Home to over 1.2 billion people and reflecting the world’s richest cultural kaleidoscope, India is also justifiably famous for its rich avifauna and charismatic mammalian megafauna. Rockjumper’s Northern India – Birds & Tigers birding and wildlife safari is doubtlessly one of the world’s classic ‘must-do’ Tiger tours in India. We begin with astonishingly productive birdwatching on the outskirts of bustling New Delhi, before relocating to the Himalayas, where we explore Corbett National Park and the quaint hill stations of Nainital and Sattal, before returning once again to Delhi. Birding highlights include Koklass and Cheer Pheasants, Ibisbill and Wallcreeper. Next we move south to Ranthambore where we seek unforgettable encounters with the majestic Tiger, as well as numerous dry woodland birds and mammals. Look forward to a day at the world-famous waterbird sanctuary of Bharatpur, walking around wetlands teeming with waterfowl, storks, cranes, raptors and migrant passerines. We end the tour with a boat trip on the Chambal River, one of the last strongholds of the Ganges River Dolphin, Gharial and Indian Skimmer before marveling at the incomparable Taj Mahal.
Our brand new tour to the Western Himalayas takes us to the rarely visited and remote destinations of Munsiyari and Chaukori. We will have the rare opportunity to search for a host of Asia’s most tantalising and desirable species, including the stunning Satyr Tragopan, tricky Cheer & Koklass Pheasants, metallic Himalayan Monal and Wallcreeper. We’ll also visit the better-known sites of Sattal in the Kumaon Himalaya foothills and Jim Corbett National Park in search of numerous woodpeckers, hornbills, parakeets, and babblers, as well as several mammals including the scare Bengal Tiger, several deer and Asian Elephant. We have added a short Bengal Tiger extension to Ranthambhore National Park, primarily dedicated to finding the majestic Bengal Tiger but which will also provide many more opportunities for several mammals and widespread subcontinent bird species.
Our exciting new series of India birding tours to Northeast India visits a number of seldom-visited and remote destinations. We will have the rare opportunity to search for a host of Asia’s most tantalizing and desirable species including the recently discovered Temminck’s Tragopan, Bengal Florican, Black-breasted Parrotbill, Ward’s Trogon, exquisite Beautiful Nuthatch, Bugun Liocichla, incredible Grandala, Ibisbill, rare and endangered White-winged Duck, and dazzling Fire-tailed Myzornis – to name just some of the many exciting possibilities! We will explore a wealth of varied habitats and altitudes during this tour, from lush broad-leaved forests of Manas National Park near the Bhutanese border and vast wetlands along the Brahmaputra River floodplain at Dibru-Saikhowa, to mixed woodlands, grasslands and lower altitude forest in Kaziranga National Park, as well as beautiful swathes of montane and hill forest and boulder-strewn Himalayan rivers in Nameri National Park and the Eagle’s Nest area. Kaziranga also boasts an amazing mammal list and we can expect some awesome creatures including Indian One-horned Rhinoceros, Asian Elephant, Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer and possibly even Tiger! This is a very exciting India birding tour that takes us to some of Asia’s best birding sites where few birders have ever ventured; and, consequently, we will no doubt encounter many rarely-seen species!
Our Southern India tour takes us to the rugged lands of southern India and the impressive Western Ghats Mountains, a land of endless valleys, rolling tea estates and breathtaking highland vistas, well-known for harboring a superb range of highly localized endemic birds and a host of special mammals. This comprehensive tour showcases many of these special creatures: the gorgeous Indian Pitta, Wynaad's Laughingthrush, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, the rare Sri Lanka Frogmouth, exquisite Malabar Trogon, Malabar Whistling Thrush and Heart-spotted Woodpecker are just some of the incredible birds we will search for, while Indian Elephant, Gaur (Indian Bison), Wild Boar and Smooth-coated Otter are potential mammal highlights. Join us for an unbeatable birding exploration to the southern part of this immense and extremely rewarding nation!
Our new extension to the Andaman Islands will see us flying across the Bay of Bengal to Port Blair, Andaman Islands. Located some 1,100 kilometres to the east of peninsula India, this archipelago is far closer to southern Myanmar and Sumatra. Consequently, the many endemic species present have more in common with the Malaysian sub-region than with the Indian sub-continent. The archipelago is made up of c.200 or so small islands with patches of pristine tropical rainforest and palm-fringed sandy beaches! Based in a single location for the duration of our time on the islands, this is a relaxed and easy birding destination.
Our newly revamped tour of Western India showcases the much-underrated desert and scrub habitat 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.
Blog - Birding in Western India: Endangered Endemics, Vast Deserts, and Fascinating Cultures