- Ghachok Village, Kaski, Near Pokhara, Nepal
- From October through to May
- Available to:
Nepal's vultures are teetering on the brink of extinction. The use of Diclofenac, an anti inflammatory drug, in livestock has caused a catastrophic collapse in vulture populations across Asia, click here to find out more. The Parahawking Project has been involved in Vulture Conservation since 2001 and have made significant contributions on a grass roots level with the development of the Ghachok Vulture Safe Feeding Site and on an international platform in terms of raising awareness of the vultures plight.
We are now delighted to be launching our latest initiative, The Vulture Conservation Camp. Situated in the stunning village of Ghachok, the camp is located on the ridge overlooking the Parahawking Project funded Vulture Safe Feeding Site. From the campsite you will hear the running water of the Seti River below whilst the glorious Annapurna mountain range looms over to the north. But best of all you will be surrounded by some of the most endangered and magnificent raptors in the world. It's a truly stunning venue!
We leave Pokhara in the morning and commence a one hour drive out towards the Annapurna Conservation Area, through traditional villages and across rivers. We arrive at the Village of Ghachok and set up camp but we may need to be quiet as often there are Himalayan Griffon Vultures and White Backed Vultures sitting only meters away observing the feeding site below us. After a full briefing and overview of the project we can set up our binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras to capture some incredible images of vultures circling right above us. After lunch we can head down to the feeding site where, if we're lucky, we can witness vultures feeding and give you a full tour of the site.
We return to the camp for some more evening vulture spotting and witness the birds heading off to roost in the nearby trees. A traditional Nepali Dal Bhat will be served for evening meal as the sun disappears over the mountains.
In the morning, you may want to wake up early to witness a magical sunrise over the Annapurna mountain range. As the sun rises the vultures will once again take to the air, some may even land right next to the camp site only meters away from your tent. After breakfast, we'll take a leisurely walk around the village and surrounding area for some more raptor watching. You may see Steppe Eagles, Red Headed Vultures, Cinerious Vultures, Egyptian Vultures, Mountain Hawk Eagles and Peregrine Falcons. We will then break camp and head back to Pokhara and lunch at Maya Devi Village, The Parahawking Project HQ.
- Transport to and from your hotel in Pokhara
- Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
- All camping equipment (Feel free to bring your own sleeping bag if you prefer)
- Vulture Guide
- Entrance ticket to the Vulture Safe Feeding Site
What to bring:
- Sleeping bag (optional)
- Binoculars (we will provide some also)
- Warm clothes for night time
Frequently Asked Questions
Our birds need to be rewarded for guiding us into the thermals. During the flight the passenger will place small morsels of meat onto his gloved hand, the birds will come and gently land on the hand to take the food, and then gracefully fly away to find the next thermal. A perfect symbiotic relationship.
1. As we approach Spring, the wild Egyptian Vultures and other birds of prey in our flying area start to breed. They can become very territorial so out of respect for the wild birds, we choose to not fly our birds and not disturb them at this time.
2. Typically all birds start to moult in May, ie begin the process of replacing their feathers. This process can take up to 6 months. It's important that to complete a successful moult with good strong healthy feathers, we feed them a higher than normal nutritious diet. You may not notice but our birds are always in perfect feather condition throughout the entire year, this is why.
3. The weather starts to change in May, the regular afternoon pre monsoon storms means we can't fly as often as we would need to maintain the birds fitness. We would not want to force our birds to fly if they are not fit enough so it's best to just stop completely.
4. By the end of September, the birds have finished moulting, the rainy season is almost over and the wild birds are no longer breeding. We can then begin the training process to get our bird fit and ready for the flying season. We normally start slowly, building the birds fitness and stamina, this can take 3-4 weeks before we feel they are ready to fly with the Paragliders for a 20-30 min flight.
Vultures are important in our society, they play a vital role in our ecosystem by cleaning up all of the dead animals that would otherwise be left to rot. Millions of tonnes of animal carcasses are disposed of each year across Asia, which if not cleaned up, would pose a real risk to human health. Asia's vultures are declining faster than the Dodo and could be extinct in the next 5-10 years, unfortunately not enough people know about the problem. Vultures are considered to be quite unsavory creatures because of this, these prehistoric looking birds are difficult to empathize with. We want to change that!
Parahawking provides a unique opportunity to see vultures in a different light, to understand about the importance of them in our society and to learn about their behavior in the wild. The Parahawking Project is our mission to raise more public awareness to the plight of Asia's vultures and in doing so halt the decline and prevent their extinction.
We support vital Vulture conservation projects in Nepal, We donate approx 1000 rupees from every Parahawking flight to Vulture conservations projects. We have recently been appointed Patrons of the Ghochowk Vulture Restaurant project.
For more detailed information go to:
Save Vultures - www.save-vultures.org
Himalayan Raptor Rescue - www.himalayanraptorrescue.org