Cat Tien & Da Lat

Category
Short birding tours
Destinations
Cat Tien national park - Da Lat plateau
Duration
7 days (optional for 6-10 days)
Hotel
3-4 stars
Price
592-1,800 $US

Cat Tien National Park and Da Lat Plateau are the best birding sites in Vietnam. The itinerary suggested below is the best way to search for endemic species in the south; however it can be modified to fit your group or personal interests and for specific target birds if they are desired. If you have more time available, an additional night's stay in Di Linh and an extra night in Cat Tien will add several additional bird species. The trip also can be done in reversed order if that is desired. Please contact us for further trip options.

This trip has a number of target species, as noted below:

Cat Tien: Orange-necked Partridge, Germain's Peacock Pheasant, Siamese Fireback, Green Peafowl, Wreathed Hornbill, Lesser Adjutant, Woolly-necked Stork, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pittas, Pale-headed and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers, Black-and-red, Banded, Dusky Broadbill, Blyth's Frogmouth, Grey-faced Tit Babbler.

Dat Lat: Bar-backed Partridge, Silver Pheasant, Red-vented Barbet, Black-browed Barbet, Red-headed Trogon, Long-tailed Broadbill, Wedge-tailed Green Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Black Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Jerdon's Baza, Rusty-naped Pitta, Blue Pitta, Burmese Shrike, Indochinese Green Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Slender-billed Oriole, Maroon Oriole, White-throated Rock Thrush, Green Cochoa, Rufous-browed Flycatcher, Blue-and-White Flycatcher, Mugimaki Flycatcher, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Little Pied Flycatcher, Large Niltava, Lesser Shortwing, White-tailed Robin, Spotted Forktail, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-crowned Tit, Grey-bellied Tesia, White-spectacled Warbler, Chestnut-crowned Warbler, Black-hooded Laughingthrush, White-cheeked Laughingthrush, Orange-breasted Laughingthrush, Collared Laughingthrush, White-browed Scimitar Babbler, Streaked Wren Babbler, Eyebrowed Wren Babbler, Pygmy Wren Babbler, Rufous-capped Babbler, Vietnamese Cutia, Chestnut-fronted Shrike-Babbler, Blue-winged Minla, Black-crowned Fulvetta, Indochinese Fulvetta, Grey-crowned Crocias, Rufous-backed Sibia, Black-headed Sibia, Black-headed Parrotbill, Mrs Gould's Sunbird, Streaked Spiderhunter, Vietnamese Greenfinch, Red Crossbill.

Itinerary

Day 1. (L, D) Ho Chi Minh city to Cat Tien

Airport pickup in Sai Gon in the early morning, then a 3.5-hour drive to Cat Tien National Park. This morning we will drive northwards from Sai Gon to Cat Tien National Park, where we begin our exploration of this fabulous reserve during the afternoon.

Day 2. (B, L, D) Cat Tien National Park

This day, we will use jeeps to visit Crocodile Lake, where we have a long list of target birds such as Germain's Peacock Pheasant, Siamese Fireback, Green Peafowl, Wreathed Hornbill, Lesser Adjutant, Woolly-necked Stork, Blue-rumped and Bar-bellied Pittas and many other widespread species such as Doves, Bulbuls, Purple Swamphen, White-breasted Waterhen, Kingfishers, etc.

Later in the afternoon we will bird around the park headquarters for Grey-faced Tit Babbler, Woodpeckers, Green Pigeons and Nighjars.

Day 3. (B, L, D) Cat Tien National Park

We will have a  morning jeep ride to Heaven Rapids to find Pale-headed and Black-and-buff Woodpeckers, and Black-and-red, Banded and Dusky broadbills.

In the afternoon, we either can walk or use the jeep to visit grassland habitat for seeing Indochinese Green Peafowl and lots of other widespread species

Day 4. (B, L, D) Cat Tien to Da Lat

After early morning birding at Cat Tien, we will drive northwards through heavily-cultivated lowlands before climbing up onto the Lang Bian Plateau and visiting the charming town of Da Lat. We will make several stops along the way at any patch of interesting-looking habitat, including some very attractive waterfalls. The hill resort of Da Lat, perhaps the most attractive large town in Vietnam, is located at 4,900 feet (1,500 meters) in a temperate region dotted with lakes and waterfalls and surrounded by evergreen forests, including various native pine woodlands.

Overnight at one of the following hotels: Hoang Anh Dat Xanh resort; Ngoc Lan hotel; Da Lat Du Parc hotel or similar (3 nights).

Days 5 & 6. (B, L, D) Da Lat Plateau Endemic Bird Area

Two full days exploring Da Lat plateau. The first of our visits is Ta Nung, a small private evergreen forest that is the most accessible site for the rare and endemic species Grey-crowned Crocias. Other sought-after endemic species may also be found here: Orange-breasted and Black-hooded Laughingthrushes, Vietnamese Cutia and the Vietnamese Greenfinch. On the second day we will visit Langbian Mountain, a high peak at 2,169 m (7,100 feet) asl. This forest supports one of Vietnam's most sought-after species, the beautiful and skulking endemic Collared Laughingthrush. The Black-crowned Fulvetta (recently split from Rufous-winged Fulvetta) is the common endemic among our other target species: Wintering Mugimaki Flycatcher, Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Yellow-cheeked Tit, Grey-crowned Tit (Black-throated Tit) and Vietnamese Cutia.

Day 7. (B, L) Da Lat to Ho Chi Minh city

The third visit of our Da Lat Plateau tour is Tuyen Lam Lake. This morning we will look for Yellow-billed Nuthatch, Burmese Shrike, Slender-billed Oriole, Indochinese Cuckooshrike, Vietnamese Cutia and Red Crossbill. Later this morning we will drive back to Sai Gon, where the tour ends.

Number of species usually seen on this trip: If we do hardcore birding, it we expect to see about 200 bird species.

Price:

Group size 1 2 3 4 5 6-10
$US/pax 1,800 1,340 1,180 1,130 1,100 1,070

Single supplement: $180

Included: Bird guide, travel by private car, lunch and entrance fees. Also provided: birding spotting scope, bird ID manual

More infomation:

- Da Lat birding sites

- Cat Tien National Park