Sikkim, and the adjoining mountains of North Bengal’s Darjeeling and Kalimpong are the most magnificent range of snow-clad mountains in the world, comprising of two enormous spurs of the Great Himalayas – the Singalila and Chola Ranges, rising to a maximum elevation of 8859m. In a small area less than 10,000 sq. kms, the altitude varies from 0 to 8000m, resulting in an unbelievable range of flora and fauna (especially birdlife) from subtropical to arctic. With rainfall averaging 348cms, it is the most humid region of the Himalayas. Dry season is from November to April.
This region is arguably one of the richest avian variety in the world, with over 527 recorded resident species. More than 30% of sub-continental species can be spotted in this region.
Orchids and Rhododendrons, are the pride of Sikkim. There are 600 species of orchids in the lower regions, and 30 Rhododendron species grow in profusion above 3000m. In the regions above 3500 Meters, flowers. Wild daisies, Primulas, Iimpatience, and many more bloom during May-Aug. Even the rocks and stones are covered by lichen and moss, presenting many hues.
Our birding tour visits various altitudinal zones from 100m-3050 m to experience first-hand the amazing bio-diversity, and maximize birding opportunities. We will be visiting chosen ‘hot spots’ including Mahananda WLS (100-300m), Lava Reserved Forests and fringes of Neora National Park (2000- 2700m), the Rangit River Valley (300 –1200m), Hilley forests and Vershay Rhododendron Sanctuary (2300-3050m) and the Sandakphu Ridge (3600m).