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
mostly good, basic but comfortable around Zainabad
Ease of Birding
mostly unchallenging
Photographic Opportunities
very good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Greg de Klerk and David Erterius were great - super knowledgeable and really kind. You can tell that they both care about birds and their guests. I hope I can go on a Rockjumper tour with them again.

David Hoddinott was at his best even on new grounds full of lifers.

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

The Andaman Islands were a first for RockJumper and a first for David Hoddinott. It was an incredible experience and also exciting to share the first of all new endemics  with David .

This trip was great! We were told the trip should generate about 250 bird species and our total was very close. Peter was excellent at finding birds, leading us and keeping a positive group atmosphere. The local guides also were competent and helpful. Accommodations are not an important aspect of a trip to me but the ones we stayed at were excellent, as were the meals. The trip was an excellent introduction to India for me tho I was happy to have it very much concentrate on birding.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
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