The beauty of India's
rich wildlife found at various National Parks and Wildlife
sanctuaries will leave you with memorable experience.
1. Untamed South
21 Days / 20 Nights
Places covered :
Ranganathittu, Nagarahole, Wayanad, Bandipur, Mudumalai,
Ooty, Eravikulam, Periyar.
Best Season : All Year Round
Starting off at Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, this tour takes
you to all the major wildlife parks in South India. After
Mysore, the cultural city of forts and temples, you visit
Nagarahole, one of the finest habitats of the Asian Elephant.
Together with Bandipur, Mudumalai and Wayanad, the entire zone
forms the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and acts as a migratory
corridor for elephants.
apart from encountering elephants and bison in the wild, you
also get to see endemics like Malabar Giant Squirrel, Malabar
Parakeet, Malabar Lark and Grey-headed Bulbul at the foothills
of the Nilgiris (Blue Mountains). The scenic hill-station of
Ooty and its evergreen shola forests are excellent for
restricted range endemics like Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Nilgiri
Laughingthrush and Nilgiri Flycatcher. At Eravikulam, near the
tea estates of Munnar, you'll see vast herds of the endemic
Nilgiri Tahr. Avid trekkers could have a go at Anai Mudi, the
highest peak in South India.
A drive past
Idukki Wildlife Reserve finally ends the tour at Periyar Tiger
Reserve, home to endangered species like the Lion-tailed
Macaque and Nilgiri Langur. A boat-ride on the scenic Periyar
lake reveals herds of elephants, wild boar and Indian wild
dog. On its waters you can watch the White-bellied Sea Eagle
and Lesser Fishing Eagle compete for prey. Walks through the
forest edges may reveal the endangered Broad-tailed Grassbird,
Malabar Trogon and Malabar Pied Hornbill. Near the tree
canopies you can find the unusual Draco (Flying Lizard),
Golden Tree (Flying Snake) and Malabar Flying Frog gliding
through the air.
2. Call of the Tigers
14 Days / 13 Nights
Places covered : Ranthambhore, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Bharatpur
Season : November till June.
The two central Indian parks of Bandhavgarh and Kanha, along
with the well-known Ranthambhore tiger reserve in Rajasthan,
offer you the best opportunity to view and photograph tigers.
The duration of time spent in each park has been planned so as
to maximize your chances of game viewing. Game drives in open
jeeps along with elephant-back rides in Kanha and Bandhavgarh
help track tigers and other game. You are accompanied by our
experienced naturalists and trackers who will share their
in-depth knowledge about the area to enrich your holiday.
Ranthambhore, see the spectacular 1000-year-old fort and the
scattered ruins of mosques, temples and palaces. In its lakes,
which serve as vital sources of water, you see Sambar and
Marsh Crocodiles basking on the banks. We may also come across
Sloth Bear, the handsome Caracal, Chinkara and Blackbuck in
nearby villages. Bandhavgarh, famous the world over for its
high tiger density, also offers other species like Jungle Cat,
Muntjac and the only four-horned antelope in the world, the
Chausingha. The rocky crags below Bandhavgarh fort may reveal
Leopard and birds like Malabar Pied Hornbill and Peregrine
Falcon. In the rich meadows of Kanha, you can see the last
remaining population of the Hard-ground Barasinga, the Dhole
(Indian wild dog) and Gaur (Indian Bison), which prefer the
dense Sal forest.
While you are
on the lookout for the tiger, you might want to get some birds
on your checklist. Notable species include Painted Sandgrouse,
Indian Courser, Brown Fish Owl, Bonelli's Eagle, Painted
Spurfowl, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Red Jungle Fowl, Painted
Francolin and Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. The tour also
includes a visit to the Taj Mahal at Agra and two full days of
birdwatching at Bharatpur, considered the finest bird
sanctuary in the world. The sheer volume and diversity of
birds can easily reveal up to 100 different species in a
Elephant - back Safari
08 Days / 07 Nights
Places covered : Corbett National Park
Season : November till March.
Highlights : A once-in-a-lifetime experience, this is your chance to be
with the largest, strongest and one of the most intelligent
creatures to walk the planet. The elephant-back safari
penetrates deep into lush tropical forest to unveil the area's
rich flora and fauna. Your royal bandwagon comes with your own
elephant, an experienced mahout, luxury camps and a master
chef. From the comfort of your howdah and through leisurely
nature walks, discover over 600 species of birds and over 50
species of mammals.
Taking you to
normally unreachable areas in a forest with dense undergrowth,
the elephant-back safari offers the best opportunities to
sight the tiger. Relive the days of the British Raj and
uncover Corbett's legacy at the colonial-era Forest Bungalows.
In the heart of the park at Dhikala, a 100 sq. km reservoir
hemmed by a vast savanna, you continue your exploration in a
4X4. The reservoir holds marsh crocodiles and the endemic
fish-eating Gharials while the Ramganga river offers the
challenge of angling the mighty Mahseer.
We can also
arrange tour extensions to the elephant-training camps in
South India. At Dubare, you can take part in the bathing and
feeding rituals of the pachyderms in the Cauvery river. This
was where the Maharaja of Mysore used to have elephants
trained for the famous Mysore Dussehra. At Mudumalai National
Park visit Theppakadu, where conservation efforts are so
well-managed that more elephants have been born in captivity
than anywhere else in the world.
4. Rainforests of South India
Duration : 11 Days / 10 Nights
Places covered : Coorg, Brahmagiri, Wayanad, Silent Valley, Kodaikanal
: October till June.
Highlights : This tour takes you to different sections of the Western Ghats,
internationally recognized as a hotspot for biodiversity. At
an organic farm in Coorg, do guided nature walks, spot the
Southern Birdwing (India's largest butterfly), the Atlas Moth
and exquisite birds like Fairy Bluebird and Malabar Whistling
Thrush. You can learn how plants are grown organically under
the shade of rainforest trees and see various species of
orchids in a fragile eco-system.
You then cross
over to Kerala and trek through the forests of Wayanad to the
birdwatching paradise of Pakshipathalam. A drive through
Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary takes you to Kuruvadweep, a
950-acre uninhabited island teeming with rich tropical flora
magical Silent Valley National Park, which represents all the
peninsular mammals including Tiger, Elephant and the highly
endangered Lion-tailed Macaque. Visit the last remaining tract
of Shola rainforests in Kodaikanal, where you can spot
endemics like Kodai White-bellied Shortwing and the Nilgiri
Pipit. Excursions include a trek to Beri Jam and Shembaganur
Museum, a repository of the local natural history and 300
species of orchids. As an extension, you could stay at the
tree-house at Vythiri, situated at a height of 80 ft. above
the jungle floor, which offers excellent birding.
11 Days / 10 Nights
Places covered : Kaziranga, Namdapha, Nameri
: November till May
A chance to discover the less-explored North Eastern
Himalayas, this tour takes you through forests of Oak, Dwarf
Bamboo, Magnolia and moss-covered Birch. Follow the
Rhododendron Trail in Arunachal and see rare orchids and
butterflies in Sikkim, a region that lies in the shadow of
India's highest mountain Kanchenjunga. In Namdapha, the
presence of four big cats in the same park - Tiger, Leopard,
Clouded Leopard and Snow Leopard - speaks a lot about its
diversity. Cross the Noa Dihing river by country boat and
penetrate deep inside tropical wet evergreen forests at our
Hornbill Glade campsite.
rare endemics like Red Panda, Hoolock Gibbon, Hoary-bellied
Flying Squirrel and Wild Buffalo, you can spot 665 bird
species including rarities like Rufous-necked Hornbill,
Oriental Bay Owl, Blue-naped Pitta and Red-headed Trogon. At
Kaziranga, home to India's Big 5, you can see an equally
fascinating birdlife including Black-breasted Parrotbill,
Pompadour Green Pigeon and Little Spiderhunter. Once atop a
sure-footed elephant, you are most likely to sight the
legendary armour-plated rhinos. While enjoying a spectacular
sunset on the vast Brahmaputra river, you can watch the
frolicking of River Dolphins. At Nameri National Park spot
avian rarities like White-winged Duck, Wreathed Hornbill,
Ruddy Kingfisher and Ibisbill.
Some of the other attractions
of this tour include a visit to the Buddhist monasteries of
Sikkim, the tribes of Arunachal and the ancient Kamakhya
Temple in Guwahati, a center for Tantrik Hinduism. You'll also
be visiting the Greater Adjutant Breeding Site, its only known
breeding ground in the world.
Places covered : Western
Ghats, North-East, Thar Desert
: October till May.
This tour offers a choice of three broad geographical zones
that constitute India's vast endemic gene pool - the
arid/semi-arid Desert Wildlife in the West, the Western Ghats
in the South and the rich Eastern Himalayan, Indo-Burmese,
Sino-Tibetan genetic overlap in the North-East. A combination
of at least two sectors would give you a fair idea of endemics
in India. As a marvel of natural history, this tour reveals a
diverse assemblage of plants, butterflies, mammals, birds and
reptiles found nowhere else on earth.
India, the Thar Desert Wildlife supports Chinkara, Blackbuck
and Indian Bustard, the Rann of Kutch has the Asiatic Wild Ass
while Gir is the last refuge of the Asiatic Lion. The Western
Ghats has endemic species like Rustyspotted Cat, Malabar Giant
Squirrel (the largest in the world), Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed
Macaque and exotic birds like Malabar Whistling Thrush, Waynad
Laughing Thrush and Malabar Pied Hornbill.
is still revealing its biological treasures, where three large
mammals have been discovered in recent years, including the
Javan Rhino, Malayan Sun-bear and Leaf Deer. You can see the
One-horned Rhino and Gangetic Dolphin at Kaziranga,
Brow-antlered Deer in Manipur and other endemics like Pygmy
Hog, Golden Langur, Hispid Hare, Assamese Macaque, Bengal
Florican, several hornbills and the world's highest diversity
of freshwater turtle species.
7. Desert Ship
16 Days / 15 Nights
Places covered : Desert National Park, Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary,
Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer
Best Season : November till March
Highlights : The Camel Safari through the vast Thar Desert of Rajasthan
unveils its celebrated forts, old havelis and the colourful
mix of royal heritage and desert nomadic cultures. Surrounded
by magical sand dunes, this vast desert wilderness is home to
some of the most endangered species in India including the
handsome spiral-horned Blackbuck, elegant Chinkara gazelles,
Striped Hyena and the rare Indian Wolf.
on camel back is very rewarding as birds allow camels to get
at close quarters, giving you unprecedented access. You can
spot endemics like Indian & Houbara Bustards and witness the
spectacle of flocks of Demoiselle Cranes being fed by the
villagers of Khichan. At Gajner, mornings and evenings are
excellent to sight the Imperial Sandgrouse
hospitality at the Old Palace of the Maharaja of Bikaner, the
best heritage hotels and fully-serviced desert camps. In the
evenings, sit by the campfire, listen to the haunting
Rajasthani folk music and sample a desert feast under the
stars. You can also witness traditional art forms and interact
with the Bishnoi tribes, who revere the blackbuck and regard
all life forms sacred. Excursions include the Karni Mata
Temple at Deshnok, where mice are worshipped as reincarnated
10 Days / 09 Nights
Places covered :
Kasargod, Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Vembanad Lake,
Best Season : September till march.
The Malabar Coast, sought after by early traders for its
spices and riches, was where the explorer Vasco da Gama
landed, where Christianity in India took root and where the
assimilation of Dutch, Portuguese, Hebrew, Arab and British
influences into Kerala culture took place. This tour takes you
down this forgotten stretch of North Kerala and as you go
further down the coastline, you discover Kerala's ancient
forts, churches, temples, spectacular beaches and backwaters.
road trip starts with Kasargod's virgin beaches, the
unexplored backwaters and Kerala's largest fort at Bekal, an
exhilarating 4-km ride at India's only drive-in beach and a
quick peek at Parassinakadavu Reptile Farm. While you visit
Thattekad & Kumarakom Bird Sanctuaries and Pathiramanal
Island, cruise on Vembanad (India's largest freshwater lake)
and take a backwater boat trip from Alleppey to Quilon.
En route you
will stop at Guruvayur to see temple elephants used for
spectacular religious ceremonies. You can also see the
Mannarsala Snake Temple, the epicenter of snake worship in
India and the 500-year-old Cheriapally church at Kottayam, one
of the oldest in India. The tour's cultural attractions
include a look at Kathakali & Theyyam dance-forms, Kalari
Payattu (traditional martial art) and a luxurious Kerala
Ayurveda Rejuvenation Program.
9. Classical India Bird Tour
09 Days / 08 Nights
Places covered : Corbett,
: November till May.
Highlights : With
over 650 species around Corbett alone, this tour offers a good
cross-section of Indian birds. At Corbett, India's oldest
national park, you can see the rich overlap of bird species of
the Himalayas and the plains. The best birding is from high
banks, machans and forest observation towers. The rich
Ramganga Valley has a staggering fifty birds of prey including
the greatly endangered White-tailed & Pallas's Fish Eagle.
While you explore most of the park in open jeeps and
elephant-back rides, hikes around the vast buffer forests
yield the Brown Dipper, Wall-creeper, Ibisbill, several
varieties of forktails and hornbills, the endangered Tawny
Fish Owl and the Collared Falconet, one of the smallest birds
of prey in the world.
pleasant hill-station of Nainital, apart from birding in the
coniferous, temperate forests you may visit Gurney House where
Jim Corbett was born. On your hike, you see birds like
Himalayan Woodpecker in oak forests, Firethroated-Serin and
Altai Accentor on grassy slopes and other species like
Mountain Scops Owl, Himalayan Griffon, the majestic Lammergier,
Northern Goshawk, Mrs. Gould's Sunbird and Scaly-breasted Wren
Babbler. On a clear day, you could even catch a glimpse of the
Nanda Devi peak (25,800 ft).
UNESCO World Heritage Site, has one of the largest
congregations of migratory and resident bird species in the
world. It is an unrivaled breeding site for storks, herons,
cormorants and is the wintering ground for several migrant
ducks. Geese, Crakes, Snipes, Shanks, Sandpipers and Plovers
also exist in sheer volumes. You can extend your itinerary
with excursions to adjoining wetlands, reservoirs and a cruise
on the Chambal to see the densest population of the Indian
Skimmer anywhere in Asia.
: 04 nights / 05 days by
road + 01 night in Delhi - 03 nights in Corbett
Places covered : Corbett National Park
Season : October till June.
The highlight of this tour is a two night's stay inside
India's first national park; CORBETT NATIONAL PARK. Corbett
not only has the glory of being India's oldest and most
reputed national park, it is also the place where Project
Tiger was first launched. An interesting aspect of Corbett is
that it offers one of those rare opportunities where you can
actually stay inside the heart of the park; a true experience
any wildlife enthusiast craves for.
explore this park by open jeeps and elephants, the other good
way to watch wildlife without disturbing its denizens are from
watchtowers, built next to the forest rest houses inside the
park. Some other
activities at Corbett include treks on the periphery of the
Tiger Reserve that retraces the footprints of Jim Corbett
where he followed the 'Maneater of Mohan' (a man eating
tiger). If you are an angler, you certainly shouldn't miss the
Mahseer fishing experience in the Ramganga river.
11. Coorg Eco Tour
This wildlife tour has tailor make tour option.
Places covered :
Mojo Rainforest Retreat.
: October till June.
Home to the Habanero (the world's second hottest chili), the
Southern Birdwing (India's largest butterfly), the Atlas Moth
(with the world's largest wingspan), over 100 species of birds
and the best blues collection in the country, Mojo is a
treasure trove of natural wonders. Perched at 1100m at the top
of the rain-slope, the organic farm is spread over 25 acres of
was set up in 1999 by Dr Anurag (Doc) and Sujata Goel to
nurture Coorg's fragile ecosystem and to promote their
environmental NGO, WAPRED Research Foundation. At Mojo,
coffee, cardamom, pepper and vanilla are grown organically
under the shade of rainforest trees. Solar panels are used to
generate electricity. Locally grown organic produce is used
for the delectable farm-fresh cuisine. Even the accommodation
has been designed to give you an intimate brush with nature.
While the Yin-Yang Plantation Cottage is deep inside the
rainforest, the Brook-side Deluxe Cottage is set against a
thicket of bamboo, banana, orange and pineapple.
the hand-pollination of vanilla or learning about the
lifecycle of coffee, Mojo offers a first-hand learning
experience about life at a farm. Activities include a detailed
excursion of the plantation, a nature walk to Galibeedu Ridge,
trip to the Dubare Elephant Training Camp and a drive to the
Cauvery for swimming or mahseer fishing. Though every season
unfolds some hidden facet of Mojo, the best time to visit is
from beginning October to end of May. This region gets some of
the highest rainfall in the world so avoid the months
July-August, unless you are doing a thesis on leeches.