Travel Guide Bhutan
The Thunder Dragon Kingdom impresses with its natural beauty and an amazing biodiversity. While the country’s north is characterized by the awe-inspiring Himalayan mountain range, you can find huge pristine forests in the south that are home to numerous, mostly endemic animal and plant species – with a little bit of luck Bhutan’s nature allows you to observe tigers, snow leopards, clouded leopards, several deer species, monitors, different bird species and a variety of other fascinating animals.
Highlights in Bhutan
Geography of Bhutan
Similar to Switzerland, Bhutan covers an area of more than 38.000 km². It is located at the border of Central and South Asia. In the south it shares a border with India, in the north with Tibet and China. One fifth of Bhutan’s 780.000 inhabitants live in the country’s capital Thimphu. Bhutan is particularly characterized by the Himalayan mountain range; about 80% of the country lie at an altitude of more than 2000 metres. Most people live in the central highlands, only accessible through rough roads or narrow trekking paths. The country’s highest mountain and the highest unclimbed mountain in the world is the Gangkhar Puensum – with an elevation of 7570 metres.
Travel Tips and Trivia for Bhutan
Climate in Bhutan
Due to its special location Bhutan is divided into three different climate zones. Whereas the climate is subtropical in the south, it is temperate in the country’s central parts and cold and polar-type in the north. Temperatures in Bhutan’s south range from 15°C to 30°C year-round. In the central parts of the country summers are warm and winters cool and dry, whereas it is very cold and snowy in the north anytime of the year. Western Bhutan has heavier monsoon rains from the end of June until the end of September which make up between 60% and 90% of this region’s rainfall. The rest of the country is much drier.
Flora and Fauna in Bhutan
Thanks to its large forest area and its different climate zones Bhutan fascinates with a diverse animal and plant life. While tropical rainforest is dominant in the country’s south, you can find abundant forests, mainly composed of nut trees, oaks, maple trees, magnolias, spruces and East Himalayan firs. Dwarf-shrubs and herbs often grow in higher elevations respectively in the mountains, while Bhutan’s most Northern part is covered in ice and snow.
Bhutan’s mostly untouched forests are home to a multitude of rare and protected animal species. In the country’s tropical south the Asian Elephant, gaurs (the largest extant bovine) and Gee’s golden langurs are present. Various deer species, wolves, small pandas, Asian black bears, tigers and capped langurs live in Bhutan’s more central parts. Particularly snow leopards, blue sheep, takins and ailuridae can be found in the North. Moreover, approximately 770 bird species live in Bhutan.