The arid North West India holds one of the most diverse bird species of the sub-continent. Experience the great Rann of Kutch, the exciting tour of the Aravalli Hills around Mount Abu - home to the Green Avadavat and Kumbhalgarh where one can sight the White-naped Tit, Marshall's Iora and White-bellied Minivet. You will also be going to India's arid western Rajasthan, to get on the trail of the Great Indian Bustard in the vast Desert National Park. The Western India Birding Tour is indeed a tour through one of the most diverse Indian landscapes.
Day 01: Little Rann Of Kutch
Arrive Ahmedabad airport in the morning & met and transferred to Dasada (100 kms/2 hrs drive approx.) Arrive Dasada and check in to the lodge. Afternoon explore the Little Rann of Kutch by exclusive jeep, accompanied by naturalist.
Day 02: Little Rann Of Kutch
We take a morning and afternoon jeep ride into the heart of the Little Rann of Kutch today, returning for lunch. The Little Rann is most famous for its still healthy population of Indian Wild Ass, and we should see several as we go in search of the areas avian specialties. Our main targets include wintering Macqueen’s Bustard, roosting Sykes’s Nightjar, Greater Hoopoe Lark, Lesser Flamingo, Indian Courser, White-tailed Plover, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers, Imperial, Tawny and Greater Spotted Eagles and occasionally Sociable Plovers.
Day 3: Mount Abu
After a final drive at Little Rann of Kutch we depart by surface for Mount Abu (250 kms/5 hrs drive approx.) Arrive Mount Abu and check in to the hotel. This morning we will leave early for Mount Abu (125 kms / 3 hrs), spending the morning around the open scrub and fields on the top of Mount Abu will hopefully bring us into contact with another rare Indian subcontinent endemic – Green Avadavat. Mount Abu is one of the few known localities for the species and we have an excellent chance of finding a small flock feeding quietly at the base of nearby bushes. White-capped and Crested Buntings are also possible here and any time spent in the forest lower down could include Indian Scimitar Babbler.
Day 4: Kumbhalgarh
Morning birding at Mount Abu for species that we may have missed out on. Later depart by surface for Kumbhalgarh (170 kms/3 hrs drive approx.) Arrive Kumbhalgarh and check in to the camp. Kumbhalgarh, perched high up on the summit plateau of the Aravalli Range, is home to some of the species like Jungle Bush Quail, Painted Francolin, Grey Junglefowl, Red Spurfowl, Alexandrine and Plum-headed Parakeets, White- naped Woodpecker, White-spotted Fantail, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Jungle Prinia, Sulphur-bellied Warbler, Indian Yellow Tit and Crested, which we hope to see driving in the sanctuary by mode of open 4 wheel drive. Afternoon birding at Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary.
Day 5: Siana
Morning birding at Kumbhalgarh sanctuary before driving to Siana (130 kms/3 hrs drive approx.). Arrive in time for late lunch and later commence your exploration. Siana is best known as the village featured in David Attenborough ‘Life of mammals’ to film Leopard. Though we have a chance of seeing Leopard, Striped Hyena, Desert & Jungle Cat, Chinkara, the principal avian species we look for are the nomadic White-bellied Minivet, critically endangered Indian Vulture, Laggar and Red-necked Falcon, Rock Bush Quail, Sirkeer Malkoha and Painted Sandgrouse.
Day 6: Siana
Full day to explore Siana, where we avail morning & afternoon game drives by open 4 wheel drive vehicle.
Day 7: Jaisalmer
Today we will make our way to Jaisalmer (320 kms / 7 hrs). Arrive Jaisalmer by the evening, if time permits we will bird at Wood Fossil Park in Jaisalmer.
Day 8 & 9: Jaisalmer (Desert National Park)
We have two full days to explore Desert National Park by private vehicle & camel cart. The principal target is India’s most famous, but unfortunately now on rapid decline – Great Indian Bustard. However, the area is also full of birds including another declining, rare species – Stoliczka’s Bushchat, which we hope to find whilst searching for the bustard. A whole range of semi-desert species are also possible here – Cream-coloured Courser, Black-bellied, Chestnut-bellied and Painted Sandgrouse, ‘Desert’ Lesser Whitethroat, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Asian Desert Warbler, ‘Punjab’ Raven, Macqueen’s Bustard, Desert Lark, Variable Wheatear, and Lagger Falcon. Three critically endangered vultures are also possible – Indian, White-rumped and Red-headed, along with the more widespread Eurasian Griffin and Egyptian Vulture.
Day 10: Jaisalmer To Jodhpur & Departure
Early morning drive to Jodhpur Airport (320 kms/6 hrs drive approx.) to end the Western India Birding Tour.
USD 1860 - 2 to 3 persons travelling
USD 1540 - 4 to 5 persons travelling
USD 1360 - 6 to 8 persons travelling
Accommodation for 09 nights on twin share room basis with private facilities, with most meals, All surface transfers by air-conditioned vehicles, 04 game drives at LRK by exclusive 4 wheel drive, 04 game drives at Siana by exclusive 4 wheel drive, 02 game drives at Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary by exclusive 4 wheel drive, 02 Full days to explore Desert National Park by exclusive 4 wheel drive or Camel Cart, Service of an English speaking accompanying local guides: inclusive of guiding fees, park entry fees payable, Assistance on arrival and departure at each destination.
This itinerary can also be tailor-made as required.
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
Water Bottle: Suggest carry on person either in day pack or on belt.
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)
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.