On arrival in Delhi you will be met by your zoologist guide and local driver and then be transferred to your accommodation in the city, level – 3* hotel (Hotel Almondz) and if your flight arrived in the morning you can enjoy some sightseeing today before having a briefing on your tour at your evening meal.
Corbett National Park
Corbett National Park is located around 250km north-east of India in the sub-Himalayan Sivalik hills. We will leave Delhi after breakfast and en-route grab some lunch. The drive should only take around 4-5 hours but the highway does cross the famous Ganges River and as this is the closest point of the river to Delhi so that it can get busy. However this is by far the best way to get to Corbett, you can relax in the vehicle and experience the wonderful countryside as you travel from the huge metropolis of Delhi to the rice paddies and agricultural land of Uttarakhand. If time allows after arriving and checking into the accommodation, level – eco-lodge (Corbett Leela Villas) you will be taken on a short afternoon jeep safari into the buffer-zone of the park. This is a brief introduction to some of the wildlife in the area and you should see barking deer, wild boar and chital as well as many species of the commoner bird species such as crested serpent eagles, blossom-headed parakeets, pied kingfishers, dollarbirds and Asian paradise flycatchers. During this short safari you will cross the wonderful Ramganga River, this is a monsoonal river that is the lifeblood of the surrounding areas you will see how most people’s lives revolve around the river. After this you will be taken back to the accommodation to relax and enjoy your evening meal.
Days 3 & 4
Corbett National Park
For the next two days you will explore the park from the base in the buffer-zone town of Ramganga and the accommodation, level – eco-lodge (Corbett Leela Villas). From here you will be taken into the park in the early morning and the afternoon, the park has a variety of habitats from grasslands, sal forests, riverine forests and sub-alpine vegetation. This mixed mosaic of habitats is ideal for spotting a great variety of species such as four species of deer (chital, sambar, barking deer & hog deer), wild Asiatic elephants, golden jackals, rhesus macaques and northern plains langur monkeys as well as many species of birds. Along with the huge population of tigers that make this park so famous, Corbett is also known as a birding paradise around the world. There have been over 650 species of birds recorded from the park and surrounding hills and there are some species that are best seen here such as the great hornbill and the huge slaty-grey woodpecker, so we will try to find these species as well as spending time searching out the various large mammals like tigers, elephants, leopards and possibly sloth bears. In between the safaris in the mornings and afternoons you will return to the accommodation for your meals and also to relax in the middle of the day, there is a pool here as well as a games room, both of which are excellent ways to relax in between searching for tigers and other wildlife in Indias oldest and very popular national park.
Dhikala / Corbett National Park
On day 5 you will have breakfast at Corbett Leela Villas before packing up and beginning the journey into the heart of the park. The destination is Dhikala, this is a quaint little resort located on the shores of a huge lake and close to some grasslands. The drive will be around 3-4 hours long and will take you along the winding course of the Ramganga River. Along the way there is the chance of seeing one or both species of crocodilian which inhabit the park. One is the huge fish-eating gharial and the other the mammal and fish specialist mugger crocodile. Gharials can grow up to 7m long and are regarded as the most critically endangered species in the Indian subcontinent with only around 250 mature individuals in the wild. Corbett is one of the last refuges for this species and there are a couple of view points overlooking the river where there is a good chance of seeing a huge male. Once you arrive at the accommodation, level – basic eco-lodge (Dhikala Resort) in the heart of the park, you will check in and have some lunch. Then in the afternoon you will be taken around the grasslands here, this is one of the best places in India to see wild Asiatic elephants and also a very good place to see tigers. The long grass here is perfect for tigers to rest during the heat of the day and we will hopefully find one of the 100 or so tigers that thrive in the park. Over the following two full days you will enjoy an elephant back ride during the mornings followed by breakfast, lunch and time to relax before a jeep safari in the afternoon. Dhikala is ideally placed to explore some of the best tiger habitats in all of Corbett. Whether you are riding the elephant through the long grass or being driven around the magnificent sal forests where the mists linger and make for a magical and awe-inspiring natural setting which will take your breath away. Even when resting in the resort complex you will see macaques and langurs as well as the occasion barking deer or golden jackal and also keep your eyes peeled across the lake and in the trees and bushes that dot the complex as there are various species of birds including herons, storks, egrets, kingfishers, warblers and prinias that can be seen easily. So each morning you will start early and meet at the mahout station, there is a small herd of elephants that are owned by the park and are used for tourism as well as anti-poaching patrols. By travelling around on elephant back you will be able to get closer to wildlife than in a jeep as the elephants are naturally occurring parts of the ecosystem and so the animals often do not run away and feel unthreatened by the elephants presence. This will become very apparent when you come across wild elephants, the subtle communication between the domestic and wild elephants is great to see and if you are lucky enough to see a tiger from elephant back it will live long in the memory. The jeep safaris each afternoon will allow you to explore more of the park and head further than is possible on elephant back. This is a great way to see the riverine forests and look out for the tell tale signs of tigers and other predators such as leopards, fishing cats, jungle cats yellow-throated martens, sloth bears, golden jackals and dhole. Most of these species are very hard to see and are seldom ever seen here but with our combination of excellent drivers, dedicated local guides based in Dhikala and our own zoologist escort who has experienced most of the parks in India and specialises in finding hard to see mammal species. So if we hear any prey alarm calls, kill sites, tracks or other signs of carnivores are heard or spotted we will spend some time searching for the predators before retuning to Dhikala for your evening meal and well deserved nights rest.
Corbett National Park
This morning you can have another elephant safari in the morning before breakfast, this would be your last chance of seeing hog deer that love the grasslands around here, then after breakfast you will board the jeep and head back towards the town of Ramnagar along the Ramganga River, this is the dry season so the river will be low and you will see the huge rounded boulders that have been brought here from high in the distance Himalayas over thousands of years of spring melts and monsoonal floods. It is a shame that the park is closed during the monsoon season as it must be incredible to see this mighty river in full flow during this time of year. Along the way you have the chance of seeing more wildlife for the last time before arriving back at the accommodation, level – eco-lodge (Corbett Leela Villas) and relaxing with a nice drink by the pool before your evening meal.
This morning you have a relaxed breakfast and enjoy a lie in compared with the early starts from the last week of safaris. Once you have breakfasted you will be transferred back to Delhi via the same route. Once in Delhi you will be taken to your accommodation, level – 3* hotel (Hotel Almondz) and after checking in and relaxing for a while you will be taken to a restaurant for your farewell evening meal on your last night in India.
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.