This short Kerala Endemics birding tour to the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at Thattekkad and the hill country at Munnar is ideal for those looking for a quick birding trip to the tropics. Most of the Western Ghats endemics are sighted on this trip.
Day 1, 2 & 3: Thattekkad
Arrive Thattekkad. Meet up with your guide and commence the Kerala Endemic Birds tour. We will settle into the Hornbill Camp set in the midst of the forest and on the banks of the Periyar River. We will proceed for birding. You should sight the Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimsonbacked Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet and Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scopes Owl and Spotbellied Eagle Owl. You should also be able to sight the Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia and the Grey headed fishing eagle.
Day 4 & 5: Munnar
Depart for Munnar early morning. The drive will take approximately 2 hours. Proceed for birding at Rajamala & the nearby sholas (high altitude evergreen forests). You should sight the endemics Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Pipit, Whitebellied shortwing and the Broadtailed Grassbird. We will also take a tour to the Bodi Ghats for Yellow Throated bulbul, Indian robin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Blue Faced Malkoha and the Black eagle. On the way, stop at the Lockhart Gap for birding amongst the sholas.
Day 6: Depart
Depart for Kochi after the end of the Kerala Endemics Birding Tour.
Price: US $ 750 per person (ex flights), based on 2 persons travelling.
Inclusions: Price includes accommodation, all meals, transportation, guide fees, entrance fees. This trip can also be tailor-made. Extensions to other destinations in South India also possible.
Departures: This trip can be tailor-made to suit your interests of time and budget requirements as necessary.
The design of Kalypso Birding Tours is focused on the selected bird-rich areas covering hot spots in Kerala.
VISITORS TO INDIA MUST OBTAIN A VISA BEFORE DEPARTURE
INFORMATION ON WEATHER, CLIMATE & CLOTHING
In general the weather will be warm during the day, except in the hills, where it will be cooler. You will need cotton wear, with full sleeves for evenings, except at Ooty & Munnar where it will be colder at nights. Suggested list of essentials is given under logistics.
LIST OF CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT
• Trekking/ walking or running shoes ( trainers)
• Campshoes or throngs ( flip-flops)
• Socks – Cotton. One pair woolen or polypropylene.
• Sweater or light jacket
• Hiking shorts or skirts
• Light Waterproof jacket / poncho
• Hiking pants
• T-shirts or Blouses
• Sunhat ( wide brim preferable)
• Swimwear ( optional)
• Small Rucksack (day pack)
• Water bottle
• Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb
• Toilet articles
• Swiss knife
• Sunblock ( at least SPF-35 for the higher altitudes)
• Hand Towels for day use
• Laundry soap
• Personal medical kit
• Pre-moistened towelets
• Sewing kit
• Bandana / sweatband
• Sun glasses
• Global positioning system GPS
• Laptop or Notebook for recording bird lists etc
Water Bottle: Suggest carry on person either in day pack or on belt.
Tripods/ telescopes & allied equipment
India is located in south-central Asia. Its climate is mostly tropical or sub-tropical and subject to seasonal monsoon winds, especially the southwest rain during summer. (Feb to Mar are dry months)
India is an economically developing democratic republic and has worked very hard to control diseases. Adequate medical care is available in the major population centers, but is usually limited in the rural areas of the country. Many developed countries are utilizing the state-of-the-art medical services available in India. The cost of treatment is much cheaper here in comparison to the same facilities available in advanced countries.
The most important cause of illness of travelers in India is food and waterborne diseases. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites can cause diarrhea. Infections may cause simple diarrhea and vomiting, fever, or, in extreme cases, liver damage (hepatitis). Malaria is a preventable infection that can create trouble if left untreated. One can prevent infection by taking prescribed anti-malarial drugs and protecting against mosquito bites. The regions you will be passing is Malaria-free.
Please ensure that your insurance company covers illnesses and accidents abroad.
During this birding trip you need not worry about your fitness if you take simple precautions:
• Carry all the important presc
• Wear a sun hat when exposed.
• Drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink tap water. Use only bottled mineral water which is always kept in the back of your vehicle.
• Carry your personal medical kit and insect repellent.
• To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot.
• Do not eat food purchased from street vendors.
• Do not drink beverages with ice.
• Do not eat dairy products unless it is known that they have been pasteurized.
• Avoid handling animals (especially monkeys, dogs, and cats) to avoid bites and serious diseases.
Although yellow fever does not occur in India, proof of appropriate vaccination may be required depending on countries visited before coming to India. Any person (except infants up to the age of six months) arriving by air or sea without a certificate is detained in isolation for a period up to six days if he or she:
• Arrives within six days of departure from an infected area, or
• Has been in such an area in transit.
• Has come on a ship which has started from or touched at any port in a yellow fever infected area within 30 days of its arrival in India provided such ship has not been disinfected in accordance with the procedure laid down by WHO, or has come by an aircraft that has been in an infected area and has not been disinfected in accordance with Indian or WHO regulations
The following countries and areas are regarded by India as infected:
Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Surinam, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela, Zaire, Zambia.
No other vaccination certificate is mandatory, though you may like to consult your doctor for inoculation against typhoid, hepatitis A, and meningitis.
Visit your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before the trip to allow time for shots to take effect. The following vaccinations can be thought about depending upon your doctor’s advice:-
Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG):
Japanese encephalitis, only if planning to visit rural areas for four weeks or more; Rabies, if someone is exposed to wild or domestic animals during recreation.
Medical Information Update
Information given above are liable to change from time to time and one should contact the Indian missions of the respective country or the government tourist offices for more information.