Dates & Prices

BOOK NOW

Dates: 10th – 21st November 2021 Confirmed departure

Price: £2,095 1 place left (female share)

Single Room Supplement: £400

Deposit: £300 per person


Price Includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transport, services of guides, holiday report

Not Included: International & internal flights, travel insurance, drinks and any other personal items

Conservation Donation: Butterfly Conservation

Leader(s): Dr Simon Spencer & Anne Spencer + local guide

Group Size: Minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 guests plus 2 leaders.

Grade: Slow paced and relatively easy walks, some in hilly terrain

Holiday Highlights


  • Exclusive opportunity to join an exploration tour of the Western Ghats for its butterflies
  • The perfect winter escape for some sunshine, relaxation and wildlife all in one!
  • One centre tour with exclusive villa for our group
  • Why not extend your stay before or after the tour?
  • Led by expert Lepidopterist Dr Simon Spencer & his wife Anne, alongside a local lepidopterist
  • Highlights/target species include Malabar Banded Peacock, Southern Birdwing. Malabar Tree Nymph, Tamil Lacewing, Gladeye Bush Brown, Red Spot Duke, Map, Paris Peacock, Monkey Puzzle, Blue Tiger, and many more!
  • Relaxed pace ideally suited to photography & full enjoyment of the wildlife & scenery
  • Contribute to Butterfly Conservation

Explore the Western Ghats of Goa for its bounty of butterflies with Dr Simon Spencer!

BOOK NOW

Holiday Guide

Dr Simon Spencer was trained as an entomologist and has worked on the conservation of butterflies in Wales and Shropshire for 25 years having been interested in butterflies all his life. He has led many informal trips to Europe to see butterflies and was the chairman of Butterfly Conservation’s European Butterflies Group (EBG) for many years. He is a part time farmer and is particularly interested in the effect of changes in grazing on butterflies.

He and his wife have travelled extensively in Europe in a camper van looking for butterflies and occasionally filming them.  He has been part of several collaborative projects in Europe where UK butterfly people work with local butterfly enthusiasts to survey and monitor butterflies.

 

Join butterfly expert Dr Simon Spencer for an exploration of the Western Ghats of Goa!

Winter in a lot of European countries can be cold, damp, and rather dull. Many people seek an escape by travelling to sunnier & warmer climes and we are inviting you to do the same, on this brand new easy going butterfly watching holiday to Goa in India.

The tour will be led by Dr Simon Spencer who has led several Greenwing’s tours and also enjoys winter holidays in Goa – a perfect winter time destination to combine the two! Simon will be joined by local butterfly expert Yashoden Heblekar, who has set up the delightful Mystic Woods butterfly garden in Goa and knows the butterflies of Goa very well.

November is after the main monsoon season and we can expect temperatures be in the 30’s with sunshine nearly all the time. It is probably the best time to visit the area for butterflies. Guests wishing to stay on and enjoy the good weather on the coast for a week or so afterwards have plenty of choice. Simon and Anne Spencer will probably stay in Benaulim which they have visited for the last two winters and recommend.

There are over 300 species of butterfly in the Western Ghats that include Goa.  A few of these are local endemics but many are also found throughout India. Some are spectacular like the Malabar Banded Peacock and Southern Birdwing. There is such a diversity of butterflies that unless one has been studying Indian butterflies for years you are going to see new and spectacular butterflies every day.

The more interesting places and wildlife to find are inland, in the hills to the East, rather than the crowded coastal strip. India can be a bit of a shock for a lot of Europeans. The driving is chaotic, the roads throng with traffic and there can be dogs, people and cattle all over the road.  We will travel by minibus with a good local driver. To some there is an anarchic charm as exemplified in the film the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

We will stay at Casa Susegad run by Norman and Carole and we will have exclusive use. This is a luxuriously restored colonial era villa with with extravagantly colourful interiors by British designer, Carole Steen. It boasts over an acre of fabulous, natural gardens and outdoor pools, ponds and waterfalls that make it a truly unique property in the heart of Goa. Casa Susegad is a perfect place to relax and recharge whilst savouring the exceptional food prepared by the incomparable Joanita and enjoying the benefits of the peaceful end of the historic and attractive village of Loutolim.

We will take daily trips out to places, including the Mystic Valley butterfly gardens Tamdi Surla temple & waterfall, Dudhsgar waterfall. Almost all locations will be relatively close to our hotels and indeed, some time will be spent in the hotel grounds, where there can be plenty of butterflies to see and photograph. We intend to set up fruit bait, which should entice even more than usual to visit! The hotel has a large garden and there is adjoining jungle with langurs, porcupines, civet and mongoose as well as lots of birds.

We hope to welcome you on this exclusive new trip!

Day 1: Arrival & transfer to hotel.

Days 2 – 11: The following locations (running order & specific sites chosen according to season & local conditions).

Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary (near Savari falls). This is a butterfly hotspot in Goa where we can spot the Malabar Tree Nymph and The Map, plus almost all the forest species available in Goa.

Tambdi Surla and general area. It is one of the oldest temples in Goa and alongside historical importance it is also a good mud puddling site, and the best place to see a good number of Glad eye Bush browns.

Mystic Woods. There are several laterite plateaus in Goa where abundant yellows and blues can be spotted. We will probably combine time there during the day trip to Mystic woods. Southern Birdwing and Malabar Banded Peacock are the star species we will be looking out for.

Amboli hills across the Goa border. For sheer number of butterflies, this place is unparalleled, including a huge congregation of danaid species.

Rachaol or Raia fields for all sorts of Pansy family of butterflies.

Madei Wildlife sanctuary at Chorla Ghat. It is similar to Tambdi Surla but it is the place where tigers have been found! It also has a congregation of Malabar Tree Nymphs that we’ll look out for.

We may also include visits to one or more other locations, including Bondla , Dudhsagar Waterfalls and Valpoi.

Day 12: Departure. Transfer to airport.

New holiday so testimonials will follow later

To follow later