Birding Through Myanmar

Description

Bird watching in Myanmar has become popular in Asia for all of its Myanmar endemic and endangered species. With it being rich in plenty of nature resources, many different types of forests, low land  and ever green mountain ranges, unspoiled beaches and coastal line, white water and mighty rivers, natural lakes, Myanmar will provide you with an unforgettable birding experience. Your bird expert will give you a training on the birds of Myanmar. You’ll learn how to identify, attract, and protect our feathered friends. Learn different ways to identify some of the common birds found in Myanmar. A professional photographer will also join us and give a workshop on bird photography. From the numerous approaches to photographing each different species of bird, he will show you how to control all the variables to bring the bird into a perfect setting for that particular species and have it all in your viewfinder of your camera. Join us for a once in a lifetime birding adventure.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • On arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel for check in.

  • The former capital of Myanmar, Yangon is a bustling city featuring colonial architecture and ancient pagodas. Rangoon remains the commercial center of a country steeped in mystique and rooted in tradition. Relatively unexplored by tourists, this magical country is now opening up, offering a unique opportunity to discover a culture that is a world away from our own.

  • Your bird expert will give you training on the birds of Myanmar. Myanmar is a country, which boasts over 1,035 species of birds, 12% of the total number of the world bird species. Besides, as it is endowed with a diverse topography, various species of birds can be studied all at once. You’ll learn how to identify, attract, and protect our feathered friends. Learn different ways to identify some of the common birds found in Myanmar.

  • After checking into our hotel, we will do some introductory birding around town where eye-catching new species are likely to be found including the Little Cormorant, Oriental Darter, Indian Pond Heron, Green and Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Brown Shrike, Common and Dark-necked Tailorbirds and White Wagtail.

  • In the late afternoon, we will visit the most famous icon of Yangon, the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda. As the day draws to a close, millions of bats begin to emerge from the temple and fly off into the evening sky to feed. This really is an amazing spectacle to witness and, combined with the backdrop of the Pagoda, it will undoubtedly prove to be one of the highlights of the trip! We’ll spend some time exploring the spectacular Pagoda and thereafter, we will head into town for dinner before settling into our hotel for the night.

  • Overnight in Yangon.

 

Day 2

  • This morning, we board a flight to Bagan, our base for the next two nights.

  • Today a professional photographer will join us and give a workshop on bird photography. From the numerous approaches to photographing each different species of bird, he will show you how to control all the variables to bring the bird into a perfect setting for that particular species and have it all in your viewfinder of your camera.

  • Depending on our time of arrival, we may do some birding in the open, acacia and euphoria studded savanna around the multitude of magnificent temples that decorate this extremely picturesque area. The dry countryside of the Central Burmese Plains supports four key endemics: Burmese Bush Lark, White-throated Babbler, attractive but elusive Hooded Treepie and Jerdon’s Minivet, and we will search hard to find these sought-after species during our time here.

  • We will also be on the lookout for more widespread but no less desirable species, such as Vinous-breasted Starling, colorful Indian Roller, striking White-throated Kingfisher, Jungle and Great Mynas, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Eurasian Collared and Red Turtle Doves, radiant Green Bee-eater, attractive Siberian Ruby-throat, noisy Streak-eared Bulbul, Brown and Burmese Shrikes, Plain-backed Sparrow, elaborate Eurasian Hoopoe and also the impressive Laggar Falcon, which often perches atop the pagodas.

  • After a short rest during the midday heat, we then head to the nearby Irrawaddy River for a boat trip in search of the area’s special water birds and riverine species. The large sandbanks at the river’s edge often hold good numbers of Small Pratincole as well as Western Yellow, Eastern Yellow and White Wagtails, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Ruddy Shelduck and a host of waders, including Green Sandpiper, Pacific Golden and Kentish Plovers, Spotted and Common Redshanks and Temminck’s and Little Stints. We will also be on the lookout for the specialized Sand Lark, while stands of tall grass and reeds offer the desirable White-tailed Stonechat (usually in amazingly good numbers here). If we are lucky, we may even find the graceful Pied Harrier, one of the world’s most beautiful and striking harriers, soaring over the reed beds, as well as Striated Babbler, Baya Weaver and Red Avadavat skulking in the undergrowth.

  • Overnight in Bagan.

 

Day 3

  • Today we have a full day’s birding in the Bagan area. Apart from the birds, the plains around Bagan are world-famous for their more than 2,000 temples and pagodas that were built between 700-1100 years ago. Birding here will, therefore, give us an opportunity to marvel at these amazing historical structures.

  • We will also have another opportunity to find any of the area’s endemics that we may still be missing; while in addition, we have the chance of seeing a wealth of other new species that could include White-eyed and Crested Honey Buzzards, Thick-billed, Yellow-streaked and Dusky Warblers, Tickell’s Leaf Warbler, Eurasian Wryneck, Common Iora and the endearing Spotted Owlet.

  • The surrounding paddy fields and open, scrubby areas may yield Chinese Francolin, Grey-breasted, Plain and Brown Prinias, Rain Quail, Barred Buttonquail, Scaly-breasted Munia and Long-billed, Richard’s and Paddyfield Pipits. Depending on conditions, we may also bird a few of the small, seasonal pans that are dotted around this beautiful region, where we could find Common Teal, Asian Openbill, Chinese and Indian Pond Herons, Common Snipe, Wood Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover and Redwattled Lapwing, amongst many other species.

  • In the early evening, we will position ourselves in an area where we have a good chance of seeing Indian Nightjar and Western Barn Owl.

  • Overnight in Bagan.

Day 4

  • Today we begin early, crossing the Irrawaddy River at Chauk in our 4WD vehicles on our journey to the remote and seldom-visited Mount Victoria in the Chin Hills.

  • The trip will take us via Nagabwet Forest Reserve, through areas of dry savanna where further chances exist for many of the Bagan species, especially the often-tricky Jerdon’s Minivet and the scarce Hooded Treepie - which is undoubtedly one of Myanmar’s most impressive but elusive endemics! The route also takes us through dry dipterocarp forest and mixed mid and low-altitude deciduous and bamboo forests that support a host of fabulous and seldom-seen species.

  • One of the day’s very special target birds is the scarce and habitat-specific White-romped Falcon. Other great birds that we will be on the lookout for in this interesting habitat include Burmese Nuthatch, White-browed Fantail, Small Minivet, Common Woodshrike and Golden-fronted Leafbird. Additional noteworthy species will possibly include Crested Serpent Eagle, the scarce and attractive Rufousbellied Hawk-Eagle, Asian Barred Owlet, the popular Himalayan Flameback, impressive White-bellied Woodpecker, Pin-striped Tit-Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Blue-throated Blue and Taiga Flycatchers, the rare and extremely elusive Pale-headed Woodpecker, Lesser and Greater Necklaced Laughing-thrushes, showy Rufous Treepie, Rosy and Scarlet Minivets, Hair-crested and Bronzed Drongos, Maroon and Black-hooded Orioles, an amazing five species of Parakeet: Blossom-headed, Red-breasted, Alexandrine, Rose-ringed and the localized Greyheaded – and many more!

  • If we are fortunate enough to find a fruiting tree, we could even be rewarded with an incredible display of beautiful Barbets(Coppersmith, Lineated and Blue-throated) as well as Yellow-footed Green Pigeon.

  • We aim to reach our destination above the small village of Kanpetlet by late afternoon.

  • The villa is situated at about 1,400m (4,200ft) above sea level to the south-east of Mt. Victoria and is the perfect base from which to explore the mountain.

  • Overnight in Kanpetlet.

 

Day 5 - 8

  • We have four full days to explore the 180 square mile (470 square kilometer) Nat Ma Taung (Mt. Victoria) National Park, which is home to one of Myanmar’s most famous endemics, the splendid White-browed Nuthatch! This park is also one of Asia’s most exciting birding destinations and supports a great diversity of habitats. These include mixed Oak and Rhododendron forests towards the 3,110m (10,200ft) summit, montane bamboo, broadleaved evergreen forest, temperate pine forest, secondary growth with tall grass and scrub, as well as semi-cultivated fields and grasslands. With such a great diversity of habitats, it’s not surprising that the park is so exceedingly rich in bird life.

  • A further two extremely localized endemics, Burmese Bushtit and Mt. Victoria Babax, are almost exclusively found on the mountain and we will also concentrate our efforts on finding the host of near-endemics (Brown-capped and Striped Laughingthrushes, Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler and Chin Hills Wren-Babbler).

  • While journeying from our accommodation to and from the top of the mountain, we will be on the lookout for some very rare species that could, with much luck, include Mrs Hume’s Pheasant, Mountain Bamboo Partridge and the near-mythical Blyth’s Tragopan. All of these species have been seen on previous rock jumper trips to Mt. Victoria, but we would have to be extremely fortunate to see any of these exceptionally rare species!

  • Mt. Victoria also supports a multitude of other exciting species that we hope to see during our time here. Higher altitude forest specialties include Black-bibbed Tit, Burmese Bushtit, Mount Victoria Babax, Brown-capped and Assam Laughingthrushes, Grey-sided and Eye-browed Thrushes, Darjeeling, Rufousbellied and Crimson-breasted Woodpeckers, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, White-browed, Chestnut-vented and White-tailed Nuthatches, Streak-throated Barwing, brightly-colored Large and Vivid Niltavas, Grey Sibia, White-browed and Rufous-winged Fulvettas, stunning Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, extremely scarce but beautiful Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker, Blackeared, Blyth’s and rare Black-headed Shrike-Babblers, Blue-winged, Red-tailed and Bar-throated Minlas, the much desired Himalayan Cutia, and understory skulkers such as Chestnut-headed Tesia and both Scaly-breasted and Chin Hills Wren-Babblers. Open areas at higher altitudes offer Blue-fronted Redstart, Black-throated Prinia, Brown-flanked Bush Warbler, Yellow-breasted Greenfinch, Spotwinged Grosbeak and the exquisite Fire-tailed Sunbird - while we will also keep our eyes peeled for Asian House Martin and Black Eagle overhead.

  • Large, dense stands of mid-altitude understory bamboo, harbor some very special species, including Black-throated and Spot-breasted Parrotbills and Broad-billed and Whistler’s Warblers.

  • Finally, we will also spend some time birding the lower slopes of Mt. Victoria where a whole host of different but equally exciting species can be found. Included in this fantastic suite are Blue-winged and Striped Laughingthrushes, shy and unobtrusive Red-faced Liocichla, Spotted and Pygmy Wren-babblers, secretive and evasive Spot-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Hume’s Treecreeper, shy Rusty-capped and Nepal Fulvettas, Slaty-backed Flycatcher, furtive Scaly Thrush, Crested Finchbill, Rusty-fronted Barwing and Green-backed Tit.

  • Early morning drives up the mountain are likely to yield Grey Nightjar, and we will also take time out in the evenings to search for Hodgson’s Frogmouth, a highly desirable and impressive nocturnal species, with chances also existing for Brown Wood Owl and both Mountain and Collared Scops Owls.

  • Mammals that may be encountered during our time on the mountain include Western Striped and Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrels, Yellow-throated Marten and Burmese Hare; and if we are extremely fortunate, perhaps a Leopard Cat!

 

Day 9

  • Today we will leave our comfortable villa with its friendly and hospitable staff and make our way back to Bagan.

  • En-route we will make several stops for any lowland specialties that we may have missed on our journey in. Exciting new species could include Kalij Pheasant, Red Junglefowl, Lesser and Greater Racket-tailed Drongos, gorgeous Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Large and Blackwinged Cuckooshrikes, Rufescent Prinia, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Greater and Lesser Yellownapes, Black-naped Monarch, Crested Treeswift, Blue-winged Leafbird, Yellowvented and Plain Flowerpeckers and dazzling Ruby-cheeked Sunbird.

  • We can expect to arrive at our hotel in Bagan in the early evening.

  • Overnight in Bagan.

 

Day 10

  • Today, you will be met in your hotel lobby and transferred to the airport for domestic flight to Yangon and with connecting flight home.

Myanmar

April to September 2020 From

R 53 815.00*

per person

October 2020 to March 2021 From

R 55 620.00*

per person

10 Days / 9 Nights

Validity: Immediately - March 2021

* All above pricing is based on 3* accommodation and 1 traveler, inquire with us for 4* accommodation and bigger groups.

Including

  • 9 nights shared Accommodation in twin/double room with daily breakfast at the indicated room types (see hotel category list) (check in and check out around noontime)

  • All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles (types of vehicles depending on the number of pax):

    • 1-2pax: Saloon car or similar 

    • 3-5pax: Hiace car of similar

  • Around Mount Victoria: 4WD vehicles 

  • Local ENGLISH speaking expert guide & professional photographer on day 2

  • All entrance and zone fees as program

  • Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program (Local food)

  • 2 bottles of mineral water per person per day on bus on days of transfer and sightseeing only

Excluding

  • Airfares (international and domestic)

  • Meals (other than mentioned in the program)

  • Drinks 

  • Visas to Myanmar

  • Mineral water beyond that supplied

  • Tips

  • Early check in or late check out

  • Insurances

  • Optional excursions and activities

  • Additional transfer required due to any emergency situation

  • Items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, beverages…)

  • Peak season surcharges if any

  • All not mentioned above

Surcharges apply for high season or late bookings. Prices are in ZAR, subject to availability & tax fluctuations.

+27 (010) 035 5205

1st Floor, 65 Knoppiesdoring St, Randpark Ridge, Johannesburg, 2156

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