Birds of Andamans & South

Birds of Andamans & South

This birding trip combines the remote and stunningly beautiful Andaman Islands and the jungles of South India to reward birdwatchers with an impressive number of species including several endemics.

The Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal present a landscape of scenic and picturesque extravaganza. Dense forests cover these islands, filled with innumerable exotic flowers and birds.

South India is often overlooked when it comes to birdlife, but the varied jungles of the Deccan peninsula are just as rich and rewarding as those of North, East or Central India.

17 DAYS
FROM £3395
Idea
Themes:
Activity Levels
Moderate
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Chennai

Arrive in Chennai and check in to your hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Dinner
Day 2: Andaman - Mount Harriet

This morning, catch the flight to Port Blair, the capital of Andamans. You’ll be met at the airport and check into your hotel.

We will bird around Mount Harriet National Park, a tropical moist evergreen forest. Mount Harriet is the 3rd highest peak (365mts) in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and is named after Harriet, the wife of the Superintendent of the Andaman Islands, Robert Tytler, who were stationed here during 1862-64. The husband and wife pair were early pioneers of photography and botanical exploration in India.

Target Species: Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Andaman Crake, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Pintail Snipe, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Treepie, Black-naped Oriole Andaman Drongo, Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Andaman - Sippighat

A very early morning drive towards Sippighat, located south of Port Blair. This marshy wetland is good for sightings of water birds & waders.

Target Species: Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Sunda Teal, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Red-breasted Parakeet, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Edible nest Swiftlet, Common Snipe, Black-naped Tern, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo , Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird.

Thereafter return to Mount Harriet to spot any species missed earlier.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Andaman - Chidiya Tapu

A very early morning trip to Chidiya Tapu, a patch of moist evergreen forest located south of Port Blair and excellent for birding.

The track for birding starts 4 km before Chidiya Tapu and 2 km along the seashore forest.

Target Species: Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Andaman - Port Blair
Today, we’ll be looking for any endemics missed out during our earlier trips.
Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Andaman - Thattekad

Catch a flight to Chennai this morning, from where another flight takes you to Cochin on India’s south west coast by noon.

On arrival at Cochin, transfer to Thattekkad (1 hour drive).

This evening, if time permits, you’ll go on an evening birding for nocturnal birds.

Breakfast, Dinner
Days 7-9: Thattekad

Thattekkad is a lowland forest with several types of eco-systems – riverine, grasslands, evergreen, scrub, dry deciduous, lowland forest, enabling it to be one of the best birding destinations in India. This is also home to most of the endemics of the Western Ghats. You’ll spend three days birding in this enchanting bird sanctuary.

Target Species: Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimson backed Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scopes Owl and Spotbellied Eagle Owl. You should also be able to sight the Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia and the Grey headed fishing eagle.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 & 11: Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife & birding destinations in South India. With over 320 bird species identified and a leading habitat for the Bengal Tiger, this sanctuary is an ideal destination for this tour.

Periyar contains a variety of habitats from grassland and dry deciduous forest to evergreen forest and riverside scrub.

We will spend two days searching here for some very special species including the very secretive and wary Wynaad Laughingthrush.

Target Species: White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Eagle, the striking Black Baza, Pompadour Green and Mountain Imperial Pigeon, the uncommon migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and the spectacular Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread species.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 & 13: Munnar

This morning, you will depart for Munnar via the Western Ghats. You’ll stop en-route at a couple of birding hot spots

Target Species en-route: Large Grey Babbler, Common Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail, Grey Francolin, the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Bluefaced Malkoha and the Black eagle.

Reach Munnar by evening and check into your hotel.

The next day is spent birding in the Sholas (high altitude montane forests) and grasslands.

Target Species in Munnar: Nilgiri Pipit, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing, Broadtailed Grassbird, Grasshopper Warbler.

Munnar is also the place to see the endangered endemic Nilgiri Tahrs in their natural habitat.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Ooty

Transfer to the hill station of Ooty, which lies at an altitude of ~2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills, stopping en-route for birding. Check in to your Ooty hotel by afternoon.

Target Species: endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatcher.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15 & 16: Mudumalai National Park

Spend the morning birding at Ooty looking for the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, and then proceed to Mudumalai National Park.

Mudumalai sits at the foot of the of the Nilgiris hills, is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. The terrain being varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests is ideal birding country.

Target Species: Jerdon’s Bushlark, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Blue Robin, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Yellow-billed Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, Large Cuckooshrike, Banded-bay Cuckoo, Thick-billed Warbler and Painted Bush Quail.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 17: Ranganathittu

Proceed towards Mysore & visit the famous heronry on an islands on the Cauvery River at the Ranganthittu Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rowing boat cruise enables view of Eurasian spoonbill, Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, River Tern and Thick Knee, and many others. Marsh crocodiles will also be seen.

By noon depart for Bangalore to board the late evening flight to Chennai, or to your final destination.

Breakfast
Day 1: Arrival in Chennai

Arrive in Chennai and check in to your hotel.

Rest of the day is at leisure.

Dinner
Day 2: Andaman - Mount Harriet

This morning, catch the flight to Port Blair, the capital of Andamans. You’ll be met at the airport and check into your hotel.

We will bird around Mount Harriet National Park, a tropical moist evergreen forest. Mount Harriet is the 3rd highest peak (365mts) in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and is named after Harriet, the wife of the Superintendent of the Andaman Islands, Robert Tytler, who were stationed here during 1862-64. The husband and wife pair were early pioneers of photography and botanical exploration in India.

Target Species: Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Wood Pigeon, Andaman Cuckoo Dove, Andaman Crake, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Dollarbird, Collared Kingfisher, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Pintail Snipe, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Andaman Treepie, Black-naped Oriole Andaman Drongo, Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Andaman - Sippighat

A very early morning drive towards Sippighat, located south of Port Blair. This marshy wetland is good for sightings of water birds & waders.

Target Species: Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Hawk Owl, Sunda Teal, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Blue-eared Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Red-breasted Parakeet, Oriental Scops Owl, Brown Hawk Owl, Edible nest Swiftlet, Common Snipe, Black-naped Tern, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo , Orange-headed Thrush, Olive backed Sunbird.

Thereafter return to Mount Harriet to spot any species missed earlier.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Andaman - Chidiya Tapu

A very early morning trip to Chidiya Tapu, a patch of moist evergreen forest located south of Port Blair and excellent for birding.

The track for birding starts 4 km before Chidiya Tapu and 2 km along the seashore forest.

Target Species: Andaman Woodpecker, Andaman Crake, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Serpent Eagle, Black-naped Oriole, Andaman Drongo, Olive backed Sunbird, White-headed Starling, Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Stork-billed Kingfisher, White-throated Kingfisher, Collared Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Brown Coucal, Alexandrine Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet, Red-breasted Parakeet.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Andaman - Port Blair
Today, we’ll be looking for any endemics missed out during our earlier trips.
Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Andaman - Thattekad

Catch a flight to Chennai this morning, from where another flight takes you to Cochin on India’s south west coast by noon.

On arrival at Cochin, transfer to Thattekkad (1 hour drive).

This evening, if time permits, you’ll go on an evening birding for nocturnal birds.

Breakfast, Dinner
Days 7-9: Thattekad

Thattekkad is a lowland forest with several types of eco-systems – riverine, grasslands, evergreen, scrub, dry deciduous, lowland forest, enabling it to be one of the best birding destinations in India. This is also home to most of the endemics of the Western Ghats. You’ll spend three days birding in this enchanting bird sanctuary.

Target Species: Whitebellied Treepie, Rufous Babbler, Crimson backed Sunbird, White Bellied Blue Flycatcher, Wayanad Laughing Thrush, Malabar Parakeet, Malabar Grey Hornbill besides owls like the Mottled Wood Owl, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental scopes owl, Brown Fish Owl, Oriental Scopes Owl and Spotbellied Eagle Owl. You should also be able to sight the Red Spurfowl, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Pitta, Black-throated Munia and the Grey headed fishing eagle.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10 & 11: Periyar Tiger Reserve

Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the finest wildlife & birding destinations in South India. With over 320 bird species identified and a leading habitat for the Bengal Tiger, this sanctuary is an ideal destination for this tour.

Periyar contains a variety of habitats from grassland and dry deciduous forest to evergreen forest and riverside scrub.

We will spend two days searching here for some very special species including the very secretive and wary Wynaad Laughingthrush.

Target Species: White-rumped and Brown-backed Needletails, Oriental Honey-Buzzard, Black Eagle, the striking Black Baza, Pompadour Green and Mountain Imperial Pigeon, the uncommon migratory Chestnut-winged Cuckoo, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Gray-breasted Prinia, Thick-billed Warbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, and the spectacular Asian Fairy Bluebird among other more widespread species.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 & 13: Munnar

This morning, you will depart for Munnar via the Western Ghats. You’ll stop en-route at a couple of birding hot spots

Target Species en-route: Large Grey Babbler, Common Babbler, Jungle Bush Quail, Grey Francolin, the rare Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin, Sirkeer Malkoha, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Bluefaced Malkoha and the Black eagle.

Reach Munnar by evening and check into your hotel.

The next day is spent birding in the Sholas (high altitude montane forests) and grasslands.

Target Species in Munnar: Nilgiri Pipit, Painted Bush Quail, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Black & Orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Whitebellied Shortwing, Broadtailed Grassbird, Grasshopper Warbler.

Munnar is also the place to see the endangered endemic Nilgiri Tahrs in their natural habitat.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 14: Ooty

Transfer to the hill station of Ooty, which lies at an altitude of ~2,200m in the Nilgiri Hills, stopping en-route for birding. Check in to your Ooty hotel by afternoon.

Target Species: endemic Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, White-bellied Shortwing, and Black-and-rufous, Rusty-tailed and Nilgiri Flycatcher.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 15 & 16: Mudumalai National Park

Spend the morning birding at Ooty looking for the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush, and then proceed to Mudumalai National Park.

Mudumalai sits at the foot of the of the Nilgiris hills, is one the many reserves located within the forest belt between the Western Ghats and the Nilgiri Mountains. The terrain being varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests is ideal birding country.

Target Species: Jerdon’s Bushlark, Sirkeer Malkoha, Indian Blue Robin, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, White-bellied Minivet, Yellow-billed Babbler, White-bellied Woodpecker, Large Cuckooshrike, Banded-bay Cuckoo, Thick-billed Warbler and Painted Bush Quail.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 17: Ranganathittu

Proceed towards Mysore & visit the famous heronry on an islands on the Cauvery River at the Ranganthittu Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rowing boat cruise enables view of Eurasian spoonbill, Black-crowned night heron, three species of Cormorant, River Tern and Thick Knee, and many others. Marsh crocodiles will also be seen.

By noon depart for Bangalore to board the late evening flight to Chennai, or to your final destination.

Breakfast

Interested in this itinerary? It's great as is, but we'll be happy to tailor it for you.

Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.

Our Accommodation Ratings

Opulent: Exceptional, unashamedly the best of sheer luxury. (£££££)

Luxury: Outstanding levels of 5* comfort, hospitality and facilities. (££££)

Premium: Excellent levels of comfort and hospitality and a wide range of facilities. (£££)

Mid-Range: Good levels of comfort and hospitality, with a reasonable range of facilities. (££)

Simple: Clean and simple, no frills. Often in areas of natural beauty or near wildlife reserves. (£)