EJI's Endemic Birds and Mammals Tour of South India - 14 Days

Bangalore Mysore Nagarhole• Ooty Top Slip Munnar Thattekkad

Operates from November to April.

This tour will start in Bangalore in the state of Karnataka, dropping into Tamil Nadu before spending the bulk of the time in Kerala.

You should find the tour takes a relaxing pace, though early morning starts will be required to make the most of birdwatching opportunities. The area is known for its species richness – with more than 450 bird species and a good diversity of mammals ranging from Asian Elephant to the rare Mouse Deer with the endemic Lion-tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur monkeys to name just a few of the special species.This short tour will take you into the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area. You will have a good chance of seeing many of the endemic birds associated with the Western Ghats (around Munnar and Periyar) and lowland forests (around Thattekkad).

DAY 1 - Bangalore - Mysore

Arrive Bangalore in the morning. Your guide will meet you at Bangalore airport and you will be driven to Mysore in the evening. Overnight at Hotel Green.
Meals: Lunch and dinner.

DAY 2 - Mysore - Nagarhole

After breakfast drive to Nagarhole and check in at Kabini River Lodge. Enjoy your first safari at Nagarhole in the afternoon. Nagarhole comprises a varied selection of habitats, dominated by extensive dry deciduous forests. Brown Fish Owls are sometimes found close to the lodge. Raptors include Black-winged Kite, Shikra, Changeable Hawk-eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle and Osprey. The area is home to the endemic Grey Junglefowl, White-cheeked Barbet, and Malabar Parakeet as well as Plum-headed Parakeet, Asian Koel, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Indian Swiftlet and Malabar Lark. We may see Jerdon’s Nightjars sitting on the trails at dusk and later in the evening we may well find Collared Scops Owl or Brown Hawk Owl close to the lodge. Nagarhole, and the contiguous Bandipur National Parks, are a heaven for mammals, though seeing the resident creatures requires a good deal of luck, especially as a one-third of the total area of parks is designated a wilderness area from which human visitors are barred! Overnight at Kabini River Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 3 - Nagarhole

You will enjoy jungle safari on this day. Your stay here also includes an elephant ride (subject to availability) and a trip in a coracle. Relax in between in the grounds of Kabini River Lodge.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

DAY 4 - Nagarhole - Ooty

After a final morning of exploration you will drive on to Ooty. Birding along the way is good, so we may well stop to look for White-bellied Minivet, Grey-headed Bulbul, Malabar Lark and Malabar Whistling Thrush. Check-in at Hotel Sinclair and relax for the rest of the day.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 5 - Ooty

We will spend our day looking for key bird species in the local area, namely Black-and orange Flycatcher, Malabar Parakeet, Jerdon’s Leafbird, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Greenish Warbler and Tickell's Blue Flycatcher. Nilgiri Laughing thrush, Black-throated Munia, Dark-throated and Tawny-bellied Babblers, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Rufous Babbler, Indian Scimitar Babbler and Greater Flameback are all possible. We’ll stay a further night at Hotel Sinclair.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 6 - Ooty - Top Slip

An early start is scheduled today, taking packed breakfasts and lunches with us, to visit the legendary Top Slip. Situated in the Anamalai Hills, it is one of the best natural history locations in Southern India. The shola forests and diverse habitats of the National Park warrant a thorough exploration and we will be spending the remainder of the day, and the next, following a variety of trails in search of the very special birds and mammals that inhabit Top Slip. Accommodation is limited here and basic in style, but it is important to be able to take advantage of the early morning and late afternoon periods when wildlife is most active. Although best known for its birdlife, the National Park boasts a very impressive mammal population including both Lion-tailed Macaque and Nilgiri Langur. Larger herbivores are also present, including Asian Elephant. Overnight at Banyan Tree.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 7 - Top Slip - Munnar

At some point during the day we’ll drive on to Munnar in the heart of the Nilgiri Hills tea plantations. The pockets of the shola forest and Nilgiri mountain grassland ecosystem are home to several of the endemic birds and mammals. Here we will look for several of the South Indian and Nilgiri Hills endemic bird species, including Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Grey-headed Bulbul, Black and Orange Flycatcher, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Grey-breasted Laughingthrush, Indian Rufous Babbler, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, White-bellied Shortwing, White-bellied Treepie and Wynaad Laughing thrush. Overnight at Olive Brook.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 8 - Munnar

Eravikulam National Park is a plateau at an average height of 6500 feet, about 30 kms from Munnar, high up in the mountains of Western Ghats. This park was originally established to protect the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius), which found its way into the endangered list of animals in the Wildlife schedule. It was declared as a sanctuary in 1975. Considering the ecological, faunal, floral, geo-morphological and zoological significance, it was declared a National Park in 1978. It covers an area of 97 sq. kms of rolling grasslands and high level sholas. We will look for Nilgiri Tahr on our visit and will focus on the endemics listed above along with all the other resident species of the area. Incidentally, you can see Atlas Moth locally too. Overnight at Olive Brook.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 9 - Munnar

We’ll further explore the local area to pick up various species, including Malabar Barbet, Jerdon’s Leafbird, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, White-bellied Treepie, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Large Wood Shrike, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Ashy Drongo, Small Minivet and many other species. Overnight at Olive Brook.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 10 - Munnar - Thattekkad

After exploring Periyar in the morning, we will then drive to Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary to arrive mid afternoon. Spend last few hours of the day in the field looking for some of the resident species. Overnight at Eldhose Birding Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 11 - Thattekkad

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, also known as Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, is a prime birding destination in South India. Specialties here include Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl, Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Trogon, Red Spurfowl, Bay Owl, Rufous Babbler, Blue-faced Malkoha, Brown-breasted, White-bellied, Blue-tailed and Rusty-tailed Flycatchers, Greyheaded Bulbul and Wynaad Laughing Thrush. Other species include Malabar Grey Hornbill, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, White-bellied and Heart-spotted Woodpecker with an extra chance to look for White-bellied Treepie and Black-throated Munia. Moreover, Thattekkad is ideal for seeing a good number of butterfly and mammal species. The more difficult birds are Wynaad Laughing Thrush and Grey-headed Bulbul and we’ll look for these at Orullathany, at one end of the reserve. Overnight at Eldhose Birding Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 12 - Thattekkad

Take a round trip to see a variety of estuary and paddyfield species along the largest river in Kerala, the Bharatapuzha. Species to expect include several species of Gulls, including Great Black-headed, Brown-headed and Slender-billed; up to seven species of Tern including Black-bellied, Gull-billed and Great Crested Terns. We’ll also look for Streak-throated Woodpecker and Yellow-billed Babbler. Overnight at Eldhose Birding Lodge or similar.

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner.

DAY 13 - Thattekkad - Kochi (Cochin)

Morning brid watching for additional species like Blue-tailed Bee-eaters, Indian Pitta, Jerdons and Black Baza (all present in the winter months) at Thattekkad. Later you will be transferred to Cochin.

Meals: Breakfast.

DAY 14 - Homebound.

Depart on your onward journey.

Elephant Safaris available only in the morning. Jeep Safaris are available in the morning and in the afternoon. Number of safaris are restricted in different zones of the park at the sole discretion of wildlife authorities.
The park remains closed from May to October due to monsoon.


Depart Return
Jan 8 Jan 21
Feb 12 Feb 25
Mar 12 Mar 25
Apr 9 Apr 22
May 14 May 27
Jun 11 Jun 24
Jul 9 Jul 22
Aug 13 Aug 26
Sep 10 Sep 23
Oct 8 Oct 21
Nov 12 Nov 25
Dec 10 Dec 23
Tour Price
Endemic Birds & Mammals
Tour - 14 Days
Per Person
Double Occupancy $ 2650.00
Single Room Supp. $ 750.00
International Airfare See below

International airfares: (Economy)
Basic Season:
From $ 920.00
Jan 15 - Jun 15
Jul 05 - Dec 13
Dec 24 - Mar 31

Peak Season: (Economy)
From $ 1440.00
Jun 16 - Jul 04
Dec 14 - 23

International airfares:(Business)
Basic Season:
From $ 4140.00

Peak Season: (Business)
From $ 4600.00

International airfares: (First)
From: $ 7875.00
All Year.

Non-stop flights may have slightly higher fare. Please call.

Airport Security fee, fuel surcharges and taxes not included.

Land Prices are guaranteed at the time of booking. Airfares are guaranteed only when ticketed. International airfares are from Chicago, New York and Newark. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.

Competitive airfares are available on other airlines upon request.



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