Nepal Bird Watching Tour – Birding guide to visit, What to bring

Bird watching tour in Nepal

Bird watching in Nepal is a  recreational activity that helps you to monitor different species of birds. We can watch through our naked eyes or also by using different types of equipment like binoculars, telescopes, etc. Nepal is one of the best places for bird-watching tours. As in Nepal the diverse range of ecosystems from lowland subtropical forests. Similarly, the high-altitude environment of the Himalayas takes you to explore over 850 species of birds. Nepal has spectacular scenery and cultural contrasts but also it is famous as the paradise of a birdwatcher.

It is naturally blessed with a vast array of exceptionally rich birdlife. Due to the remarkable diversity of habitats found, We can find over 850 species of birds here. It is more than in any other region of comparable size in Asia. Nepal is home to about 10% of the world’s population of birds. The sight of rare birds generates great excitement. The beauty of nature and birds are the popular symbols of Nepal.

Kathmandu valley has more than 500 species birds

Nepal bird watching tour takes you through the lowland jungle of Terai. It also takes Wildlife Reserves, and many other conservational areas and Parks. We can also find 500 species in the capital city Kathmandu alone. The popular places for bird watching in Kathmandu are Phulchwoki, Godavari, Nagarjun, Bagmati River, and Taudaha, and so on. Likewise, Chitwan and Bardia harbor also has a wide variety of birds. Koshi Tappu, another sighting of an incredible variety of both resident and migratory birds that come from far away from Siberia.

The opportunity to see different kinds of birds will make your trip memorable. You will be mesmerized with the enjoyable view of many species of birds along with the panoramic mountainous view, glimpses of wild animals and exposure to the local people’s culture and traditions. Nepal is famous for the home of some endangered birds like Impeyan Pheasant, Nepal’s national bird Dafee and the Spiny Babbler. The birds watching program takes you to explore the birds as well as you will be exploring diverse wildlife in some famous wetlands and National Parks of Nepal.

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Bird watching tour in Nepal

Nepal’s Major bird watching Places:


The Kathmandu Valley:

Kathmandu Valley has more species of birds compared to other places in Nepal. Almost 500 species of birds are found here. The Wetlands and open field inside the valley make it possible for diverse habitat for many species of birds. There are four major bird watching areas in the Valley. One can launch the bird watching in the banks of Bagmati and Manohara rivers. The birds sighted along these rivers are the Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers, Ibis bill, Wood Sandpipers and Plovers. The Chovar Gorge is particularly recommended as an area for birds as its isolation from human habitation has encouraged their presence. Harboring 40 species of birds mostly dependent on wetlands, Taudaha, a lake on the way to Dakshinkali, attracts flocks of migrant birds.

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    This place is at 2760m is the highest of the mountains situated 20 km southeast of Kathmandu encircling the valley and provides an ideal introduction to the birds of Nepal. Phulchowki has a great density of bird species —around 300 species. The hillside trails and roads are covered with forest featuring outstanding flora as well as diverse birds. Bird watchers in Phulchowki might encounter birds such as the endemic spring babbler, as well as the Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers, and the Black-throated Parrotbill, to name a few. The Blue-Napped Pitta and a Redheaded Trojan are rare birds found in the area.


    The Godavari, at the foot of Phulchowki hill where the Royal Botanical Garden is situated, records over 100 species of birds including the lesser racket-tailed Drongo, Tibetan siskin, and the spotted fork tail. The garden is a plantation containing exotic and local flora and is a ‘Garden of Dreams’ for birds and bird watchers alike.

    Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve and Nagarjuna Dada:

    Another place for Bird watching in Nepal is Shivapuri Watershed Reserve, 12km north of the city and Nagarjuna in the North West.


    Shivapuri National Park is one of the richest forested areas. The park is home for about 318 species of birds. The forest holds a significant population of three restricted-range bird species i.e. the spiny babbler which is also Nepal’s endemic bird, the Hoary-throated Barwing, and the white-throated Tit. This diversity is reflected in the avifauna of the area, including the Hill Partridge, Great Barbet, Wedge-Tailed Green Pigeon, Eurasian Jay, Kalij Pheasant, Nepal Fulvetta, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Mountain Scops Owl and Grey-winged Blackbird. Two globally threatened birds, the white-rumped Vulture, and Hodgson’s Bush chat can also be seen. Shiva puri is a delight to the bird watchers who have an eye for exploration.


    The Nagarjun Hill has a royal retreat for members of royal family and therefore was and will remain a protected area. This area hosts birds such as the Northern Eagle Owl, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-Headed Bee-Eater, Maroon Oriole, Large Hawk Cuckoo, and Eurasian Woodcock.

    Bird watching tour in Nepal

    Pokhara City:

    In Pokhara, the two well-known lakes Phewa Tal and Begnas Tal and the surrounding areas are highly recommended for birds watching. Among all, the forest around the south shore of Phewa lake with minimum disturbance, away from human inhabitation is the best for bird watching. The summit of Annapurna’s and Machhapuchhare create an ambiance of peace and magic and the surrounding of the valley rewards an extraordinary habitat for varieties of birds. Watch out in the fields and pools especially in the winter for Egrets, Herons, Pipits, and Buntings etc. other birds are occurring are Gulls, Terns, Ducks, and Falcons etc.

    Begnas Lake, 15km away from Pokhara, is another worthy place to visit for bird watching in Pokhara. Terraced hills and light forests surround the lake. One should spend time on the slopes and wet fields. Birds sighted here are Ducks, pheasant-tailed Jacana; Hopei Grey-bellied Tessie’s, common pintail snipe, bulbuls etc. Species regularly seen in this forest and along the shore of the lake include Besra, Red-thigh Falconet, Pallid and Pied Harriers, Eurasian Griffon, Red-headed and Eurasian Black Vultures, Kalij Pheasant etc. Pokhara lakeside is basically a tourist town, which caters to all the needs of visitors from cheap lodges to very expensive star hotels, that makes the city more famous for bird watching as well as experiencing the natural and artificial heritages.

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      Koshi Barrage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve:

      Koshi Barrage and Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve are in the eastern Terai to the Far East of Nepal. The situation on the Koshi flood plain results on the dramatically reserve variation of the environment according to the seasons. This is one of the best sight for Nepal bird watching tour.  Along with about 26 varieties of Duck alone, Koshi is great for waterfowl and Waders. The birds can be viewed by boat, gliding through waters in the stillness of early morning and evenings.

      Koshi Tappu wildlife reserve is a combination of scrub grassland and deciduous riverine forest, with over 450 species of birds recorded so far, including 20 species of duck, ibises, storks, swamp partridges (Francolins glairs), herons, egrets, Bengal Florian (Epidotic Bengalensis), Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges and many other exotic and migratory waterfowl not found elsewhere in Nepal. The area reputed for bird haven is corroborated by the fact that it is the shelter of 13 Nepal’s nearly threatened bird species out of 22.

      Bird watching tour in Nepal

      Chitwan National Park:

      The Royal Chitwan National park, established as the country’s first national park in 1973, is the best-known site for Nepal bird-watching tours. We can do Birds watching also in a chair, the back of an elephant, or in a jeep (by far the last choice). And also if you wish to walk, we will be accompanied by a guide or a naturalist or by a preferable ornithologist. The area consists of Sal Forest, Riverine forest, and grasslands. With three rivers forming the boundaries of the park. Over half of Nepal’s total bird species are found in Chitwan, numbering 540 species.

      This number includes about two-thirds of the country’s globally threatened bird species. The Grey-crowned Prinia, Slender-billed Babbler, and the Lesser Adjutant inhabit the Chitwan grasslands. The park also holds the highest number of Nepal’s near-threatened bird species –15 out of 22. These include Ferruginous Pochard, Great Hornbill, Black-bellied Tern. Also, Grey-headed and Lesser Fish Eagles, White-tailed Eagle, Cinereous and Red-headed Vultures, Furthermore, Pallid Harrier, Lager Falcon, Darter, Painted and Black-necked Storks, We can also watch Rufous- rumped Grassbird and Yellow-breasted Bunting. Other birds include Sarus Crane, Bengal, and Lesser Florian, Indian Skimmer. Also Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Jerdon’s Babbler, and curlews. The Bar-headed Goose, a trans-Himalayan migrant, is seen near the Narayani River.


      Trekking Regions:

      It is best to go around the foothills of the Kingdom as a leisurely Trek for watching birds. The Langtang region, Solukhumbu region, and Annapurna region are the three main trekking areas in Nepal. These Trekking areas offer a wide variety of species of birds. Among these three regions, the Annapurna region is the best choice. Similarly, there are many species of Birds in the other two regions. The Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) supports remarkable but delicate biodiversity. Here are more than, 441 species of birds. The Kali Gandaki valley is also a major migration pathway in the autumn with 40 species of birds.


      Nepal bird watching tour itinerary

      Day 1: Greetings at Kathmandu Airport
      We will meet you at Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport and transfer to your hotel. When you have had your time to settle in and freshen up after your long fight, you will be invited to visit our office for a briefing about your program. During this visit we will help you check your equipment and facilitate the processing of other necessary items such as National Park Permits, special permits etc. If you arrive at night we will have same discussion in next day morning after your breakfast.

      Day 2: A full day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu, the capital valley
      The very next morning, after breakfast you will leave for a full day sightseeing tour around Kathmandu valley. You can visit sacred Pashupatinath Temple and Swyambhunath, very ancient and essentially enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage sites. The biggest Buddhist Stupa at Boudhnath and the fine arts and historical architecture of Kathmandu Durbar Square reflecting the ancient Nepalese culture are highlighted on our guided tour. On return to your hotel you will have time to explore the local area, have dinner and perhaps take a leisurely stroll through the popular streets.

      Day 3: Start bird watching from Godavari

      You can start a bird Watching from Godavari Botanical Garden. After having a short city tour for birds watching through the rivers of Bagmati and Manohara, set in the evening for bird watching trip in Godavari Botanical Garden. Stay overnight in a hotel at the Godavari.

      Day 4: Godavari-Phulchowki Hill-Kathmandu
      After having your breakfast, leave with a lunch pack and hike up to Phulchowki hill. The hillside trail has a thick forest featuring outstanding flora as well as diverse birds. Phulchowki has a great density of bird species- about 90 species. Which includes the endemic spring babbler as well as the Curia, Mountain Hawk Eagle. Also, we can watch Rufous Bellied Pied Woodpeckers, the Black-throated Parrotbill, etc. In the evening return back to Kathmandu.

      Day 5: Birding in Nagarjun Forest and Shivapuri Watershed and Wildlife Reserve

      Shivapuri can be reached two ways either from Sundarijal or from Budhanilkantha. The park is home to around 318 species of bird some are as Laughing Thrush, Crested Serpent Eagle, little Pied Fly Catchers, Rupy-throats and Babblers. And in Nagarjun area birds such as the Northern Eagle Owl, Red-billed Blue Magpie, Long-tailed Mountain Thrush, Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater, Maroon Oriole, Large Hawk Cuckoo, and Eurasian Woodcock etc.can be seen closely. Return to Hotel in Kathmandu.

      Day 6: Kathmandu to Chitwan
      About 4hr drive to Chitwan National Park and check in the hotel. In the evening have a leisurely stroll in the village or can visit the elephant breeding center. Spend a beautiful night in the resort.

      Day 7: Birding at Chitwan

      After tea or coffee, natures walk on foot to encounter with environment and the morning birds. Have full day birding trip in different vegetations of the park, from wetlands to grasslands to Sal forest. We can have a jungle safari or Jeep safari to view some varieties of birds in the deep forest. We can found more than 500 species including Blue Indian Roller, Stork-billed Kingfishers, Bengal Florican, Asian Paradise Flycatcher, Bee-eaters, and Cormorants.

      Day 8: Chitwan to Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
      After drive from Chitwan, we will have a full day birding trip in the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve. Koshi Tappu wild life reserve is a combination of scrub grassland and deciduous riverine forest, with over 450 species of birds recorded so far. Black Ibis, Honey Kites, Ospreys, Black Headed Orioles, Peregrine Falcon, Partridges, Storks etc are the some that you will encounter throughout the day.

      Day 9: Drive or Flight back to Kathmandu

      You can have a flight or drive in vehicle to Kathmandu valley. After return, you can have a relax walk over the streets and view the normal living of Nepalese. Also you can buy some memories and gifts for back to your home. Full day leisure can be accompanied by some entertainment and sound time in hotel. At evening you can prepare to pack our baggage with mentality to leave Nepal.

      Day 10: Free day in Kathmandu
      Today you will have a free day in Kathmandu valley. Have some rest in your hotel. You can also take a leisurely stroll over the streets and buy some souvenirs and remembering from Nepal. At evening we will have a typical Nepali dinner accompanied with cultural shows in Hotel.

      Day 11: Final Departure
      If you are leaving Nepal and not continuing your holiday here in Nepal, we will drop you to the International airport to catch your flight back to your home. We will wish you a happy journey in the traditional and cultural way of Nepal and hope to see you again.

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        Clothing for the Nepal bird watching Tour:

        In Nepal, you will experience a wide range of climates, so take both light and warm clothing in casual and comfortable styles. You can check your traveling time and can bring the clothing accordingly for the tour. Mostly warm clothes do works. If you are going trekking you need trekking equipment and accessories.
        For lower altitude places such as visiting Chitwan, Bardia, Koshi Tappu light cotton clothing are the best one.

        Bring comfortable walking shoes for the tour and if you are doing hiking. for trekking, you can bring hiking shoes.  Also, bring a pair of light sandals. Our advice is to make sure you ‘wear in’ your walking boots/shoes for a number of weeks before your trip. As a result, you’ll be so much more comfortable if you do so. Sandals with rugged bottoms are good for hiking around town and to wear in showers.

        You will need your own toiletries and towels. And you’ll also need your own little medical kit, sewing repair kit, and a good headlamp with extra bulbs and batteries.

        You can store the luggage in the hotels. So you can also bring better clothing for looking good while around the city like Kathmandu and Pokhara.

        Sunglasses are a must. A warm hat, gloves for winter for hiking, swimming customs for rafting and Elephant bathing at Chitwan, good socks and a sun hat are very useful for Jungle safari tour and for warm sightseeing days in town too.

        Here are some things you might want to bring for the Nepal bird watching tour

        • Walking/hiking, trekking, river shoes – broken in.
        • Clothes you can layer. Jacket, T-shirts, fleece, windbreaker, shorts, lightweight pants, sports pants, gloves & sun hat (for summer and autumn season, not a lot of clothes).
        • A nice shirt/pants for nightlife,  Good camera – this country is a feast for the eyes and a photographer’s dream!
        • Pocket size Flashlight (you can buy it here if need be, but there are always power cuts, so have it handy! (It seems like the lights go off whenever you are in an unfamiliar toilet.)
        • A sarong (for girls) and/or a lightweight towel.
        • Ladies, if you like wearing a little make-up when you go out, bring it. It is hard to find here. Most of the make-up here is really weird, cheap stuff. Just bring a couple of things that make you feel happy for the party nights!

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