Hornbill Festival And The Last Headhunters of Nagaland

Hornbill Festival And Living With The Headhunters

The Hornbill Festival 2019, the festival of festivals as it is also known, is the biggest tribal cultural festival of North East India and India. And just like last year and the year before that, we are again heading to Nagaland this winters. In the laps of the blue mountains of North East India, to drown in the rich and colorful Naga way of life. If age-old ways of life, tribal traditions, and food and celebrations is your thing, you cannot afford to miss the Hornbill Festival this year.

Hornbill Festival 2019 Tour Dates, Itinerary and Details

Our Hornbill Festival Nagaland 2019 trip that we run is not limited to just the Hornbill Festival. Our Hornbill Festival tour has always seen this colorful festival as an opportunity to show our guests what lies beyond the obvious, when in Nagaland. So, once on this trip, you will experience much more of Nagaland that other hornbill festival 2019 packages are covering. Just to give you an idea, after spending a significant number of days at the Hornbill Festival 2019 in and around the Kisama Heritage Village, we visit various Naga tribal villages, each belonging to a different Naga tribe and with a different way of life. And towards the end of the trip, we do the most exciting thing about this tour in Nagaland. We drive across bumpy roads to reach the last Indian village, a village that is split between India and Myanmar. There, we meet the last surviving headhunters and interact with them, listen to their stories and live with them.

Nagaland Hornbill Festival 2019 Dates and Hornbill Festival Tickets

1st December 2019 To 10th December 2019
The Hornbill Festival Ticket price is included in your Hornbill festival package cost. The tickets will be handed to you by our trip leader at the festival venue.

Hornbill Festival 2019 Tour Dates

30th November To 9th December 2019

Itinerary of Hornbill Festival 2019 Group Tour

30th November 2019 – Saturday – Guwahati To Kohima

Meet and greet with North East Explorers representative in Guwahati and start our journey for Kohima, the capital of Nagaland. Drive through the plains and tea-gardens of Assam to finally reach the beautiful capital city of Kohima, spread across multiple hills. Rest and relax after the long journey.

1st December – Sunday – Kohima – Hornbill Festival Ground – Kohima

Attend the colorful opening ceremony of the Hornbill Festival at the Kisama Heritage Village festival grounds. Go click-crazy!

2nd December – Monday – Kohima – Hornbill Festival Ground – Kohima

Head to the Kisama Heritage Village festival ground and enjoy the festivities of the Hornbill Festival. Gawk at the jaw-dropping performances and enactments of the tribal ways of life of the Nagas of the yesteryears and stuff yourself with delicious Naga food till you can take no more. In the evening, visit the iconic Kohima cathedral and enjoy the view of the city from there.

3rd December – Tuesday – Kohima – Khonoma – Kohima

Before heading to the historic village of Khonoma, also known as Asia’s first green village, we visit the World War II cemetery, in the heart of Kohima. The cemetery is one of the most historically significant and grim reminders of the war that was fought in these parts of the world. Later, we visit to take a guided tour of the beautiful Khonoma village and get to know about the local way of life there. We can go on writing about how pretty Khonoma is but we will still fail to give you a clear picture, so we will say this. Khonoma will be by far the most lovely village you would have ever seen.

4th December – Wednesday – Kohima To Mokokchung

Today we head deeper into Nagaland and drive all the way up to the beautiful town of Mokokchung. Perched atop a pack of hills, the beauty of Mokokchung has to be seen to be believed. The villages around Mokokchung are home to numerous myths, stories, and bravery.

sunsets Longwa village Nagland

5th December – Thursday – Mokokchung – Guided tour to Naga villages – Mokokchung

Today we explore a couple of Naga villages, Ungma, and Mokochung village. Our local guide shares stories about the cultures and life in these villages as you slowly walk through the narrow lanes of these villages with colorful villages.

6th December – Friday – Mokokchung – Lungwa
As if Mokokchung was not deep enough, today we head to one of the remotest parts of Nagaland, to Lungwa village in Mon district. This is head-hunter territory. Don’t be surprised if there is no electricity here, nobody cares about it anyway. Here, it’s all about having a good time and you too will know all about it once there 😉

7th December – Saturday – Longwa Local Tour

Today, we meet the last surviving headhunters and talk to them, through our local guides. See their tattooed faces tell us how they used to chop off the heads of their enemies and bring them back to their villages where festivities awaited them. Later in the day, we will go visit the Angh (King) of the Konyak Nagas whose palace is divided between two countries! One half in India while the other half is in Myanmar. And while you sit and sip some piping hot tea with him, remember, only he is allowed to sit on the Myanmar side of the house. We take a walk up to the border – pillar that separates India from Myanmar before heading back to our Naga homestay.

8th December – Sunday – Longwa To Jorhat

Today we start our return journey back to the plains of Assam. We reach Jorhat late in the afternoon and make good use of whatever sunlight is left by visiting the historic sites of the Ahom kingdom.

9th December – Monday – Jorhat To Guwahati

Start our drive back to Guwahati in the morning. Take photo-breaks as you wish and reach Guwahati before evening and say your good-byes. Fly-back home with memories of a lifetime.


  • All travel starting from Guwahati and back to Guwahati.
  • All accommodation on a shared basis.
  • Breakfast.
  • All permits as required.
  • Entry fee for the Hornbill Festival venue on all days.
  • Local guide fees as required.
  • Tolls and parking charges.


  • Lunch, dinner, snacks.
  • Any personal expenses.
  • Anything that is not mentioned above.
  • 5% GST.
  • Prices are subject to change without prior notice, based upon the costing of variables of the trip logistics.

Photos of Hornbill Festival 2018

Must-Know things before going to Hornbill Festival

While we will try our best to have all the facilities we can manage, please be informed that given the geographical location of the place, the facilities will be clean but basic for the most part of the trip. But then again, the trade-off is well worth the experiences. After all, where’s the adventure if everything is just perfect!

Hornbill Festival Group Trip – Refunds and Cancellations

Hornbill festival being an internationally acclaimed festival, the bookings have to be confirmed months in advance by paying our logistic partners which is non-refundable. Which means, in case of any cancellation on the guests’ part, there is no refund.

In case we cancel the trip for any unavoidable reason, we will refund 100% of the payment made to us.

We will not be liable to pay any expenses the guest might have incurred (train tickets, flight tickets, etc.) to reach the starting point of the trip, Guwahati Railway station in this case.

Good To Know

Because everything for Hornbill Festival gets book well in advance, the availability is on the first-come-first-serve basis. We have only 10 seats this year. So, if you wish to join us for this festival of festivals and much more, book your Hornbill Festival 2019 ticket soon before they are gone.
In case you are looking forward to exploring some more of North East while you are here, we would be glad to assist you with the same. In fact, we have a trip to the Sangai Festival in Imphal right before the Hornbill Festival and we have trips to Majuli, Kaziranga, and Meghalaya after Hornbill festival which you can club as per your liking.

Want to Know More?
Even after reading all the details above, you might still have some questions in your mind. Worry not! Please feel free to get in touch via the contact box on the right (below if you are on a mobile device) side of this page or via our contact us page. We will get back to you at the earliest, with all the answers.



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Latest Reviews

North East Explorers
Based on 26 reviews
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Reshma Narasing
Reshma Narasing
13:25 28 Dec 19
I am a solo female traveler and a travel blogger, and travel independently most of the time. I was on a long trip to... north eastern states of India, and I took a trip with North East Explorers to Arunachal, having heard very little of this state. And it was the best thing to do! They organized a perfect trip, took me to the hidden gems of Arunachal, and I enjoyed my time with the locals, experienced local food, got a glimpse of their culture, and would not have wanted to travel in Arunachal in any other way! They are not your typical travel company. They offer customers what they want and more, and your money is worth and so is your time. You can get customized trips according to your budget, and plan trips as per your preferences. You will get a fulfilling customer service until your trip is over. North East Explorers are handsdown the best way to travel in north east India.read more
Neha Pandey
Neha Pandey
09:03 18 Nov 19
The trip was very well organised. Our trip operator Rajiv Verma was very quick in responding throughout our... communication. He was very helpful in sorting out any queries and issues throughout the trip. The trip was designed well to cover all the best spots throughout Meghalaya. We had an experienced driver who accompanied us through the trip provided by NE Explorers. Rajiv customised our trip the way we wanted to. He also suggested what is best for us. His mail included all details of inclusions and exclusion. So, there was no confusion at all with him. Highly recommend them. I have travelled a lot and booked trips with D Paul's and Make my trip. But, NE Explorers I really wanted to try because they were the local operators. And, they have really impressed me.Had a lovely time. It was so relaxed and easy thanks to them for taking care of everything so amazingly!!! 10/10 would definitely get in touch with them soon for our next travel plans !!!read more
wilson mathews
wilson mathews
07:38 18 Jun 19
We had a great and unforgettable experience in Arunachal pradesh (Dirang -Tawang- Bum la pass). Right from the minute... we landed in Guwahati, Rajiv took us under his wing. He made sure that we were taken care of every minute. The itinerary was followed to the tee. The driver Mr.Kamal handled the rough terrains expertly. The picturesque villages and streams were quite a sight. The homestays arranged were clean and the owners received us with great love. They looked after us as if we were their own family. The homestay in Tawang (Dondrub homestay) definitely deserves 5 stars. In all this was one of the most memorable vacations we took. Looking forward to another trip with North East explorersread more
Rahul Maheshwari
Rahul Maheshwari
08:26 10 Jun 19
We had a wonderful trip of North East organized by Rajiv from Northeast explorers. I searched for north east tour... operators and based on positives reviews shortlisted Northeast explorers. Rajiv, demonstrated his knowledge of the region and experience he has gained in this field. He clearly mentioned about stay only in homestays during the entire journey as he does not deal with hotels. After having communication with Rajiv we agreed on itinerary (Guwahati-Shillong-Cherrapunji-Mawlynong-Guwahati-Dirang-Tawang-Dirang-Guwahati) started our beautiful journey. Special mention to our expert driver cum guide Topeswar who was very knowledgeable and also took us to good restaurants along the trip. Also, Rajiv from NE Explorers was constantly in touch with us over phone/whatsapp while we traveled giving us tips. The homestays were mostly good except the one in Mawlynong which is small village. I have one feedback here if they can provide couple of homestays options in advance at each place to choose from then that would be great. Rest all was very good and especially host at Tawang homestay was amazing and helped us in Bumla trip. Overall a very mesmerizing experience. I would definitely recommend North East Explorers.read more
Arun Madhavan Govindarajan
Arun Madhavan Govindarajan
03:03 22 May 19
We were 6 people and went on an amazing trip this year to the NE thanks to Rajiv. From the very first interactions... that we have had with him, it has been plesant experience. He takes personal care with the planning of the trip, hand picks the places that we stay in and overall makes the experience a memorable one. The places you stay are all homestays, which is the speciality that Rajiv offers. We were initially skeptical about the same, but Rajiv assured that this was the best part of the travel where you get the feel of a home like stay. He was indeed correct. you can get to experience the genuine love of NE people through these home stay. They were well prepared for our arrival and took great care of us. Travelling with a 5 year old, this was very important. Most importantly the our driver Nagesh who accompanied us through the trip was very knowledgeable. He understands your tastes and preferences very quickly and chooses restaruants very wiesly. The plan that he does is also pretty amazing. A couple of times where we started late, we still did not find the pinch of time and were able to see all the places we had to cover, thanks to Nagesh. This he does without overspeeding. A very careful driver and a wonderful person to interact with. The most unusual part of the trip is the followup you get from Rajiv. He calls you couple of times every day, takes personal care in ensuring that everything is fine. We also met him on the way, where he says that he makes is a point to meet his guests atleast once during their journey. Very different from a lot of tourist operators who get you started with a trip and don't care from there. During our trip we had an unfortunate emergency. The urgency with which both Nagesh and Rajiv helped us out through the same was quite amazing.They took a lot of care in ensuring that we got all the help possible during the time of crisis which meant a lot to us. Overall we had a very memorable experience of the NE, thanks to Rajiv. I would definitely explore more of NE and would definitely do that wth the help of Rajiv and his team.read more
Naveenkumar Muguda
Naveenkumar Muguda
11:01 21 May 19
We had a wonderful trip of Meghalaya organized by Northeast explorers. Their website was informative, Rajeev was... knowledgeable, itinerary was well planned, we got a comfortable car with a safe driver. Then why 3 stars? 1 )The driver Vicky, wanted to start the day late and worse would delay it further. This resulted in we not completing the itinerary 2) repeated complaints to Rajeev didn't help 3) At the Dorki river, the driver colluded with locals and forced us to take a costlier package. 4) The driver would skip items from the itinerary, when it suited him and this was done silently at times. 5) even after factoring in perks(planning, website etc), the trip cost was way more costly compared to what others paid for same homestays and transport. This was the observation of other patrons of Northeast explorers. We loved the Northeast, Northeast explorers not so much.read more
Philipp Z
Philipp Z
16:07 08 Apr 19
We had a fantastic trip in guwahati and kaziranga. Jamerr is a very nice and safe driver, who brought us to very good... restaurants and shows us some nice places of Assam. The homestay houses have been very clean and nice hosts took care of us and our wishes. Safari was well organized. We skipped the morning safari to take another visit i kamakya temple in guwahati. The agency was very flexible and always answered very fast to our questions. Some Things which haven't been like we imagine, has been cleared and fixed immediately always to our contentment. We had a great time in India and especially in clear and green Assamread more
jakub chmelik
jakub chmelik
13:00 05 Jan 19
We are living 4,5 years in India and we decided to discover also North East. We googled travel agents and we started... communication with North East Explorers to prepare our trip. North East Explorers, especially Rajiv Verma, prepared for us wonderful itinerary and we spent amazing holidays in North East. We enjoyed individual trip to Assam and Meghalaya with excellent selections of homestay´s with clean places, excellent foods and amazing owners. Driver Nagesh was very helpful and fulfilled every our wish. In 2nd part of our trip we joined prepared catalogue trip to Nagaland. We spent wonderful time with the rest of the group at Hornbill Festival and continue with our adventure in deep Nagaland till Myanmar border. Also in this collective part of our holiday we enjoy selection of hotels and driver of our traveler. During both parts of our trip we enjoyed also all guides selected by Rajiv and accompanied us to life roots bridges and other parts of Scotland of East or in wonderfull clean villages of wild Nagaland. We would like to thank you to Rajiv and North East Explorers for wonderful holiday.read more
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