Pristine beaches, clear waters, sandy shores and beautiful sunsets make the Andaman Islands a tropical idyll. But the main interest for us birders of course will be the 20 endemic and near-endemic birds! Being closer to Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia than India, the avifauna is also closely related to that of southeast Asia.
Our target species will include Andaman Green-Pigeon, Andaman Cuckooshrike, Andaman Crake, Andaman Nightjar, Andaman Scops Owl, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Shama and Andaman Teal – some imaginative naming! – as well as non-endemics that are easier to encounter here than in much of the rest of India, such as Slaty-breasted Rail, Black-naped Tern, Black Baza, Violet Cuckoo and Beach Thick-knee.
The rainforests and mangroves of South Andaman island will be where we spent most of our time, and we have a good chance of finding all the endemics. Andaman Masked Owl is often the most tricky! This is also a place to see many species not easily encountered on the Indian mainland, a good variety of passage migrants, and the chance of a rarity.
We will have two different bases for our five-night stay, which will minimise travelling time and give us some flexibility. Key sites to be visited include Chidiya Tapu (literally ‘bird isle’), Shoal Bay and Mount Harriet National Park.
There will be opportunities for snorkelling the wonderful coral reefs around the islands for those who would rather take in some wildlife below sea level!
As usual in India there is so much to see, so many options, and too little time! If you have any particular preferences for locations, overall pace, accommodation standards etc., then let us know in advance and we will be happy to customise the plan described if possible.
In particular it would be a shame not to relax and enjoy the beaches whilst on the Andamans, and an extension to quieter islands such as Havelock and Neil is excellent for this. The coral reefs here are known to harbour more than 200 species of coral, and snorkelling, diving or just enjoying a glass-bottomed boat ride are all recommended.
Please note that, as with all our tours, we may ourselves change the itinerary described due to various reasons such as latest birding information, availability of accommodation, state of the roads, and other unexpected factors that, this being India, do pop up from time to time!
Day 1: Chennai to Port Blair, overnight at Chidiya Tapu
The tour starts from Chennai, with a morning flight to Port Blair. If you are not joining from our Western Ghats Endemics tour, you will need to arrive in Chennai the previous day.
Depending on our flight arrival time, we will do some leisurely birding en route, such as at Burmanallah beach, to our overnight halt at Chidiya Tapu. This is a small coastal rainforest at the southernmost tip of the island. Tonight, we will have our first taste of night-birding as we search for some of the endemic owls, including Andaman Hawk Owl and Andaman Scops Owl.
Day 2: South Andaman, overnight Chidiya Tapu
With a day to spend we will visit various sites around Chidiya Tapu, such as the trails inside the Biological Park and at Bada Baalu Beach. Birds to expect include both Andaman and Crested Serpent Eagles, Pacific Reef Egret, Andaman Treepie, Andaman Drongo, Andaman Green Pigeon, Freckle-breasted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Parakeet, Collared Kingfisher, White-headed Starling and White-breasted Woodswallow.
Days 3 – 5: South Andaman, overnight Port Blair
Using Port Blair as our base for the next few days gives us easier access to birding sites further north on the island. Prime amongst these is the evergreen and semi-evergreen forest of Mount Harriet National Park. Probably all the endemics of the island occur here, although the dense habitat means that many are easier to see elsewhere. We’ll make special efforts for the tricky Andaman Woodpigeon, and also hope to see Andaman Woodpecker and Andaman Shama, as well as other good birds such as Black-naped Oriole and Forest Wagtail. Staying until dark is important here for several of the endemic owls, including Andaman and Hume’s Hawk Owls, and Andaman Scops Owl, as well as Andaman Nightjar.
We are of course never far from the sea, and we will visit several wetland and mangrove areas such as Shoal Bay, Sippighat and Ograbraij. As well as more of the endemics, White-bellied Sea Eagle, Long-toed Stint, Red-necked Stint, Broad-billed Sandpiper, Dusky Warbler, Oriental Reed Warbler, Rusty-rumped (Pallas’s Grasshopper Warbler), Red-throated Pipit and Eastern Yellow Wagtail are all possible.
Day 6: Depart Port Blair to Chennai
Transfer to the airport for our onward flight to Chennai, where the tour ends.
- Andaman Teal
- Pacific Reef Heron
- Black Baza
- Andaman Serpent Eagle
- White-bellied Sea Eagle
- Andaman Crake
- Slaty-breasted Rail
- Beach Stone-curlew
- Long-toed Stint
- Red-necked Stint
- Black-naped Tern
- Andaman Wood Pigeon
- Andaman Cuckoo-Dove
- Andaman Green Pigeon
- Andaman Coucal
- Violet Cuckoo
- Andaman Masked Owl
- Andaman Scops Owl
- Hume's Hawk-Owl
- Andaman Hawk-Owl
- Andaman Nightjar
- Edible-nest Swiftlet
- Ruddy Kingfisher
- Collared Kingfisher
- Freckle-breasted Woodpecker
- Andaman Woodpecker
- Long-tailed Parakeet
- White-breasted Woodswallow
- Andaman Cuckooshrike
- Mangrove Whistler
- Black-naped Oriole
- Andaman Drongo
- Andaman Treepie
- Andaman Bulbul
- Dusky Warbler
- Oriental Reed Warbler
- Pallas's Grasshopper Warbler
- White-headed Starling
- Andaman Shama
- Andaman Flowerpecker
- Olive-backed Sunbird
- Forest Wagtail
- Eastern Yellow Wagtail
- Red-throated Pipit
As with all Bubo Birding tours, your booking is handled by Asian Adventures.
This tour is guided by Mike Prince, plus local birding guides.
Prices quoted are per person, assuming an exclusive 2 person tour. Larger group sizes attract a discounted per person price, which we will confirm to you on enquiry.
International flights are excluded.
The final price and itinerary will be confirmed before booking and depending on your expected arrival and departure plans.
See Asian Adventures for full tour details, including accommodation, what's included, other exclusions, prices for larger groups, single room supplements, and booking details.