Join us on this very special tour into the heart of rural east Nepal. We are teaming up with expert scientists from the Red Panda Network to head out in search of one of the most iconic, beautiful and elusive of all mammals. Sometimes called the fire fox or lesser panda, the red panda is stunning in fiery red with white face markings and a banded tail. They were once considered impossible targets for wildlife watchers but now with the aid of researchers here in Nepal we have over 90% success rate in finding this wonderful bamboo specialist. Be one of the few people to find this amazing species and watch the red panda in its pristine natural environment.
95% chance of seeing red pandas
Vibrant Himalayn floral blooms
Led by expert red panda scientists
Average of over 3 red pandas per tour
Stunning Himalayan views en-route
Hike through pristine red panda habitat
Tour Dates: 20/4/2021 – 30/4/2021
Duration: 10 nights
Type / Focus: Red Pandas
On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport you will be met by your local guide/driver. From the airport we will be transferred in our private vehicle to Kathmandu (20-30 mins). Once in Kathmandu we will head to our accommodation, level – guest house (Hotel Potala / Kathmandu Guest House or similar). Depending on what time the flights were we will eat either just our dinner or lunch and dinner at our accommodation and in the meantime you will be free to walk around Thamel. Thamel is the heartbeat of Kathmandu and a place which teems with colour, sights and sounds. You can easily get lost meandering down the maze of streets souvenir shopping and we can spend hours here enjoying the hustle and bustle of Nepals busiest city.
Today you will be taken to explore some of the famous Kathmandu valley, if you have not been taken to see some of the cities sites such as Boudnath Stupa, Swayambunath and Durbar Square yesterday you will visit here today as well as exploring the sister cities of Patan and Bhaktapur. These two cities and Kathmandu used to be separate kingdoms but under the leadership of the King they were unified. You will return to your accommodation, level – guest house (Hotel Potala / Kathmandu Guest House or similar) for your evening meal.
Today you will be transferred back to the airport and to the domestic terminal. From here you will be taken on one of the most scenic internal flights in the world as you head east to border town of Bhadrapur (45min flight) you can spot Mt. Everest if the weather is good. In fact around 7 of the top 10 highest mountains in the world can be seen from this flight on a clear day. Once you land in Bhadrapur you will meet your local driver and be taken in a private vehicle north to the town of Ilam (4 hours). This is the closest large town to the wildlife watching habitats and our place of rest tonight. As you drive along you will notice the terraced farms and tea plantations covering the beautiful rows of hills steadily increasing in height until the dominating Himalayas break into view in the distance. You can visit a tea plantation today as this is Nepals tea growing region, all the local communities are dominated by this very productive plant. Your evening meal will be provided in the accommodation, level – local guest house or tea house. Tomorrow you head into red panda territory.
Dobate & Nearby Forests
On day 4 you will be transferred in our private jeep once again. This time you will be taken into true rural Nepal and to the small village of Dobate (4 hours). This road will be bumpy as we head well off the beaten path and into the wonderful world of the red panda. The population of red pandas here is relatively new to science and it is through the work of the scientists here (from the Red Panda Network (RPN)) that we are able to visit here in order to see red pandas. Over the next 3 full days you will hike around the rhododendron and oak forests in search of the fire fox, otherwise known as the red panda. During our time in Dobate we will be helping the local people and contributing the sustainable development of the village and increasing the value of the local wildlife to the villagers. It is so important to contribute to the local communities in order to preserve endangered species and ecosystems and that is why we use our accommodation, level – local tes houses. It helps to bring in financial rewards to the local people for keeping the red pandas habitat intact. Whilst hiking around the forests looking for the red pandas it is always worth keeping a keen eye out for other wildlife as leopards, leopard cats, mainland serows, Himalayan orange-bellied squirrels, yellow-throated martens, large Indian civets and dozens of birds share these dense and spectacular forests with the beautiful red panda. Depending on the local conditions we will look to arrange some spotlighting through the forest after dark. This is by far the best way to catch a glimpse of the rare predators here such as martens, leopard cats and maybe an Asiatic black bear. As the RPN have been training local people to track red pandas the success rate in finding them has increased to a current high of around 90%, so we hopeful of getting views of this little arboreal mammal within the 3 days we have here.
Today you will travel back from Dobate to Ilam (4 hours), through the tea plantations and terraced farms. Today is a rest day before heading back to Kathmandu tomorrow, but on arrival in Ilam you will be taken to the same accommodation, level – local guest house or tea house; as day 3.
This morning you will be transported the border town of Bhadrapur in order to catch your return flight to Kathmandu. Try and get a seat on the right hand side of the plane (especially if you were not on the left hand side on the way out) and enjoy the Himalayan view. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be transferred to your accommodation, level – guest house (Hotel Potala / Kathmandu Guest House or similar) for your last night in Nepal and your farewell meal.
This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
The weather in Spring and Autumn in eastern Nepal will be warm to hot with daily temperature between 20-30degrees C. The night time temperatures can be cooler especially when in the hills. Rain is possible but very unusual at this time of year and the skies can be beautiful and clear.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private air conditioned vehicle with an excellent local driver. We have a professional Red Panda Network researcher / naturalist who will escort you on all your excursions and we also use a very knowledgeable English speaking local guides.
All our excursions including hikes, guided walks, spotlighting sessions and park entrance fees are also included.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or spotting scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be light and airy clothes as well as comfortable walking shoes. Hard wearing khaki shorts, shirts and trousers are recommended. As the nights can be chilly we recommend you bring a fleece, long trousers, scarf and a woolly hat. Insect repellent is handy as there can be mosquitoes about during the evenings and nights. Andy medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be strong here during the day. A head torch or handheld torch is also a good idea as we will be staying in remote rural areas and power-cuts are common and some places only have generators or solar power.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4-6 people these do not stretch too far. We also provide a spot light for nocturnal viewing (this is subject to local condition when we arrive). Camera Traps will also be used to try and capture hard to see wildlife in the dead of night.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals, drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Qatar Airways as a good airline for flights to Kathmandu. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is www.odopo.co.uk. They are accredited by IATA which means you can book through them securely. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for Nepal. These are easy to get and are usually issued on arrival at the airport for a fee. The fee for a multiple entry tourist visa valid for 30 days is £35. For more information look on the Nepalese embassy website www.nepembassy.org.uk/ (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Nepal, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Nepal as soon as you have decided on this trip.
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