South India Bird Watching Tour

13 Day – Private tour with air-conditioned car and driver
Price guide: £2595
ABTA and ATOL protected holidays

Part of our range of bespoke South India Tours, this birding tour is an exciting chance for bird lovers to see rare species endemic to the region. You’ll be guided around some of South India’s most famous wildlife sanctuaries to the best places to spot particular species, as well as taken to hill stations known for their bird spotting opportunities.

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this tour is just an example to help inspire you. If you would like we can also arrange your flights for a fully ATOL protected holiday. Contact the team for more information on 01792 315499 or email info@aitholidays.com

Highlights of the South India Bird Watching Tour

Malabar Trogon at Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Thattekad, Kerala
  • Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary
  • Periyar National Park
  • Eravikulam National Park
  • Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary
  • Mudumalai National Park
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve
  • Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

 

South India Bird Watching Tour Itinerary

South India Bird Watching Tour

Upon arrival at Cochin International Airport, you will be welcomed by your Authentic India Tours representatives who will transfer you to your hotel, located in the city’s historic district, Fort Cochin.

The port city of Cochin (also known as Kochi) offers a captivating mix of cultures and is a wonderful place to explore.

In the evening, enjoy a boat trip past Cochin’s island shores. As the sun sets, you will see the famous cantilevered fishing nets. It’s fascinating to watch the fishermen skilfully dip the hammock-like nets into the water, silhouetted against the orange and pink sky.

Accommodation: Hotel Fort House, Cochin

The morning will be spent on a sightseeing tour around Fort Cochin & Mattancherry. At Fort Cochin you have the opportunity to explore the local fish market and the 16th Century St. Francis Church, the oldest European church in India. Then in Mattancherry you’ll visit the Dutch Palace, which is a colonial style palace with grand murals depicting the Indian epics, and see the intricately decorated Jewish Synagogue.

The evening holds a cultural treat in the form of a Kerala traditional dance. The Kathakali dance performance involves theatrical representations of gods and demons to the spiritual sounds of gongs, drums and cymbals. If you arrive early you can see the artists applying their dramatic, ceremonial make-up.

Accommodation: Hotel Fort House, Cochin
Meals included: Breakfast

Starting off your tour of the national parks and sanctuaries of India, after breakfast you’ll travel to Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, which is known as the best place for bird spotting in the whole of South India. The relatively small area of 25 square kilometres is home to 270 species of birds, including those endemic to the Western Ghats mountain range.

During your visit you can expect to see species including the Red Spurfowl, Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, the Brown-breasted and Rusty-tailed Flycatcher. Staying overnight at the Hornbill Camp, on the banks of Periyar River, also gives you the thrilling chance to go on a night birding tour to see nocturnal birds like owls, night jars and frog mouths.

Approximate travel time and distance: 2 hours, 70 kms
Accommodation: The Hornbill Camp, Thattekkad
Meals included: Breakfast

You get to experience another full day of birding at this prime location. Today will be focused on spotting rare birds like the Wynaad Laughingthrush and Grey-headed Bulbul, which can both be found in the remote Urullathany area of the sanctuary. While at Edamalayar, on the south side of the river, you’ll be shown the habitats of the Streak-throated Woodpecker and Yellow-billed Babbler, among others.

Accommodation: The Hornbill Camp, Thattekkad
Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast you’ll be driven to Periyar National Park, which houses the best kept wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, boasting over 320 species of birds. It’s also a prime habitat for elephants and houses a number of other endemic species across its varied landscape of grasslands, forest and riverside scrub.

In the evening you can spot more of the sanctuary’s residents on a boat cruise across Lake Periyar. Impressive bird sightings include the Nilgiri Wood Pigeons, Blue-winged Parakeets and Great Pied Hornbill. The birds are often joined by herds of Wild Elephants, Sambars Deers, Bisons, Nilgir Langurs and Malabar Giant Squirrels.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hours, 120 kms
Accommodation: Greenwoods Resort, Periyar
Meals included: Breakfast

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary warrants more than one day of exploring, and on the second day here you’ll trek deep into the park on jeep and by foot to the best places to find certain bird species. In particular, your guide will be looking to give you a sighting of the elusive Wynaad Laughing thrush.

On your journey, other exciting bird sightings are likely to include the Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Eagle, the migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo and the Asian Fairy Bluebird. You should also be on the lookout for the Black-naped Monarch, Woolly-necked Stork, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Little Spider hunter and Jungle Owlet.

Accommodation: Greenwoods Resort, Periyar
Meals included: Breakfast

After breakfast you’ll start the journey towards Munnar. Not only does this 1450 metre high hill station afford amazing views across the tea producing region, it’s also a prime South India birding area. Munnar is home to the Large Grey Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail, the Grey Fancolin and many more species. Stopping off at Bodi Ghats en route also gives you the opportunity to sight the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Indian Robin and Bluefaced Malkoha.

During your time in Munnar you will be visiting the Eravikulam National Park and Chinnar Wild Life Sanctuary

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 100 kms
Accommodation: Ambady Estate, Munnar
Meals included: Breakfast

Today you’ll experience Munnar’s varied terrain for bird spotting, from the grasslands to the high altitude montane forests situated in rolling valleys, locally known as sholas. This is your chance to see such species as the Painted Bush Quail, Black & Orange Flycatcher, White bellied Short wing, Broad tailed Grass bird and Grasshopper Warbler. Again, you’ll stay overnight at the Ambady Estate.

Accommodation: Ambady Estate, Munnar
Meals included: Breakfast

An early start means you can go birding at Chinnar dry scrub forest for Blue-bearded bee-eater, Sirkeer Malkoha, Blue faced Malkoha and the Yellow-legged Button quail, before making the journey to Coonoor. After a drive into the Nilgiri Mountains, you’ll reach the 2,200 metre hill station of Coonoor by evening to spot Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatchers, as well as the endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and White-bellied Short wing. You’ll stay overnight at the Kurumba Village Resort, which is a superior grade hill resort in a tribal village setting.

Approximate travel time and distance: 6 hours, 225 kms
Accommodation: Kurumba Village Resort
Meals included: Breakfast

There’ll be another chance to go bird watching in Coonoor this morning before departing for Mudumalai, located at the foot of the Nilgiri mountains. Birds thrive in this area of varied forest, ravines, watercourses and swamps, and you should see the Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Jerdon’s Bushlark, Large Cuckooshrike and Banded-bay Cuckoo, among many others. You’ll stay overnight in Mudumalai.

Your stay at Mudumalai will include exploring the Mudumalai National Park and the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3 hours, 80 kms
Accommodation: Jungle Retreat, Mudumalai
Meals included: Breakfast

Today you’ll start the journey towards Mysuru, with stops along the way to spot birds like the Ashcrowned Finch Lark, Paddyfield Pipit and Richards Pipit. The Bandipur Tiger Reserve gives the perfect opportunity to seek out any of the endemics you haven’t already seen, especially the very rare Broadtailed Grassbird.

That evening you get the opportunity to visit the Nandi B`ull statue in the Chamundi Hills and stroll through the famous Devaraja fruit and vegetable market.

Approximate travel time and distance: 3hrs, 110 kms
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Plaza, Mysore
Meals included: Breakfast

From Mysuru you’ll take an early morning boat trip around the famous heronry islands of the Cauvery River in the Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. This peaceful rowing boat cruise will enable sightings of the Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, Eurasian spoonbill, River Tern, Thick Knee and many others.

After returning to Mysuru you can visit the grand and historic Mysuru Palace.

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Plaza, Mysore
Meals included:  Breakfast

You’ll be transferred to Bangalore International Airport for your return flight.

Approximate travel time and distance: 4 hrs, 150 kms
Meals included: Breakfast

Places on the South India Bird Watching Tour

Pricing & Inclusions

13 day South India Bird Watching tour price guide is £2595

The prices do not include flights.

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.

This is a private tour and can be tailor-made to meet your exact requirements. Prices will vary depending on the number of people, length of tour, accommodation & season. Reductions are normally available for groups of three or more. Some hotels operate an additional peak pricing rate during busy times which is normally from mid December to mid January.

Please get in touch with your dates and we will be pleased to provide you with your personal itinerary and accurate quote.

Included with this South India bird watching tour are:

  • Meet & greet assistance on arrival
  • All transfers and sightseeing tours using air-conditioned Toyota Innova
  • Services of a naturalist for the entire tour
  • Accommodation for 12 nights on a single/twin sharing basis
  • Standard category rooms at all hotels unless otherwise mentioned
  • Meal plan: Bed & Breakfast
  • Sunset cruise along the harbour in Cochin
  • Tickets for Kathakali dance show in Cochin
  • Spice garden visit in Periyar
  • All birding activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Tickets for boating on Lake Periyar
  • Entrances at all National parks, Museums and Monuments as per the itinerary
  • Mineral water on all days of travel

Price does not include:

  • International flight tickets
  • Travel insurance and visa
  • Expenses of personal nature like laundry, tips, beverages etc
  • Meals other than mentioned in the above meal plan
  • Camera & video fees at National parks, Museums & Monuments

Prices mentioned above are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication may be subject to change, based on your date of travel and local market fluctuations. You will be informed of any price differences prior to booking.

For a quote based on your dates of travel, any alternative accommodation or changes to this itinerary, please call us on 01792 315499 or email us at info@aitholidays.com

 

Please remember all our private tours are designed to meet your exact requirements, and this South India Tour is just an example to help inspire you.

For more information please email info@aitholidays.com or call our India specialists on 01792 315499.

ABTA and ATOL Protected Tour Package

Authentic India Tours is a member of ABTA and ATOL. All the holidays on this website are ABTA protected. If you would like us to arrange your holiday including flights we will be happy to provide a quote and your holiday will also be ATOL protected.