Flying Colours of the Northeast - Bird Photography Tour
Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh

Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh
5 to 13 March 2016
Bookings Closed: Please note that bookings for this Tour have been closed. Please get in touch with us if you have questions.


  • An exotic birding experience in one of India's most pristine natural habitats
  • An exciting time pursuing several birds you may have never seen or even heard of
  • A profound insight into technical and artistic aspects of bird photography
  • Extensive assistance in photographing birds in challenging conditions
  • A wealth of learning through interactive sessions in a fun and informal environment
  • Highly useful and practical tips and tricks to help you photograph like a pro

This is a Toehold Special

In the thick of a prosaic urban grind, does your heart beat for something a little different? Do you dream of breaking the sedentary mould to take a hike in the land of high hills, low clouds and 'flying colours'? Where the woods are pristine, free of noise and full of wildlife, would you like to embrace nature and photograph avian exotics? Now you can.

The place is Eaglenest, the opportunity is this Photo Tour, and the time to book your place is now.

How is it?

With steep ridges, lazy streams and vibrant waterfalls, the historic Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in the Eastern Himalaya is India's own Shangri La. Located in West Kameng district in Arunachal Pradesh and covering an area of 218 km2, the variation in its altitudes is extreme and spawns a mind-boggling richness and diversity of avian life.

At every altitude range, starting from the lowest at 500 m to the highest at over 3000 m, different types of birds thrive, so birding in Eaglenest is akin to visiting a multi-storey exhibition where each floor sports different attractions.

Managed by the Bugun tribe, Eaglenest is a shining paradigm of community-supported ecotourism. And this is strikingly evident in the habitat and the wildlife that thrive in the sylvan forests around Lama (2350 m), Eaglenest Pass (2800 m), Sunderview (2465 m), Bompu (1940 m), Sessni (1250 m) and Khellong (750 m), where even the occasional vehicular noise is absent, pristine nature rules the roost and the bliss of peace reigns supreme.

What you will see and photograph:

Amid dense forests and utopian vistas lies Eaglenest's prime draw - birds - some skulking, some bold; some colourful and some drab; but most perky and restless and found nowhere else in the country.

13 types of cuckoo and as many species of laughingthrush, over two dozen types of babbler and eight varieties of woodpecker also await your discovery, while with cooperation from nature's elements and a little help from your Toehold Skipper, more than 24 types of warbler, five species of sunbird and a flamboyant array of flycatchers can make their way into your memory card.

Eaglenest is a limitless treasure-chest, and very soon you may find your checklist growing faster than you came to expect. While chestnut-crowned warbler and streak-throated barwing have it in them to take your breath away, bagging images of a fulvetta or a yuhina could rob you of a night's sleep.

It wouldn't be baseless either to say that the green-tailed sunbird is omnipresent. And while the beautiful sibia lives up to its name and golden-breasted fulvettas redefine the term 'vividness' once and for all, as many as three types of minla, along with inmates like the bay woodpecker and chestnut-crowned laughingthrush, vie to regale your aesthetic sense.

Further afield, an almightily glorious rufous-fronted tit can cause you to erupt uncontrollably in elation, while a Himalayan cutia is likely to be a subject of your unbridled admiration.

Surface scratched, the inhabitants under the tip of the iceberg betray themselves and you realize that these flying attractions are not just pretty critters but match their looks with substance. Mixed hunting-flocks press themselves into action as insect activity propagates. Led ably by a fulvetta or a parrotbill, they join forces to bring varied kinds of prey to the dinner table.

Near Eaglenest Pass, where magnolia and rhododendrons adorn the scenery, good sightings of the green-backed tit are usually just a sniff away. Rubbing shoulders with them, the Mrs Gould's sunbird has been witnessed to have a flair to pose exceptionally well to any lens that may be wielded at it.

Further ahead a spotted nutcracker and crimson-breasted woodpecker may crystallize themselves in your memory by attracting you with their strident calls.

Elsewhere, fortune may favour the brave, but here in the hills, fortune usually favours the hard-working. Perseverance and wakeful senses can yield sightings of the streak-breasted scimitar babbler, and it's worthwhile to try tracking the chestnut-headed tesia and the pygmy wren-babbler.

Most of all, a single glimpse of the coveted Ward's trogon can give you as much gratification as a lifetime achievement award and free you of all the trekking fatigue in an instant.

And thus you see that if you enjoy courting birds around bushes and striking 'lifers' out from a list, this Tour was conceived for you. And, while you're at it, if making images of these avian sirens gives you a bigger kick than a cognac, you will raise a toast to the winged treasures of Eaglenest.



At Toehold, we are passionate about photography just as you are, which lets us understand your travails and needs perfectly. And we use this insight to specially design our Photography Tours so they give you a toehold to excel at the art and set you up for success.

The Toehold team at your disposal will keep you tuned and geared, so you come in empty-handed but go out with bagful of images and tales of an experience that is better lived than heard.

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Photography enthusiasts who were a part of a similar Tour previously said:

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    Please note: The Tour starts at lunchtime on 5 March at Guwahati Airport, and ends at the same place on the evening of 13 March. Transfers between Guwahati and Eaglenest are included.

  •   DAY 1    5 March 2016, Saturday: Guwahati to Tezpur; Overnight in Tezpur

    Participants arrive at Guwahati from their respective locations by afternoon. We then drive to Tezpur and camp for the night.
  •   DAY 2    6 March, Sunday: Arrival at and Overnight in Lama Camp

    We depart Tezpur in the morning after breakfast. Our quest for feathered exhibits takes us to the famous Lama Camp, around which spotting leaf birds, blue-throated barbets and lesser yellownape has been known to be relatively easy. We reach Lama late in the afternoon and go on a birding walk looking for beauties such as the Bhutan laughingthrush and the beautiful sibia, before camping overnight with colourful dreams of the treats that lie ahead.
  •   DAY 3    7 March, Monday: All-day Birding and Overnight in Lama

    After probably being woken up by the calls of a hill partridge, we spend the whole day birding around Lama, trying particularly zealously to give the Bugun liocichla some eye. While we're at it, black-faced warbler, green-tailed sunbird and green-backed tit can break cover. Other treats may include bullfinches and the magnificent streak-throated scimitar babbler. After hopefully a fruitful inaugural day, we put our feet up at Lama.
  •   DAY 4    8 March, Tuesday: Birding near Lama and Overnight in Bompu Camp

    Commencing our mission early, we look for more birds in Lama. As we drift to Bompu via the Eaglenest Pass - the highest motorable pass in Eaglenest - we seek the spotted laughingthrush, brown parrotbill, spotted nutcracker and rufous-vented yuhina. sightings of red pandas around this place have been reported as well. Reaching Bompu in the evening, we soak in the splendid forest scenes, sounds and smells, and hibernate for the night here.
  •   DAYS 5 and 6    9 and 10 March, Wednesday and Thursday: Birding around and Overnight in Bompu

    For the next two days we start early and walk around Bompu finding all the birds we can, which may include the golden babbler, purple cochoa, red-tailed minla and slender-billed scimitar babbler. On one of the two days, we descend to the lower altitude forests of Sessni, where we pursue the rufous-necked hornbill, coral-billed scimitar babbler and rufous-headed parrotbill, while small niltava, collared owlet, beautiful nuthatch, maroon oriole and long-tailed broadbill can satiate the thirsty. Fortune allowing, mammals may include the yellow-throated marten, the hoary-bellied Himalayan squirrel and the Malayan giant squirrel. Busy enjoying all this ecological richness, a total of two days will be spent in the hallowed environs of the Bompu Camp.
  •   DAY 7    11 March, Friday: Return to and Overnight in Lama

    On our way back to Lama, we seek the coveted Ward's trogon, apart from the chestnut-headed tesia, black-faced laughingthrush and blue-fronted redstart, while scarlet finches, black eagles and Eurasian sparrowhawks may mark their attendance too. In the evening, we check in to Lama and camp overnight.
  •   DAY 8    12 March, Saturday: Checkout and Overnight in Tezpur

    We enjoy some birding in the morning at Lama and check-out on time to reach Tezpur by evening. We halt at Tezpur for the night.
  •   DAY 9    13 March, Sunday: Dispersal and Return

    Having opened our eyes and exposed our sensors to the many new and beautiful birds of the Eastern Himalayas, we depart for Guwahati, whence we return to our homes with the species lists we carried from home now marred by myriad strikes.
INR 59,400/-
Inclusive of taxes
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
INR 1,16,800/-
Inclusive of taxes
Per Couple on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons
INR 57,900/-
Inclusive of taxes
Per Person on Twin Share Accommodation
Toehold Patrons: Customers who have participated in at least three previous Toehold Photo Tours

Foreign Nationals: Please contact us for a quote or please fill out the form here.

  • Twin-sharing accommodation in comfortable rooms in Tezpur unless single occupancy purchased at extra cost
  • Twin-sharing accommodation in tents at Eaglenest unless single occupancy purchased at extra cost
  • All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and hot beverages (coffee and tea) for Tour duration
  • Transfers from Guwahati to Eaglenest via Tezpur and back
  • Dedicated vehicle (Sumo/Tavera) throughout the trip for every three participants
  • All applicable taxes
  • All local fees
  • All Airfare and transfer expenses
  • Any kind of personal expenses or optional tours, extra meals and beverages ordered
  • Insurance and laundry
  • Camera fees if any (participants will be advised of the estimated fees in advance)
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Anything that is not included in the Inclusions list (see above)

Payment Terms
  • INR 10,000 booking amount (non-refundable)

  • 50% latest by 5 January 2016

  • 100% latest by 1 February 2016
Cancellation Fees
  • 10% on or before 13 January 2016
  • 25% between 14 and 20 January 2016
  • 50% between 21 and 27 January 2016
  • 75% between 28 January and 4 February 2016
  • 100% on or after 5 February 2016

Please note: The date of written (email) communciation of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Participants who have a medical history of blood pressure, heart-related problems or asthma are advised to seek medical advice before enrolling for this Tour.
  2. Fitness to complete the Tour is the only criterion for participation.
  3. Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. shall not be responsible for injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveller in connection with terrorist activities, social or labour unrest, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel partner's control.
  4. All clients travelling with Toehold Travel & Photography Pvt Ltd. must complete and sign a reservation form and the "Release of Liability, Assumption of Risk & Arbitration Agreement" form.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who should participate in this Tour? Are there any eligibility criteria?

    Anybody interested in birds, wildlife and/or photography and is above the age of 18 (unless accompanied by an adult) can participate in this Tour. There are no eligibility criteria.
  • I am a newbie in nature photography. Am I eligible?

    Absolutely! This Tour is meant for fledgling as well as experienced photographers. Beginners get all the advantages of learning on and off the field from Toehold's eminent Skippers. In fact if you are a newbie, you should jump on this terrific learning opportunity and sign up right away!
  • I am not into photography at all. Do you suggest I participate?

    Most certainly! Although the Tour has been optimized for photography, non-photographers are equally welcome as the Tour offers a wealth of bird-watching opportunities and natural history learning.
  • How is the boarding and lodging on the Tour?

    Due to the remoteness of the region, accommodation and other facilities will be basic but comfortable, and meals simple but tasty.
  • By what mode will photography be done on this Tour?

    While we will use motorized transport to get to the birding sites, most or all of the photography will be done on foot. Therefore, a minimum requisite level of fitness is required.
  • How sure are you about photographing birds on this Tour?

    Considering the meticulous attention to timing we pay while scheduling Tours and the local expertise we leverage, we believe that it would be extremely unfortunate if our sightings and photography were unsatisfactory. However, since we will be in an uncontrolled environment, we do not claim that sightings of specific species are guaranteed.
  • How different are your Photo Tours from ordinary tours?

    Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday from a remote destination to places they sometimes haven't experienced themselves, Photo Tours offer a comprehensive toehold to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. The common ingredients in all our Tours are fun and a lot of learning and knowledge sharing. Besides, most or all of our Tour participants are photography enthusiasts, which keeps the group in harmony and helps make your experience focussed.
  • What equipment do you suggest on this Tour?

    Considering the nature of the subjects and shooting conditions expected on this Tour, a telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 400mm is considered necessary, with longer focal lengths being welcome. A tripod, or at least a monopod, is strongly recommended and a wide-angle lens is a welcome addition to photograph the scenic splendour of Eaglenest.
  • What do I do if I do not have the requisite equipment?

    If you do not have appropriate equipment, there is no need to fret. Toehold offers an exhaustive array of cameras and lenses for hire, so you can always hire what you need. Click here to see what we offer. What's better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired for our Photo Tours!

© - All Text, Photographs, Videos and Narrations are properties of Toehold Travel & Photography Private Limited.


Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh


  • Date : 5 to 13 March 2016

  • Tour Cost:
    Indian Individuals
    INR 59,400/-
    Per person inclusive of taxes

    Indian Couples
    INR 1,18,800/- 1,16,800/-
    Per couple inclusive of taxes

    Toehold Patrons
    INR 57,900/-
    Per person inclusive of taxes

    All fares excluding flights

  • Skipper: Sachin Rai


Did you know? Photography enthusiasts joining this Tour and every other Toehold Photography Tour are eligible for a nett discount of 10% on all equipment rentals. Talk to us to avail of this offer!


We accept all major credit and debit cards.


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