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Kanha, Kaziranga & Chitwan Safari
February 8 - February 24£1035 – £5170
Kanha, Kaziranga & Chitwan Safari
The Indian Subcontinent is a huge a varied area, with eco-systems ranging from high Himalayas through to dense and humid tropical rainforest and from barren salt crusted deserts to vast aquatic mangrove forests. All of this variation makes the Subcontinent one of the best places in the world for wildlife watching. The biggest problem is choosing where to go; as it is impossible to pick everywhere in one lifetime (never mind one trip).
So on this trip the focus was on three national parks that span a vast area of two prominent countries in the Indian Subcontinent. Firstly India and then Nepal, our tour would take us from some of the world’s largest and busiest cities such as Delhi
and Kolkata and transport us to some of the last remaining wilderness and the home of the majestic and wonderful tiger, large and powerful one-horned rhinos and the critically endangered gharials.
The three parks that were chosen for this tour range in their habitats and species as well as the ways that they can be enjoyed, part of this tour was to experience the wildernesses of Kanha, Kaziranga and Chitwan and of course see what wildlife we could find, but also to delve into the parks by jeep, elephant, canoe and walking. There are few things as thrilling as tracking tigers on foot or encountering an enormous rhino whilst your on elephant back or cruising silently by a 4m mugger crocodile when sat in a small dug out wooden canoe. This tour would experience
all of this and much much more. Our top targets were tiger, one-horned rhino, Asiatic elephant, water buffalo, gharial, Gangetic river dolphin and Barasingha and with the help of some great guides and good luck we definitely stood a good chance.
Top Animals on Tour
Indian One-horned Rhino
Gangetic River Dolphin
Today you will be met by your guide on arrival at Delhi international airport and transferred to the hotel in downtown Delhi. The rest of the day is free for you to rest however you can speak to your guide about arranging a short city sightseeing tour if you wish.
Kanha National Park
Today you will take a packed breakfast from the hotel as you will be leaving early to catch our flight to Jabalpur. Once we arrive you will met our local driver and begin the 4 hour drive or so south to Kanha National park. Kanha National Park is one of the largest and most scenic national parks in India, it has an ideal habitat for both tigers and their prey species. The lush sal and bamboo forests, grassy meadows and ravines of Kanha shelter a significant population of rare species such as tiger, leopard, sloth bear, barasingha, gaur and dhole. Once we arrive at Kanha National Park we will check into our accommodation which is the beautiful and highly recommended Chitvan Jungle Lodge. This discreet lodge blends into the surrounding countryside and provides a beautiful location for exploring the park over the next 4 days.
Kanha National Park
The next 4 days will follow the same patterns as you explore the park in search of the tigers. Each morning you will rise early and after some tea or coffee you will be taken to the park’s entrance gate and be designated a local guide to work in conjunction with your naturalist guide jeep driver. As you drive through this rich park you will notice that Sal forest predominates in Kanha Tiger Reserve, giving way to tracts of mixed forest at higher elevations in the hills and expanses of grassland and bamboo. This mosaic of habitats is responsible for the high diversity of mammal life which is also one of the reasons why there is a higher chance of seeing some of India’s predators and during the early mornings and evening we will be searching for tigers, leopards sloth bears, dhole, Indian wolves, jungle cats and golden jackals. Also high on the list for mammal enthusiasts are the barasingha (swamp deer). Kanha is particularly well known for its endangered barasingha, which populate the large open tracks of grass amidst the forests of sal and bamboo. Brought back from the brink of extinction, these handsome animals are a remarkable conservation success story for Kanha and they now have a stronghold here and there are talks of bringing this species back to other park in the area such as Bandhavgarh. The movements of the resident tigers are well known to the local guides and we will rely on their intimate knowledge of the terrain and tiger’s habitat to locate them. Although tigers and the other mammals mentioned above as well as chital, sambar, muntjac, wild boar and primates are the star attractions at Kanha; there is an impressive supporting cast of smaller mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. Some of the smaller mammals include nocturnal civets, black-collared hares and flying squirrels and dirunal mongoose species and shy mouse deer. Some of the more common and prized bird life are grey-headed fish-eagles, plum-headed parakeets, Malabar pied hornbills, greater racket-tailed drongos and Asian paradise flycatchers, crested serpent eagles and over 250 other species which have been recorded from the park. You will return to the lodge in between safaris for your meals and in the evenings there are occasional cultural dance performances which are very entertaining.
This morning after breakfast you will be picked up by the local driver again and drive back to Jabalpur. Where we will catch a flight back to Delhi, unfortunately there is no direct flight from here to near Kaziranga. So we will spend the night in Delhi, back at the boutique Visaya Hotel.
Kaziranga National Park
> Today is a long day of travelling, you will leave early for Delhi domestic airport with a packed breakfast in order to catch your first flight of the day and travel to Kolkata. You then connect to your next flight to Jorhat , Jorhat is the closest airport to Kaziranga but you will still have 2-3 hours of driving from Jorhat to the resort at Kaziranga. Once you arrive at the resort you will have the rest of the afternoon and evening to relax after checking in. The resort is nestled amidst rolling hills of lush green tea gardens and offers typical Assamese hospitality and food. Tomorrow we will have an early start as we head into the park for the first time and after a long day of lots of travelling an early night and good night’s sleep is the best tonic.
Kaziranga National Park
Over the next two full days you will taken into Kaziranga. The format of the days will work very similarly to in Kanha, with morning and afternoon jeep safaris into the park and the middle of day being spent back at the accommodation. The park could not be more different from the largely forested Kanha, with large tracts of elephant grass populated by India’s largest concentration of large mammals and one of the largest densities of large mammals outside of Africa. There is a large population of Asiatic elephants as well as one of the last populations of wild water buffalo. But the major success story of the park is the Indian one-horned rhino. In 1905 there were around 20 of these incredible animals and since then they have boomed in number and there are now around 1,900 rhinos in the park. This is around 75% of the global population with Chitwan National Park in Nepal having around 500 and a handful of rhinos known from other protected areas in the Nepalese and Indian terai. However Kaziranga is the most important refuge for the rhino and continued conservation and anti-poaching patrols are needed. The make up of Kaziranga has been split into three ranges; 1) western (Baguri), 2) central (Kohora) & 3) eastern (Agoratoli). Of these you will explore the western and the central range which are the ranges open for tourism. Kaziranga is in Assam state in northeastern India on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, this is one of the most biodiverse regions in Asia and alongside the large mammals mentioned above the park is also a good park for barasingha and of course the tiger. The other herbivores include the wild boar, barking deer, and the hog deer as well as a number of smaller and infrequently sighted mammals such as the very rare hispid hare, common and small Indian mongoose, small Indian civet, Bengal fox, golden jackal, Indian pangolin, hog badger, jungle cat and the very shy fishing cat. Four species of primates are also found in the park including the Assamese macaque, the beautiful capped langur, and India’s only ape the western hoolock gibbon (one of the world’s most endangered primate species). The river Brahmaputra is home to the endangered Gangetic river dolphin (although the rivers in the park (where we can visit) are not good places for dolphin sightings), while smooth coated otters are seen often in its tributary the river Diphlu. The park is also home to an incredible array of birds including the swamp francolin, Bengal florican, wreathed hornbill, greater adjutant stork, pale capped pigeon, sultan tit, Jerdon’s baza, fairy bluebird, black-breasted parrotbill, and the goliath heron to name a few can be seen here. All in all the range of variety of species known from Kaziranga make it one of the greatest national parks in the world and we will explore as much of the park as possible over these two full days.
This morning you will leave Kaziranga and drive towards Guhawati or Jorhat (depending on the best available flight schedule) and catch your flight to Kolkata. On arrival you will be taken to your hotel for the night. The rest of the day is free for your leisure.
Today you will depart from the hotel to the airport and catch the flight to Kathmandu, most flights on this route will require a change in Delhi, so we would probably not get to Kathmandu until the afternoon.
On arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport you will be met by your local guide/driver. From the airport we will be transferred in our private vehicle to Kathmandu (20-30 mins). Once in Kathmandu we will head to Thamel and our hotel. Depending on what time the flights were we will eat either just our dinner or lunch and dinner at our accommodation and in the meantime you will be free to walk around Thamel. Thamel is the heartbeat of Kathmandu and a place which teems with colour, sights and sounds. You can easily get lost meandering down the maze of streets souvenir shopping and we can spend hours here enjoying the hustle and bustle of Nepal’s busiest city.
Today will be a guided tour of the city. The historical city of Kathmandu has a wealth of things to see and do, you will visit some of the main sites today including Boudnath Stupa, Swayambunath, Durbar Square and other locations. You will be collected by your local cultural guide and driver from the hotel at the pre-discussed time (yesterday) and taken to these sites. On your return back to the hotel in the afternoon you will be free to rest again, ahead of your morning departure tomorrow. You will be told the time you are to leave on your arrival and you will be handed copies of your flight tickets too.
Chitwan National Park
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel in Kathmandu and taken to the airport once again. The flight from here to Bharatpur (the nearest airport to Chitwan) is around 30 minutes and on your arrival a driver from the lodge will be waiting for you. Once you arrive you will have lunch and check in. This afternoon will be your first trip into the park, you will have an afternoon private jeep safari. The most conventional method of safari in Chitwan is the jeep safari and this afternoon you will explore some of the extensive road network inside Chitwan. Either today or tomorrow you will also be taken to the breeding and research centres for gharial, freshwater turtles and vultures which is located deep inside the park and has contributed large numbers of animals being released back into the park.
The jeep safari is by far the best way of exploring the park quickly and getting deep into the heart of tiger territory. Commonly seen species on the jeep safari are chital, sambar, terei gray langurs, rhesus macaques, wild boar, Indian peafowl, crested serpent eagles, hog deer, Bengal monitors and the highly targeted Indian one-horned rhino and sloth bear. Species such as tigers, Asiatic elephant and leopard can also be seen but more infrequently.
Chitwan National Park
These two full days will be spent exploring the park from the base at the quaint and friendly Sapana Lodge. Over the next 2 days we will enjoy a variety of different excursions into the park. The exact order of the activities will be decided depending on weather, local conditions and recent wildlife sightings. But you will enjoy at least one of all of the following activities. One of the most popular ways of enjoying the park is via a canoe safari in a traditional dug-out canoe. These run from a couple of a different points along the borders of the park and usually produce a great variety of birdlife. From kingfishers, bee-eaters, lesser adjudant storks, crested serpent eagles, wagtails, hornbills, parakeets and hundreds of sand martins and barn swallows.
We also usually see large mugger crocodiles and occasionally wading rhinos and basking gharial on these trips. You will also enter the park on foot in the expert hands of local guides and your zoologist escort. Once in the forest and the grasslands on foot you will begin to experience the true wilderness of the park. We will track tigers, rhinos and elephants on foot and whilst it is never a guarantee to see any of these species on foot it is always important to bear in mind that we are in a completely wild ecosystem where tigers, leopards, sloth bears, Asiatic elephants, Indian one-horned rhinos and around 40 other species of mammals all prowl and lurk in forests. There are very few experiences in the world that match meeting a tiger on foot, their piercing yellow eyes staring at you through the undergrowth is a thrilling experience and Chitwan is one of the few places in the world where this is possible. In addition to exploring the park by canoe and on foot you will also enter the park in a jeep, the road network inside Chitwan is extensive and links the majority of the best wildlife watching spots, including breeding and research centres for gharial, freshwater turtles and vultures.
However local weather conditions do mean that some of the roads are closed and the routes can be changed without any notice. There is at least one road that always open and along here we should see rhinos, monkeys, wild boar, barking deer, spotted deer, mugger crocodiles and lots of birds. If this is the only road open then we will request other activities as it is best to explore different areas of the park as opposed to the same one a few different times. The real plus with jeep safaris is that you are able to cover lots of ground and see more of the park. The final way you will visit the park is on elephant back. These elephant back safaris is a fantastic way to watch wildlife, the wildlife in the park ignores the elephants as they are naturally occurring in Chitwan so you are able to get a lot closer to the rhinos for example.
You are also free to help wash down the elephants in the Rapti river, well it would be more accurate to say the elephants are free to wash you down if you wish. Each day the elephants are led down to the banks of the river close to the lodge and for a token fee to the mahout you can climb on the back and get well and truly soaked as the elephant sprays water over you and its own back with its trunk. As well as these various excursions into the park you will also be taken to a cultural dance performance, this traditional dance is held every night in the village community hall and enables lots of the local children and their families to receive an income from the tourism without being directly involved in the national park. It is this which is helping to keep most of the land around the park from being too developed.
Traditional ways of life are still common practice here because the money distributed from tourism to the local people is very good (around 30-50% of the total revenue finds its way to the local people). It is initiatives such as this which are helping Nepal achieve increasing numbers of rhinos, elephants and also tigers! You will also have the chance to visit the local elephant orphanage, here the elephants are cared for and trained for anti-poaching patrols through the park as well as a career in tourism in the future. As well as spending your evenings and nights at Sapana Lodge you will be taken into a lush clearing in the sal forests of Chitwan’s buffer-zone for a night in the watch tower. This is a very basic tower. The two rooms are around 30ft above the clearing floor and you are able to sit high above the ground and watch as the rhinos, deer, wild boars and monkeys forage around the forest edge. We will also bring a high powered spot light for some spotlighting after dark. If we are lucky we may spot a tiger or leopard as they skulk in the shadows sticking close to the forest edge. In the morning you will be picked up and transferred back to the lodge for breakfast. All in all over these 2 days we expect you to have seen many of Chitwan’s largest and most charismatic mammals as well as both crocodilians and plenty of bird species, including wild chickens (the red jungle fowl), Indian peafowl and many species of raptor. The waterways that dissect and surround Chitwan are some of the best bird watching sites in all of Nepal.
Chitwan National Park / Kathmandu
This morning will be your last trip into the park with a morning walk. The walks are great ways to see birds, plants and some of the smaller species as well as a great way of experiencing the jungle in a close and intimate way. It is also interesting to see tracks of rhinos, bears, tigers and more as you trek around with your naturalist guide. From here you will be taken to the lodge to check out and freshen up before being taken to the airport to catch your return flight to Kathmandu.
On your arrival you will be taken to the hotel for your final night in Nepal.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your return flight home.
Please note that the itinerary stated above is correct as our planned intentions for the tour. However adverse weather conditions and other local considerations can necessitate some modifications of the itinerary during the course of the tour; any changes will be made to make the best of the time and weather conditions available to us.
This tour is available on different date (subject to availability) please contact us for more details about running this tour on a date which suits you more.
Central, North Eastern lndia and southern Nepal experience climatic conditions that vary to opposite extremes. In winters, the cold forces the visitors to put on multiple layers as protection against the cold on a morning safari. Early morning rides can be in temperatures that dip close to freezer, once you take the wind chill factor into consideration however in the summers, it changes drastically to the opposite, were a cotton t-shirt is recommended. March is the end of the winter and the start of the hotter season in the build up to the monsoon. So temperatures in the day will be in the mid to high 20’s however the early morning and evening temperatures can drop below 10C.
Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), lunch and dinners are not including in cities such as Delhi, Kolkata and Kathmandu. There will be an amount of bottled water (approx 1ltr) available for each guest each day. We have our own private air conditioned vehicle with an excellent driver for all transfers. All internal flights mentioned are included with economy class tickets. We have a zoologist or naturalist guide to escort you on all your excursions.
All our excursions including safari game drives, guided walks and boat cruises and park entrance fees are also included.
We recommend you bring along your own binoculars or scope as well as appropriate clothing; which should be light and airy clothes as well as comfortable walking shoes. As the nights can be chilly we recommend you bring a fleece, long trousers, scarf and a woolly hat. A water proof coat is also a good idea. Insect repellent is handy as there can be mosquitoes about during the evenings and nights. Andy medication, books or other items of a personal nature is of course up to you to bring along. Oh and please bring plenty of memory cards or film for your camera. Also do not forget sun cream, sun hat and sun glasses as the sun can be strong here during the day.
We provide a comprehensive species list of all the vertebrates present in the areas we are visiting as well as some of the best field guides and reference books for the areas we are visiting. There is usually a spare pair of binoculars but in a group of 4-6 people these do not stretch too far.
Nearly everything is included in this tour. The only things not included are international flights, travel insurance (contact us for more information one what is required from your insurance policy), any food bought outside of the three main meals (and lunch and dinners when in cities such as Delhi, Kolkata and Kathmandu), drinks outside of any offered with the meals and the bottled water provided each day and any items of a personal nature such as souvenirs and tips. Any applicable departure taxes and not included (but maybe included in the cost of your flights). Please check before departure.
As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport
We recommend Emirates or Etihad as good airlines for flights to Delhi and from Kathmandu. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is for both flights is www.opodo.co.uk. They are an IATA accredited agent and this provides all the securities related to ATOL protection. Please check our terms and conditions regarding booking flights.
Please contact us for more information about flights and we can provide you with a link direct to the flights from another supplier; in which case you only have to enter the passenger information and payment details. By using the above link you will leave our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for the content on the site.
Visas and Health Information
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for India. There is new eVisa system and applications have to be made in advance of travel. For more information please visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit India, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A&B, rabies as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting India as soon as you have decided on this trip
All UK passport holders and most other nationalities are required to have a visa for Nepal. These are easy to get and are usually issued on arrival at the airport for a fee. The fee for a multiple entry tourist visa valid for 30 days is £35. For more information look on the Nepalese embassy website www.nepembassy.org.uk/ (be aware that this link leaves our site and we at Royle Safaris hold no responsibility for information on the site).
There are no mandatory vaccinations needed to visit Nepal, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Nepal as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Reviews of this Holiday
Mr. Brian Cliff, New Jersery
Nancy Cliff, New Jersery
Mr & Mrs. Dehessa - Chelsea
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