foothills of the Eastern Himalaya, its little wonder that the park is the favourite of many a naturalist and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 4, 5 & 6, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve:

We leave Manas after morning activity on Day 4 and reach Kaziranga in the evening. We spend the next 3 days exploring the park for the megafauna and birds typical of swampy grasslands of the Assam plains.

Kaziranga, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is India’s greatest conservation success story, where diligent protection brought back the Indian One-horned Rhinoceros from the brink of extinction. With protection, other wildlife thrived as well, and its grasslands support large numbers of Asiatic Elephant, Asiatic Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer and among the highest densities of India’s Tigers. The mighty Brahmaputra river that flows along the park, and associated wetlands, hold little seen mammals such the Gangetic Dolphin and Fishing Cat and enrich the park to support its superb birds of 450 plus species. Some bird specialities of Kaziranga include Swamp Francolin, Pale-capped Pigeon, Imperial Eagle (and numerous other raptors), Greater Adjutant Stork, Hodgson’s Bushchat, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Finn’s Weaver, Marsh Babbler and Bengal Florican. Underlining the faunal riches of the park are the presence of Reticulated and Rock Pythons and King Cobra - among the largest reptiles in India and rarities such as the Chinese Pangolin and Hoolock Gibbon (India’s only Ape).

Day 7 & 8, Hoollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary:

We leave Kaziranga after morning activity on Day 7 and reach Hoollongapar for lunch. We explore this small patch of lowland evergreen forest for its fantastic diversity of Primates.

Hoollongapar’s rainforest originally extended south into the mountain forests of Nagaland. However, over time, tea plantations and settlements have isolated this patch of lowland rainforest into a small, but surprisingly biodiverse sanctuary for wildlife. Notably, there are seven species of Primates here, including the Hoolock Gibbon (India’s only Ape), Slow Loris, Capped Langur and four Macaques (Stump-tailed, Pig-tailed, Assamese and Rhesus Macaque). Given time (and the reserve’s small size) it is possible to see all seven species of primates here (six of which are restricted to the wet forests of Indochina region) - a count difficult to match anywhere else in India. Birdlife is a typical subset of the lowland rainforest of the Assam Plains, with good species like Red-headed Trogon, Black Baza and various passerines.

Day 9, Guwahati:

After morning activity on Day 9 and breakfast, we leave for Guwahati, Assam. Arrive Guwahati in the evening

 

 

FYI and Guidelines

  1. India’s northeast, including the areas we visit have sporadic instances of separatist violence. However the parks we visit on this circuit are typically safe for tourists in recent times. We will keep you duly informed if local conditions are not safe around our travel dates.
  2. Weather & Clothing: Updates closer to the dates of travel
  3. Typically birds and animals will be seen at distances where binoculars would be useful for observing them. Although we will have a pair or two binoculors to share among the group, please also carry your own optics for more timely viewing.
  4. It is best to wear earthy colored clothing to blend into the environment.
  5. A hat and sunblock are highly recommended.
  6. Please carry a small torch and insect/mosquito repellents.
  7. Please bring essential medication with you, since the local outlets will not always carry what you are looking for. Do check with your doctor on medication and medical safety before you travel to the region.