6 Days Wild Red Panda Safari
Date: Mar. 15 & Mar. 22, 2021, 2022
Price: From 1300USD/PAX
Trip Focus: Wildlife + Red Panda
Status: Open to Booking
Route: Chengdu-Chengdu Panda Base-Labahe Nature Reserve-Chengdu
Trip Code: W009
This trip is designed for nature travelers who hope to enjoy the beauty of nature at a more relaxed pace and in a more comfortable way. On this trip, we will focus on natural exploration in one of the most prestigious reserves and habitats for giant pandas and red pandas in China called Labahe Nature Reserve, where we can stay in a nice hotel and immerse ourselves in nature easily. Being part of the Hengduan Mountains, which have been listed by Conservation International as one of 36 hot spots for biodiversity, Labahe Nature Reserve boasts as a well-protected ecological environment with complete vegetation distribution. There are 1,500 species of vascular plants belonging to 380 genera under 68 families including 18 species of nationally protected plant species with various protection grades such as Davidia involucrata (Chinese Dove Tree), Tetracentron sinense, and Cercidiphyllum japonicum. The sound ecosystem in Labahe Nature Reserve is also home to 46 species of mammals, 164 species of birds and 14 species of reptiles. This reserve enjoys the highest visibility of Red Panda and Sambar. While prioritizing our initial search for the iconic red pandas, we will spend some extra effort to look for the giant pandas and some other companion animals such as Sambar, Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel, Chinese Goral, Tibetan Macaque, Leopard Cat, Hog Badger, Chinese Serow, Sichuan Takin, Masked Palm Civet, Lady Amherst’s Pheasant, and so on.
• Coming face to face with giant pandas at different ages at Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, also called Chengdu Panda Base.
• Enjoying extremely beautiful sceneries in the Labahe Nature Reserve include the cloud sea and snow mountains.
• Looking for star wildlife species in Labahe like Red Panda, Sambar, Tibetan Macaque, Lady Amherst's Pheasant, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Goral, and even Giant Panda, etc.
• Exploring Chengdu city and experiencing hot pot in one local popular hotpot restaurant.
• Hiking in the natural forest in Labahe, a natural gene bank of precious plants and animals.
Introduction to Trip Destinations:
Chengdu Panda Base
Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Panda Base) attracts tourists and nature lovers worldwide. Conveniently located a short drive away from downtown, this state of the art research facility comfortably houses more pandas than anywhere else within China and abroad. During your visit, you will see pandas ranging from young cubs to lumbering adults as well as the elusive and adorable Red Panda. Additionally, the scenic, garden-like atmosphere of the panda base is especially ideal for urban birding like Red-billed Leiothrix, White-browed Laughingthrush, Ruddy Shelduck, Chinese Blackbird, Spotted Dove, etc.
Labahe Nature Reserve
Labahe Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the world to see wild Red Panda. In Labahe, you can search for mammals like Sambar, Tibetan Macaque, Chinese Goral, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, and Hog Badger. Labahe Nature Reserve is located at the Hengduan Mountains with an altitude from 1,900m to 5,400m. It is covered with mixed forests and dense bamboos with the cloud drifted in and out throughout the day.
Ranked as the top of the 21 world’s most beautiful Streets by CNN Travel in 2019, Jinli has a long history tied to the foundation of Chengdu. For more than 2,000 years, Jinli has gained a reputation across China as one of the oldest commercial streets. Featuring traditional architectures of Ming and Qing dynasties (1644-1911), and modeled after the "Romance of the Three Kingdoms", the atmosphere of Jinli Street has something for everyone including delicious street food, handcrafted souvenirs, and live entertainment.
Sichuan Hot Pot
Indisputably the most famous Sichuan food, Sichuan Hot Pot is a world-famous culinary experience that is native to Chengdu. Sitting around a boiling pot of spicy broth, you are welcome to cook a variety of different meats and vegetables according to your personal preferences. For those who don’t eat spicy food or meat, there are also non-spicy and vegetarian options available.
How Can We Make This Trip Special?
• A team of passionate guides specializing in photography and wildlife with rich experiences of guiding and solid knowledge about wildlife and local places.
• Can be customized to better meet your travel style.
• 20-plus years of working in the travel industry and serving travelers from all over the world enable us to know how to make great trips for travelers of different travel styles.
What Makes AbsolutePanda Excellent?
• We are one of the premier travel companies focusing on wildlife in China.
Since 2003, our professional tour leaders and wildlife experts have helped thousands of travelers gain an in-depth understanding of Giant Panda and their companion animals, enjoy stunning sceneries all over China, and explore the authentic local cultures.
• Exclusive quality & value guarantee.
We define our quality by well-designed itineraries, stunning destinations, creative interactions, small groups, professional guides, and reasonable prices.
• Explore China with comfort and focuses.
Beyond selected accommodations, meals, and vehicles, we would like to show you the real China by an authentic experience with incredible wildlife and lovely locals.
• We care and share.
We believe the best way to help wildlife is through love and appreciation. By bringing nature lovers to enjoy the beauty of nature in China, we hope that local people can realize the beauty of wildlife and learn how to love and appreciate those beautiful creatures living near their villages.
Wild Red Panda Safari Trip Map
Day 1. Arrive in Chengdu. (D)
The airport pick-up. City exploration based on your time of arrival. Overnight: Chengdu (500m)
Day 2. Chengdu-Labahe. 260km 4.5h (BLD)
Drive to Labahe Nature Reserve after visiting Chengdu Panda Base. Overnight: Labahe Nature Reserve (1,900m)
Day 3-4. Labahe Nature Reserve. (BLD)
Hiking in the Labahe Nature Reserve and searching for Red Panda and its companion animals. Overnight: Labahe Nature Reserve (1,900m)
Day 5. Labahe-Chengdu. 230km 4h (BLD)
Drive back to Chengdu. Overnight: Chengdu (500m)
Day 6. Depart Chengdu. (B)
The airport drop-off.
Day 1. Arrive in Chengdu. Meals: D
The airport pick-up. Based on the time you arrive, we can plan some free city tour programs such as visiting People’s Park to experience the typical laid-back lifestyles of Chengdu or Chengdu's bustling downtown street called Taikoo Li, where with a few minutes' walk to enjoy the ancient tranquil place in Daci Monastery.
Overnight: Chengdu (500m)
Day 2. Chengdu-Chengdu Panda Base-Labahe. 260km 4.5h Meals: BLD
Early in the morning, we will visit the most famous panda base—the Chengdu Research Center of Giant Panda Breeding (Chengdu Panda Base). Holding the distinction of one of the world’s largest panda bases, this state of the art research facility comfortably houses more pandas than anywhere else at home and abroad. During your visit to this panda base, you will see pandas ranging from young cubs to lumbering adults as well as the elusive and adorable Red Panda. Then we will head to Labahe and get ready for the hiking days for the wild red pandas.
Overnight: Labahe Nature Reserve (1,900m)
Day 3-4. Labahe Nature Reserve. Meals: BLD
Hiking in the Labahe Nature Reserve and searching for Red Panda and its companion animals. Labahe Nature Reserve is one of the best places in the world to see wild Red Panda in their habitat. In Labahe, we can also search for mammals like Sambar, Tibetan Macaque, Chinese Goral, Leopard Cat, Sichuan Takin, Chinese Serow, and Hog Badger. Also, we will get a chance to see some beautiful birds like Lady Amherst's Pheasant and Fulvous Parrotbill.
Overnight: Labahe Nature Reserve (1,900m)
Day 5. Labahe-Chengdu. 230km 4h (BLD)
This morning we will have more chances of searching for Red Panda. Then we will drive back to Chengdu. Based on the time we arrive, we can pay a visit around Jinli Street to feel the bustling shopping street with all types of shops selling unique local souvenirs and food stands offering delicious local take-away food. In the evening, we can enjoy the hot pot dinner.
Overnight: Chengdu (500m)
Day 6. Depart Chengdu. Meals: B
The airport drop-off.
If you need help in arranging a flight to Chengdu from Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, or the trip out of Chengdu, please feel free to contact us.
Dates & Prices
Group A: March 15 to March 20, 2021
Group B: March 22 to March 27, 2021
Group C: March 15 to March 20, 2022
Group D: March 22 to March 27, 2022
Email us to tailor-make a tour that can meet your taste, budget, and schedule best.
The AbsolutePanda team works hard to provide the highest-possible quality tour experiences at a fair price. However, after working in the travel industry for more than 20 years, our team knows that no two travelers are alike in terms of their travel styles, personal interests, choice of guides, and preferences in restaurants and hotels. For AbsolutePanda, our client’s satisfaction is a top priority. To meet the needs of different clients and ensure they enjoy a trip suited to their preferences, you are welcome to email us with specific requests ranging from trip themes, guides, the grade and brand of vehicles, accommodations, restaurants, etc. We will try our best.
To ensure our guest the best trip, we set our minimum departure number at four and the maximum departure number at twelve. That means the group size is 4 to 12 participants.
The land cost for a group of 4 to 12 people:
The land cost includes:
1. Well-chosen vehicles based on the size of the group for the trip with fuel, tolls, airport pick-up, and drop-off included in the price;
2. An English-speaking wildlife guide for the whole trip;
3. Meals listed above as BLD;
4. Bottled water and snacks;
5. Entrance charges listed in the itinerary;
6. China Domestic Travel Insurance;
7. Hotels arranged during this trip;
8. Hot pot dinner on Day 5.
The land cost excludes:
1. Alcoholic drinks during the meal;
2. Extra charges due to change of itinerary from client-side or factors beyond the control of AbsolutePanda such as natural disaster and governmental policy change;
3. Discretionary tips to the guide and driver;
4. All personal expenses, such as laundry service or for personal shopping;
5. Train ticket or airfare to and out of Chengdu;
6. Any items not listed in the itinerary as included;
7. Entrance fee, car rental, or meals during your free time trip;
8. Single supplement.
This trip price is based on two clients sharing one twin-bed room in 3-star standard hotels. If you prefer to use a private room or we cannot find a roommate for you, then a single supplement will be added to your trip price.
3. Experienced Wildlife Guides
• Bella: Born in Dali of Yunnan Province, from Bai ethnic family, Bella was brought up in a small county famous for ethnic Bai culture, abundant natural resources, and rich tourism resources. After graduation from high school, she chose to study tourism at university so that her passion for nature and travel could continue. She started her career in tourism with AbsolutePanda after graduation from her university. After years of hard-working, now she has become an expert in multiple fields, including birding, photography, food, and ethnic culture. Bella is a big fan and great spotter of wildlife, a passionate bird guide, and an in-depth cultural interpreter. She loves sharing news and her pictures or videos of wildlife on social media. Though Bella is still very young, her passion, knowledge in nature and culture, fluent English, and guiding expertise will make your trip truly enjoyable.
• Philip: A local guide born in the Sichuan Tibetan area with fluent English and basic Japanese, Philip is an exceptional photographer, especially bird photography, and had guided many Snow Leopard safari trips since 2017. Besides being a wildlife guide, Philip also has great knowledge of Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, birds, and culinary culture.
• Shay: Shay was born and brought up in the mountainous areas of Chongqing Municipality. Shay got his degree in ecotourism at the prestigious Sichuan University. Shay started serious birding from the beautiful campus of Sichuan University. With the help of academic background in the university, Shay soon became a successful English-speaking bird guide. He is among the first group of professional English-speaking bird guides with an academic background of ornithology. At AbsolutePanda, Shay is an expert guide of birds and mammals. By now, he has successfully guided many avid birders from different countries including Norway, Britain, the US, Sweden, Israel, and Thailand. With Shay as your guide, you will find your trip become incredibly smooth, informative, and enjoyable.
• Cory: Cory is a plant expert and photo guide of AbsolutePanda. As a native of Chengdu, the place where he was born has beautiful mountains and abundant plant resources. Since his childhood, he has been deeply attracted by the beauty of nature and spent a lot of time exploring nature in the mountains surrounding his hometown. After many years of learning purely out of interests, Cory has accumulated rich knowledge about plants, mammals, and mountains. As a successful plant photographer, Cory has photographed more than two thousand species of wildflowers. His knowledge and passion for plants and photography will make your trip unique and enjoyable. With him as your plant and photography guide, you will be able to appreciate the beauty of the nature presented like a roll of traditional Chinese painting unveiled by Cory with his findings and stories behind those beautiful flowers.
1. Please note that our guides with specialized knowledge are not always available, especially during our busy season from April to October. If you have an on-planning trip, please contact us as early as possible so that we will block the date of our expert guide for you.
2. To our AbsolutePanda team, our clients' overall satisfaction with their trip is the top priority. We can create a different option to make it easier for you to choose a tour that fits your style and budget. If you prefer to travel in a different style than the option we've provided here, please feel free to contact us.
3. For travelers who hope to tailor-make the programs with their specific travel preferences in mind (transportations, hotels, exclusive privileges, and famous local experts), tailor-making a tour is the best way to ensure your desires are met. Please contact us with your specific needs and we will prepare an itinerary based on your expectations. Once you are satisfied, we will work out the cost and send it to you. Please feel free to ask any questions to learn more.
AbsolutePanda firmly believes travel is an art. To ensure every trip traveling with us is a great travel art for our client, the AbsolutePanda team does all we can to consider every possible detail. The choice of hotels is an essential part of making a great trip. After many years of running a travel business, we have built up our network of cooperative hotels at different levels. We understand people are different in the choice of hotels when they travel. If you want to use some specific hotels, please feel free to let us know, we are delighted to book it for you at a competitive price to make the hotel choice better meet your taste, budget and travel style. We can either reserve a hotel with competitive price for you or simply include the hotel into your trip cost if possible. You are welcome to contact us and tell us your requests, we will do our best to create the best travel itinerary for your private use.
If you need help with hotel booking in other big cities of China at different styles and luxury levels (International-brand Hotels, Local Brand Hotels, Economical Hotels), please feel free to email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Why does the tour start in spring?
Red pandas will move to a lower elevation to seek for food during winter and spring, and lots of trees without leaves make it easier for us to spot them. What is more, spring is the mating season of Red Panda while they become much more active.
2. Is this trip suitable for children?
Yes, this trip is fine for children as the shuttle bus and cable car are available. For wildlife safari, we can hike according to your children’s condition while balancing the chance to look for Red Panda and its companion animals inside Labahe Nature Reserve.
3. If I have dietary restrictions, will that be a problem for your team to accommodate?
Our team is experienced at making sure all of our client’s needs are met. If you or anyone in your group has specific requirements for food, we are happy to accommodate your needs.
4. Is there any altitude problem for this trip?
This trip will venture into the high altitude from 1,900m to 3,700m. Our guide has rich experience in taking care of our clients for the trekking trip on the highland. Surely, we also will suggest you seek advice from your doctor on altitude sickness and bring necessary medications before you decide to join this trip. In some events, high elevation can cause severe health complications for those with cardiovascular diseases or other poor cardiopulmonary function diseases.
5. What is the chance to spot a wild Red Panda?
As you may know, wildlife can never be guaranteed. Labahe is the natural habitat for lots of animals as introduced in the trip overview, it is one of the best places to spot Red Panda in the whole China, and there are lots of animals living in the forest. All we need is patience and constant searching. Moreover, we go there in the best season, and most of our clients in our past trips to Labahe saw the Red Panda.
6. If I am particularly interested in finding birds, is there a way for me to request a specialist as a guide?
Our expert guide for this trip has very good knowledge of panda and the places we are going to visit. As a nature guide, he knows very well about the mammals we possibly encounter in this trip and birds we have a good chance to see. If you request a birding guide for special birds, you are welcome to contact us ahead of the time.
Email us if you have any questions. Read our FAQ
The best travel company I have ever worked with.
Where to begin? I am an international tour leader. This team is our partner company, and for the last 5 years, they have proved time and time again to be by far the best, most meticulous, detail-oriented, experienced, and honest company I have ever encountered. These guys get it- travel is an art. They are focused on the experience, not the profit, and this is very rare in China. The founder, Philip, is one of the top birders and nature experts in Sichuan and is well respected throughout the province and beyond for all of his efforts to support local culture and conservation of wildlife. He is from a remote Tibetan region and understands how to operate in the wild, unexplored regions of China- the real China. He is an excellent teacher and judge of character and has built an amazing team of loyal guides who cannot be topped. If you travel with these guys, you have made a wise decision.
Date of experience: May 2017
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Videos & Photos
Wild Red Panda Safari Trip Video
Deer welcomed us by the roadside in Labahe.
Lake and snow mountains in Labahe.
Frogs in Labahe.
Lady Amherst’s Pheasants
Cloud Sea in Labahe.
Searching for birds.
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