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Manas Birding Tour | Bhutan Bird Watching Tour | Bhutanitis Travels


Manas Birding Tour

Total Duration: 16 Days - 15 Nights of Bhutan Bird Watching Tour.

Manas Birding Tour: Bhutan’s Crown Jewel, the Manas National Park represents the largest example of tropical and sub-tropical ecosystems in Bhutan. Royal Manas was designated a wildlife sanctuary in 1966 making it Bhutan’s oldest protected area. Manas is also extremely rich in wildlife species, including the highly endangered Royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, gangetic dolphin and pangolin. Found virtually nowhere else in the world is the especially rare golden langur, a primate of extraordinary grace and beauty with its long, silky blond fur.

More than 365 species of birds have been officially recorded in Royal Manas National Park with an additional 200 believed to be in residence. Species found here include the globally threatened rufous-necked hornbill, Pallas fishing eagle, great white-bellied heron, spotted wren-babbler, blue-headed rock thrush and emerald cuckoo.



Day Activity Distance Time Altitude Accommodation
1 Arrival in Paro Airport -Thimphu 2200m Hotel in Paro
2 Thimphu – Dochula – Punakha 1350m
3 Birding Jigme Dorji National Park 1400-7000m
4 Punakha – Tsirang 1437m
5 Birding Tsirang – Darachu
6 Darachu – Sarpang – Gelephu
7 Gelephu – Tamala – Tingtibe
8 Tingtibe – Gomphu – Pangbang 300m
9 Birding around Pangbang.
10 Pangbang – Gomphu – Zhemgang
11 Zhemgang – Trongsa 2200m
12 Trongsa – Phobjikha 2900m
13 Phobjikha – Pelela – Paro 2200m
14 Paro -CheleLa Birding 2200m
15 Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion 2200m
16 Departures from Paro


Day 1: Arrival in Paro to Thimphu.

  • On your arrival at the Paro international airport, our representative from Bhutanitis Travels will receive you.
  • After lunch drive to Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
  • Spend the evening birding around sewage pond in Thimphu searching for one of the main target bird, Ibisbill, other birds. We will be searching here include Black-tailed Crake, Wall creeper, Brown Dipper, Ruddy Shelduck, Common Merganser, White-capped and Plumbeous Water Redstart, White Wagtail, Rufous-breasted Accentor, Common and Green Sandpiper, Common and Crested Kingfisher.
  • Dinner and overnight stay will be in a hotel in Thimphu.

Day 2: Thimphu – Dochula – Punakha.

  • Early morning drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150). Our day starts from this pass with the breathtaking views of eastern Himalayan ranges. The mixed forests of Hemlock, Fir, Oaks and Rhododendron here is good habitat for many good species including, Spotted and Black-faced Laughing Thrush, Blue-Fronted Redstart, Eurasian Jay, Stripe-throated and Rufous-vented Yuhina, Spotted Nutcracker, Long-tailed Minivet, Rufous-vented and Coal Tit.
  • Then drive to Punakha over the Dochula Pass (3150).on the way stop at Lamperi Botanical Garden and take the nature walk for about hours, birds we will be looking here include Brown Parrotbill, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Speckled Wood Pigeon, Plain-backed Thrush White-collared Blackbird and Green-backed Tit.
  • Continue your drive to Punakha valley, along the drive you will look for the species like Chestnut-tailed Starling, Great and Golden-throated Barbet, Long-tailed Shrike, Spotted Dove, Red-vented and Black Bulbul, Common Kestrel.
  •  Later in the evening birding along the Pho Chu valley looking for one of the main target bird, White-Bellied Heron. It is one of the rarest birds in the world, with a population of less than 60 worldwide. Other birds we might see Pallas Fish Eagle, White-throated and Crested Kingfisher, Ibisbill, River Lapwing, and few species of Ducks.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Punakha.

Day 3: Full day birding inside Jigme Dorji National Park.

  • You will spend the whole day birding inside the Jigme Dorji National park and along Mo chu River. Jigme Dorji National park is the second largest protected area of Bhutan with More than 365 species of birds recorded in this area and 200 are believed to be residing.
  • We have the possibilities of seeing Red–headed Trogon, Wall creeper, Small and Large Niltava, Black-chinned and Whiskered Yuhinas, a trio of fork tails, Pygmy and Spotted Wren-babblers. We also have a good chance of finding the species like Oriental Turtle Dove, Great Cormorant, Blue Whistling Thrush, Plumbeous Water Redstart, Rufous Sibia, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Green-backed and Black-throated Tit, Brown Dipper, White-capped Water Redstart, White-throated, Rufous-chinned, Striated and Bhutan Laughing thrush, Golden-throated and Barbet, Crested Kingfisher, Grey Treepie, Ashy Drongo, Verditer Flycatcher, Brown-throated Tree creeper, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Black Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, River Lapwing, Crested Bunting, Grey Wagtail, Gadwall, and Large-billed Crow and with luck Pallas’s Fish Eagle.
  • In the afternoon, Visit Punakha Dzong.
  • Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in Punakha.

Day 4: Punakha – Tsirang.

  • After early breakfast we will drive to Tsirang, the drive will take us through some of the least explored forests of the country. This section of the country was very recently open for the visitors. We will have several stop along the way for birding. Some of the birds we will be looking for include Wall creeper, Striated Prinia, Great, Golden-throated and Blue-throated Barbets, Black, Ashy and Black-crested Bulbul, Blue and Chestnut-bellied Rock thrushes, Black-eared Shrike Babbler, Crested Serpent Eagle, Common Kestrel, Striated and White-throated Laughing thrush and many more since this part has never been explored.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Darachu Campsite.

Day 5: Tsirang – Darachu Road.

  • We will explore the entire stretch of Tsirang – Darachu road, this subtropical moist forest here host many good species including Beautiful Nuthatch, Cutia, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher, Scaly-breasted and Rufous-throated Wren Babbler, Spotted Elachura, Slaty-backed, Spotted and Little Forktails, Rufous-winged and Nepal Fulvetta, Rufous Sibia, Orange-flanked Bush Robin, Grey-chinned and Long-tailed Minivet, Winter Wren, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-throated and Rufous-capped Babbler and many more.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Darachu Camp.

Day 6: Darachu – Sarpang – Gelephu.

  • After our final morning birding in this wonderful forest, we will be heading to a lower elevation targeting the varieties of low elevation specialties including Great and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Collared Falconet, Orange-bellied and Golden-fronted Leafbird, Common Green Magpie, Grey Treepie, Oriental Magpie Robin, White-rumped Shama, Asian-pied and Chestnut-tailed Starling, Chestnut-bellied and Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Sultan Tit, Ashy and White-throated Bulbul, lesser and Greater Necklaced Laughing thrush, Jungle Babbler, Golden and Rufous-capped Babbler, Indian Roller, Rufous and Long-tailed Sibia and Streaked Spider hunter.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Gelephu.

Day 7: Gelephu – Tamala – Tingtibe.

  • Early in the morning, we start climbing from the foothills experience lots of changes in the elevation. Starting from the 150m to the 2500 m. Drive goes through some of the best forest in the country. We will be looking for Barred Cuckoo Dove, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Black and Crested Serpent Eagle, Indian Pond Heron, Long-tailed Broadbill, Orange-bellied Leafbird, Maroon Oriole, White-throated and Yellow-bellied Fantail, Ashy, Black and Lesser Racket-tailed Drongo, Blue Whistling Thrush, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Yellow-cheeked and Sultan Tit, Blyth’s, Grey-hooded and Black-faced Warbler, Striated and Rufous-necked and Blue-winged Laughing thrush, Streak-breasted and Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babbler, Chestnut-tailed and Blue-winged Minla, White-breasted Parrotbill and Maroon-backed Accentor.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Tingtibe Camp.

Day 8: Tingtibe – Gomphu – Pangbang.

  • After early breakfast we will head south to the Royal Manas National Park with the several stop along the way searching for the number of species including Pale-billed Parrotbill, Pale headed and Bay Woodpecker, White-browed and Coral-billed Scimitar Babbler, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Great and Rufous-necked Hornbill, Wedge-tailed and Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Crested Serpent and Black Eagle, Scarlet and Grey-chinned Minivet, Ashy Drongo, Verdieter, Pygmy Blue and Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Common and Hill myna, White-tailed and Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Brown-throated Tree creeper Chestnut-crowned, Grey-hooded, Yellow-vented, Yellow-bellied and Black-faced Warbler, Rufous-necked and White-crested Laughing thrush and Spot-winged Grosbeak. We’ll also have very good chance of sighting endangered Golden Langur along this beautiful drive.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Pangbang Eco Camp.

Day 9: Exploration Panbang.

  • Today we will explore this little known Park recently been opened to the public, Lying in south central Bhutan, Manas is connected at the southern border with India’s Manas Tiger Reserve, a World Heritage Site. To the north it borders the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Manas is also extremely rich in wildlife species.
  • More than 365 species of birds have been officially recorded in Royal Manas National Park with an additional 200 believed to be in residence.
  • Species found here include the four species of Hornbills, Pallas fishing Eagle, Red-headed Trogon, Crested, White-throated Kingfisher, rare and little known Blyth’s Kingfisher. Collared and Asian-barred Owlet, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Emerald Dove, Wedge-tailed and Pin-tailed Green Pigeon, Collared Falconet, Long-tailed Broadbill, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Orange-bellied and Golden-fronted Leafbird, Common Green Magpie, Black-naped Monarch, Hair-crested, Lesser and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Large and Small Niltava, Verdieter and Pale Blue Flycatcher, Spot-winged Starling Ashy, White-throated and Red-whiskered Bulbul and many more.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in Pangbang Eco Camp.

Day 10: Pangbang – Gomphu – Zhemgang.

  • After final morning birding in Pangbang, We head back to Zhemgang today, birding many sites on the way; looking for species we might have missed earlier on our way to Pangbang, today we will also have many photography opportunity along the way, stopping at famous and beautiful twin waterfall.
  • In the evening we will also take opportunity for birding along the Dakphel road in Zhemgang looking for the species like Cutia, Blyth’s Shrike Babbler, Rusty-fronted Barwing, Coral-billed and Streaked-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-chinned and Rufous-necked Laughing thrush, Red-faced Liocichla, Black-chinned, Whiskered and Striated Yuhina, Blue-winged Minla. We will also make a special effort to find Beautiful Nuthatch. It is one of the rarest species of Nuthatch in the world.
  • Dinner and overnight halt in the Tingtibe Campsite.

Day 11: Zhemgang – Trongsa.

  • Before we wind up our way to Trongsa, we will once drive back to the location of the Beautiful Nuthatch to give one final try if we didn’t find it yesterday, then drive to Trongsa with lots of stop at the several-forested valleys on the way, we may see the following birds, Rusty-cheeked Scimitar Babblers, Crested Buntings, Long-tailed Shrikes, Rufescent and Striated Prinias, Rufous and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Common Green Magpie, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Common Kestrel, Rufous-necked and Bhutan Laughing thrush. Silver-eared Mesia, Black-throated and Green-tailed Sunbird, Oriental Turtle and Spotted Dove, Grey Treepie and many more. We will also look for rare and little known Yellow-rumped Honey guide, one of the two species of Honey guide occurs in Asia.
  • Dinner and overnight stay in a hotel in Trongsa.

Day 12: Trongsa – Phobjikha.

  • We will have a before-breakfast outing exploring the nearby broad-leaved evergreen forest in search of specialties like Spotted and Slaty-backed Forktail, Spotted Wren-Babbler, Bhutan Laughing thrush, Plain and long-billed Thrush, back to Hotel for breakfast.
  • Then drive to the Phobjikha valley stopping often for birds. We will be looking for mixed species flocks. After crossing Pelela pass we will take the side road to Phobjikha Valley. When crossing the Gangteyla pass the vegetation changes into dwarf bamboos that are good for Laughing thrushes and Bush Warblers. We will also visit Gangtey Gompa, a monastery dating back to 1613.
  • In the evening, we will spend time finding and viewing the rare Black-necked Crane and visit the Crane information center to get more information on cranes.
  • Dinner and overnight stay will be in a hotel in Phobjikha.

Day 13: Phobjikha – Pelela – Paro.

  • After an early breakfast, we drive to the Pele la pass (4000 m) and spend the morning hours birding along the old road at Pele la for high altitude species such as Himalayan Monal, Blood Pheasant, Spotted and Black-faced Laughing thrush, Himalayan Griffon, Brown and Great Parrotbill, Blue-fronted and White-throated Redstart, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, White-winged and Collared Grosbeak, White-browed and Dark-rumped Rose finch, Plain Mountain Finch just to name few.
  • Later we drive to Paro, traveling through the valley of Wangdiphodrang, crossing Wangdiphodrang we will be backtracking our way to Paro going over Dochula pass.
  • Dinner and overnight stay will be in a hotel in Paro.

Day 14: Paro – CheleLa Birding.

  • Very early in the morning, drive to the cool and stunning alpine meadow of CheleLa pass (3890m). This is the highest pass accessible by car in Bhutan. Here we should be rewarded with 3 different species of Pheasants: the colorful Himalayan Monal flocks of Blood Pheasants and Kalij Pheasant. Beside you will also be looking for the other species like White-browed, Dark-rumped and Dark-breasted Rosefinch, Plain Mountain Finch, White winged and Collared Grosbeaks and Black-faced and Spotted laughing thrushes, Alpine and Rufous-breasted Accentor, Snow Pigeon, Hodgson’s Tree creeper, Spotted Nutcracker, Darjeeling and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Grey-crested, Coal, Rufous-vented and Rufous-fronted Tits.
  • In the Afternoon, Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong and Ta Dzong (the national museum). After visiting the Dzong, walk down to a traditional wooden covered bridge. The walk from the Dzong to the bridge offers good view that will allow you to appreciate the architectural wonder of the Dzong.
  • In the Evening birding along the Paro River searching for one of the biggest target birds, Ibisbill, we may also see other birds like River Lapwing, Black- tailed Crake, Brown Dipper, Solitary and Pin-tailed Snipe, Russet and Eurasian Tree sparrow and few species of Ducks.
  • Dinner and overnight stay will be in a hotel in Paro.

Day 15: Paro – Tiger’s Nest Excursion.

  • After breakfast, drive 15 minutes to the starting point in order to hike to Takshang Monastery (the Tiger’s Nest).
  • After visiting the monastery, stop at the cafeteria half way down for lunch.
  • In the evening, you are free to take a stroll around Paro town.
  • Dinner and overnight stay will be in a hotel in Paro.

Day 16: Departure from Paro Airport.

  • After breakfast, drive to the Airport and we bid you Farewell.


Package Includes

  1. All Meals [Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner].
  2. Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room. Supplement Extra US $: 40 per room per night.
  3. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
  4. Royalty & Govt. Taxes.
  5. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments.
  6. English speaking Local guide.
  7. Sightseeing.

Package Does Not Include

  1. Druk Air fares.
  2. Insurance Premiums.
  3. Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
  4. Cost for any services not mentioned in the “Cost Include head”.
  5. Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
  6. Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water.
  7. Incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services.
  8. Visa Fees


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