Red Panda Network EcoTrip Anyone? 10 Reasons to Go!

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June 27, 2014

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Red panda pictures are easy to find on social media channels these days but where can you see real live red pandas in the wild? Red Panda Network (RPN) offers guided ecotrips in Eastern Nepal that make it possible to see red pandas in their natural habitat! Here are the top 10 reasons why you might want to add this to your bucket list:

1. See the red panda, a rare and elusive species, in its natural habitat! The number one reason most people go on an RPN ecotrip is to see red pandas in the wild. Thanks to our incredible Forest Guardians and ecotrip field guides—and rising red panda numbers in our conservation project areas—RPN has had a 100% success rate of red panda sightings during ecotrips for years now.

2. See dozens of bird species. Sightings of more than 30 bird species have been reported on RPN ecotrips, including: Fire-tailed Myzornis, the White-collared Blackbird, the Orange-flanked Bush- robin and the uncommon White-capped Water Redstart. Additional sightings of the Rufous-vented Niltava, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, a Steppe Eagle, an Oriental Honey Buzzard, the Asian Barred Owlet and a White-capped Water Redstart have been reported from past Red Panda Network ecotrip participants.

3. Amazing Adventure Red pandas are elusive and live in remote forested areas, so get ready for an adventure! The journey includes a long, bumpy jeep ride, modest accommodations and challenging hikes through thick vegetation and up or down steep ravines. Sometimes unpredictable weather can impact our adventure, as well as other unforeseen delays. But don’t worry! We’ve seen it all and done it all many times before! Get ready to work up a healthy appetite exploring the gorgeous scenery.

View of the Himalayas from Sandakpur.
View of the Himalayas from Sandakpur.

4. Spectacular Scenery in addition to searching for red pandas and other mammals and bird species, a portion of the trip is devoted to taking in spectacular views of Nepal’s forested ridges extending tens of miles into the distance, fading in the distant mist, rhododendron forests and breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga and Everest!

5. Unforgettable People From your tour guide to the Forest Guardians in charge of tracking the red panda in the wild, our RPN team takes pride in providing wonderful service. During your journey in Nepal, you will be connecting with amazing communities that are committed to red panda conservation!

6. Simple, Slow Food Leave your food habits behind and embrace the simplicity of the Nepali diet, which includes a lot of Dal, Bhat and Tarkari – (Lentils, Rice and Curried vegetables). You may be also be served combined dishes of dal-bhat tarkari. Breakfast might be something like sukkah roti, aloo-chana, noodles, omelet, jam and peanut butter. Tea and coffee are served any time. Lunch and dinner mainly consists of rice, Mo:Mo, Paratha and chapatti, which are served with daal (lentil soup) and vegetables.

You'll Eat Well on an RPN Ecotrip

7. Tea and Tongba! RPN ecotrips begin and end in Ilam, home to one of the oldest tea plantations in Nepal. Test the world-renowned tea and make use of this stop to purchase a few gifts. Once you reach the hills of eastern Nepal, you may also be offered Tongba (a popular liquor in the hills, made by pouring hot water into a pot of fermented millet and drunk with a bamboo straw). Cheers!

8. RPN ecotrips are very economical, once you get there! Our ecotrip packages include lodging, food, local travel, and experienced tour and field guides. Groups of 2-4 receive a %10 discount and groups of 5-8 get %20 off the total cost!

9. Conservation Travel Your payment will support RPN’s community-based ecotourism initiative which contributes directly to sustainable livelihoods. All food, lodgings and hospitality are provided locally, creating sustainable employment for the native communities that are alternatives to forest exploitation.

Nepali homestay hostess
Nepali homestay hostess

10. Channel the magnificence of the Himalayan region, home to Mount Everest and the highest mountains in the world!

Learn more about Red Panda Network Ecotrips! Are you affiliated with a zoo? If so, please check out our ecotrips for zoo staff and volunteers!

Do you have questions about our ecotrips? Send us an email at ecotrip@redpandanetwork.org.