Goa Birds & Curries - NEW!
AT A GLANCE
birds, excellent Indian food, photography.
Goa (India) - exploring the coastal strip and staying in a unique camp in the Western Ghats.
an excellent introduction to Indian birds, of many habitats, our main highlight may include Indian Pitta.
Hot to warm. Nights at the camp can be cool.
Ground travel by minibus, tourist class hotel and a comfortable year-round tented camp.
The former Portuguese enclave of Goa, running for some 65 miles alongside the Arabian Sea on the west coast of India, has rapidly established itself as one of the premier winter birding destinations for European birders. The reasons are not hard to find. The previous WildWings bird festivals have yielded a combined list of well over 300 species. For 2015 and beyond, we are now pleased to offer small group tours, including all the birding excursions and a stay at the famous camp in the Western Ghats! In a relatively small area, one can find a remarkable variety of habitats and an extraordinary selection of birds, with the tameness and approachability characteristic of the Indian Subcontinent. A large number of typical Indian species, with several southern Indian endemics, are joined by a whole range of much sought after Palearctic species that winter there.
With estuaries, mudflats, mangroves, and rivers, freshwater lakes and marshes, ricefields, lowland jungle and monsoon forest, there are almost endless habitats for rewarding exploration and birding. Guaranteed sun, a well-developed infrastructure and easy travel around by minibus, all contribute to one of the best value-for-money long haul birding holidays currently available. Based at the Beira Mar Hotel in Baga, away from the crowded beach and overlooking fields, ricefields and a small marsh, we enjoy real doorstep birding. Other habitats are within walking distance of the hotel whilst our included excursions provided by our local Indian guides, enable us to visit most of the choice locations up and down this sunny coast, and more of the huge variety of colourful birds. These will include spending three nights in the tented camp in the forests on the edge of the Western Ghats.
Goa makes a perfect gentle introduction to Indian birding, where you can relax and enjoy a Kingfisher beer whilst watching Greater Painted Snipe in glorious evening sunshine. With parakeets and lorikeets, owlets and swiftlets, bee-eaters and rollers, hornbills and barbets, orioles and drongos, mynahs and cuckoo-shrikes, bluebirds and leafbirds, bulbuls and babblers, frogmouths, whistling and ground thrushes, flowerpeckers and woodpeckers, weavers and munias, sunbirds and trogons, the list seems to be endless.
Included in our revised tour is three nights in a luxury tented camp in the forests on the edge of the Western Ghats, the highlight of the trip for most people. After an early start, we will drive to the forest and Backwoods Camp near the temple at Tamdi Surla. Here we spend three nights under canvas, birding mostly inside the forest (Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary). Key species: Malabar Trogon, Malabar Grey, Malabar Pied and Great Hornbills, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, White-rumped Shama, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Crimson-fronted Barbet, Little Spiderhunter, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Spangled Drongo and Grey-headed Bulbul. (Note we will be keeping our rooms at the hotel back in Baga, whilst away at the camp.)
Against a background of magnificent cathedrals, whitewashed churches, elegant houses and crumbling forts, all reflecting Goa's colonial past and Portuguese influence, one finds the more typical friendly people, busy roads and noisy villages of India. Close to our hotel is a variety of restaurants where good Indian food is just one of the many national cuisines available. This is a trip which offers something for everyone. We last visited in January 2010 and recorded 269 species including Indian Pitta, many people’s most sought-after bird and Goa’s first record of Baltic Gull. Goa offers the chance of a fantastic warm birding break, set in the depths of our winter, where would you rather be?
Depart London Gatwick on our evening flight for Panjim Airport, Goa
Arrive in early morning and transfer to Beira Mar Hotel, Baga - local birding on foot, in and around the hotel.
Birding the coastal strip in minibuses with our local guides, includes a river cruise.
Birding around Backwoods camp.
Two more days of birding the coastal strip.
Our last full day, at leisure or local birding on foot.
Depart Goa late morning to arrive back London Gatwick late afternoon
Please note: All itineraries are subject to weather, local conditions and final approval by the relevant authorities.
Dates: 24th January – 8th February 2015
Leaders: Dave Fell and local guides
£1799 / £1849 per person (2014/2015), sharing a twin room with en suite facilities, fridge and ceiling fan. Rooms with air-conditioning, and which overlook the Baga fields are available for a supplement of £100 per room, please request at the time of booking!
£95 - Single Supplement
£500 – Deposit per person
Group size: Will be between 6 & 10 plus the leader and local guides.
Price includes: economy class air travel on charter flights, all airport and departure taxes, transfers airport/hotel return, hotel accommodation with en suite facilities and breakfast for eleven nights, three nights at Backwoods Camp in comfortable tents with private facilities and all meals, services of WildWings tour leader and local guides, all birding excursions as described, WildWings pre-tour information pack and day-to-day bird checklist.
Price excludes: Travel insurance, Indian visa fees (approximately £92 per person), lunches & dinners in Baga (twelve days), sanctuary camera fees (if applicable), drinks, laundry, souvenirs and other items of a personal nature.
The number of species expected to be seen is approx 250+
Previous Goa trip reports available on our website or on request from us.
24th January – 8th February 2015