Vietnam Birding Tour
Category: Vietnam Special Tour
Duration: 21 days 20 nights
Itinerary: Ho Chi Minh – Cat Tien – Da Lat – Ban Me Thuot – Quang Nam – Hue – Quang Binh – Bach Ma – Thanh Hoa – Cuc Phuong – Ba Vi – Ha Noi
Day 1: Ho Chi Minh arrival (D)
Arrival in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), transfer to Majestic Hotel. If time permits a visit to the Cu Chi Tunnel, a renowned historic site some 50km from Ho Chi Minh City centre. Here is but part of the huge and complex underground tunnel system used by the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War.
Other option for who arrive one day earlier is visit Can Gio mangroves and mudflat for some interest targets such as “White-faced” Plover, Nordman Greenshank, other common shorebirds and a chance for Spoon-billed Sandpiper. Evening welcome dinner and briefing.
Overnight Ho Chi Minh City
Day 2: HCM – Cat Tien (B/L/D)
After an early start we will drive northwards towards the renowned Cat Tien National Park. We will stop en route to search for the rare endemic Orange-necked Partridge. Other endemic forms here includeIndochinese Green Magpie and our first (of several) chances for Bar-bellied and Blue-rumped Pittas. Onward to Cat Tien and our first exploration of this superb National Park in the afternoon.
Overnight at the Cat Tien National Park (3 nights)
Day 3 – 4: Cat Tien (B/L/D)
The premier National Park in South Vietnam, Cat Tien is located in Cochinchina in the Da Lat foothills and boasts an impressive mosaic of forest and seasonal wetlands which largely escaped the defoliants used in the Vietnam War. We will bird by jeep track and forest trails to seek out the endemic Germain’s Peackock-Pheasant, other spectacular birds such as Siamese Fireback, Green Peafowl and Scaly-breasted Partridge, endemic Pittas, the endemic Grey-faced Tit-Babbler and a host of other species also known fromMalaysia and Thailand. The park is host to several primate species with our main targets Buff-cheeked Gibbon and Black-shanked Douc Langur. Other mammals such as the huge Gaur, Sambur, Wild Boar and Pig-tailed Macaque are also possible.
Overnights Cat Tien National Park
Day 5: Cat Tien – Di Linh (B/L/D)
We leave Cat Tien for the relatively short drive to Di Linh. Certain birds can be easier to locate here at the Nui San Pass than in Da Lat including Blue and Rusty-naped Pittas, Spotted Forktail, White-cheeked, Black-hooded and Orange-breasted Laughing-Thrushes, Vietnamese Cutia and “Black-headed” Parrotbill, a probable split from the more widespread Grey-headed
Overnight Nhat Minh Hotel, Di Linh
Day 6: Di Linh – Da Lat (B/L/D)
After an early morning return to the Nui San pass (which will give us our first chance for the elusive Green Cochoa) we will drive up to the Langbian Plateau and the evocative hill resort of Da Lat. We will stop at any interesting patches of habitat en route and also see several attractive waterfalls. Da Lat is situated at a delightfully cool 1475 metres asl in a temperate region dotted with lakes and waterfalls and surrounded by forest including various native pine woodlands.
Overnight Hoang Anh Gia Lai Resort, Da Lat (3 nights)
Day 7 – 8: Da Lat (B/L/D)
We will explore the Da Lat Plateau including the 2169 metre Mt Langbian, cloaked with evergreen forest right up to its peak and accessed by a progressively steeper footpath. Our efforts should be rewarded however as this is the home of the spectacular endemic Collared Laughing-Thrush, as well as Yellow-billed Nuthatch and the Vietnamese forms of Cutia, Rufous-winged (Black-crowned) Fulvetta and Black-throated (Grey-crowned) Tit which are sure fire bets for splitting before too long. The elusive and handsome Green Cochoa is also here and should be vocal at this time of year and a number of other Asian and wintering birds will also be encountered. Nearer to Da Lat itself is Ta Nung Valley, famous for the relatively recently rediscovered Grey-crowned Crocias which is regularly encountered here. Other endemics such as Black-hooded and Orange-breasted Laughingthrushes and Vietnamese Greenfinch are also possible.
Overnight Hoang Anh Gia Lai Resort, Da Lat
Day 9: Da Lat – Ban me Thuot (B/L/D)
An early morning departure for Ban Me Thuot and a stop at Lak lake for some water birds and wintering warblers en route. Later on we reach Yok Don national park for 1 night stay at Ban Don Tourism area. Our main target here is Mekong Wagtail but other species such as Black-headed Woodpecker, Collared Falconet, Chestnut bellied Nuthatch are among the specialties.
Overnight Dakruco hotel
Day 10: Ban Me Thuot (B/L/D)
After our morning birding at Serepok river bank for Mekong Wagtail, we will head for the rarely visited Mang Canh Forest. This wilderness forest experience will allow us to link with a student studying the rare Grey-shanked Douc Langur, one of our prime mammal targets and where another fine range of Indochinese birds may be expected.
Overnight Hoa Sim hotel (2 nights)
Day 11: Ban Me Thuot (B/L/D)
Our main targets at Mang Canh are Grey-shanked Duoc Langur and Chestnut-eared Laughing-Thrushbut we will also be on the lookout for Black-hooded Laughingthrus, Pale-capped Pigeon, the endemic Ratchet-tailed Treepie and we have another chance for Yellow-billed Nuthatch.
Day 12: Kon Tum – Quang Nam (B/L/D)
In the morning, we will finalise our bird seen nearby Mang Den then we drive on to the Lox Xo pass which has reached recent birding fame as the site to see the endemic Black-crowned Barwing. Here, at the forest edge, we have a great chance of finding this recently described species and others to look for include Brown Hornbill,
Indochinese Wren-Babbler (formerly known as Short-tailed Scimitar-Babbler), White-winged Magpie, Red-tailed Laughingthrush and a another chance for Yellowbilled Nuthatch
Overnight Kham Duc Hotel (1 night)
Day 13: Quang Nam – Hue (B/L/D)
Our original destination of Bach Ma National Park has been complicated by the reconstruction of the road leading up to the higher levels. Happily most, if not all, the birds we could expect in the higher reaches ofBach Ma are also to be found at the LoXo Pass including Ratchet-tailed Treepie and a healthy population of Crested Argus
Pheasants. We will almost certainly hear this, almost mythical, creature but seeing one is another matter. We will spend most of the day exploring the virgin forests around the Lo Xo Pass before driving on to Hue in the afternoon.
Overnight Lang Co beach resort
Day 14: Hue – Bach Ma (B/L/D)
This morning we will access the mid ranges of Bach Ma where we will search in particular for the endemic but elusive Annam Partridge and have our best chance for Northern White-cheeked Gibbon. A good range of additional endemic and other species can be expected. We will then leave for a drive of about five hours north to Phong Nha National Park. Our route follows part of the Ho Chi Minh trail but now a modern highway and passes through some of Vietnam’s finest scenery. Phong Na itself is a spectacle of rivers and limestone bluffs and even the almost unknown Vietnamese Pheasant has been seen here. We can try and always hope!
Overnight Song Son hotel (2 nights)
Day 15: Hue – Quang Binh (B/L/D)
Two major targets will occupy our time in Phong Nha, the near endemic Sooty Babbler (also found in similar habitat in adjacent Laos). Here we also have further chances for a range of birds including Siamese Fireback, Red-collared Woodpecker, Brown Hornbill as well as the isolated form of Sulphur-breasted Warbler now split as “Limestone Warbler”
Day 16: Quang Binh – Thanh Hoa (B/L/D)
A pre-dawn search for two endangered primates - Black and Ha Tinh Leaf Monkeys as well as the beautiful Red-shanked Duoc langurbefore the drive north to Cuc Phong National Park, but we will cut our long driving by stay overnight at Thanh hoa city. Overnight Thanh Hoa hotel.
Day 17 – 18: Thanh Hoa – Cuc Phuong (B/L/D)
Early leaving for Cuc Phuong and stop en route at Van Long Nature Reserve, 30km from Cuc Phuong, we will take a sampan ride to some dramatic limestone cliffs that are one of the last haunts of the critically endangered Delacour’s Leaf-Monkey.Cuc Phuong is Vietnam’s oldest National Park and an area of lowland forest and lakes easily accessed by a paved road. It is rich in birdlife and we have our last chances here for both Pittas, Red-collared Woodpecker and White-winged Magpie as well as a supporting cast which includes Malayan Night-Heron, Pied Falconet, Eared Pitta, Silver-breasted Broadbill, White-tailed Flycatcher, Fujian Niltava and the annamensis form of Limestone Wren-Babbler.
Overnight at Cuc Phuong national park (2 nights)
Day 19: Cuc Phuong – Ba Vi (B/L/D)
Our final morning birding at Cuc Phuong, we drive to Ba Vi national park after having late-breakfast for the split (from White-necked) Rufous-cheeked LaughingThrush, Collared Treepie, another chance for Green Cochoa and others.
Day 20: Ba Vi – Ha Noi (B/L/D)
We will spend most of the day for searching Rufous-cheeked Laughingthrus but other common here are Red-billed Blue Magpie, Common Green Magpie are among our target.
Afternoon we will drive to Ha Noi to conclude the main tour. Stay overnight in Ha Noi
Day 21: Ha Noi departure (B)
Free for relax until the time transfer to airport for departure flight.
End of Services.
TOUR PRICE PACKGE (USD/Pax)
Tour prices include
Tour prices exclude
- Transfer and transportation on program with private vehicle.