ChaloHoppo to Hornbill Festival and Dzukou Valley 3 nights, 4 days
Attending the grand showcase that is Hornbill festival will take you back to a time when the Naga folks used to live life in harmony with nature. A time when hunting and celebrating was the way of life. You also get to explore Dzukou valley, Dzukou lily or not, the valley will remain enchanting, as you trek to see the carpeted valley spread between the states of Manipur and Nagaland.
- Reviews 2 Reviews5/5
- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Small Group
Anyone who manages to spend a reasonable time travelling across Nagaland, from the land of the Konyaks in Eastern Nagaland right up to the land of the Angamis in the state capital of Kohima will find the Naga people extremely hospitable. That green hills and crispy clouds give you company when you aren’t surrounded by these warm people is a bonus. For those who like their red meat, Naga cuisine should be right up there in the list of cuisines to try. Varieties of smoked and fresh meat, infused with local herbs and generous portions of bamboo shoot.
Hornbill festival brings all these little things together in one place for everyone to witness and it is definitely an event one shouldn’t miss. The other aspect of this tour is exploring the lesser known valley of flowers that spread like a carpet, changing colour with the seasons is a trekkers wonderland. At approximately 8000 feet you can see rivulets, flowers, herbs and shrubs spread across Dzukou’s lap. With the scenic and quaint villages of Jakhama and Viswema serving as bases for starting the trek, your experience of being one with nature starts the moment you arrive in Nagaland.
The tour begins after you fly into Dimapur and reach the campsite in Jakhama. If you want us to arrange the vehicle for pickup and drop to and from Dimapur then the rates are as following:
SUV to Dimapur from the campsite- Rs 5000/-
SUV from Dimapur to campsite drop – Rs 5000/-
Small Vehicle to Dimapur from the campsite – Rs 4000/-
Small Vehicle from campsite to Dimapur- Rs 4000/-
Sumo from Dimapur to Campsite -Rs 4500/-
Sumo from Campsite to Dimapur – Rs 4500/-
Note: No Inner Line Permit (ILP) is required for Kohima district for Indian nationals attending Hornbill festival. Foreign nationals must register themselves at the local Superintendent of Police’s office within 24 hours of arrival.
- All accommodations on twin sharing basis at Camp Yedikha
- Sleeping bags, sleeping mats, pillows
- Simple breakfast
- Hygienic toilets for men and women
- Bathing rooms
- Guide for Dzukou overnight trek
- Overnight camping cost in Dzukou valley
- Lunch at Dzukou valley
- Transport from campsite to trekking base point and back to campsite including parking charges etc.
- Electricity source with charging facility for mobile devices at the campsite
- Running water supply at the campsite
- Airfare charges
- All food & beverages costs apart from the ones mentioned above
- Entry fee to Hornbill festival (very nominal amount)
- Any camera fees
- Campsite staff tips (if any)
- 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.
- Anything not specifically mentioned under the head “Inclusions”.
Exploring the night market in Kohima
This is your first day, so once you freshen up at the campsite, you can head to the festival venue in Kisama 5.4 km away and enjoy the festival for the day. Come back to the campsite in the evening relax around the bonfire before you head out to explore the night carnival in Kohima.
Overnight at ChaloHoppo village – camp Yedikha
Note: This plan needs you to fly into Dimapur the previous day so that you can reach Kohima today by 11 am and enjoy Hornbill festival. If you reach Dimapur today then you will stay at the campsite but you won’t be able to witness the Hornbill festival.
Spending a day at the Hornbill festival
After breakfast head to Kisama village, the venue of the Hornbill festival and spend your day there visiting various ’Morungs’ trying local delicacies and enjoying the numerous competitions like Naga chilli eating competition etc. You can also shop for arts and crafts at the venue. You can also explore the town of Kohima – the war cemetery, the Cathedral and the local market.
Bonfire Band Night-
The evenings get chilly in Nagaland, so sit around a nicely lit bonfire. Wrap around the shawls bring out the woollen caps, it’s going to be cold. Just to break the chills we will have a local band perform for you at the campsite.
From Jab Koi Baat Bigad Jaye to Whiskey Lullaby send in your requests and our band got your back.
Spend your night singing dancing and karaoke’ng along the bonfire. Singers, musicians, dancers are welcome to showcase their talents.
Trekking to Dzukou valley and overnight camping
Wake up for Dzukou-
Today is the day to visit the alien bamboo land, Dzukou Valley. We have to be up early and ready by It’s best that we start our trek early so that we have more time spent in the valley. Breakfast at the campsite and we charge on the sumos waiting for us.
Pack light, we are going for a trek not for War! Your other baggage can be stored with us at the campsite.
Ride to the starting point of the trek-
The ride from the campsite to the starting point of the trek, Viswema will take about an hour depending on the conditions of the road on the climb. Enjoy the mist following you and capture the green mountains holding back the clouds.
Trek to Dzukou-
The trek to Dzukou will take maximum 5 hours considering the first time and slow trekkers. It starts with a 20-minute walk to the point where the climb starts. It’s a bit steep, slippery climb up the stairs. Large beautiful canopies around, with evergreen moss, covered trees and pitcher plat around for an hour.
Reach the viewpoint and soak in the fresh air, sadly very rare these days. The valley starts here. What follows now is a straight trail along the sea of bamboos. The trek should not take more than 3 hours, but considering the weather the trail might leave its mark on your shoes. Walk, look around, stand, breathe, soak in! Let Dzukou be your guide.
Rest and Lunch at the Dormitory-
Our next halt will be the dormitory, which offers a beautiful view of the valley. Relax your calves, stretch out and energize yourself with hot cuppa Noodles and Naga style Fried Rice. You can also buy Maggie, egg, and meals available at the kitchen near the dormitory. There are washrooms, feel free to ease out.
Head to the Valley-
So far you have been admiring the valley from the hills; it’s time to head into the valley. The trail down takes about 1 hour. Walk through the mist, look around the dead trees in the middle of the green bamboo sea, Live!
Explore the valley with Laal Chaa-
Reaching down into the valley with a cold river running by the side, that will freeze by night.
We will have professional guides throughout to make sure you don’t get lost in this beautiful land. Have Laal chaa with some biscuits and keep staring at this beautiful gift of nature.
Camp with Bonfire in the Valley-
You must understand that temperatures in the valley in December can drop to as low as -10 degrees Celsius. The river freezes and frost covers the entire valley. Everyone needs to be prepared for an absolutely cold night of adventure. Here we must point out that our lifeline will be the bonfire and everyone has to carry their own firewood in order for us to be able to enjoy the starlit sky and the silence of Dzukou.
To save on firewood, a simple meal of cup noodles or something similar which needs minimal firewood will be served. Everyone should carry energy bars, a thermos for their water.
Wake up Call–
Breakfast- Bread-Butter/Jam, Boiled egg, Banana, Chai, Biscuits, and Namkeen.
Snacks- Laal Chaa and Biscuits at the camp.
Dinner- Veg: Dal, Rice, Beans and Potato Bhaji.
Non-Veg: Dal, Rice, Chicken curry
Drive Time- Campsite to Viswema starting point will take 1 hour.
Trek Time- Maximum 5 hours (considering first-time trekkers and slow trekkers)
Distance Covered- 8 km.
Overnight in tents in the valley.
Bidding goodbye to Nagaland
Wake up and pack-
Wake up early by Unpitch the tents pack up and spend some time with the valley to yourself. Walk on the frozen river if the guide permits you! Pack and start the climb up to the dormitory. The climb up will take maximum 2 hours.
Breakfast and start the trek back-
Reaching the dormitory, have Wai Wai and Laal Chaa for breakfast and start the trek back by Walk back but don’t forget to look back, these are the last moments you share with the valley. Bid farewell and reach the starting point of Viswema trek where our Sumos will be waiting to your rescue.
Reach Campsite and hog on Puri Bhaji
An hour ride back and some hot delicious Puri Bhaji awaits you at the campsite. We are breaking the Naga food continuity, for something intense later in the night. Freshen up, change and relax at the campsite.
Leave for your flight or train from Dimapur.
Note: This plan only works for people who plan to take the trains we have mentioned below from Dimapur to Guwahati for their return on the 4th day. The drive time to the station from our campsite is 5 hours.
Intercity Express train number 15604 departs from Dimapur at 23:15 pm and reaches Guwahati at 4:45 am.
Guwahati Intercity Express train number 15606 departs from Dimapur at 23:15 pm and reaches Guwahati at 4:45 am.
For those flying out, another night at the campsite or night stay in Dimapur will be necessary. The additional stay at camp will be chargeable at RS 1800 per person inclusive of breakfast.
Specifically for people flying to Guwahati, Indigo 6E3645 which leaves from Dimapur at 13:45 pm and arrives in Guwahati 14:40 pm will be ideal.
These tents will be quipped with sleeping mats( double layer), sleeping bags( 0- 10 degree Celsius tolerance) and pillows(not air pillows).
Clean and hygienic bathrooms.
Access to 24 hours running water supply and hot water for bathing.
Electricity backup with charging points.
Type of tents: 3 person ‘Fresh and black’ from Decathlon.
maximum Number of campers to stay: 30
Number of toilets: 4 (3 Indian and 1 western)
Bonfire seating areas are made of a mixture of natural stones and also carved out of wood.
- 3 person ‘Fresh and black’ hiking tents from Decathlon.
- Type of sleeping facility: two layers of foam mats serving as cushion at the bottom, pillows (not air pillows) and sleeping bags ( meant for 0 to 10 degrees Celsius)
- Number of toilets: 4 (3 Indian and 1 western)
- Number of bathrooms: 3
- Bathrooms and toilets tiled and roofed with running water and electricity
- Hot water yes: In buckets
- parking: yes
- Bonfire seating areas are made of a mixture of natural stones and also carved out of wood.
- Kitchen: Yes
- Charging station: yes
- Fordable camping chairs
- Drinking water is available at no extra cost as we prefer to keep the mineral water companies and their hideous plastic bottles out of this natural setting.
- Power back up in case of power shutdown
- coffee/ tea machine
- Doctors on board
30 Days prior to arrival : 50% refund
15 Days prior to arrival : 25% refund
Less than 15 Days prior to arrival : 0% refund
- Please carry basic stuff like tooth, brush, shorts, slippers, change of clothes.
1 sweater/jacket, a beanie or something to cover your head and ears as the temperatures will be low, and a sleeping bag (optional).
- Do not forget your sports/trekking shoes if you plan to go trekking to Dzukou valley.
- Essential to carry clothes to protect you from sub zero temperatures.
- Wear comfortable footwear in general since you will be walking around a lot at the festival venue.
- Rain coats/ ponchos since it may rain anytime in Northeast India
- Gloves are a must for the Dzukou trek
- Head lamps are compulsory.
- Festival usually starts at 10 am and goes on till 3 pm everyday but the official timelines for this year’s edition hasn’t been released yet by the ministry of tourism. We shall update the same, as we soon we get an update.
- The central area is where the traditional songs and dances are performed by each tribe.
- The central shopping area is where you can see and buy traditional arts and crafts made by people from all over the state.
- You can sample various cuisines of different Naga tribes in food stalls run by the finalists of the Naga chef competition. The overall winner is judged at the end of the 10 day festival based on the ratings, billings and reviews given by the visitors.
- Visiting the ‘Morungs’of each tribe is a major attraction as you get to understand the architecture, dress, food and drinks of each tribe. These ‘Morungs’ traditionally used to be a dormitory for unmarried boys where they would be taught life lessons by the elders.
- There is a very nominal entry fee to the festival.
Campsite: Please avoid carrying plastic bottles or even buying sealed bottles while at the venue as want to have a litter free zone as much as possible.
Food: Apart from complimentary breakfast provision for lunch and dinner will be made available on pre order.
Service: Though we will try our best to give you great service, please understand we won’t be able to give you hot towels, bed tea and the like.
Roads: The road from Dimapur to Kohima are winding and full of potholes, please be equipped with appropriate medication in case you have motion sickness.
- Height from mean sea level: 7998 feet
- There are two starting points to reach Dzukou valley from Kohima – Viswema and Jakhama
- The valley is shared between the two states Manipur and Nagaland
- The name ‘Dzu-kou’ in Angami tra means cold waters or “Soulless and Dull”
- The valley is famous for its wide range of flower in every season. But the most famous one is the Dzükou lily.
- The majority of Dzükou valley lies in Manipur.
- This is a also called the valley of flowers of Northeast India
- Temperatures in the valley in December can go down to sub zero levels
- December is a good time for star gazing and photography.