Overview

The wonderfully diverse nation of India is well-known for its verdant landscapes and the snow-capped Himalayas. It therefore surprises many people to learn that India is also blessed with some incredible deserts, and our tour showcases this much-underrated habitat by exploring some of India’s less frequented parks and reserves in the county’s dry, western parts. Desert National Park, Tal Chappar and the Great and Little Ranns of Kutch are amongst the most important of the protected areas of western India and we will visit all of them.  We will also pay a visit to the more verdant Mt Abu along with an extension to the deciduous forests of Tansa Reserve. 

Along the way we are going to see some of the most threatened and rare birds not only of India but of the whole world.  Species we are searching for include the Great Indian Bustard which sadly teeters on the brink of extinction, the almost equally rare White-browed Bush Chat, along with Indian Spotted Creeper, Yellow-eyed Pigeon, Green Avadavat, Sociable Lapwing, Macqueen’s Bustard, White-naped Tit, Marshall’s Iora, and for those doing the extension the recently rediscovered Forest Owlet.  We also stand a great chance at picking up two of the more difficult monotypic families in the world, namely Crab-Plover and Grey Hypocolius. The general birding is excellent with lots of breeding specialties supplemented by vast numbers of overwintering northern migrants including famous congregations of cranes, impressive flocks of waterfowl and waders and a number of interesting passerines.  Mammals are yet another interesting feature of this trip and along the way we can expect to see Blackbuck, Indian Gazelle and Indian Wild Ass amongst others.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Grey Hypocolius, Great Indian & Macqueen’s Bustards, huge numbers of Demoiselle Cranes, Common & Sarus Cranes, Dalmation & Spot-billed Pelican, Sociable Lapwing, Crab-plover, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Indian Courser, Red-headed, Cinereous & White-rumped Vultures, Eastern Imperial Eagle, White-eyed Buzzard, Laggar Falcon, Merlin, Jungle Bush & Rock Bush Quails, Yellow-legged & Barred Buttonquails, Black Francolin, Painted, Spotted & Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Short-eared Owl, Sykes’s & Savanna Nightjars, White-naped & Indian Black-lored Tits, Marshall’s Iora, Brown Rock Chat, Pied & White-browed Bush Chats, Bimaculated, Rufous-tailed & Sykes’s Larks, Indian Bush Lark, Black-crowned Sparrow-Lark, Desert Whitethroat, Bay-backed Shrike, Graceful & Rufous-fronted Prinias, Eastern Orphean, Asian Desert Warbler and Striolated Bunting.
Top Mammals
Asiatic Wild Ass, Asiatic Lion, Blackbuck, Nilgai, with chances for Golden Jackal, Indian and the desert subspecies of Red Fox, Striped Hyena, Grey Wolf, Jungle Cat and Wild Cat
Habitats Covered
semi-desert scrub, salt-flats, seasonal wetlands, grassland, scrubland, dry deciduous forest, coastline
Expected Climate
warm during the day, with cooler nights and cold mornings
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local birding leader
Tour Pace & Walking
mostly relaxed with some longer drives
Accommodation
mostly good, basic but comfortable around Zainabad
Ease of Birding
mostly unchallenging
Photographic Opportunities
very good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

RBT guide, David Erterius, and local guide, Ansar Khan, were excellent! Their birding skills were off the charts, and were always mindful that all participants saw the bird whenever possible. They were a great team and always made sure that all went smoothly.

Both David and Rajveer were excellent guides. In fact, it seemed at times as though they were able to summon animals.

Clayton was friendly, informative and fun.... Very athletic and cheerful. Find him to be a wonderful guide.

We loved Glen Valentine! Very skilled, and not defensive if we questioned an ID. Liked that he continued to call out even the common birds throughout the tour, which meant we got a chance to really study each species. Good sense of humor, and fun to bird with!

They were wonderful trips. Jim Corbett was especially wonderful. Sri Lanka was a very good trip, despite all the rain we had.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2023 DEPARTURES
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