Dates & Prices


Dates: 18th – 31st March 2025

Price: £3,995 Places available

Single Room Supplement: £0

Deposit: £500 per person

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

Not Included: International travel, travel insurance, drinks & other personal items

Conservation Donation: Butterfly Conservation

Leader(s): Dr Simon Spencer, Anne Spencer & local expert butterfly guide

Group Size: Minimum 5 & maximum 7 guests + 2 leaders

Holiday Highlights

  • Take part in an exciting & exclusive exploration of butterfly rich Northeast India!
  • Enjoy a great variety of  stunning butterfly species in one of the best & most biodiverse parts of the country
  • A small group tour to keep the experience special & provide excellent photographic opportunities
  • Led by experienced Lepidopterist Dr Simon Spencer, with his wife Anne, plus a top local butterfly guide
  • We can expect to see around 250 species, of staggering beauty and diversity
  • Relaxed pace tour and ideally suited to photography
  • Contribute to Butterfly Conservation

A unique chance to see a great range of butterflies & other wildlife in remote Northeast India!


A unique chance to see a great range of butterflies & other wildlife in remote Northeast India!!

We’re delighted to be returning to Northeast India in 2025! It is sure to be popular, read on to find out why…

North East India and the provinces of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam represent a wildlife paradise rarely visited by Europeans.  Lying in the foothills of the Himalayas it is one of the best areas for butterflies in India and along with the Western Ghats is one of two biodiversity hotspots in India.

There are a fabulous range of butterflies ranging from the majestic Great Nawab and the Indian Purple Emperor to the dazzling Jungle Glory and the uncommon Khaki Silverline. Mud puddling butterflies along river banks are a sight to behold. We are expecting to document nothing less that 200 species of butterflies during our tour. In 2024 we saw around 250.

There are 375 butterflies from Assam alone with at least 472 in Arunachal Pradesh, including the Bhutan Glory that was recently discovered.  Nobles’s Helen, a species in decline elsewhere, was also recently reported. There is always the chance of more surprise species on such a tour too, so who knows what else we might see! There are over 20 species from the Papilionidae (Swallowtails and Birdwings). The butterflies are reasonably well documented with books available.

The area is also well known for other wildlife including several species of cat and monkey.

This is an exclusive tour set up in consultation with our experienced local guide in India who knows it very well.  Accommodation will be basic but clean and the roads challenging but it will be an experience you will never forget.  We will eat traditional Indian food, which is often vegetarian.  The temperature is normally at 32⁰C maximum with 19⁰C at night in March with cool winds from the Himalayas.  A few periods of rain are expected.

Please note that air conditioning will not be available and that it will be essential to share rooms at one of the lodges we will stay at for 3 nights.

Book your places soon on what promises to be a superb and very special experience!


Please note that the following is only intended as a guide. The actual itinerary may be changed if necessary due to local conditions, road closures, etc.

Day 0, 17th March: International travel (from UK or other)

Day 1, 18th March: Arrival in Kolkota, flight to Dibrugarh and road travel to Miao. Check in at Check in at Gibbonsland Resort/Namdapha Jungle Camp in Miao on the outskirts of Namdapha National Park

Day 2: Travel to Deban while butterflying on the way (room sharing)

Day 3: Butterflying in Namdapha National Park (room sharing)

Day 4: Butterflying in Namdapha National Park (room sharing)

Day 5: Butterflying in Namdapha National Park (room sharing)

Day 6: Butterflying in Namdapha National Park (room sharing)

Day 7: Butterflying in Namdapha National Park and check in at Namdapha Jungle Camp, Miao

Day 8: Travel to Jorhat and check in at hotel by evening. Butterflying on the way

Day 9: Butterflying in Gibbon’s Wildlife Sanctuary

Day 10: Butterflying in Gibbon’s Wildlife Sanctuary

Day 11: Butterflying in Gibbon’s Wildlife Sanctuary and travel to Kaziranga in the evening

Day 12: Morning safari into the park and travel to Guwahati for flight to Kolkota. Check in at Hotel in Kolkota

Day 13: Visit the butterfly garden in Kolkota, plus some sight-seeing

Day 14, 31st March: Morning flight to London

Chris & Sheila, 2024… This was an incredible holiday. The number and quality of butterflies which we saw was breathtaking. Walking in remote and beautiful forests we regularly saw a number of Papillionidae such as Common Birdwing, Paris Peacock and Tailed Jay as well as Great and Common Mormons and Windmills, Common Batwings and Ravens. We also had occasional sitings of rare species such as Nonsuch Palmer, Hairy Angle, Slate Awl, Yellow Gorgon and Peal’s Palmfly, also the beautiful Green Awlet, Indian Awlking and Orchid Tit. Our highest daily number of species seen was 100 and the overall total number of species for the tour was around 250. With some photos yet to be fully identified that may well increase further!

Travelling to these remote areas was fascinating; we travelled in comfortable cars with experienced drivers. To avoid long daily drives necessitated staying in basic accommodation at times, which was more than compensated for by the butterflying. Food provided everywhere was excellent with local produce; in our opinion the most basic accommodation often provided the most delicious food.

Our tour leaders and local guides were excellent, sharing with us their knowledge and expertise especially in butterflies but also in other wildlife, their country and their culture.

We would definitely recommend this tour, in fact we would love to return in the near future.

Diane & John, 2024… A really interesting adventure run by Simon and Anne Spencer for Greenwings Wildlife Holidays.  Our party consisted two very interesting and knowledgeable people from thr Peake District with John and myself from Dorset.  We were joined by three Indian Guides and three Indian drivers who were all remarkable.  We had the use of three cars as the roads were bumpy and a Transit Transporter would have been very uncomfortable and unsuitable for the narrow roads/tracks.

John, my husband, had always wanted to visit India but I was more reluctant as I had driven overland to India with Encounter Overland in the 60’s taking 5 months – I was sick and travel weary, realizing the beauty and complexities of the nation needed a much longer visit or better still a project to be involved with to meet and understand the people and their ways of life.

In January 2024 Greenwings advertised a Butterfly Survey in NorthEast India so we seized the opportunity.  We knew Simon and Anne as we had been to Spain and Italy carrying out Butterfly Surveys with them before – all had been very successful.

Form filling in, Visa and Restricted Area applications, took a while to understand.. Guided by Anne, the forms were filled in and both came through OK, excitement started.

We flew from Heathrow to Delhi then took an internal flight to Dibrugarh, met the Guides and Drivers.  We drove to Miao in Arunachal Pradesh to a Jungle Camp Guest House. Quite an experience after the comfort of our own dwellings. Our first taste of Indian food was delicious, local and very welcomed.  Happy but exhausted we fell into our hard beds on a raised bamboo floor, luckily no mosquitos and fell fast asleep.

We then drove to Deban, our base for four days, to the Forest Guest House by the river with Gibbons and Indian squirrels in the trees. Delicious local based on Rice and dhal, vegetables and meat. Our day started with breakfast at 7.00am, leaving at 7.30 for a butterfly site in the forest by a waterfall, walking back to the next waterfall, photographing and recording all that was seen, mesmerizing numbers, size and colour of butterflies. The Guides were full of anticipation, enthusiasm and deep knowledge of the local species.  The morning temperatures were very pleasant with the mid-day temperatures becoming very hot and steamy. Warmer it got the more butterflies appeared.  We would get back to the Guest house for lunch by about 2.30 bussing.  We would meet again at about 6.30 for a de-briefing of the days sightings – this to me was exciting having to ID and discuss with the others the species and locations of species found that day.  An evening meal at about 7.30 – bed by 9.00. All very content.

Back to our first stop at Miao for a stop before a long drive to our next stop the National Park at Jorhat, along the river. The border crossings were always of interest with different photo shoots of us all with white hair and pink skin!!! Then into Assam and a change of scenery, more dwellings and organized villages.  Rough roads with alot of roadworks slowed our progress.  This gave us time to see the miles of Tea Plantations and fallow rice fields – not very eco-friendly as mainly an area of monoculture that was cut through the forest!!. The villages full of bustling women in beautiful coloured saris, men on bicycles, couple on motorbikes, trucks, cars, the Holi cow and goats all sharing the same road, chaos!!.  What an experience full of wonder but also so diverse that it leaves one feeling giddy, mystified of how India can bring its billion and a half population into the 21st century without loosing some of its charm and traditions.

Three nights at the Hotel on the outskirts of Jorhat was welcomed, hot water for showers, coffee in town and lunch out in typical Indian Restaurants selected by the Guides. Two visits to Gibbon’s Wildlife Sanctuary, wonderful butterflies as well as Hoolock Gibbons, monkeys, orchids and spiders.

On the way to the airport we spent an interesting night in an old Empire Guest House and visited Kaziranga National Park to see the One-horned Rhinoceros, elephants, deer and numerous amount of Indian birds – a real finish to our adventures.

Many thanks to the charming, knowledgeable Guides for such an informative trip and a big thankyou to the drivers who got us to Guwahati Airport in time to catch our plane to Delhi and then home to Heathrow. Very many thanks to Simon and Anne for suggesting and supporting such an informative trip.

To follow