12 Days Sichuan Wildlife Trip
Date: May to Oct
Price: Upon Request
Trip Focus: Wildlife+Photography
Status: Open to Booking
Route: Chengdu-Panda Habitat-Pingwu-Huanglong-Jiuzhaigou-Ruoergai-Diebu-Ruoergai-Maerkang-Chengdu
Trip Code: W005
Wildlife Safari From Fairyland to Tibetan grassland
There goes a saying: no mountain is worth seeing after Mt. Huangshan and no other water will be of interest after Jiuzhai Valley. If there are 'fairylands' in the world, Jiuzhai Valley must be one of them. Stretching over 72,000 hectares in the northern part of Sichuan Province, the Jiuzhai valley reaches a height of more than 4,800 m, thus comprising a series of diverse forest ecosystems. Here lives about 220 bird species as well as a number of endangered animal and plant species, including the giant panda, Sichuan golden monkey, the Sichuan takin and numerous orchids and rhododendrons. Its superb landscapes are particularly interesting for their series of narrow conic karst land forms and spectacular waterfalls. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992; the park joined the Man and Biosphere Conservation Network in 1997 and has also received IUCN and ISO 14,001 accreditations. While wandering in a dreamlike eden, we will explore wildlife lives in the forest valley.
Heading north to the Tibetan nomadic area, we will encounter all kinds of wildlife living in the vast grassland in Ruoergai and Tiebu Nature reserves. Ruoergai owns a vast piece of grassland at an elevation of just under 4,000 meters with thousands of birds living there. It is a fairyland for birding. In Ruoergai, we will discover birds inhabit the wetland such as black-necked crane, etc. Here we should find one best of the birds of the tour: Black-necked Crane. Other target birds will include snow finch, golden eagle, Ring-necked Pheasant, Ruddy Shelduck, Ferruginous Duck and many more. Due to the protection by the mountain deity according to the local Animism, the local people never hunt wildlife in this area which made Tiebu a paradise for Sika deer. In Tiebu Nature Reserve, Sichuan, sika deer were reported to forage preferentially in small patches of subalpine shrub and subalpine brush mixed with forest. We will explore these areas to meet sika and other wildlife such as wolf and fox.
Track sika deer in the vast grassland;
Watch all kinds of alpine birds in the top birding destination in China;
Track endemic endangered wildlife such as golden snub-nosed monkey, Sichuan Takin in breath-taking nature scenery;
Dates and Prices
Day 1. Arrive Chengdu
1. How does the ecosystem/wildlife differ between the prairies and panda habitats?
Many of the regions we will visit can be classified into two biomes: highland prairies and mountainous temperate forests. While we travel through the panda habitat in Sichuan, most of the local ecosystems will be typical of the temperate forests, while the majority of the Tibetan plateau will consist of prairies. In prairies of Ruoergai, many of the animals will include vultures, yaks, pika, marmot, black-necked crane, and so on. During our time in Panda Habitat, we can expect to see monkeys, takin, tufted deer, Chinese goral, golden pheasant, moon bear and perhaps even red pandas.
2. I thought northern Sichuan was affected by an earthquake. Are the attractions there open to the public?
A great deal of restoration went into the areas of Sichuan affected by the 2008 earthquake. These areas were once closed to the public but have since reopened to guests.
3. What is there to do in Jiuzhaigou?
Jiuzhaigou is famed as one of the most beautiful natural settings in southwest China while in the list of world natural heritage. Not only are there stunning water features in this natural park, but our team will likely be able to find some local bird species for us to watch/photograph.
4. What are the chances we will see a wild sika deer?
During our visit to the Diebu sika deer natural reserve, we will have a better chance of spotting this animal than anywhere else in China. Our guides have conducted extensive surveying of this destination and anticipate a good chance of encountering some wild sika deer. Our clients had taken many good photos of wild sika deer during the trip with us.
5. What indigenous communities can we expect to encounter during this tour?
As we travel through Sichuan, we will have many opportunities to interact with Amdo Tibetans. Communities such as the ones in Jiuzhaigou, Ruoergai, Maerkang are local Tibetan.
6. Can you tell me more about the hotel accommodation at the panda nature reserve?
The accommodation in the panda natural reserve is located in the middle of the mountainous temperate forest in northern Sichuan. The closest community is roughly an hour's drive and will require the assistance of our chartered van. The hotel itself is very nice and provides a relaxing place for us to begin our search for animals in the surrounding wilderness.
7. Will we see wild pandas on this tour?
While Sichuan is known as the Chinese province with the most substantial portion of the wild panda population (80%), it should be noted that spotting a wild panda is exceptionally rare. If it is a priority to see a panda and you don’t mind seeing captive pandas, contact our team and we can discuss adding a visit to one of Sichuan’s panda reserves.
8. Are any of these animals dangerous?
Animals like wild yaks, takin and black bears can pose a real threat to guests, but not to worry. Our guides are experienced at mediating a healthy distance between you and any animals we encounter. In most cases, we will also be watching these animals from the safe vantage of a van.
9. Will there be opportunities to purchase local souvenirs during this tour?
As we travel through Tibetan communities, there will be many opportunities to purchase keepsakes from local vendors. Our guides are happy to help you barter.