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Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Mammal Watching Tour

Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Mammal Watching Tour

Duration:14 days
Destination:Xining---Huashixia---Yushu---Nangqian---Qumalai(Sanjiangyuan Reserve or Three River Headsource Reser
Birds possibleAround 100
Best season:from Sept to Nov

Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau Mammal Watching Tour


Duration:  14 Days

Locations:  Xining---Huashixia---Yushu---Nangqian---Qumalai(Sanjiangyuan Reserve or Three River Headsource Reserve)---Budongquan---KeKeXiLi Reserve (Kor Kor Nor Reserve) ---Golmud---Chaka---Qinghai Lake---Xining


Target Endemic Mammal Species:

White-lipped Deer, Wild Yak, Tibetan Antelope, Tibetan Gazelle, Tibetan Argali, Tibetan Fox, Przewalski's Gazelle, Kiang



Other possible species we hope to see:

Snow Leopard, Wolf, Pallas' Cat, Lynx, Chinese Mountain Cat, Blue Sheep, Musked Deer, Badger,Red Deer, Goitred Gazelle,Red Fox, Dhole, Himalayan Pica, Gloveri's Pica,(Himalayan Marmot and Brown Bear in hibernation in winter)


Bird Species we may to see in this season:

Black-necked Crane, White-eared Pheasants, Blood Pheasants, Himalayan Griffon, Cinareous vulture,Upland Buzzard, Saker Falcon, Great-necklaced Chukar, Tibetan Partridge, Large-billed Crow, Red-billed and Yellow-billed Crow, Tibetan Bunting, Tibetan Rosefinch, Pink-tailed Bunting(Przewalski's Bunting), Mongolian Ground Jay, Hume's Ground Pecker, White-rumped Snowfinch, White-winged Snowfinch, Rufous-necked Snowfinches and some widely spread waterfowls


Books we will use:


Accommodation: From comfortable in the big town to extremely poor in the wild. Tibetan Plateau is still not developed for tourist, so not much good accommodation available, especially in the west. We strongly suggest you to bring your warm sleeping bags for the days in the poor guest houses.

Weather condition: the temperature can reach to 10�� when the sun rise, and it will drop to -20�� at night. And it is very windy.

Elevation: Starts from 2200M in Xining, and most of the days will stay above 3500M, most of people should feel the elevation in the first few days. Please ask your doctor for advice before travel.

Best seasons:

From Sept to Nov


Rut seasons:













White-lipped Deer



Wild Yak




Tibetan Antelope



Tibetan Gazelle



Tibetan Argali



Przewalski's Gazelle








Day 1,  Arrive in Xining and get prepared.

Day 2,  Xining to Huashixia

Dag 3,  Around Huashixia

Day 4,  Huashixia to Yushu

Day 5,  Yushu to Nangqian

Day 6,  Around Nangqian Forest

Day 7,  Nangqian to Qumalai

Day 8,  Qumalai to Xidatan/Budongquan

Day 9,  Kekexili Reserve and Sanjiangyuan Reserve

Day 10,  Xidatan/Budongquan to Golmud

Day 11,  Golmud to Chaka

Day 12,  Chaka to Gangcha

Day 13,  Gangcha to Xining

Day 14,  Xining Departure


About Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau:

The Tibetan Plateau is surrounded by massive mountain ranges. The plateau is bordered to the south by the inner Himalayan range, to the north by the Kunlun Range which separates it from the Tarim Basin, and to the northeast by the Qilian Range which separates the plateau from the Hexi Corridor and Gobi Desert. To the east and southeast the plateau gives way to the forested gorge and ridge geography of the mountainous headwaters of the Salween, Mekong, and Yangtze rivers in western Sichuan (the Hengduan Mountains) and southwest Qinghai. In the west the curve of the rugged Karakoram range of northern Kashmir embraces it.

Buddhist stupa and houses outside the town of Aba, on the Tibetan Plateau.

The Tibetan Plateau is bounded on the north by a broad escarpment where the altitude drops from around 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) in less than 150 kilometres (93 mi). Along the escarpment is a range of mountains. In the west the Kunlun Mountains separate the plateau from the Tarim Basin. About half way across the Tarim the bounding range becomes the Altyn-Tagh and the Kunluns, by convention, continue somewhat to the south. In the 'V' formed by this split is the western part of the Qaidam Basin. The Altyn-Tagh ends near the Dangjin pass on the Dunhuang-Golmud road. To the west are short ranges called the Danghe, Yema, Shule and Tulai Nanshans. The easternmost range is the Qilian Mountains. The line of mountains continues east of the plateau as the Qin Mountains which separate the Ordos Region from Sichuan. North of the mountains runs the Gansu or Hexi Corridor which was the main silk-road route from China proper to the west.

The plateau is a high-altitude arid steppe interspersed with mountain ranges and large brackish lakes. Annual precipitation ranges from 100 to 300 millimetres (3.9 to 11.8 in) and falls mainly as hailstorms. The southern and eastern edges of the steppe have grasslands which can sustainably support populations of nomadic herdsmen, although frost occurs for six months of the year. Permafrost occurs over extensive parts of the plateau. Proceeding to the north and northwest, the plateau becomes progressively higher, colder and drier, until reaching the remote Changthang region in the northwestern part of the plateau. Here the average altitude exceeds 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) and winter temperatures can drop to −40C (−40F). As a result of this extremely inhospitable environment, the Changthang region (together with the adjoining Kekexili region) is the least populous region in Asia, and the third least populous area in the world after Antarctica and northern Greenland.


Day 1  

We'll meet you at Xining Airport (2200M), and transfer you to the hotel in the downtown. Your guide will give you a pre-tour briefing.


Day 2  

We'll start early in the morning heading to Huashixia(3730M), 8 hrs driving on very good road, we didn't stop for wildlife too many times, just try to get as far from the civilization as we can. Overnight in Huashixia town.

What we may see today are: Tibetan Fox, Blue Sheep, Pallas's Cat, Woolly Hale, Himalayan Griffons, Tibetan Sandgrouse,Tibetan Rosefinch, Snowfinches and Picas.



Day 3  

Today we'll looking around the lake of Huashixia which is an amazing place for wildlife. We hope to see Wolves, Kiangs, Tibetan Gazelle, Blue Sheep, Pallas's Cat, Lynx, Tibetan Fox and even a chance of Snow Leopard!


Day 4

After morning wildlife watching near Huashixia, we'll drive from Huashixia to Yushu (3700m), good road, nice plateau view with birds and mammal watching stops


Day 5 

We will start from Yushu from early morning try to looking for the endemic White-lipped Deer for the first time at the usual place. And we'll stop for the White-eared Pheasants near a monastery. Totally 170km driving to Nangqian for overnight.



Day 6 

Today we'll explore the Baizha forest 25km away from Nangqian town. Possible mammals are: Blue sheep and Tibetan Argali. And some nice birds such as: White-eared pheasants Blood pheasants, Tibetan Partridge, Elliot's Laughingthrush, Chinese Babax, Streaked Rosefinch, and the endemic Tibetan bunting near Kandashan Pass.



Day 7 

A long driving from Nangqian to Qumalai(450km). Today we hope to see wolf and many Tibetan foxes. And before we will get to Qumalai town(4200M), we have good chance to see some big groups of White-lipped Deer at the usual place on the other side of the valley.

Overnight in Qumalai




Day 8

Today we'll drive from Qumalai to Xidatan(360km). Out of Qumalai town we'll start to see many Tibetan Gazelles, Tibetan Foxes and Kiangs all the way to Budongquan. This part of plateau belongs to Sanjiangyuan Reserve(Three River Head Source Reserve), and is very well protected, you can see the whole eco system is very healthy, many raptors and other top predators.

Before we get to Budongquan, we will try to search for the Tibetan Antelope and Wild Yak for the first time

Overnight in Xidatan/Budongquan, Poor guesthouse



Day 9

We will spend a whole day explore the KeKeXiLi and Sanjiangyuan Reserve along Kunlun Pass, Budongquan and Chumar River. We hope to see Wolves, wild Yak, Tibetan Antelopes, Tibetan Gazelles and Kiangs.

Overnight in Xidatan/Budongquan, Poor guesthouse


Day 10

We will spend the half day to explore the KeKeXiLi Reserve, and then drive to Golmud(140km) for overnight



Day 11

Driving from Golmud to Chaka, we'll have several stops try to look for the Goitred Gazelle, Greater-Necklaced Chukar, Mongolian Ground Jay and Pallas's Sandgrouse.

Overniht in Chaka


Day 12

Early morning we'll birdwatching for the unique Pink-tailed Bunting(or Przewalski's Bunting) at Xiangpishan, and then drive to the Qinghai Lake for the Black-necked Crane and Przewalski's Gazelles. Przewalski's Gazelle has the smallest number of all the Chinese Endemic Mammal Species, and also the smallest number of the Even-toed mammals in the world! There use to be only around 300 left in the world due to poaching and lost of habitat, and now the government set a place as their reserve, although the reserve is small and seems not very serious, it did help the gazelles number reach to over 1000. The rut is in the end of Nov.

Overnight in Gangcha



Day 13

We'll going to see the Przewalski's Gazelles again in the morning and then drive back to Xining.

Overnight in Xining


Day 14

Your Departure in Xining


Included service:

1.    Acommodation as mentioned in the schedule. Two people share a twin room.

2.    English speaking birding guide.

3.    Breakfasts, lunches and dinners including

4.    Group transfer as described.

5.    Sites entrance fee.


1.     Any flight ticket.

2.     China visa.

3.     Any other fee not mentioned.