Assam state reserves

I am preparing for a several-months trip through India that should starts by the end of 2024. I am building a loop in North East and wanted to request advise of mammalwatchers who have already been there.

Kaziranga seems to be impossible to miss but is rarely visited more than 2 days. It is often coupled either with Nameri NP or Manas NP. What are the differences between those 2 ? Which one is the easiest to visit for budget travellers without hiring a full circuit from Guwahati ?

From an itirenary point of view, both makes sense as I aim to visit Raimona or Chakrashila Hill for the Golden langur (close to Manas) and also aim at going until Tawang via Dirang in Arunachal (but without Eaglenest as it seems to expensive for independant travellers).

Thanks for feedback !


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  • SimonvdMeulen

    Nameri N.P. is characterised by fairly dense forest and access by boat only. You need to cross the border river by a rowing boat. Also, once across you’ll be exploring on foot only and require an armed parkranger (carrying a 60-yr old rifle). I visited it multiple times for birdwatching only (oh my …), but still managed to get ambushed by elephants and a wild buffalo….
    Habitat of Manas N.P. is different as it is more characterized by open plains with elephant grass (somewhat like Kaziranga, but without the riverine landscape of the Brahmaputra, but in the northern part of Manas bordering Bhutan you arrive at the foothills of the Himalaya which is more forested). I have never been to Manas, but it appears to me it is more interesting for mammals than Nameri (if only because Manas is more accessible and has multiple distinctive habitats).

    • Therabu

      Thank you very much for the very precise answer. I will try to see if there is budget options in Manas!
      I also bird but apart from very specific species for which you would need specific guides like the white-winged duck, I do see they overall have the same number of species.

  • Laurent Morin

    Sounds like a great trip! I hope you’ll get to see a clouded leopard in Manas.

  • Vana

    Kaziranga – eastern zone and now that it is possible to visit the hills on the opposite side of the main tourism zones – is worth three to four nights.
    Manas – is a very promising area – especially eastern Manas – worth three nights for sure.
    Nameri – not conducive to mammal-watching. Not suggest that. Chakrashila – not sure what is the objective as Golden Langurs are easy to see near Manas in Kakoijana village.
    Not sure why upper Assam is being left out from the itinerary as that area is rich in wildlife. Places in the near and surrounds of Dehing Patkai is always interesting – though no night permissions are possible and with a high no of elephants, the chance of being charged by an elephant is real and highly likely. Eaglesnest is worth the visit as though it is expensive, this is a place where one can expect to see some mammals, Mishmi hills area is worth it for same reasons too.
    Best wishes with your trip.

    • Therabu

      Thanks Vana!
      6 months travel with a girlfriend cannot be 100% dedicated to wildlife so that is why Eastern Assam was not planned. It is getting quite popular among birders for Mishmi endemics.
      I did not precise but I also intend to visit Hollongapar Sanctuary for primates and then go to Khonoma, mainly for the birds and cultural sightings but who knows what it could bring on mammals side?
      Budget is also a concern as wildlife watching is more expensive than most other activities (beach, trekking, city visits).

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