We start our adventure with a visit to the Jaisalmer Fort, also known as the Golden City. Built in the 12th century from local sandstone, it is filled with homes, temples, and shops. We will then visit one of the largest national parks of India, the Desert National Park. Here in the subtropical Thar Desert are the few remaining endangered Great India Bustards along with other species such as Cream-colored Courser, Desert Wheatear, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Greater Hoopoe Lark, and Trumpeter Finch. We will also find fascinating mammals such as Black Buck, Indian Gazelle, Dromedary, and Indian Wild Ass.
In Chandelao, on our journey south, we will see one of the largest wintering flocks of graceful Demoiselle Cranes. Laer, birding in the recently restored Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park may yield Western Marsh Harrier, Ferruginous Pochard, Bonelli’s Eagle, and Little Swift.
In Bera, we will stay at a safari camp. On an evening safari we will look for Indian Leopard and learn about their peaceful coexistence with people in the area. In this scrub habitat avian highlights include Indian Eagle Owl and Eurasian Wryneck. We continue on to another safari camp at the Little Rann of Kutch, an area of salt pans and rich tidal flats, full of winter migrant birds such as flamingos, pelicans, plovers, and larks. We will witness the greatest spectacle of roosting harriers in the world, where Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers come to roost in the grasslands of the Velavadar-Blackbuck Sanctuary.
A highlight of this trip is a visit to Gir National Park, home to the last remaining population of Asiatic Lions. We’ll take both morning and evening safaris to view these majestic beasts and look for birds such as Yellow-footed Green Pigeon and Crested Serpent Eagle. Finally, we will visit the famous Taj Mahal in Agra, where we’ll enjoy watching Indian Gray Hornbills and Brown-headed Barbets.
- Trip Leaders: Dan van den Broek and local guides
- Fee: $5,795 members / $6,095 non-members **SALE PRICE $4,876**
- Single supplement: $1,000
- Group size: Limited to 14 participants
Fee Includes: Trip fees cover all ground transportation, double-occupancy lodging, breakfasts, lunches, local guides, entrance fees, excursions, and the services of your skilled leader. Fees do not include dinners and airfare to and from your destination.
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Dan van den Broek
Dan has over 15 years of experience leading international birding trips for Portland Audubon. With prior experiences at Point Reyes Bird Observatory, Redwood Sciences Lab, Klamath Bird Observatory, Costa Rica Bird Observatory, and Avifauna Northwest, Dan brings immense enthusiasm and passion for birds and natural history to all of his trips.