Druk Yul, or "Land of the Thunder Dragon," is the remote Himalayan kingdom we know as Bhutan. Isolated from the rest of the world by some of the highest mountain ranges on earth, Bhutan has retained much of its fascinating culture and is still poorly known by the West. Although most of it is now open to foreigners, tourist quotas are severely restricted and few travelers and even fewer birdwatchers have had first-hand experience of this unique and diverse country.
On this tour we’re sure to see birds in abundance. Over 70 percent of the land surface is forested, only a small fraction is cultivated and much of the remainder is above the treeline. Over 600 species have so far been recorded in Bhutan and a significant number, such as Satyr Tragopan, Blood Pheasant, Wedge-billed, Long-billed and Bar-winged Wren-Babblers, Yellow-throated Fulvetta and Fire-tailed Myzornis, are far easier to see here than anywhere else on earth. And Bhutan is virtually the only accessible place to see several others such as White-bellied Heron, Ward’s Trogon, Beautiful Nuthatch and Blue-fronted Robin. It is difficult to distill Bhutan’s attractions into a short account: there is stunning mountain scenery; incredible geographic and ecological diversity with tropical rainforest along the country’s southern border and forests of oak, rhododendron and conifer across the higher, more northerly slopes; and there are the Bhutanese people themselves, whose ancient traditions still form an integral part of everyday life—their beautiful monasteries, dzongs and fluttering prayer flags; their colorful clothes, bizarre archery contests and personable natures.Bhutan fires the enthusiasm of all who have visited it, leaving them with a sense of privilege and a longing to return.