Hornbill Festival Nagaland (6D/5N)


Hornbill Festival Special Backpacking Trip with Dzukou Valley Trek Nagaland

This backpacking trip takes you to a hidden treasure located in the far east named Dzukou valley, a place straight out of a fantasy movie!

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Backpacking Trip/Trek
    • Activity Level Moderate
    All about the Hornbill Festival Nagaland (6D/5N).

    Hello Travelers!

    We will start our journey from Dimapur with a short journey to the capital town of Nagaland, also called the land of tribes Kohima. Few local attractions of Kohima will make us feel part of the Nagas culture.

    We will then head to Kisama village to experience the true culture of Nagas ranging from food, attire, music to tasting locally blended rice beer. Incidentally, Kisama village is the home to the most famous Hornbill Festival of Nagas that is celebrated with pomp and glory in the first 10 days of December every year.

    And then the real heavenly experience beckons – a trek to The Dzukou Valley. The spectacular “mountain wave” setting of Dzukou valley is almost unbelievable. It feels like a setting straight out of fairy tales and makes you wonder – how on Earth such a marvelous creation is plausible!?

    Let’s be part of Festival of Festivals – The Hornbill!

    Highlights of the Nagaland Trip:

    • The Hornbill Festival
    • The Heavenly Dzukou Valley Trek (2 Days/ 1 Night)
    • Kohima – The land of Tribes
    • Kisama Heritage Village – The heart of Nagas culture
    • A unique experience one wouldn’t get any where in India!

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    1. Day 1 Arrival at Dimapur, Journey to Dzuleke - A village without mobile network!
      • The trip starts at Dimapur Airport with your flight arrival. 
      • A journey of about 3.5 hours via Kohima town will take us back in time to a serene place called Dzuleke that has tiniest of population – only 34 households.
      • En route at Kohima, our guide will join the group.
      • The moment you enter Dzuleke, one can actually feel a sense of calmness and serene wilderness that is totally undisturbed from the civilization.
      • One can hear birds chirping, wind blowing against the trees and witness clear blue skies with slowly moving clouds. Many a times, one can even spot some wildlife like Bysons and Deer.
      • If lucky, we will be treated with a beautiful sunset across the hill with sky changing colors.
      • After experiencing nature at its full glory at the village, we shall head back to our cozy homestay.
      • Socially gather as we share each others stories and get to know each other better.
      • Finish delicious Dinner served at our stay and take a good night’s rest.
    2. Day 2 Kohima, Arrival at Hornbill Village
      • Good morning Nagaland!
      • The sun raises really early as it’s far east of the country. We will go for a morning walk through the village, explore the house holds and serene panorama of Dzuleke.
      • After Breakfast, we shall head towards Kohima, the capital town of Nagaland to visit colorful Cathedral Church.
      • We will visit World War II Cemetery, know about interesting stories about Japanese army attacking India through North East and how Nagas defended our country.
      • We will then move towards the happening  village of Kisama – the mystic piece of land that showcases rich culture, architecture and practices of The Nagas.
      • This village is also the venue of vibrant Hornbill Festival that happens every year from December 1 to 10.
      • Say bye to the Driver and Dzuleke guide who will drop us at the camp.
      • Check into our Camp located at a beautiful location and 1.2 Km from the Hornbill arena.
      • Refresh and give a visit to festival arena, if you wish.
      • Enjoy a warm bonfire with hot Dinner and snooze for the night in your tents.
    3. Day 3 A Day at The Hornbill
      • After a fulfilling Breakfast, we will walk down to the Heritage village where all the action takes place.
      • Explore Bamboo pavilions, Idols, Museum, Morungs which are the arenas for the tribes to learn and display different skills like archery, arts, crafts and even headhunting!
      • Wake up the foodie in you. Taste authentic delicacies of Nagas, different kinds & colors of Rice Beer.
      • Get thrilled with magnificent performances by different tribes that for the heart of Naga culture.
      • A day outing at the Hornbill Festival is truly an exhilarating experience once cannot forget.
      • Note: Hornbill arena, which is close to the camp is self exploratory and no guide would accompany the group.
      • We will head back to the Camp and finish our Dinner (or you may even eat at Hornbill arena).
      • Take good rest.
    4. Day 4 Dzukou Valley: Trek to Fairy Land, Camping
      • Today we shall go on a guided trek to the heavenly Dzukou valley.
      • Our Dzukou cab driver will be at our stay before 8AM in the morning. Dzukou trek guide will meet us at the base.
      • The initial part of the trek, around 2 hours of the mountain slope, is steeply surrounded by rain forest. The locals have done a great job in maintaining the sanctity of the trail.
      • Once we hike up the mountain, a completely new world appears in front of our eyes. Tens of rolling hills carpeted by dwarf bamboo trees welcome trekkers with a captivating views.
      • This remaining part of trek of about 3 hours through the valley is relatively easy but long. The beauty of the valley will make trekkers forget everything else.
      • We will reach base camp located at a magnificent setting at the other end and drop our bags in the tents once our care taker pitches the tents.
      • After a well deserved hot black Tea, we will hike up nearest mountain peak which is the only place with mobile signal!
      • Gear up for a very very cold night. Weather permits, we can even light a bonfire.
    5. Day 5 Explore the Fairyland, Trek back to Earth
      • Today we shall explore a Helipad and trek down the valley to reach breathtaking grasslands, pristine and cold flowing rivers, floating clouds that act as a crown to the majestic mountain peaks.
      • This 3 Km trek down is icing on the cake of already unimaginable setting of the Dzukou valley
      • After taking endless selfies, couplefies and groupfies, we will finally trek up and have Lunch at our base camp.
      • Resume our trek along the hills, and finally hike down the rainforest of the mountain slope to reach back to Viswema village where our cab will be waiting to pick us.
      • Over night stay at our Camp.
      • Your body asks for rest after 2 days of trek and exploration. Have a tight sleep.
    6. Day 6 Return journey!
      • Good morning Nagaland, one last time during the trip, until we return back.
      • All the outgoing flights are scheduled around afternoon time from Dimapur Airport. 
      • We will drop you just on time by our cab and good bye for now!
    Generic Details

    About Trip:

    • This trip involves basic facilities in terms of food, travel, and stay without any luxury, whatsoever.
    • This is a group trip with shared model. It may not suit everyone – especially for those expecting privacy and comfort. It best suits for people who wish to socialize.
    • Please do not book this trip if you are not okay with above points.


    • Trip starting/ending point: Dimapur Airport of Nagaland
    • Starting time: 12 PM Day 1
    • Ending time: 12 PM Day 6
    • You may book Flight/Train to Dimapur from your City in India
    • Local Travel by Sumo/Eco/Similar tourist vehicles.


    • Total 5 Nights on sharing basis
    • Dzuleke: Homestay for 1 night
    • Kisama/Kigwema Camp for 3 Nights
      > 2 sharing tents for couples
      > 3 sharing tents for others
    • Dzukou Valley: Camping for 1 Night
      > Common washrooms by Dzukou association


    • Total seats: 6 or more
    • Food: Breakfasts are included. Lunches & Dinners are self-sponsored.
    • Dzukou Valley Trek Difficulty: Moderate (1.5 days of trek)
    • Can beginners attempt? : Yes, given one is fit enough.
    • Tents are carried by Potter and individual Sleeping Bags have to be carried by trekkers.
    • Climate: Very cold (need thermals and thick woolens).

    What’s next after booking your ticket(s):

    • Organizers will get in touch with you, or vice versa. After the confirmation, you may book your flights up and down.
    • A Whatsapp group will be created for all the registered folks 5 days before the event

    Special Notes:

    • Travelers are expected to respect local culture, people, and rules of the land. The details will be shared in the WhatsApp group by Trip Captain. This is very important.
    • Travelers are expected to come with an open heart by appreciating the complexities of Mother nature based on seasonal variations, monthly or even daily weather conditions.

    Things to Carry for Hornbill & Dzukou:

    • Toiletries, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, wet wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, 
    • A lightweight large Backpack for the entire trip (60 liters or more)
    • A small backpack for basic items (to carry valuables, water bottles, etc for outdoors)
    • Photo identity proof with address (Aadhar/Passport/Voter ID)
    • 2 Passport size color photographs (important for permit)
    • Thermal inners and warm clothes (cold climate)
    • A rainproof jacket with a hood (to protect from cold winds, sudden rain/snowfall)
    • Waterproof gloves, thick socks, track pants, full sleeve t-shirts (to keep your body warm)
    • Cap/Hat/Sunglasses (to protect from harmful sun rays)
    • Sunscreen (SPF 50 or more)
    • Power bank, charger, camera, binoculars (if you wish to)
    • Hand sanitizer and liquid hand wash will help during journeys
    • Proper water bottle for your trip. You may fill at our guesthouses
    • Disposable garbage covers (To separate used/unused, wet/dry clothes)
    • Water-resistant good grip shoes for travel, extra slippers to use at guest houses
    • Personal medications, any drugs that you may feel necessary (remember ghat roads, chill climate)
    • No need to carry snacks/chocolates. You may buy at local shops to support local people.

    Seasonal weather:

    • December: Clear skies and amazing sunsets. The extreme chill sets into the Dzukou valley with freezing nights and early mornings. Recommended to carry think woolens or sweat shirts. Cover your face totally in the night with mufflers or monkey caps. Wear thick socks to protect feet.
    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Nagaland Package InclusionsItems that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • Travel (Dimapur to Dimapur)
    • Stay for 5 nights
    • 5 Breakfasts
    • Hornbill Festival Entry
    • Dzukou Valley Trekking Fees
    • All other entry tickets, permissions
    • Local guides for Dzuleke, Dzukou
    • Campfire(s)
    • A unique cultural and offbeat experience of the most untouched state Nagaland.
    Nagaland Package ExclusionsItems that are excluded in the cost of tour price.
    • Lunches, Dinners
    • Any kind of insurance, activities, shopping, party, medical expenses
    • Any misc. expenses that are not in inclusions above
    • Any extra cost arising due to any change in the itinerary/stay on account of flight cancellation, bad weather, traffic-congestion/roadblocks, political disturbances and/or any factors beyond our control.

    Terms & Conditions:

    • The itinerary is fixed. No special requests to change itinerary/schedule shall be entertained. Do not give advice(s) to the Trip Leader(s) to change the itinerary.
    • Cooperate with the organizer(s) in following the schedule set for the day (especially getting up and getting ready in the morning). This will ensure travelers won’t miss out on the real fun part that is traveling.
    • Every traveler is responsible for his/her for your own safety. Don’t indulge in any illegal or silly activity that causes harm to you or fellow travelers.
    • Do not wander into the forest away from the designated trail for treks. There may be snakes, scorpions, and dangerous animals.
    • Unexpected situations: It may happen we do not cover all the places mentioned in the itinerary because of unpredictable reasons like bad weather, landslides, wild animal presence, abrupt blocking of sites by the police/forest department, delay in travel because of an issue with our group itself, traffic conditions, etc. In most cases, if the time permits, the organizer(s) will take travelers to an alternative place. But in some cases, we may have to skip a place altogether.
    • Absolutely no littering. We swear to protect our environment.
    • No alcohol & smoking during travel, treks, and other outdoor activities. There would be a separate window and space (usually at night) to have these at the campsite/homestay for interested people.
    • Travelers are expected to respect each other and help each other. Avoid discussing sensitive matters like sex, politics, and religion/caste/race.
    • Using foul or abusive language, eve-teasing, arguing with fellow travelers/organizer(s), and/or involving in the physical assault will not be accepted and will stand a chance of being deserted by the group then and there.
    • The event will stand canceled if less than 8 travelers signed up for the trip/trek which will be informed 24 hours before the trip start time.
    • Every traveler is expected to sign a liability/waiver form given by the organizer(s) after boarding the vehicle. This liability form will discharge Muddie Trails of any unexpected incident like injury/death/theft etc.

    As we are amidst a pandemic, please go through the following blog of Travelling in the times of COVID-19 and COVID FAQs before deciding to join the trip.

    Cancellation Policy:

    Cancellation by Traveler

    • 80% refund if a cancellation request is sent 30 days before the trip start date.
    • 50% refund if a cancellation request is sent between 30 to 15 days before the trip start date.
    • An email has to be sent to to raise a cancellation request.
    • No refund within 15 days of the event start time whatever is the reason (Health, COVID, Accident, Family crisis, Office issue, or anything else).
    • No refund during/after the event.
    • No refund on the partial payment (advance) done to block your seat for the trip.

    Cancellation by Muddie Trails

    Muddie Trails may decide to cancel the event if there are less than 3 travelers signed up for the trip/trek.

    What if we don’t get the minimum number of people for the trip?
    We have 2 options in this case:
    Option 1: Complete refund.
    Option 2: Switch to any other trip of the same weekend or future weekends. The difference amount will be collected from you or paid back according to the new trip cost.

    Cancellation due to external factors

    Muddie Trails may have to cancel the event in case of external factors that are beyond our control like Natural Disasters, Extreme Weather Conditions, Red Alerts, Political Disturbances, Bandh/Curfews, Local Issues, Road Blocks, Train cancellations, Covid-19 or any other disease outbreaks etc.

    In these scenarios:

    • No Refund is allowed.
    • 100% trip amount can be used for any other new trip of the same weekend or future weekends. The difference amount will be collected from you or paid back according to the new trip cost.
    • Once you confirm your participation on the new trip, all the above Cancellation policies will apply for the same.

    Overall Rating


    Dates Trip Status Price 
    November 29, 2023 - December 4, 2023
    Available (Starting Morning Wed 11:30 AM - Ending Morning Mon 11:30 AM)
    December 8, 2023 - December 13, 2023
    Available (Starting Morning Fri 11:30 AM - Ending Morning Wed 11:30 AM)