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WILDLIFE EXPEDITION INDIA

A JOURNEY TO SEE THE RED PANDA’S

Sample Itinerary

You’ve seen the adorable red panda represented in many forms (Po, Mozilla Firefox, etc), but you’ve never seen it in its habitat.

And you probably won’t unless you’re ready to explore the beautiful Singalila National park along the India Nepal Himalayan Frontier, on this incredible Red Panda Expedition to Northeastern India.

The Red Panda is classified as endangered and a shy, solitary creature that lives in the remote, high-altitude forest in Asia. It is much smaller than the better known giant panda, just larger than a domestic cat, and is arboreal, even sleeping in trees, and mainly active at dawn and dusk. All this makes the red panda hard to see, but on this wildlife tour you spend several days in Singalila National Park in northeast India, a known red panda hotspot, so your chances of spotting one among the trees are good.

Singalila is a beautiful park with a mixture of temperate and alpine vegetation including orchids, magnolias and rhododendrons. It’s a beautiful backdrop for daily treks in search of not just the red panda but other mammals such as Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard, barking deer, pangolin and wild boar, plus a wide range of birds many of which are rare. All in all, this is a nature lover’s and wildlife enthusiast’s dream destination.

At the end of your trip, visit the famous colonial Hill Station Darjeeling and visit its rolling tea gardens and Buddhist Monastery.

Highlights

  • Spotting adorable Red Pandas in the trees
  • Experiencing glorious sunsets
  • Soaking in silence in the remote Himalayan Forest
  • Catching a glimpse of rare and exotic birds
  • Enjoying a cozy lodge as a base camp for your wildlife adventure
  • Experiencing authentic mountain culture & friendly people
  • Visiting exotic Tea gardens of Darjeeling
  • Witnessing a Tibetan Cultural experience

What’s Included

  • Hotel accommodations in Delhi and Siliguri with daily breakfast
  • Hotel accommodation in Darjeeling with breakfast and dinner
  • Habre’s Nest accommodation at Singalila National Park with breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • All arrival/departure transfers, sightseeing and overland journeys in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Direct contribution (about 20% profit) towards Red Panda Conservation
  • Naturalist guide service/porters & Safari Landrovers/Red Panda Tracking at Habre’s Nest
  • Restricted Area Permits for India and Nepal
  • Still camera permits at Habre’s Nest
  • In-house birding studio at Habre’s Nest
  • English speaking local guide in Darjeeling
  • Entrances fees


STARTS AT

$ 2995

USD per Person

THIS IS A CUSTOMIZABLE ITINERARY FOR GROUPS OF ALL SIZES.
DATES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.

  • Hotel accommodations in Delhi and Siliguri with daily breakfast
  • Hotel accommodation in Darjeeling with breakfast and dinner
  • Habre’s Nest accommodation at Singalila National Park with breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • All arrival/departure transfers, sightseeing and overland journeys in an air-conditioned vehicle
  • Direct contribution (about 20% profit) towards Red Panda Conservation
  • Naturalist guide service/porters & Safari Landrovers/Red Panda Tracking at Habre’s Nest
  • Restricted Area Permits for India and Nepal
  • Still camera permits at Habre’s Nest
  • In-house birding studio at Habre’s Nest
  • English speaking local guide in Darjeeling
  • Entrances fees

DAY 1: ARRIVAL TO DELHI

Upon arrival at the Delhi international airport, you’ll be greeted and transferred to your hotel near the airport. Settle in and rest after your long journey.

  • Overnight: JW Marriott Delhi Aerocity or similar
  • Meals: none

DAY 2: FLY TO BAGDOGRA AND TRANSFER TO SILIGURI

After an early breakfast, you will be transferred to the domestic airport for a morning flight to Bagdogra in northeast India, arriving around 1 pm.

Upon arrival, you’ll be shown to the transfer vehicle for the journey to Siliguri, a drive of around half an hour, where you spend the night at a hotel in the city. The rest of the day has been left free so you can relax after the journey.

  • Overnight: Courtyard by Marriott Siliguri
  • Meals: breakfast

DAY 3: SILIGURI TO HABRES NEST (BASE CAMP LODGE)

This morning you will continue the journey to Singalila National Park. The first part of the drive takes you to Manebhanjan, a journey of around 3 hours. Here you transfer to a 4×4 vehicle for the 3 hours ride through rugged Himalayan scenery to Habre’s Nest in Singalila National Park, near the Nepalese border. You will be based here for the next few days as you explore the park. Lunch will be ready for your arrival.

Prior to your arrival, trackers have been searching for red pandas and noting their locations, so this afternoon you can set off for your first expedition into the national park, a good chance to adjust to your new surroundings and to get to know your naturalist guide. Return to the lodge in time for dinner

  • Overnight: Habres Nest
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 4: SEARCHING FOR RED PANDAS

Your first day exploring Singalila National Park starts with an early breakfast so you can make the most of your time. The group is led by a naturalist guide and accompanied by porters, and you travel by 4×4 and on foot as you search for red pandas, preceded by trackers who advise the guide of sightings.

The red panda, also known as a ‘firefox’, spends most of its time among the trees feeding on bamboo and is a solitary creature most active at dawn (hence the early start) and dusk, so these are the best time to spot them.

Red pandas are slightly larger than domestic cats and have reddish-brown fur and a long tail. They are classed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and there are thought to be fewer than 10,000 in the wild, which makes seeing one all the more special.

  • Overnight: Habres Nest
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY5 : NATURE TRAILS IN SINGALILA

It’s another early start at Habre’s Nest. You will leave the lodge at around 8 am with the guide as you go in search of wildlife. Although the red panda is the star, there are plenty of other animals to look out for. Your guide will help you spot and identify different species such as Himalayan black bear, Black Panther, clouded leopard, yellow-throated marten, barking deer, pangolin and wild boar.

Bird lovers will delight at their diversity here, with tragopan, blood pheasant, red-billed Leiothrix, Chestnut-headed Tesia, nuthatches, bullfinches, tree creepers and satyr often seen. You can expect to spend all day out in the park, stopping for a picnic lunch, and arriving back to a hot dinner in the evening.

  • Overnight: Habres Nest
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAYS 6-8: EXPLORING FROM HABRES NEST

Start your day watching birds from the lodge’s hide as you sip a mug of hot tea or coffee, before heading out onto the park’s nature trails.

By now you’ll be accustomed to the surroundings and can take time to admire the varied flora which includes several species of orchids, magnolias and rhododendrons. It’s a pristine environment and one where you feel at one with nature. Add to this the chance of seeing red pandas in the wild and you have a nature lover’s dream.

  • Overnight: Habres Nest
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 9 – DRIVE TO DARJEELING

You’ll have a long day ahead of you, but one filled with gorgeous sights.

It takes about seven hours along a beautiful mountain road with magical Himalayan views, passing through, forests, villages and farms.

  • Overnight: Hotel Windamere Darjeeling or similar
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner

DAY 10 – DARJEELING

Today you will explore Darjeeling and visit Tea Gardens, Tea making factory, Tibetan Buddhist Monastery and if time permits an optional Joy ride in the Himalayan Toy Train!!

Evening stroll in the Old Bazar with some architecture from the British Raj Era.

  • Overnight: Hotel Windamere Darjeeling or similar
  • Meals: Breakfast, dinner

DAY 11 – DEPARTURE TO DELHI

Drive about 2 hours to Bagdogra airport and fly to New Delhi, or onwards to another part of Incredible India!

  • Optional: half-day sightseeing tour in Delhi
  • Optional: Overnight in Delhi before departure home (depending on the time of international departure flight)

Option to extend to another part of India – Varanasi, Ranthambore (Tiger Safari), Kerala, Hampi or elsewhere. 

Tour Exclusions

  • International Flights & Domestic Flights (can be arranged through us [email protected])
  • Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (https://www.finisterra.ca/about-us/travel-insurance/)
  • Airport departure tax (if applicable)
  • Meals and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Passport, vaccination and visa fees
  • Still camera fees outside of Habre’s Nest
  • Video camera fees
  • Travel insurance (can be arranged through Finisterra)
  • Drinks (soft/alcoholic)
  • Items of a persona nature (laundry, phone, etc)
  • Tips to guides, drivers, porters, restaurant staff, etc

IMPORTANT NOTES

PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever-changing nature of Morocco, activities, hotels, and visits are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.

FLIGHTS: Please do not purchase your flights until this tour is confirmed.

PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months upon return date to your home country. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveller.

VISAS: (responsibility of the traveller)

Travel Insurance

Cancellation, Travel, Flight, and Health insurance are required and are the responsibility of the participant to research and secure the appropriate coverage. Click HERE for a Travel Insurance Quote or please email [email protected] for a quote.

Check with your local travel agent /insurance provider/health plan for advice about traveling overseas.

Waiver Form

All participants will be required to sign a Waiver Form prior to departure.

Are you all ready for your next adventure?

Even though we wish you a flawless trip, things can happen. Make sure you are prepared with a Travel Insurance policy that is right for you. Finisterra recommends Manulife Insurance or World Nomads Insurance. Please feel free to ask us about Covid-19 insurance coverage along with any questions you may have.

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