BIRD WATCHING TOUR
DALAT IS IDEAL PLACE FOR WATCHING BIRD
Dalat is not only famous for its cool climate and scenic beauty as: pine forests, lakes, mountains and waterfalls but also the ideal place for bird watching activity thanks to diverse flora and fauna. Being identified by BirdLife International, The Dalat Plateau is one of the five endemic bird areas (EBAs) in Vietnam. Habitats are mixture of coniferous (dominated by Pinus kesiya), montane evergreen and secondary forest. Three bird species, Collared Laughingthrush, Grey-crowned Crocias and Vietnamese Greenfinch, are only to be found within this EBA. The Dalat Plateau also has distinct subspecies of Spot-breasted Laughingthrush (considered by some authorities as a separate species: Orange-breasted Laughingthrush), Cutia, Rufous-backed and Black-headed Sibias, Blue-winged Minla, Grey-headed Parrotbill and Black-throated Sunbird.
ITINERARY OF BIRD WATCHING TOUR
BASIC TOUR OF 02 DAYS IN DALAT
DAY 1: The Birds of Ta Nung valley & Tuyen Lam Lake
Dalat city is a very comfortable base from which to explore the nearby forest areas of the Da Lat/Langbian Plateau. The plateau holds a number of local species, some of which are only found there, or are only shared with a small area of Cambodia or Laos. We will begin our exploration of this fascinating area with a foray down to the Ta Nung Valley, made famous in the nineties for the rediscovery of the Vietnamese endemic Gray-crowned Crocias, which remains regularly seen there. Any passing “bird wave” will be scoured for this bird hiding within. Ta Nung will also provide a further chance at Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, as well as other local species, like White-cheeked Laughingthrush and Indochinese Green Magpie. Other birds we will be seeking at Ta Nung will include Black-headed and Rufous-backed Sibias, the local (soon-to-be-split?) race of Black-throated Sunbird, Mrs. Gould’s Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter, White-spectacled Warbler, and Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler.
In the afternoon we will head out from our hotel to another very local site, Tuyen Lam lake, a scenic lake surrounded by pine woodland, which holds the possibility of Vietnamese Greenfinch, the endemic race (species?) of Red Crossbill, Slender-billed Oriole, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Burmese Shrike, and Black-collared Starling. This and the following two nights will be spent in the city of Da Lat. This city is a long-established tourist attraction famed for its scenic setting and pleasantly moderate climate, and where a French Hill Station was constructed in the early part of twentieth century.
DAY 2: The Birds of Langbiang Mountain & Bidoup Nui Ba National Park
Langbiang is the highest peak in the area, with one of its two peaks reaching 2169m, which is clearly visible on clear days looming above the city of Da Lat. The lower flanks are cloaked in pine forest, with the upper flanks giving way to mixed evergreen forest. Both of these forests hold key species for the tour, and after taking a jeep to the trailhead we will work our way up through Bidoup Nui Ba National Park, keep an eye out for Red Crossbill, Large Cuckooshrike, and the endemics Vietnamese Greenfinch and Vietnamese Cutia, before we emerge into the denser mixed evergreen forest on the upper slopes, which we will search for the notoriously elusive Collared Laughingthrush, a species which is endemic to the plateau. Other targets on the mountain include Golden-throated Barbet, Pygmy Cupwing, Clicking and Dalat Shrike-Babblers, Black-crowned Fulvetta, and Gray-bellied Tesia.
EXTENDED TOUR OF 04 DAYS
DAY 3: The Birds of Cat Tien National Park
Pick up guests in hotels, transfer to Cat Tien National Park. Cross Dong Nai river to the Cat Tien National park enables visitors begin their wildlife experience. We will arrive in time for some afternoon birding, which may see us pick up Golden-crested Myna, Great Hornbill or even Black-and-red Broadbill in the grounds of our lodge deep within the park, overlooking the Ben Cu Rapids. We also start walking 8 km along the ecologic route: sites of Lagerstroemia Ovalfolia (BangLang), Tetrameles nudiflora (Tung), Cycas tumphii (Thien Tue), Ancistrolandus Tectorius (Trung Quan), Afzelia cyclocarpa (Go). Back to the center for dinner. One nights will be spent at Forest Floor Lodge in the park.
08: 00PM. Transfer by jeep to Ta Lai buffer zone for animal spotting (view animals at night).
DAY 4: The Birds of Crocodile Lake
07:00AM. Transferred by jeep inside the park to junction, where we turn off the main route for 5 km trekking to Crocodile lake station. A short break at the lake watching tower, sometimes we can see Green Peafowl by Crocodile Lake, Bronze – winged Jacana, Lesser Adjutant and Purple Heron, Red and Black and Banded Broadbill, Orange – breasted Trogon and Pale – headed Woodpecker…then back to the center for check out.
Transfer to Ho Chi Minh city end of service!
Some photos of the bird watching tour (click for full size view)
PRIVATE TOUR PRICE
Basic Tour in 02 days: USD110/Person (minimum 2 pax)
Extended Tour in 04 days: USD310/Person (minimum 2 pax)
Tour price inclusive:
– Accomodation in Cat Tien National Park. (if extended tour)
– Pick-ups and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicle as specified in the itinerary above (Please note: pick-ups will be by a guide and driver or, where a guide is not necessary, a driver only. All unaccompanied drivers will be briefed in advance, and will carry a mobile phone to ensure smooth transfer arrangements)
– Travel in an appropriate private air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced safe driver.
– The services of experienced English/French – speaking guides as indicated in the itinerary (please note: guides will be on hand from pick-up until guests’ return to their hotel or reaching their destination). Free days or part days will not include the services of a guide unless requested and included in the final itinerary.
– Entry fees for all visits as mentioned in the programme.
– 02 ways of Jeep car at Langbiang mountain and 02 ways of the boat at Tuyen Lam lake.
– VAT and other taxes
Tour price exclusive:
– Dinners, lunches except as specified above.
– Equipments for bird watching.
– Drinks, bonus and personal expenses.
– Camera fees (if any)