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Nepal April/May 2024 Langtang region (1 Viewer)

David Roche

Well-known member
Hi All

Just putting out feelers to see if anyone would be interested in potentially teaming up for a trip to Nepal, trekking the Langtang Valley in April/May next year? I have already booked my flights, out from London 19th April, returning from Kathmandu 12th May, but have since discovered that the Nepali government have brought in new regulations that now make it mandatory to be accompanied by a certified guide. If that's the case, and I'm no longer allowed to trek the route solo as I did in Nov 2017, the idea of another birding participant suddenly becomes quite an appealing prospect. As treks go, its not a particularly challenging one and anyone with a reasonable state of fitness should complete it without much difficulty.

For my first trip in 2014 I used the services of Unlimited Trekking Nepal, based in Pokhara and would happily use them again. Highlights from Langtang in Nov 2017 (trip report attached) included Tibetan Snowcock, Himalayan Monal, Long billed Thrush, Grandala, Yellow rumped Honeyguide, Chestnut headed Tesia, Fire tailed Myzornis and Great Parrotbill. Better chance of Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan and Ibisbill this time around plus summer migrant Flycatchers and Cuckoos.

Anyone interested or keen to find out more, just drop me a message. Its an incredible place...
David
 

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  • Langtang 2017.pdf
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I would love to, but can't make it in 2024.

You would want to change the year in the title of this thread :D
 
I would love such trip as I've spent half a year in Nepal (for work) seeing 300+ species but missing all the high altitude specials. Next spring, however, won't be possible. I would like to read how it went with the new guide rules after your trip.
 
That's a very helpful and concise report. Thanks a lot! I would have been happy to join you as a keen hiker and birder but I'm going to probably be there end of November/start Dec 2025. What kind of temperatures where are you dealing with?
 
Thanks for the report! I will be there end of Oct - end of Nov 2024. Heard the regulations depending a mandatory guide aren't really enforced... Did you went with a guide this spring?
 
Thanks for the report! I will be there end of Oct - end of Nov 2024. Heard the regulations depending a mandatory guide aren't really enforced... Did you went with a guide this spring?
I did this time around but, as you say, they are not really enforced. We met several people, traveling both solo and in small groups, who were clearly doing it by themselves and without guides. I never got the impression that this was a problem. My guide never questioned anyone who we passed, nor did the staff at the military check point, searching luggage (something they do for all visitors, entering the Langtang National Park) for a family who were travelling on the same bus as us, also without a guide.

A friend of a friend, who had been out there a few weeks before me said that "no one cared" if you had a guide with you or not. Unless anything changes between now and October, I can't see that you will have any issues, doing it solo.

Cheers
David
 
That's a very helpful and concise report. Thanks a lot! I would have been happy to join you as a keen hiker and birder but I'm going to probably be there end of November/start Dec 2025. What kind of temperatures where are you dealing with?
Temperature was a pretty consistent 30 degrees or just under whilst in Kathmandu. Similar trekking conditions to before (lightweight trousers, t shirt and thin top layer) but didn't feel quite as cold at night in Langtang or higher
 
Temperature was a pretty consistent 30 degrees or just under whilst in Kathmandu. Similar trekking conditions to before (lightweight trousers, t shirt and thin top layer) but didn't feel quite as cold at night in Langtang or higher
Just noticed I misunderstood the dates. I guess you are referring to your spring trip? I meant what were the typical temperatures when you went in November-December? Many thx!
 
Just noticed I misunderstood the dates. I guess you are referring to your spring trip? I meant what were the typical temperatures when you went in November-December? Many thx!
We did a trek over November, December and on several nights, my contact lens solution froze overnight, inside the room.

It wasn't extreme though, I don't think it got below -7/10c very often but the temp dives when the sun drops.

This was our trekking route

We walked between 2-300km in 25 days.

Day 1. Starting by taking a taxi to Besisahar and then a bus to Bulbule we then walked to our first overnight stop at Ngadi. 930m

Day 2. Ngadi to Ghermu 1100m

Day 3. Ghermu to Tal 1700m

Day 4. Tal to Chame 2670m

Day 5. Chame to Dhikur Pokhari 3060m

Day 6. Dhikur Pokhari to Braga. 3439m

Day 7. Braga to Manang 3540m Check the groups of Rock Pigeons around the village, these flocks very often contain a Hill Pigeon or two.

Day 8. Acclimatisation day at Manang during which we climbed up to c4000m for Himalayan Snowcock.

Day 9. Manang to Yak Kharka 4050m

Day 10. Yak Kharka to Thorong Phedi 4450m We had our Only Altai Accentors of the trip here, a group of c15 birds feeding in a small garden in front of our guesthouse. Alpine Accentor and Robin Accentor were also easily seen and are quite approachable and we also had the only Red-breasted Rosefinch of the trip, approachable to just a few metres.

Day 11. Thorong Phedi Pre dawn start up to 'High Camp' (there is the option to actually overnight here but we decided against it) 4833m. Drank tea until light before continuing up and over Thorong La pass 5416m and then the long descent to Muktinath 3760m. A long, hard day.

Day 12. Muktinath to Jomosom 2720m from here we took the bus to Tukuche 2590m. In many places they are now building roads which will undoubtedly impact on the trekking routes, not necessarily in a positive way. Since a new road they have built on this stretch makes for dusty, uncomfortable birding / trekking conditions, we decided to take the bus to Ghasa. What will potentially happen is that small lodges in villages on the traditional routes, will be abandoned as people look for alternative routes that take them away from the traffic and all the dust.

Day 13. Pre breakfast look for Ibis bill then Tukuche ( 'High Plains' guesthouse, you won't regret it!) to Ghasa 2010m

Day 14. Ghasa to Tatopani. 1190m

Day 15. Tatopani, rest day

Day 16. Tatopani, rest day

Day 17. Tatopani to Chitre 2390m. We stayed at Chitre Instead of making the journey all the way to Ghorepani, this allowed us to cover the short, very 'birdy' stretch between Chitre and Ghorepani at a leisurely birding pace the next morning whilst not being too tired to bird properly and it paid off with amongst others, excellent views of Plain-backed (Mountain) Thrush.

Day 18. Chitre to Ghorepani 2860m and bird local area. We had plenty of time to bird the local environs due to our previous decision to overnight in Chitre making this a short day. We were rewarded with Crimson-browed Finch (3), Red-headed Bullfinch (c6) and an amazing flock comprising c100 White-throated Laughingthrushes. An amazing sight from our dining hall was two Yellow-throated Martens which were foraging at the edge of the forest on the border of the garden, what a lovely animal.

Day 19. Birded Ghorepani ridge, took tea at Deorali tea rooms and returned via the ridge maximising our coverage of the area. This meant that including our departure day we covered the ridge three times. Disappointingly no Parrotbills at all but great views of a flock of c6 Spotted Laugingthrushs which came in to tape very well.

Day 20. Ghorepani to Tadopani 2630m. The view from our terrace here allowed scrutiny of the forest below and a flock of c20 White-collared Blackbirds in the tree tops was the highlight, surprisingly all males?

Day 21. Tadopani to Chomrong 2120m Again our dining hall window produced some nice birds with White-collared Blackbird, Grey-winged Blackbird and Cinnamon Sparrow among others.

Day 22. Chomrong to Dobhan 2600m This was the site of the 'quote of the trip', as I sat exhaustedly sipping hot tea in a plastic chair outside our guesthouse, Martin raised his 'bins' and uttered the immortal phrase 'Andy. (dramatic pause).....there's a cracking cabbage behind you'.........!? It was quite a big cabbage though.

Day 23. A.M Birded up to Himalaya Hotel 2920m, c1000 Grandala's seen and P.M birded down to 'Bamboo' at 2310m then back up for the night at Dobhan.

Day 24. Dobhan , re-traced out route via Chomrong to Jhinu Danda 1780

Day 25. Jhinu Danda via 'Bee-hive' to Birethanti where we took a taxi back to Pohara.
 
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