Wildlife Tour to Taiwan Butterflies, Birds, Mammals, Dragonflies and Flora with Greentours
Sitting astride the tropic of Cancer is Ilha Formosa, the ‘beautiful island’, so named by early Portuguese sailors, a reference to the still largely green-cloaked mountains that culminate in the 13,000 feet Jade Mountain.
The breathtaking Taroko Gorge cuts like a knife through hard marble producing one of the scenic wonders of Asia, a defile created by immense tectonic forces and sharpened by the rushing Liwu River. Mingchin’s deep emerald mossy forests seem of another realm. Lime-green Bamboo Pit-vipers sit motionless below huge birdsnest ferns awaiting a meal of colourful tree frog. A flash of burnished gold reveals a Purple Sapphire butterfly fluttering between the yellow Orchids blooming amongst diverse ferns. Japanese Paradise Flycatcher and Ryukyu Scops-Owl inhabit the weird volcanic landscapes of subtropical Orchid Island, home to Yami aboriginals.
Taiwan was once known as the ‘Kingdom of Butterflies’ so many of these gorgeous creatures did it export, thankfully the practice has largely stopped so now Blue Admirals, Red-base Jezebels and the shimmering green-blue Paris Swallowtail can fly in peace. Magellan’s Iridescent Birdwing, the yellow of the hindwing glowing blue from some angles, was selected as Taiwan’s most beautiful butterfly in a recent web contest, though it had some healthy competition from the endemic Papilio hoppo and several stunningly-marked red and blue swallowtails such as Papilio thaiwanus, the lovely Spangle, and the Highland Red-bodied Swallowtail. Four species of shimmering purple-winged crow butterflies will be migrating through the holy mountains of the Paiwan and Rukai tribes and they’ll put on quite a show mixed with Glassy Tigers, Dark Blue Tigers, and white, yellow and orange Emigrants. Among a staggering variety of moths are the Golden Emperor and huge Ailanthus Silkmoth. The Great Nawab prefers to visit carnivore dung, maybe from a Formosan Ferret Badger, or a Yellowthroated Marten. Other mammals we will see include Formosan White-faced Flying Squirrel and the Formosan Rock Macaque. Vinaceous Rosefinch, endemic Flamecrest, Golden Parrotbill and gorgeous Collared Bushchat feed amongst the Gentians, Gaultherias and Lilies of the high alpine zone and in temperate forests are Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, Vivid Niltava, Steere’s Liocichla, and fabulous Swinhoe’s and Mikado Pheasants. Down in the subtropical zone we’ll find Malaysian Night-Heron, Collared Finchbill and the splendid brilliance of the endemic Formosan Blue Magpie. Taiwan’s mountains and east coast are so unspoilt and the fauna and flora so exotic and exciting that we can only urge you to go and enjoy one of Earth’s truly beautiful places!
Butterflies, Birds, Mammals and the Flora. Also Odonata, Mountain Landscapes and Culture.
Relaxed and easy. Up to three or four miles a day and always at a slow pace, perfectly suited to photographers.
Included in the Price
All flights. Transport, accommodation and all meals in Taiwan. Services of the leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum group size is four and the maximum is nine.
Taiwan is blessed with a lot of good hotels, many of them built on hot springs or in Forest Recreation Areas. After a night in a good quality hotel at Wulai close by the airport we move to the mountains and FRA cabins, first two nights at Anmashan and then two nights at Basienshan. We also stay in FRA cabins at Jhiben. In Tainan, Kenting, Fuyuan, Wuling Farm, at Mingchih and for the last night at the airport we stay in good 4-star standard hotels, all with large modern rooms. In the Taroko Gorge we stay at the rather special Bulowan Leader Village, a lodge owned and operated by the local Ayatal tribals. Rooms are of a good standard and light and spacious and the setting is unbeatable. The lowest standard of the tour will be found on Lanyu Island where the hotel is a little more basic, but nonetheless functional and the rooms, like all on this tour, have en suite facilities. We’ve two nights at most locations, one night at a few of them.
UK direct return flights are from London Heathrow to Taipei. Indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Warm to occasionally hot and quite humid at lower elevations, at higher levels pleasant in the day but cool early and late. Often clear until midday, sometimes all day, the afternoon cloud is often accompanied by rain showers.
Itinerary Flexibility. Flights and Ferries to Lanyu only operate in good weather. It is possible that these might not operate on the required days, in which case Day 10 will be spent in the Kenting area and Day 11 at Jhiben.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form (or contact us and we will send one to you)from the Booking Information section. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Bird, butterfly, mammal and flower checklists are available.