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Best time to visit

October - May (ideal)
June - September (good)

For Whom

Keen birdwatchers and bird photographers.

Extended Weekend Tours

Long Breaks

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Point Calimere 3 Nights / 4 Days from Rs. 11,500/-

Summary

A birding expedition to a globally recognized wetland (RAMSAR site) during the peak wintering season of birds in the wetlands of South Asia. This is an ideal tour for bird-watchers keen on recording several sub-continental wetland rarities among 250 plus species of birds recorded from the location. This is also among the less explored, but highly noteworthy, birding locations in India.

Located on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu, India, Point Calimere is a globally significant wintering ground and stopover for migratory wetland waders and wildfowl on their southward journey to wintering sites in Sri Lanka.Point Calimere’s habitat diversity includes, freshwater and salt marshes, brackish lagoons, mud-flats, salt-pans, coastal beaches, mangroves and terrestrial habitats including grasslands and dry evergreen vegetation unique to southeast India.

The endangered spoon-billed sandpiper and Asian Dowitcher have been recorded from Point Calimere. There are several subcontinental endemics among the land-birds Indian bushlark, white-browed bulbul and plaintive cuckoo to name a few.

Other wildlife that you are likely to encounter in the location includes a thriving population of the patchily distributed blackbuck - an antelope, Indian pangolin, giant flying foxes and several species smaller mammals. Notably, dolphins can sometimes be sighted near the fishing jetty of the Kodikarai village and the threatened dugongs, a large sea mammal, are known to occur in the shallow bays around Point Calimere.

Itinerary Outline

  • Day 1: Chennai - Trichy overnight train
  • Day 2: AM Transfer to Point Calimere for late lunch. PM birding in Point Calimere National Park
  • Day 3: AM Birding in wetlands around Point Calimere and PM Birding in main lagoon.
  • Day 4: AM birding in main lagoon and PM transfer to Trichy for overnight train
  • Day 5: AM arrival in Chennai

Facilities

Accommodation: : Simple forest accommodation or simple hotel rooms.
Food: : Simple local vegetarian.
Transport: : Train transfers in upper class A/C coaches. Road Transfers in Toyota Qualis or Tempo Traveller (dependent on group size)
Difficulty level: : Easy to moderate for infrastructure limitations.
Dates : Mail us for latest schedule
Please note that we can customise schedule for independent travel
Costs : INR 11,500/person
- based on minimum 4 persons traveling, ex-Chennai.

Terms & Conditions

  1. Tour costs are based on twin sharing basis ex-Chennai and is all inclusive (transport, accommodation, food, personnel and all taxes and fees). Personnel includes an expert birding guide, a tour leader and resource persons from the local fishing community. Maximum group size for this tour is 6.
  2. Bookings are confirmed only upon full payment of the tour cost by the last date - 15 days before departure.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

FYI and Guidelines

  1. Point Calimere and its surrounding areas offer minimal tourist infrastructure. Accommodation will be basic and food will be local and largely vegetarian (rice, lentils, vegetables and fruits).
  2. Weather will be pleasant, and sunny, with temperatures rarely exceeding 30 Celsius and rarely dipping below 20 Celsius. However, cyclonic storms, associated with the winter monsoons are a potential, albeit unlikely occurrence. Please bring rain-gear just in case.
  3. Please bring binoculars or a spotting scope. Wetland birds are typically distant and close approach is often difficult.
  4. Most birding will be on foot and sometimes in marshy areas. We recommend that you wear comfortable river sandals while birding.
  5. A hat and sunblock are highly recommended.
  6. Please bring essential medication with you.