NOVEMBER 2023: ADVENTURE IN THE KINGDOMS OF BHUTAN AND KAMARUPA

05 – 13 November 2023

Exclusive departure for our group, an unusual journey to discover the culture and nature of this wild region at the foot of the Himalayan mountains. We will meet unknown ethnic groups and visit three very different regions. The mountains of Bhutan in November offer clear skies and spectacular vistas, perfect backdrop to the picturesque Buddhist fortresses and monasteries, just when the rare Black-necked Cranes gather by the thousands in the remote Phobijkha Valley the festival dedicated to them takes place at the nearby monastery of Gangtey. Indian Manas National Park, forms a protected area of ​​enormous importance. We will explore both parts of it; we will enjoy private jeep and elephant safaris, to discover a unique fauna. If we are lucky, here we will be able to see the big five: herds of elephants, wild water buffaloes, leopards, tigers and the Indian rhino. This is one of the reasons why it has also been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and Biosphere Reserve. Kaziranga National Park, in the Assam region, is home to more than 1100 Indian rhinos, over 70% of the world total, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo, marsh deer and the endangered dolphin of the Ganges River.

PROGRAM

 

05  November
Arrival in Paro and transfer to the hotel.
The charming town located in the Himalayan valleys hosts an interesting national museum that we will visit in the afternoon, the Ta Dzong is the best way to start a trip to Bhutan as it will allow us to better understand the extraordinary culture of the country.
Later we will go at the discovery of Rinpung Dzong, more simply called Paro Dzong is one of the most impressive and well-known fortresses in Bhutan, and it is perhaps the most interesting example of Bhutanese architecture.
Overnight at Paro Eco Lodge or similar *** Sup.

06  November
In the morning we will move to Taktsang Lhakhang, the most iconic religious site in Bhutan. The name Taktsang translates to, the tiger’s nest. This temple is one of the holiest places in the kingdom and was built at an altitude of 3120 above sea level in a scenic location overlooking a 900 meters high rocky wall in the Paro valley. To get to the temple it is necessary to walk for about 3 hours through beautiful pine forests.
In the late afternoon we will visit Drukgyel Dzong, the victorious fortress, following the numerous victories over the invading Tibetan marauders. It is considered the most beautiful and famous archaeological site in Bhutan, from here the view of Mount Jomolhari is magnificent.
Kyichu Lhakhang is one of the oldest and most beautiful temples in Bhutan. The main chapel date back to the VII century, while other buildings and a gilded roof were added in 1839. Senior pilgrims constantly move around the temple turning its many prayer wheels, making this one of the most fascinating places in the Paro valley.
Overnight at Paro Eco Lodge or similar *** Sup.

07  November
After breakfast we will drive to Punakha, passing the Dochula pass, at 3088 meters offers the most spectacular and enchanting views in Bhutan. Not before visiting the Royal Botanical Park, located in Lamper.
Once in Punakha we will enjoy the magnificent Punakha Dzong, this dzong was the second to be built in Bhutan and was the seat of government until the mid-1950s, when the role of capital passed to Thimphu. It is probably the most beautiful in the country. Later a short walk through the fields will drive us to the picturesque Chimi Lhakhang or Temple of Fertility.
Overnight at Zhingkham Resort or similar *** sup.

08  November
After breakfast we will head towards Bumthang passing the Pele La pass, at 3300m above sea level, on the way we will visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong and Ta Dzong, one of the most picturesque palaces in Bhutan
In the afternoon we will continue driving across endless forests to Bumthang, where we will arrive in the evening.
Overnight at hotel Bhutan Mountain Resort or similar***sup.

09  November
Full day exploration of the fascinating and remote Bumthang valley. This area is quite isolated and therefore retains a wild aspect where traditions still reign supreme. We will visit several temples and fortresses such as Jakar Dzong, Jambay Lhakhang, Kurje Lhakhang, Tamshing Lhakhang, Thangbi Mani, we will meet the monks and locals, happy to encounter some isolated tourists.
Overnight at hotel Bhutan Mountain Resort or similar***sup.

10  November
We will continue to Gangtey where in the afternoon we will explore the picturesque glacial valley of Phobjikha, known for the thousands of Black-necked cranes that spend the winter months here after having migrated from the Tibetan plateau. We will visit the Black Necked Crane Center and enjoy a walk in this unspoiled nature following the Gangtey Nature Trail.
Overnight at Phobjikha Resort or similar *** sup.

11  November
In the morning we will attend to the annual Black-Necked Crane Festival which is celebrated in the Gangtey Goenpa in the Phobjikha Valley. The festival is an opportunity for locals to party and celebrate the arrival of this majestic endangered bird that becomes an inseparable part of their daily lives during the winter months. The event includes cultural programs such as folk songs and dances and masked dances performed by the local population, crane dances as well as dramas and songs related to environmental conservation.
In the afternoon we will drive to Thimphu, on the way, if we will have time, we will explore the charming village of Rinchengang. Located opposite the Wangdue Dzong it is famous for traditional stone processing methods and is believed to be one of the oldest villages in Bhutan.
Overnight at Hotel Phuntsho Pelri or similar *** sup.

12  November
Full day dedicated to Thimphu. Buddha Dordenma, the imposing 50-meter-high statue overlooking the Thimphu valley, the King’s Memorial Chorten, an iconic stupa located near the center and the Textile Museum are our planned visits followed by the Nunnery of Zilukha and Trashichhoe Dzong where the palace of the government and the king’s throne room are located.
Overnight at Hotel Phuntsho Pelri or similar *** sup.

13  November
After breakfast we will drive to Paro in time for the flight home.
* IT IS POSSIBLE TO FLY HOME OR TO CONTINUE THE VOYAGE TO INDIA IN THE KAMARUPA KINGDOM, ASSAM, SEE THE PROGRAM BELOW.

POST TOUR EXTENSION

November 2023 – The kingdom of Kamarupa, in search of the Indian Rhinoceros

13 –  19 November 2023

 

Exclusive departure for our group, at the discovery of the spectacular and unique fauna that inhabits the Indian region of Assam. We will explore two important protected areas, Manas National Park and Kaziranga National Park. We will organize, exclusively for our group, some private safaris aboard jeeps and elephants that will allow us to discover this wonderful region. If we are lucky, here we will be able to see the big five: herds of elephants, wild water buffaloes, leopards, tigers and the Indian rhino. This is one of the reasons why it has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and Biosphere Reserve. Kaziranga National Park, in the Assam region, is home to more than 1100 Indian rhinos, over 70% of the world total, Asian elephant, wild water buffalo, marsh deer and the endangered dolphin of the Ganges River.

.PROGRAM

13  November
After visiting the local market of Thimphu we will begin the transfer to Phuentsholing, the border city that will open us the doors of India where we will arrive in the evening. During the journey through the mountains of Bhutan we will have excellent chances of spotting the Langur, curious monkeys often at the edge of the most isolated roads.
Overnight at Hotel Druk*** sup or similar.

14  November
Coming from Bhutan, today we will reach the Assam region which is home to over 170 species of mammals, including rare and endangered species such as the great one horned Indian Rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Langur, a primate living in this area, the western Hoolock, an endemic gibbon and a spectacular avifauna. Our first destination is the Manas National Park, the Indian part is contiguous to the Bhutanese Royal Manas.
Overnight at Musa Jungle Lodge *** sup or similar.

15  November
At dawn we will enjoy a elephant safari, private and exclusive for our group. After breakfast, a half day jeep safari awaits us, private and exclusive for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep, in the Manas National Park.
We will return to the Lodge for lunch and then continue, always aboard the jeeps hired exclusively for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep, to explore a different part of the protected area.
In the territory of the park there are numerous rare and surprising animals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Asian Elephant, the Indian Rhinoceros, the Clouded Leopard, the Ganges Dolphin, the Golden Langur, the Marsh Deer, the Wild Boar, the Himalayan bear, the wild buffalo, the gibbon and the macaque. Here 365 species of birds have been officially registered, among them the colorful Giant Hornbills, Pelicans and various species of birds of prey.
Overnight at Musa Jungle Lodge *** sup or similar.

16  November
Today we leave Manas to reach Kaziranga National Park. It will be a long journey that will take most of the day. In the late afternoon we will reach the comfort of the resort that will host us for the next few nights.
Overnight at Mandu The Escape Resort *** sup or similar.

17  November
In the morning we will explore the central part of Kaziranga park, the Kohora Range. At dawn we will enjoy a splendid elephant safari, private and exclusive for our group. After breakfast, a half day jeep safari awaits us, private and exclusive for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep.
We will return to the Lodge for lunch and then we will continue, always aboard the jeeps rented exclusively for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep, the exploration of the western part of the protected area, the Bagori Range.
Kaziranga National Park is a large area of ​​swamps interspersed with large fields of tall grass, forests, streams and reeds. In addition to seeing the endangered Greater One-horned Rhinoceros, we also hope to see Kaziranga’s important population of Water Buffalo, one of the last remaining wild populations, and a variety of other mammalspecies, such as Rhesus Macaque, Common and Capped Langurs, Sambar, plus Swamp, Barking and Hog Deer, Common and Clawless Otters, and Wild Boar. We will make every effort to locate other more elusive inhabitants of the Reserve such as Asian Elephant and Hoolock Gibbon. Birdlife is equally diverse and among the bird species found here is an exceptional range of waterbirds.
Overnight at Mandu The Escape Resort *** sup or similar.

18  November
Another full day in Kaziranga National Park, today we will explore the eastern part of the park aboard the jeeps hired exclusively for our group, maximum 4 people per jeep. We will also to visit the Kaziranga Orchid Park which is home to over 600 varieties of wild orchids that grow in northern India.
Overnight at Mandu The Escape Resort *** sup or similar.

19  November
After breakfast we drive to Guwahati.
Overnight at Hotel Royale De Casa***sup or similar.

Included in the price:

–  Double room accommodation breakfast included.
–  All mentioned excursions.
–  English speaking guide.
–  All meals from 13/11 to dinner on 18/11.

Not included:

–  Not mentioned meals and beverages (alcoholic and not alcoholic).
–  Flights.
–  Visa expenses.


PRICE PER PERSON  Euro 2300,00

Included in the price:

       –  Double room accommodation breakfast included.
       –  All mentioned excursions.
       –  English speaking guide.     
       –  All meals from dinner on 05/11 to dinner on 12/11.

Not included:

       –  Not mentioned meals and beverages (alcoholic and not alcoholic).
       –  Flights.
       –  Visa expenses.

Voyage Map

PRICE PER PERSON Euro 3900
*Exchange Rate 1 USD = 0,90 Euro

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