Vanghat Pangot Birding expedition is an all inclusive bird watching trip in the hills of Uttarakhand for 7 days of bird photography.
- Trip Outline
- Trip Includes
- Trip Excludes
- Important Note
- Things to carry
- Cancellation Policy
On the northern fringes of the famed Corbett Tiger Reserve, on the banks of the Ramganga Reserve, the wildlife -rich community forests near
Vanghat lodge offer the finest walking safari experience in the western Himalayan foothills. Expert local lodge guides are fine trackers and bird experts. Riverine forests along the Ramganga offer sightings of Otters, Ghoral and Serow mountain goats, as well as Barking Deer and Sambhar. About 50 species of birds of prey indicate the rich bird life of the valley - raptors like the Lesser Fish Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Mountain Hawk Eagle are commonly sighted. Great Hornbills are often heard and seen above the valley. The presence of Tigers, Leopards & Asian Elephants adds great adventure to this walking nature excursion.
Guided Walking Safari – Vanghat
Kalagarh Tiger Reserve (Division Corbett Tiger Reserve), Uttarakhand
Broad-leafed & riverine forest of the western Himalayan foothills.
October till April.
Goral Goat Antelope, Otters, and Rhesus & Langurs Primates. Over 400 bird species including 50 raptor species.
Tiger, Leopard, Asian Elephant, Otters, and Serow etc.
There is no better way to truly experience the forest than by walking through it. One will often see and learn more on 100m of a trail than on a 2-hour game drive. Exploring tiger-rich Jim Corbett National Park on foot is forbidden. However, as we are situated with in the Corbett Tiger Reserve and are a buffer zone to the national park, we offer expertly guided treks around Vanghat in an equally stunning and species-rich environment.
On foot, your senses are heightened in the wilderness, and will take in far more of your surroundings, from noticing lizards scuttle out of your path to the myriad of birdcalls and rustling in the undergrowth. Accompanied by a keen tracker, you will learn to identify species by their sounds, their footprints, and the evidence left in their wake, such as a tiger's scratch markings on trees, a wild boar's earthen excavations, or the aftermath of an elephant’s browsing on plant life. Compared to exploring in a 4x4, you may see fewer large mammals, but nothing quite tops the thrill of seeing wildlife on foot, and it is not unusual for safari-goers to find themselves sharing the landscape with deer, elephants, and occasionally, big cats.
There are a number of walking trails from the lodge, varying in difficulty, such as routes into the hills that surround us or along the river where numerous pug marks can often be seen. With new routes being added and the landscape changing with the seasons, no walk is ever the same; the unique draw of the forest can be strongly felt at Vanghat.
Beginning from Sattal and Pangot, which are best known for altitudinal migrants and wide range of resident birds;- this trip will cover the buffer forests of Corbett Tiger Reserve.
Geographically hemmed between the Himalayan foothills and the Indo-Gangetic plains, the Corbett area along with the adjoining hills and the wetlands is definitely one of the richest bird habitats of Asia and boasts a bird count of over 600 species including long distance and altitudinal migrants. Our birding tour covers the diverse habitats of grasslands, broadleaf tropical forest and riverine and high altitude forest of conifers and oak with a backdrop of the mighty Himalayas. Birdwatchers will encounter Palearctic and altitudinal migrants like Siberian Rubythroat, Ibisbill and Wallcreeper, whereas summer visitors (April- September) will encounter Cuckoos, Indian & Hooded Pittas and the gregarious Chestnut-tailed Starling.
Accompanied by experienced guides you spend the maximum time in the field rather than travelling from lodge to bird sites and so forth.
This tour aims to base you at A1 birding spots of the area, ensuring that your birding starts the moment you wake up, and you fall asleep to the calls of Owls or Thick-knees. Focussing on the unique and rich experience of overnight stays in temperate forests of the Himalayas, there is high possibility of seeing Ibisbill, Wallcreeper, Great Thicknee, Small Pratincole, Temminck's Stint, Yellow-bellied Fantail, Spotted, Little And Slaty-backed Forktail, White-Tailed Rubythroat, Pallas's Fish Eagle, Brown and Tawny Fish Owl and critically endangered vultures.
- Provides jungle experiences without disturbing wildlife
- Practices sustainable life-style & community-based conservation
- Promotes responsible tourism
- Hosts wide varieties of flora and fauna
- Facilitates a meaningful learning environment for children
- Creates awareness about human and environmental health
- EXPERIENCING THE DARKNESS OF THE FOREST
- LISTENING TO NATURE’S MUSIC
- MOBILE AND WI-FI FREE ZONE
- CONSCIOUS CONSUMPTION
- USING NATURAL SPRING WATER
- WANDER WITHOUT WHEELS
Delhi – Marchula – Trek to Vanghat. Overnight at Vanghat – 1 .8 Km
Details: Meet our representative at Delhi Station/Airport and transfer to vehicle. The drive is for about 4-5hrs from Delhi. Once you arrive at the Ramganga valley, the Baluli suspension bridge is a visible and prominent landmark. It is here that you leave your car and if you are self -driving you park your car at our parking near the Solluna resort. You will be greeted by your guide and porters who will guide you to remote Vanghat. This walk over the Ramganga suspension bridge and then through the sleepy village of Baluli and riverine forest is an excellent introduction to the valley and can prove to be the most personally satisfying way of reaching the Lodge. At the end of this trail, a short ride on a bamboo raft give you a taste of the adventures to come and ferries you to remote Vanghat.
It’s refreshing to watch Mahseer and Kalabas fishes in the crystal-clear waters of the Ramganga. The birdlife here - the White capped and Plumbeous water Redstarts, Pied and Grey wagtails - is fairly abundant. The loud shrill call of the lesser and Pallas’s fish eagles greets visitors to this densely wooded wildlife valley. The Ramganga valley is home to over 50 species of birds of Prey. Lunch is followed by an hour -long rest. Before your trek you’ll be briefed by your trekking forest guide on various aspects of safety and precautions.
Evening trail Champions trail – 3km
This short but wholesome trail covers within itself three distinct habitats, namely Broad -leafed Moist, Grasslands and Riverine. It is a wonderful trail to acclimatize oneself to the forests of Vanghat. Pugmarks of Tigers, Leopards and signs of Elephant are regularly seen. Sambhar & Barking Deer signify the rich wildlife of the Valley. In evening sit by campfire for soup & beverages followed by dinner. Overnight Vanghat (B, L, D)
Ruskin Bond Trail – 8 km
Gradient Mostly gentle with about 1.5 km of steep climb.
Start about with an early tea/ coffee at the Hide, our dining thatch, followed by a safety briefing. Few forest walks will be more beautiful than this one hence we named it after one of Uttarakhand’s favourite forest authors. We cross over the Ramganga over a bamboo raft and after the initial 100 meters of steep walk along an Elephant trail (yes it’s amazing to realize that the Asian Elephant is such a hill animal) this forest hike goes up to the plateau of the abandoned Barasi village where we regularly spot Leaf Birds, Crimson Sunbird, Long tailed Minivets, Chestnut Bellied Rock thrush, Maroon and Black Hooded Oriole and often in the bushes Sambhar, Barking and locally rare Spotted Deer. As the trail runs along the Ramganga, Lesser & Pallas’s fish eagles are often sighted as they scan the abundant fish in the river. We enter the dense patch of the Broadbill cascade - a magnet for Gorals, Sambhar & Langur. The elusive Himalayan Serow goat antelope has sometimes been spotted here.
Since the trail runs on a vantage point overlooking the Ramganga, Smooth Coated Otters have often been sighted. Brown and the rare Tawny fish Owl patiently await on their favourite perches overlooking the Ramganga below. Pallas’s and Lesser Fish Eagles regularly turn up. Do spend some quiet quality time at the stone benches we lovingly call the tea shop overlooking the Ramganga bend with great opportunity to observe wildlife as you sip a refreshing cup of tea.
Breakfast will be served in the forest.
Return back to lodge for lunch
Evening trail Great Hornbill trail – 2km
Detail This somewhat steep trail is amidst Sal forest and offers a marvellous view of the meandering Ramganga. Common green Magpie, Red billed blue Magpie, Long tailed Broadbill are often sighted here. It’s a wonderful sight to encounter Great Hornbills here since we are at a vantage point - so heavily built are these birds that one can hear their wings flapping when they fly over the forest. Today our guide will give you a wildlife presentation over campfire whilst your relish hot soup and & beverages followed by dinner.
Overnight Vanghat (B, L, D)
Bagroti hill trek – 1 4 km
Gradient Mostly steep with about 4 km of gentle trek
Detail After early tea/ coffee we cross over the Ramganga yet again, on the bamboo raft. The Sal dominated forest of Barasi offer signs of tiger & leopard spoor, Elephant signs too are in abundance. Birds found in the immediate vicinity are Tesias, Green Magpies, Nepal Wren Babblers, and Scimitar Babbler, etc. Great Hornbill, Lesser & Pallas’s Fish Eagles are commonly sighted. The small cascades we pass offer regular sightings of Forktails, Brown Dippers & Wall creeper. The waterfall in the Barasi forest is one of best spots for the rarely sighted forest beauty the Long -tailed Broadbill and the unusual looking Long- billed Thrush. As we gain altitude to the sleepy village of Bagroti, wildlife sightings get more Himalayan with Ghoral and Barking Deer. Birdlife will be dominated by Himalayan Griffons & the majestic Lammergeyer. The genuine smiles and the warm hospitality of these forest mountain dwellers will humble you. Co -existence of Man & Wildlife is evident here, and so are the challenges. Hot breakfast may be served at Barasi and lunch at Ghiroli amidst spectacular landscape.
Evening trail: Riverside trek – 2km.
Detail: Most of this hike is amidst a broad trail cut amidst grassland habitats and bushes rich in edible berries of Ber and lantana are home to astonishing flocks of Slaty headed, plum headed rose breasted Parakeets, Blue throated, Coppersmith, Lineated and Great Barbets, Red whiskered, Himalayan & Black Crested Bulbuls. The grassland will have Hume’s, Grey headed and chestnut headed, puff throated Warbler, Grey breasted Ashy and striated Prinia. Woodpeckers are fulvous breasted, grey capped pygmy, and Grey Headed, Lesser Yellow Nape and Greater Yellow - nape. The fascinating tiny Collared Falconet is often seen hunting down birds as big as them and bigger. Grasslands resound with constant calls of White Crested Laughing thrushes and the often heard but shy Rusty cheeked Scimitar Babbler. The riverine ecosystem of the Ramganga is incredibly rich and boasts of rare but locally common species like Lesser & Pallas’s fish eagle, Mountain Hawk Eagle. Altitudinal migrants that the valley eagerly awaits post monsoon are little and Spotted Forktails, Brown Dipper and the magical Wall creeper.
Wildlife presentation over campfire whilst your relish hot soup and & beverages followed by dinner.
Overnight Vanghat (B, L, D)
Morning trek around Vanghat before departure – 2 – 4 km | Pangot – Walk around (2Kms)
Detail An easy trail around Vanghat takes us into a rich Broad -leafed moist forest and runs for about 750 meters amidst towering broad-leafed trees of Jamun (Syzygium cumini), Tun (Toona sinensis), Sal (Shorea robusta), Rohini (Mallotus philippensis) and Kanju (Pongamia pinnata) etc. Numerous skulking species such as Chestnut headed Tesias, Blue winged Minla/ Siva, Red billed Leiothrix, Common Green & Red billed blue Magpies, Tawny & Brown fish Owl, Black chinned Babbler, Himalayan Blue Tailed, White Throated, Red-breasted, Slaty Blue, Little Pied and Yellow bellied Flycatcher etc. are often spotted.
After hot breakfast depart for onward destination.
Detail Reach Pangot by Lunch. Check In to hotel and relax. A hot refreshing tea will be served followed by a small stroll around the property until dusk. We can expect birds like White Throated laughing thrush, White crested laughing thrush, Black lore tit, Chestnut bellied Nuthatch, Rufous Bellied Niltava, Grey Headed Canary Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Flycather, Orange Bellied Leafbird, Orange Headed Thrush, Blue Whistling Thrush and yellow eyed Babbler, etc. Return back to lodge for dinner
Overnight: Pangot Birding Lodge (B,L,D)
PANGOT – KILBURY – SATTAL
Activity: Pangot – Kilbury – Sattal (12-14Kms walk) – Pangot
Gradient Moderate – uphill
Details: After very early morning tea we leave with packed breakfast for the moist Oak forest of Kilbury (Pangot) with a view of the higher Himalayas on the north and a vast expanse of Corbett & adjoining reserve forests on the south. Chukar, Koklas & Khalij Pheasant, Crested Bunting & Upland Pipit could be spotted on the road early morning. Openings in the forest are foraging ground for Hill Partridge, Cheer Pheasant. Western & Satyr Trogopan & Himalayan Monal are also reported here, the Himalayan Quail was last seen in this region over a hundred years back, and awaits rediscovery. Mature oak forests are good for Speckled Wood Pigeon, Rufous, Himalayan, Brown Fronted & Fulvous Breasted Woodpeckers and about 9 species of Tits including the not so common Fire Capped Tit.
Woodpecker Point: Approximately 2Kms away from Pangot, this is a great location famous for sightings of the Himalayan Woodpecker and Rufous-bellied Woodpecker and can yield many other species as well.
While returning to hotel by lunch we may come across Spotted Owlet & Mountain Scops Owl.
Reach Sattal after lunch at a place called the “THE STUDIO”, this pleasant hill station and its adjoining temperate forest of Oak, Deodar, Rhododendron & conifers with a backdrop of the higher Himalayas & open valleys, makes this region excellent for altitudinal migrants and a wide array of resident birds. Altitude varies from 1600mts to 2800mts. A small pond created by a water stream is a popular spot for photographers.
Sattal Studio: A magical place to sit with your camera or binoculars and watch the birds come to bathe in both summers and winters; a place of calm and solitude within the dense forest and company of birds. The birds come in small groups & strangely appear as they are waiting for the species ahead to make their appearance. Hence the name Studio is aptly correct. Spend a couple of hours viewing & photographing them is a treat for the eyes. Return back as dusk starts setting in. We may be lucky to see a Flying Squirrel late evening.
Overnight: Pangot Birding Lodge (B, L, D)
PANGOT – VINAYAK POINT – CHAFI – BUTTERFLY MUSEUM
Activity: Pangot – Vinayak Point – Chafi – Butterfly Museum – Pangot
Details: After breakfast leave for this beautiful town “CHAFI” which is 18Kms from Pangot. A very known birding hotspot to see & photograph birds like Brown Dipper, Crested Kingfisher, Redstarts & Forktails, etc. One might also see the Tawny Fish Owl & Fire Fronted Serin which is a pretty rare sighting. On our way back we head to the much known place for spotting the Pheasants; Vinayak point is a treat for spotting & photographing this mere beauty Cheer & Kalij Pheasant. Return to lodge by Noon & relax until lunch.
Leave after lunch to visit the beautiful Museum of Butterflies hidden in the midst of Oak & Deodar forest & guarded by Dogs. This place will leave you stunned & amazed by the collection you may see.
The Butterfly Museum of Bhimtal: The Museum is run & taken care by researcher & butterfly enthusiast Mr. Frederic Smetacek at Jones Estate, it features a collection of 2500 butterflies , including featuring one that looks like an owl and another that looks like a snake, there is as much to learn here as there is to cherish. This is one of the best experiences on this trip. Return to hotel for Dinner.
Overnight: Pangot Birding Lodge (B, L, D)
PANGOT – DELHI
Activity: Drop at Delhi
Detail: After breakfast a last view of the Valley ahead and the bird feeder in the property attracts about 20-30 species of birds. Leave after breakfast & en-route halt for lunch break (at own cost). Drop at Delhi by 04pm.
Tour officially ends here.
- Accommodation for 5 nights on twin sharing basis
- Return ground transfers by AC Vehicle from Delhi
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary as B,L,D (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- Guided Walking Safaris at Vanghat
- All birding as per itinerary
- Visit to Butterfly Museum
- Porters & helpers on arrival to transfer luggage to camp from Marchula
- Professional Wildlife naturalist host of the trip
- GST 5%
- Convenience fee
- Return 3 tier AC return fare from Mumbai (Ex Mumbai option)**
- Additional / personal use of vehicle.
- Extended stay due to weather conditions or any situation not in human control.
- Any personal expenses, room service and special orders, mineral waters, non-alcoholic beverages, tips, phone calls, laundry etc.
- Any extra excursions or sightseeing apart from the above specified itinerary.
- Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
- Camera fees.
- Airfares/Rail fares (Ex Delhi option)**
- Anything Specifically NOT mentioned in includes.
- Wildlife safaris/Bird watching is a matter of luck and opportunity. No guarantee of any sighting is made. Neither of our associates will quote that, although we try our best to spot and show you as much as nature allows us to.
- Birdwatching is a hobby and not a race, hence request all birders to maintain discipline at all times.
- Bird watching is an art of silence and key observation.
- Avoid Pointing out directly to a bird that might flush the bird away.
- Do not get too close to a bird for a photograph that you flush it away.
- Birdwatching should be enjoyed by binoculars and the fun is to spot them, identify them and if you still have some time with the bird photograph them.
- Never enter the forest with an intention of spotting a single species, it will only disappoint you. The forest is a gift packet with a lot to surprise with. Listen to our naturalist for more wonderful experience.
- Our walks are not target species specific (Unless specified)
- We explore everything we find uncommon and need to be explained.
- Any demand for spotting a single species in any jeep will not be entertained by the guide or the tour leader as there are other travellers who would want to see the birds etc.
- Respect & honour everything that is in the forest and it has to offer you.
- Enjoy being in the forest and you will feel much happier away from the concrete chaos.
- Respect the local, tribes, guards, guides, drivers, officers and all animals.
- Front seat of the Gypsy is always reserved for the Guide or Guard.
- No extra room will be made for photographers, respecting other travellers. (For photographers it is recommended to opt for higher options)
- No littering in the forest strictly. (what goes comes back the same way)
- Camera fees & guide tips to be paid separately & directly.
- Kindly follow the instructions given by the tour leader and the guide for your own safety.
- Vanghat is a secluded forest lodge with no mobile & Wi-Fi connectivity. There is a signal spot (Jio Point) just 100mtrs from camp where one can use Jio 4G network or Airtel 4G network. Hence kindly be prepared and carry extra sim with these networks if you don’t have one.
- To avoid usage of high electricity camp provides HOT WATER in a bucket for bathing on demand.
- Do not carry too much for the trip. Travel light and preferably in a rucksack.
- Do not carry lot of food items along even if you have please keep it with the restaurant staff since the food may attract lot of uninvited visitors in the cottages.
- A Hat
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- A dust protection mask
- Personal Bottle (To avoid plastic use – 1LtrsX2)
- Small backpack for trails (10Ltrs)
- Bird books
- Sun screen
- Only dull coloured clothes (Green, brown, Beige, Camouflage)
- Camera (At owners risk) with proper equipment for photography (As per need)
- Fleece/Jacket (temperatures drop in the forest to below 10 degree Celsius
- Energy bars for trails
Cancellation Charges on Cost
More than 30 days
30 to 21 days
21 to 15 days
Less than 15 days or No show