Excluding international flights
Best place in Asia to photograph Red Pandas
6 full days of trekking in key areas for Red Panda
Exclusive homestay for Wildlife Trails group
UK tour leader Allan Blanchard
Red Panda wildlife holiday
Our Red Panda wildlife holiday is meticously designed to maximise your time in the field for observation and photography. Using superb local trackers and guides in a similar fashion to the gorilla trekking guides in Africa, we first locate the Red Panda’s, transmit that information back to our private group in the homestay and then sensitively approach them to enjoy an intimate and productive wildlife viewing session in the company of these amazing mammals. Most of the Red Panda trekking on this India wildlife holiday will take place on the India/Nepal border in Singalila National Park.
The ingenious assortment of cool climate, generous precipitation and the right mix of warmth and humidity throughout the year have shaped the unique eco-system of Singalila National Park in the northern most reaches of Darjeeling district of West Bengal and the adjacent forest in Ilam, Nepal. The wide range of vegetation ranging from subtropical forests and temperate coniferous forests which exists in the altitude range 2000 to 3500 meters has made the Singalila National Park a prominent biodiversity hotspot. This sub-temperate Himalayan broadleaf ecosystem is home to wide array of elusive Himalayan wildlife such as Red Panda, Asiatic Black Bear, Clouded leopard, Common Leopard, Melanistic Leopard, Leopard Cat, Himalayan Sherow, Himalayan Musk deer, Melanistic Barking deer, Himalayan Brow Goral, Yellow-throated Marten, Himalayan Palm Civet, Bhutan Giant Flying Squirrel and many more.
Best time to visit -APR
Safari Style -Small Group Photographer
Arrive in Kolkata and transfer to the Lalit Great Eastern
On arrival into Kolkata international airport you will be met and transferred 30 minutes right into the heart of the vibrant and colourful city of Kolkata where you will stay at our favourite historic hotel, the Lalit Great Eastern
Full day to explore Kolkata at your own pace
Wildlife Trails are regular visitors to the North East of India and we always stay at the Lalit Great Eastern because it is right in the heart of the city. Depending on your interests, we can organise historical rickshaw/walking tours, foodie tours or early morning visits to amazing local flower and food markets (costs not included).
Fly from Kolkata to Badogra
Today is a travel day, as we transfer you to Kolkata airport for the flight to Badogra. Here you will be met by our specialist Red Panda trekking crew who will do the meet and greet and transfer you to the Courtyard Marriot hotel in Siliguri for your overnight accommodation.
Acclimitisation day with drive to Darjeeling
We will start our journey to Darjeeling (75km/3 hours drive), a lively heritage town located at the northern most top of West Bengal. As we climb up Darjeeling, we will gain an altitude of approximately 2000 metres by the end of the car journey, hence we will stay at Mayfair hotel in Darjeeling to get acclimatised to the altitude and climate
Transfer to Homestay and first day in the field
After the breakfast we will finally start our journey towards the Red Panda Kingdom, Singalila National Park. After reaching the park gate we need to transfer our baggage to 4×4 vehicle. It will take an hour to reach our camp from the entry gate to reach our camp at Tumling, It’s a village at Indo-Nepal border. Our homestay is run by local villagers.They ensure a pleasant stay and great food. We will take a quick break to freshen up and afterwards we enroute to the national park and join our tracking team. We will spend the rest of day on field
Daily routine for Red Panda tracking
Everyday we start our field activity after breakfast and spend the day on field. We will focus on photographing birds and mammals around. Our team has fifteen well trained Red Panda trackers who will communicate with us once there’s a sighting of Red Panda. Every guest will be accompanied by a support staff/porter who will help to carry camera gears and accessories. Vehicles are used to minimise time and distance. Although we need to hike into the Himalayan forests as the Red Pandas prefer to live in dense bamboo forest. During our wait for the Panda , we will spend some time at a hide to photograph some perfect images of resident himalayan birds ( nearly 18-20 different species of birds visit to our hide regularly). Also, the Yellow-throated Marten is a regular guest at our hide.
Four more full days tracking Red Pandas
Because we have such a large number of trackers who we are providing local employement for, we will receive news back from various locations in the Singalila National Park. In addition, weather conditions can easily change at altitude so we will work with our expert guides and plan our trekking in a calculated way. This type of trekking does require a medium level of fitness, even with the porters on hand to carry bags and the use of 4X4 vehicles where approriate to reach the nearest trails from where we can most easily reach the Red Pandas. You can ring and speak to Allan about the trip and get feedback about what will be involved and if it is suitable for you.
Final morning tracking and road transfer to Siliguri
We will spend the first half of the day on field in search of the Red Panda for the last time. After our time on field we will head back to our homestay, pack our baggage and transgfer by road to the Courtyard Marriot hotel in Siliguri where we will overnight in relative luxury.
Fly Badogra to Kolkata and connect with onward flight
This is the final day of your Red Panda wildlife safari but that does not mean it needs to be the end of your time in India. Wildlife Trails can easily add a private extension to the nearby Kaziranga national park for the chance to see Indian Rhino, Wild Elephants, Tigers and India’s only Gibbon species, the Hoolock Gibbon. Or alternatively you could take a train to central India, for tigers, sloth bears and Indian wild dogs (Dhole).
Pricing Info & Dates
- All activities and transfers as shown
- Two internal flights
- All meals at the Red Panda Homestay
- UK tour leader throughout the safari
- Cost of international flights
- Lunches and dinners at city hotels
- Tips for hotel staff, porters and guides
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