TURKMENISTAN & UZBEKISTAN: An adventure for Zarudny Sparrow
Repetek Biosphere Reservein the east of the country. We plan a short visit aimed at finding the endemic and one of the most sought-after sparrows of the planet: Zarudny’s Sparrow! It recently received species status when it was split from the in Africa occurring similar-looking Desert Sparrow. The bird was first discovered and described by the Russian-Ukrainian explorer and zoologist Nikolai Zarudny in the end of the nineteenth century. More interesting birds will include Variable Wheatear,
Finsch’s Wheatear, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Red-headed Bunting and the epic
Pander’s Ground-Jay. One of four species of ground-jay in the world.
- Admire and be one of very few birders in the world to have seen the endemic Zarudny Sparrow!
- Follow the footstep of ancient traders on the legendary Silk Road!
- Breath the air and stroll the streets of the ancient center of Bukhara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Enjoy the delicious foods of Central Asia in a rarely traveled part of Central Asia and the former Silk Road.
- Good chance on more desert highlights such as Pander’s (Turkestan) Ground-Jay, Menetries’s Warbler, and Streaked Scrub Warbler.
- Astonishing photographic opportunities throughout, both wildlife, landscapes, and cultural.
Flight from your home to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
Arrival in Ashgabat. Enjoy a city tour followed by a domestic flight to the ancient city of Turkmenabad.
Two full days to explore the Repetek Biosphere Reserve for the endemic Zarudny Sparrow and many other desert wonders!
We leave Repetek and cross the nearby border into Uzbekistan to explore Bukhara. Here we board our high-speed train to Tashkent.
Departure from Tashkent International Airport towards home.
- English-speaking wildlife & ornithological guide throughout.
- Full board meals in restaurants or picnic lunches in the field, depending on the itinerary.
- All transfers by comfortable 4wd cars & modern high-speed train in Uzbekistan.
- Led by experienced Rubythroat senior leader Alexander Povarintsev.
- Visa support & Turkmenistan invitation letter (if needed)
- Flights to/from Central Asia
- Personal expenses; laundry, telephone costs etc.
- Alcoholic drinks
- Extra rooming not mentioned in the itinerary
- Meals on day one
- Single room accommodations
- Travel and health insurance
Costs: $1,975 or €1,640, excluding flights to/from Central Asia
Availability: Spaces Available
Group size: minimum 4 and maximum 10 Single supplement: $220 or €180
Deposit: : $400 or €330 Leader: Alexander Povarintsev
Extended Tour Program
Days 1: Travel to Ashgabat.
Participants should consider Turkish Airlines (a Star Alliance member airline). They are the only airline with flights into Ashgabat (airport code ASB) and Tashkent, with connections at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport.
NIGHT: Ildyz Hotel, Ashgabat
Day 2: Arrival in Ashgabat.
We enjoy an Ashgabat excursion and afternoon flight to Mary Upon arrival in Ashgabat in the morning, you will be met and transferred to our hotel, where your room is reserved for immediate check-in. We will spend the morning birding around Ashgabat, where we will visit some agricultural areas, here we hope to find White-tailed Lapwing, Variable Wheatear, and Pied Bushchat. In the nearby hillsides, we have the possibility of Finsch’s Wheatear. After lunch in the city, we head for the domestic airport, where we will board our flight to Turkmenabad town, around an hour east of the capital. Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel for a good night's sleep.
NIGHT: Yupek Yoly, Turkmenabad
Day 3-4: Birding Repetek NP.
The coming two days are designated to search for the illustrious Zarudniy Sparrow that is extinct in Uzbekistan and has become a Turkmen endemic. On the first day, we will leave Mary and drive in a 4WD convoy to Turkmenabad. Here we will come across the first Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Greater Sand Plover, and Red-headed Buntings. Trumpeter Finch of the race ‘crassirostris’ is pretty common, just like many species of lark. Other birds include Asian Desert Warbler, Menetries’s’ Warbler and Streaked Scrub Warbler. The highly-desirable Pander’s Ground-Jay is the final major target we hope to find. At dusk we might try to find the rare Egyptian Nightjar. Both days we will be dedicated to searching for this enigmatic sparrow!
NIGHT: Yupek Yoly, Turkmenabad
Day 5: Repetek to Tashkent.
Today will be mostly a travel day. We leave Turkmenabad and head for the Uzbek border. After entering Uzbekistan, we set sails for Bukhara, wherein the late evening, we will board our domestic high-speed train to Tashkent. We will have a few hours to kill! We will spend them with a guided tour, along the many historical sights of this unique UNESCO World Heritage city. We end this tour with a special Uzbek meal, regarded as the best cuisine in the region by many.
NIGHT: Navruz Hotel, Tashkent
Day 06: Departure for Home.
A transfer will be provided very early this morning to Tashkent International Airport (airport code TAS), in time for the Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul.
**The tour schedule depends closely on internal flights, which may change from the itinerary listed.
If so, the itinerary will be altered, but with all of the particular regions still being visited.**