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Malabar Trogon © Kit Day

India: South

The Western Ghats (with Andaman Islands and Forest Owlet extensions)

A 10-day small group birding tour focusing on the impressive number of regional specialities of tropical hill forests and plateau grasslands in the southern portion of the scenic Western Ghats.

Our tour is a thorough exploration of the southern part of the Western Ghats, the range of low mountains running parallel to the west coast of the Indian peninsular, with particular emphasis on finding the species endemic or near-endemic to this global biodiversity 'hotspot' in some of India's premier birding destinations. Swathed in tropical forest and capped by unique stunted 'Shola' forests that form sky-islands amid plateau grassland, these hills are home to no less than 30 endemic or near-endemic birds.  Visiting a series of sites at varying elevation along a 350km stretch of the ghats, we'll look for Black and Orange and Nilgiri Flycatchers, Nilgiri, Palani and Wynaad Laughingthrushes, Nilgiri Thrush, Nilgiri and White-bellied Sholakilis, White-bellied Treepie, Malabar Trogon and Broad-tailed Grassbird, with the prospect of night birds such as Ceylon Bay-Owl and Ceylon Frogmouth. We visit in early spring, when temperatures are moderate at all elevations and when our target endemics and more widespread south Indian birds are accompanied by winter migrants. We'll also no doubt encounter a selection of interesting mammals, including the endemic Nilgiri Langur and Nilgiri Tahr.

Our post-tour extension visits the remote Andaman and Nicobar archipelago. Home to a further 30 endemics we'll focus on the 21 available on the easily accessible island of South Andaman in coastal rainforests and mangroves of this tropical island idyll, including the imaginatively-named Andaman Crake, Andaman Teal, Andaman Cuckoo-dove and Andaman Hawk-owl

Sunday 7 January - Tuesday 16 January 2024 (Forest Owlet pre-tour extension from Friday 5 January)

with Leio De Souza

Sunday 12 January - Tuesday 21 January 2025 (Forest Owlet pre-tour extension from Friday 10 January)

with Leio De Souza

2024: INR 200000 / $ 2435 / £ 1880 / € 2170 (Kochi/Bangalore)

Duration: 9 nights/10 days

Group size: min. 6 / max. 8 with 1 leader

Single room supplement: INR 37000 / $ 450 / £ 350 / € 400

Deposit: INR 40000 / $ 485 / £ 375 / € 435 (20% of the tour price)

Post-tour extension / Linked tour (South India: Endemics of the Andaman Islands):

This tour can be combined with our tour of South India: Endemics of the Andaman Islands to create a comprehensive tour that covers all Western Ghats endemics together with all accessible Andaman & Nicobar endemics. Discount applicable when purchasing both tours. These tours can also be joined to Sri Lanka: Endemic Birds and Mammals.

Pre-tour extension (Forest Owlet):

2024: INR 48000 / $580 / £450 / €520 (Mumbai/Mumbai)

Duration: 2 nights/2 days (total 11 nights/12 days)

Group size: min. 6 / max. 8 with 1 leader

Single room supplement: INR 13000 / $155 / £120 / €140


The tour is priced in Indian Rupees (INR). Amounts shown in other currencies are indicative.

The tour price includes:

  • Accommodation

  • All meals and drinking water

  • Ground transportation

  • Services of a guide throughout

  • All birding and wildlife activities

  • Reserve entry fees

  • Tour info, pre-travel notes and checklists

Estimated flight costs: $ 900 / £ 700 / € 800 (to Kochi/from Bangalore)

Estimated visa costs: $ 25 / £ 20 / € 25*

*Estimated visa costs shown here are for a 30-day e-visa for India.

More information on what's included

Read about our small group surcharges

more Indian / tropical Asian bird tours...

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