Red Panda Tours

Red Panda Expeditions in India: A Unique Wildlife Experience

When it comes to wildlife tourism in India, the majestic Bengal tiger often takes centre stage. However, tucked away in the lush forests of the Eastern Himalayas, a lesser-known yet equally enchanting creature awaits your discovery – the red panda. Join us at Tigerwalah as we embark on an unforgettable journey to explore the captivating world of red panda expeditions in India.

ABOUT RED PANDA:

The Himalayan Red Panda, Ailurus fulgens, also known as the ‘Firefox’, is an enigmatic arboreal mammal native to the Eastern Himalayas and Southwest China. Resembling the size of a domestic cat but with a longer body and slightly more weight, the Red Panda captivates with its reddish-brown fur, long shaggy tail, and distinctive waddling gait due to its shorter front legs. This charismatic creature measures no more than 2 feet in length and weighs not more than 10 kg, making it truly adorable and especially photogenic.

Feeding primarily on bamboo but also consuming eggs, birds, and insects, the Red Panda is a solitary animal mainly active from dusk to dawn and largely sedentary during the day. Known by various monikers such as the red cat-bear, the red bear-cat, and the lesser panda, this elusive species finds refuge in the remote reaches of India's Himalayan regions.

Classified as Endangered by the IUCN due to its declining population estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals, the Red Panda faces threats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, and inbreeding. Although protected by national laws in its range countries, the survival of the Red Panda remains precarious.

In India, the Himalayan Red Panda thrives in Sikkim, western Arunachal Pradesh, the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, and parts of Meghalaya. Singalila stands as one of its last strongholds and is also the best place in India to see this elusive and rare mammal.

Preserving the habitat and ensuring sustainable conservation efforts are paramount to safeguarding the future of the Himalayan Red Panda. As stewards of the environment, it's imperative to mitigate threats and foster harmonious coexistence between human activities and the natural habitat of this iconic species.



About Singalila National Park

Singalila National Park: Explore the Exotic Himalayan Wilderness

Nestled within the Darjeeling District at the tri-junction of West Bengal, Sikkim, and Nepal, Singalila National Park emerges as a mystical sanctuary amidst the Himalayas. Perched on the Singalila range, this forest unfolds its enigmatic beauty at altitudes ranging from 7,000ft to 12,000ft above sea level. Renowned for its trekking route to Sandakphu and its vintage Land Rovers, Singalila captivates adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Singalila stands as an emblem of biodiversity, offering a haven for the elusive Red Panda. Amidst the dense foliage, a diverse array of mammals thrives, including the Himalayan Black Bear, Clouded Leopard, Leopard Cat, Serow, Barking Deer, Yellow-throated Marten, Wild Boar, Pangolin, and Pika. Beyond its terrestrial wonders, Singalila unveils a birding paradise, boasting over 300 avian species. From the resplendent Blood Pheasant to the majestic Satyr Tragopan, the park hosts a plethora of exotic birds like the Kalij Pheasant, Brown Parrobills, Rufous-vented Tit, Fire-tailed Mayzornis, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Rosefinchs, Bullfinches, Wren Babblers, Laughing Thrushes, Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Yuhinas, Minivets, Partridges, and many more.

However, Singalila's allure extends beyond its vibrant fauna. The park's rugged Eastern Himalayan landscape, with its stunning vistas, enchants visitors. On clear days, the majestic peaks of Mount Everest and Kanchendzonga adorn the horizon, offering a breathtaking spectacle.

In summary, Singalila National Park is not just a wilderness; it's an expedition into the heart of nature's grandeur. Whether trekking to Sandakphu, glimpsing the elusive Red Panda, or marvelling at the diverse avian wonders, Singalila promises an unforgettable journey through the enchanting landscapes of the Himalayas.

 Why Choose India for Red Panda Expeditions?

India boasts some of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, and one such hotspot is the Darjeeling district of West Bengal and areas adjoining the Nepal Border. Nestled in the Himalayan foothills, Sikkim offers the perfect setting for red panda expeditions. Here's why:

1. Rich Biodiversity: Sikkim's diverse forests are home to not only red pandas but also an array of other rare and endangered species, making it a biodiversity hotspot.

2. Stunning Landscape: The region's breathtaking landscapes, including lush forests, pristine rivers, and panoramic mountain views, provide a picturesque backdrop to your expedition.

 3. Local Expertise: With the assistance of local guides and experts, you'll gain a deeper understanding of red pandas, their habitat, and their conservation efforts.

 Our Red Panda Expedition Packages

At TigerWalah, we offer meticulously crafted red panda expedition packages designed to provide an enriching experience for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers alike.

1. Red Panda Sighting Expeditions: Our specialized expeditions take you deep into the forests of Sikkim, where you'll have the opportunity to spot these elusive creatures in their natural habitat.

2. Photography Tours: For wildlife photographers, we offer guided tours to help you capture the perfect shot of the red panda, as well as other unique Himalayan fauna.

3. Educational Experiences: Learn about red panda conservation and the importance of preserving their habitat, while contributing to their protection.

4. Customized Itineraries: We understand that every traveller is unique, that's why we offer customizable itineraries to cater to your specific interests and needs.


What to Expect on Our Red Panda Expeditions

- Guided by seasoned naturalists and wildlife experts.

- Early morning and late afternoon excursions for the best chances of sightings.

- Stay in eco-friendly lodges and homestays.

- Engage with local communities and support sustainable tourism.

 

Suggested Itinerary - 6 N 7 D

Day 1: Arrive in Bagdogra and onward to Singalila

Upon arrival at Bagdogra airport by early morning flight, your driver and travelling naturalist will greet you. The group will immediately leave for Manebhanjan, which is the entry point of Singalila National Park. At Manebhanjan, guests will change to their vintage Land Rover and move towards Chaweng Lodge, Kalapokhri, your home for six nights. Lunch will be served en route to Kalapokhri; guests will reach their destination in the afternoon. The evening will be free time, with some orientation to the events planned for the following few days. Dining and sleeping at Chaweng Lodge. (L & D)

Note: Tourists are allowed to enter Singalila before 2:00 PM. Visitors MUST be sure that their flight into Bagdogra is the first flight out, arriving no later than 9:00 AM. If such a flight is not available, we advise arriving in Bagdogra the day before and staying the night in Siliguri; this can be arranged at an additional fee. 

Day 2: Wildlife activity at Kalapokhri    
               
While guests will be having their morning breakfast at the lodge, our expert trackers will have gone out searching for Red Panda. As the trackers find the red panda bear, we will escort you to the spot. You can either walk to enjoy sightseeing or choose to go by Land Rover if the motorable road is available. Along with our expert naturalist, fellow travellers can also track using specified trails in search of endangered animals and red pandas. Singalila is home to different bird species besides Himalayan red pandas. Depending on the activities, lunch will either be provided on the field or at the resort. Dinner and overnight at Chaweng Lodge. (B, L & D)

Day 3 To Day 6: Wildlife activity at Kalapokhri   

Trackers will go out searching for Himalayan Red Panda both on the Nepal and Indian sides daily. For guests who have difficulty walking, Landrovers will be provided to drive them to various sightings or spots. 
Singalila National Park is popular for its fauna. It is also famous for its beautiful landscapes. The sleeping Buddha, formed by the Kanchendzonga mountain and other surrounding summits, is best viewed from Tumling. The traveller can go to Tumling and explore the surrounding areas at the discretion of the tour leader and the sighting conditions. The famous Sandakphu, just 6 KM from Kalalpokhri, is the highest point in West Bengal. This is a famous spot where you can see both Mount Everest and Kanchendzonga. Depending on the sightings, guests can opt to trek up or use the Land Rovers to explore the Sandakphu area. Dobate, in Nepal, is also a beautiful village situated at a lower altitude than Kalapokhri. This is a half / full day visit with a picnic lunch. The forest around Dobate is also a hotspot for Red Panda. (B, L & D)  

Day 7: Departure

Set out for the airport in Bagdogra to catch your next flight.
In conclusion, there are a variety of activities that you can participate in during your six-night stay in Singalila. You just have to inform us first! All of the ones mentioned above are part of your itinerary. We will keep the plan flexible and based on the tour guide's opinion and the group's agreement. Please note that this is a species-specific plan and the goal is to maximize the chance of sighting the Red Panda. 

TREKKING

The Red Panda Expedition promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We will do as much hiking as we can since that is the best way to appreciate and capture the beauty of the region. Our trekking supplies will be carried for us by a group of porters.

4X4 VEHICLES - Vintage Land Rover 

Not sure if you can trek? Don't worry; there will be safari cars that you can hop on any time you want. The safari cars used here are the historic Land Rovers and the only place in the country where they are operated as safari vehicles.

ACCOMMODATION

We'll be staying in lovely locations and enjoying breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. The site is isolated, and the accommodations and facilities will be basic, clean, and hygienic.

Red panda expeditions in India offer a unique opportunity to explore the mesmerizing world of these charming creatures while discovering the enchanting landscapes of the Eastern Himalayas. Join us at Tigerwalah for an unforgettable wildlife experience that combines adventure, education, and conservation.

Don't miss your chance to witness the beauty of red pandas in their natural habitat. Book your red panda expedition in India with Tigerwalah and embark on a journey that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.
 
 

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