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The mighty peaks of the Himalaya, thegreatest mountain range on Earth,provide an awesome backdrop duringthis holiday which combines the very best ofNepal's 'terai'(lowland forests andwetlands) with the scenic splendours ofDarjeeling - with its surrounding hills andtemperate forests - and KazirangaNational Park in Assam, home of theendangered Indian One-horned Rhinoceros. Our tour begins in Kathmandu, capital ofthe magical mountain kingdom of Nepal,where we overnight before journeying byroad through the delightful terraced foothillsabove the Trisuli River to the Royal ChitwanNational Park. This magnificent reserve isone of the few remaining undisturbedvestiges of the terai, a region of riverinejungle, Sal forest and swamps which onceextended throughout the lowlands of Nepaland northern India. This wonderful habitat,formerly mosquito-ridden and inhabitedonly by the indigenous and malaria-tolerantTharu people, has a particularly rich floraand fauna, including large populations ofboth Indian One-horned Rhinoceros andBengal Tiger, as well as many othermammals and a stunning variety of birdlife.Chitwan's diversity of riverine and foresthabitats, interspersed with opengrasslands, ensures that there are alwaysnew areas to explore during our stay andever present in the distance are the snowysummits of the Himalayan giants whichstretch across Nepal in an unbroken linefrom east to west.After spending three nights in Chitwan, wedrive east to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reservewhich lies close to the border with India,on the floodplain of the Sapta-Koshi, oneof the three main tributaries of the Ganges.The reserve comprises endless riversideand wetland habitats, together with tallgrassland with patches of scrub forest anddeciduous mixed riverine woodland, setagainst the backdrop of the easternHimalaya, which includes Mount Makalu(8,475 metres), the world's fifth highestmountain. Koshi Tappu offers prime habitatfor a variety of wildlife, and in particularsupports the last surviving population ofwild Water Buffalo in Nepal. Nilgai (BlueBull), Wild Boar, Jungle Cat and bothSpotted and Hog Deer are amongst othermammal species finding sanctuary in thereserve, whilst nearly 400 species of birdshave been recorded, including theendangered Swamp Partridge, Red-necked Falcon and Striated Marsh Warbler.Koshi is also an important staging groundand resting place for migratory birds and many new species for Nepal have beenfound here. The endangered Gharial andthe Marsh Mugger crocodile may beobserved in (or beside) the Koshi River,and the fortunate may even encounter therare Ganges River Dolphin. Our next destination is Darjeeling, wellknown as a popular hill-station during thedays of the British Raj and centre of arenowned tea-growing region. Situated at1,980 metres, the town is charming, ifrather ramshackle, but a fine base fromwhich to soak in the magnificent views ofMount Kanchenjunga and the Himalaya,and from which to enjoy the birds of theregion's temperate oak and rhododendronforests, amongst which are many easternHimalayan specialities. There may also bean opportunity to sample the world famousnarrow-gauge railway which loops its wayuphill to the town from the plains, affordingviews from many vantage points of themagical Himalaya on clear days. A short flight from Bagdogra will take usinto Assam for the final phase of our tour.Kaziranga National Park is one of the mostpicturesque wildlife parks in India and lieson the southern banks of the BrahmaputraRiver, to the north of the Mikir Hills whichrise to an elevation of over 1,000 metres.The predominant vegetation is a mixture of tall grassland and riverine forestintersected by marshes, streams and ox-bow lakes known locally as 'jheels' or'jils'. Kaziranga is famous for its populationof Indian One-horned Rhinoceros,estimated to be in the region of 1,500animals, and the park is by far the bestplace in India to see them. Other speciallarge mammals to be found here includewild Water Buffalo, Swamp Deer andIndian Elephant. We have three full days toexplore Kaziranga by both jeep and,perhaps, on elephant back, and to enjoythe profusion of its wildlife. There is alwaysplenty to see here and, if we are verylucky, we may even encounter one or twoof the more secretive residents such asGaur, Leopard Cat, Sloth Bear or even theever-elusive Tiger! Returning to Guwahati, we fly to Delhiwhere hotel rooms have been reservedprior to an early morning transfer to theairport to catch the international flight backto London. Back in the city, there will betime to reflect on the many wonderfulwildlife encounters of the precedingfortnight or perhaps to investigate the cityshops in search of a few bargains!The Best of India & NepalA 17-day holiday exploring the finest wildlife sites amongst the floodplains and foothills of the great Himalaya, including the jungles of Chitwan and vast wetlands of Koshi Tappu in Nepal, plus the forests of Darjeeling and the best reserve in India, Kaziranga. Friday 16th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012 Cost: £3,495 Friday 8th February - Sunday 24th February 2013 Cost: £3,495 Friday 15th November - Sunday 1st December 2013 Cost: £3,495Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Kathmandu.Day 3/5Chitwan National Park.Day 6/8Koshi Tappu WildlifeReserve.Day 9/11Darjeeling.Day 12/15Kaziranga National Park.Day 16Delhi.Day 17Fly London.AccommodationComfortable tourist hotels inKathmandu, Darjeeling and Delhi;simple but comfortable lodges ortented camps elsewhere. Allrooms/tents have private facilities,except at Koshi. FoodAll included in the price, except formain meals in Kathmandu andDelhi. Allow £20.Grading Grade A. This is a wildlife tour thatincludes no strenuous walking.Focus Birds and mammals.LeaderTika Ram Giri, Hathan Choudhary orSuchit Basnet, plus local guides.Single room supplement£495.Extensions Pre- or post-tour extensions withinIndia or Nepal gladly arranged onrequest.Web quick search: IND33234Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryINDIANEPAL BHUTAN BANGLADESH PAKISTAN TIBET BAY OF BENGAL MUMBAI KOLKATAKOSHI TAPPUWILDLIFE RESERVECHITWANNATIONAL PARKNEW DELHIKATHMANDU DARJEELING BAGDOGRA KAZIRANGA NATIONAL PARK GUWAHATISunrise over Mount KanchenjungaNilgaiSal forest, Chitwan

On this exciting tour we will visitAssam, Arunachal Pradesh andNagaland, three of India's least-known, most remote and beautiful states.Famous for their lush and breathtakingscenery as well as their isolated andfascinating tribes, these regions also boastIndia's richest fauna and flora, about whichmuch awaits discovery! We begin our holiday by crossing themighty Brahmaputra River in Assam, beforeheading to the beautiful Mishmi Hills ofArunachal Pradesh, a southward extensionof the great Himalaya, thrown up by asharp twist of this famous range as it turnssouth and descends rapidly to the forestsof China and Myanmar. One of the world'sbiodiversity hotspots, the region's verdant,well-watered hills and evergreensubtropical forests are home to myriadplant and animal forms. About 680 birdspecies are found here, yet this is one ofthe least-explored birding areas in Asia;indeed it is likely that some new speciesstill await discovery in these hills. Amongthe avian specialties here are Sclater'sMonal, Blyth's and Temminck's Tragopan,Chestnut-breasted Partridge, Rufous-necked Hornbill, Pale-capped Pigeon andWard's Trogon, and when you consider thatthe region also supports over 100 speciesof mammal and 6,000 plant species,including a mouth-watering variety oforchids, it becomes apparent why we areso excited about offering this new tour! Our focus in the Mishmi Hills will be on thesuperb birding areas both at Roing and onthe Mayodia Pass. At Roing we will explorethe floodplains and foothills lying ataltitudes of between 250 and 600 metres.Here such Himalayan foothill species asPin-tailed Green Pigeon, Red-headedTrogon and Long-tailed Broadbill arefound, as well as numerous scimitar-babblers, laughing-thrushes, shrike-babblers, fulvettas and yuhinas! Bycontrast, the Mayodia Pass (at 2,666metres) is the highest point on the roadfrom Roing to Anini. Here we will exploremagnificent temperate forests, extensivebamboo brakes and the rocky hillsidesabove them, in search of such sought-afterpheasants as Sclater's Monal and Blyth'sTragopan, as well as a plethora of othergems including Gould's and Rusty-belliedShortwing, Slender-billed Scimitar-babbler,Ward's Trogon, Grey-sided Laughing-thrushand the exquisite Fire-tailed Myzornis.Our next destination is Dibru SaikhowaNational Park, a biosphere reserveprotecting 340 square kilometres ofwetlands, grasslands and semi-evergreenswamp forest that lie on the alluvialfloodplain bordered by the BrahmaputraRiver to the north and the Dibru River to thesouth. Here such grassland specialities asBengal Florican, Black-breasted Parrotbill,Jerdon's Bushchat, Swamp Prinia and bothJerdon's and Marsh Babblers occur, aswell as the endangered White-wingedWood Duck, plus a wide variety of largemammals. A stay in Jorhat will then allowus to visit the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary, anarea of excellent forest where suchprimates as Hoolock Gibbon and CappedLangur may be seen. Finally we head to the remote north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland, hometo 16 major tribes who, until relativelyrecently, had a reputation for head-hunting! Each tribe has its own distinctcharacter, customs and intricately designeddress, and a village homestay is anunforgettable highlight of this trip. We'll bebased in the village of Khonoma for threenights - an opportunity to combine ourbirding activities with time spent meetingthe local tribe and sampling a little of theirculture. The village sits among terracedfields sculpted from the lush green hills,and birdlife is everywhere, in no small partthanks to the conservation efforts of thevillagers who have banned all hunting -an extraordinary move, considering howfundamental hunting had traditionally beento their culture. Further, in the 1990s, thevillagers physically prevented timbermerchants from carrying out loggingactivities, and over the last decade theKhonoma Village Council has establishedsystems of natural resource management,village administration and appropriatedevelopment, all coupled with a resolutionto conserve biodiversity and wildlife. In1998 they even set aside 70 squarekilometres to establish the KhonomaNature Conservation and TragopanSanctuary - a special place to end aspecial tour!India - Nagaland & Mishmi Hills A pioneering 18-day tour into the little-known rainforests and mountains of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, three remote and breathtakingly beautiful Indian states, in search of their rich birdlife, mammals and tribal cultures.Thursday 8th November - Sunday 25th November 2012 Cost: £3,395Thursday 14th February - Sunday 3rd March 2013 Cost: £3,395Thursday 7th November - Sunday 24th November 2013 Cost: £3,395Kaziranga extension available on all tours Cost: £595 Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationBURMATIBETBANGLADESHKOLKATABHUTANASSAMDIBRUGARHJORHATDIBRU SAIKHOWA WILDLIFE SANCTUARYNAGALANDKAZIRANGANATIONALPARKARUN ACHALPRADESHKOHIMAMISHMI HILLSOutline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2Kolkata.Day 3/8Mishmi Hills.Day 9Dibru Saikhowa NationalPark.Day 10/11Jorhat and GibbonWildlife Sanctuary.Day 12/14Nagaland.Day 15Jorhat.Day 16Kolkata.Day 17Depart Kolkata.Day 18Arrive London.Kaziranga extensionDay 15/17Kaziranga National Park.Day 18Kolkata.Day 19Depart Kolkata.Day 20Arrive London.AccommodationSimple hotels and lodges, plus atribal homestay. All rooms haveprivate facilities, except thehomestay.FoodAll included in the price, except formain meals required in Kolkata.Allow £40.Grading A/B. Mostly gentle birdwatchingwalks but a couple of longer walksare included.Focus Birds, mammals and the culture oflocal tribes.LeaderSujan Chatterjee or Manoj Sharma,plus local guides.Single room supplement£595 (extension: £195).Web quick search: IND39235Myodia PassBlack EagleCoelogyne corymbosaAngami Villagechildren, Khonoma