David Erterius has an amazing memory for birds and bird calls. Our group had a variety of skills and interests, and he did a good job of balancing photographer’s and birder’s needs. As a birder with limited spotting skills, I especially appreciated his ability to get many of the birds in the scope and to give me special help when I was having trouble seeing the bird.
Our exciting new series of India birding tours to North East 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!
Southern India is widely recognized as one of the most important endemic bird areas in Asia, and our South India birding tour to this productive birding region produces not only an amazing number of endemics but also spectacular scenery as we wind our way through the Western Ghats mountain range. Birding highlights include Malabar Whistling Thrush, Indian Pitta, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Malabar Trogon and White-bellied Treepie. Furthermore, excellent mammal opportunities exist for Dhole and Gaur, amongst many others. This South India bird watching tour is offered in conjunction with our Sri Lanka – Endemic Birds & Big Game tour. This small, friendly island nation provides one of the most enjoyable and rewarding birding tours imaginable. With plenty of endemics, most of which are extremely easy to locate, comfortable lodges and an abundance of wildlife, it makes perfect sense that Sri Lanka has become such a popular birding destination. Our Sri Lanka birding tour targets all 34 endemics and other wildlife highlights of the island, including the vibrant Sri Lanka Blue Magpie, the lovely Kashmir Flycatcher, the recently described Serendib Scops Owl, Leopard, Asian Elephant and Sloth Bear.
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 new Highlights of India birding tour explores some of the most famous birding and wildlife national parks in the northern parts of this amazing country; the royal wildfowl sanctuary of Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur and the fabled Ranthambhore National Park, the tiger reserve widely considered to be one of the best places to see this most magnificent of the world’s big cats. We will also ensure that we have plenty of time to marvel at the incredible Taj Mahal and other breathtaking historic buildings in and around the town of Agra. We then head north to the incomparable Himalayas, concentrating on the very best birding sites around Ramnagar and the hill station of Nainital. Targets are both plentiful and beautiful, including such sought-after species as Cheer Pheasant, Hill Partridge, Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Collared Falconet, the monotypic Ibisbill and Wallcreeper, the stunning Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Broadbill, Red-billed Leiothrix and many more set against the stunning backdrop of the snowcapped Himalayas!
Our extension to Western India showcases the much underrated, semi-desert environs of the Great Rann of Kutch, putting us into prime Grey Hypocolius habitat. With a supporting cast that includes Cinereous and Griffon Vultures, Laggar, Red-necked and Saker Falcons as well as the odd looking Crab-plover, this short tour makes for an excellent finale to our Highlights of India tour.
ORYX’s India – Tigers & Taj Mahal photographic tour provides unbeatable opportunities to photograph Tigers in their natural habitat. We will spend several incredible days in open-top jeeps and on elephant-back, exploring two of India’s finest Tiger parks, Bandhavgarh and Kanha. This tour also takes in the wonders of Bharatpur, Chambal and Agra, where a myriad of photographic opportunities beckon. Our Varanasi – Holy City Extension visits one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Varanasi is the holiest Hindu pilgrimage site and offers unrivalled photographic opportunities. We will explore the city and meet its friendly inhabitants on foot, by cycle rickshaw and by boat on the River Ganges in pursuit of breathtaking portraits and photographic opportunities. Our Kaziranga – The Land of Giants Extension offers 4 nights photographing the rich mammal life of one of India’s top national parks. Kaziranga, which lies in the floodplain of the great Brahmaputra River in Assam, is often compared to the great African parks because of the quality of its wildlife viewing and the large numbers of big game that reside here. On account of its many Asian Rhinos, Asian Elephants and Water Buffalo, Kaziranga is locally referred to as the “Land of Giants”.