This North Indian Birding Tour takes you to Chambal. This sanctuary, once the abode of gangs of dacoits comprises ravines and river spread over three states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. This sanctuary is famous for the rare Gangetic dolphin, Indian Mugger, gharial, turtles, and 225 species of birds. It is one of the best places to see the Indian Skimmer. In a 3 hrs boat trip you can see perhaps some 40 species of birds, among them flamingos, Indian Skimmers resting on a sand bank, an Asian Openbill, Wooly-necked Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Whiskered and Black-bellied Tern, Ruddy and Common Shelduck, some Calidris, Tringa, Limosa, and Charadrius wading birds, Brown-headed Gull, Bar-headed Goose, Lesser Whistling Goose, teals and ducks, White-breasted and Pied Kingfisher, Shikras and a Brahminy Kite.
Next, we move on to Bharatpur, a World Heritage bird sanctuary. This is the best place in India for bird watching. The surrounding marshlands were once nurtured and developed by the royal family to support the famous duck shoots, which satisfied many a bored Maharajas’ morbid craving for both sport and meat. With the fading of the royal lifestyle the first family of Bharatpur, like many other royals, switched over from plundering to conservation. Ghana has become a vast field laboratory for ornithologists and is one of the world’s best-studied wetland ecosystems. 354 species of birds are found in this small park of 29 sq km of which 11 sq. km. are marshes and the rest scrubland and grassland. The unique mix of marshes, pastures and woodland at Keoladeo is the key to the high density and diversity of birds.. It is possible to spot 150 species in a single morning.
The last stop is at Ranthambhor which used to be the hunting grounds of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Today, it is famous for its tigers and is one of the best places in the country to see these majestic predators in the wild. The tigers can be easily spotted even during the day. Ranthambore’s royal past manifests itself in the picturesque ruins the dot the Park. There are lake palaces, old fortifications and majestic thousand year old fortifications on a height overlooking the Park. The Park covers an area of 1334 sq. km. and is set between the Aravali and Vindhya ranges. Its deciduous forests were once a part of the magnificent jungles of Central India. The terrain is rugged and there are rocky ridges, hills and open valleys. It is centered by five lakes which attract water birds and mammals during the winter months. The park also offers good birding. Species recorded here include the crested serpent eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, great Indian horned owl, grey partridge, common sandgrouse, quail, red spur fowl, common pea fowl, tree pie, paradise fly catcher, pheasant tailed jacana, painted stork, white necked stork, spoonbill, green pigeon, whitebacked vulture, king vulture, whitebreasted kingfisher, spotted dove, ring dove, couca and the golden Wood pecker.
Day 1: Chambal
Arrive Delhi airport and direct depart by surface for Chambal (280 kms/5 hrs drive). Arrive Chambal and check in to the lodge. You can enjoy an afternoon boat ride on Chambal river. The most notable bird species of the Chambal is the localized Indian Skimmer. Other notable species include the Small Pratincole, Great Thick-knee, River Tern and Black-bellied Tern. Other species present in the area include Osprey, Black Kite Black-eared Kite, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long- legged Buzzard, Steppe Eagle, Rock Dove, Asian Koel, Brown Boobook (or Brown Hawk-Owl), Sand, Greater Short-toed and Crested Larks, Grey-throated Sand Martin, Masked and Himalayan Wagtails, Desert Wheatear, Rufous-fronted and Plain Prinias, Lesser Whitethroat, Common and Large Grey Babblers and Bank Myna. The river also hosts the Gangetic Dolphin, the endemic fish eating Gharial and Marsh Crocodiles.
Day 2: Bharatpur
Morning depart by surface for Bharatpur (140 kms/3 hrs drive). Arrive Bharatpur by lunch, check in to the hotel. Afternoon birding in Keoladeo bird sanctuary on cycle rickshaws. Bharatpur is an unraveled breeding site for the Painted Stork, Asian Openbills, Indian & Little Cormorants, Purple & Black Crowned Night Herons, Black headed Ibises & Eurasian Spoonbills. Some of the other notable species here are the Ferruginous and Comb ducks, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Sarus and Common cranes, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Yellow and Black bitterns, Greylag and Bar-headed goose, Red-crested and Common pochards. Other common species include White-breasted Waterhen, Brown Crake, Greater Painted-Snipe (sometimes numbering over 30 birds in a village pool), Ruff, Spotted Redshank, Temminck’ s Stint , Bronze-winged and Pheasant-tailed jacanas, Pied Avocet and Black- winged Stilt.
Day 3: Bharatpur
One full day birding in Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary accompanied by our local guide. Overnight at hotel
Day 4: Ranthambhore
Morning birding into the sanctuary. Later transfer to the station to board the train for Sawai Madhopur. Golden Temple Mail/12903 at 1030/1255 hrs. Arrive Sawai Madhopur station and transfer to Ranthambhore National Park (15 min drive). Post lunch game drive into the national park by mode of canter (open mini bus).
Day 05 & 06: Ranthambhore National Park
Morning & Evening game drives into the national park by mode of canter (open mini bus).
Day 07: Delhi & Departure
Morning game drive into the National Park by mode of canter (open mini bus). Later transfer to the Sawai Madhopur station to board the train for Delhi. Golden Temple Mail/12903 at 1230/1835 hrs. Arrive Delhi and transfer to the airport to board the flight for onward destination.
USD 1220 - 2 to 3 persons travelling
USD 1140 - 4 to 5 persons travelling
USD 1060 - 6 to 8 persons travelling
Accommodation for 06 nights on twin/single share room basis with private facilities, Most meals, all surface transfers by air-conditioned vehicles, 01 Boat Safari on Chambal River for 03 hrs, 01 full & 02 half days birding in Keoladeo Bird Sanctuary by cycle rickshaws, 06 game drives by canter (open mini bus) at Ranthambhore National Park, English speaking local guides/ naturalist inclusive of guiding and park entry fees payable, Assistance on arrival and departure at each destination
The design of Kalypso Birding Tours is focused on the selected bird-rich areas covering hot spots. The tour spans the entire range of altitude and habitat, thus presenting a unique birding opportunity.
VISITORS TO INDIA MUST OBTAIN A VISA BEFORE DEPARTURE
INFORMATION ON WEATHER, CLIMATE & CLOTHING
In general the weather will be warm and pleasant. You will need cotton wear during the day but nights can be cold during December and January.
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
How to pack ?
Daypack is a small backpack carried personally through out. We suggest you pack in it :
• Spare pair of socks, hankie and hand towel
• Camera & film
• Binoculars, and bird book
• Bandana / scarf, and sun hat
• Flash light / head light with spare cells
• Sun block lotion
• Chocolates, candy, dry fruit as per choice
• Personal medication
• Sweater or light jacket (when going up the hills)
• Personal documents
Holdall bag / Suitcase: Pack what you need for overnight and subsequent days. Items you are likely to need :
• Sets of spare clothing,
• Trainers and camp slippers
• Spare underwear and hankies
• Personal toilet bag
• Wet-bag for carrying wet clothing
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.