India Expedition: Wilderness & Wildlife

India Expedition: Wilderness & Wildlife

From $ 3,945 AUD

Description

Embark on a wild adventure of the subcontinent with a 15-day small group tour of natural India. Head to the lesser-visited regions of Madhya Pradesh and Bengal and be struck by the immense beauty and diversity of the surrounding landscapes. Spot Bengal Tigers deep in the jungle on your series of included safaris, discover the ancient tribal art and culture in Bhopal, see the critically endangered Indian Pangolin in Tadoba Andhari, and taste your way around the complex flavours of this region. There’s no wonder why this dreamy wilderness provided Kipling inspiration for The Jungle Book – it’s truly a slice of jungle paradise.

Trip Name
India Expedition: Wilderness & Wildlife
Last Updated
2020-01-24
Days
15
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • The landscape out here looks like it’s straight out of The Jungle Book – and parts of this region are actually where writer Rudyard Kipling sought inspiration. Where exactly? Well, you decide.
  • Get as close as you’ll ever be to the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger on one of your many safaris – commonly spotted in the conservation zones and reserves of this region.
  • Whether it’s munching on luchi (deep-fried flatbread) in Kolkata or sipping Nawabi tea in Bhopal, the aromatic and diverse cuisine of India is all yours to explore.
  • Discover a diversity of wildlife that’s far beyond elephants and tigers. With upwards of ten included safaris on this expedition, go in search of leopards, gaurs, sloth bears, barasinghas, dholes, jackals, and so much more!
  • Gain a different perspective of natural India by spotting wildlife from the water in the Sundarbans national park and mangrove reserve, situated on the Bangladeshi border.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Delhi
Welcome to Delhi – the capital of wondrous India. Your wilderness and wildlife adventure will begin with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, where you’ll meet your group leader and fellow travellers. As this trip spends very little time in Delhi, we recommend you spend arrive a few extra days before your trip if you want to experience all the city has to offer. There’s Jama Masjid, Humayun's Tomb, Qutub Minar, the Red Fort, and so much more. If you would like to spend more time here, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Day 2 - Bhopal
Today, head to the airport to take a flight to Bhopal (approximately 1.5 hours, not including time spent at the airport). Bhopal is the capital of the central state of Madhya Pradesh, and is flanked by two large lakes, the Upper and Lower Lake. It is one of India’s greenest cities and has a large Muslim population, with about a quarter of Bhopal practicing, and with one of the largest mosques in Asia – the Taj-ul-Masjid. Bhopal is also infamously known for one of the world’s largest industrial incidents in 1984. Once arrived, head to the Tribal Museum, which is an ode to local tribal art and culture. Their unique galleries and exhibitions give an insight into the way of life of the seven major tribes of the state – the Gond, Bhil, Korku, Baiga, Sahariya, Kol and Bhariya.
Day 3 - Satpura National Park
Transfer by private vehicle to Satpura National Park (approximately 5 hours), part of the Satpura Range of mountains which runs through central India. Parts of the Satpura Range were a main influence for Rudyard Kipling’s enchanting tales of The Jungle Book – an imaginative landscape of steamy jungle canopies, sun-warmed pools, vines and ancient temple ruins, originally documented and published by a British district officer, read by Kipling and enlivened with his own imagination. For you, this expanse of dense forest, sandstone peaks and narrow gorges is all yours to explore, and so, you’ll embark on a safari through the thickets in search of tigers, deer, stags, leopards and gaur (Indian bisons). Some of the wildlife in Satpura National Park is seldom seen, but the mystical and intriguing surroundings are sure to surprise you.
Day 4 - Satpura National Park
Today is another day to marvel at the depths of Satpura National Park. You’ll head on a morning safari to explore a different section of the park, then in the evening, head on a nature walk to where safari vehicles cannot reach. One of the most enchanting things about the park is exploring it at different stages of the day, where the sunlight streams through the canopy, and especially on your nature walk, the warm orange hues illuminating your path are a dream – have your camera ready for some incredible shots.
Day 5 - Kanha Tiger Reserve
Take a 7-hour drive by private vehicle to Kanha. Most of today will be taken up by travelling, so on arrival, how about an afternoon spend relaxed by the pool, or with an ayurvedic treatment at the onsite spa? After your jungle exploration yesterday, you deserve it.
Day 6 - Kanha Tiger Reserve
Today, head on two safaris – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Kanha Tiger Reserve is known for its population of Royal Bengal Tiger, and you’ll have a greater chance of spotting some here. It is also home to Indian leopards, the sloth bear, barasingha (swamp deer) and dholes (Indian wild dog). You’ll be getting some serious Jungle Book vibes here too. You will be accompanied by a local guide who will educate you on the local flora and fauna of the park and has a keen eye for spotting wildlife.
Day 7 - Pench National Park
New day; new national park. Take a private vehicle to Pench National Park (approximately 3 hours). As you will soon realise, many of the national parks around the state of Madhya Pradesh claim to be the inspiration for Kipling’s The Jungle Book, but we’ll let you be the judge after you’ve seen them all. Being home to another tiger reserve, explore Pench National Park on an evening safari in search for Royal Bengal Tigers, jackal, chital, monkeys, antelope, sloth bears and a varied range of birdlife.
Day 8 - Pench National Park
Wake up nice and early to continue to explore Pench National Park. Much like yesterday, you’ll be in a safari vehicle and have a naturalist guide assist you in search for the acclaimed wildlife of the park. Different animals come out to play at different times of the day, so be sure to keep your eyes open. Your afternoon is free to relax at your accommodation or explore the local area at your own pace. Take a dip in the pool, have an onsite spa treatment, or just relax in a hammock – it’s up to you.
Day 9 - Tadoba Andhari National Park
This morning, make the 6.5-hour journey from Pench National Park to Tadoba Andhari National Park. Tadoba Andhari is the oldest and largest national park in the Maharashtra state, and has one of the highest tiger populations in India. A major highlight of the park, however, is a smaller creature: the critically endangered Indian Pangolin. These small scaly mammals are considered to be one of the most heavily trafficked animals in the world, as they are hunted and traded for their bushmeat, and their scales are used in traditional medicines in parts of Africa and Asia. Once arrived, take an evening safari to see some of the local wildlife at twilight.
Day 10 - Tadoba Andhari National Park
Embark on a morning safari of Tadoba Andhari. Besides tigers, the reserve is also home to other animals like leopards, sloth bears, and rusty spotted cats, and your safari guides will ensure that you get the best sightings during this experience. By now, you know the drill – after having your morning exploring the reserve, sit back and take a break in the afternoon. You are on holiday, after all.
Day 11 - Kolkata
Today, head by private vehicle to Nagpur airport (approximately 3 hours). Here you will board a flight to Kolkata (approximately 2 hours). Once arrived and checked into the hotel, you group will be shown around on a leader-led orientation walk, taking in the main sights like the palatial Victoria Memorial, and the Howrah Bridge, suspended over the Hooghly River. Kolkata is known for its grand colonial architecture, interwoven arts and culture, and Bengali cuisine. After your group walk, why not find a place for some local food – your group leader will know of some good spots.
Day 12 - Sundarbans
Take a 3-hour drive south to Gadkhali and then a 1-hour boat journey to your hotel in the jungle for the next two nights, situated in the Sundarbans. This national park and mangrove forest sits at the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers in the Bay of Bengal. It is the largest single block of tidal mangrove forest in the world, stretching over the India-Bangladesh border. Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Sundarbans has much natural wildlife to explore. Once arrived at your accommodation, take a walk with your group leader around the local village to see daily life play out.
Day 13 - Sundarbans
Today, you and your group will embark on a full day safari by boat, cruising in the narrow canals of the mangroves with low-lying forest on both sides. The wildlife reserve is home to Bengal Tigers, spotted deer, crocodiles and kingfishers, and so, you’ll be able to see the wonders of India’s natural side from the water.
Day 14 - Kolkata
Leave the Sundarbans, taking an hour’s boat ride to Gadkhali and a 3-hour drive by private vehicle to Kolkata. Enjoy a free afternoon once arrived, and perhaps gather your group together for a celebratory dinner. By now, you will have gathered numerous memories of natural India, and how better to share them than with a some luchi (deep-fried flatbread) and alu dum (a potato-based curry).
Day 15 - Kolkata
With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
01-11-202015-11-2020AUD $ 4,025-
06-12-202020-12-2020AUD $ 3,945-
31-10-202114-11-2021AUD $ 3,945-
05-12-202119-12-2021AUD $ 3,945-

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights),Jungle Resort (2 nights)

Transport

Plane,Private vehicle,Boat

Map