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Birding in Goa - November 2020


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Soukous

Further to the comments made by @madaboutcheetah above, I have requested an amended itinerary that excludes Bandipur, just so that we have some alternatives on the table.

 

This suggestion is based on 4 nights in Kabini and 3 nights in Fringe Ford.

Day 01: Arrive Bangalore and drive to Kabini. Rest of the day free to explore Kabini or Coracle Ride. Overnight at Kaav Safari Lodge 

Day 02: Morning and afternoon scheduled safari by shared Canter or Jeep (Seat in Vehicle basis).  Overnight at Kaav Safari Lodge 

Day 03: Morning and afternoon scheduled safari by shared Canter or Jeep (Seat in Vehicle basis).  Overnight at Kaav Safari Lodge 

Day 04: Morning and afternoon scheduled safari by shared Canter or Jeep (Seat in Vehicle basis).  Overnight at Kaav Safari Lodge 

Day 05: Drive to Finge Ford. Walks around the area. Overnight at Fringe Ford 

Day 06: Walks around the area. Overnight at Fringe Ford 

Day 07: Walks around the area. Overnight at Fringe Ford 

Day 08: Morning drive to the airport to board flight for onward destination

 

The pricing for the same will be as follows:

Price (nett) per person for 2 guests on Twin sharing:    GBP 1590

Price (nett) per person for 4 guests on Twin sharing:    GBP 1560

Price (nett) per person for 6 guests on Twin sharing:    GBP 1455

Single room supplement:                                                    GBP 720

 

(There is a small saving on transport costs but accommodation is a bit more costly.)

 

Inclusions: all activities and safaris mentioned above.

Transport services using AC Innova (3 PAX – per Innova)

Meals: All three meals included in Kabini & Fringe Ford.

Edited by Soukous
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🤣 haha! Sticking with me Cockney I’ll just say ‘dream on, sunshine’ 🤗 And looking forward to meeting you both!

In your dreams @xelas

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Soukous

see below

Edited by Soukous
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Soukous
59 minutes ago, kittykat23uk said:

I am following this with interest. I have still not got around to Goa although it was on my radar for a long time and I would very much like to visit Kabini to hopefully see the black leopard and dhole! 

 

It would be lovely if you are able to join us Jo

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Soukous

To whet your appetite

 

 

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Soukous

OK, this has been 'out there' for a couple of weeks now and it would be really good to know who, if anyone, is interested.

I need to be able to give the guide adequate notice to make sure we can book him before someone else does.

 

The proposed date for this trip is the first half of November 2020.

I appreciate that it will take a while to determine if we have enough interest to add on a second week to Nagarhole, but it would be good to get some numbers for the Goa birding bit.

 

So far I have myself and partner for both Goa and Nagarhole

@Dave Williams has expressed initial interest in the Goa birding but is unlikely to continue to Kabini/Nagarhole/Fringe Ford

A birding friend who travelled with me to Zimbabwe in May this year has also expressed interest in both weeks.

 

If all of those materialise we will have 3 birders and 2 non-birders.

 

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Dave Williams

If you can persuade me I might be open to Part 2 if there is something for a non birder thrown in the mix! I know nothing of those destinations.

 

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Soukous

Just to add to the information..

flight cost from Dabolim (Goa) to Bangalore (Bengaluru) is currently around GBP40. I have been advised to budget between GBP40-80 for next year, depending on availability.

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Galana

Just picked this up from your 'footnotes'.

I could be interested in Goa and the possible extension as I liked Nagarhole and Kabini on my last visit there.

I did not like sharing the gypsy but did get exclusive transport when not busy. When busy I would now not bother going out 'officially' rather than suffer rubbing knees with noisy non birding folks in the Tiger Grand Prix.

What to do next?

Please keep me in the loop. When I want to make God laugh I just tell Him my plans for next year.

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Galago

I'm still interested in this if it's a combi trip of Goa and Nagarhole etc. And really keen to be in vehicles that are not shared with random visitors! please keep me in the loop.

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Soukous

@Galana, @Galago, @Zarek Cockar, @Dave Williams, @janzin, @xelas, @kittykat23ukthanks for your interest.

 

My colleague is escorting a trip in Nagarhole this November and has found a way to ensure he gets exclusive jeeps. It adds a bit to the cost, but I think that we would all rather pay a bit extra than sit in what is basically a minibus with the sides ripped off.

 

So far we have not fixed dates; it is vaguely 'November 2020' - I think we do need to fix the dates so that I can at least get the guide booked and not lose him to someone else.

 

As a point of interest, later this year and early next year he is running some trips aimed at photographing all 8 species of Kingfisher found in the Goa region. I plan to ask him if he can incorporate those sites in our program as it would be pretty cool to get all 8 species in 1 trip. This might mean some changes to the suggested itinerary.

Edited by Soukous
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Galana

I am relatively flex on dates. I will just need gaps between my usual Euro drive in September and December in Africa or somewhere tropical. So early Nov would suit me better than late.

What are the 8 Kingfishers?

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Dave Williams

I would think 100% likelihood of Common,Black-capped,Collared,White-throated, Stork-billed and Pied.( Zuari river and Carambolim Lake)

The Blue-eared and Oriental Dwarf are very hard to see, never mind photograph. I haven't seen either yet. I think Backwoods camp is the place to get them.

 

After further consideration we have decided that only the Goa half is an option for us.If that means blocking someone who wants to do both halves we are happy to stand down., We have no plans for 2020 , especially at the tail end so currently free anytime. Much depends on an up coming trip to Kruger to decide where and when after that.

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xelas

It will be our privilege to share a trip with such excellent birders! November 2020 looks good for us two. Keep me in the loop.

Edited by xelas
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Galago

I can be flexible on dates, and I am a birder - but definitely not excellent! :lol:

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Soukous
18 hours ago, Galago said:

I can be flexible on dates, and I am a birder - but definitely not excellent! :lol:

 

Thank goodness I'm not the only one @Galago

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Soukous
22 hours ago, Dave Williams said:

I would think 100% likelihood of Common,Black-capped,Collared,White-throated, Stork-billed and Pied.( Zuari river and Carambolim Lake)

The Blue-eared and Oriental Dwarf are very hard to see, never mind photograph. I haven't seen either yet. I think Backwoods camp is the place to get them.

 

Savio reckons he can guarantee sightings of all 8

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Dave Williams
33 minutes ago, Soukous said:

 

Savio reckons he can guarantee sightings of all 8

 

That's a big call!! Let's hope he can, both are two I'd love to photograph.

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Soukous

Dates have been set.

I have booked our guide, Savio, for 6 days commencing 09 November 2020. This is based on participants arriving in Goa on 08 November. His services will finish on 14 November, so we can move on to the next location, Nagarhole/Kabini, on 15 November.

 

So the guide is booked, now we need to tie down some accommodation; is anyone able to commit yet?

 

I have communicated with Savio about the possibility of seeing all 8 Kingfishers. He is keen to keep his Kingfisher safari as something exclusive and would not commit to us getting all 8. 

However, if there is real interest in seeing the Kingfishers, I think we could get him to run a private group following the same itinerary (I have not asked yet) which runs for 5 days, and then tack on some extra days to visit other sites and see other species. 

His price for the 5 day Kingfisher itinerary is 39,990 Rupees (approx GBP500) per person based on a group of 6, including accommodation, meals, transport and entrance fees. 

He is offering a 5000 rupee refund for failed photo op on each of Collared, Black-capped, Blue-eared and Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher.

 

Shall I ask him if he will amend our itinerary to incorporate the 5 days looking for Kingfishers?

 

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Galago

Dates are fine with me. However, although I'd be very happy to see some of the kingfisher species I've not yet seen, to focus almost entirely on this is just too much like a twitch for me. I'd prefer general birding, seeing as much as we can and enjoying a nice, long checklist at the end of the day. If any of the less common kingfishers pop up then, bingo, an added bonus! So my wish is to stick with birding and not a kingfisher ticking exercise (even though I'd be very happy to see some of the harder to see ones)!

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Soukous

I'm very happy you said that @Galago, it makes for a much more relaxed trip

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Dave Williams

The dates for charter flights to Goa are not released yet but I notice that this year they start on November 9th, a Saturday from Manchester, 10th from Gatwick.

Flight prices from Manchester this year would be slightly cheaper at £1580 ( for two) with Thomas Cook , than the £1600 with Emirates. Qatar are way over at £2212. This was for a three week stay though.

 

On the other hand a package tour for three weeks for 2 people with TC and staying here

https://www.thomascook.com/packages/H0118278/?depAirport=MAN&duration=21&boardType=11&brand=TCU1&room=ROOM02,2&seasonCode=W19&freeChildFlag=No&selectedDate=2019-11-09&roomPackageId=TCHHOL@613924&hotel=LA5H07&contentSource=1&promoGroup=TCU1&tid=3370050&language=en&id=H0118278&packageId=H0118278&hotelId=H0118278

Comes in at £2656 less a current promotion of £200 off =£2456.

 

Flying with TC has the advantage of a direct flight instead of a stop over even if the planes and service are not as good. Premium class isn't available this year for the given dates so I guess it's sold out.

 

My choice would be to book a 3 week package tour although it presents problems for those wishing to do the next part of the trip, or does it? You can always fly back to Goa.

 

Of course, you can't book a package  just yet and you do need to get there in time for the birding tour. My preference would be to have a day's rest before any birding as going in that direction you do suffer jet lag when travelling from the UK.

 

As for the birding. I'd like to know what is entailed to get the Kingfishers. The Zuari boat trip would be included anyway and with it the Collared and Black-capped.It's the other two I'm most interested in though, both on top of the wish list. If there are other species around then I don't see why we shouldn't go for them although I understand that others might not want to waste too much time looking for a single bird. Let's ask the question? 

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Soukous

Thanks for the information @Dave Williams, if folks are going to be taking charter flights, then it then we'd need to push the start date back a tad.

Of course, those choosing to go on from Goa to Nagarhole will be finishing up in Bangalore, so charter flights may not be the best option.

 

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Galana

I seem to have not been paged about these posts.

I am still up for the trip at the moment. If not starting til 8th November it would rule out going to Nagarhole for me. (Although why not go there first?)

Charters would have to be very attractively priced to get me to use them so I would be on a scheduled flight, via DEL or Bangalore. Journey times somewhat longer but a good nights kip in DEL works for me.

But please continue planning for everyone and if I can fit in I will.

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Soukous
9 hours ago, Galana said:

I seem to have not been paged about these posts.

I am still up for the trip at the moment. If not starting til 8th November it would rule out going to Nagarhole for me. (Although why not go there first?)

Charters would have to be very attractively priced to get me to use them so I would be on a scheduled flight, via DEL or Bangalore. Journey times somewhat longer but a good nights kip in DEL works for me.

But please continue planning for everyone and if I can fit in I will.

 

The thought of visiting Nagarhole without your excellent company is too depressing to contemplate :(, so I would be very happy to go there first if that is the way it turns out. I won't be using a charter flight either so can be very flexible.

 

How many days do you think the excursion to Nagarhole/Kabini should be? Are you at all interested in Fringe Ford or Wayanad ?

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Galana

Too kind sir.  Well it is a thought but let us not forget the others who are interested.

As I said if i can fit in I will. Wayanad? Muthanga? Fond memories.

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