This tour visits some of the greatest parks and wilderness areas in the whole of the Indian Subcontinent; firstly you arrive in Delhi and head to Kanha. Kanha is one of the best places in the world to see wild tigers. But the park is also one of the most aesthetically beautiful and home to some very rare species that are not seen in other parks such as dhole and barasingha. You then travel north and east to the vast and lush grasslands of the Indian terai, this lowland ecosystem is fed from by monsoon waters from the south and Himalayan meltwater from the north. Making these alluvial soils some of the most fertile in the world. These grasslands now support 75% of the world’s population of Indian one-horned rhinos as well as large populations of Asiatic elephants, water buffalo and tigers. All of which help to make Kaziranga one of the most popular parks for wildlife film makers and enthusiasts alike. From here you travel to the massive city of Kolkata and then onto the Indian side of the Sundarbans. The largest mangrove forest in the world is home of the world’s largest populations of endangered tigers and Gangetic river dolphins in the world. From this pristine and incredible ecosystem. This is a unique tiger safari that explores three very distinct habitats that the tigers lives in, the forests of Kanha, the grasslands of Kaziranga and the mangroves of the Sundarbans.
Track Tigers on foot in the Sundarbans
Search for Mangrove Tigers in Sundarbans
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.
Sundarbans National Park
After an early breakfast you will be taken to eastwards towards the world’s largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans. On arrival here you will taken to your lodge located in the heart of the mangroves and depending on the time of arrival you will either have the rest of the day to rest or be taken to on an afternoon boat cruise through some of the narrow rivers and tributaries. Recent studies suggest that the Sundarbans has the highest density of tigers in the world and a large population (330-500), making it one of the most important populations of tigers in the world along with the Russian Far East and the continuous forests of South East Asia. However seen one of these tigers is difficult, we will however see many other species over the next couple of days here.
Sundarbans National Park
For the next 2 full days you will explore some of the Sundarbans via boat and walking. At all times it is a good idea to keep your eyes peeled as there is a wealth of wildlife around, but seeing it in the dense mangroves can be tough. Some of the iconic wildlife we will be looking for are huge saltwater crocodiles and water monitors basking on the river banks and the brief porpoise of an Irrawaddy dolphin or Gangetic river dolphin as they break the surface to breath. But the most obvious group of animals here are birds, many species of kingfisher (including the large stork-billed kingfisher, hovering pied kingfisher, vibrant white-breasted kingfisher and small common kingfisher), brahminy kites, ospreys and a plethora of herons and egrets are commonly seen whereas if you keep your eyes peeled you could possibly see a very rare masked finfoot patrolling the river banks. The Sunderbans has a wealth of wildlife with 49 species in mammals, 315 bird species, 52 reptiles, 8 amphibians and at least 150 commercially important fishes. The tigers, crocodiles, bull sharks and brahminy kites are all top of their respective food chains but the other wildlife here is just as spectacular. Commonly seen mammals in the Sunderbans are wild boar, chital, northern plains grey langur, Rhesus macaques and Indian flying foxes. However the very lucky traveller could see fishing cat, jungle cat, Indian grey mongoose or Indian pangolin. Other species to keep an eye out for whilst here are the endemic brown-winged kingfisher, endangered lesser adjudants, grey-headed fish eagles, Aisian openbill storks, peregrine falcons, Caspian terns, spot-billed pelicans, olive-ridley turtles, dog-faced water snakes, king cobras, northern river terrapins and Indian pythons.
This morning after breakfast you will depart from the Sundarbans and travel back to the metropolis of Kolkata and your hotel for your last night in India.
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 experiences 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. The Sundarbans is always warm and the temperatures in the day and night will be warmer than the rest of the trip. Rain is unlikely at any point in the trip and blue skies are expected for most days on safari.
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 and Kolkata. 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 and Kolkata), 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 Kolkata. 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.
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
Mr. Brian Cliff, New Jersery
Nancy Cliff, New Jersery