North India Birding (Corbett, Bharatpur & Chambal)

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North India Birding (Corbett, Bharatpur & Chambal)

January 12, 2025 - January 25, 2025

£750 – £3219

North India Birding (Corbett, Bharatpur & Chambal)

There really is nowhere on earth that is quite like India, home to amazing diversity in cuisine, culture, religion, history, wildlife and in particular birds. With over 1300 species recorded from India, exploring Indias many birding hotspots is a must for all bird watchers. This tour visits three of the best bird watching locations in north and central India; Corbett National Park, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and National Chambal Sanctuary. Corbett is home to a vast array of wildlife, including nearly 600 species of birds and large numbers of Asiatic elephants and tigers; and the wetlands of Bharatpur play host to one of the largest aggregations of migratory birds in Asia during winter and in Chambal the river sanctuary is the last refuge for the critically endangered gharial, Gangetic river dolphin and many birds that are difficult to see elsewhere. All in all this birding tour of India is a great way to experiencing some of Indias most diverse habitats, jungles, marshland and river systems and seeing all the varied wildlife that abounds here.

Holiday Features

TigerOver 300 species possible

Expert birding guides at each location

Elephant back safaris in Corbett

Boat safari along the Chambal River

Visit the wonderful Taj Mahal

Three Of India’s best birding locations

Top Animals on Tour

Indian Skimmer

Sarus Crane

Great Hornbill

Bar-Headed Goose

Collared Falconet

Slaty-Grey Woodpecker

Itineraries Details

Destination:  India

Tour Dates:  12/1/2025 – 25/1/2025

Duration:  13 nights

Type / Focus:  Birding

Tour Difficulty:  

Pricing & Costs

Price: £3,095 per person

Deposit: £725 per person

Single Supplement: £400

Min. Passengers: 4 persons before tour runs

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Holiday Breakdown

Day 1


On arrival at the Indria Ghandi international airport you will be met by your local guide and zoologist escort and transferred to your accommodation, level 3* hotel (Hotel Almondz) once here you will have some time to settle in and if your flight was early in the day you can enjoy some sightseeing around Old Delhi. Places such as the Red Fort, Humayun Tomb and the Qutub Minar are all stunning and examples of the might that the Mughal Empire used to have here. Then we will have your welcome to India evening meal at the hotel or nearby restaurant and prepare for a day of transit north tomorrow.

Day 2

Jim Corbett National Park

This morning you will be taken from Delhi northwards in your own private air conditioned vehicle to the border of Jim Corbett National Park. This is a unique park in India, its location on the border of the Himalayan foothills (the Sivalik Hills) and the Gangetic lowlands make this a very biodiverse location. It is not uncommon to see highland (almost high Himalayan species) such as kalij pheasants alongside tropical species like the great hornbill in one safari. The drive northwards can take 7-8 hours and will take you through the very heavily populated Uttar Pradesh. But as you approach the park and your accommodation, level – luxury safari resort (Corbett Leela Villas) you will begin to see more forest and around the Ramganga River that runs through the park the scenery becomes more wild in appearance and once you arrive at the resort you are well into tiger country. As the drive will take most of the day the afternoon is free for you to relax, maybe take a dip in the pool before dinner.

Days 3 & 4

Jim Corbett National Park

During the next couple of days you will explore Indias first national park from the base at this accommodation, level – luxury safari resort (Corbett Leela Villas). The park was established in 1936 after conservation efforts from the one time tiger hunter Jim Corbett. During the early part of the 20th Century Jim Corbett followed, watched and understood tigers and the wildlife in India probably better than anyone and when he started to notice a decline in the number available for hunting he spotted a problem and like so many hunters he grew to love and appreciate his quarry and their part in the greater ecosystem. On protecting the jungles and hillsides here a large number of tigers, Asiatic elephants, gharial and leopards all gained the protection they needed. One reason that Corbett is so important is the range of habitats that the park contains means that there is a very bizarre range of wildlife. High altitude species such as Himalayan rubythroat, yellow-cheeked tit, velvet-fronted nuthatch, yellow-throated martens, Asiatic black bears and gorals live alongside more commonly seen animals from Indias lowlands such as crested serpent eagles, slaty-headed parakeet, red junglefowl, tigers, elephants, chital, sambar and sloth bears. For these two days we will have morning and afternoon jeep safaris into the park. We will visit different areas of the park and try and see some of the rarer species that can be found here or species that are only found here and nowhere else in India. During the heat of the day you will be brought back to the accommodation for lunch and a few hours to rest and relax before the afternoon safari. Whilst driving along around the park you will notice that there are many dry riverbeds that dissect the park, these are monsoonal rivers that flood and run fast when the monsoon rains met the Himalayan melt water from 100 miles to the north. During this time the park is closed and the roads around here are impassable. But there are still many bodies of water and running rivers throughout the year here and there is a wealth of wading birds as well as other river specialities such as white-capped river chats, plumbeous redstarts, brown dippers and 6 species of kingfisher.

Days 5-6


Today you will have a slightly more relaxed start to the day, without a jeep safari setting off before dawn as you will head deeper into the park for the next couple of days. After spending two days travelling the fringes of the park bird watching in the large river systems and sal forests you will travel from the border into the heart of the reserve. Just to get to your accommodation, level – basic safari bungalow (Dhikala Safari Camp) you will have a half day jeep journey until you reach the Dhikala complex set on the banks of the Ramnagar River and surrounded by thick grassland. Dhikala is a perfect base to explore the inner most areas of the park, there are species that are found here that are seldom seen anywhere else, birds like great hornbills, slaty-grey woodpeckers, Himalayan rubythroat, smoky warbler, great stone plover, great black-headed gulls, black francolins and collared falconets. The expert birding guides here are some of the best in India and it is not uncommon to spot over 100 species over these couple of days. As well as the jeep safaris we also recommend taking morning elephant back safaris through the grasslands around here. There is a small herd of elephants at the camp that are used for anti-poaching patrols as well as safaris. By exploring the tall grasses in the morning mists you will increase your chances of spotting prinias, warblers and migratory wading birds as well as some of the mammal species that also inhabit the park. Tigers are regularly found in these grasslands as are large numbers of elephants and the smallest species of the four deer in the park, the hog deer. When you first arrive at Dhikala you will enjoy walking the trails around the gardens and grounds of the complex, many species of warbler, flycatchers and thrushes can be found here and the view points out over the water can often reveal black storks, kingfishers, goosanders and dozens of other water birds. Another fantastic aspect of bird watching in Corbett is the large numbers of vultures, it is possible to see 4 species of vultures here. This is one of the strongholds of the red-headed vulture in India as they are being decimated throughout their range and there are also large numbers of slender-billed vultures around the grasslands and rocky riverside cliffs. During your time in Dhikala you will have morning and afternoon safaris, returning to the camp for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We recommend an early elephant safari followed by breakfast and then a small jeep safari before lunch and then a longer jeep safari in the afternoon. Very close to Dhikala are several distinct habitats that can all be explored in depth depending on what birds you are interested in seeing, so sal forests, riverine woodland, rivers, dry river beds, grasslands, montane forest and just about every other Indian ecosystem. It is this diversity of habitats and wildlife that makes Corbett such a special place for birders.

Day 7

Jim Corbett National Park

This morning you will take your last elephant back safari through the grasslands, in the early morning most of the birds are very active here as are the top predators such as tigers. Then after breakfast this morning you will load up your jeep and head back out of the park and start your journey back to Delhi. On the way out of the park you will have one last chance to try and catch a glimpse of any bird species that have so far eluded us. Then when we get back to the main road outside of the park you will be taken to the Corbett Leela Villas for some lunch before transferring vehicles and heading towards Delhi (7-8 hours) and your accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Hotel Almondz). As we head back to Delhi evening will be setting in and if the light is still good when we get to the meat manufacturing district of Delhi you maybe in for a fantastic sight. Each evening thousands and thousands of black kites come from all over the city to roost on the pylons and telegraph lines. Their numbers are so high that they really can blacken the sky; it is a great example of one species that has done exponentially well in human developed areas.

Day 8

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

This morning you will be transferred in your own private air conditioned vehicle south and into the famous Indian state of Rajasthan and in particular the wetlands of Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (2-3 hours). This is a small (29km sq) protected area is the home of over 230 species of birds as well as some small populations of rare mammals. When you arrive at the accommodation, level 3* guest house; you will ave lunch before having your first excursion into the reserve for an afternoon birding. This floodplain forms part of the Gangetic plain and is the breeding site for many species of herons, cormorants and storks including painted storks, great cormorants, white spoonbills, great egret and Indian pond heron. But the sanctuary is also home to lots of terrestrial birds such as chats, falcons, parakeets, partridges, eagles including the grey hornbill, Marshells iroa and imperial eagles. There are also 27 recorded species of mammals here and as the sun fades away in the evening it can be possible (although not common) to see Indian crested porcupines, jungle cats, golden jackals and possibly the very elusive fishing cat. At sunset you will return to your accommodation for your evening meal.

Day 9

Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary

Today you will spend the full day inside the park birding. We will bring a packed lunch so that we can maximise the time spent here bird watching. We target over 100 species spotted here and to get close to this target we will focus not just on the waterways and marshes but also the deciduous woodlands and scrub lands around here. So along with Asian open-billed storks, little cormorants, oriental ibis, green sandpipers and other water dependant species we will also be looking for Egyptian vultures, greater & lesser spotted eagles, ospreys and dozens of other birds. Also commonly seen here are chital (spotted deer), nilgai (the largest antelope outside of Africa), wild boars and two species of mongoose. After a full day birding here you will be well on your way to a being able to recognise the majority of Indian water birds. Afterwards you will be taken to your accommodation, level 3* guest house for your evening meal.

Day 10

Agra & Chambal

This morning after breakfast you will be transferred to the once capital of the Mughal Empire, the wonderful city of Agra (1 hour) in your private air conditioned vehicle. Once here you will be taken for a guided tour of the majestic Taj Mahal. This world wonder is one of the biggest feats of human endeavour and took over 20,000 men some 22 years to complete. All of this work for the deceased wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. But there is more to the Taj Mahal than just the beautiful architecture and manicured gardens as there are numerous bird species to be found here too. From nesting Egyptian vultures and circling black kites to the many babblers, warblers, grey hornbills and the very approachable common tailorbird that can be found in the gardens. Once we leave the Taj Mahal and Agra you will be taken to your accommodation, level – luxury eco-lodge (Chambal Safari Lodge) close to the wonderful National Chambal Sanctuary (~2 hours). This is a huge river sanctuary that protects one of the largest and most biologically diverse rivers in India, covering a 400km stretch of the river and protecting around 1.6 km on either side of the river the sanctuary is 1235km sq which makes it one of largest in Asia. Originally established for the protection of gharial, the park is now one of the last places to see this huge fish-eating crocodile can grow to 7m long as well as 330 bird species recorded including the sarus crane and the unusual Gangetic river dolphin. After arriving this afternoon you will be shown to your rooms and will be free to relax around the beautiful and bird filled grounds of the lodge. As the sun begins to set the sunbirds, barbets, warblers and parakeets will depart for their roosts and owls, nightjars and flying foxes come out for the night shift.

Days 11-12

National Chambal Sanctuary

Over the next 2 full days you will explore the various aspects of the Chambal River sanctuary from boat, foot and possibly camel if you wish. You are free to decide what activities you would like to complete on a day to day basis. But we recommend the following itinerary for your stay at this accommodation, level – luxury eco-lodge (Chambal Safari Lodge). First off you will be taken to the nearby sarus crane conservation area. This large and impressive bird is threatened by habitat destruction; so this conservation area was set up for their protection. Since this their numbers have increased and many of them breed here annually. Then after lunch back at the lodge you will be taken to the shore of the Chambal river and enjoy a river safari. Here many species of migratory and resident birds will be seen. From bar-headed geese, Burmese spot-bellied duck, Temmincks stint, Pallas gull and the amazing Indian skimmer to non avian species like the gigantic gharial and smaller mugger crocodile as well as smooth-coated otters, Gangetic river dolphins and up to 8 species of critically endangered freshwater turtles. The next day we suggest participating in a camel safari through some of the ravines that fork off from the Chambal River, here you are likely to see a different range of birdlife including plain martins, wire-tailed swallows, jungle babblers, steppe eagles, sand lark, wood sandpipers and large grey babblers. Camels are the traditional mode of transport here and are still heavily used as beasts of burden today; it is a great way of exploring the sanctuary on the way to the stunning Ater fort. This is another relict of the powerful Mughal Empire and perched on the cliff side it is a very nice place to spot many species of raptors and other bird species. From here a scan of the skies can produce many more species and hopefully some of the critically endangered vultures. Then after returning to the lodge for lunch you will have a guided birding walk along a new section of the Chambal river bank. By walking the riverbanks with the birding expert from the lodge you will be in good hands when it comes to spotting some of the harder to see birds such as coursers, falcons, babblers, pratincoles and various warblers. During the time in between activities you are free for you to relax and take in some of the wildlife of the lodge and its grounds, here the abundant flowers attract many sunbirds and the fruiting trees are home to commersmith and brown-headed barbets, many babblers, hornbills, koels, treepies as well as being the day roosts for flying foxes and owls. Also whilst here, if you are not too tired from the days activities we recommend a guided evening walk around the expansive grounds of the lodge; these walks often find Indian palm civets, jungle cats, Indian foxes, black-naped hares, hedgehogs and possibly the very elusive striped hyena. Of course the skies will be full of flying foxes, owls and nightjars as well.

Day 13


This morning after breakfast you will be transferred back to Delhi (4-5 hours) in your own private air conditioned vehicle. After arriving at your accommodation, level – 3* (Hotel Almondz) you will have the rest of the afternoon free to relax and maybe purchase some souvenirs or head over to the Yamuna river for some more birding or visit some more of the many sights here if you did not have time for this on the first day.

Day 14


This morning after breakfast we will arrange for transfers 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.

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.

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Extra Information

Weather Conditions

During January the weather in India is pretty dry with plenty of blue skies during the day. The temperatures are hot but usually not over bearing at this time of year. At night the temperature can drop down and it may be chilly during the early morning elephant safaris and jeep safaris.

What’s Included

Everything mentioned in the itinerary is included. Including three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). 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 local driver. We have two brilliant guides; first an professional zoologist will escort you on all your excursions and we also use a very knowledgeable English speaking birding guides at each location.

All our excursions including camel safaris, guided walks, jeep safaris, all excursions, temple visits, sightseeing and park entrance fees are also included.

Personal Equipment

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. 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.

Included Equipment

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. We also provide a spot light for nocturnal viewing (this is subject to local condition when we arrive). Camera Traps will also be used to try and capture hard to see wildlife in the dead of night.

Extra Expenses

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, 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.

Flight Information

As we are based in Manchester we recommend flights from Manchester International Airport

We recommend Finnair as a good airline for flights to Delhi. One of the best websites to search for the best fares is For the internal flight from Delhi to Khajuarho we recommending using and flying with either Jet Airways or Kingfisher Airlines. They are both ATOL bonded companies and this provide 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. These are only obtainable in advance from your local embassy. The easiest way to find information is by visiting (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 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.

Reviews of this Holiday

So many birds, it was hard to pick a favourite. I picked up no less than 186 lifers on this trip and cannot wait to head to other areas of India for more birds

Mr & Mrs West, Washington State

Royle Safaris

Mr & Mrs West, Washington State

So many birds, it was hard to pick a favourite. I picked up no less than 186 lifers on this trip and cannot wait to head to other areas of India for more birds
All of our guides (particularly Muchan) were brilliant and so knowledgeable about the birds. The calls they would make to attract them was amazing.

The McKinnions, Aberdeen

Royle Safaris

The McKinnions, Aberdeen

All of our guides (particularly Muchan) were brilliant and so knowledgeable about the birds. The calls they would make to attract them was amazing.
Royle Safaris


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
Full Payment (inc. handling fee)
Full Amount
£ 3,219.00
Deposit Payment (inc. handling fee)
Deposit Amount
£ 750.00


January 12, 2025
January 25, 2025
£750 – £3219
Event Categories:
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Delhi, India


Royle Safaris
0845 226 8259


£725 per person
Single Supplement:
Minimum Passengers:
4 persons (total) before tour runs

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