After being isolated from the birding and travelling world for so long, Vietnam has become one of the key destinations on the world birding travel map. This mega tour takes in all the essential sites, giving us an excellent chance of locating all of Vietnams’ endemic and near endemic species.
Starting in Hanoi, we take in the best of Tam Dao, Ba Be, Cuc Phuong and Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Parks, targeting White-eared Night Heron, Coral-billed and Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Rufous-headed and Short-tailed Parrotbill, Collared Babbler, Limestone Leaf Warbler, White-tailed Flycatcher, Fujian Niltava, Red-collared Woodpecker, Austen’s Brown Hornbill and Limestone Wren-Babbler.
Heading further south we cover another large variety of unique habitats from the dry woodlands of Yok Don and the lush montane forests of Mang Den and Nha-Ke Bang National Park to the scrubby, secondary forest of Lo Xo Pass and the limestone woodland and forest of Bach Ma National Park. These birding hotspots afford us the chance of seeing some of Vietnam’s most seldom-encountered avian specialties that include near-mythical such as Chestnut-eared Laughingthrush, Black-crowned Barwing and Annam Partridge, as well as localized endemics and global rarities such as Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Short-tailed Scimitar Babbler, Red-tailed Laughingthrush, Pale-capped Pigeon, White-winged Magpie, Red-collared Woodpecker, Mekong Wagtail and Sooty Babbler.
A scenic drive from Yok Don will take us to Dalat, a former French hill station at the southern extreme of the Central Highlands. En route we will visit the famous Ta Nung Valley home to Grey-crowned Crocias, a species thought to have been extinct for over 50 years! From Dalat. we will make day trips to the nearby Mount Lang Bian and Ho Tuyen Lam for the striking, but skulky Collared Laughingthrush, Hume’s Treecreeper, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Grey-crowned Tit, Vietnamese Cutia, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Slender-billed Oriole, Burmese Shrike, Vietnamese Greenfinch and Black-crowned Fulvetta. Di Linh offer up some mouth-watering specialities including Black-hooded, White-cheeked and Orange-breasted Laughingthrush as well as the near-endemic Black-crowned Parrotbill.
We finish our tour in the magnificent lowland tropical forests of Cat Tien National Park. Numerous specialities, both avian and mammalian occur here, and we could find Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pitta, Germain’s Peacock-Pheasant, Green Peafowl, the elusive Orange-necked Partridge, Great Slaty Woodpecker, Lesser Adjutant and Grey-faced Tit-Babbler. Significant mammals could include Leopard Cat, Lesser Oriental Chevrotain, Gaur and three beautiful primates, Black-shanked Douc Langur, Silvered Lutung and Red-cheeked Gibbon.
Now that peace reigns over the once troubled land of Vietnams, we invite those with a taste for the exotic to explore this incredible country.