Go on an incredible wildlife holiday to Nepal

Discover Nepal’s diverse wildlife and rich culture with other BBC Wildlife readers on this amazing trip.  

Go on an incredible wildlife holiday to Nepal
17th March 2018 - 27th March 2018


This exclusive BBC Wildlife trip is a carefully planned nature holiday aimed at the first-time visitor who wants to experience the real Nepal during a relaxing break.

Birdwatching in Nepal is exciting, and you will see minivets, yuhinas, fulvettas, sunbirds, flowerpeckers, and many more. We may see rare ibisbill, and delightful Eurasian species include red-flanked bluetail, Siberian rubythroat and wallcreeper.

A Siberian rubythroat © kajornyot / Getty

At Pokhara, spectacular views of Annapurna combine with excellent birdwatching, and we also spend two very rewarding days in the Kathmandu Valley.

Nepal is home to a variety of exciting mammals. At the country’s finest reserve, Chitwan National Park, we seek greater one-horned rhino, sloth bear, rare gharial crocodile, several deer and monkey species, and perhaps even elusive Bengal tiger.

Sloth bear © Eric Gevaert / Getty (captive animal)

Other highlights include an exhilarating panoramic flight towards the summit of the highest mountain in the world – Everest.

BBC Wildlife exclusive: take a spectacular flight to Mount Everest © Jonathan Griffith / Getty

We take a guided tour to heritage sites including ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples, and enjoy a display of Nepalese dancing at our farewell dinner.   

In association with Heatherlea


Day 1: Saturday 17 March 2018 - London to Kathmandu.

We fly to Kathmandu from London via Doha/Abu Dhabi/Delhi. Full details of flights in your 'Information Pack'.

Day 2: Sunday 18 March - Kathmandu

We arrive in Kathmandu where we will be met by Suchit, your local wildlife expert and leader. A short drive from the airport takes us to a Tibetan-themed boutique hotel and one of the finest hotels in the city, situated in the quiet northern corner of the Kathmandu valley. After settling in, there will be an informal briefing, followed by further time to relax after a long journey. The hotel has an excellent terrace, a swimming pool and views overlooking the valley to the south and the hills to the north. Two nights at Hotel Shambala, one of Kathmandu's finest hotels.

Day 3: Monday 19 March - Phulchowski Hill

We take an early breakfast followed by a relaxed and rewarding birding trip on Phulchowki hill, the highest point (2740m) close to the city. Phulchowski is fully forested, with a profusion of good wildlife habitat, and a good quality driveable track to the summit. By arriving early, we should get good views of the snow-clad Great Himalaya, including distant views of the Annapurna range and many of Nepal's other high peaks (provided the weather is clear!).

At the base, we hope to find some lower altitude species such as spectacular Red-billed Blue Magpie, White's Thrush, and a selection of Phylloscopus warblers wintering here from further north and east. There are more than 250 species of birds recorded, and mammals here include Orange-bellied Squirrel, Yellow-throated Marten and Muntjac, whilst Leopards are quite common but rarely seen, as the forest on either side of the road is dense and inaccessible. We drive to the highest point and enjoy the flora and fauna as we make our leisurely way down, taking the rest of the day to walk and drive downhill through fine temperate and subtropical forest, with a picnic lunch en-route. The variety of laughing thrushes, babblers, bulbuls, flowerpeckers, flycatchers, sunbirds, tits and warblers is tremendous.

Avian highlights might well include Red-flanked Bluetail, Fire-tailed Sunbird, White-collared Blackbird, Long-tailed Minivet and many more. Everyone will no doubt be enchanted by the deep red blooms of the towering Tree Rhododendron (Rhododendron arboreum), as well as the many other spring flowering shrubs of the forest. Bird activity dies down after midday, and we slowly head back to the hotel in the afternoon. The evening will be spent with a taste of delicious Nepalese food with an optional opportunity to enjoy cultural dancing from the different ethnic tribes of Nepal. We stay a second night at the Hotel Shambala.

Days 4 - 6:  Tuesday 20 to Thursday 22 March - Chitwan

This morning we travel 170 km by minibus to Chitwan, a journey broken by first-class birding, photography and comfort stops. On leaving the Kathmandu Valley the road follows the edge of the fast flowing Trisuli River, dropping in altitude as we leave the city behind, with a landscape of tiered fields on the hillsides, curious locals who take a friendly interest in tourists, and breathtaking distant views of the highest mountain range on Earth, snow-covered and often dazzling in the sunshine. We stop at various places, including a fairly reliable site for Ibisbills (an enigmatic wader of the Himalaya) and other riverside and montane species. Other birds include beautiful White-capped Redstart, Brown Dipper and if we are very lucky, perhaps one of the wintering Wallcreepers that frequent the road and riverside rockfaces. We take a packed lunch with us and aim to reach Chitwan by mid-afternoon.

Royal Chitwan National Park comprises 932 sq. km. of Sal and riverine jungle, a magnificent environment with a greater variety of wildlife than any other area of Nepal. Over 500 species of birds have been recorded here and we can expect to see a good number of these, as well as many mammals and reptiles. These are likely to include the endangered One-horned Rhinoceros, Wild Boar, Sambar, Muntjac, Spotted and Hog Deer, Rhesus and Langur Monkeys, and possibly Marsh Mugger and fish-eating Gharial Crocodiles. Leopards, Sloth Bears, and Gaur (wild bison) are all fairly common and frequently seen. Tigers do occur in the area in good numbers but are very elusive and difficult to see. We will spend our time here exploring by Jeep, short walks and a boat ride on the Narayani River. On arrival we transfer to Barahi Jungle Lodge, a tasteful and very comfortable lodge situated close to the Rapti River, where we will be staying for three nights. Our Lodge enjoys a breathtaking view of the National Park from its river-facing stand-alone cottages.

Days 7 and 8: Friday 23 & Saturday 24 March - Barahi and Pokhara

After a final morning safari tour we head towards the lake and mountain district of Pokhara. The transfer from Chitwan to Pokhara is a very scenic drive through the valleys of the Mahabharat range which rises up to 3000m, and we pass through beautiful villages, valleys and plains where rice is grown. On a clear day, views of the Himalchuli range can be seen throughout the journey.

We make a few stops on the way for photography, birds and comfort breaks and aim to reach Pokhara for lunch. Perched at 300 metres above the Pokhara Valley on the Kandani Danda with a spectacular Himalayan backdrop, Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge provides a perfect haven, the essence of tranquility, and we stay here for two nights. During our full day here we enjoy the trails around the Lodge, with the opportunity for gentle wildlife watching and a restful time in very comfortable surroundings, or perhaps longer walks for those who wish.

Day 9: Sunday 25 March - Pokhara Lodge to Kathmandu

We spend the morning birding or relaxing in the tranquil setting of Pokhara Lodge, and then take the afternoon flight back to Kathmandu. The 25-minute flight can be stunning on a clear day with views of the snow-capped peaks of the Himalaya. We return to the excellent Hotel Shambala, for two more nights, and the rest of the day can be spent at leisure at the hotel’s rooftop pool and café.

Day 10: Monday 26 March - Mount Everest and cultural sites of the Kathmandu Valley

We leave the hotel early to take an exhilarating panoramic journey towards the summit of Mount Everest. This one-hour flight is a truly unforgettable experience, as we head northwards then eastwards along the southern side of the highest mountains on Earth. We pass several spectacular peaks before arriving at Everest itself, and you will be able to chart our progress against the map provided, showing the outline of the Himalaya. Soon the famous profile of the highest mountain on our planet can be clearly seen, and we have time to truly appreciate this awe-inspiring spectacle. This really is one of those 'bucket-list' experiences which will live in your memory forever.

In the afternoon, more memorable experiences, as we take a guided tour to some of the special sites of Kathmandu. We also allow time for shopping in the good-value bazaar of the nearby Thamel district, or just a final chance to relax.

We visit three very different and culturally important places;


A significant Buddhist temple within the valley, Boudanath is listed in the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is the biggest stupa in Nepal, built around the 5th century. It is a hemispherical dome, in the typical style of Buddhist stupas, and has a large harmika with Buddha eyes. It is believed that the relics of the great Buddha Kasyapa are buried inside the stupa, due to which it is greatly worshipped. There are numerous monasteries within the perimeter of the stupa, where Buddhists, Tibetans and foreign students stay. Due to the noticeable number of Tibetans and Buddhists living there, this area is also known as Mini Tibet.

Pashupatinath temple:

Pashupatinath is a large Hindu temple of Lord Shiva located on the banks of the Bagmati river in the eastern part of Kathmandu. The temple served as the seat of national deity Lord Pashupatinath, until Nepal was secularized. Believers in Pashupatinath (mainly Hindus) are allowed to enter the temple premises, and non-Hindu visitors are allowed to look at the temple from across the Bagmati River. It is regarded by Hindus as the most sacred among the temples of Lord Shiva, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


A city of art and culture! Bhaktapur's history is alive and vivid, with its population still adhering to the age old traditions and culture with the same zeal shown by their ancestors. It has been able to preserve its artifacts and its medieval atmosphere. Stepping into Bhaktapur city, you travel back to ancient times, when people made pottery, and women were adorned by a traditional black saree, with a rich red color circumventing its border.

The square is one of the most charming architectural showpieces of the valley, with guardian deities looking out of windows and shikhara style temples with wooden trinkets over them to give a rich feeling. The unique masterpiece of the square is the palace of fiftyfive windows, truly a man-made miracle! Nyatapola Temple is another intriguing site, a five storied pagoda standing on five giant stone stairs richly decked with stone sculptures of deities.

The golden gate and colossal antiquated bell are some of the city's highlights. In fact, the whole city is festooned with architectural highlights and wonders as you walk down its narrow alleys. Our last evening will again be spent with a display of Nepalese dance at our farewell dinner.

Day 11: Tuesday 27 March - Flight Home

Today we say goodbye to Nepal and fly back to London.

Please note: all itineraries are given as a guide only. Actual holiday content may vary according to the judgement of your guide, and elements beyond our control (eg weather).


Where: Nepal

When: 17 - 27 March 2018

Cost: £4295pp (Single supplement: £775). Deposit: £1500

Flight London Heathrow.

Maximum of 12 guests

Accommodation is in comfortable lodges with en-suite bathroom including hot shower, at Chitwan and Pokhara. Hotel accommodation in Kathmandu is very comfortable indeed.

Food Hotels and lodges serve variety of food ranging from authentic Nepali to continental and Chinese. You can find a variety of beverages, both local and imported. Coffee and tea is provided at breakfast. We will keep bottled water with us in the field, but recommend you also obtain a personal supply. Most hotels provide a flask of purified drinking water in each room: when in doubt, stick with bottled drinks. Avoid ice. Tap water is not safe to drink anywhere in Nepal. Vegetarian and other diets are welcome.

Walking is generally light/moderate. The holiday is not strenuous. Please bring all personal medications with you, as it may not be possible to obtain everything you need locally.

Weather In early spring skies are clear and days are warm, but evenings can be cold. Temperatures tend to be quite cool in the mornings and evenings, but hot at midday. We may experience rain on some days.

Insects Malaria precautions are advised. Before travelling consult your doctor about suitable anti-malarial medication, and on arrival take adequate precautions against mosquito bites.

Group size is restricted to 12 clients.

Flights are by scheduled airline, from London Heathrow. Transfers are necessary, and we prefer to make these in Muscat and Oman rather than Delhi, though final arrangements will be confirmed before you travel. We may be able to offer flight arrangements from another airport and/or or quote without flights so you can make your own arrangements. If you wish to add an extension either before or after your holiday, please contact us and we will be happy to help you.

Visa All travelers to Nepal must hold a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your expected date of departure from Nepal. An entry visa is also required. This can be obtained either in advance from your local embassy or upon arrival in Nepal, though we strongly recommend you obtain a visa prior to travel

Price includes:

Return scheduled flight from London Heathrow - Kathmandu, internal flight from Pokhara - Kathmandu, airport taxes, all land transfers between destinations including airports, full-board accommodation at hotels and lodges, picnic lunches, ground transportation inside Park and Reserve by 4WD and boat, National Park entry fees, all major tips including mealtimes (though see below), checklist, and the services of your leaders.

Price excludes:

Holiday insurance, visa (around £20), optional tips to local guides/drivers (this is customary, allow around £30pp), drinks, and other personal expenses.

We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here