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!