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Birds & Buddhism

16 February to 3 March 2018

Leaders: Nigel Jones and Chubzang Tangbi

Maximum of 11 clients.

2018 Cost £5,499 single room supplement £420 (NEW COST - DIFFERENT FROM BROCHURE)

In 2018 we make our 12th tour to Bhutan to visit the high altitude forests of the Bhutanese Himalayas - a land of rhododendron forests, stunning panoramas and friendly Buddhist culture. Birdwatching in Bhutan is a sublime experience as it is a small sparsely populated county with small towns that are frequently surrounded by untouched habitat. In the valleys, the wide rivers provide excellent wintering habitat for the Ibisbill - that strange and enigmatic wader from the Tibetan plateau. On the upland mires, Black-necked Cranes (the world's least-known crane species) may be encountered, prior to their northward departure to their breeding grounds in Tibet. The forests are the best-preserved anywhere in the Himalayas and other species we can seek include Himalayan Monal, Blood and Kalij Pheasants, Wallcreeper, Crested Kingfisher, Great Barbet, and Yellow-billed Blue Magpie. We should come across many colourful minivets, fulvettas, minlas, yuhinas and sunbirds, and three species of forktails are possible. Although birding is our main priority, we can take time to appreciate the Buddhist culture and in particular, we shall have several opportunities to see Dzongs, which blend the role of both fortress and monastery, playing a central part in Bhutanese life.

Bhutan has taken measures to protect her environment and to try and develop a sustainable tourist industry. To this end it has restricted the number of tourists allowed to enter the country each year and it charges a high price for the privilege of entering. This is one of the factors that makes tours to Bhutan expensive, but it should ensure that future generations will be able to visit a country that has much to offer in the way of pristine landscapes, as well as being uncluttered by large numbers of tourists. This new itinerary has been designed to see the best of the country, with a minimum of long-distance travelling, and removing the need to use tents. Bhutan hotel food is excellent and varied, catering for both western and Oriental palates. This proved to be an especially popular feature on our previous tours. Travel with Chubzang and Nigel on this tour, designed to see Bhutan in the best possible way.

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Outline Itinerary
Day 1 Depart London
Day 2 Delhi
Days 3-4 Paro
Day 5 Bumthang
Day 6 Trongsa
Days 7-9 Tingtibi
Day 10 Trongsa
Day 11 Phobjikha
Days 12-13 Punakha
Day 14 Paro
Day 15 Delhi
Day 16 Depart Delhi, arrive London