Wild & Ancient Himalaya: Nepal & Bhutan

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Exploring Nature & Culture in Two Historic Mountain Kingdoms
Geographically diverse Nepal holds the world's highest mountains and lowland jungle plains. Safaris in the Terai reveal its captivating wildlife as we search for rhinos, sloth bears and leopards roaming the subtropical forests. In neighboring Bhutan, quality of life is measured in terms of Gross National Happiness, not merely material measures. Though Bhutan is a tiny country, it is a global conservation leader, proud to be not only carbon-neutral, but carbon-negative. The “Land of the Thunder Dragon” remains dedicated to preserving its deep Buddhist traditions and pristine landscapes. Visitor presence is still light, and a journey among its serene monasteries, Himalayan peaks, glacial rivers and peaceable villages reveals Bhutan's singular beauty. Combine an adventure in these two ancient kingdoms for a nature sojourn that will move your spirit.
Tiger
Tiger's Nest, Taktsang Monastery, Paro, Bhutan.
Narayani River, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Narayani River, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Nat Hab guests, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Eric Rock
Nat Hab guests, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Asian elephants, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Asian elephants, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
White-throated kingfisher, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
White-throated kingfisher, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Boudhanath Stupa, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Sloth bear, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Sloth bear, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Paro, Bhutan.
Paro, Bhutan.
Bhutan takin, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Bhutan takin, Thimphu, Bhutan.
Kyichu Lhakhang, Paro, Bhutan.
Eric Rock
Kyichu Lhakhang, Paro, Bhutan.
Hanuman langurs, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Hanuman langurs, Chitwan National Park, Nepal.
Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan.
Punakha Dzong, Punakha, Bhutan.

Trip Highlights

A Diverse Experience of Contrasting Natural Realms

On this insider’s discovery of two neighboring countries, find a distinctive focus on nature, scenery, wildlife and varied ecosystems, from tropical lowlands to subalpine heights

Jungle Wildlife Safaris in Chitwan National Park

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chitwan, home to Asian elephants, one-horned rhinoceros, sloth bear, spotted deer, golden jackal, profuse birdlife and more

Encounters with Ancient Cultural Heritage

Visit the temples of the Kathmandu Valley, and hike to Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan's famous “Tiger’s Nest” temple perched half a mile up on a sheer mountain cliff

Nepal & Bhutan Photo Expeditions

Capture the diverse beauty of Bhutan and Nepal with the quiet advantages of a small group—just nine photographer guests, guided by our professional photo Expedition Leader and expert local guides. In this context, you'll have a distinct leg up for capturing photogenic wildlife and finding authentic encounters with traditional cultures. You'll travel with like-minded photographers with patience to wait for optimal light conditions, and you'll benefit from personalized photography instruction in the field.
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A Two-Country Combo with A Unique Itinerary

Most trips to the Himalayas tend to be somewhat singularly focused: you'll spend most of your time exploring museums and monasteries, or you'll sign on for a taxing trek between high-altitude camps. What about an alternative for the traveler who's fascinated by both nature and culture, who values a genuine immersion in nature but also appreciates creature comforts? We think we have created your ideal adventure:

  1. A Unique Nature-Intensive Focus
    Our itinerary combines highlights of two countries and offers an unusual combination of nature and culture rarely presented together. We search for native wildlife, such as Asian elephant and rhinos, in Nepal and cross alpine passes in Bhutan—and we also experience each country's Buddhist and Hindu heritage expressed in rich architectural and religious sites. 
  2. Spend Three Days Tracking Wildlife in the Jungles of Nepal
    Nepal is known for its Himalayan heights, but its lowlands—called the Terai—are where its most abundant wildlife resides. We stay at a secluded luxury ecolodge near Chitwan National Park, Nepal’s premier wildlife reserve, and the lodge boasts high sightings of one-horned rhinoceros, crocodile and gharial. We may also see wild Asian elephant, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, crocodile, sambar deer and monkeys—and, if we’re extremely lucky, the elusive Bengal tiger. 
  3. A Diverse Itinerary Filled with Varied Activities
    This unusual trip includes an engaging mix of activities: wildlife drives, guided nature walks and canoe rides, plus cultural experiences in Kathmandu and Bhutan. Bhutan is known for its dramatic landscapes and serene Buddhist culture, and we'll have ample opportunity to experience both as we visit temples adorned with fluttering prayer flags and its architecturally unique dzongs (massive fortified monasteries). If you’re the kind of traveler who finds everything interesting, this trip is for you!
  4. Enjoy Outstanding Birdwatching
    In addition to the varied mammals we may spot, Chitwan abounds in bird species—more than 500 are found in the vicinity of our lodge—and we’re sure to see plenty in Bhutan as well. Even casual birdwatchers will enjoy the avian elements of our adventure. Bring your binoculars!
  5. Visit Bhutan’s Motithang Takin Reserve
    While stunning mountainscapes and a rich Buddhist heritage are Bhutan’s greatest draws for most travelers, a visit to this wildlife reserve is also a highlight for those interested in Bhutan's native wildlife species. The takin, a large, shaggy ungulate related to the muskox, is Bhutan’s national animal, and we’ll enjoy close-up views at this sanctuary, as well as sightings of sambar and barking deer.
  6. A Small Group for More Meaningful Experiences
    Because we know that both wildlife and cultural encounters are best enjoyed in intimate settings, we travel with no more than 11 guests—ensuring quiet moments with wildlife and personal interaction with the people we will meet. 
  7. Travel with Outstanding Guides
    At Nat Hab, we’ve developed a global reputation for the world’s best guides, because we know guides are the key to making a good trip truly great. In Bhutan, our own Expedition Leader is paired with an outstanding local Bhutanese guide, ensuring the ideal complement of trip management expertise, attentive personal service and insider insight. And in Nepal's Chitwan National Park, we are joined by expert local naturalists from our jungle lodge who are highly adept wildlife spotters. Our highly trained Expedition Leader oversees your trip from start to finish, while our knowledgeable local guides add in-depth understanding of local culture and wildlife. Our Expedition Leaders average 15 years of guiding experience—read our Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  8. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Himalayan Adventure
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, which clearly states that we will meet the high expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise for yourself!
  9. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  10. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF’s Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our small-group nature adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world’s leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat Adventures its worldwide travel partner—a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

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