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Dibru - Saikhowa National Park

Dibru-Saikhowa is a biosphere reserve. This little known site, is one of the biodiversity hot spots situated in the south bank of the river Brahmaputra. It is located in the alluvial flood plains of the Brahmaputra. Fashioned by nature - earthquakes and ever changing water courses it has numerous island pockets and water bodies providing an unusual habitat for varied wildlife and aqua fauna and avifauna. Contained between the Debang, Lohit & the Great Brahmaputra rivers, the 340 sq Kms reserve was set up with a view to protecting the grass land and swamp habitat. Its internal water channels & bodies, seasonally flooded forests, "beels", and grassy pockets, makes it an interesting birding destination for rare specialized  grass land and swamp forest birds such as the threatened Marsh Babbler, Jerdon's Babbler, Black throated Parrotbill, Rufous-vented( swamp) Prinia, and Jerdons Bushcat. You can also spot altitudinal migrants such as Pale-capped pigeon, White-tailed Rubythroat,

and Black - breasted Thrush, and various warblers. More than 300 species have been recorded. The nearest airport is Dibrugarh 50 Kms from the Park entrance. It is connected by daily flights to Delhi and four times a week to Kolkata.

Pallas Fishing Eagle Spot-Billed Ducks Greater Adjutant Stork Changable Hawk Eagle Greater Rufous-Headed Parrotbill Oriental Darter Asian Openbill Stork Birders Boat Safari Temminick’s Strint Birding at Dibru - Saikhowa National Park

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Dibrugarh  is 500 Kms by road from Guwahati. Tinsukia is the nearest town as also the road head. Guijan Ghat is the main entry point The entry point at  Guijan Ghat is 55 Kms from Dibrugarh (10km from Tinsukhia) and the drive takes 1.25 hours.

Entry is by written permits issued by the Wild Life Wing of the Forest Department. No entry after sunset and before sunrise is permitted.

Birding is not easy as it involves several ferry crossings in country boats, and wading through shallow waterways. No transport is available in the park. We arrange birding by boat for easy access to a number of islands.

Some of the birds you are likely to spot: White-browed Piculet, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Lineated Barbet, Oriental Pied Hornbill, Green-billed Malkoha, Grey-headed Lapwing, Pallas's Gull, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Oriental Hobby, Lesser Adjutant, Common Green Magpie, White-tailed Rubythroat, Jerdon’s Bushchat, Spot-winged Starling, Hill Myna, Sultan Tit, Plain Martin, Yellow-bellied Prinia, Pale-footed Bush Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Bush Warbler, Spotted Bush Warbler, Dusky Warbler, Smoky Warbler, Rufous-fronted Babbler, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Jerdon's Babbler, Sand Lark, Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker, Ruby-cheeked Sunbird, Crimson Sunbird, Rosy Pipit, Black-faced Bunting.

No suitable accommodation is available close by. On our tours we stay at Dibrugarh at the Natraj hotel  or the up- market and exotic "Chang" Bungalows - heritage colonial bungalows on a tea estate.

You need a minimum of 02 days for birding.

Namdapa National Park

Namdhapa Panorama Crossing Nao-Diking River Forest Birding Elephant Logistic Dining at Tent Camping while Birding Birding at Namdapa National Park

Located in Arunachal Pradesh, Namdapa lies in the extreme North East of India. Spread over 1985 sq Kms, Its altitude varies from 200 m to 4578 m. However it is only approachable up to altitudes of 850 m.

Its avifauna is a unique blend of Indo-Burmese, Sino-Tibetan and Himalayan forms, which thrives in the bio-diverse habitat encompassing tropical, temperate and alpine. Largely unexplored 665 species of birds have been recorded, of which some are exotic - Blyth's Tragopan, Wards Tragopan White- Winged Wood Duck, Rufus necked hornbill, Blue napped Pitta, Wedge-billed Wren Babbler, snow throated Babbler, and Beautiful Nuthatch. Brown Hornbills may occur here, together with a fabulous list of pheasants, babblers and laughing-thrushes, which include the Arunachal endemic - Austen's Spotted Babbler. Whilst such truly rare and elusive species occur, you should treat a sighting of any of them as a real bonus. It will be years before sites for such species are sufficiently well known for them to be found more easily. Nonetheless a visit to this remote park is an experience to remember.

The park is home to outstanding wet tropical forest. The remote and inaccessible nature of the park has preserved its pristine forests, and much of the area remains unexplored. It is as close to true wilderness as any of the many national parks and sanctuaries in India. But do bear in mind that access will be restricted, as the network of trails and tracks that allow exploration of most national parks and wildlife reserves simply does not exist here. Over 150 species of tree are found in Namdapha, including such tropical giants as Hollock, Mekai, Hollong, Jutuli, Dhuna, Mechelia champaka and others. Amongst the temperate and subtropical zones a wide variety of rhododendrons and oaks, birch and magnolias are found. Species of particular note are Pinus merkusi and Abies dalavavi, which are not found elsewhere in India; whilst one of the rarest and most endangered orchids, the Blue Vanda, occurs here, together with the Mishmi Teeta a well-known local medicinal plant, used by endemic tribal people to treat a host of illnesses.


Great Hornbill Rufus-Necked Hornbill Red-Headed Trogon female Pallas’s Leaf Wrbler Stone Chat female Yellow-Bellied Fantail Indian Short-Toed Lark White-Crowned Forktail Olive Backed Pipet Beautiful Nautatch Birds of Namdapa National Park

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Your birding tour to this park is tailored to provide full opportunity to glimpse the rich bird and animal-life - as rich as any other region of comparable size worldwide. Add to this the excitement of being in a largely unexplored area. Because this is truly a journey into the unknown - made even more exciting by the unpredictable factors - you must be  prepared  to live and travel hard, and expect changes and disruptions.

The park is a restricted zone, with premium rates charged to a limited number of tourists. Hence the cost of a birding trip is disproportionately high, especially when compared to costs of trips elsewhere in India. 06 weeks notice is required to procure the Restricted Area Permit. We offer Namdapa in combination with birding at  Kaziranga National Park and Dibru-Saikhowa Park in Assam- so as to give you a mix of assured sightings and excitement of the unknown. From Kaziranga to the park is long drive, so we will break journey at Dibrugarh and take 02 days to bird at the unique Dibru - Saikhowa Park From Dibrugarh, Deban, which is the logistical base in the Park is 166 Kms  (05 hours), via Digboi,  and Miao ( 146 Kms). Entry beyond Namchick (Arunachal Pradesh government Check Post) is by Restricted Area permit. In addition a park entry permit is required to go beyond Miao, the Headquaters of the National Park.

Onwards from Deban, to explore the park there is a 36 Kms jeep trail on the South bank of the Nao Dehing River, and a good walking trail on the North bank for which the river has to be crossed by boat. The trail covers the area between the Dibang River and the Namdhapha River and passes through . Haldibari, Hornbill, Bulbulia to terminate at Embeong, from where you have to back track.

Our birding tours to Namdhapa provide for 05 days birding trek on the North bank and one days birding enroute at Digboi & Miao.

Birders have reported seeing: Blue-naped Pitta, Grey Peacock-Pheasant, Pale-headed Woodpecker White-bellied Heron, Rusty-bellied Shortwing, Greater Rufous-headed Parrotbill and Red-faced Liocichla.  Rufous-necked Hornbill, Snowy-throated Babbler, Beautiful Nuthatch, White-cheeked Partridge, Spotted Wren-Babbler, Rufous-throated Fulvetta, White-bellied Heron, White-tailed Sea Eagle,  Lesser Fishing-Eagle,  Black Stork , Ibisbill , Great Black-headed Gull, Rufous-throated Hill Partridge,  White-cheeked Hill Partridge, Kalij Pheasant Grey Peacock-Pheasant , Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Red-headed Trogon, Great Hornbill, Brown Hornbill, Rufous-necked Hornbil, Wreathed Hornbill, White-browed Piculet, Pale-headed Woodpecker, Silver-braested and Long-tailed Broadbills, Bar-winged Flycatcher-Shrike, Long-tailed Thrush,Large Scimitar-Babbler, Slender-billed Scimitar-babbler, Streaked Wren-Babbler, Pygmy Wood pecker, Grey-throated Babbler,  Snowy-throated Babbler, Striped Tit-babbler Rufous-necked Laughingthrush, Rufous-vented Laughing Thrush, Buff-breasted Babbler, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Rufous-throated Fulvetta, White-naped Yuhina, Grey-headed Parrotbill, Black-browed Parrotbill, Ashy-throated Warbler , Lemon-rumped Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Yellow-vented Warbler, Broad-billed Warbler,  Sapphire Flycatcher, Pale Blue Flycatcher, Pygmy Blue Flycatcher, Beautiful Nuthatch, and more. You are likely to spot more than 200 species in your trip .

Deban Forest Rest House, close to the park headquarters and the only accommodation in the park, offers limited accommodation. This is the starting point for a birding adventure within Namdhapa National Park. Facilities here are basic; however, we always carry camping equipment and will make your stay as comfortable as possible. In case rooms are not available we will set up a fully serviced camp.

For the most productive birding, it is best to take a 5-7 days birding trek within the park forests along the route Deban -Hornbill - Bulbulia - Rani Jheel - Firm base-Embeong and back. We organize this trek with full support for your birding pleasure.

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Tour options for non-birding spouse/friends: www.gurudongma.com.

Bird photographs by Yashodhan Bhatia,

Ronald Saldino,  Niels Poul Dryer, Ketil Knudsen
Kalypso Adventures & Gurudongma Team

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