The Sunderbans are one of the last truly wild places in the world, so dense and inhospitable to humans they have been largely left alone and now harbour the worlds largest continuous population of tigers. As well as this large population of tigers the forests and waterways are also home to thousands of deer, monkeys, dozens of species of birds and are the last stronghold for the critically endangered Gangetic river dolphin. This tour is the only tour around that caters of wildlife watchers as we charter are own boat and cruise to the heart of the Sunderbans in search of tigers and the other wildlife of this incredible place. Very few people travel to the Bangaleshi Sunderbans and we invite anyone to come and join us on this wildlife watching cruise and hopefully become one of the few people to see tigers in Bangladesh.
Track Tigers on foot in the forest
Spotlight for Tigers in the Sunderbans
Private chartered boat for 5 days
Hike through the Sunderbans mangroves
Spot the rare Masked Finfoot
See endangered Gangetic River Dolphins
Gangetic River Dolphin
Tour Dates: 22/3/2021 – 29/3/2021
Duration: 7 nights
Type / Focus: Wildlife Cruise
On arrival at the international airport in Dhaka you will be met by your local driver and zoologist escort and taken to your accommodation, level – 5* (Pan Pacific Sonargaon). If time permits our guide will take you to the most interesting sites around Dhaka, such as Lalbag Fort built in 1678 during Mughal Dynasty and the famous Dhakeshweri Mandir (Hindu Temple), Curzon Hall and Shahid Minar. On your return to the hotel you will also be taken to the National Assembly building, one of the most distinctive buildings in Asia and the wonderful architectural accomplishment of the famous architect Luis I Kahn. You will have your evening meal at the hotel before resting ahead of a long day travelling to the Sunderbans.
This morning you will be transferred to the domestic airport for the short flight to Jessore (~1 hour), from here you will meet your new driver and transferred to the harbour town of Mongla. Mongla is the gateway town to the Sunderbans and tomorrow you will board the boat that will take you to the Bay of Bengal. On the way you will be taken to the 60 domed mosque at Bagerhat before checking into the accommodation, level – 3* (Mongla Parjatan Hotel).
For the next 4 full days you will be on board our private chartered boat and taken to various wildlife watching locations in the vast Sunderbans. First you will board the boat in Mongla and meet the crew. As we leave the very busy port of Mongla you will notice the change on the river banks as we head from civilisation to wilderness. It is encouraging to see the rows and rows of industrial buildings change to residential units and then to smaller huts before we arrive in pristine mangroves. The first stop along the way will be after around 30 minutes as we stop at the Dhangmari forest station to formally enter the park and collect our armed forestry guards. This marks the start of the protected land and from now on it is possible to see some of the wildlife that inhabits the water ways. The first destination in the Sunderbans will be Kachikhali forest station (7-8 hours sailing). This is a wildlife sanctuary area which is dominated by mangrove forest vegetation alongside the long and beautiful virgin sea beach. This area is frequented by tigers regularly and we will try and spotlight one after dark to see if one comes down to the river bank to drink or swim across. As well as the mangroves there are patches of savannah type grasslands which is ideal habitat for the tigers prey; herds of spotted deer and wild boar. On each morning you will be taken down some of the small creeks and river in a small country-style boat to observe any mammals or bird on the river bank. Cruising these waterways in the morning mists is a magical experience and hopefully coming across a tiger will be something you never forget. Then you will return to boat for breakfast before moving on to the next location. Over these 3 days you will visit Katka game sanctuary, Andharia Khal and Hiron Point as we explore the Sunderbans. Katka game sanctuary is a nice place to get onto the shore and track tigers through the mangroves and grasslands before enjoying the stunning sunset over the Bay of Bengal. You will also visit Katka forest station as well, this is one of the ranger stations where anti-poaching patrols and scientific research is conducted from. On one of the nights you will have a BBQ dinner with fish caught fresh from the Sunderbans. One of the best places for seeing tigers is the Andharia Khal which is a narrow canal which is the core territory of a large male tiger. The final destination you will taken to is Hiron Point wildlife sanctuary. This is a world heritage site and is a great way to finish the Sunderbans cruise before travelling the long way back to Mongla tomorrow.
Sunderbans / Dhaka
This morning we will set off early after breakfast as the journey back to Mongla is a long one. It is a good idea to sit on the deck and try to spot fleeting glimpses of Gangetic river dolphins or the even more endangered finless porpoise or maybe a large basking saltwater crocodile as well some of the many species of birds that frequent the rivers. We will travel down some different rivers and canals and have lunch on boat before reaching Mongla. Then once we arrive at the harbour we will be transferred to the airport to catch your return flight to Dhaka. Then after touching down in Dhaka you will be transferred to your accommodation, level – 5* (Pan Pacific Sonargaon) for your last night in Bangladesh and your farewell evening meal.
After breakfast you will be transferred to the international 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.
During December the weather in Bangladesh is dry and warm with an average temperature of 24 degrees. The skies are typically clear blue and the humidity is low. Nights will be comfortable and not too hot or chilly.
Everything mentioned in the above itinerary is included. Airport pick up and drop off, three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), accommodation, private vehicles for transfers, a zoologist guide and local guides/drivers including the armed forestry ranger, entrance fees to the national parks etc and the chartering of our own boat and crew for the entire stay inside the Sunderbans. There is also at least 1lt of water available per person per day whilst we are here as well.
We recommend that you bring your own binoculars or spotting scope as well as suitable clothing which would be cool, light clothing which covers most of your skin (as Bangladesh is a Muslim country it is frowned upon to show lots of flesh), men can get away with shorts and t-shirt but woman are typically asked to have their legs and arms covered, at least when in the major city of Dhaka. Bring a scarf to wrap around your head for visits to Mosques. Comfortable walking shoes are a must as there is a some hiking involved in this holiday. A sunhat, sun cream and insect repellent are also recommended. Cameras, film and memory cards are a must along with any other items of a personal nature which you will require whilst away.
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.
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, any drinks other than the bottled water provided and of course any tips, souvenirs or other items of a personal nature. 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 Qatar Airways and Emirates as two good airlines for flights to Dhaka.
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 any links 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 Bangladesh. These are only obtainable in advance from your local embassy or high commission. The easiest way to find information is by visiting http://www.bhclondon.org.uk/consular2.htm (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 Bangladesh, but it is recommended to be protected against TB, polio, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis A and B as well as taking a form of malaria prophylactics. For people spending more time in Bangladesh before or after the tour it may be agood idea to also protect yourself against Japanese encephalitis, rabies and yellow fever if you travelling between infected countries in Africa and the Americas. Please consult your GP about your individual requirements for visiting Bangladesh as soon as you have decided on this trip.
Mrs. T. Baker & Family, Wiltshire
Stephen & Rosalyn, Edinburgh
Tom & Marie King, Kent
Ms. Elisabeth Battagel, Austria
Theresa & Roger Dillworth, Wolverhampton
Patrick Stolz, Switzerland
Mr. Stocker, France
Mr & Mrs. Weedon - Staffordshire, UK
Ms & Ms. Burgess - Lancashire
Eleni Liakou & Christos Smagados - Thessaloniki, Greece