- We depart London on an overnight flight to Delhi.
- Arriving into Delhi this morning, we transfer to our hotel and the rest of the day is free to relax and enjoy at our leisure.
- Accommodation: Delhi, 1-night on full boad basis.
- In the morning we drive to Bharatpur, also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a bird reserve which is both a Ramsar site and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Amongst the species that may be spotted during early morning and afternoon guided excursions, we look for black-necked stork, greater and Indian spotted eagles, sarus crane, black bittern and large-tailed nightjar.
- The park also boasts an interesting range of mammals and reptiles. Sambar, chital, nilgai, wild boar, rhesus macaque, golden jackal and five-striped palm-squirrel are all commonly seen. Local guides can also often find Indian monitors and Indian rock pythons.
- Accommodation: Bharatpur, 1-night on full board basis
- We leave Bharatpur and drive to Chambal and the fantastic wetland bird reserve. National Chambal Sanctuary provides protection for 1,200 gharials, a species previously decimated by poaching, and 300 marsh crocodiles, eight species of turtles, and smooth-coated otters. It boasts an impressive and rapidly increasing list of birds with over 290 species of resident and migratory birds, and is gaining something of a reputation as one of the most reliable places to see the Indian skimmer.
- From a boat safari on the Chambal River, accompanied by a local naturalist expert, to nature walks through the National Chambal Sanctuary, or blackbuck jeep safari in the Chambal ravines, during our stay here we have plenty of time to explore the rich diversity Chambal has to offer.
- Accommodation: Chambal, 3-nights on full board basis
- This morning we leave Chambal and drive to Agra where we transfer to our hotel. After lunch we visit the majestic Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
- Accommodation: Agra, 1-night on full board basis.
- We leave Agra and travel to Bhopal and onto Satpura. Central India’s least known national park covers 524 square kilometres and is trebled by the adjoining sanctuaries of Bori and Pachmarhi, creating a unique highland ecosystem.
- After checking into our lodge we take an evening drive into the buffer zone for our first taste of this unique reserve. Rich in biodiversity, although not yet widely visited, Satpura offers opportunities for nature walks and boat safaris within the park. In addition traditional jeep safaris search for the magnificent tiger, the elusive leopard and the sloth bear, and for birds including Indian peafowl, Indian eagle owl and Indian grey hornbill. Our four days there will combine all the different wildlife experiences on offer within the park.
- Accommodation: Satpura, 4-nights on full board basis.
- In the morning we drive to Pench National Park, arriving in time for lunch to allow an afternoon of wildlife activities. As we stay at the only lodge in the remote northern part of the park we pretty much have the park to ourselves, giving us scope for incredibly rewarding wildlife encounters.
- Pench’s typical dry deciduous forest of teak trees supports a rich variety of wildlife, in addition to tiger, leopard, dhole (Indian wild dog), gaur (Indian bison), sambar, chital and sloth bear are all seen here. The birdlife is also first class. The open habitat lends itself to wildlife viewing, but also offers striking views of the area’s natural beauty. The landscape and its creatures inspired Rudyard Kipling and appear in his classic tale, the Jungle Book.
- Accommodation: Pench, 2-nights on full board basis.
- On the morning of day 14 we leave Pench for our drive to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, where we check in for lunch before an afternoon jeep safari. The next day we will have a full day of wildlife activities and a last chance for a grand tiger finale.
- Maharashtra's largest and oldest national park, created in 1955, Tadoba is one of India’s 25 Project Tiger reserves. With its forested hills, glistening lakes and open grasslands, this beautiful park is home to an important population of tigers (estimated at around 60 individuals). Among the other classic Indian mammals found here are leopard, sloth bear, gaur, Asian wild dog and striped hyena. The area is also an ornithologist's paradise. Birds commonly seen here include brown fish owl, crested serpent eagle, grey junglefowl and oriental paradise flycatcher.
- Accommodation: Tadoba, 2-nights on full board basis.
- This morning we transfer by road to Nagpur, where we have lunch before our flight back to Delhi. We then transfer to the hotel and the rest of the day is free to do a city tour, explore the art and craft markets or just relax by the pool. In the evening we have our farewell dinner and meditate on our recent incredible wildlife encounters.
- Accommodation: Delhi, 1-night on full board basis.
- We transfer to the airport and board our flight to London.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
- 2nd leader subject to minimum numbers
We stay in comfortable jungle lodges that have character and are known for the best naturalist guides. All rooms are en suite.
All main meals are included. Dinners are usually taken at the hotels, some breakfasts and lunches will be picnics.
Our tour takes us into some of India’s prime locations for birds.
- Indian spotted eagle
- Indian skimmer
- Sarus crane
- Plum-headed parakeet
In addition to the magnificent tiger, Central India has many charismatic large mammals.
- Asian wild dog
- Sloth bear
From the deciduous dry teak forests of Pench to the forested hills, lakes and grasslands of Tadoba, we experience the natural beauty of Central India.
In the lowlands, expect a warm tropical climate (22°–33° Celsius) during the middle of the day. On early walks and jeep drives in midwinter it can feel positively cold before the sun warms the day. Rainfall is likely in any season.
Mostly easy, with more moderate effort required at times along the forest trails. We will have some early starts to get the best from key areas before the day heats up. There will also be opportunities for evening walks, to look for nightjars and owls, so bring a torch if you plan to participate in these.
Sturdy waterproof walking with stout soles and good grip are required.
Excellent photographic opportunities – birds, mammals, butterflies and scenery – in more open country, but generally more difficult in the forested areas.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Delhi – London, and domestic flight Nagpur – Delhi.
Transportation is by minibus, mini-coach and 4 x 4 vehicle in the parks.