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Hornbill Fest + Dzukou Tour - 5 Days

Why you should experience Hornbill Festival?

Hornbill Festival is a ten-day cultural extravaganza held every December 1-10 to encourage, nurture, and promote Naga tribes and people’s rich, dynamic, and diversified culture. It is the land of mythology and myths, as well as the valiant warriors and hunters lauded in the land’s folk songs. It is organised by the State Government of Nagaland and is the oldest festival of its kind among all the states of Northeast India, having started in the year 2000.

 Every year in the month of December, the state celebrates this age-old celebration. For those who are unaware, this is one of Nagaland’s major indigenous warrior tribes’ ceremonies. The Nagas have a long history of preserving their culture and traditions. Travellers from all over the world go to this festival to experience the tribe’s uniqueness and spend time with the inhabitants to learn about their culture firsthand. The Hornbill festival is held at the Naga Heritage Village in Kisama, located around 12 kilometers from the capital of the Nagaland, Kohima.

Hornbill, as the name implies, is the name of a bird that has long been depicted and revered by the Nagas. The importance of this bird is depicted in the traditions and songs sung throughout the event. Naga people and warriors utilized the feathers of this bird to embellish their headgears. The government attempted to encourage people not to hunt these birds and instead protect them, but all of their efforts were futile.

This species of bird was on the verge of extinction due to widespread hunting, which was a wake-up call for Nagas. Since the festival was first held in the year 2000, it featured folk songs and dancing, traditional games, and even songs from their conflicts while today, it is a great event that attracts people from all over the world to participate.

Why you should do Dzukou Valley trek ?

The Dzüko Valley is a place located in borders of the state of Nagaland and Manipur in the Southern Angami region of Northeast India. This valleWhy you should experience Hornbill Festival?y is well known for its natural environment, seasonal flowers and flora and fauna. It is situated at an altitude of 2452 m above sea level. Major flora found in the valley is the strong bamboo brush, but the main feature is the plethora of seasonal flowers that bloom every summer. Two freezing cold rivers, Dzukou and Japhu, flow through the valley, crossing each other’s paths and adding to the overall splendour of the place.

The word Dzüko Valley comes from the Viswema dialect of the Angamis, where ‘Dzüko’ loosely translates to ‘Soulless and Dull,’ referring to when some Viswema ancestors who migrated out to create a new village in Dzüko were unable to gather crops owing to bad weather circumstances which led them to say “the valley is very beautiful but is dull and soulless.”

The Dzukou valley trek is an easy to moderately difficult trek which is suitable for any healthy person. It is one of the finest valleys and an iconic natural tourist area in Northeast India. Although the best season to visit is from October to May, even the monsoon season, which is from June to September, is great for visiting . Around that time, you may expect to see colourful and fresh seasonal flowers like Dzukou lily, which is indigenous to Nagaland, aconitum, euphorbia, and multi-colored rhododendrons blooming all over the valley. Fauna including the Asian golden cat, the Hoolock Gibbon, the Dzuko Valley horned toad (Megophrys dzukou), several other species of animals like the clouded leopard, the Asiatic black bear, the capped langur are found.

There are two ways to get to Dzukou Valley. The route through Zakhama Village is shorter, steeper, and more challenging, and is normally preferred by experienced hikers. Viswema Village is the lengthier route, which has relatively easier ascents and descents.

Trip Summary

After you arrive at Kohima you will be taken to the Hornbill festival, located at Kisama heritage village. You are going to stay at the campsite where you can explore different Naga cuisines and the beautiful village. The next day you can enjoy the cultural programs and also get a chance to interact with the various tribes. The next morning you will be taken to the trek point Viswema in a pick up truck from where the trekking will start and you will reach the campsite in about 3 hours.  The next day you can take the whole time to explore the heart of the valley and enjoy a starry night sky. On the last day you have to trek back through Viswema/Jakhama to a homestay where you will have your lunch before leaving for Kohima and your trip ends.

When To Plan Dzukou Valley Trek?

Dzukou Valley Trek can be done for through out the year. But to get the best view you should do it between June to DecemberBut the trek is not same in every month .

In June

From April to August you will get the most beautiful view of Dzukou valley as the Dzukou Lilly Bloom . Moreover the whole valley become green as the rainy season starts.

Dzukou valley Trek
Photo By Arindam Saha

In September to Decmber

During this period the valley is less greenish and become dull. The view is still great and you can do camp easily nearby the basecamp.

Dzukou Valley oddessemania
Photo taken By Oddessemania Local guide Nagaland

Itinerary

Day 1
Gather and meet at Kohima taxi Stand

• You will be picked up from Kohima taxi stand and taken to Kisama heritage village where Hornbill festival is held.
• After you enter the village, you will have the first glimpse of the grand celebration. Check-in at your campsite arranged in the venue of festival itself.
• Breakfast/Snacks will be provided as you settle down.
• Once you have freshened up, you are free to roam around until lunch time. You can taste various Naga cuisines from the many stalls present there.
• Come back during lunch time to the campsite and have the delicious Naga style food. Take some rest as your evening is going to be rocking with music fests.
• Have dinner in the campsite and rest for the night.

Day 2
Enjoy Hornbill

• Wake up to a fresh morning. Breakfast will be served. Freshen up and whole day is yours to explore.
• Enjoy the cultural programs that will be performed by the tribes. Also, you can communicate with the various tribes and learn about their history and culture. Do not forget to capture the special moments from the festival.
• Have lunch in the afternoon and take some rest.
• Enjoy the music shows in the evening. Have dinner and rest.

Day 3
Trek to Dzukou Valley

• Wake up to a fresh morning. Breakfast will be served. Freshen up and today you are going to trek to the mesmerizing Dzukou valley.
• You will be first taken to the trek point (Viswema) in a pickup van/sumo and your trekking will start. It will take about 1.5 hours to reach the first base camp.
• Packed lunch will be served there and then you can resume your last stretch of the trek.
• It will again take about 2 hours to reach the campsite. Once you are there, tents will be pitched.
• Dinner will be served and call it a day.

Day 4
Head to the heart of the valley

• Wake up early the next morning to a frozen Dzukou. After having breakfast, trek down and explore the various photogenic spots.
• There is a stream flowing in between the valley. You can take a dip and relax there.
• Come back to the campsite and have the hot lunch that is prepared. Take some rest and relax.
• After sometime, witness the best sunset of Northeast. Bonfire will be set. Sing along while your dinner is being prepared. Enjoy the starry sky.
• Have dinner and call it a day.

Day 5
Your trip ends here

• Wake up early the next morning to a frozen Dzukou. After having breakfast, pack your bags.
• You have to bid goodbye to this short trip. Trek back through Viswema/Jakhama. Your van will be waiting there. Hop on to it and reach a homestay where your lunch will be prepared.
• After having lunch, quickly get on to the sumo which will drop you to Kohima taxi stand. Your trip to Nagaland ends here. You can take taxi to Dimapur from where you can depart towards your respective home.

Trip Includes

  • • Inner Line Permit.
  • • Pick-up and drop from Kohima to Kohima.
  • • Breakfast and dinner every day.
  • • Accommodation in twin sharing tents.
  • • Nearby toiletries.
  • • Local guide.
  • • Accommodation in tents in twin sharing tents.
  • • Three times meal in Dzukou valley.
  • • Firewood.
  • • Kitchen and utensils.

Trip Excludes

  • ● Airfare charges
  • ● All food & beverages cost apart from the ones mentioned above
  • ● Trekking shoes and clothing (Any personal equipment)
  • ● Any camera fees
  • ● Hotel & driver tips if any, (since the locals earn low wages, your tips can show your appreciation)
  • ● Entry ticket fees to Museums, Parks, etc.
  • ● Any personal expenditure (Toiletries, medicines, etc.)
  • ● Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary/ stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, roadblocks and/or any factors beyond control.
  • ● Any Extra Sightseeing on request
  • ● Anything not specifically mentioned under the head "Inclusions”
How fit do I need to be to do this trek?

Dzukou Valley is a moderately difficult trekking route. So any fit person can do this trek, even if you do not have any previous experience. You should be aware of what to expect and mentally prepare for it. Then, as long as you will to, you can.

How long do we walk every day when doing Dzukou Valley?

On average, you walk about 3-4 hours per day.

What about battery charging?

Yes, you can charge batteries en-route. Charger should be brought. Also it is adviced to carry a power bank.

Are there ATMs on the way ?

No. There are no ATMs on this trek route. You will have to draw enough cash in Dimapur or Kohima. There are a number of ATMs in these cities. Everything is paid in Indian rupees.

What about internet access?

No. Internet cannot be accessed in Dzukou, but you will get network connection and signals in Dimapur, Kohima and Kisama.

These are the important items you should carry during the trek. Other than this Oddessemania team will provide you the necessary items required during the trek.

CLOTHING
1.  3 Pairs of clothing (t-shirt + trousers)
2.  Sun Cap, Face Mask/Buff
3.  Raincoat/Poncho
4.  Normal Jacket 
5.  Woolen Socks
6.  Thermal wear
7.  Hand gloves
TREKKING
1.  Small Backpack (during trek use)
2.  Trekking shoes
3.  Sunglasses
4.  Sunscreen at least 40+SPF
5.  Lunchbox & Spoon
6.  Water bottle & Mug
7.  Energy bars, energy drink
8.  Extra cloth Bags for wet clothes
PERSONAL
1.  Prescribed Medicine
2.  Camera + Charger + Power bank
3.  Cold Cream
4.  Personal sanitization & essential toiletries
5.  Mask, Id card and Medical Certificate

Yes, Nagaland is a safe place to travel. The locals are really good at hospitality for guests and travellers.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Hornbill Fest + Dzukou Tour
From ₹7,399.00
per Adult

Trip Facts

  • Professional
  • Sumo or taxi
  • Trek + Cultural tour
  • Camping and Dormstay
  • Kohima
  • Hornbill festival
  • December
  • You can join our batch
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