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The highest mountains on earth,thundering rivers, magical montaneforests and dense lowland junglesfilled with colourful birds and the mostexciting of large mammals. For a countrythat lies 800 kilometres from the sea,Nepal has a scenic and altitudinal varietythat is quite unrivalled. It will be our aimon this holiday to explore its many facets,focusing on the fabulous range of birdsand mammals that they support. This willbe a less strenuous adventure than ourother Himalayan journeys so as to allowas wide a range of people as possible tosample Nepal's delights with us.We begin this holiday in the KathmanduValley. Once the bed of a large andancient lake, the valley is now a colourfulmosaic of rice paddies and quaintred-brick farmhouses, surrounded by highforested hills that support a fine variety ofbird and mammal species, includingmonkeys, Muntjac, Jungle Cat, Leopardand even Tiger! We will explore the best ofthese forests during our 3-night stay inKathmandu ... and we will find time to visitthe unique array of temples, palaces andnarrow alleyways of this fascinatingcapital, and the neighbouring cities ofBhaktapur and Patan.A long but beautiful drive through the hills, with tantalising glimpses of thesnowbound peaks of Ganesh Himal andLangtang, brings us to the busy town ofPokhara, the starting point of our trek. This 9-day circuit takes us along highridges into the hills north of Pokhara,where pretty Gurung and Chhetri villages,and magnificent forests of oak andrhododendron decorate the hillsidesbeneath the towering white summits ofAnnapurna South and Machhapuchare-the Fish Tail Mountain. Here live numerous bird species; amongst themsome of Nepal's brilliantly colouredpheasants, and a variety of tits, minivets,warblers, laughing-thrushes, rosefinches,sunbirds and woodpeckers. The highlight of our walk is the high ridgebetween Ghandrung and Ghorepani. Here, some of the best of Nepal's highforest-now thankfully affordedprotection by the Annapurna ConservationArea Project-provides a refuge for some of the rarest Himalayan species. We will be looking in particular for suchforest gems as Golden-breasted Fulvetta,Rufous-bellied Shrike-babbler, VinaceousRosefinch and Great Parrotbill. Twoattractive mammals, the Red Panda andthe Yellow-throated Marten, are alsooccasionally seen here.On completion of our trek, we will drivefrom Pokhara to the Seti River for a day'srafting journey down the beautiful andtranquil Seti Valley. Moving slowlydownriver through the forested foothillsand into the lowlands of Nepal, we havean ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy themagnificent scenery and birdlife of theriver. We will see forktails, redstarts,whistling thrushes, kingfishers and manybirds of prey.As the river slows and broadens into thelowlands of Nepal, we once again take tothe land, driving to Chitwan National Parkfor a stay of three nights in a comfortablejungle lodge. Comprising 932 squarekilometres of Sal and riverine forest andgrassland, Chitwan has a greater diversityof wildlife than any other area of Nepal.Over 480 species of birds have beenrecorded in the park and we can expect tosee nearly half of these, as well as manymammals and reptiles that may includeIndian Rhinoceros, Wild Boar, Sambar,Muntjac, Chital and Hog Deer, Rhesus and Hanuman Monkeys, and crocodiles.Tigers, Leopards, Sloth Bears and Gauralso occur but are more difficult to see. Wesearch for them all on foot, elephant backand by dugout canoe.A long journey by road now takes us toour comfortable tented camp at KoshiTappu Wildlife Reserve. Three nights at thecamp will allow you to enjoy thisoutstanding Asian wetland by raft, LandRover and on foot. So rich in birdlife is thisremote reserve that over160 species arelikely to be seen,together with such rareanimals as Wild Water Buffalo, GangesRiver Dolphin, Smooth Otter, Jungle Cat,and Gharial and Marsh MuggerCrocodiles. We are in no doubt that thispeaceful and rewarding spot, followed bya spectacular flight back to Kathmandu,past the snowy summits of MountsEverest, Lhotse, Makalu andKanchenjunga, will provide a fitting end to this varied and exciting holiday.Nepal - A WildlifeAdventureA 22-day wildlife adventure, combining rafting, jungle and wetland exploration, and a gentle 9-day trek in the forested hills beneath the spectacular Annapurna Massif.Sunday 11th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012 Cost: £3,695Sunday 10th November - Sunday 1st December 2013 Cost: £3,795Book direct on 01962 733051or see page 284 for Booking InformationTIBETTIBETINDIAINDIAINDIADHAULAGIRIGHOREPANIPOKHARACHITWANNATIONAL PARKKATHMANDULANGTANG NATIONALPARKANNAPURNACONSERVATIONAREASHEOPURI WILDLIFERESERVELUKLANEPALSAGARMATHA (EVEREST)NATIONAL PARKMt EVERESTLHOTSEMAKALUKANCHENJUNGAKOSHI CAMPBIRATNAGARKOSHI TAPPUWILDLIFE RESERVEANNAPURNA IOutline itinerary Day 1 Depart London. Day 2/3Kathmandu. Day 4Pokhara. Day 5/13 Trekking. Day 14Rafting, Seti River.Day 15/17Chitwan National Park. Day 18/20Koshi Tappu WildlifeReserve. Day 21Kathmandu. Day 22Fly London.AccommodationA variety of good hotels, lodgesand permanent tented camps, mostwith private facilities. Fully servicedcamping whilst trekking and rafting.FoodIncluded in the price, except forlunches and dinners in Kathmandu.Allow £35.TrekkingGrade B. Easy to moderate.Between 900 and 3,350 metres.FocusBirds and mammals.LeaderSuchit Basnet, Shambhu Ghimire orHathan Choudhary, plus localguides. Single room supplement£280.Single tent supplement£120. Web quick search:NPL06 255Annapurna South and Machhapuchare from GhandrungGreaterStone PloverGharial Crocodile

This new deluxe tour combines theopportunity to enjoy wildlife-viewingin Sri Lanka's finest National Parkand during a quest to see Blue Whales,with visits to some of the country's greatarchaeological sites. We have timed thetour to coincide with the large numbers ofbirds which visit the island during thewinter, including waders from Siberia andpasserines from the Himalayan region. Weuse some of Sri Lanka's very best hotelsand lodges for this new tour, so you canswap the cold of a British winter forwildlife-watching based in luxuriousaccommodation on this beautiful tropicalisland.We begin with a glimpse of the island'spast at Sigiriya, famous for its toweringrock fortress and ancient wall frescoes;and there's an impressive panorama forthose energetic enough to reach thesummit. On the following day we visit theremains of the ancient capital ofPolonnaruwa, where we may be luckyenough to find one of the resident BrownFish Owls. We'll be based for two nights atthe luxurious Vil Uyana Hotel, from wherewe'll explore the forests surroundingSigiriya's famous rock fortress in search ofsome of the more retiring bird species andendemics. In particular we will hope to see the magnificent white-phase of the maleParadise Flycatcher, their tails like whitestreamers as they fly from perch to perch.Travelling south through the island's mainspice-growing region we continue toKandy for a 2-night stay at Earl's RegencyHotel overlooking the Mahaweli River.Once the capital of an autonomouskingdom until captured by the British in1815, Kandy marks our ascent into thepicturesque Hill Country, and issurrounded by forests in which we shouldfind such endemic birds as the charmingSri Lanka Hanging Parrot and Layard'sParakeet. We'll then penetrate deeper intothe hills to stay for two nights in colonialsplendour at the Grand Hotel in NuwaraEliya, a favourite hill station of the British.This area is the heart of the island's teaindustry and we will visit one of the manyestates en route from Kandy. Yet moreendemic birds occur at this increasedelevation, amongst them Yellow-earedBulbul and Hill White-eye, plus such wintervisitors as Blyth's Reed Warbler and PiedGround Thrush. We will spend one dayexploring the wild expanses of the HortonPlains which epitomise the uniqueness ofthe Hill Country with its strange forests ofstunted trees festooned in bromeliads,and stretches of moorland leading to theaptly named World's End where a sheerescarpment drops to the plains far below.This is the haunt of the handsomehighland race of the Purple-faced LeafMonkey and a great diversity of plants andbirds including the endemic Arrenga, BlueMagpie and Sri Lanka Woodpigeon.Descending to the arid south of the islandwe next visit a number of freshwater'tanks' or lakes, crowded with birds,before reaching the endless palm-fringedbeaches which characterise the IndianOcean coastline. Our next destination isYala National Park where in recent yearsdiurnal Leopards have been a regularattraction and we'll make early morningand afternoon game drives in search ofthese iconic cats and the wealth of othermammals and birds that the parksupports. Wildlife abounds in Yala andeach drive is likely to produce sightings of Asian Elephant, Wild Boar, SpottedDeer, Sambar, mongooses, crocodiles and lizards as well as a stunning profusionof colourful birdlife. During our three daysat Yala we will be staying at the verycomfortable and luxurious Chaaya WildHotel just outside the park; with no fencesto constrain the inhabitants it is by nomeans unusual to see a Wild Boar wanderthrough the grounds or even to find anAsian Elephant browsing in the garden!After many memorable experiences in Yalawe next transfer to the comfortable LightHouse Hotel in Galle for a 2-night stay.From here we will enjoy two morningwhale-watching cruises from a nearbyport. Blue Whales will be our main targethere, but we may also see Bryde's andShort-finned Pilot Whales, plus Bottlenose,Pantropical Spotted, Striped and SpinnerDolphins which should provide a fittingfinale to our Sri Lankan holiday. For thosewho wish to stay longer on this beguilingisland, we recommend a post-tourextension to Sinharaja Forest. Over 80% ofthe island's endemic bird species occur inthe forest and resident species include thespectacular Blue Magpie, Red-facedMalkoha and Orange-billed Babbler; 60%of the trees are found nowhere else in theworld, and most of the other flora andfauna has a similarly high level ofendemism.Wild Sri Lanka ... In Style!A deluxe 14-day holiday exploring Sri Lanka's wildlife and cultural highlights in the utmost comfort and style, plus an optional extension to Sinharaja Forest. Monday 19th November - Sunday 2nd December 2012 Cost: £3,595Sinharaja extension: to Wednesday 5th December 2012 Cost: £995Monday 14th January - Sunday 27th January 2013 Cost: £3,595Sinharaja extension: to Wednesday 30th January 2013 Cost: £995Monday 18th November - Sunday 1st December 2013 Cost: £3,595Sinharaja extension: to Wednesday 4th December 2013 Cost: £995Outline itineraryDay 1Depart London.Day 2/3Sigiriya.Day 4/5Kandy.Day 6/7Nuwara Eliya.Day 8/10Yala National Park.Day 11/12Galle.Day 13Colombo.Day 14Fly London.Sinharaja ForestextensionDay 13/15Sinharaja Forest. Day 16Colombo.Day 17Fly London.AccommodationA range of Sri Lanka's finest deluxehotels and lodges, all with privatefacilities.FoodAll meals are included at Yala andSinharaja. Elsewhere main mealsare not included; allow £145.GradingA. This is a luxury wildlife andcultural holiday that includes nostrenuous walking. A couple ofoptional longer walks are, however,included at Horton Plains andSinharaja.FocusBlue Whales, Leopards, othermammals and birds, plus elementsof the island's history andarchaeology.LeadersDammithra Samarisinghe, SusanthaWeerappulli or SamanVediyabandara.Single room supplement£1,295 (extension: £395).Web quick search: LKA07256Call now or visit your free Trip ItineraryKANDY SIGIRIYA NUWARA ELIYA YALANATIONALPARKGALLEHORTON PLAINS SINHARAJAFOREST(EXTENSION)COLOMBO INDIANOCEANBAYOFBENGALSRI LANKA LeopardsAsian ElephantsBlue Whale (with remoras attached)Earl's Regency Hotel, Kandy