- Depart London on an overnight flight to Delhi.
- Arriving Delhi this morning we transfer to our hotel in the city.
- During our stay in Delhi we visit the city’s key bird sanctuaries. Okhla Bird Sanctuary lies beside the Yamuna River, at the Okhla Barrage, and is recognised as a haven for over 300 species. We also visit Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, in the neighbouring state of Haryana, where around 250 species of birds may be found. Birds we may see between these sites include common hoopoe, paddyfield pipit, purple sunbird, grey and black francolins, Indian roller, white-throated kingfisher, Indian spot-billed duck, painted stork, rose-ringed parakeet, red-wattled lapwing, shikra, spotted owlet and green bee-eater. At Sultanpur we are also likely to see rhesus macaque, nilgai and five-striped palm-squirrel.
- Accommodation: Delhi, 2-nights on full board basis.
- We leave Delhi early and drive (six to seven hours) to Corbett National Park, arriving in the afternoon, 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 world's largest populations of tiger and the rare, bulbous snouted Gharial crocodile. It is home to more than 600 species of bird including great pied hornbill, tawny fish owl and, in winter, ibisbill. 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 to six hours) to the outskirts of Delhi.
- Accommodation: Delhi NCR Noida, 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 UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important over-wintering reserve for migratory birds. Notable species we may see include eastern imperial eagle, sarus crane and the elusive spotted creeper. Among the range of mammals we will look for are chital, sambar and golden 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
- 2nd leader subject to minimum numbers
We stay in a mix of city hotels and 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.
- Great pied hornbill
- Pallas’s fish eagle
- Tawny fish owl
- Coppersmith barbet
We will particularly be hoping to see the magnificent tigers, particularly in Corbett National Park.
- Golden jackal
We visit some spectacular and diverse areas of India, from the dramatic foothills of the Himalayas along the Ramganga River to the ancient fort on the dusty hills of Ranthambore.
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.
Excellent photographic opportunities – birds, mammals, butterflies and scenery – in more open country, but more difficult in the forested areas.
Transportation is by minibus, mini-coach and 4 x 4 vehicle in the parks.