Arrive Delhi, transfer to hotel
We have a morning visit to the Sultanpur, a small but very productive wetland with a mix of woodland and open thorny scrub; you can expect to see a lot! Among the more obvious birds will be the commoner egrets and herons, Black-necked and Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Glossy and Indian Black Ibis, a variety of ducks and shorebirds, White-throated Kingfisher and Hoopoe. In the wooded areas we should find Spotted Owlet, Black-rumped Flameback, Common Woodshrike and Red-breasted Flycatcher. Open areas are frequented by Black-winged Kite, Bay-backed and Long-tailed Shrikes, Pied Bushchat, Indian Roller, Green Bee-eater, Purple Sunbird, Tawny Pipit and Ashy Sparrowlark. Sind Sparrow is a special bird of the area, being a recent colonist from further west, and we will make a particular effort to locate it. Further special species that we have a chance of finding include Indian Courser, Indian Thick-knee, Verditer Flycatcher and Brook’s Leaf Warbler. We may also see Nilgai, the largest antelope in India.
In the afternoon we have city tour of New Delhi.
We have a morning departure from our hotel to transfer to the airport in time for a flight at 09:50 hrs to Guwahati. We should arrive at 12:10 hrs and then have a six hour drive in order to reach Manas and transfer to the hotel Musa Jungle Retreat where we have a four night stay.
Day 04, 05, 06
Manas National Park, is a UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the state of Assam. It is centred on the Manas River, a tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra and has mix of grassland and forest habitats that are home to a rich diversity of wildlife. For much of our stay we will explore the area by Gypsy, enjoying morning and afternoon safaris. On one day we will take a pre-breakfast elephant ride for an hour.
In the grasslands we will hope to find the endangered Bengal Florican, a shy and difficult to find species. Also here are further grassland specialities such as Rufous-rumped Grassbird, Chestnut-capped Babbler and Slender-billed Babbler, whilst more widespread species include Pied Harrier, Red Junglefowl, Black Francolin and Bluethroat. The forests are home to a rich community of birds that include Crested Serpent-eagle, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Great Hornbill, Rosy Minivet, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush and Green Magpie. The park boasts enviably long list of mammals, and among those we will hope to encounter are Asian Elephant, Water Buffalo, Assamese Macaque, Golden and Capped Langurs, Barking and Sambar Deer, Chital and Gaur.
After breakfast we drive to Kaziranga (a drive of about nine hours). On arrival we transfer to Hotel Iora / Wild Grass.
Day 08, 09, 10
Kaziranga, another UNESCO World heritage site, is famous for its large population of Indian Rhinoceros but also home to Asian Elephants, Swamp Deer, Tiger and many other mammals. We are sure to see the Rhino, plus additional deer (Barking, Chital, Sambar) and monkey species. In addition, although requiring some luck, we have a chance of encountering Tiger here as well. A mosaic of tall grasslands, lakes and woodland provide a home for some great birds including the rare Bengal Florican, a difficult to see speciality of the grasslands. Other grassland species include Swamp Francolin and Slender-billed Babbler. The Greater Adjutant is not the most attractive of species, but Assam and Kaziranga in particular is one of its last strongholds. Other stork species here include Woolly-necked, Black-necked and Lesser Adjutant. Lakes attract wildfowl – Lesser Whistling Duck, Ferruginous Duck and Bar-headed Goose, and waders include Grey-headed Lapwing and Marsh Sandpiper. Overhead we will see an interesting variety of raptors with Pallas’s and Grey-headed Fish-eagle, Himalayan Griffon, Osprey, Pied Harrier, Greater Spotted and White-tailed Eagle, Changeable Hawk-eagle and Red- headed Merlin among the possibilities. Woodland areas attract Coppersmith Barbet, Black-rumped Flameback, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Black-hooded Oriole, Rufous Treepie and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch. Other birds we might find in this superb area include Spot-billed Pelican, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Small Minivet, Brown Fish-owl, Spot-winged and Chestnut-tailed Starlings, Ashy Woodswallow, Finns and Baya Weavers and more besides.
After breakfast we drive to Guwahati Airport in time for a flight at 15:25 hrs to Delhi. We should arrive in Delhi at 18:40 and transfer to Hotel Atrio or similar.
Day 12 Fly to Home