Red Panda tour is especially crafted itinerary for those who are interested in seeking Red Pandas in their natural habitats and rare birds of foothills of eastern Nepal. Only one species of Red Panda Ailurus fulgens fulgens is found in Nepal, northeastern India (West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh), Bhutan, and part of China.

Red pandas only live in temperate forests in the foothills of the Himalayas. The temperature in this region is generally cool, and there is little annual variation. The southern slopes of the mountains trap the water from seasonal monsoons, supporting forests of firs, deciduous hardwoods, and rhododendrons. A bamboo understory grows in these forests and provides the bulk of the red panda’s diet. However, these swaths of bamboo are only found in narrow bands throughout the red panda’s range. Thus, although red pandas are distributed across thousands of miles of territory, they are restricted to these small, fragile areas because of their dependence on the bamboo plants. These habitats are also best habitats for restricted range species of birds in Nepal.

This tour is led by one of the Nepal’s best naturalists and pandas are searched by local experts.

Red Panda Tour


  • Total Duration: 10 Days
  • Max Elevation: 3,600 Meters
  • Trek Grading: Easy to Moderate
  • Best Months: October to May
  • Journey Starts/Ends: Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Accommodation: Hotels in Kathmandu, Ilam and Sandakpur and home stay in Dobate.

Trek Highlights

  • Search elusive Red Pandas in their natural habitats.
  • Enjoy stunning sunrise and magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world.
  • Enjoy scenic mountain flight.

Dates: Although this trip is currently unscheduled, contact us about organizing this destination for you or your group. The best months are between October to May.

Prices: Contact us with your group size and needs and we’ll work out the best possible price for you.

The cost includes:

  • All ground transfers including airport pickup and drops.
  • Hotels in Kathmandu (2 nights), in Ilam Bazaar (2 nights) and Sandakpur (1 night).
  • Home stay type accommodation in Dobate (4 nights).
  • Kathmandu-Bhadrapur-Kathmandu flight fares.
  • All meals (Breakfast lunch and dinners).
  • Guide and other tour expenses.

The cost does not include:

  • Nepal visa.
  • International flights fares.
  • Pure personal nature expenses, e. g. bar bills, laundry etc.
  • Guide and driver tips.
  • Any other costs not specified in the cost includes section.


  • Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel.
    Karnali representative will meet at the airport and arrange immediate transfer to hotel.
  • Day 02: Fly to Bhadrapur and drive to Ilam (1300m).
    We will fly to Bhadrapur Airport and drive to Ilam Bazaar. 45 minutes flight offers magnificent views of Mt. Everest, Lhotse and Kanchenjunga. After arriving at Bhadrapur Airport, we will drive to Ilam Bazaar. We will have a lunch stoppage at Char Aali. The vehicular journey is scenic and enjoyable. It takes 3 hours to reach Ilam Bazaar. We will spend overnight in hotel, which offers excellent window view of Ilam’s famous tea garden.
  • Day 03: Drive to Dobate and explore around (2650m).
    After having breakfast and enjoying morning views of tea garden, we will drive to Dobate. The ride is rather adventurous, but allows ample opportunities to experience true Nepalese culture and lifestyle. It takes 3-4 hours to reach Dobate, where we will spend overnight in home.
    After having lunch, we will explore birds and mammals in and around Dobate area. At the tea time in the late afternoon, we will have a meeting with forest guardians/Red Panda Trackers in order to discuss following days’ plan to maximize chances of seeing Red Panda and other wildlife of the area.
  • Days 04-06: Look for Red Panda and explore birds of moist temperate forests of far-eastern Nepal.
    As per our discussed plan, for next few days, we will focus on exploring Red Panda and birds of eastern part of Nepal. Some species of birds are only found here in the moist temperate forests of far-eastern parts of Nepal. These species of birds are known as restricted range species of eastern Nepal. We will spend overnight in home stay with all meals.
  • Day 07: Trek to Sandakpur (3600m) for the sunrise and magnificent views of Mt. Kanchenjunga.
    After breakfast, we will trek to Sandakpur. It takes 4-5 hours to reach Sandakpur, which is the famous viewpoint for sunrise and Mt. Kanchenjunga. We will follow switch-back dirt road that leads to the Sandakpur. The walk allows exploring sacred pond, Kala Pokhari and spectacular mountain views. We will spend overnight in a hotel with all meals.
  • Day 08: Trek to Dobate and drive to Ilam.
    After enjoying sunrise and morning views, we will have breakfast and then start walking down to Dobate where we will have lunch. After lunch, we will drive to Ilam Bazaar.  
  • Day 09: Drive to Bhadrapur Airport and fly to Kathmandu.
    We will drive to Bhadrapur Airport and fly to Kathmandu by afternoon flight. We will spend overnight in a hotel in Kathmandu.
  • Day 10: Trip concludes and depart for onward journey.
    Karnali Excursions will provide a private vehicle for airport transfer.

Do you wish to extend your trip to include more time, additional destinations, or both? Let us know and we’ll help you plan it out.

(These trips can also be extended or modified to fit your schedule.)

hyper-arrow To view our Trip Extension options, please take a quick look at our Trip Extensions menu.

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