Within the Kathmandu valley alone, over 500 species of birds have been recorded. The diversity beyond this is the altitude variation. The elevation of city is 1425 meters level and that of Phulchowki hill is 2795 meters above the sea level. The surrounding hills offer a varied ecology ranging from primary and secondary forests to rhododendron, oak and pine forests. In addition, the wetlands and open fields inside the valley make up a diverse habitat for many species of birds. A single hike from the bottom to the top of hills provide the climatic variation. The hill of flowers and most popular bird watching spot the Phulchowki hill, is the highest peak on the Valley rim and is situated 20 km South East of Kathmandu. Phulchowki hill has become the habitat of some 265 species recorded to the date. The birds found here include babblers, warblers, tits, thrushes, minivets, woodpeckers, eagles and many migrant birds. Godavari, at the foot of Phulchowki hill where the Royal Botanical Garden is situated, records over 100 species of birds is a single spot including the lesser racket-tailed drongo, Tibetan siskin and the spotted forktail.
This Kathmandu Valley Bird Watching Tour is the best possible tour that can be done in Kathmandu valley in less time. This rare opportunity to find nature very close to big city provides the best locations for bird spotting in the available time. The tour package covers three different destinations around Kathmandu including two hill resorts outside of the Kathmandu valley renowned for their variety of birds.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu / transfer to hotel / tour briefing / introductory evening meal
Day 02: Drive to Phulchowki area / return to hotel
Day 03: Drive to Shivapuri watershed and wildlife reserve / return to hotel
Day 04: Drive to Bhaktapur / sightseeing / afternoon drive to Nargakot hill resort / overnight stay
Day 05: Sunrise watch / birding tour in Nargakot and the surrounding / overnight stay in Nagarkot
Day 06: Morning drive to Dulikhel hill resort / bird watching in Dhulikhel area /overnight stay
Day 07: Morning walk / bird watching and sightseeing in daytime / return to Kathmandu late p.m. / transfer to hotel
Day 08: Visit to nearby bird watching destination within the valley based on group preference
Day 09: Drive to airport for onward destination
Arrival in Kathmandu and Trip Preparation
A heartiest welcome to Nepal! Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, a representative of Nature Trail Trekking picks you up from the airport and take you to the hotel. We organize a pre-trip discussion where you meet and get to know your trek leader and the other team members. This is your time to ask any remaining questions about your trip! Later, you will be invited for a welcome dinner hosted by Nature Trail. We will serve excellent Nepalese cuisine to introduce you to the country’s food culture.
Drive to Phulchowki Hill
After a short drive of 50 minutes from Kathmandu we reach to the hill of flowers ‘Phulchowki hill’. Since the area features more than 265 species of birds so the whole day passes on observing different birds depending upon their active period of the day. Driving back from there we stay overnight at hotel.
Drive to Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve
Around 30 minutes’ drive in the early morning from hotel we reach to the Budhanilkantha. Walk around national park. Then we enter in the national park and roam around the Shivapuri watershed and wildlife reserve. The whole day we spend on birding and observing the protected floras and faunas. Coming back to Budhanilkantha we drive back to hotel and stay overnight there. The advantage of being in Budhanilkantha area is getting a chance to observe the holy Budhanilkantha temple of lord Vishnu.
Drive to Bhaktapur / Afternoon Drive to Nargakot Hill Resort
After 40 minute drive from hotel we leave for Bhaktapur early in the morning. Half of the day passes on sightseeing in Bhaktapur durbar square and the Newar community. There we spend 2-3 hour on sightseeing. Then we take a one hour drive to Nagarkot Hill resort. At evening time we enjoy the panoramic view of hills along with sunset. After that come back to hotel and stay overnight there.
Birding in Nargakot and Surrounding Area
Early morning we observe the sunshine from Nagarkot hill; the best place in Kathmandu valley to watch sunshine and sunset. Then we go for birding in the Nagarkot jungle. Nagarkot is such a wonderful place where you can see birds from your residing hotel area also. After birding we come back to hotel and stay overnight there.
Drive to Dulikhel Hill Resort / Bird Watching in Dhulikhel Area
With a morning drive from Nagarkot we reach to Dhulikhel hill resort in almost 1.5 hour. Dhulikhel area has a jungle area in its surrounding. The community managed forests in Dhulikhel-Banepa-Panauti corridor are the habitats for more than 72 bird species. We spend the day there bird watching in the jungle. After birding we return to the hotel and stay overnight there.
Bird Watching and Sightseeing / Return Back to Kathmandu
We take a morning walk in fresh air of Dhulikhel area. In daytime we go for bird watching to uncovered areas of previous day watching. With 1.5 hour drive we return back to Kathmandu in late evening. Then the Nature Trail Trekking’s representative take you to the hotel.
Visit to Nearby Bird Watching Destination Within Valley Based on Group Preference
This extra day in Kathmandu is very useful: First of all does it give you time to explore Nepal’s capital better. Secondly, planning an extra day as reserved day is important to assure that you can manage any kind of lag in schedule if incase occurred. Otherwise a short discussion with the team held to finalize the nearby bird watching destination on their own choice. The detailed briefing of the alternative choices is provided from Nature Trail Trekking’s representatives.
Drive to Airport for Onward Destination
If time remained before flight then you chop around local markets and walk around the city or go to the spa and get a well-deserved massage. This can be done in day 8 too. Finally Nature trail Trekking representative take you to the airport ensuring your safe departure to home.
Kathmandu Valley, a civilization in the vicinity of nature, is a capital city and densely populated place of Nepal. But a few minutes’ drive from any part of the Kathmandu valley takes people directly to the nature in the surrounding hills. The four mountain ranges with height above 2,500 metres namely Nagarjuna, Shivapuri, Chandragiri and Phulchowki mountain ranges surround the valley.
So the surrounding nature is the habitat of different floras and faunas. There is clear variation in temperature and vegetation as we move from bottom to top of the hills.
Phulchowki hill is the highest hill in the Kathmandu valley which shelters more than 265 bird species. The hill of flowers is famous for a day hike. The hillside trail features diverse floras and beautiful panoramic view. Different birds like Mountain Hawk Eagle, Spring Babbler, Black-throated Parrotbill etc. might be encountered during the trekking. The weather is changing and frequent rainfall is expected in this region.
The base of Phulchowki is known as Godavari. Godavari Botanical Garden is situated there where more than 100 species of birds are recorded. The wetland and various local vegetation are protected inside the garden. Not for bird watchers and tourists only but the garden is the major choices for resear4chers and graduating botanical students.
Nagarjuna hill is the nearest highest peak of the valley. Shivapuri is another hill alongside it. Both the hills belong to Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park. The national park is popular among foreigners as well. The park has 311 bird species and 117 migratory bird species. Some bird species are black vulture, white backed vulture, sparrow hawk, magpies, leafbirds, bulbul, cuckoos, kalij pheasant etc. In addition the park has 102 species belonging to arthropod, 129 mushroom species and 1250 vascular plant species.
The ancient Newa city Bhaktapur is the best place to study Newari culture and traditions. The city is famous to the globe because UNESCO world heritage site Bhaktapur durbar square. The durbar square area is world’s one of the best place for sightseeing of temples and architectures. The Nagarkot hill of Bhaktapur is of height 2,175 m and is the favorite place for observing sunrise and sunset. The panoramic view of Kathmandu valley and the surrounding hills is clearly observed from Nagarkot. One can enjoy the fresh and bird singing in the surrounding nature. It is the all-time favorite place for spending holidays.
Dhulikhel is a nearby city from Kathmandu valley with openness, less crowd and more nature. It is situated 1550 m above the sea level and 30 Km from Kathmandu in southeast direction. The city is a mix of village lifestyle and urban lifestyle. The community managed forests in Dhulikhel-Banepa-Panauti corridor are the habitats for more than 72 bird species. Some of the birds are yellow Wagtail, Asian Black Eagle, Dove, Common Iora, Flycatcher Shrike, Long tailed Shrike etc.