Bhutan is as individual as a country can be; it is a land of boundless and beautiful forests. If the natural history of this small mountain kingdom is as yet little known, we do know that its unspoiled forests and valleys hold the best of the great variety of flowers and birds for which the eastern Himalaya is famous. This holiday focuses on Bhutan’s fabulous flora with most time spending on a nine-day trek below the great peak of Jhomolhari. To enjoy seeing the best of Bhutan’s flora, one has to schedule the trip coinciding with the beginning of the monsoon, the peak flowering season for temperate and alpine Himalayan plants. Otherwise, if you come in spring there will be particularly the flowering rhododendrons, magnolias, and other spring flowers and shrubs. Our chosen itinerary (and trek) is ideal for botanists because it covers as much ground as possible, ranges in altitude from 200 to 5000 meters, and takes us to a wide variety of habitats, particularly the alpine meadows.
After a flight from Delhi to Bagdogra or even after having a short trip to Darjeeling and Sikkim, you can come to the border to take a long but scenic day’s drive northwards to Paro, into the heart of Bhutan and the starting point of our trek. We have two days to explore this beautiful valley - botanizing or preparing for the rigors of the trek with day hikes. Our trek lasts for nine days including two days of rest to explore the best of the alpine meadows for more plants, a day each at the Jhomolhari Base Camp and at Lingshi. It is quite strenuous, averaging seventeen to eighteen kilometers a day with two passes to cross which are almost about 5000 meters but it’s so rewarding to the naturalist that our pace should drop to that of a snail! Our schedule is sufficiently relaxed to allow diversions and excursions to look at the area’s nature in more detail.
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Nestling in the eastern Himalaya, the kingdom of Bhutan is a land locked country with an approximate area of 47000 square kilometers. Its unique location along with altitude and climatic variations attribute to the tremendous diversity of flora/fauna to be found within its boundaries. Within its physical and biological diversities and with over 70% forest cover, Bhutan has some of the best remaining representative samples of the unique Himalayan eco- system. The vegetation varies Read More »