Birdwatching Tour in South India
This 16-day Birding South India and the Andaman Islands Tour is moderately paced available on request which will take you in South India and Andaman’s Birding tour can get you 24 Endemics in South India and 23 Endemics in Andaman’s.
If you'd like to try an alternative tour, look at what this one has to offer North East India Bird Watching and Himalays Tour
Alternative Tour Name: Birding Tour to South India and the Andaman Islands
Arrive Chennai morning – Fly to Port Blair (last flight out 10:05 am). Check into Bay Island. Meet & assist at the airport. We will bird around Mount Harriet National Park, a tropical moist evergreen forest. Should sight Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove , Andaman Crake, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Pintail Snipe, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Treepie , Black-naped Oriole Andaman Drongo, Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling.
Very early morning drive towards Sippighat, located to the South of Port Blair. The area is a marshy wetland and good for sightings of water birds & waders. Should sight the Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Sunda Teal, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Red-breasted Parakeet, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Edible nest Swiftlet, Common Snipe, Black-naped Tern, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo , Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird. Thereafter proceed back to Mount Harriet to pick up those missed earlier. Return by evening.
Very early morning trip to Chidiya Tapu, a patch of moist evergreen forest located to the South of Port Blair and excellent for birding. The track for birding starts 4 km before Chidiya Tapu and 2 km along the seashore forest. Should sight the Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet.
Morning birding for endemics missed out during earlier trips.
Board the morning flight to Chennai. Change planes at Chennai and fly into Kochi arriving by noon. On arrival transfer to Thattekkad (1 hour drive). Evening birding for night birds (if time permits)
Thattekkad is a lowland forest with several types of eco-systems – riverine, grasslands, evergreen, scrub, dry deciduous, lowland forest, enabling it to be one of the best birding destinations in India. This is also home to most of the endemics of the Western Ghats. One should sight the Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimsonbacked Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet, 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.
Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife & birding destinations in South India. With over 320 bird species identified and a leading habitat for the Bengal Tiger, this sanctuary is an ideal destination of the tour. Periyar National Park contains a variety of habitats from grassland and dry deciduous forest to evergreen forest and riverside scrub. We will spend the day searching here for some very special species including the very secretive and wary Wynaad Laughingthrush. Other birds to look out for include White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Eagle, the striking Black Baza, Pompadour Green and Mountain Imperial Pigeon, the uncommon migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and the spectacular Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread species.
We will leave for Munnar via the Ghats to Khambam where we should sight the Large Grey Babbler, Common Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail and the Grey Fancolin. We will proceed to Bodi Ghats en-route Munnar and stop over for sighting the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Bluefaced Malkoha and the Black eagle. We will reach Munnar by evening. The next day we will go birding in the sholas (high altitude montane forests) and grasslands for the Nilgiri Pipit, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing, Broadtailed Grassbird, Grasshopper Warbler. Munnar is also the place to see the endangered endemic Nilgiri Tahrs in their natural habitat.
We will transfer to the hill station at Ooty & reach by afternoon. Ooty (Udhagamandalam) – is a hill station, at about 2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills. The Cairnhill Reserved Forest, 3km from town on the Avalanche road and Dodabetta will be our main destination, where the endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatchers all occur. En-route we will stop over at Chinnar in the morning for birding.
After morning birding at Ooty looking for the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, we will make our way through the Sirgur Ghats to Masinagudi. Mudumalai at the foot of the of the Nilgiris hills, is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. The terrain being varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests is ideal birding country. Should see Jerdon’s Bushlark, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Blue Robin, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Yellow-billed Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, Large Cuckooshrike, Banded-bay Cuckoo, Thick-billed Warbler and Painted Bush Quail.
We will proceed towards Mysore & visit the famous heronry on an islands on the Cauvery River at the Ranganthittu Wildlife sanctuary. Rowing boat cruise enables view of Eurasian spoonbill, Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, River Tern and Thick Knee, and many others. Marsh crocodiles will also be seen. By noon depart for Bangalore to board the late evening flight to Chennai. Tour ends.
Wildlife species expected to see:
Whitebellied Treepie, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Ceylon Bay Owl, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Sunda Teal, Andaman Drongo ,Andaman Crake, Andaman Piegon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove
What is included?
- Accommodation with meal plan as given in itinerary
- Birding Guide at Port Blair & in South India
- Non a/c vehicles at Port Blair
- A/c vehicle for S India birding, driver’s allowances, inter-state passes
- All entry fees, permits, passes
- Bottled water throughout
What is not included?
- Travel insurance
- Air fares
- Personal expenses
- Any cost that is not described in the itinerary
All India Birding Tours, offer carefully researched and tested birding trips to chosen hot spots in India dedicated to arranging hassle – free birding holidays. Twenty years of experience in operating adventures in remote parts of India and over a decade of ground research has gone into the creation of our birding tours. We have explored well-known birding destinations and discovered lesser known hot spots. We are the pioneers of North East India Birdwatching with top-notch birding guides.
Trekking or running shoes (trainers). Good walking boots. (Sometimes there could be snow and water and slush). Camp shoes or flip-flops. Cotton, woollen or polypropylene socks. Sweater and heavy jacket. As temperature may go down to zero degrees centigrade if it snonws. Hiking shorts - 2 prs. Waterproof jacket, poncho or umbrella. Hiking trousers - 2 prs. T-shirts - 2 Underwear – 3 prs. Sunhat (wide brim preferably). Swimwear (optional)
Rucksack Sleeping bag suitable for sub-zero temperatures. Optional Air pillow (if desired). Optional Water bottle (hard cover with unbreakable mug-cap). Flashlight with spare batteries and bulb (head light type preferred). Swiss knife. Sun block (SPF 15 plus). Towel. Laundry soap. Personal medical kit Pre-moistened towelettes. Sewing kit Sun glasses Duffel bag/rucksack/suitcase with padlock. You do not have to carry anything except your day pack. If you need to carry additional heavy equipment like tripod, telescope etc, we will arrange a personal porter at extra cost @ USD 20 per day This will not apply as we will have the vehicles following us everywhere.
Spare pair of socks, hankie and hand towel. Camera. Water bottle. 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. Personal documents. Pack items into smaller plastic bags, sealed with velcro or zip lock. Separate waterproof bag for money and passport.
Carried in the jeep. What you need for overnight and subsequent days goes into it. Items you are likely to need are: Set of spare clothing, Trainers and camp slippers Spare underwear. Personal toilet bag. Wet-bag for carrying wet clothing. Sleeping bag. Air-pillow if considered necessary. Pack items in smaller plastic bags as per need, and seal with Velcro
The logistics staff for the camps will comprise of camp boss, logistics assistant, cook, assistant cook, camp attendant.
Travel will be in 10 seater hard top jeep, shared by 4 persons, guide and driver. Baggage will be carried in the rear compartment and on the roof rack. At parks where there are jeep safaris open jeeps will be provided within the park.
Each tent will be provided with camp cots and sleeping mats and blankets however you can Bring your own sleeping bags (Optional). We will provide field toilet tent with western style and wash tent. Bathing will be by bucket and mug. Toilet paper, soap and towels will be provided. Double hotel rooms with attached toilet and bath are catered for at all other lodges or hotels.
We will provide all meals. There will be a separate dining tent for dining and multipurpose use. We can have requested vegetarian meals throughout as confirmed by you. Typical meals served in a day are given below:- • Hot water for a wash • Breakfast in camp. Juice, cereal (corn flakes, dalia, oats or muesli), eggs, bread (till it remains fresh, then substitutes like puri, paratha, chapatti), butter, honey, assorted jams and marmalade, cheese spread, fruit and tea/coffee. • Lunch on the trek. Hot soup and a single dish hot meal is served. Main dish could be one of mixed khicheri and pickle (Indian stew made of rice and pulses with potatoes, vegetables and meat), noodles with eggs or chicken, macaroni with tomato puree and cheese, alu dam (Indian style whole potatoes with spices) or kabuli chana/ raj manh (Indian style beans in spices) with paratha or puri, veg pulao (rice with vegetables) with rajmanh (beans cooked with spices). Followed by chocolate, fruit, dates or chikki (jagery with nuts). • Afternoon tea on arrival in camp. Tea/coffee served immediately on arrival with hot pakoras (Indian style stuffed dumplings in flour), biscuits, sandwiches or cake. • Hot water for a wash. • Dinner in camp. Soup, rice, macaroni or noodles with chicken,pork, mutton or fish (live, fried or canned), vegetables, cottage cheese with peas, mushrooms, dhal ( pulses), soya, rajmanh (beans), kabuli chana (chick peas) roti, puris or bathuras (baked or fried Indian bread substitutes served hot) or bread, mixed salad (potato, egg, tuna, cucumber, tomatoes, onions), pickles. Desert (sevian (vermicelli), kheer (rice pudding) custard, caramel custard, suji halwa (flour pudding), fruit salad, sone papri (Indian sweetmeat) with cream. AT EAGLESNEST CAMPS ALL MEALS ARE VEGETARIAN • Rest at all hotels and lodges both vegetarian and Non-vegetarian meals are served. • Bottled drinking water on TOUR will be additional charged. Alcohol Is not permitted within NP. We provide tea, coffee, and juices as part of the service. At all other places bars will be open.
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. As Northeast India starts down from the plains to an altitude of 13700 feet the temperature varies from 35 Degrees Centigrade in the plains to -5 degrees centigrade in the higher altitude. Snow and rain can be anytime as is mostly depends on the depression in the Bay of Bengal.
India is an economically developing democratic republic and has worked very hard to control diseases. Adequate medical care is available in the major population centres, but is usually limited in the rural areas of the country. Many developed countries like Britain are utilizing the state-of-the-art medical services available in India. The cost of treatment is much cheaper in comparison to the same facilities available in advanced countries. The most important cause of illness of travellers in India is food and waterborne diseases. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites can cause diarrhoea. Infections may cause simple diarrhoea 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. Malaria risk in this region exists in some urban and rural areas, depending on the elevation. Peter Lobo is trained by the Wilderness medicine Institute of USA, and will be carrying a first aid kit, and medicines for common problems. • Carry all the important prescriptions and OTC medicines. Do not forget to have the brand names as well as the generic names of the medicines one needs to have. • Wear a sun hat when exposed. • Drink plenty of fluids. Do not drink tap water. Use only canned water, or boiled water. • During the month of Jan, there is no malaria risk, but do consult your doctor to start malaria prophylactic, if advised. 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 the person arrives within six days of departure from an infected area, or has been in such an area in transit, or 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. For inoculation against communicable diseases, one can contact the Vaccinations and Inoculation Centre for Yellow Fever, Domestic Arrivals, Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi (Ph. 011-5665348) or International Inoculation Centre, Mandir Marg (behind St. Thomas School), New Delhi (Ph. 011-3361675).