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!
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 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 short extension to Western India showcases the 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.
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.
What our clients say about tours to India
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.
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!
I thought David was an excellent guide. He certainly knows his birds and was very passionate and I also found him to be very keen to discuss birds and pass on knowledge; I enjoyed being able to share his passion. I also found him to be friendly and I had the impression that he was…
Dear Erik, Thanks for the trip report of a fantastic tour. Wow, what an experience and I am so glad we did it – most importantly with Rockjumper. Everything was taken care of and we moved smoothly from one place to the next with no problems (well none that we knew of!)
All the best!
This was my first Rockjumper trip. I definitely will be a repeat customer. The booking process was easy and painless. The transport and hotel logistics during the trip were flawless. David Hoddinott and Ansar Khan were excellent guides and worked diligently to make sure we saw as many birds as possible.
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 .
David Erterius is an absolute delight. Our group was unanimous in its respect for his exceptional birding skills, tirelessness, even temper and sense of humour. I especially appreciated that he always let us know what the plans were, and was most considerate of our needs (birds and otherwise), and our comfort. I look forward to an opportunity to travel with him again.
David Hoddinott was at his best even on new grounds full of lifers.
Clayton was friendly, informative and fun…. Very athletic and cheerful. Find him to be a wonderful guide.
The entire tour was truly excellent. David is an outstanding, world-class bird guide, talented, able-bodied, friendly and courteous. I would definitely travel with him again.
I just have to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the N. India trip and how superb the leaders are… Erik and Rich worked so well together and both are so funny, such a great combination…. With much gratitude to RBT for bringing birds and mammals into my life.
To David Hoddinott with many thanks. In my book, you are still the best guide I’ve ever birded with. Please give my regards to the office team. I am very proud to be part of the Rockjumper Family.
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.
RBT has landed a rising young star in the bird guide business; his temperament is a hidden asset…yes, he knows the birds well, but the manner in which he carries out his day-to-day duties and responsibilities as leader in a foreign land instills confidence, calm and discipline, without losing focus or patience. We enjoyed traveling with him and will look to his future trips for our travel.
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.
We really enjoyed both tours. The leader, Stephan Lorenz, was very helpful and worked hard to make the birding trips a success. We appreciated the local guides on both trips as well. They were all very good at getting the job done and making it all enjoyable and seamless. We always feel we are in…
David was an excellent leader with exceptional birding skills. He was very attentive and helpful in handling both the birding and the logistics. In addition to his birding and guiding skills, David is also very personable and easy to talk to. I would definitely go on another trip with him as a guide.
We had a wonderful trip with Rich Lindie and Stephan Lorenz, and we would certainly be happy to travel with either of them again. They were both excellent with the birds, had a great sense of humour, and were helpful and patient when individuals required extra assistance. In addition to the birding, we enjoyed a…
I just have to write and tell you how much I enjoyed the N. India trip and how superb the leaders are… You know that, you only have world class guides. The last two days made the trip ‘beyond expectations’ with the birds we saw in Saital… Erik and Rich worked so well together and both are so funny, such a great combination. I especially have to thank Rich for taking pictures for me: I can immediately tell which ones he took: they make clear memories that are memorable…. With much gratitude to RBT for bringing birds and mammals into my life.
Both David and Rajveer were excellent guides. In fact, it seemed at times as though they were able to summon animals.
This was a great trip. A terrific itinerary and we saw lots of birds and we saw tigers at Ranthambhore and Corbett. Glen and [the local leader] were excellent guides—great spotting skills, and they made sure everyone saw the bird. The logistics worked very well because Glen and [the local leader] were a great team.