- Depart London on an overnight flight to Delhi.
- Arriving Delhi this morning we transfer to our hotel in the city.
- We spend the next two days exploring Delhi’s key bird sanctuaries. Okhla Bird Park is home to over 300 bird species, with many species of thorny scrub and grassland but being particularly rich in water birds, thanks to the wetland formed by the creation of the Okhla Barrage, over the Yamuna River. Sultanpur is equally rich, with over 250 bird species, where resident and migrant birds may be spotted. Amongst the former we are likely to see rose-winged parakeet, red-wattled lapwing, little, great, and cattle egret, Indian crested lark and bank, and common mynah.
- Accommodation: Delhi, 2-nights on full board basis.
- We leave Delhi early and drive (six hours) to Corbett National Park, arriving in the afternoon and in time for our first jeep safari. India’s first national park is an important refuge for the wildlife of the southern Himalayan slopes and is renowned for its rich and varied mammal and reptile life – including one of the largest populations of Royal Bengal Tiger and more the rare, bulbous snouted Gharial crocodile – and is home to more than 600 species of bird. Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the broad valley of the Ramganga River, Corbett offers superb sub-montane and riverine views.
- Accommodation: Corbett National Park, 4-nights on full board basis.
- We take a final morning jeep ride, before leaving Corbett for our drive (around five hours) to the outskirt of Delhi, in the village of Lakarpur.
- Accommodation: Lakarpur, 1-night on full board basis.
- This morning we travel from Delhi to Agra to explore India’s cultural highlights of Agra Fort & the iconic Taj Mahal. The impressive Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered the most important fort in India from which the country was once governed. Built as a monument to love, the Taj Mahal is a visually impressive piece of architecture, with its marble exterior changing colour with the stages of the sun during the day, at sunrise and sunset.
- Accommodation: Agra, 1-night on full board basis
- Today we journey to Bharatpur and Keoladeo Ghana National Park, a RAMSAR and World Heritage Site and an important over-wintering reserve for migratory birds, including the threatened Siberian crane. Other notable bird species we may see include Pallas’s sea eagle and the elusive spotted creeper, and amongst the range of mammals we will look for chital, sambar and Asiatic jackal.
- Accommodation: Bharatpur, 1-night on full board basis.
- We spend the next three days at Ranthambore National Park, best known for its tiger sightings but also home to a host of other mammals, which include leopard, sloth bear, rhesus macaque and wild boar. Bird life is excellent here, with upward of 300 species recorded. We will explore the different zones within the park, maximising the diversity of wildlife encounters including the chance to see tiger in their natural jungle habitat.
- Accommodation: Ranthambore, 3-nights on full board basis.
- We have an opportunity for one last jeep safari before taking the train to Delhi where we transfer to our hotel and our farewell dinner.
- Accommodation: Delhi, 1-night on full board basis.
Day 15 Fly back to the UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
We stay in comfortable jungle lodges that have character and are known for the best naturalist guides. All rooms are en suite throughout.
All main meals are included, and food is good–excellent. Dinners are usually taken at the hotels, and some breakfasts and some lunches will be picnics.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Delhi – London.
Our tour takes us into some of India’s prime locations for birds.
- Pallas’s sea eagle
- Black headed ibis
- Eurasian thick knee
- Indian crested lark
We will particularly be hoping to see the magnificent Royal Bengal tiger, particularly in Corbett National Park.
- Asiatic jackal
We visit some spectacular, and diverse, areas of India, from the wetland of the Okhla Barrage to the scenic foothills of the Himalayas.
Tropical climate, hot and humid (22°–33° Celsius) in the lowlands, for much of our time there we will be in the shadier forests. It is generally cooler and more pleasant early and late in the day. Temperatures are cooler in the mountains, typically 10°–20° Celsius, falling to below 10° Celsius at night, and frost is a possibility in the high land, before the sun warms the day. Rainfall is likely at 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.
Good photographic opportunities – birds, mammals, butterflies and scenery – in more open country, but may generally difficult in the forested areas.
Transportation is by minibus, mini-coach and 4 x 4 vehicle in the parks.