Gujarat Birdwatching Tour
Gujarat Bird Tour | Bird tours to Bhuj
Gujarat – the land of Mahatma Gandhi, the last home of the Asiatic Lion, home to some of the finest traditions of textiles and embroidery and the site of some of the most sacred Jain and Hindu Pilgrimage centers, is also known for 596 bird species with 19 endemic species, and 10 rare species. A trip to Gujarat is a journey into the land of fables, intense spiritualism and some of the finest habitats for wildlife in India. Go on a birdwatching holiday to Gujarat..
Best Time: October – March
Day 1: Sultanpur National Park, Delhi
Day 02: Delhi – Abu Road
Day 03: Abu Road – Little Rann of Kutch
Day 04: Little Rann of Kutch
Day 05: Little Rann of Kutch – Velavadar
Day 06: Velavadar – Gir Forest National Park
Day 07: Gir Forest National Park
Day 08: Gir Forest National Park – Bhuj
Day 09-11: Kutch
Day 12: Bhuj- Mumbai
Day 12: Bhuj-Mumbai – Nagpur
Day 13: Nagpur – Melghat Tiger Reserve
Day 14: Melghat Tiger Reserve – Nagpur – Delhi/ Mumbai
An outline of the trip
The first day of your trip will begin with a visit to the Sultanpur National Park is located in the state of Haryana close to Delhi. This small area has been declared a National Park as over 250 species of birds, migratory and resident, have been identified here.
In the evening you will board a train to the city of Abu Road, in the Sirohi district of Rajasthan. After a day of birding you will head the next morning to the Little Rann of Kutch. The Little Rann of Kutch is an ecotone and comprises a saline marsh land with large expanses of salt covered mud flats. This area serves as the transitional zone between the marine and terrestrial ecosytems and provides an important habitat for migratory birds. The area is also the last refuge of the Indian Wild Ass. According to Avibase, 317 species have been recorded here with 18 globally threatened species. The spectacle of thousands of flamingoes feeding on the rich waters of the Rann is an absolute photographers delight.
From the Little Rann of Kutch you will travel to the Blackbuck National Park of Velavadar. The area was the property of the Erstwhile Maharajah of Bhavnagar who used this area for hunting Blackbuck with his tame Cheetahs. The National Park was established in 1976 and is known for its semi-arid flat grasslands that have supported populations of the Lesser Florican, Indian Wolf and Blackbuck and is known for one of the largest harrier roosts in the world. The Park and its nearby wetlands are designated as an Important Bird Area and has a bird list of 171 species.
From Velavadar you drive to the Gir Forest National Park, the last home of the Asiatic Lion. The forests of Gir were the hunting grounds of the Nawabs of Junagarh. Established in 1965 with the aim of conserving the Lion, Gir is primarily scrub forest about 282 bird species have been recorded here with 11 Globally threatened species.
From Gir you travel to Kutch. Kutch is the largest district in India and has been described as the Wild West of India. For visitors, the sight of what appears to be endless desert till the horizon is unlike that seen any where. The capital, Bhuj, named after the sname god Bhujjang, is known for its palaces and forts. 375 species of birds are listed from Kutch and the area is a dream destination for birdwatchers.
After three days of bird watching in Kutch, you depart from Bhuj to your onwards destinations. At this point, you also have the option of an extension to your itinerary to see the famed Forest Owlet in Melghat Tiger Reserve.
Melghat Tiger Reserve in located in the Indian State of Maharashtra and forms a park of the Satpura-Maikal Hills landscape. The Forest Owlet was first described in 1873. Until its rediscovery in 1997 by Pamela Rassmussen, it was only known from seven specimens collected in the 19th century. The owlet is primarily found in open dry deciduous forest dominated by Teak. Melghat Tiger Reserve is one of the hour confirmed habitats of this extremely endangered owl.
Day 1: Arrive Delhi
Morning birding at Sultanpur. Evening transfer to the train station to connect overnight train to Abu Road at 1955 hrs. Overnight in air-conditioned sleeper train. You would be given packed dinner for the train.
Day 2: Abu Road
Arrive Abu Road at 0620 hrs. Birding in Abu Road looking for the Green Avadavat. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 3:Little Rann of Kutch
Morning drive to Dasada and check into your resort. Afternoon game drive in the vast salt plains looking for McQueen’s Bustard, Hoopoe Lark, Cream coloured Courser and other desert specialties. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 4: Little Rann of Kutch.
Full day birding and safaris at Little Rann of Kutch. Overnight stay at Resort.
Day 5: Little Rann of Kutch – Velavadar
After a morning drive in the Little Rann of Kutch drive to Velavadar. Afternoon birding at Velavadar. Overnight stay at a Jungle Resort. Velavadar is famous for its roosting Harriers. As the sun sets the harriers come in hundreds to roost in the grasslands.
Day 6: Velavadar – Gir Forest National Park
Morning birding at Velavadar looking for Hen, Palid and Montagu’s Harriers. The park also has a healthy population of Black Buck. It’s also a great place to see Wolf and the hyaena. Afternoon drive to Gir. Arrive Gir Forest National Park in the evening. Overnight stay at Lodge.
Day 7: Gir Forest National Park
Morning and afternoon jeep safaris inside the Gir Forest National Park for birding and wildlife viewing. This park is the last refuge of the Asiatic Lion.
Day 8: Gir – Bhuj
Morning jeep safari to the national park for birding and wildlife viewing. Return for breakfast. After breakfast, check-out and drive to Bhuj with packed lunch. Arrive Bhuj in the evening. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Day 9, 10 & 11: Kutch
Three full days of birding in Bhuj area with your guide. Overnight stay at Hotel. Expected birds – Grey Hypocolius, White naped Tit, Red tailed Wheatear, Stoliczka’s Bushchat, Crab Plover, Broad billed Sandpiper and other Kutch specialties.
Day 12: Bhuj – Mumbai – Nagpur
Morning birding in Bhuj. After late breakfast, drive to Bhuj airport o connect flight to Mumbai.
THE BELOW IS AN EXTENSION AND PEOPLE NOT TAKING THE EXTENSION WILL GET
OFF AT MUMBAI TO CATCH FLIGHT BACK HOME
From Mumbai we offer an extension for the Forest Owlet. Arrive Nagpur via Mumbai. You will be met and transferred to Hotel for an Overnight stay.
Day 13: Nagpur – Melghat
Early morning drive to Melghat. Rest of the day birding in Melghatlooking for the enigmatic Forest Owlet. Overnight stay at Forest Rest House.
Day 14: Melghat – Nagpur
After a mornings birding at Melghat, depart for Nagpur and catch the evening flight to Delhi/Mumbai