The climate in Bhutan varies with altitude which ranges from almost 97 m to 7570 m. The climate in the South is hot, humid sub-tropical climate and the temperatures can vary between 15-30 degrees Celsius. Central parts of the country has warm summers and cool, dry winters with temperate and deciduous forests. In the far northern Himalayas the weather is cold during winter with mountain peaks perpetually covered with snow and has cool summer.
However, most of the destinations with Ambrosia Bhutan are located in the central region with moderate climate and therefore, extremely favourable for tours and treks. There are two main seasons most favourable to visit Bhutan; during spring and during autumn.
Spring month stretches from March to April with temperature varying from 17-22 Degree Celsius in places you would visit except in Punakha and Wangdue which could rise to about 28 degree on hot days. May is still considered a high season for tourist visit. Occasionally light shower is experienced during late May. This season offers lush green scenery with beautiful flowers and birds rejoicing the life.
Autumn months are September, October and November. In the places you would visit, the temperatures can vary from 20 to 25 degree Celsius with light shower sometimes. It is characterized by bright, sunny days and pleasant nights with some early snowfalls at higher elevations allowing you to capture amazing photographs of the landscapes.
June, July and August are considered to be summer months in Bhutan with heavy and frequent monsoon rains in south. Western regions are occasionally wet with 25 – 30 degree Celsius and can sometimes cause disruptions in transportation due to road blocks and landslides. However, some tourists still prefer to visit Thimphu, Paro and Punakha due to remarkable sights of green fields and forests, if some alteration in their itineraries is not a problem.
Winter sets in from late November until Mid-March with frost throughout the country except in the south. Temperatures reach an average of 15 degrees Celsius but nights are much colder, sometimes even below freezing point. December and January are very cold and we can expect snowfall in Thimphu and Paro towns. But the sight of snow capped mountains in and around the valleys is very common. Those who love cold and snow find themselves to be fortunate to experience.
Flora and Fauna
Bhutan has forest cover of over 72%, with 60% under protection and therefore it is considered to be one of the last remaining biodiversity hotspots in the world.
Physically, the country can be divided into three zones:
1. Alpine Zone (4000m and above) with no forest cover;
2. Temperate Zone (2000 to 4000m) with conifer or broadleaf forests;
3. Subtropical Zone (150m to 2000m) with Tropical or Subtropical vegetation.
Types of forests in Bhutan are fir forests, mixed conifer forest, blue pine forest, chirpine forest, broadleaf mixed with conifer, upland hardwood forest, lowland hardwood forest, and tropical lowland forests. Almost 60% of the plant species found in the eastern Himalayan region are present in Bhutan.
It is a great pride to announce that Bhutan has about 300 species of medicinal plants and about 46 species of rhododendrons. Some common sights for the visitors are the magnolias, junipers, orchids of varied hues, gentian, medicinal plants, Daphne, giant rhubarb, the blue and trees such as fir, pine and oaks.
Our dense forests and high mountains have a wide range of rare and endangered animals. Government takes extreme measures to conserve its unspoiled natural environment because of which there is a thriving population of some of the rarest animals on earth and has thus been classified as one of the last biodiversity hotspots in the world. Some high altitude species are the snow leopards, Bengal tigers that are found at altitude ranging 3000 to 4000 meters, the red panda, the gorals and the langurs, the Himalayan black bear, sambars, wild pigs, barking deer, blue sheep and musk deer. In the tropical forests of Southern Bhutan one can come across clouded leopards, the one horned rhinoceros, elephants, water buffaloes and swamp deer. You can even find the Golden Langur, a species of monkey that is unique to Bhutan.
Bhutan is also rich in great variety of bird species. It is recognized as an area of high biological diversity and is known as the East Himalayan ‘hot spot’, the hub of 221 global endemic bird areas. The recorded number of bird species is over 670 and is expected to rise as new birds are discovered. In addition, 57% of Bhutan’s globally threatened birds and 90% of the country’s rare birds are dependent on forests. Bhutan has about 415 resident bird species. These birds are altitudinal refugees, moving up and down the mountains depending upon the seasons and weather conditions. Of about 50 species of birds that migrate during the winters are the buntings, waders, ducks, thrushes and the birds of prey. Some 40 species are partial migrants and they include species such as swifts, cuckoos, bee-eaters, fly catchers and warblers.
There are 16 bird species that are endangered worldwide and are seen in Bhutan. These include the White bellied heron, Pallas Fish eagle and Blyth’s King fisher to name a few. Phobjikha valley in Wangdue Phodrang and Bomdeling in Trashi Yangtse are also two especially important locations of the endangered Black Necked Cranes.