Arrival Point: Kochi (COK), India
Departure Point: Kochi (COK)/Thiruvananthapuram (TRV)
Destinations Covered: Kochi–Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary–Munnar–Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary–Kumarakom–Alappuzha–Kovalam–Thiruvananthapuram.
Highlights: Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Day Birding, Night Birding, River Kayaking, Cycling through Villages, Wildlife Safari, Wildlife Sanctuaries, low land & Highland trekking, Bamboo River Rafting, Tea, Coffee & Spices Plantations, Houseboat Cruise, Kovalam Beach, Suchindram Temple, Wooden Palaces of Padmanabhapuram, Suchindram Temple, Kanyakumari & Triveni Sangam.
Duration: 14 nights & 15 days
Day 1, 2 & 3: Thattekkad (43 K.ms from Kochi airport, 70 minutes drive)
On arrival at Kochi Airport/R.Station you will be transferred to Hornbill camp of Dr.Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary for check in. The camp here is perfectly blend into the forest, so you can enjoy your own private jungle and the spectacular view of the river Periyar. Along its banks, birds flock in their thousands and the cool ambience is the ultimate prize for the birder. This bird Sanctuary is a home to over 340 species of birds, including all the endemics. The river here is ideal for kayaking. Staying at the camp one can indulge in a biking adventure through the spice plantations, forest tracts and quaint villages around the camp. Afternoon, birding with our naturalist at ‘Kalapara’ and Night birding at ‘Charupara’. Some of the interesting birds at Kalapara are Mottled Wood Owl, Black Headed Cuckoo Shrike, Chestnut shouldered Petronia, Changeable Hawak Eagle, Gray breasted Prinia, yellow billed Babbler, Streak throated Wood pecker, Brown capped Pigmy Wood Pecker, Small Green Bee eater, Common Hawak Cuckoo, etc Interesting birds at “Charupara: Great eared night jar, oriented scopes owl, Jerdens night jar, Jungle Owlets, Collared scopes owl & more. Overnight stay at Hornbill camp.
Day 2: Morning birding tour, the sanctuary was notified in 1983 based on a recommendation made by Dr. Salim Ali (eminent Indian ornithologist). He described Thattekkad in the 1930’s as the richest bird habitat in peninsular India, comparable only with the eastern Himalayas. Some of the interesting birds are Malabar grey Hornbill, Malabar parakeet, white bellied tree pie, Drongo cuckoo, Indian pita, Grey headed bulbul, Sree Lankan frog mouth, Malabar Trogon, Black napped Oriole, Greater flame back wood pecker, black rumpled flame back wood pecker, Heart spotted wood pecker, Blue faced Malkoha, Malabar whistling Thrush, Asian ferry blue bird, Whit bellied blue fly Cather, Asian brown fly Cather, Brown breasted fly catcher, Verditer fly Cather, Blue throated fly Cather, Tickles blue fly Cather , Asian paradise flycatcher, Oriental honey buzzard, Crested serpent eagle, etc
After breakfast enjoy the Cycling through the villages to get a feel for life in Gods own country. Afternoon Birding is at Edamalyar. Interesting Species: House swift, lesser fish Eagle, Black capped kingfisher, Blue capped rock thrush, Dusky creak Martin, Blue bearded Bee-eater, emerald dove, Rufous babbler, Forest wagtail, Crimson fronted barbet, etc. Overnight at Hornbill camp
Day 3: Morning birding is at Urulamthanni with our naturalist. Interesting species are Wayanad laughing thrush, Dark fronted babbler, white bellied wood pecker, spot bellied eagle owl, oriental bay owl, crested goshawk, mountain imperial pigeon, green imperial pigeon, scarlet miniwet, White bellied blue fly Cather, Black napped Monarch, Grey headed bulbul, brown fish owl, brown cheeked fulveta, Indian Scimitar babbler, etc, In the afternoon, you can do a low land trekking near Bhoththankettu dam with our guide. Evening is for kayaking in the periayar River with guide. Overnight at Hornbill camp
Day 4, 5 & 6: Munnar (65 K.ms from Hornbill Camp,1800 meters above sea level)
After breakfast and 1 ¾ hours’ drive you reach Munnar, check in at Anaerangal camp. The camp is on a cliff overlooking a lake. Rooms were just like that in Hornbill camp. The phantom head, Anaerangal Lake, the tents, the view and the climate makes it a paradise on earth. The camp is in close proximity to the Papathy shola (The Butterfly Forest) known for mass migration of butterflies in October and November. The large Gazebo with its inbuilt fireplace for campfires and comfortable camp chairs is the favourite meeting place to swap stories or spend a quiet day reading or just relaxing.
First birding is in the afternoon at ‘Kannimala’. Interesting birds are Black and orange fly catcher, grey busted laughing thrush, Nilgiri laughing thrush, Nilgiri fly Cather, white bellied short wing, grey headed cannery fly Cather, Indian black bird, Blue caped rock thrush, Indian pita, long tailed shrike, pied bush chat, Malabar whistling thrush, Indian blue robin, grey wagtail, Paddy field pipit, etc Overnight at Anaerangal camp.
Day 5: After breakfast proceed to Anaerangal Lake for a soft trek with our guide. The Route covers pine forests, natural streams and finally the scenic Anaerangal Lake. This place is good for bird watching too. here you may find birds like Asian paradise fly Cather, Breasted Laughing thrush, Nilgiri Fly Cather, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Nilgiri Laughing thrush, grey headed canary fly catcher, Eurasian Black bird, paddy field pippet, Common rose fingh, Yellow Throated Bulbul, Indian Robin, etc. Afternoon Birding is at Chinnacanal, which is only 10 minutes from the camp. The camp also provides cycling to this place. Birds are: Grey breasted Laughing thrush, Black and orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri wood pigeon, Common Flame back wood pecker, Oriental white eye, Black Bulbul, Small sunbird, Yellow browed Bulbul, etc were the interesting birds for us here. Overnight at Anaerangal camp
Day 6: Morning birding was at Pappothy shola. This place is also known for the mass migration of butterflies in October and November. After Birding & breakfast proceed to Munnar for Sightseeing. Overnight at Anaerangal camp
Day 7 & 8: Periyar Wildlife Park (1000-1900 Meters above sea level)
After Breakfast a scenic drive of 90 K.ms to Thekkady. On arrival check into hotel, refresh yourself & relax. Periyar India ‘s largest wildlife sanctuary is a dream destination which spread over an area of 777 Sq.Kms, surrounded by an artificial lake over an area of 25 Sq.Kms Thekkady, with its bountiful treasures of tropical flora and fauna is the ultimate reservoir of many an endangered species and a rich tribal culture. Thekkady is a pleasant heaven on earth for those who love nature in its wild manifestations. Overnight stay at hotel.
Day 8: Bamboo rafting, A dawn to dusk range hiking and rafting programme through some of the richest forest tracts of Periyar Tiger Reserve with lunch. Starting at 8 am from the boat landing, a mosaic of habitats will be covered before you get into rafts made of bamboos. A thrilling three hours is guaranteed for you while rafting, keep your eyes and ears open to take in some of the beautiful visuals and captivating sounds. Butterflies with fascinating wing patterns, flowers with dazzling hues, wild animals like elephants, bison, gaur, sambar… all are here by the banks to welcome you. Rafting team will be accompanied by an armed guard & 4 guides. Evening back to the hotel & relax.
Day 9 & 10: Kumarakom for wetland & dryland birding–(120 K.ms from Periyar)
After breakfast, drive to Kumarakom, the backwater village with Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary (also known as Vembanad Bird Sanctuary) with our guide. Set in the Kerala Backwaters the bird sanctuary is an ornithologist’s paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like Siberian cranes, Parrots, Teal Larks, Fly Catchers, Wood beetle and other birds are seen here during their respective migratory seasons. Overnight stay at Kumarakom.
Kumarakom & Birding:
The Vembanad Backwater (Kayal) is the largest of the series of coastal wetlands seen in Kerala. Except the central portion, most of the water body of Vembanad lake has been converted in to paddy fields, coconut groves and human habitats over the last century. Kumarakom village is a part of this vast backwater labyrinth extending over an area of over 794 sq kms. Six major rivers originating in the Western Ghats flows into it. The rivers branch out to numerous delta, forming several island of ecological significance especially to bird life. The species recorded so far includes great Cormorants, Open billed storks, Grey Herons, Yellow Bitterns, White Ibis, Cotton Teal, Pheasant tailed Jacanas, Koras, Blackcaped Kingfishers, Ruddy Crakes, Gull Billed Terns, Shikra etc..
The main birding areas at Kumarakom include the the KTDC complex (unofficially called the Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary), previously called as Baker estate, to honour the Englishman developed this into a sanctuary for birds early in the last century. It harbours large populations of breeding darters, Purple Herons, Little cormorants, Indian Shag and Pond Heron. Areas like Kaipuzha Muttu, Pathiramanal, the Paddy Fields around Kumarakom, Narakathara, Thollayiram Kayal, Poothapandi Kalyal, and Palluruthy Roost are also excellent locations for bird watchers. The ten most abundant species recorded in Kumarakon region are the Lesser Whistling teal, Little Cormorants, Whiskered Terns, Pond Herons, Intermediate Egrets, Indian Shag, Cattle Egrets, Purple Heron, Little Egret, and the Cotton Teal.
Day 11: Alappuzha for Houseboat Cruise–After Breakfast, drive to Alappuzha & check in to the houseboat for an enchanting cruise. It’s a cruise of 22 hours including overnight stay by enjoying narrow canals, Duck farming, Coir making, Toddy tapping, backwater village life ! You pass Kuttanadu, the rice bowl of Kerala, here the paddy fields are below the sea level, the boat will be anchored evening at 6:00 pm. All meals are served on board.
Day 12, 13 & 14: Kovalam Beach
After breakfast disembark from houseboat & drive towards Kovalam the internationally renowned Shallow beaches of Kerala, south India to wind up.
Kovalam is an internationally renowned beach village with three adjacent crescent shaped beaches. A massive rocky promontory on the beach has created a beautiful bay of calm waters ideal for Swimming, Surfing & other activities. The leisure options at this beach are plenty and diverse, water sports. Sunbathing, swimming, herbal body toning massages, and catamaran cruising are some of them. Life on the beach begins late in the day and carries on well into midnight.
Day 13: Day tour to Land End of India (Kanyakumari)
After a traditional Kerala breakfast head to Kanyakumari (80 Km, 2 hours drive). Visit Padmanabhapuram wooden palace (Monday closed), Suchindram temple, Devi Kanyakumari Temple, Vivekananda rock, Gandhidham and Triveni Sangam (confluence of 3 oceans–Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal & Arabian Sea). This town is at the southernmost tip of India and is specially popular for its spectacular and unique sunrise and sunset, thanks to its being nearly surrounded by ocean waters (Bay of Bangal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean). On a pleasant, full-moon evenings, one can see the moon-rise and sunset at the same time. The nature of the sand on the beaches of Kanyakumari is unique as it is multicoloured. Drive back to Kovalam after sunset.
Day 14: Free at Leisure
After the breakfast, you have many options in front. You may chose to take a sunbath on the beach, go for a swim on the beach or do absolutely nothing! If adventure is what you like, go for water sports like wind surfing or go for a speed boat ride on sea or enjoy a fishing trip.
Day 15: Departure transfer
- Hotel Accommodations with Breakfast,
- 22 hours Houseboat cruise with all Meals (traditional Kerala),
- Guided Birding, River Kayaking & River Rafting,
- Guided trekking & campfire,
- Intercity transfers and Sightseeing by A/c car.
- All land & Water Tours as per the Itinerary,
- Airport/R.Station Pickup & Drop,
- And all taxes and service charges.
Price as per Request