The Tinchule Forest of Nepal & India’s Singalila National Park is one of the most exotic Himalayan habitats in the eastern Indo-Nepal region. Singalila is a national park of India located on the Singalila Ridge at an altitude ranging between 7000 feet to 12000 feet above sea level, in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal. It is well known for the incredibly scenic trekking route to the Sandakphu peak that runs through it.
The area is one of the best-known places in the world to see and photograph the Exotic Red Panda. During our Red Panda photo tours to Singalila-Tinchule Forest, our group would be guided by highly experienced local guides who specialize in tracking the endangered Red Pandas on a day-to-day basis. Our guests on all the previous tours have all had 100% success in not just finding Red Pandas but have also had great photographic opportunities.
Apart from Red Pandas other mammals found in the region include Himalayan Black Bear, Clouded Leopard, Leopard, Black Panther, Leopard Cat, Serow, Barking Deer, Yellow-throated Marten, Wild Boar, Pangolin, Himalayan Pika, etc. Tinchule-Singalila is also a Birding Paradise. More than 300 species of birds are found here. It has a plethora of exotic and colorful birds like the Blood Pheasant, Satyr Tragopan, Kalij Pheasant, Brown and Fulvous Parrotbills, Rufous-vented Tit, and Old World babblers like the Fire-tailed Myzornis and the Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Rose Finches, Bull Finches, Wren Babblers, Laughingthrushes, Nuthatches, Treecreepers, Yuhinas, Minivets, Partriges, and many more avian wonders call these mountains their home.
One of the best places to see sunrises and sunsets is the Sandakphu top, the highest peak in West Bengal. A short 50-minute drive in a Land Rover from our homestay would have us arrive at the peak. Starting before sunrise, on one of the mornings, our group would be driven up to the Sandakphu top to watch the sunrise over the mighty Himalayas. Brave the morning cold and get prepared to be mesmerized by the best panoramic views of Mt Kanchenjunga and Mt Everest also known as “Sleeping Buddha” or “Sleeping Shiva”.
The homestay is an Indo-Nepal joint venture towards sustainable tourism around the Red Panda and its conservation. The endangered Red Panda & its habitat are largely threatened across their region of distribution and pushing them further towards extinction. The founders and operators of the homestay strive hard to protect and conserve the Red Panda and have launched a conservation project dedicated to this cause. Your travel to this region to see and photograph Red Pandas directly contributes to conservation as the homestay shares 20% of profits earned from hospitality with its conservation initiative.
This village is home to around 15 people who established the homestay themselves. They monitor the surrounding Red Panda habitat as a part of Red Panda conservation and research. Beyond any doubt, they are the best trackers around with a 100% success rate till now and who better to have as your host? Members of the house are unique in their own way and are always ready to give you the most exclusive experience. It is an experiential homestay that provides the highest quality of Red Panda tracking experience at 10,000 ft. above mean sea level bordering India (Singalila) & Nepal (Illam). Unlike resorts & lodges, at this homestay, guests become part of a villager’s household and experience their life, but with all the amenities and comforts including electricity, hot and cold running water, and ensuite facilities with flush toilets.
The 4 well-appointed rooms in the homestay have comfortable mattresses and quilts to keep you warm during the cold nights. The ensuite facilities include hot/cold shower with flush toilets. Every night, the homestay staffs warm your bed using hot water bags creating the perfect sanctuary to retire after a tiring day of tracking Red Pandas and other wildlife in the region. Meals include local dishes as well as other Indian selections. Tea and coffee are available at any time. Please inform us if you have any specific dietary requirements.
The road passing along the homestay is the International border between India and Nepal. During the Red Panda Photo Tour, you would be walking back and forth into India and Nepal several times a day. Literally just crossing the road would politically take you across from India to Nepal and vice versa.
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