Mammals & Birds of Sichuan

Covering an area of just under 500,000 square kilometres in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River valley, Sichuan is one of the few Chinese provinces that offers reliable sightings for many of the country’s mammals. The province is squeezed between the Tibetan Plateau to the west, the lush forest of the Daba Mountains to the north, the Jinsha River to east, and the slopes of the Yungui Plateau to the south - a unique position with varied habitats that support an incredible diversity of mammals and birds.


Red pandas are seen in the forests of Labahe Forest Reserve and Tangjiahe Nature Reserve, which are both integral stops on our itinerary. The likelihood of seeing red pandas is much higher than their larger cousins, and these appealing mammals are not the only animal we hope to see. Over 40% of China’s 550 species of mammal can be seen Sichuan, including Pallas’s cat in the mountainous regions of the Tibetan Plateau. Other mammals that we may see during the trip include takin, golden snub-nosed monkey, Chinese mountain cat, hog badger, Chinese goral, Himalayan marmot, white giant flying squirrel and Tibetan fox.


Sichuan also has fantastic birdlife, with a huge list of species that includes some of Asia’s most outstanding localised birds. These range from passerines to raptors, and the variety is exceptional: Temminck’s tragopan, golden pheasant, black-necked crane, firethroat and golden-breasted fulvetta are just a few of the highlights.


Tour Highlights

  • Excellent chance of Red Panda and Golden Takin.
  • 40+ species of mammal can be found during the tour, included Red and White flyingsquirrel, Red panda, Chinese Mountain Cat, Wolf, Pallas’s Cat, Leopard Cat, Tibetan Fox, Chinese Serow, Golden Snub-nosed Monkey etc.
  • 200+ species of bird can be recorded during the tour, included Temminck's Tragopan, Golden Pheasant, Himalayan Vulture, Black-necked Crane, Tawny Fish Owl, Ground Tit, White-browed Tit Warbler, Grandala, Saker Falcon, Lady Amherst's Pheasant stc
  • Spectacular mountain scenery.
  • Early morning & evening spotlighting walks & drives.
  • Leading by expert China Wild tour naturalist guides.


Chengdu – Labahe NNR – Wolong NNR & Balang Mountain – Ruoergai – Tangjiahe NNR – Chengdu



November – December



1-12 persons



Please contact us for the latest tour price.


Day 1 Chengdu - Bifengxia Scenic Spot

On your arrival in Chengdu, you will be met at the airport by your local driver and our guide, then 2 hours driving to your hotel in Bifengxia Scenic Spot, where is close to the Giant Panda breeding Research Base.


If time permits, we should have a good chance of locating Grey Laughingthrushes and Vinous-throated Parrotbill nearby, with perhaps the added bonus of Collared Scops Owl and Himalayan Wood Owl as darkness falls.

Overnight in Bifengxia Scenic Spot.


Day 2 Bifengxia Scenic Spot - Labahe NNR

Morning birding around Bifengxia Scenic Spot and visit the Giant Panda breeding Research Base. After lunch 1.5 hours short journey to Labahe Nature Reserve, where we check in to our hotel located in the heart of the reserve for a three-night stay.
Overnight in Labahe NNR.

Day 3-5 Labahe NNR
Labahe Nature Reserve is widely regarded as one of the best places in the world to view Red Pandas, but even at their most conspicuous and most active during daylight hours, it will still require a good amount of hard work and patience to find them.


For the next four full days you will be in search of Red Panda in the forest of Labahe NNR. We'll explore the reserve through a mix of walks and drives, we will likely encounter a variety of other mammals and birds, such as Tibetan Macaque,  Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel, Sambar Deer, Chinese Serow, Chinese Leopard Cat, Hog Badger, Golden-breasted Fulvetta, Little Forktail, Crimson-breasted Woodpeckers etc. If we have better luck, we can find Temminck's Tragopan and Lady Amherst's Pheasant as well!

Overnight in Labahe NNR.

Day 6 Labahe NNR - Wolong

After the early morning walking in Labahe NNR, and then we leave to Wolong Town. Depend on the time when we arrive, we'll do some birding near the Wolong Town.

Overnight in Wolong Town.


Day 7 Wolong National Nature Reserve & Balang Mountain

Wolong NNR is the first, largest and perhaps best known of China’s Giant Panda reserves in China. Although about 100 Giant Pandas are living in Wolong NNR, but they are very difficult to see here. And there is a fantastic array of other wildlife living in the same area, especially the birds.


Full days explore the different altitude areas of Balang Mountain. We will searching the Chinese Monal, White-eared Pheasant, Blood Pheasant Chestnut-throated Partridge, Giant Laughingthrush, Chinese White-browed Rosefinch near the alpine forest. And then drive to the pass to look for Tibetan Snowcock, Snow Partridge, Grandala, Alpine Accentor, Brandt’s and Plain Mountain Finches and Red-fronted Rosefinch, with a chance of passing Lammergeyers and Himalayan Griffons.
Overnight in Wolong Town.

Day 8 Wolong - Ruoergai

Long driving  day to Ruoergai for a three-night stay, where lie on the eastern edge of the vast Tibetan Plateau.

Overnight in Ruoergai.


Day 9 -10 Ruoergai

At an altitude of 3,000 to 3,600 metres above sea level, the region of Ruoergai is on the very eastern perimeter of the Tibetan Plateau. Here is fast gaining a reputation as a wildlife destination. The vast grasslands found here are dotted with rocky outcrops that are home to species such as plateau pika and Tibetan gazelle. This, in turn, makes these grasslands the perfect habitat for some of China’s unique predators, including Tibetan wolf, Chinese mountain cat and Tibetan fox.


This vast montane grassland and marshland is alsothe  home to an unique avian ecosystem and during our time here we hope to find such Tibetan specialties as Black-necked Crane, Hume’s Ground Tit, White-rumped and Rufous-necked Snowfinches, Przevalski’s Finch, Tibetan Lark and Tibetan Grey Shrike. Other birds to look out for include Robin Accentor, Godlewski’s Bunting, Przewalski’s Nuthatch and Snowy-cheeked Laughingthrush.


The large colonies of Plateau Pika also provide an important food source for an array of raptors that include Saker Falcon, Upland Buzzard, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Steppe Eagle and Black-eared Kite. At nearby Baixi we will visit an area of upland forest to look for a range of ungulates that could include Chinese Serow, Siberian Roe Deer, Tufted Deer, Sika Deer and Thomas’s Pika. Spotlighting after dinner may yield Mountain Cat, Asian Badger and Woolly Hare.

Overnight in Ruoergai.

Day 12 Ruoergai - Tangjiahe NNR

Today we have another long drive to complete. We'll stop in one pass on the way to look for Himalayan Griffon, Lammergeier, White-brown Tit and Red-billed Chough etc.

Overnight in Tangjiahe NNR.


Day 13 -14 Tangjiahe Nature Reserve
Tangjiahe NNR is the best place for mammal watching in China. Tangjiahe
have a population of 60 Giant Panda, as well as over 1,200 Golden Takin and in excess of 1,000 Golden Snub-nosed Monkeys. Also over 360 species have been recorded here.


We will spend two full days in Tangjiahe NNR.  Early morning and evening driving along the road to search the variety of  mammals along the road, including Golden Takin, Reeve’s Muntjac, Turft Deer, Hog-nosed Badger, Yellow-throat Marten, Leopard Cat and Masked Palm Civet, with the possibility of such rarities as Asian Black Bear and Forest Musk Deer. Birding in Tangjiahe can be very exciting, with possible highlights including Tawny Fish Owl, Golden Pheasant, White-crowned Forktail, Sooty Bushtit, Red-billed Leothrix, Himalayan Bluetail, David’s Fulvetta, Slaty Bunting and Crested Kingfisher.

Overnight in Tangjiahe NNR.

Day 15 Tangjiahe - Chengdu

After the last morning in the reserve, we will begin 5 hours driving to Chengdu, where we will overnight in a comfortable hotel, transferring to the airport to catch your flight home in the following morning.

Day 16 Chengdu

This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the Chengdu airport in time to catch your return flight home.

Tour end.