There are many reasons to visit the Himalayas. Some aspire to conquer it, while others seek salvation. But this Tour is for those who want to cherish the bounty of nature, take great photographs and simply enjoy themselves.
This Tour is for those who want to bond with the birds.
Having immense years of experience in the area, some of our expert photographers know the forest like they know their home town. For Birding lovers and enthusiasts we can offer a variety of Pangot and Sattal birding tour packages to travel and enjoy the avian wonders of the foothills of the Himalayas. Join us on one of our expert-photographer-guided Pangot and Sattal birding tours, or join a group tour with like-minded individuals as your fellow-travellers. If you prefer to travel on your own terms, in your style, we can offer you a package in any of the lovely stays around here keeping in mind the budget, taste, and style of travel that fits your needs.
There are three different ways to explore Pangot & Sattal. Depending on the kind of traveller you are, we welcome you to choose your preferred Pangot and Sattal birding tour package.
Pangot is a village in Nainital not far from the hill station at the foothills of the Kumaon forests made famous by Jim Corbett’s overtures and Ruskin Bond’s evocative tales. Small in size, this boudoir of tranquility and natural beauty is big on avian attraction, with over 500 species of birds flashing like beacons amidst the oak and pine trees on the rolling hills to their grounded compatriots who look up at and to them.
Nestled fragilely below lush orchards at a stately 1370m, Sattal is an unmolested oasis that stands in elegant defiance of the modern vices of reckless urbanization.
And composed, as the name betrays, of seven interconnected lakes amidst beautiful forests carpeting the pristine undulations, it is a hub of migratory bird activity that only the Himalayan highs can foster.
Together they are one of the Great Himalayas’ great birding locales that treat your eyes to exotic birds of many a colourful feather, while the idyllic environs mollycoddle your senses into adoring submission.
Tens of species of exotic birds.
Nainital is an area blessed with much ecological affluence, and its avian population, which is its crowning glory, will ensure that you get a lasting taste of it.
At Pangot prepare for a birding slugfest with the list of ringside attendees featuring the featherweight black-faced warbler and the spot-winged tit that cause quite a flutter; welterweights such as the red-billed blue magpie, Eurasian jay, black-headed jay, rufous sibia, streaked laughingthrush, crested kingfisher and collared owlet that dazzle you with their uncommon pulchritude; middleweights such as the cheer pheasant, koklass pheasant and khaleej pheasant that team up to make you wish you were a peasant settled in these parts; and heavyweights such as the steppe eagle, Himalayan griffon and lammergeier that reign heavy and supreme on your tenuous consciousness.
Meanwhile Sattal surprises you with the unity of its astonishing diversity. Plumbeous water redstarts get you off to a great start, red-billed leothrix, rusty-cheeked scimitar babbler and small and rufous-bellied niltava put you on an excitement red-alert while the trio of white-crested, white-throated and rufous-chinned laughingthrushes make you laugh out loud in joy.
Grey-hooded warblers, grey-headed woodpeckers, green-backed tits and blue-throated barbets add an explosion of colours, with reinforcement from the brown dipper. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, great barbets, blue-throated barbets and spotted forktails will make you realize that in the Great Himalayas, the action is always great and seldom finite.
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 Photo 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 focused.
Of course! Please talk to our capable Camera Rent team or mention what gear you’d like to hire while registering for the tour. Guess what? We offer you a 10% off on camera rent while on the tour.
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!
However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the Tour.
Please note: This Tour begins at Kathgodam on the morning of Day 1, and ends at Pangot on the morning of Day 5. Transport up to Kathgodam and back from Pangot are not included in the Tour cost but all requisite advice and assistance will be duly provided.
Participants travelling from various places, like Kathgodam railways station, Delhi airport , Pantnagar airport etc will be received and checked-in to the Incredible Birding Camp. Around lunch, the guests get to know one another better and receive an orientation from the skipper about the birds found in the region and what to expect over the coming days.
Post lunch, the participants will spend the afternoon at the in-house hide, scouting for owls or at the near-by Ashram’s hide; depending upon the best sighting status. They later enjoy the informative Chaaya Chitra session from the skipper and proceed to have a scrumptious dinner, before calling it a night!
Making an early start in the morning, the skipper will be conducting the morning session at the hide. After breakfast, the participants can either go to Chafi for a quick birding session or take rest, as they will have an early lunch and head to the in-house hide for the afternoon session. Our skipper’s considerable birding acumen and rich experience of birding in this area will prove invaluable in the participants’ quest to not merely add many an exotic species to their bird checklist, but also capture images of them in style.
In the evening, another enjoyable session, ChitraTantra, will enable the participants to incorporate improvements into their photography by having their pictures reviewed by the skipper, before they pamper their taste buds and retire.
The group starts the day at 6 am, eager to sight and photograph the avian wonders from the foothills of the Himalayas! After a drive for 5 minutes and a kilometres walk, they come across birding trails that are well-known for some of the endemic bird species of the Himalayas. After a brief session of birding, the group will be in search of some special birds like Tesia, Wren babbler, Green magpie and also search for some of the owl species in the area. Depending on the participants’ choice, they can either choose to have packed breakfast or have hot breakfast after returning.
On this day, an afternoon session can be conducted at Chafi or Pangot, based on the bird activity in the region. An evening session at one of the hides can be held otherwise. We gather for a third interactive session called Charchaaloka before we dine and call it a day!
If the group does not visit Pangot on this tour, the skipper might conduct 2 sessions at Chafi river and explore Kenchi river during the afternoon. If they are at Pangot, the morning session will be held there and the evening session will be held in Chafi.
On this day, the participants check out early in the morning. Having enjoyed a highly productive time in the bird paradise, we take a customary group picture before the group disperses.
We can arrange for a birding session for people wishing to stayback, during which, the participants can choose to visit any of the popular birding locations, missed during the scheduled tour.
One of the features of this Tour will be an invaluable opportunity to learn fieldcraft and understand bird behaviour – aspects that are critical to any bird photographer, and you can fully utilize this opportunity by picking the skipper’s brains or simply by observing him at work, to glean all the small and big things that make a difference!
Please note: Your Skipper may, at his discretion, amend the itinerary for the better, depending on prevailing circumstances. This will not affect your travel schedules, Tour duration or cost.
Please note: The date of written (email) communication of intent to cancel is the date considered for calculation of the cancellation fees.
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.
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! However, in order to make the most of the Tour photographically, we recommend that you be familiar with photography fundamentals. If you’re not, we suggest you join an Art and Science of Photography Workshop before the 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 Pangot and Sattal.
While we will use motorized transport to get to the birding sites, most or all of the photography will be done on foot. For this reason, at least a minimum fitness level is required.
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 Photo 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.
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.
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.
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. Visit our Rental Store to see what we offer. What’s better, you enjoy a 10% discount on all equipment hired on our Photo Tours!