Ludlow’s Swallowtail (Bhutanitis Ludlowi) is a rare butterfly species found exclusively in Bhutan and was first recorded by botanists Frank Ludlow and George Sheriff in 1933. It was thought to be extinct until 75 years later, in 2009, Karma Wangdi, a Forest Ranger from the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment rediscovered the Ludlow Swallow in Trobang in the remote district of TrashiYangtse. The Ludlow’s Swallowtail butterfly epitomizes Bhutan’s uniqueness and specialty, and this tour takes you on a similar natural and cultural extravaganza where you will experience the richness of Bhutan’s unique culture, witness and learn about this rare butterfly in the majestic natural beauty of Bhutanese Himalayas. August is the right month to look for the Butterfly.
Day 1 GUWAHATI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT to SAMDRUP JONGKHAR - Your first glimpse of Bhutan
On arrival at the Guwahati International Airport in Assam India, you will be met by your tour guide and driver. From the Airport drive for about one hour till you reach Samdrup Jongkhar where your guide will assist you through the Immigration Check Point. Samdrup Jongkhar lies at the foothills of the Himalayas and shares border with Assam in India
After a brief stroll through town you will drive north towards the interiors of the Himalayas. You will experience the change in weather and vegetation from hot and humid to cool and temperate. It is a pleasant 5 hours gradual uphill drive through the sleepy villages and beautiful landscape. Check into your hotel and overnight at Trashigang.
Day 2 TRASHIGANG to TRASHI YANGTSE
After breakfast, stroll through the town where you might meet the ‘Brokpas’ – Highland nomads whose culture and dress is unique and different from the rest of the Bhutanese. You can visit the Trashigang Dzong / Fortress overlooking the river and nearby villages. Then drive for about 3 hours to Trashi Yangtse. On the way you can visit the Gom Kora / Stupa, Duksum satellite town and the beautiful white Chorten Kora / Stupa located in Trashi Yangtse town. Trashi Yangtse is a remote district in eastern Bhutan and is the only place in the world where you can find the Bhutanitis Ludlowi Butterfly, commonly known as Ludlow’s Bhutan Swallowtail. Trashi Yangste is also the winter home to the endangered Black Necked Cranes.
Stroll through the small town, visit some shops where you might find men making wooden cups and bowl in their shops. Overnight at your hotel in Trashi Yangtse.
Day 3 BOMDELING WILDLIFE SANCTUARY – Search for the exclusive Swallowtail Butterfly
After breakfast, hike for about 3 hours through the rural settlements till you reach the Park Office where you will meet with the Park Officials and interact with them. They will inform you about the Swallowtail Butterfly and the various types of flora and fauna found. Then, the Park Official /Ranger will take you around the Park and if lucky you might find many different animals. Overnight at the Park Guesthouse.
Day 4 BOMDELING WILDLIFE SANCTUARY – Search for the exclusive Swallowtail Butterfly
Today you will spend the full day exploring the Park and looking for the Bhutan Swallowtail Butterfly. Overnight at the Park Guesthouse.
Day 5 BOMDELING to TRASHI YANGTSE
After breakfast you can leisurely hike back to the main town. On the way you can stop over in few places to watch the men making wooden cups and bowls in their traditional houses. Overnight at your hotel in Trashi Yangtse.
Day 6 TRASHI YANGTSE VALLEY EXCURSION
After a leisurely breakfast you will explore the peaceful and beautiful valley. You can first visit the Trashi Yangtse Dzong / Fortress and the local temples. Then visit the Zorig Chosum – Traditional School of the 13 Arts and Crafts of Bhutan. You can visit the classrooms and watch the students as they learn the different crafts.
In the evening visit a traditional Farmhouse where you can enjoy a traditional hot stone bath. White round stones picked up from the riversides are roasted in fire until red hot and then immersed in a wooden tub of fresh spring water sprinkled with herbs. These hot stones baths are supposed to be very curative with numerous medicinal and healing properties and has been the practice since the ancient times. Overnight at your hotel in Trashi Yangtse.
Day 7 TRASHI YANGTSE to SAMDRUP JONGKHAR
After an early breakfast you will drive do Samdrup Jongkhar via the same road. Enroute, you can visit the Sherubtse College – the first Degree College in Bhutan. After crossing the Yongphula Pass at 2,800 meters, you can visit the Textile Weaving Center established by the National Women’s Association of Bhutan. You can also visit the Khaling School for the Blind.
Enjoy your lunch in one of the restaurants along the highway and in the evening stroll through the town in Samdrup Jongkhar.
Day 8 SAMDRUP JONGKHAR – GUWAHATI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
After breakfast drive to Guwahati International Airport where your guide and driver will bid you farewell and hope you had a pleasant holiday and hope to see you in Bhutan again.