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Holidays To Burma’s Himalayas: A Wildlife Lover’s Guide

By Charlotte Kawecki in The Himalaya, Southeast Asia - 20th August 2012

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Look out for the elusive fishing cat while on holidays to Burma – photo courtesy of Dulup

There’s more to see on holidays to Burma’s Himalayan region than we could fit into a hundred blog posts, but for those animal lovers thinking of venturing into this stunning region, here’s a glimpse of the wildlife that abounds in the mountains.

The unspoilt jungle of the northern Burmese highlands comprises one of the largest continuous forest complexes in Southeast Asia, and is home to a rich biodiversity, including spectacular trees and flowers, and an array of beautiful and intriguing animals.

Thanks to the size and range of the forest complex – which takes in rainforests, coniferous forests, wetlands and other terrain – trekking through the Himalayan foothills on holidays to Burma never ceases to surprise and delight the observant traveller. Jewel-bright birds, including rare species such as Gurney’s pitta, fly among the trees, while the undergrowth is the perfect place to look out for the region’s colourful amphibians and scintillating reptiles.

There are many mammals around, although most will stay away from trekking routes frequented by travellers. Occasional sightings of fishing cats, Indian mongoose and civets have been reported, while larger animals like tigers, elephants or Himalayan bears might make their presence felt through tracks or tree markings, but will stay away from human activity. More likely are primate sightings – macaques are often seen, while gibbons might be glimpsed and can certainly be heard as they make their whooping calls.

Because of these forests’ extensive span and diversity, their high proportion of endemic species and instances of endangered animals, they are considered extremely important by ecologists and conservationists working in the region. The most remote areas of the jungle could play a key role in tiger conservation in the region, and as so much remains unexplored there could well be new species in the area – so remember, on your holidays to Burma, to ‘take only photographs, leave only footprints’.

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