6 Best Places to Visit in Nepal for Bird Watching
Are you looking for the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching? If yes then you are in the right place. Nepal is a paradise for bird watchers. Although the country is small, there are more than 907 species of birds. In other words, 8.9 percent of the total bird species in the world are in Nepal. So, Nepal is an excellent destination for bird watching.
Nepal has many national parks and wildlife reserves that are home to various birds. These parks and reserves are excellent places for resident and migratory species. The country offers a unique opportunity to watch a variety of bird species in their natural habitat.
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Some famous birds found in Nepal
- Himalayan monal (Danfe in Nepali)
- Satyr tragopan
- Spiny babbler
- Rufous-necked hornbill
- White-tailed nuthatch
- Fire-tailed sunbird
- Chestnut-headed bee-eater
- Lesser florican
- Ward’s trogon
- Kalij pheasant
- Red-headed vulture
- Sarus crane
- Oriental darter
- Black-necked crane
- Bengal Florican
- White-rumped vulture
- Slender-billed vulture
- Himalayan Quail
- Cheer pheasant
- White-throated Kingfisher
- Black-throated Thrush
- Common Kestrel
- Eurasian Hoopoe
Nepal is an excellent destination for bird watching for many reasons. Some of the main reasons are as follows:
1. Diverse ecosystems:
Nepal has diverse ecosystems ranging from the Terai lowlands in the south to the Himalayan Mountains in the north. This variation in altitude and climate provides different habitats for various bird species.
2. Wide Variety of Bird Species:
Nepal has lowland tropical forests, subtropical forests, alpine meadows, and high mountains. Due to these diverse habitats, more than 900 species of bird species are found in Nepal.
3. Rare and Endangered Species:
Nepal is home to rare and endangered species of birds that you cannot find anywhere else in the world. Himalayan Quail, Nepal wren-babbler, spiny babbler, Nepali Kalij Pheasant, etc. birds you can find only in Nepal.
4. Migratory Birds:
Nepal is an important point for migratory birds. Birds travel as far as Siberia and China to escape harsh winters. These migratory birds make Nepal a perfect place for bird-watching during the winter.
5. Easy Accessibility:
Accessibility depends on the location and habitat of the bird species. Most of the national parks and conservation areas are easily accessible. Some places are easily accessible by road or air, while others need trekking. The trekking trails are well-maintained so you don’t have to face that much difficulty.
6. Cultural Experience:
Nepal is a country rich in history and cultural heritage. Bird-watching tours include visits to historical sites and cultural events. So, this tour also provides you with an opportunity to experience the rich culture of Nepal.
7. Beautiful Scenery:
Nepal’s natural beauty and scenic landscapes provide an excellent backdrop for bird-watching. From the snow-capped Himalayas to the lush green forests of the Terai, you can enjoy some of the most stunning landscapes in the world.
8. Experienced Guides:
In Nepal, you can find many experienced bird-watching guides. They can help you identify different bird species. These guides have in-depth knowledge about the birds and the parks. Experienced guides will take you to the best spots and provide birding information.
There are many bird-watching places in Nepal. Among them, we have prepared a list of the 6 best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching. This list is prepared based on species diversity, accessibility, and the availability of resources.
The best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching are:
1. Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is one of the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching. Covering an area of 175 square kilometers, this reserve is located in the southeastern part of Nepal. There are 485 species of birds in this reserve.
It is also one of the best places in Asia for bird watching which attracts thousands of bird watchers every year. This reserve offers an opportunity to observe the most unique and endangered bird species in their natural habitat. So, bird watching at Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in Nepal is an experience like no other.
The reserve is located in the floodplain of the Koshi River and is also home to several rivers. These rivers and forests provide ample habitat for a variety of birds. The location and diversity of habitats make it an ideal location for migratory birds.
The huge number of bird species found there is the main attraction of this sanctuary. The most popular birds in the reserve are the endangered Bengal florican, marsh francolin, Sarus crane, white-tailed stonechat, striated grassbird, and black-necked stork. Apart from these endangered species, you can also find ducks, geese, egrets, herons, ibises, raptors, and many other birds.
The best time to visit the reserve is from November to February. Migratory birds come in large numbers during this winter season. This time the weather is also pleasant. During this time there is less crowd which creates ample opportunity for bird watching without any distractions.
You can also visit the reserve at other times of the year but the bird activity is less. There is a risk of flooding during the monsoon season and many bird species may migrate to other locations. So, the monsoon is not a suitable time for bird watching in Nepal.
Food & Accomodation
You can find many hotels and lodges near the reserve that offer basic to luxury accommodation. Most lodges provide comfortable rooms with amenities. Air conditioning and heating are available in some lodges. Camping is also available within the reserve so you can choose to camp for a unique experience. Camps usually provide tents, sleeping bags, and other basic camping equipment. Lodges and resorts offer a selection of cuisines with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Some may even offer buffet-style breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
1st Day: Drive Kathmandu to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve by private vehicle (Approx. 500 km) – 11 hours
2nd Day: Take a canoe ride, go on a jeep safari, or walk-through grasslands and sal forest areas for bird watching.
3rd Day: Bird Watching Activity same as the second day.
4th Day: Drive back to Kathmandu.
2. Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park is a paradise for bird watchers in Nepal There are more than 500 species of birds in this park. So, Chitwan National Park is another one of the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching. Chitwan National Park is also the most famous place for wildlife jungle safari in Nepal. The stunning natural beauty of the park makes it a must-visit destination for bird-watching lovers.
Located in the southern part of Nepal, the park is 142 km away from Kathmandu. The park covers an area of 932 square kilometers which is home to many animals and birds. Chitwan National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bird watching at this place is an unforgettable experience of a lifetime. It is home to many water birds, forest birds, and grassland birds. Popular bird species in the park include Bengal Florican, Giant Hornbill, Lesser Adjutant, Black Stork, Kingfisher, Woodpeckers, Flycatchers, etc.
Guide, Accommodation, and Best Time
It is a good idea to hire an experienced bird guide who is familiar with the bird life of the park and their habitat. You can customize the tour to suit your interests and preferences from a single day to a multi-day. A good option is to take a canoe ride on the Rapti River to spot water birds. You also can take a jeep safari or jungle walk to spot birds.
The park offers a range of accommodations to suit your budget and preferences. There are many lodges or resorts near the park entrance. Most accommodations offer comfortable rooms with basic amenities. Some also offer air conditioning and heating.
Along with bird watching, this is also a great opportunity to spot wild animals. The best time for bird watching in this park is from October to March. During this time the weather is dry and pleasant. Birds are in their breeding season so they are more active and easy to spot.
1st Day: Drive Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park (142 km) – 5 hours
2nd Day: Bird-watching activity in the park
3rd Day: Bird-watching activity in the park
4th Day: Drive Chitwan to Kathmandu
3. Bardia National Park
Located in the far western region of Nepal, Bardia National Park is a famous park for wildlife and birds. This park is one of the most attractive natural habitats for wildlife in the world. The park is home to various flora and fauna including the rarest and most exotic bird species.
The park is a paradise for bird watchers which attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. So, it is also one of the best places to visit Nepal for bird watching. It is perfect for those looking for the most beautiful birds in their natural habitat.
Covering 968 square kilometers, this park is 580 kilometers away from Kathmandu. But for convenience, take a flight from Kathmandu to Nepalganj then drive to Bardia. Bardia is 90 km from Nepalgunj which you can reach by driving for 2 to 3 hours.
You can find more than 400 species of birds in the park making it the richest bird habitat in Asia. Great hornbill, Bengal florican, white-rumped vulture, black-crowned night heron, and oriental pied hornbill are the most iconic birds. With an expert guide, you can also enjoy the experience of other activities in the park. The park also offers jungle safaris, elephant rides, and cultural tours.
The best time for bird watching in Bardia National Park is from November to February. March to May is also a good time. During the winter many migratory bird species come from Siberia and other parts of Asia to escape the cold weather. This makes it the perfect time to spot a variety of bird species.
Food & Accommodation
There are various types of accommodation available according to your budget and preference. Resorts or lodges are the most popular types of accommodation that you can find near the park. These resorts and lodges offer a range of amenities from budget to luxury.
You can also find homestays and guesthouses. If you are an adventure enthusiast, you can also go camping for a better experience. The camping sites provide basic amenities like tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment.
1st Day: Flight to Nepalgunj and transfer to Bardia National Park
2nd Day: Bird-watching activity
3rd Day: Bird-watching activity
4th Day: Transfer to Nepalgunj Airport and flight to Kathmandu
4. Kathmandu Valley
Kathmandu Valley is also one of the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching. You can go on a bird-watching tour at various places around Kathmandu Valley. Especially Phulchwoki hill and Shivpuri-Nagarjuna National Park are famous for bird watching. Both these places are close to Thamel and easily accessible. A bird-watching tour in Shivpuri Nagarjuna National Park is a great way to see some of Nepal’s most beautiful bird species.
This Park is a protected area located on the northern side of the Kathmandu Valley. The park covers an area of 159 square kilometers. It is one of the most popular national parks for day hiking and bird watching. The park is home to more than 300 species of birds. There is also a variety of plants including oak, rhododendron, and Himalayan cedar.
The park protects more than 300 species of birds, including the Himalayan monal, Kalij pheasant, Eurasian eagle-owl, black-winged kite, and white-throated kingfisher. Birds are most active in the morning so it is best to go bird-watching early in the morning.
Phulchoki is a hill station near Kathmandu that is a popular bird-watching destination. It is about 20 km from Thamel which you can reach in about an hour and 30 minutes. Phulchoki is home to more than 300 species of birds, including red-billed blue magpie, spotted forktail, and Himalayan swiftlet.
You can find many experienced guides in Kathmandu who specialize in bird-watching tours. They can provide valuable information about different bird species and their habitats. With a guide, you will have a safe and enjoyable experience.
The best time for bird watching in Kathmandu Valley is during the dry season, which is from October to April. During this time the weather is clear, and the chance of rain is low making it easy to spot birds. Many migratory bird species come to Nepal in winter which also makes it an ideal time for bird watching. It is important to take some food and water with you as food is not available inside the park.
1st Day: Bird watching in Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park
2nd Day: Brid watching in Phulchowki hill
5. Annapurna Conservation Area
The Annapurna Conservation Area covers an area of 7,629 square kilometers. This conservation area is located at the foothills of the majestic Annapurna-mountain range. The Conservation Area has a diverse flora and fauna including over 450 species of birds. Bird watching in this Area is an unforgettable experience for any bird enthusiast.
The conservation area has a wide range in altitude from 790 meters to 8,091 meters above sea level. This wide range of elevations provides a variety of habitats for a variety of bird species. It also provides important wintering grounds for migratory birds from the Tibetan Plateau.
For bird watchers, this area offers a unique opportunity to see different species of birds in their natural habitat. You can spot Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, Snow Pheasant, Tibetan Snowcock, and Himalayan Griffon birds during the tour. So, Annapurna Area is one of the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching.
A bird-watching is also an opportunity to experience the natural beauty of the region. This area offers you breathtaking views of forests, rivers, and high mountains. On the way, you can also spot other wildlife like langur monkeys, musk deer, and Himalayan Thar. Bird watching can be a different experience while trekking in the Conservation Area.
Guide, Accommodation, and Best Time
Since this is a combination of bird watching and trekking, it is best to go through local tour operators. Local tour operators provide you with experienced bird guides who are familiar with the area and bird species. Accommodation ranges from basic teahouses to more luxurious lodges depending on the location.
Spring and autumn are good seasons for bird-watching tours in Annapurna Conservation Area. During this time the weather is mild and bird species are more active. Sudden snowfall and heavy rain are likely in this region. So, you need to be prepared for a sudden change in weather.
1st Day: Drive Kathmandu to Pokhara (820 m) – 7 to 8 hours
2nd Day: Drive Pokhara to Nayapul and Trek to Birethanti (1,025m) – Bird watching along the way
3rd Day: Trek from Birethanti to Ghandruk (1,940 m) – Bird watching along the way
4th Day: Trek from Ghandru to Ban Thanti (3,180 m) – Bird watching along the way
5th Day: Trek from Ban Thanti to Ghorepani (2,880 m) – Bird watching along the way
6th Day: Trek from Ghorepani to Hille (1,430m) – Bird watching along the way
7th Day: Trek from Hille to Nayapul and drive Pokhara – Bird watching along the way
8th Day: Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu
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6. Langtang National Park
Langtang National Park is another one of the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching. This Park is a popular destination in Nepal for trekking as well as bird watching. Spread over an area of 1,710 square kilometers, the park is a protected area.
The park is located in the central Himalayas. You can find various bird species including resident and migratory birds in the park. It is also home to more than 300 species of birds including Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, Ibisbill, Snow Partridge, and Himalayan Griffon.
Popular places for bird watching in the park are Kyanjin Gompa, Langtang Valley, Gosainkunda Lake, and Helambu. With stunning natural landscapes, this place offers a unique bird-watching experience. During the tour, you can also explore the local monastery and cheese factory at Kyanjin Gompa.
Food & Accommodaiton
There are many options available for food and accommodation in the area. You can find tea houses that provide basic accommodation and facilities. These teahouses serve a variety of local and international dishes. You may not always have access to food and drinks when you’re out in the park. So, it is always a good idea to bring some snacks and water.
It is always better to have an experienced guide for bird watching in Langtang National Park. The guides provide you with detailed information about the birds. Autumn and spring are the best seasons for bird watching in Langtang National Park. During this time the weather is dry and mild due to which bird activity is high. Langtang National Park is a must-see destination for bird lovers.
1st Day: Drive Kathmandu to Syabrubesi (1,500 m) – 8 to 9 hours.
2nd Day: Trek from Syabrubeshi to Lama Hotel (2,480 m) – 6 to 7 hours walk – observe the birds along the trail in alpine meadows.
3rd Day: Trek from Lama Hotel to Langtang Village (3,541 m) – 6 to 7 hours walk. Observe the birds along the trail in the forested area.
4th Day: Trek from Langtang Village to Kyanjin Gompa (3,900 m) – 4 to 5 hours walk. Spend the day bird-watching around Kanjin Gompa and surrounding areas.
5th Day: Trek from Kyanjin Gompa to Langtang Village (3,541 m) – 3 to 4 hours walk. Observe the birds along the trail.
6th Day: Trek from Langtang Village to Lama hotel (2,480 m) – 6 to 7 hours walk – observe the birds along the trail.
7th Day: Trek from Lama Hotel to Sybrubesi via sherpa village (3,000 m) – 6 to 7 hours walk. Observe the birds and other wildlife along the trail.
8th Day: Drive Syabrubesi to Kathmandu – 8 to 9 hours
Tips and guidelines for bird watching in Nepal
To have a good bird-watching experience you need to follow some tips and guidelines.
1. Hire a local guide:
Hiring an experienced local guide for bird watching is always a good idea. A guide can help you find birds, and provide valuable information about their habitat. The guide can also take you to the best spots where you can have a great bird-watching experience.
2. Research the best time:
Different bird species have different breeding and migration patterns. So, you need to research the best time to visit the birds you want to see. Bird-watching times may vary from place to place due to geographical differences.
3. Wear comfortable clothing and footwear:
Dress appropriately to blend in with the environment and not disturb the birds. Choose comfortable and breathable clothing according to the weather. Wear comfortable shoes that allow you to walk without disturbing the birds.
4. Carry binoculars and a camera:
Binoculars and cameras are both important tools for birdwatching. These tools allow bird watchers to observe and identify birds. Binoculars help to identify birds when observing them from a distance. The camera allows you to capture images of the birds you observe and you can study them in more detail later.
5. Follow the park rules and regulations:
Follow certain rules and regulations to protect the birds and their habitat. Familiarize yourself with the specific rules and regulations of the park you visit.
6. Be Patient:
Bird watching requires patience as the birds may take some time to appear. Watch the birds from as distant as possible. Walk slowly and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that might scare the birds.
The above-mentioned places are the best places to visit in Nepal for bird watching. You can choose any one place for bird watching according to your time and interest. If any itinerary is not suitable for you then let us know and we will customize the appropriate itinerary according to you.
Overall, Nepal’s rich birdlife makes it an ideal destination for bird-watching enthusiasts. Odyssey Treks offers bird-watching tours in Nepal with experienced guides and comfortable accommodations. Our quality service makes it easy for visitors to enjoy the country’s unique bird life. Join Odyssey Treks and make your bird-watching tour in Nepal a memorable one of a lifetime. Feel free to contact [email protected] for more information.
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