Namdapha National Park is a biodiversity hotspot that has also been declared part of the Project Tiger. Yet, this barely describes what you are going to experience during this trek. Located on the eastern tip of Arunachal Pradesh, Namdapha is one of the remotest and most inaccessible national parks in the country. It is a dense rainforest that hides thousands of species of flora and fauna in its dark interiors and it will be unlike anything you have seen in other parts of India. It is also one of the largest national parks in terms of area while the elevation varies wildly between 300 meters to 4500 meters. So, as you hike through it, you witness changing vegetation and landscapes.

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The main trek into the jungle starts after crossing the river. The true meaning of the term “rain forest” becomes evident after this point as walls of thick foliages flank the narrow trail. Initially you come across bamboo grooves but the trees get taller as you keep getting deeper and eventually you enter the areas where a thick canopy blocks the sun over your head and it gets dark even at noon. Sounds of varied birds and animals can be heard all the time but to spot them, you would need the help of an expert guide. Tourists generally come across various camping sites during the multi-day trek, namely Haldibari, Hornbill Point, Bulbulia, and Ranijheel etc.

Apart from the tiger, the other big cats available here include the Indian leopard, snow leopard, as well as clouded leopard. Primates such as Assamese macaque, capped langur, stump-tailed macaque etc. can always be spotted here along with hoolock gibbon, the only ape available in India. Other mammals here include musk deer, hog deer, sambar, gaur, goral, slow lorris, giant flying squirrels, civet cat, red panda, Asiatic black bear, and many more. It is also a birder’s paradise. Several varieties of hornbills, babblers, warblers, kingfishers, herons, falcons, etc are regular sightings here and more than 400 different avian species are available here. Dozens of documented, as well as undiscovered species of butterflies, moths, amphibians, reptiles, and herbs can also be spotted here.

Namdapha is not only about the jungle but is also a great opportunity to get acquainted with varied cultures of the region. This region is an ethnographic treasure trove with numerous small tribes with their own language, rituals, and culture. The areas around Namdapha are generally inhabited by Lisu, Chakma, and Singpho people, each having their own stories. The Lisus arrived here from Myanmar several centuries ago. The Chakmas are going through turbulent times at some other parts of the world and settled here as refugees. The Singphos on the other hand are the original tea planters of the region. British explorers first tasted the Assam tea at a Singpho village. The Lisus around this region have now adopted Christianity while the rest mostly follow Buddhism.

While this is not a part of the basic itinerary, one can also undertake a trek further to Vijaynagar, which is one of the remotest tehsils (circles) in India comprising of 16 villages, mostly inhabited by Lisu (Yobin) people. Although there are plans to connect it with an ambitious frontier highway, as of now, the place has no roads and it takes several more days of trek through the rainforest to reach this village!

Trip Highlights
  • Grade of Trek : Moderate to Hard. Previous trek experience will be helpful and an added advantage. Difficulty of trek is subjective.
  • Distance from Dibrugarh :145 Kms
  • Total trek distance : 60 Kms
  • Stay :Tent
  • Max height from sea level : 1800-2000 Mts
  • Best time to visit : Between Dec to Feb
Trip Facts
  • Trek starting point : Deban
  • Trek End point : Miao
  • Time to trek : ~30-35 hours
  • Local Transport : Car Transfers from Dibrugarh to Miao and Return
  • Overall Trek distance : 46 kilometres
  • Satopanth Tal Altitude: 14,455 ft
  • Best time to visit : Between June to September
  • Difficulty level : Moderate (It is Subjective)
Why to choose?
  • Namdapha is one of the best kept secrets of the North East region of India
  • Evergreen Rainforest with elevation variation 200m to 4571 m with views of grand Himalayas
  • A biodiversity hotspot with with more than 1,000 floral, 425 bird species, 410 Butterfly species and about 1,400 faunal species.and 150 species of timber.
  • The trail is moderate with Moraine and good for beginners too.
  • Home to great diversity of Mammal species such a Clouded Leopard ( Neofelis Nebulosa ), Snow leopard ( Panthera uncia ), Tiger ( Panthera tigris ) and common Leopard ( Panthera pardus ), 5 species of Hornbills Great Pied Hornbill, Wreathed Hornbill,Oriental pied Hornbill , Rufous pied Hornbill and Brown Hornbill, Flying squirrels, Himalayan sapriyana , 7 species of Non Human primates Assamese macaques, Rhesus Macaques, stump tailed Macaques,slow loris, Hoolock gibbon . Asiatic Elephant and Capped Langurs, Orchids, Medicinal Plants and critically endangered species
Trip Cost Includes
  • Inner line permit ILP for visiting Arunachal pradesh
  • Stay in Tents
  • Food - Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Transport from Dibrugarh Airport to Miao and back by non-AC vehicle.
  • Forest department charges paid per person basis.
  • Coordinator charges
  • Basic 1st aid is available during the trek.
Trip Cost Excludes
  • Flight tickets to and from Dibrugarh.
  • Camera fees for the national park (fees vary as per the type of camera you have).
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusion section is under exclusion.
Itinerary:
Day one - Dibrugarh to Miao Dis 160 km Journey.
Take a flight to Dibrugarh or a train to Tinsukia, which are major cities in upper Assam. From there, drive for 5-6 hour through lush green tea-plantations of Assam and enter Arunachal to reach the small town of Miao. Stay at a guesthouse overnight and enjoy the desolation at the edge of the rainforest.
Day two - Miao to Hornbill Camp Dis 36 km.
The trek starts today but before that you need to drive to Deban, which is around 10-12 KMs from Miao. However, it is a very difficult bumpy road that will take 1.30 -2 hours. Deban is a pretty location with a colonial forest resthouse and some small villages inhabited by Lisu as well as Chakma people on the banks of bluish green Noa-Dihing river. From here, trek about 4-5 hour up to Hornbill camp which is located in the middle of the rainforest.
This will involve crossing the river or its tributaries a couple of times. There will be shaky bamboo bridges and at times you may have to walk across the streams and that itself will be an adventure. You will be amazed spotting the rich biodiversity here including dozens of species of birds, insects, animals, trees, fungi etc. You will stay overnight at the tents at the end of a tiring day.
Day three - Hornbill to Ranijheel Dis 09 km Journey.
Today you will trek to Ranijheel, which was a waterbody which has somewhat dried up but is full of exotic vegetation. The main trek will take around four hours but en-route, you will stop at spot called Bulbulia which is known for hot water springs. Naturally, the boiling sulpharous water here is soothing and great for skin. Throughout the day, you will pass through a mix of evergreen forests as well as bamboo patches. This area is also great for birdwatching and photography. Again, tonight you will set up the tents in the wild.
Day four - Ranijheel to Farmbase Dis 08 km Journey.
Today you will trek towards Farmbase. This will mostly be a downward slope, which makes it easier and the campsite hre is located near the river, making it the most scenic ones for this trek. Today you will have plenty of time for local explorations in the afternoon. Talk along the Noa-dihing river to watch various water birds including White-belied Heron, which is extremely rare and is only found around Namdapha in India. Overnight will camping in tent near the Nao-dehing river bank.
Day five - Farmbase.
Today, you will have some human contact after several days as you will take up a short hike to the nearby Ngwazakha village atop a nearby hill and interact with the Lisu people living out there. In the afternoon, return to the same Farmbase campsite. This may be a good opportunity to explore their lifestyle, or try local food, which is generally prepared in a simple manner by boiling everything from met to vegetable.
Day six - Farmbase to 27th mile Dis 08 km Journey.
Today you will start your return journey along the scenic bank of Noa-dihing river till reach 27th mile campsite, crossing temporary bamboo bridges over Noa-dihing river. Overnight camping near the river bank in tent.
Day seven - 27th mile campsite to Miao Distance 12 km.
Trek about 4-5 hour to reach the spot called 19th mile which is the road head. Th trek practically ends here and you can board a vehicle from there to reach Miao in 1.5 -2 hour. Overnight, you will stay in a hotel/guest house and enjoy basic amenities after several days.
Day eight - Miao to Dibrugarh Airport.
Drive back to Dibrugarh from Mia and leave for your home after a memorable week in the wilderness.
Important Information:
Things To Carry
  • 1 pair of Shoes : Carry well broken/used Shoes with good Sole & ankle protection and that will sustain usage during the trek. Avoid wearing new shoes to avoid bite and blisters.
  • 1 Backpack : Light Weighted & approx 30 litres in volume with multiple pouches,good zip & straps.
  • Clothing & Toiletries : For your daily usage
  • 1 Jacket : Early mornings and nights can get really cold.
  • 1 Cap/hat : help in protecting your head and face from direct sunlight during treks.
  • 1 Water bottle : carry some reusable water bottles along.
  • 1 Towel : quick dry light towel.
  • 1 Head lamp / Torch : Keep it handy and use it only required.
  • 1 Personal Medical Kit : Carry few tablets such as crocin, Paracetamol, Band aid, cotton. ORS satchets. Glucose, Volini spray and crape bandage.
  • 1 Medic Kit : always pack a first-aid kit in case things go the other way.
  • 2 Batteries: Carry recharged spare batteries.
  • Gloves : Gloves that will keep your palms warm during extreme cold.
  • 1 Whistle : Whistle for signalling and use in times of distress only.
  • 1 Sun glasses : Carry tested and right one to protect from harsh Sunlight only.
  • Sleeping Bag : At times, there might be extreme cold and the camp beds might not be good enough to give you a good night’s sleep. It is better if you have your own warm sleeping bag.
  • Mobile : Use if for communication only. Check with trek coordinator of network availibility carry BSNL SIM if required.
  • 1 Poly Bags : To carry trash and wet clothes.
  • 1 ID Proof : Carry Photo ID proof DL / Voter Id/ similar.
Routes to reach
    • By Train : Train to Tinsukia.
    • By Flight : Flight to Dibrugarh