Phone: +1 (778) 870-1542 | Email: info@nestbirdtours.com
photo of wild ass sanctuary

 

TRIP SUMMARY

Price: US$5,175 per person based on double occupancy

Single Supplement: US$1,180 

Price Includes:
* 15 nights accommodation in standard hotel/lodge

* English speaking birding and wildlife guide from day 1 to day 16 up to the end of the tour and local site specific guides for days in Bhuj and Rann of Kutch
* Private ground transportation from day 1 until day 16 to all destinations
* Meals starting with breakfast on day 2 ending with lunch on day 16
* Private “bush dinner” on day 15
* 4 birds and wildlife safaris in the Litte Rann of Kutch and Wild Ass Sanctuary searching for Wild Asses & various bird species
* 4 birds and wildlife safaris in Velavadar/Blackbuck National Park
* Fees, Tips & Charges: Entrance fees to reserves or parks, tips to service staff and all taxes

Tour Dates:
December 8 – December 23 2017 (8 SPACES AVAILABLE)

February 13 – February 28 2018 (8 SPACES AVAILABLE)

Max group size: 8
Min group size: 4 

Departure of this tour will be guaranteed with a minimum of 4 participants. If you have registered for this tour a confirmation will be provided six (6) months prior to departure. Please ensure you take this into account when booking your flight and other travel plans. If we cannot attain the minimum of 4 participants, the tour will be cancelled and you will be refunded any payments/deposits made in full.

Length: 16 days/15 nights
Starting city: Ahmedabad
Ending city: Ahmedabad
Birding pace: Slow 
Physical difficulty: Easy
Focus: Birds, Wild Asses, Indian Culture and Photography in the Rann of Kutch and Wild Ass Sanctuary

Climate: Very dry, coastal desert climate. The Wild Ass Sanctuary can be very dry. Temperatures can range from a low of 16 degrees Celsius at night to 31 degrees Celsius in the day during this time of year.

Accommodation: Hotels will be considered average due to the range of terrain we have to travel.
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WILD ASS SANCTUARY TRIP DETAILS

 

Gujarat is located in the western corner of India. To the west of Gujarat is the Arabian Sea and to the northwest is where Gujarat borders with Pakistan. The bird life in the state of Gujarat is one of the richest in all of India. It is the only place where the Asian Wild Asses can be found roaming the dry deserts of the state in the Wild Ass Sanctuary. In addition, you will find Blackbucks, Asiatic Lions, and the incredible Avifauna. The massive Salt Desert of the Little Rann of Kutch is also an incredible natural offering.

On the coast, the tides rise as a direct result of the monsoon, causing the Salt Desert to be flooded providing the perfect environment for flamingoes and other species.

Gujarat is also comprised of many Tribes dotting the state. It is also well known for its textile and painting patterns of colourful saris and Indian wear.

Some of the species we expect to see are  mixed flocks of flamingos, pelicans, waterfowl, shorebirds, Crab Plovers, Sociable Lapwings, Gulls, Terns, Great Indian and Macqueen’s Bustards, Gray Hypocolius, White-browed Bushchat, Asian Desert Warbler, White-bellied Minivet, White-naped Tit, Blackbuck, Wild Asses, Asiatic Lions and much more.

The dry conditions and road conditions make it difficult to get around quickly and in particular to the remote destinations this tour will be taking you. However, it will be the adventure of a lifetime.

Our tour schedule is set out below:

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN AHMEDABAD: You will either be arriving in Ahmedabad from an international flight or from a direct flight from Delhi. Due to different arrival times, dinner will not be included on this day. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Ahmedabad.

 HOTEL: Four Points Sheraton Ahmedabad 

DAY 2: BIRDS OF AHMEDABAD: AHMEDABAD – KENSVILLE GOLF CLUB

We will have an early breakfast in your hotel and we will drive towards strategic spots and parks surrounding Ahmedabad for a full day of birding. In the afternoon, we will drive towards Kensville Golfclub and visit the surrounding areas for various species of birds. We will check into our hotel around this golf club for dinner. 

 HOTEL: Club Kensville Golf Resort

DAY 3: KENSVILLE GOLF CLUB – LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH & WILD ASS SANCTUARY:

After an early breakfast we will visit different areas around this golf club where we have the ability to spot over 50 species in a very short space of time. We will visit the Nalsarovar Bird Santuary. In the afternoon, we will drive to the Little Rann Of Kutch near the Wild Ass Sanctuary and check into our lodge.
The Little Rann is the home to India’s last remaining Asiatic Wild Asses, a majestic creature we’re guaranteed to see as they roam the hot landscape of the Wild Ass Sanctuary. This region also harbors an abundance of bird life. Tidal surges in advance of the Summer monsoon flood the Rann with huge amounts of salt water that the ensuing rains do little to dilute. For the entire Summer the area is a huge, impenetrable mud bath and swamp. But when the rains cease, the area rapidly dries out and the mud bakes to create vast expanses of pancake-flat, iron-hard earth punctuated by brackish lagoons with impressive numbers of birds. Both Greater and Lesser Flamingos are common and conspicuous, as are flotillas of pelicans and millions of wintering waterfowl.

We expect to see Macqueen’s Bustard, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Hoopoe Lark, Asian Desert Warbler, Sociable Plovers, the gorgeous Indian Courser, Common Cranes, Larks and much more. We will have lunch along the way and dinner will be at the lodge

 HOTEL:  Desert Coursers  Safari Camp or similar

DAY 4: LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH & WILD ASS SANCTUARY

We will have breakfast at the lodge and explore this region of the Little Rann of Kutch. We will absorb the local culture around the villages and go in search of India’s Wild Asses and birds of this region and Wild Ass Sanctuary once more. We will have lunch and dinner at the lodge/camp.

 HOTEL: Desert Coursers Safari Camp or similar

DAY 5: LITTLE RANN OF KUTCH – BHUJ

After breakfast and a final morning exploring in the Wild Ass Sanctuary and Little Rann, we’ll drive to the town of Bhuj. We will have lunch on the way and dinner after checking into our lodge.

HOTEL: Click Hotel Bhuj

DAY 6: BHUJ – NAKHATRANA/WHITE RANN:

After leaving the Wild Ass Sanctuary the day before, we will use the morning period in Bhuj to relax after the prior days’ driving and safaris. This morning we will check out of our hotel at 11:00 am and drive to the Nakhatrana near the White Rann. Nakhatrana is the entry town into the Banni Grasslands where birding is excellent. The drive is 2 hours and we will have lunch along the way. Once in Nakhtrana, we will do an afternoon/Evening Safari in Bunni, Chari Dand and  get an opportunity to see the extinct volcano Dinodhar along the way.  Dinner will be in our hotel.

 HOTEL: Infinity Resorts or similar 

DAYS 7-8: BIRDING THE BANNI GRASSLANDS

Days 7 and 8 will be spent in the Banni Grasslands, exploring this rich area for various specialities in this region. We will have breakfast with us and box lunch each day and return to our hotel in Bhuj for dinner. During this period, we will have an additional guide who is a specialist in this region of Bhuj. This guide will accompany us during this segment of the tour.

When convenient we will also drive to the White Rann “Dhordo”.  Some species we expect to see includes the Gray Hypocolius, White-naped Tit, White-browed (or Stoliczka’s) Bushchat, White-bellied Minivet, large numbers of Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, the rare Great Indian Bustard, Eastern Imperial and Steppe Eagles. With some luck, we should be able to find a Sykes’s Nightjar. These days should be very productive.

 HOTEL: Infinity Resorts or similar 

DAYS 9-10: BIRDING THE NALIYA GRASSLANDS

Days 9 and 10 will be spent on the Naliya grasslands which is also where you will have the chance to see the Great Indian Bustard. Here we will also have an expert guide from this region accompany us along with our lead guide. On one of the days, we will do an evening drive around the salt flats of Jhako port. The savannah should produce good results. Each day we will have box lunch and return to our hotel for dinner.

 HOTEL: Infinity resorts or similar 

DAY 11: NALIYA GRASSLANDS – KHIJADIYA BIRD SANCTUARY/JAMNAGAR:

After an early breakfast, we will drive towards the city of Jamnagar, another of Gujarat’s major cities, rarely visited by tourists but overflowing with old buildings and colorful bazaars. The drive will be long and we will be stopping frequently for breaks and lunch on the way. On arrival in Jamnagar, we will check into our hotel and relax for the rest of the afternoon. An evening stroll through the town and colourful bazaars is an option before we have dinner at the hotel.

HOTEL: Hotel Express Residency

DAY 12: JAMNAGAR – KHIJADIYA BIRD SANCTUARY:

After an early breakfast, we will drive for about 1 hour to the Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary. This wetland reserve is unique in that about half of water is fresh while the other half is saline, consequently, it harbors a staggering variety of wildlife. We should be able to see huge numbers of flamingos and cranes, Demoiselle, Pelicans, Shorebirds, Indian Nightjars, Baillon’s Crake, Small Pratincole, Black-necked Stork, and Indian Reed-Warbler. The number of birds seen here will depend on the amount of rainfall, however, this reserve will be very productive. We will have a full day at this reserve and will have box lunch with us. In the afternoon, we will return to our hotel in Jamnagar for dinner.

 HOTEL: Hotel Express Residency 

DAY 13: NARARA MARINE PARK 

We have an early breakfast and an early departure to spend a full day to explore the Marine National Park at Narara. If we can time the visit to coincide with a high tide, we should be treated to a feast of shorebirds, gulls, and terns. We should see Crab Plover, Lesser and Greater Sand Plovers, Terek, Broad-billed Sandpipers, Great Black-headed and Heuglin’s Gulls, Lesser Crested Terns, and Western Reef-Herons. We will have pre arranged box lunch or in a restaurant near the park. In the late afternoon, we will return to our hotel in Jamnagar for dinner.

HOTEL: Hotel Express Residency 

DAY 14: JAMNAGAR – VELAVADAR/BLACK BUCK NATIONAL PARK:

After a relaxed breakfast, we’ll drive to Velavadar grasslands. We will have lunch along the way and on arrival we will check into o/Black Buck National Park and check into our lodge. In the late afternoon, we will proceed to the Savannah grassland reserve in the park on a safari searching for birds and mammals in this area. The sanctuary holds about 3,500 Blackbuck, the males particularly gorgeous in their black and tan dress and with white goggles. Velavadar is also one of the last remaining refuges of the severely threatened Indian Wolf, and one of the best places on the subcontinent to see Striped Hyena. The park also boasts the world’s largest harrier roost, where a massive 3,000 birds have been estimated; Montagu’s Harriers dominate, but impressive numbers of ghostly Pallids and Western Marsh Harriers also occur. We should be able to see all three on this tour. We also expect to see Ashy-crowned, Rufous-tailed, and Bimaculated Larks; Isabelline Shrike; and Sykes’s and Paddyfield Warblers. At the end of the day, we will return to our lodge for dinner

HOTEL: Black Buck Lodge or similar 

DAY 15: VELAVADAR/BLACK BUCK NATIONAL PARK:

After an early breakfast, we’ll return to Velavadar grasslands for a full day safari to view species we may have missed the day before and birding activities in the early hours of the morning should be great. During the day, we will return to the lodge for lunch and in the evening we will haev a special “bush dinner”. 

HOTEL: Black Buck Lodge or similar 

DAY 16: VELAVADAR  NATIONAL PARK – AHMEDABAD

After breakfast, we will have a full morning safari to grab the last opportunity to photograph and view additional species of birds and wildlife. After lunch, we will drive to Ahmedabad for your onward destination. Your tour ends on arrival at the airport or your hotel.

 

 


IMPORTANT POINTS TO REMEMBER

PLEASE NOTE: All individuals are responsible for checking VISA requirements and obtaining the necessary travel documentation for entering India prior to arriving.

FITNESS LEVEL: 

Most of the terrain is easy. Some of the birding will be done by driving the tracks in a vehicle and stopping at strategic spots. However, where hiking is required even though it is considered easy to moderate, we strongly advise that moderate level of fitness be attained before embarking on this tour. Regular exercise prior to your trip is advisable. Remember you may be hiking and outdoors for long periods in some cases and although the pace will be very slow you may be carrying camera equipment, meals and water where applicable. To ensure your maximum enjoyment a moderate level of fitness is advisable. 

AGE POLICY: 

If you are considering travelling with children and other family members, please note that this tour is open for individuals 15 years and older.

CLIMATE AND CONDITIONS ON THIS BIRD TOUR

This region of Gujarat is very dry and desert like. The conditions are harsh and barren. Based on the time of year for this tour the temperatures should be around 16 degrees at night to 31 degrees Celsius in the day.   Rain is uncommon.

 

WHAT TO BRING:

Hat, camera and equipment, binoculars, sun block, rain jacket, hiking boots, fleece for colder nights and early morning, small back pack for box lunch and water, bug spray.

BAGGAGE:

This tour involves switching hotels and lodges frequently. For flexibility and total enjoyment we will advise that luggage be limited to 2 suitcases and a small hand luggage.

CURRENCY:

The official currency in India is the Indian Rupee.

Contact Us
For more information please call us directly or send us an email.

Tel. 1- (778) 870-1542

E-mail: info@nestbirdtours.com
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