NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK
Namdapha National Park is situated at the southeastern tip of Arunachal Pradesh and bounded by the international boundary with Myanmar to the south and east. The BNHS camp will be at low altitude and there is no strenuous trekking involved. All walks are on plain forest roads.
Walking in the dense evergreen forests is truly an unforgettable experience, one can see birds like five species of hornbills namely Brown, Rufous-necked, Great Pied, Oriental Pied, and Wreathed Hornbill; White-bellied Heron, Pied Falconet, Greater and Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush; Sultan Tit. In addition, mammals like Hoolock Gibbon and Yellow-throated Marten can also be seen. The Northeast is a butterfly watcher’s paradise and Namdapha attracts many butterflies like White Dragontail, Popinjay, Great Windmill, Powdered Baron, Punchinello, Common Lascar, Red-base Jezebel, Staff Sergeants, Archduke, Purple Emperor, Fluffy Tit, Great Nawab, Variegated Rajahs and many more.
The camp will be led by Mr. Isaac Kehimkar renowned butterfly expert and author of “The Book of Indian Butterflies”. He will also give tips on how to observe and how to take photographs of these fascinating insects.
Dates: 9th – 16th October 2014
Group leader: Mr. Isaac Kehimkar
Camp Charges: Rs. 25,500/- for members, and Rs. 26,700/- for others (ex-Guwahati)
Accommodation: Twin/triple sharing in Forest Guest House.
Reporting: Reporting on Thursday, 9th October (Day One) at Guwahati at 3.00 p.m. (evening) at Hotel Mayur, Paltan Bazaar, near Guwahati railway station.
Travel by overnight bus to Miao by Network Travels. Return to Guwahati on 16th October 2014 early morning. Participants are advised to arrive at Guwahati ONE day prior and book return tickets from Guwahati after 12.00 noon on 16th October.
How to reach: Guwahati is well connected by air and rail. Alternately, one can avoid overnight bus journey from Guwahati as Miao is accessible from Dibrugarh airport.
Bare minimum facilities will be available at the campsite, including simple vegetarian meals.All luggage will be carried separately in vehicles.
COORG AND BHADRA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Madikeri, Coorg: Madikeri is a small hill station in the Coorg district of Karnataka, situated in the heart of the Western Ghats. Madikeri is an ideal place for birds and butterflies. It is an excellent destination to see endemic birds like Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-cheeked Barbet, Malabar Trogon, Small Sunbird, Malabar Parakeet, Grey-fronted Green-pigeon, Square-tailed Black Bulbul, Flame-throated Bulbul and Malabar Barbet. This season is also good for butterflies, if you are lucky you can spot the largest butterfly in India, the Southern Birdwing. You can also spot Blue Mormon, Common Map, Paris Peacock, Dark Blue Tiger, and Colour Sergeant.
Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: A tiger reserve under Project Tiger and a biodiversity hotspot, the Sanctuary is covered by dry deciduous, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forest. Large mammals like Tiger, Indian Bison (Gaur), Asian Elephant, Wild Dog, Sloth Bear, four types of deer namely Sambar, Barking, Spotted, and Mouse Deer. Malabar Giant Squirrel and Indian Giant Flying Squirrel can be seen here. A boat ride in the Bhadra river gives great opportunity for a close encounter with Marsh Crocodile and waterbirds. Bhadra is also home to endemic birds like Red Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, White-bellied Treepie, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Blue-faced Malkoha, and other forest birds like Vernal Hanging-parrot, Great Pied Hornbill, Orange-breasted Green-pigeon, Jerdon’s Leafbird, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, and Greater Flameback.
Dates: 29th October – 2nd November 2014
Group leader: Ms Prachi Galange
Camp Charges: Rs. 28,200/- for members, and Rs. 29,400/- for others (ex-Mangalore)
Accommodation: Twin sharing basis in Bhadra and upto 4 sharing in Coorg.
Reporting: Pick-up on Day One outside Mangalore Central Railway Station at 8:00 a.m. Drop on last day at 1:00 p.m. outside Mangalore Central Railway Station.
How to reach: Matsyagandha Exp (12619) starts from LTT (Mumbai) at 3:20 p.m., and reaches Mangalore Central at 7:30 p.m.
Return: Matsygandha Exp (12620) starts from Mangalore Central at 1:30 p.m.
Air: Mangalore is well connected by air with several direct flights.
Cost includes: Accommodation, food, transfers to/from Mangalore, and visit to Sanctuaries and safaris.
BANDIPUR AND NAGARHOLE NATIONAL PARK (KABINI)
Bandipur National Park: Once the hunting ground of the Maharaja of Mysore, Bandipur is primarily a dry deciduous forest. Together with Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole, and Mudumalai National Park it forms the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, making it part of the largest protected area in southern India.
Bandipur has a good population of Asian Elephants, Tiger, Leopard, Cheetal and Gaur. Apart from these animals one can spot birds like Red Spurfowl, Lesser Adjutant, Crested Serpent Eagle, Spot-billed Pelican, Emerald Dove, Indian Nightjar, Stork-billed Kingfisher and White-bellied Woodpecker.
Nagarhole National Park: This Park is most famous for its Leopard sightings due to the high density of its Leopard population. The Park has a variety of habitats from grassy swamps to moist and dry deciduous forests, with an abundance of wildlife and biodiversity. Large mammals like Tiger, Leopard, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Asian Elephant, Gaur, Barking Deer, Sambar, Grey Mongoose, Striped Hyena, Wild Boar, Indian Giant Flying Squirrel, and Malabar Giant Squirrel can be seen during the camp. Birds like Red Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Pallas’s and Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon, Grey-headed and Yellow-footed Green-pigeon, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Malabar and Blossom-headed Parakeet, Malabar Trogon, White-cheeked Barbet, Black-rumped Flameback, White-naped Flameback, Common Flameback and Greater Flameback, Purple Sunbird, Loten’s Sunbird, Small Sunbird, and Purple-rumped Sunbird can be seen here.
Dates: 22nd – 26th November 2014
Group leader: Mr. Vandan Jhaveri
Camp Charges: Rs. 40,000/- for members, and Rs. 41,200/- for non-members (ex-Bangalore)
Accommodation: Twin sharing basis, in Bandipur Safari Lodge (2 nights), & Kabini River Lodge (2 nights).
Reporting: Pick-up on Day One outside Bangalore City Jn. Railway Station, 06:00 a.m. Drop on last day at 05:00 p.m. It is advisable to arrive one day earlier in Bangalore.
How to reach: Coimbatore Exp (11013) and Udyan Exp (16529) running daily to Bangalore.Return: Udyan Exp (11302) Departure from Bangalore at 08:10 p.m.
Air: Bangalore is well connected by air with several direct flights.
Cost includes: Accommodation, food (first day Lunch to last day Breakfast), Transfers to/from Bangalore and visit to Sanctuaries, safari charges, and entry to the park.
LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH
Known for being the last refuge for the Indian Wild Ass, Little Rann of Kutch is a large salt marsh situated in Gujarat. The Little Rann of Kutch is a birding paradise and a Ramsar Site. Birding at the lakes and marshes is very rewarding. In winter, Demoiselle and Common Crane are seen in large numbers. Flamingos, pelicans, storks, ibises, spoonbill, a variety of ducks and other waterfowl are also seen. The Rann is also the hunting ground of raptors like the Short-toed Eagle, buzzards, Aquila eagles, six species of falcon, and three species of harrier. It is one of the few places where hundreds of harriers can be seen roosting on open ground at night. And of course, it is the perfect place to see the Indian Wild Ass. The main carnivores of the Little Rann are the Indian Wolf, Desert Fox, Indian Fox, Jackal, Desert and Jungle Cat, and Striped Hyena. The elegant Blackbuck, Nilgai or Blue Bull, and Chinkara are the other mammals seen.
Batch I: 12th – 15th December, 2014
Batch II: 16th – 19th December, 2014 (On demand)
Group leader: Ms Prachi Galange
Camp Charges: Rs. 15,500/- for members, and Rs. 16,700/- for others (ex-Ahmedabad)
Accommodation: Twin sharing at Rann Riders
Reporting: Ahmedabad railway station at 08:00 a.m. on Day One. Drop off at Ahmedabad at 06:00 p.m. on the last day
How to Reach: Ahmedabad is well connected by air, rail, and road with major cities. Rail: You can take BCT Duronto Exp (12268) which leaves Mumbai late at night and arrives in Ahmedabad early next morning; there are many other trains as well which arrive in Ahmedabad early morning.
GREAT RANN OF KUTCH
Explore the areas bordering the Great Rann of Kutch and other interesting places like Banni grassland, and Chhari-Dhand for bird watching and observing fossils. Winter is the perfect time to watch a variety of migratory birds that come to these places in thousands. It is also a good time to see Short-eared Owl, Greater Spotted Eagle, Tawny Eagle and Steppe Eagle, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse and Painted Sandgrouse, Grey Francolin and Black Francolin, Cream-coloured Courser and Indian Courser, Sykes’s Lark, Great Indian Bustard, Crab Plover, Greater Flamingo and Lesser Flamingo, Common Crane, Oystercatcher, Great Thick-knee, White-naped Tit, White-bellied Minivet, Rufous-fronted Prinia, buntings, Grey Hypocolius, Indian Nightjar, Savanna Nightjar, Sykes’s Nightjar, Graceful Prinia, Red-tailed Wheatear, and many more.
Dates: 16th – 20th December, 2014
Group Leader: Mr. Vandan Jhaveri
Charges: Rs. 12,700/- for members, and Rs. 13,900/- for others (ex-Bhuj)
Charges Include: Transport from Bhuj railway station, local travel, entry fee, simple vegetarian meals and basic accommodation on twin-sharing basis).
Reporting: Bhuj Station at 7:30 a.m. on Day One, drop at Bhuj Station at 06:00 p.m. on the last day.
How to Reach: BDTS Bhuj Exp (19115) which leaves Bandra daily at 02:50 p.m. and reaches Bhuj at 07:25 a.m. next morning
Return: Bhuj BDTS Exp (19116) leaves Bhuj at 10:15 p.m. and reaches Bandra next day at 01:55 p.m.
Tal Chhapar, Jorbeed, Kheechan and Desert National Park
Join BNHS on an expedition through Rajasthan, exploring some of the most spectacular sites for desert life.
Kheechan: Witness one of the most amazing spectacles of bird congregation, over 9,000 Demoiselle Cranes in small village of Kheechan. Every winter the village plays host to these cranes, which make Kheechan one of the best places to see and photograph these normally shy birds.
Jorbeed: An ideal place to see endangered vultures is the carcass dump at Jorbeed. Jorbeed is also famous for the rare and Vulnerable Yellow-eyed Pigeon which are seen in flocks around the dump, and birds like Griffon Vulture, Cinereous Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Tawny Eagle, Punjab Raven, and Imperial Eagle.
Desert National Park: Best place to see the Critically Endangered Great Indian Bustard. During winter, the park comes alive with an array of migrants like four species of wheatears namely Isabelline, Desert, Variable, and Red-tailed Wheatear, Common Kestrel, White-rumped Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Houbara Bustard, White-browed Bushchat, Desert Warbler, Desert Lark, Bimaculated Lark, Black-crowned Finch-Lark, Short-toed Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard are found here. Mammals like Desert Fox, Chinkara, Desert Cat, Indian Wolf, and Indian Gerbil can be seen here.
Tal Chhapar Sanctuary: If your idea of paradise is golden grasses with graceful antelopes leaping about and birds of many kinds living in harmony, then Tal Chhapar is the place to be. It is the perfect place to see raptors. You are likely to see Greater Spotted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Merlin, Laggar Falcon, Greater Short-toed Lark, Rufous-tailed Lark, Sand Lark, and Sociable Lapwing. It is also one of the few places where you can see the rare Spotted Creeper. But mammal lovers need not despair, this desert landscape is home to one of the largest populations of Blackbuck, a graceful Near Threatened antelope
Batch I: 20th – 25th December, 2014 (batch limit 15)
Batch II: 26th-31st December, 2014 (On Demand)
Group Leader: Mr. Asif Khan
Charges: Rs. 26,500/- for members, and Rs. 27,700/- for others (ex-Jaipur/Jodhpur)
Charges Include: Pick up and drop as per itinerary, local travel, entry fee, all meals and accommodation on twin-sharing basis.
Reporting: Day Oneat Jaipur Jn. railway station at 07:30 a.m. Drop on last day at Jodhpur railway station at 06:00 p.m. Kindly book your ticket accordingly. Note: Kindly book your ticket as early as possible (Vacation rush).
How to Reach: Jaipur – DEE Garibrath (12216) reaches Jaipur Jn. at 07:05 a.m. Return: Jodhpur–Surya Nagri Exp (12479). Flight – Jaipur and Jodhpur is also connected with direct flights.
Floating in splendid isolation, east of mainland India in the Bay of Bengal is the archipelago of emerald islands, the Andaman Islands. Explore enchanting islands, consisting of about 527 islands, both small and large. Of the 527 islands, only 38 are inhabited by humans. The Andaman group is famous for endemic flora and fauna, that are found only on these islands, which is the reason it is called the island of endemism; the islands have a very high forest cover of over 85% of the area. Andaman Island is a treat for nature lovers and enthusiasts. One can see endemics like Andaman Teal, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Andaman Crake, Andaman Coucal, to name a few other birds like Black Baza, Pied Imperial Pigeon, Collared Kingfisher and Blue-eared Kingfisher.
Dates: 18th- 25th January, 2015 (ex-Port Blair)
Charges: Rs. 31,500/- for members, and Rs. 32,700/- for others (ex-Pott Blair)
Group Leader: Mr. Asif Khan
SUNDARBANS - Land of the Royal Bengal Tiger
The Sundarbans are located in the delta of the Brahmaputra and Ganga rivers in the Bay of Bengal. One hundred and two islands are situated in this world’s largest river delta. Approximately 40 per cent of the Sundarbans is in the state of West Bengal, the rest in Bangladesh.
The Sundarbans are the largest mangrove forest in the world, covering 60 per cent of India’s total mangrove area. Almost 90 per cent of all Indian mangrove species are found here. Of course, the Royal Bengal Tiger is the flagship species of Sundarbans, where it roams in the marshy areas and if you are lucky you can see it swimming across the channel. Moreover, Sundarbans are the best place to see the Saltwater Crocodile and Water Monitor Lizard. With more than 250 bird species found here in winter, this is the perfect time to see migratory birds. One could spot seven species of Kingfishers, including the threatened Brown-winged Kingfisher.
Batch I 17th–20th January 2015
Batch II 21st–24th January 2015 (On demand)
Camp fee: Rs. 13,700/- for members, and Rs. 14,900/- for non-members (ex Kolkata)
Cost Includes: Accommodation (3/4 sharing), all meals, pick up and drop at Howrah railway station.
Group Leader: Mr. Vandan Jhaveri
Reporting: Pick up near Howrah railway station (Kolkata) in front of Yatri Niwas at 08:00 a.m. Drop at Howrah railway station at 07:00 p.m. Participants are advised to reach Howrah one day prior to the first day of camp, and also book the return accordingly to avoid last minute rush.
Bhitarkanika National Park: With 55 out of 58 species of mangroves in India present here, Bhitarkanika is a rich, green and luxuriant ecosystem. Bhitarkanika is one of the best places to see the Estuarine Crocodile basking languidly along the banks as your boat steers lazily across the water. Known to be home to more than 200 species of birds, one can spot seven species of Kingfishers here, namely Common, Pied, Black-capped, Brown-winged, Stork-billed, White-throated and Collared Kingfisher.
Mangalajodi Bird Sanctuary: The marshy waters of the Northern Banks of the Chilika Lake are home to a whole array of birds. Mangalajodi which has been declared as an Important Bird Area (IBA) is a treat for birders and photographer alike, boat rides through the marshes can get you up-close to birds like Baillon’s Crake, Wood Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Streaked Weaver, Grey-headed Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruddy Shelduck, Comb Duck, and Plaintive Cuckoo.
Chilika Lake: Chilika, India’s largest brackish-water lake is home to a whole array of birds. During this season one can see huge flocks of waterfowl; birds like Fulvous Whistling Duck, Lesser Whistling Duck, Spot-billed Pelican, Northern Shoveller, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, Greater Flamingo, Lesser Flamingo, Great White Pelican, Osprey, and White-bellied Sea-eagle.
Dates: 18th–22nd February, 2015 (ex-Bhubaneshwar)
Group Leader: Mr. Vandan Jhaveri
Charges: Rs. 20,000/- Members and 21,200/- Non-members (ex-Bhubaneshwar)
Reporting: Bhubaneswar Railway Station at 7.00 am, on day one. Drop off at Bhubaneswar railway station on last day at 12.30 p.m.
How to get there: Bhubaneswar is well connected by air. By rail: one can take the Konark Exp. (11019) which arrive in Bhubaneswar at 04.25 hrs. (Kindly note Konark Exp. takes 37 hrs, thus plan your journey accordingly).
NEORA VALLEY NATIONAL PARK & LAVA
Situated in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, the Neora Valley National Park is one of the richest biological zones in the Northeast. Though famous as the land of the Red Panda, it is also a birdwatcher’s paradise. Some of India’s most sought after birds are found here. During the camp one can see birds like Black Baza, Sapphire Flycatcher, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-eared Shrike-babbler, Himalayan Cutia, Red-tailed Minla, Greater Yellownape, Green-billed Malkoha, and five species of Sunbirds, namely Crimson, Ruby-cheeked, Green-tailed, Black-throated, Mrs. Gould’s and Fire-tailed Sunbird.
Dates: 14th-18thMarch, 2015
Group Leader: Mr. Asif Khan
Charges: Rs. 23,200/- for members, and Rs. 24,500/- for others (ex-New Jalpaiguri)
Accommodation: Two nights in Lava on twin sharing in hotel. Two nights inside Neora Valley National Park on triple/quad sharing in attic cottages.
Charges Include: Transport from railway station, local travel, entry fee, all meals and accommodation, entry to park and permits (as required).
Reporting: Pick up from New Jalpaiguri (NJP) railway station at 7.00 a.m. and drop to NJP at 3.00 p.m. on the last day. You are advised to book your tickets to arrive in NJP one day prior and leave one day later.
How to get there: NJP is well connected by air; the nearest airport, Bagdogra, is only 19 km from NJP railway station. By rail: One can take direct trains to NJP like Guwahati Exp. (15645), and Karmabhumi Exp. (15611), which run on selected days only, or reach Kolkata and then board any one of many trains to NJP.