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BEST OF VIETNAM BIRDING TOUR

Tour Description

green-slate

VIETNAM
BIRDING TOUR
ANY TIME*

Duration:17 days, 16 nights
Group Size:2-6
Anytime Price:$4725
Group Price:$4125
Single Suppl:$650
Est #Species:275-325
Pace:Easy
Difficulty:Easy
* This tour is available for any dates of your choosing provided guide services and accommodations are available.

DAY 1 - HO CHI MINH CITY & CAT TIEN

After arrival transfer to Cat Tien National Park, about 3 hours drive on somewhat congested roads. Then birding near the park headquarters and accommodations, where Coppersmith Barbet, Lesser Yellownape, Red-breasted Parakeet, Common Woodshrike, Ashy Woodswallow, Common Iora, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Buff-breasted Babbler, Tickell's Blue Flycatcher, and Common Hill Myna are possible. The trees behind the park buildings harbor a local group of endangered Black-shanked Douc Langurs. Night in accomodations within the park near park entrance.

DAY 2 - CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK

Cat Tien National Park features a variety of habitats including primary and secondary lowland tropical forest, wetlands, lakes, and open grassland. The first day will focus on forest birds along the track leading to Crocodile Lake. The primary target birds are Scaly-breasted Partridge and Germain's Peacock-Pheasant. The former is especially secretive, while the latter is most easily seen when calling. Other key species Orange-breasted Trogon, Great Hornbill, Blue-eared Barbet, Blue-rumped Pitta, Bar-bellied Pitta, Ashy Minivet, Blyth's Paradise-Flycatcher, Black-headed Bulbul, Ochraceous Bulbul, Gray-faced Tit-Babbler, and Blue-winged Leafbird. A dozen woodpeckers are possible including Laced Woodpecker, Heart-spotted Woodpecker, and Great Slaty Woodpecker, and three broadbills are possible, namely Black-and-red Broadbill, Long-tailed Broadbill, and Silver-breasted Broadbill. Night at accommodations near park entrance.

DAY 3 - CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK

Early morning drive out to grasslands area where Green Peafowl commonly forage in the open. Bird along the jeep track looking for other species such as Red Junglefowl, Oriental Darter, Red-wattled Lapwing, Oriental Pratincole, Red-collared Dove, Barred Cuckoo-Dove, Lesser Coucal, White-throated Kingfisher, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Indian Roller, Black-and-buff Woodpecker, Collared Falconet, Thick-billed Flycatcher, and Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker. There's a good chance of seeing Woolly-necked Storks flying overhad and some chance of seeing the rare Lesser Adjutant. At dusk look for Great-eared Nightjar and Large-tailed Nightjar. Night at accommodations near park entrance.

DAY 4 - CAT TIEN NATIONAL PARK

This day will be devoted to looking for anything missed the previous two days. Some time in a bamboo forest area is the best place to look for Pale-headed Woodpecker, an elusive and somewhat difficult bamboo specialist. Night at accommodations near park entrance.

DAY 5 - CAT TIEN & DI LINH

Early morning birding at Cat Tien. Then transfer to Di Linh area, a fairly short drive away. The main birding site is the forested mountain pass known as Deo Suoi Lanh. It's an excellent site for several specialties of the Dalat highlands, notably White-crested Laughingthrush, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, and the near endemic Black-crowned Parrotbill. The first two laughingthrushes often travel in mixed flocks and are reliably seen. The Orange-breasted Laughingthrush is much more difficult. Groups sometimes spend days looking along the road for it without success, as it is quite secretive and hard to find. Our guide knows an out of the way locale not known to other guides where the bird is more possible. Other birds of the Di Linh area include Pin-tailed Pigeon, Silver-backed Needletail, Red-headed Trogon, Golden-throated Barbet, Indochinese Green-Magpie, Black-throated Tit, Gray-faced Tit-Babbler, Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler, and Spot-necked Babbler. It can also be good for raptors such as Black Eagle and Rufous-winged Buzzard. Night at Mai Khanh Hotel in Di Linh.

DAY 6 - DI LINH & DALAT

Morning back at Deo Suoi Lanh looking for species listed above. Mid-day transfer to Dalat, a tourist mecca with numerous western style hotels and restaurants. Afternoon birding Ta Tung Valley outside Dalat. This valley is mostly an open area down a gravel road adjacent to a local farm. The main target bird there is Gray-crowned Crocias, which is sometimes easily seen and sometimes quite challenging to find. Other interesting birds there include Green-billed Malkoha, Greater Coucal, Indochinese Barbet, Green-backed Tit, Chestnut-vented Nuthatch, Hill Prinia, Black-crowned Parrotbill, Black-headed Sibia, Rufous-backed Sibia, Asian Fairy-bluebird, Verditer Flycatcher, Blue-winged Leafbird, Black-throated Sunbird, and Vietnamese Greenfinch. Night at Dreams Hotel in Dalat.

DAY 7 - DALAT

Morning back at Ta Nung Valley. Afternoon birding higher elevation roadside near lake area of Hotuyen Lam. This site features birds such as Red-vented Barbet, Gray-capped Woodpecker, Sooty-headed Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Chestnut-capped Babbler, Mountain Fulvetta, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Gray Bushchat, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, and Gould's Sunbird. Night at Dreams Hotel.

DAY 8 - DALAT

Morning have the park ranger drive us up the mountain road on Lang Bien. Key target birds there are Black-throated Tit, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Hume's Treecreeper, Black-crowned Fulvetta, and Vietnamese Cutia. Other interesting possibilities include Mountain Hawk-Eagle, Hodgson's Hawk-Cuckoo, Dalat Shrike-Babbler, Clicking Shrike-Babbler, Bianchi's Warbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Collared Laughingthrush, and Orange-bellied Leafbird. Afternoon return to the lake area to look for birds missed the previous day. Night at Dreams Hotel.

DAY 9 - DALAT

Morning bird the other side of Hotuyen Lam where the habitat is somewhat different. Afternoon return to Ta Nung Valley to look for any birds missed earlier. Night at Dreams Hotel.

DAY 10 - YOK DON NATIONAL PARK

Depart after breakfast for the half day drive to Yok Don National Park, arriving by lunch. It's a scenic drive through the highlands. Yok Don is situated on the banks of the Srepok River near the Cambodia border and features dry dipterocarp forest. It's an especially good place for woodpeckers. The main target birds are Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Rufous-bellied Woodpecker, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, Alexandrine Parakeet, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Rufous Treepie, and Mekong Wagtail. Night at accommodations inside park near entrance.

DAY 11 - YOK DON & MANG DEN

Morning birding the dry forest at Yok Don looking for anything missed the previous day. Mid-day transfer to Mang Den in Kontum Province, stopping for lunch en route. Arrive late afternoon in time for some birding before dark. Night TBA in Mang Den.

DAY 12 - MANG DEN

All day birding Mang Den where the primary target bird is the recently discovered and seldom seen endemic Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush. Our guide has had very good success getting this species. Other target birds are Stripe-breasted Woodpecker and Black-hooded Laughingthrush. Other notable birds of the area are the scarce Pale-capped Pigeon, Brown Hornbill, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Rufous-faced Warbler, Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler, and Short-billed Scimitar-Babbler. Night at TBA in Mang Den.

DAY 13 - MANG DEN & LO XO PASS

Morning birding Mang Den to look for anything missed previous day. Depart mid morning for Lo Xo Pass. Late afternoon birding there, where primary target bird is Black-crowned Barwing, a species first described in 1996. Night at TBA in Kham Duc.

DAY 14 - LO XO PASS & BACH MA

Morning return to Lo Xo Pass hoping for additional specialties, namely White-winged Magpie and Red-tailed Laughingthrush. Mid-morning transfer to Bach Ma National Park. After check-in, late afternoon birding there. Night at accommodations in Bach Ma.

DAY 15 - BACH MA & PHONG NHA-KE BANG

Morning birding in Bach Ma National Park looking for the endemic Annam Partridge and the near endemic Short-tailed Scimitar-Babbler. Also possible are Brown Hornbill, Silver-breasted Broadbill, Blue-rumped Pitta, Bar-bellied Pitta, Indochinese Green-Magpie, and Black-browed Fulvetta. After lunch transfer to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, arriving by dark. Night at accommodations in the park.

DAY 16 - PHONG NHA-KE BANG NATIONAL PARK

All day birding limestone forest. Key target species include Brown Hornbill, Red-collared Woodpecker, Limestone Leaf Warbler, and Sooty Babbler. Also possible is Tonkin Partridge. There is a good chance of seeing the endangered Ha Tinh Langur as well. Night at accommodations in the park.

DAY 17 - PHONG NHA-KE BANG & TRANSFER

After breakfast transfer down Highway One to the Hue airport for flight back to Ho Chi Minh City. Tour ends at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City. International flight home, typically arriving same day due to time difference.

 

TOUR NOTES

Meals not included in tour price. Restaurants are very economical. Approx meal cost is about $10-12/day/person. Domestic flight Hue to Saigon included in tour price.

 

ADDITIONAL INFO
(Not on Menu Above)

BIRDING LOCALES

 

Black-crowned Parrotbill - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Gray-crowned Crocias - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Red-vented Barbet - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Black-headed Woodpecker - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Red-billed Scimitar-Babbler - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Black-hooded Laughingthrush - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours Limestone Wren-Babbler - © James F Wittenberger and Exotic Birding Tours