Our top picks for 2016 for your family
We have met very few who do not actually like the wild. An encounter with a wild animal is special. It is thrilling. It is beautiful. It is inspiring. It is energizing. For the inquisitive young one or the curious parent, it can be a very interesting experience.
Part of the entire experience is the suspense of it all. A monument could be seen at any time of the day. But an animal will only appear if it wants to and if you are lucky. This little factor makes the experience much more exciting.
Here are our top picks for 2016. With a plethora of diverse species with variant behaviors, the list should not be limited to this.
Turtles are cute and goofy and have a perpetual smile on their face. This alone makes these river and sea scavengers adorable. On both the Eastern and Western Coasts, you can see thousands of turtles hatching and making their way to the ocean. On the Eastern Coast, this happens in April while the event happens in February on the Western Coast. If you’d like to learn more about these adorable creatures and release them yourselves, travel with us in May to one of the cleanest rivers of the country.
Black Necked Cranes
The Kingdom of Bhutan is known for all things good. From Gross National Happiness comes a sense of harmony with nature. One result of this is that 70% of Bhutan’s area is covered by forests.
Another result is the Black Necked Crane Festival. Every year, just before the migratory black-necked Cranes arrive at Bhutan, a festival is held in the Phobjika valley to welcome then. Dancers don crane costumes and various rituals are held.
So the little ones do not only see cranes, but also a grand theatrical display! Try it out along with the Chomolhari Trek.
Tigers, Sloth Bears and Leopards
India has long been known as the land of the tigers. With such a grand population, who can but complain about this. Trying to spot a tiger though is difficult. It requires luck and patience and involves more than a fare share of disappointment.
Join us then as we go tracking them. We will look for pugmarks, scat, understand their behavior, set up camera traps, and a lot more on the tiger trail. In the process, we will also look for leopards and sloth bears. It will be the thrill of a lifetime!
Whale watching in Sri Lanka
With hot and cold currents mixing to create a very nutritious water for the whales, Sri Lanka is one of the best destinations to take your family out to see these magnificent mammals.
From Blue Whales, to Sperm Whales, to Spinner Dolphins, if you have not been awed by your journey to Sri Lanka yet, you will definitely be charmed now.
One Horned Rhinoceroses and Hoolock Gibbons in Assam
India’s only apes, the Hoolock Gibbons are as amazing to look at as they are in their behavior. The unique Hoolock sounds that they make to call out to each other are a treat to listen to while you wak through the forests near Kaziranga NP.
Combine this with guaranteed sightings of the One-Horned Rhinoceros along with possible sightings of the river dolphin and other amazing Indo-Malayan animals.
The flight of the falcon
In what is possibly the largest migration of raptors in history, the Amur Falcon flies from Siberia to Nagaland and then onward to South Africa after end-September. The total distance travelled is 22,000km and accomplished over the span of a few months, which involves travelling over the Arabian Sea non-stop for more than 3 days at a stretch.
For 10 days in the year, these birds of prey congregate in Nagaland and it is a sight to see the million birds on every treetop and wire possible. The Amur Falcon is also a great conservation story where they were hunted for food but are now protected by the local community.
Tracking the Snow Leopard
For a while, seeing the grey ghost has been a dream of many a wildlife enthusiast – young and old. Secretive and quiet, the cat has been difficult to spot since not much is known about its terrain. Moreover, its coat acts as a great camouflage against rocks or snow.
But with one family now setting camp in the Hemis National Park in winter, the cat is easier to spot and there have also been reports of the Snow Leopard being sighted hunting. It is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The King Cobra
A lot of what we know of snakes is wrong. As adults, we are afraid and skeptical of these shy reptiles since our knowledge of them stems from hearsay and superstition. Let our children not follow the same path.
Let them discover for themselves how snakes – specially the King Cobra – are magnificent and beautiful creatures that are master architects and great parents.
The Birds of India
India plays host to more than 1000 species of endemic and migratory birds. Being a land of stories, the stories of these birds are quite inspiring. For instance, the bar headed goose is a great example that travels over Mt. Everest to spend winters in the wetlands of the country.
Even without stories, birds like the Asian Paradise Flycatcher are beautiful birds that you can just gaze at the whole day. Carry a field guide and see your child’s eye sparkle every time he or she discovers a new species.
The Okavango Delta is not the only region known for its great Elephant Migration. Summers bring scores of these gentle giants to the backwaters of the Kabini River. Attracted not by water but the fresh grass that grow near it, the elephants are a treat for everyone. Nowhere, would you see elephants numbering sometimes up to 1,800 at one place. It is definitely a must if elephants are some of your favorite animals.