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Bustard Birding Tours – Vietnam Birding trip March 2017

Day 1: Arrive Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh City to Cat Tien National Park

Arrive at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport and transfer by road to Cat Tien National Park, 150 km to the north. Cat Tien National Park contains the largest remaining area of lowland tropical forest in southern Vietnam and an incredible diversity of birds and mammals. Endangered birds found at Cat Tien include Germain’s Peacock-pheasant, Green Peafowl and the very elusive Orange-necked Partridge while the mammal list includes Leopard Cat, Lesser Mousedeer, Sambar, Gaur and two endangered primates, Black-shanked Douc Langur and Buff-cheeked Gibbon. Overnight at Cat Tien National Park HQ.

 

Days 2, 3 & 4: Cat Tien National Park

Three days of birding at Cat Tien National Park. There are excellent trails starting right at the park headquarters and for areas further afield such as Crocodile Lake jeeps are used. The 5 km walk through semi-evergreen forest to Crocodile Lake can be good for the near-endemic Germain’s Peacock-pheasant and Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied pittas while the beautiful Siamese Fireback can often be seen on an early morning drive to the start of the Crocodile Lake trail. Among the many other avian treats to be found at Cat Tien are Woolly-necked Stork, Lesser Adjutant, White-bellied, Great Slaty, Pale-headed, Black-and-buff and Heart-spotted woodpeckers, three species of broadbill and the Indochinese-endemic Grey-faced Tit-Babbler. Overnight at Cat Tien National Park HQ.

Day 5: Cat Tien National Park to Di Linh

There is time for early morning birding at Cat Tien National Park before heading to Di Linh. A short drive from Di Linh town a forested mountain pass known as Deo Suoi Lanh is an excellent site to look for several Dalat Plateau specialities including Black-hooded, White-cheeked and Orange-breasted laughingthrushes and the near-endemic Black-crowned Parrotbill. After an afternoon’s birding at Deo Suoi Lanh return to Di Linh for the night. Overnight at Mai Khanh Hotel, Di Linh.

 

Day 6: Di Linh to Dalat

An early morning visit to Deo Suoi Lanh to look for other exciting possibilities that could include Blue Pitta, Indochinese Green Magpie, Spotted Forktail and Green Cochoa, before continuing along Highway 20 to the cooler climes of Dalat. In the afternoon make the first of several visits to the Ta Nung Valley, a small but bird-filled area of remnant evergreen forest 10 km from Dalat. This is the most accessible site for two rare Vietnamese endemics, Grey-crowned Crocias and Orange-breasted Laughingthrush. In addition to these two beauties, the very distinct local subspecies of Blue-winged Siva, Black-headed Sibia and Black-throated Sunbird can found here. Overnight at Dreams Hotel, Dalat.                      

 

Days 7, 8 & 9: Dalat 

There are several other excellent birding sites around Dalat. At Mount Lang Bian, a 2,169 m high peak 20 minutes from Dalat, Hume’s Treecreeper, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Grey-crowned Tit, Vietnamese Cutia and Black-crowned Fulvetta are found in the remaining evergreen forest below the summit. The most sought-after species here however is the beautiful and skulking endemic Collared Laughingthrush. Ho Tuyen Lam, a man-made lake just out of town, is a great place to look for some of the local pine specialists including Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Slender-billed Oriole, Burmese Shrike, Red Crossbill and Vietnamese Greenfinch. Overnight at Dreams Hotel, Dalat.

                               

Day 10: Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City

A final morning of birding around Dalat before transferring to the airport for the short afternoon flight back to Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport. 

 

Tour prices

All prices are per person in US Dollars and are based on twin-share accommodation.

 

4 pax: 3,150 USD per pax

5 pax: 2,800 USD per pax

6 pax: 2,475 USD per pax

7 pax: 2,375 USD per pax

8 pax: 2,150 USD per pax

 

Single supplement: 205 USD

 

Optional extras

Pre- or post-tour accommodation in Ho Chi Minh City at Bong Sen Annex Hotel: 70 USD per room per night

 

Tour inclusions

Services of Bustards and local birding guide throughout, transportation in air-conditioned private tour bus, arrival & departure transfers, domestic flight from Dalat to Ho Chi Minh City, accommodation with breakfast, meals (dinner Day 1 to lunch Day 10), mineral water, entrance fees, permits, jeep and boat hire at birding sites, FOC arrangements for one Bustard Birding leader in a single room including meals

 

Tour exclusions

International flights to and from Vietnam, Vietnam visa, personal insurance, drinks (other than mineral water), tips and personal expenses.