Wildest India

Searching for tigers, elephants, and rhino in India's finest nature reserves
Overview

overview

Tigers are always elusive, but searching the best places, at the best time of year with one of India's best naturalists increases your chances greatly. Your guide, Avijit Sarkhel, has led JOURNEYS' tiger safaris throughout India for the past seven years. He is one of India’s leading birders and is active in various ornithological societies. Avi's passion for birds and other wildlife has made him one of the most insightful and qualified naturalist guides in the country. He is always on the lookout for the best opportunities to observe India's great wildlife riches. If you find tigers, you will also find a rich diversity of other mammals and birds. Expect this trip to be full of nature and wildlife experiences in Tadoba Tiger Reserve, the spectacular Kaziranga National Park and Manas. Avi always travels well-equipped with spotting scope, binoculars, audio recordings, playback equipment, and identification guides. He is also extremely well-read on Indian history and literature. He is fluent in English, Hindi, and Bengali. Avijit is JOURNEYS' senior naturalist in South Asia.

Most India tiger trips focus on Rajasthan, central India, and well-known parks such as Ranthambhor and Kanha. This trip takes you to less frequently-visited tiger habitats that still offer excellent chances to see wild tigers and many other unique species, with the added benefit of encountering far fewer fellow tourists. Starting in Delhi, you'll fly into the city, Nagpur, and  drive south to the teak forests of Tadoba National Park. After three days exploring, we fly to the city of joy, Kolkata. We will explore the culture of the city before heading to Jorhat and visit the Gibbon Sanctuary where you'll see the Hoolock Gibbon, Pig-tailed Macaque, Stump-Tailed Macaque, and other primates. From Jorhat, head to  the northeastern flood plains of Kazaranga and then Brahmaputra in Assam, Manas,  a unique forest with marshy swamps, elephant grass, and damp forests and home not only to tigers, but also India's greatest diversity and numbers of large mammals, including Asiatic Elephant, One Horned Rhinoceros, Swamp Deer, Wild Buffalo, Hog Deer, and the Indo Gangetic Dolphin. Your safari by  jeep will reach deep into the huge parks. 

We have scheduled this trip for early April when limited water in Tadoba brings tigers out in the open and possibilities of sighting tigers in Kaziranga go up significantly as summer begins.  

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Delhi
    Arrive early for a bit of Delhi sightseeing

    Upon arrival at Delhi international airport, you will be met by a representative and driven to your hotel (approximately 35 minutes from airport) to settle in and rest up after your long flight.  (Contact us if you would like to add a couple of days to explore Delhi or Taj Mahal beforehand.)

    Lodging
    Shanti Home (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Delhi / Tadoba
    Head out on your first game drive of the trip

    Early this morning, transfer to the airport and fly to Nagpur. On arrival, drive about three hours to Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.  Check in at your lodge, a relatively new, small, comfortable resort with well-furnished rooms and a good on-site restaurant, located close to the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. The resort is located on ten acres of private farm land and is run by a couple from the area.  After getting settled and  lunch, embark with Avi for your first safari in the park. The lodge operates using their own jeeps and have a resident naturalist that accompany the game viewing.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tiger Trails (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Days 3-5: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve
    Tiger and twins at Tadoba

    Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve is situated in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra and is a unique habitat for wildlife in central India. The park is the oldest in the state and consists of two distinct regions, Tadoba National Park and Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary, merged in 1955 to create the reserve which spans more than 240 square miles. The park is home to a substantial population of predators such as tigers, leopard, sloth bear, and wild dog, as well as a prey base including Gaur, Sambar deer, spotted deer, and wild boar. The park's large lake is home to marsh crocodiles, which you're sure to see, and a large and varied bird population is also here, including the Greater Racket Tailed Drongo, Crested Serpent Eagle, Crested hawk Eagle, Grey Jungle Fowl, Indian Grey Hornbill, and more. The park is very open, especially compared to other parks of central India, but this also allows for excellent tiger sightings here. While here, you'll go on twice-daily safaris, morning and afternoon, in 4x4 jeeps accompanied by park guides, with a midday break between game drives.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Tiger Trails (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Tadoba / Nagpur / Kolkata
    Arrive in busy Kolkata

    Following breakfast, head out on your final game drive in this impressive park, after which you'll be driven to Nagpur for your afternoon flight to Kolkata. On arrival, you'll be met and driven to your hotel.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Taj Gateway (or similar)
  • Day 7: Kolkata / Jorhat
    Learn about the Hughli River and its importance to Kolkata

    Early this morning enjoy a drive through the city followed by breakfast at a local restaurant. Then you will go to the airport for your earl afternoon flight to Jorhat. Upon arrival at Jorhat, you will be met by the drivers and be driven to a nearby Burra Bungalow, a beautiful tea estate 35 minutes from the airport. This afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the sylvan surrounds and a possible short walk in the nearby tea estates.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Thengal Manor/Banyan Grove (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Jorhat / Kaziranga
    Hoolock Gibbon (photo by Avi Sarkhel)

     

    Early this morning – drive to the Hoolongopar Gibbon Forest Reserve. This is located 40 minutes from the tea estate and is a beautiful tropical habitat for several rare and endangered primates of the World – some of them are Hoolock Gibbon, Pig Tailed Macaque, Stump Tailed Macaque, Capped Langur and Assamese Macaque. Apart from that there is a very rich birdlife and the Malay Giant Squirrel and other mammals that can be sighted here. There are chances of sighting Asiatic Elephant, Barking Deer, Wild Boar & even a Jungle Cat. There will be guides with you who will take you for an hour long walk here. After that, you will be served packed breakfast and then head to Kaziranga in the air conditioned Toyota Innovas. On reaching the Wild Grass Lodge check in at air conditioned local style cottage with ensuite facilities.

     

    Wild Grass is situated in Kaziranga proper, amidst a setting of a traditional rural Assamese landscape comprising of village houses, bamboo groves, paddy fields and tea gardens. It is an attractive rural-style hotel with its extensive grounds having more than 40 species of full-grown trees and over 200 species of tropical climbers, creepers and shrubs. The lodge has 18 twin-bedded rooms situated in two colonial style buildings. Each room is an individual wing, with large windows built in vogue with the climatic conditions and architectural traditions of the region. One can look out into the gardens or into the countryside with the Dirring River that flows along our compound. The rooms are airy and spacious with wooden floors and private baths that have running hot and cold water. Later this afternoon take your first safari in open jeeps to the central range of the Kaziranga National Park.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Wild Grass (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Days 9-10: Kaziranga National Park
    Asiatic rhinos in Kazinranga NP (photo by Avi Sarkhel)

    Enjoy two full days exploring Kaziranga National Park in depth, with morning and late afternoon daily game drives in 4x4 open jeeps in the western and central ranges of the park. Kaziranga, in Assam in northeastern India, is on the banks of the Brahmaputra River, occupies about 180 square miles, and is home to the "big five," including 70% of the world’s One-horned Rhinoceros, herds of Asiatic Wild Elephant, tigers, Asiatic Wild Buffalo, Eastern Swamp Deer, and many herbivores such as Wild Boar, Barking Deer, and Hog Deer. You may encounter a number of smaller and infrequently-sighted mammals such as the very rare Hispid Hare, Common and Small Indian Mongoose, Small Indian Civet, Bengal Fox, Jackal, Indian Pangolin, Hog Badger, Jungle Cat and the shy Fishing Cat. Four species of primates are found in the park, including the Assamese Macaque, the beautiful Capped Langur, and India’s only ape, the Hoolock Gibbon.

    The Brahmaputra River is home to the endangered Indo-Gangetic Dolphin, while Smooth-Coated Otters are seen often in its tributary, the river Diphlu. A splendor of birds, including the Swamp Francolin, Bengal Florican, Wreathed Hornbill, Greater Adjutant Stork, Pale-capped Pigeon, Sultan Tit, Jerdon’s Baza, Fairy Bluebird, Black-breasted Parrot bill, and the Goliath Heron, can be seen here.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Wild Grass (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Kaziranga/Manas
    Viewing from towers allows for better viewing

    Early this morning you will leave Kazirange and drive to Manas (7 hours drive). Since it is a long drive, you will be stopping a few times for comfort stops and lunch. Time permitting an afternoon jeep safari in the park or just relax and take a walk in the nearby surroundings. Manas is one of the few parks that shares its area with Bhutan. The riverine forests of Manas is home to elusive species like the crab eating mongoose, Himalayan Rufous Necked hornbill, Himalayan Eagle owl and Red Headed Trogan are all sighted here. The park is explored mostly from four wheel drive jeeps but elephant safaris are also possible and can be a good way to see the park wading through the tall grass.

    Meals
    breakfast, lunch, dinner
    Lodging
    The Bansbari Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Days 12-13: Manas National Park
    Elephant are abundant in the park

    Explorations will be by 4 x 4 jeeps with a forest guide and naturalist from the lodge (who is usually the driver of the vehicle too). Manas is rich with a varied and rich birdlife. The safari guide and driver are knowlegeable people but with limited English. A little patience is appreciated as you come to understand their immense local knowledge of the wildlife movements.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    The Bansbari Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: Manas/ Guwahati/New Delhi
    Say goodbye to the many wonders of northeast India

    Drive to Guwahati to connect to the flight to New Delhi arriving early evening. Depending on international departure flight, the Eaton Smart Hotel located inside the Delhi airport is a great place to  rest, eat, and shower before your long flights home.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Apr 1-14, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$5,350
For 8 or more guests Add $575 for internal flights (does not include international air)
Single Supplement:
$675
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
14 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
3
delightful small hotels & safari lodges/camps
Group Size:
8-14
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
walking and easy hikes, rough roads

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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